The weather in Bangalore changes dramatically in the month of December. The early morning mist, the scorching mid afternoon heat and the sudden drop of temperature in the evening makes life a bit challenging.
However, when you know that you get to meet the one person that mattered the most to you each evening, then nothing can send you to the deep realms of weather induced depression.
I looked forward to the evening carol practice sessions. Murphy’s law dictates that,Time doesn’t move fast when you really want it to fly. I had to endure 24 long hours before the next carol practice session.
exactly at 4.20 pm I walked to Anitha’s room and knocked her door
Anitha opened the door
“What is it Nina?” She asked
“Come let us go” I spoke
“Go? For what?”
“For the carol practice”
“Oh yeah, I almost forgot about it. What time is it?”
“4.30. Hurry up, we will be late”
“Late?” She looked at her watch ” we have another 10 minutes! Why are you in a hurry?”
Why am I in a hurry? I waited 24 long hours already!
“aiyyah I don’t want Jomon to get angry for being late again”
“Oh! ok ok. Give me five minutes, I will get ready fast”
That 5 minutes, after the long 24 hours of waiting felt like eternity. Anitha was wearing a salwar when she opened the door. Why did she have to change her clothes again? She isn’t going to get married today right? It is only the carol practice right? Wasting time! I was so annoyed with Anitha.
Anitha came out wearing a blue silk salwar and high heels. She wore high heels for a simple carol practice! Now she will walk at a pace slower than the snail.
“Hurry up” I spoke
“I am” She looked annoyed. But I was even more annoyed. I started to mumble.
“What are you mumbling about?” Anitha asked me
“Nothing. I was remembering the blood supply of hypothalamus”
“That is Circle of Willis right?”
“Right” I nodded my head
“There is a portal system right?”
“Correct Anitha, Come on, let us go”
Anitha stood still
“What are the arteries that forms the portal system?” she asked me
“I don’t know” I silently cursed my big mouth. I didn’t want to tell Anitha that I was mumbling about her high heels, so the nearest word to high heel was hypothalamus and that is why I told her about hypothalamus.
“Give me a sec Nina, I want to check the blood supply to the Hypothalamus”
“Can’t we do it later?”
“No. I will forget. I will be with you in a minute” Anitha started to walk back towards her room. I stood there in the corridor cursing my own stupidity.
Even before we reached the Gallery 1, I could hear someone playing the guitar. I knew it had to be Beautiful eyes.
“We are late”Anitha spoke.
She started to walk fast. I was way too angry to reply. If she had listened to me and not gone back to her room to find out the blood supply to Hypothalamus, We would have reached the gallery on time.
I saw beautiful eyes, as soon as I entered the room. He was sitting on the table with his guitar. There was something magical about seeing him, because at that moment I could feel the storm was over, there was a sense of calm, my anger and irritability vanished instantly. Some of his classmate girls were talking to him and I felt a tinge of jealousy. I felt like telling them to leave my man alone.
“Everybody, come let us practice” Jomon announced.
All the singers stood in the middle of the stage and Jomon started to move his hands in the air. He was trying to be a professional music conductor, but his actions, though genuine was making him look like a mad man with a sword in his hand fighting an imaginary battle.
One of Jomon’s classmate was standing at the back of the gallery and imitating Jomon. Because Jomon was facing us, he couldn’t see it.
No body said a word, but I could see that everyone was laughing at Jomon. For the first time, I felt sorry for him. There is no need to laugh at another person, when nobody is perfect.
After the carol practice, everyone went to sit down. Beautiful eyes sat down next to Caroline.
Caroline was my senior, the most prettiest girl in my college. I watched Beautiful eyes and Caroline talking and laughing. They looked so good together.
There was no way I could compete with Caroline for Beautiful eyes’s attention. She is from a rich Mangalorean family, her dad is a famous Gynaecologist in Mangalore, her oldest sister is doing her master’s in Manipal. Compared to Caroline, I had nothing to offer. All I had was a father, who has a second wife, a mother in love with her brother, a sister who doesn’t want to be part of her family.
I could hear Amma’s words
“Only dream achievable dreams Nina”
I knew for the first time, my mother was right. I was a pauper in all terms and the only thing I owned was my moral values and there was no value for that when it came to a barter trade at the marriage market.
I didn’t want to attend the Carol practice again. I couldn’t bear to see Caroline and Beautiful eyes together.
Part 2 exams were to start in the third week of January. This time I only had to study Anatomy and Physiology.
Part 2 exams are very important, because if you fail the exam, then you would loose 6 months, unlike the part 1 exams, where instead of loosing 6 months, you have the option to rewrite the subjects you failed along with part 2.
Students who failed the part 2 exams will be in an odd batch and generally have more difficult time at the college when it comes to attending lectures as they are neither in the senior group, nor in the junior group.
I didn’t want to be in the odd batch, so I worked hard. I didn’t have any problems with physiology, but Anatomy was really difficult. I could never remember the diagrams. I decided to concentrate on my studies, instead of going for the practice.
I couldn’t concentrate. Every time I closed my eyes, I could see his eyes, then I could see him holding Caroline’s hands. It hurt too much. Why do I not deserve an iota of happiness?
“Nina, why are you not ready?”
I was surprised to see Anitha standing in my room. I didn’t even hear her coming in.
“I am not feeling well” I lied
“What happened to you?”
“throat pain” I lied
“Aiyyah. Oh Nina what am I going to do? I don’t want to walk alone to the gallery. You have to come with me. You don’t have to sing. You can sit down on the bench. Please Nina. All the others have gone already. If I had known that you are not going, then I would have gone with them. Now it is too late, Please Nina, please come with me”
I didn’t even bother to change my clothes. I combed my hair and followed Anitha to the gallery 1.
Beautiful eyes wasn’t in the room. Neither was Caroline.
I didn’t want to walk back alone, so I sat down in one of the benches
“Nina, why are you sitting down?” Jomon asked
Before I could answer, Anitha spoke to him and explained that I have throat pain
“Do you want some Strepsils?” Jomon asked
I watched the students singing the carols, after that there was skit about the three wise men by the juniors. I must have been lost in my thoughts, because I was startled when someone touched my shoulder from the back and asked
“Penny for your thoughts”
“huh” I looked back to see Beautiful eyes sitting right behind me. He must have come in through the back door
“I said, penny for your thoughts” He was grinning
“Ok” I showed him my palm”
“What?” He looked at my hand and me
“Penny” I replied
“Didn’t you just say, you will give me a penny for my thoughts”
“Oh like that!” He got up and checked his pockets
“Sorry, no penny. I have a cadbury’s bar though, would that do?”
“No. I hate cadbury’s”
I nodded my head. He started to walk towards me
“Move” he ordered.
I moved to the side and he sat next to me. I wasn’t sure if I was hallucinating. But at that moment I didn’t really care if it was real or not.
“So what were you thinking?”
“Where is the Penny?”
“I promise, I will give you a penny tomorrow”
“Sure, I promise, I will tell you what I was thinking tomorrow”
“You are really smart”
“You only knew that now?”
“tell me, what were you thinking” He was looking at me and smiling and I told him
sorry guys, you have to wait until tomorrow..