I dread the weekends in the campus. 2 boring days, doing nothing much, other than sleeping till the afternoon and reading novels the rest of the day. The only visitor who is allowed to enter the ladies hostel during the weekend is the cobbler, who usually comes around 8 AM carrying his tools in a canvas bag. He sits near the hostel entrance and by 12 noon he would have atleast 30 pairs of shoes to mend.
I woke up hearing some one knocking the door . Aparna went to open the door and I heard Anitha telling Aparna that the cobbler has arrived and if we have any shoes to mend, better hurry. That is when I noticed, Aparna is all dressed up. She is wearing an expensive silk salwar kameez, parrot green colour with gold zari in the border. She had matching hair clips and earrings. Oh my! where is she going? I wondered.
As soon as Anitha left, Aparna turned to look at me.
“Oh, Thank God you are awake. I was waiting for you to get up”
“Why? For what?”
“Nina, I am going to the Library. If my mother calls, can you tell her that I went to the library and ask her to call back in the evening?”
“Thanks” Within seconds Aparna was out of the room.
I looked at the clock. 9AM. Library opens only at 10 AM during the weekends. And nobody goes to the library wearing an expensive salwar and high heels. .
I got up and walked to the window. From my room I could see back of the canteen, entrance of the men’s hostel building and the basktet ball court in between the canteen and men’s hostel. I could see Aparna walking on the road and I waited to see where she is going. Like I suspected, she was not going to the Library, I saw her turning towards the canteen. She must be meeting someone at the canteen. Oh oh, she is in love!
But who is the guy? Oh my goodness, what if it is my beautiful eyes? I hoped the guy isn’t my beautiful eyes. I didn’t want my room mate to love the guy that I love. She isn’t going to borrow my guy! I need to know. I have to know who is the guy Aparna is seeing!
There is only one way to find it.
I quickly changed my clothes and grabbed some money fom my lab coat pocket and closed my room door.
I bumped in to Anitha, who was walking up and down the corridoor and studying. Her roommate was sitting on the bench in the corridoor.
“Hey, I heard that you and Jomon are an item”
“what? How did you hear that? I mean what are you talking about?”
“Oh yeah. Ms innocence, mindapoocha kalam udakkanda!(don’t try to act all innocent). Everyone saw you and Jomon talking in the canteen”
“So? Just because I talked to Jomon doesn’t mean that, I am in love with him” I was so mad.
“Whatever” Anitha shrugged her shoulder and turned away. I didn’t bother to waste my time trying to convince my classmate that I am not in love with an ape man. Then I heard Anitha talking to her room mate
“My God, what an actress she is! Look at her, She is wearing jeans and t-shirt. She isn’t going to the mess, dressed like that to eat breakfast! why do you have to change your cloths to go to the mess?. I can bet with you she is going to the canteen to meet Jomon. What does Nina think? that we are all stupid?”

How can I change the views of stupid people? All I can do is to ignore people like Anitha.
I walked to the canteen knowing very well that Anitha will be standing near her room window to confirm her suspicion. I couldn’t care less. I didn’t want to lose beautiful eyes.
There were very few students in the canteen. Aparna saw me as soon as I entered the canteen. I looked at the guy who was sitting next to her.
‘Oh my goodness!’
That is all I could think. How could Aparna do this? What is she thinking?
“Hi Nina, what are you doing in the canteen?”
I was lost for words. I didn’t know what to say. I looked around the room. I noticed the packet of potato chips in the shelf behind the cashier.
“Came to buy chips” I replied
“Oh ok”. She looked a bit worried and I didn’t want to make her any more uncomfortable. I bought the chips and walked out quickly.
Aparna is a from an orthodox brahmin family. She will be killed, if her family knows that she is dating a Christian guy. What is she thinking? That she can change the rules that her family has been following the last few centuries?

What about him? John Jacob is Dr.Jacob and Dr. Molly’s only son. His father is a famous oncologist in Vellore and his mother is a pathology professor. What is he thinking? That his parents are going to accept Aparna? Why do people not think before falling in love?

Then I thought about beautiful eyes. He for sure isn’t a Malayalee. What will my father say, when I tell him that I want to marry a Chinese? Appa may not kill me, but he will for sure throw me out of the house. He will say it is all Amma’s fault, that she didn’t raise us well.
Life is very complicated when race and religion are involved. Why don’t we ever look at a person as a human instead of Chinese, Indian etc? Then I realized my own hypocricy. I myself called beautiful eyes a Chinese!
I went back to my room. I had nothing else to do, so I decided to sleep. I woke up hearing Anitha knocking at my door and saying
“Aparna phone call for you”
I remembered my promise. I got up quickly and opened the door
“Thanks Anitha, I will take the call”
“It is for Aparna”
“I know. Aparna asked me to take the call”
“Oh ok”
What is Anitha’s problem? Why does she act so funny..It is for Aparna!

