Sometimes silence speaks more than actual words. In those few seconds I saw something I never saw in his eyes.
He didn’t say a word. but I could see a mixture of respect, admiration and pride in his eyes. For me it felt good because I didn’t try to learn to take the BP not to satisfy Dr. Bhatti. I did it for myself.
“Have you had something to eat?” He asked
“No sir” I replied.
I realized that except for 2 cups of tea yesterday evening and a cup of tea this morning, I didn’t have anything to eat. The breakfast this morning was oil soaked poori and my appetite had vanished as soon as I saw it. So I only had a cup of tea.
“Would you like to join me for lunch?” He checked his watch and spoke. “There may not be anything to eat at the canteen at this time, but we can always ask the operator to make something”
Oh. I would have loved to spend some time with Dr. Bhatti. But the thing was I had no money with me and I didn’t want him to pay for my lunch.
Now that thought was weird. Every time Arjun and I had meals outside though most of the time we split the bill, there were so occasions he paid the bills and it didn’t really bother me.
I wondered why it never bothered me.
I felt guilty for treating Arjun so badly. He didn’t deserve it.
Dr. Bhatti was looking at me
“Sorry sir, I have theory classes this afternoon. I am already late” I spoke. “I will see you in the evening Sir” I said my bye to Mariamma and bolted out of the ward.
Part happy, part guilty. That is how I felt.
I never wanted to hurt anyone.
I knew I hurt Arjun.
I knew I had to fix it.
By the time I came back to the campus, I was 45 minutes late for the first lecture. I looked through the window to see who was teaching. One of the junior lecturer from Microbiology dept. I didn’t even know the guy’s name.
Obviously I have bunked every single one of his lectures. I hoped someone gave a proxy attendance for me.
I remembered my botany teacher at BCM college. Her classes were on Friday afternoon. BCM college had religious education on Friday( Compulsory for Christians) and I had skipped it by telling the Malayalam section that I was at the English section and vice versa at the English section.
There were only two lectures on Friday afternoon. Botany and French. There was no French teacher at the college, so those who took French as a second language never had language classes during college hours. And I had a whole afternoon free and no one knew!
That lasted till I went with Amma for shopping and she met a friend of friend at Seematti.
Amma introduced me and the lady asked me
“Where do you study?”
“BCM” I replied
“BCM?” She looked at me and I should have known that I was just about to be roasted alive. But I didn’t. I nodded my head and said Yes.
“B2” I replied.
I knew something wasn’t right. I just couldn’t figure out what it was.
“I teach B2 division Botany”
And I wanted the earth to open and swallow me. There was no escape. I didn’t even know who taught my class Botany!!
Did I ever learn a lesson?
Nah! Same old, same old!
I made a mental note ‘not to skip lectures ever!’
I sat down on the stairs and waited for the lecturer to come out of the class.
The next lecture was Pharmacology and it was supposed to be taught by the Prof. I generally avoided skipping lectures by the Prof.
Little while later the door opened and the microbiology lecturer came out. As soon as he left the hallway I walked towards the main door and almost bumped in to few of the North Indian boys who were leaving the class. Arjun was with them.
“Prof has gone for a seminar” One of them told me.
Oh! Now that was an interesting piece of information. If the Prof isn’t available, then one of the junior lectures would be taking the class and somehow I completely forgot about the resolution that I took a few minutes ago and started to walk with them
“Arjun, you have a minute?” I asked
“Oooo” The chorus started
“Shut up” I told the guys.
“Arjun looked at me and asked
“What do you want?”
“Can I talk to you privately?”
“Ooooo” Chorus was a little more louder and longer.
“Shut up” I stared at the guys.
“Ok, Ok We will leave you love birds alone” Rupesh raised his hands in surrender and spoke.
“Run, the lecturer is coming” Someone shouted. All of us ran to the other side of the gallery. We waited until the lecturer entered the class.
“I am going to the hostel” Rupesh spoke.
“me too” Someone else spoke.
Soon Arjun and I were alone. He didn’t say anything. He just simply stared at the road in front of us.
“I am sorry” I spoke.
“I am really sorry.”
I looked at him. He looked so sad.
I had no right to make him sad. He did so much for me.
“Please forgive me” I begged.
“Do you want to go for a ride?” finally he asked
“Yeah” I replied.