Thursday, March 19, 2015

The sight of a morning class

Gravel shifting underfoot.It sounds like a heavy boot. A man moves.
Time ticking away and so he has a watch.A watch with hands.
Knuckles cracking, i can hear all ten. He has been doing this for a long time.
A zipper being pulled. There is a bag as I feel hot.
The rummaging within a bag, items sifting and obeying Murphy's laws.

A page torn asunder.Two twangs, its a pinned notebook.
The click of a pen.Sounds like 5 rupees.
The sound of scratching against paper. So it is a mechanical pencil after all.
The boots knock about always getting closer.

The squeak of a turning door. The loud exclamation of it meeting the frame with violent passion. The man is new here. I can smell perfume. Either a woman or a heavily ignorant man.A heavy body moves into position behind me.It is a woman after all. I can hear the necklace stones knocking about in merry mood. The strong odour overcomes me and for a while I cannot see anything else.

Restlessness settles over her. The constant pendulation of her foot on the floor. The pained creaking of the ceiling fan. How did I miss the click of the switch? Pad foot has entered. He wears shoes of cloth and so I can never hear him enter or move about.

Lungs fill with poisoned air behind me. What is this girl nervous about? "What is wrong?" I ask. "I did not study for the test." Understandable. That ought to make anyone nervous. "Is it time for the lecture to start yet?" "Wait... almost. About 10 minutes left". Time flies quickly when I see the world. The silent hum of an electric motor tugging along a person of interest. It seems my friend Varun has arrived. The final beep-beep of the machine indicating it has been switched off tells me he is on his feet. The familiar click clack of his crutch and the deep baritone greets me. "Morning to you too!"

The sounds of horsing around echo down the corridor and it seems that Gagan with his band of merry toppers has arrived. "I hope I sit next to Shivam" The girl is already looking for backup. It is uncanny how the fair sex outsmarts international Intelligence Agencies in matters of contingency planning. There is the inimitable beep of Jordan's phone. I believe it is custom made. It must be Arjoonn asking about the location of the class. How does that man always forget where the first class is? Every day of every semester he has called up someone or the other and queried the whereabouts of the class.

The low rumble of about 20 feet slowly shuffling in from the other door of the room is recognized as the set of all resedence students. Those who live closest are always the last to arrive in my experience. The distant peal of the metallic bar ,hung outside the Principal's office , being struck with zeal by the peon notifies everyone that the professor's arrival is imminent. They settle like chalk in still water.

Everyone has their own place. Never have they changed in the past two years. Dahuja and party sit to the right of the room. Shivam is the perpetual second bencher. Ranging fro the best to the worst class he never fails to take the second bench. "Just right" he says. Ishan sits dependent on time to examinations. Arjoonn has been placed on the last bench by the Gods. He does not move. Sachin, Tarun and the rest of the dark horses sit to the left of the class.

The professor arrives and a hush falls on the class. The arrival is almost comlete. 10 minutes into the lecture a few of the daredevils arrive. Essentially they had no hand in it. It was the Metro which ran late. Everyday.

And with this the complete class has assembled in the room to begin the first lecture of the day.