I ran to the phone room and picked up the phone and said Hello
The lady on the phone started to speak in Tamil and I knew it is Aparna’s mother.
“Hello Amma, this is Nina, Aparna’s room mate.”
“Where is Aparna?”
I never liked to lie. How do I tell the mother of my room mate that, her precious daughter is having an affair with a Syrian Christian boy?
“Amma, She is gone to the library”
“Why? Doesn’t she have all the text books? Does she need any more books? Why didn’t she tell us she need more books?”
Once you start laying, you need to lie more to cover up the original lie.
“No Amma, she has all the books, she just went to read Lancet, you know the medical magazines”
“Oh Appadiya!”
“Amma, would you call back in the evening?”
“Evening ah? why evening? how long does it take her to read the magazine?”
Now what am I going to do? What do I tell her?
“Amma, our professor asked us to read all the previous issues of the magazines. So it will take a long time”
“Did you finish reading all the magazines Nina?”
“Not yet Amma. I am just going to the library”
“Oh ok. I won’t disturb you”
“Bye Amma”
“Bye Nina”
I am never going to do this again. I will never lie on behalf of my room mate. If she wants to date a Christian, she might as well tell her mother the truth. I was so angry with Aparna.

I was in my room, when I heard someone knocking my door. I opend the door to see the canteen boy standing outside my door. Anitha must have heard the knocking sound because I heard her opening her room door and from the corner of my eyes, I could see her standing by the door.
“Ma’am, Sir wants to see you”
My heart started to beat fast. Oh my goodness, Beautiful eyes finally decided to see me? I wanted to confirm
“Which Sir?”
“Jomon Sir”
Damn. Why doesn’t that guy leave me alone? I felt so disappointed when I heard that it was the ape man who wanted to see me and not beautiful eyes. I had no intention of going to the canteen and meeting Jomon. It is only going to create further rumours.

I looked at the little boy who is standing infront of me. Ramesh is only 9 years old and is working in the canteen, so he can provide food for his family. Everyone talks about child labour and how children shouldn’t be employed. But in a county like India where welfare fails those who needs it the most, children will always have to work, so their family can eat. Each time I see Ramesh working in the canteen, I wonder what his life would have been, if he had a chance to study. May be it is the knowledge that people like me are simply robbing the childhood of these children, that makes me buy candies for him every time I go to the canteen.
“Ramesh, can you do me a favour?” I asked him
“Yes ma” He nodded his head
“Come closer” I didn’t want the nosey Anitha to hear anything
I whispered
“Can you tell Jomon Sir, that you couldn’t find me?”
He nodded his head. I watched him running off and I turned to look. Anitha was still standing by the door.

Monday, after the diassection was over, I went to the canteen to eat Egg Bhaji. As soon as I entered the canteen I looked around to see if beautiful eyes was around. He wasn’t, but I saw Anitha and the gang speaking to Malayalee seniors. Anitha saw me entering the canteen and I saw her saying something to Jomon. I ignored the Mallu crowd.
I ordered the egg bhaji and found a place to sit.
“Ms. Kottayam” I heard Jomon calling my name
“Yes sir”
He was walking towards me.
“How dare you try to cheat me? Next time when I send a message asking you to meet me in the canteen, I expect you to come. Do you understand that?”
I looked at Anitha. The BITCH was smiling.

14 thoughts on “Friends!

  1. find it a lil odd to see Nina, of all people, following Aparna to check on her. I always thought Nina was never poked her nose in other’s business — just a thought.

    Anithas’ lurk in every corner of life. I know that sucks.

  2. Hi Nina,

    Ever since I have chanced upon your blogs, I have been hooked to it and it was open on my mac for the past whole week. I am reading up your archives like a sucker and will be back frequently for updates.

    Hope you dont mind me blogrolling you.

  3. Sujit: True

    Upsilamba: Aiyyah!!Nina didn’t follow Aparna to check on her… Nina followed her to make sure that she didn’t borrow Nina’s beautiful eyes!Nina didn’t want to lose beautiful eyes

    Thanu: unfortunately

    Visithra: That is typical.Some of the guys in Kerala are worst than the PAS leaders!!

    Neihal: Love is blind!

    Sunita: Thank you for visiting my blog. And You can surely blogroll me

    Silverine: you know what hurts the most? That all these people practice medicine!

    Starrynight: Yes it is

    Funnygirl: They are everywhere

    Techno: That is sooooo true

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