When I reached my medical college hostel, it was just coming in to life. Another busy day was just about to begin. Gangamma, ladies hostel caretaker has already opened the hostel gate. The milk seller was at the mess hall entrace and I watched the mess operator helping the milk seller to carry the huge aluminium milk can inside. Most of the students were still asleep. I could hear some one singing Suprabatham from one of the rooms on the third floor.
Deep in my heart, I knew I am going to be in big trouble, but somehow I also felt a bit courageous, as I felt that I am now the king of my destiny. I am not a soldier anymore.
Like Tracy Whitney of If tomorrow comes.(Sidney Sheldon). I vowed that I will destroy anyone who dares to mess my life. If Tracey could do it, so could I.
My room door was locked from inside and I knocked at the door and waited for like eternity. No one opened the door and I knocked the door again. I could hear someone opening the next room door. I watched Anitha coming out and staring at me
“Nina, Where did you go on friday?
“Home” I replied
“Home? You are lying. Your sister was here on saturday and she said you didn’t come home.”
“She is lying”
“Really?” Anitha didn’t even bother to hear my reply. She went back to her room and slammed the door. I didn’t feel bad, because I know in my heart that I went home. My home is in Chengannur and I don’t need to prove that to anyone.
I knocked my room door again. Finally I heard footsteps coming towards the door and Shylaja opened the door.
“Where have you been? Every one was worried about you”
“You got all of us in to so much trouble. Your sister came and scolded all of us, because we didn’t know where you went. Your sister was so worried about you. She even went through all the stuff in your cupboard, looking for any clues as to where you might be”
“hmm” I mumbled again
“Where did you go Nina?”
I didn’t bother to answer her. She doesn’t have to know what I do with my life and I don’t owe her any explanation.
“Princy(Principal) was here on saturday and he asked me to tell you that, you have to meet him before attending the class” Shylaja spoke again, in such a tone that suggested, you are going to be in big trouble, Oh yeah yeah yeah.
I ignored the sarcasm in her voice.
Princy comes to the office only at 9.30am, and that means, I will miss the morning lectures. I watched Aparna and Shylaja getting ready. Aparna didn’t even speak to me and I couldn’t care less. I am not going to apologize to my friends, because my sister lied to them. Meanwhile students from other rooms must have heard about my arrival and started coming to my room on one pre-text or the other. Everyone wanted to know where I went and for the first time in my life, I used my mother’s magic Mantra to the fullest extent.
“Oh,Just over there”
When Aparna and Shylaja finally left the room to go for the classes, I opened my cupboard to see what Chechy has taken
My diary was missing. I didn’t write my dairy everyday. I only wrote the important dates, that I wanted to remember. It had the address of all my friends from my 10th standard. Now that is gone. Maria took the Diary Siti gave me, when we left Malaysia and I lost the adress of Siti and all my friends from Church and school. Now I lost my 10th standard and pre-degree classmates address. I really didn’t understand what Maria’s problems were, but if I could get my hands on her, I would have surely killed her.
Around 9am , I went to the bathroom, had a nice shower, changed my clothes and came back and waited in my room. I could hear Ammachi’s voice over and over in my head,”Let the storm come, you can always rebuild”.
I was not going to give up now.
Exactly at 9.30am, I walked to the Princy’s office. His peon was standing outside the door. He stared at me and I stared at him back.
He lifted his eyebrows and asked”What?”
“I want to see the Princy”
“None of your business” I was stunned, when those words came out of my mouth. I tried to do some damage control, but it was too late. I watched the peon entering the room and coming back again.
“Princy will see you now”
“Ok”. I opened the door and entered
“You!, bevakoof, how dare you leave the college without permission? You are suspended. Get out of my room Now, pack your bags and leave the college this very minute. This college is not for bevakoofs” He had his hands pointed out to the door.
“Get out, Get out” He started to yell.
I didn’t bother to leave. I am not going to let him suspend me, just because I went home without permission
I stood there
“Why are you standing here, I said get out” He yelled some more
“Sorry sir, but you will have to give me the reason, why you are suspending me”
He stared at me. His face was all distorted.
“I don’t have to give you Bevakoof any reasons. I am the principal of this college. I have the right to suspend you. You left the college premises, without permission, that is an offence”
“Sorry Sir, that isn’t an offence under Bangalore University rules”
“Who said? Where does it say?” Princy suddenly looked a bit worried
“The rules are there in the hand book you gave me when I joined the college sir.”
