The scorching midday sun was all guns blazing in the little lawn behind my room when we decided to celebrate our but temporary emancipation from the clutches of the mid-semester tests. A few sublime goals from the Sexy Sleepy Soccer-lover (SSS), the Electrical Kholu, the Scuttling Shuttler (SS) and other mates were interspersed with some brilliant assists of my own, albeit them being for the opposition! I also scored the maximum number of own goals (three, on my last count), but even an Inter-IIT regular like SSS scored one. By the time we got tired and the others sat down to watch Terrance and Phillip fart their way to ignominy in the South Park movie as I prepared orange juice for them, it was overcast and it wasn’t too long before it started to drizzle. The sleepless nights of the weekend, and the exhaustion after the game caught up with me, though, and I dozed off.
The Popular Geek (PG) and Technology Expert (TE) were in my room three hours later, to wake me up after they’d taken pictures of the vestiges of the Bhawan day (described here). It had rained sporadically for the past few hours, and the petrichor was heavy in the cool breeze. Oh, I could go on and on for another rain post! It is one of those things about nature that piques you in so many ways. Rain, to me, is a harbinger of optimism, a reminder of beauty, a messenger of relief, but above all, an excuse to head off for coffee and pakodas! Sipping the hot elixir slowly, when not digging into succulent pakodas, while the rain beats down on the window panes, and the wind hisses into your ears, is an experience beyond my expressive capabilities.
Mumma was worried I’d be draining myself in the heat, but it isn’t the same weather as Visakhapatnam here. It isn’t raining in Bhuj in western Gujarat, either, where Papa is in the midst of making sure he visits every corner of the country. It is overcast in Delhi, I hear, but the wind blowing merrily isn’t a pretty situation in a city as dusty as the capital. If you are in R-land as you read this, I’d rather you walk out to feel what I’m trying to say here. If you aren’t, try catching one of those Tata Tea rain advertisements, which, I feel are one of the best depictions of this feeling. A similar one is an old Maruti Alto ad, but that was because of Shubha Mudgal’s enchanting voice singing “Boondon mein jaane kya nasha hai...”
It’s a Monday morning, and it’s an exam day. SS and I are on our way to the hall, with both of us having slept little, prepared even lesser and frantically looking for someone who knew more micro-economics than each other. But, unfortunately, we were a little late to leave, too, leaving the two of us praying for our souls. We completed the turn around the hostel gate, to emerge behind the seventh wing, between an exhibit of modern art on Ravindra Canteen’s back-wall (whose popular name has something to do with a horse) and fellow classmates jumping the fence, hurrying to catch vantage seats to make up for their preparation (or the lack of it). As we look at some of them get caught very uncomfortably in those pointed steel spears, our attention is caught by that big tree which just a month or so ago, was all empty-canopied. It now wore a most delightful coat of light violet, and so did the ground beneath it. The contrast compared to the dull yellow of the walls and the brown-tinged green of the other trees around was a sight to behold- if only we weren’t running late already. For the rest of our way, we speculated which tree it may be. Lavender is the option we sat upon at the end, but I have a good feeling it’s not that. This was precisely what I was thinking about after seeing that I had little or no clue on how to calculate the average variable cost of production for a company. Ah, the irony of (ou)R lives!
Thursday is a busy day this semester. Classes till one followed by practicals sixty minutes later, and a long, taxing day is rounded off by a tutorial. The only positive is that the practical gets wrapped up in less than three-quarters of an hour, and the research scholar taking the tutorial is accommodating enough (and our batch goony enough) to let us out in less than twenty minutes. The gap between the two usually ranges from thirty to forty-five minutes, spent on some days lazing around on the wooden benches of Alpahar Canteen, sipping fruit juice and eating fruit chaat at the numerous fruit-stalls near UG club on some, or in the pursuit of Frappyness at Nescafe on others.
The last choice is the most chosen one as I get to spend my wait alone on most occasions. On one such Thursday, I picked up a Frappe with the last notes in my wallet, and proceeded to pick a booth looking out to the road, as well as the other booths. It’d been an especially tiring day, and I sought to relax, pulling my legs up onto the bench in front as I searched for my headphones. A couple of middle-aged men, made their way to my booth, making me switch my legs’ position. As I turned, I could see a couple in the diagonally opposite booth coochie-cooing as they gently fed each other their patties. Two deaf-mutes were having an animated conversation, even in sign language, in the booth right in front of me. A graduate student I recognised from the Azad mess was all hurried and harried on his way to the PNB ATM just outside the Nescafe entrance. A bunch of fellow sophomores waved Hi on their way in, while on the other side of the road the Scuttling Shuttler chirped away along with the Scary Godmother. My wait was futile, but blissful nevertheless, as while this scene of humanity played before my eyes, Mark Knopfler was singing melodiously into my ears “...Everybody’s looking for somebody’s arms to fall into; That’s what it is... That’s what it is now...”
P.S.- Research Scholars (RS) are PG students, aren’t they? Not all of them are blobs, though! J
P.P.S.- The lavender incident was uncannily similar to what the female protagonist of ‘Daze of Our Lives’ in the last issue of Kshitij goes through.
P.P.P.S.- You sit and wait, think it’s futile, and move on. Then, out of the blue, your wait is ended in the blink of an eye, but the sight somehow remains with you for a long, long time! All hail persistence of vision! By the way, try giving “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by The Byrds a hear.