He was staring at me, while I was trying to think, what I would have to do next, if he asked his peon to bring the handbook. I had no idea, what the University rules were, but I knew in my heart, no university is going to suspend a student for visiting her grandmother, with or without permission.
I watched the Princy sitting down on his chair.
“Where did you go?” He asked me in a much calmer voice
“But your sister was here, saying you never came home”
“I didn’t go to her house in Bangalore sir, I went to Chengannur. That is my ancestral home and I have proof” I took the train ticket from my purse and showed him,
He took the ticket from my hand and checked
“Where is Chengannur?”
“It is in Kerala sir, about 19 hours by train from Bangalore”
“Who is there?”
“My grandmother sir”
“hmm, Why did you go without getting permission?”
“Sir, I was feeling home sick, and I knew I won’t get the permission from the warden, even if it was only for 2 days. That is why I left without permission. I am really sorry sir, but I promise I will never leave the college without permission”
“If you ever leave the college without permission, I will suspend you, regardless of what the Bangalore University rules are. Do you understand that?”
“ok. Take this note to your class and give it to your professor” he handed me a permission slip
“Thank you sir” I smiled the sweetest smile and walked out with my head held high.
When I reached outside, the peon was waiting with a nasty, mean smile on his face
“Suspend Agidra?”(did you get suspended?)
“illa”(nope), I looked at him and gave him a victorious smile and watched the smirkness from his face changing in to astonishment. I walked to my class and knocked at the door
“yes” dr. Rajesh came and opened the door
“Why are you here? You have to meet the Principal. You can’t attend my class”
I gave him the note from Princy. He read it, looked at me, read it again and spoke
“Go and find a place to sit”
“Thank you sir”
Everyone was staring at me, especially boys, I have done something even the boys never dared to do. But then again, I am Methran Thambi’s grand daughter!!!
In the evening after the anatomy dissection class, I walked back to my hostel. Usually on monday I would go to the canteen and today, I didn’t feel like going to the canteen. From the distance I could see Maria standing near the hostel entrance. I wanted her to wait. So I walked back to the canteen. Ate a plate of egg Bhaji slowly, relishing every tiny bit of it. I had taken some extra tomato saauce with the Bhaji and I didn’t want to waste it. So I ordered another plate of egg Bhaji and ate that slowly.
Then I went to the library. After the ragging session, when I had to count the books in the library, I have never been to the library. I looked at all the books and found The essential Clinical Anatomy by Keith L Moore. I picked up the book, found a cosy corner and started to read. For the first time since I joined the medical college, I could understand what I was reading, especially when I knew I am making my sister wait.
Some time later, I heard footsteps. I looked up to see Aparna and Shylaja walking towards me
“Oh, there you are, we were looking for you every where. Your sister is waiting for you in the room”
“Oh really?” I got up slowly, kept the book back on the rack, picked up my coat and books from the table and walked with Aparna and Shylaja
When I reached the room Maria was pacing up and down
“She was at the library” Aparna told Maria
“hmm, Can you give us a few minutes” Maria asked them
“Sure” I watched them leaving the room and closing the door on the way out.
“Where did you go?”
“None of your business Maria”
“How dare you speak like that to me? Who said it isn’t my business? I am your local guardian and I have the right to know”. She was screaming
“I didn’t make you my local guardian. I have a father and a mother and if anyone can ask me where I went, that would be Appa and Amma. Not you”
“Who is the red check shirt guy?”
“A friend” Maria must have read about him in my diary. Lesson number one when you are a king, never write a diary!
“Did you go to Mysore? You couldn’t have been in Bangalore!”
“How do you know that?”
“Acha send police to raid all the hotels in Bangalore, So there is no way you would stayed in a hotel in Bangalore. Did you go to Mysore?”
“I think it is time for you to leave Maria. I have to study”
“So you went to Mysore! I knew it!”
“may be, may be not” I looked at Maria with a winning smile on my face
“This is not over yet Nina. You will never leave the college again. I have already written a letter to your Principal, telling him, I will hold him and the college liable, if you have ever leave this hostel without a leave letter signed by me”
“Oh, and where is the blue saree, the one I got for you from Bangalore? It is not there in your cupboard”
“oh that, I lost it” I hoped Gangamma didn’t wear that saree this morning.
I didn’t want to speak to my sister any longer. I took my library card and left the room. I needed to learn Anatomy and Maria needed to go through all my personal belongings to find more clues as to where I have been the last 2 days.
I wondered what she would be thinking when she finds my new salwar khameez in the laundry bag! Probably she would think I have a rich boyfriend!