Warm pleasant memories of a fun filled year, come flooding into my mind.
Our teacher was busy with the front-benchers from Tamil medium schools, who poor souls, were struggling with the sudden transition to an English Medium College.
We, the “naughty-convent-girls” occupied the last two rows of a fairly large class with gallery type seating arrangements. We had a whole world of activities going on in the last two benches, which usually escaped the eyes of the professor in front. Some times when our whispers grew a little louder or when she suspected a girl was reading a Mills and Boon novel, hidden between the pages of her college book she would get exasperated and she would suddenly throw us a question. We would shoot back the answers right away since we had already done some of the lessons prescribed for PUC, at the school level itself. So she could not punish us for being inattentive.
Once during this perpetually harried teacher’s class, my friend opened her tiffin box. Immediately a heavenly aroma of home cooked food wafted through the class. The teacher grew suspicious and climbed up the gallery steps to the last row. The box was quickly hidden and we sat like paragons of virtue, looking at her earnestly. She went back to the front of the class, having failed in her mission to nab us.
After the food was gobbled up, I took out my mehandi cone and started applying it in my friend’s palm.The woody smell of mehandi enveloped the class. The teacher smelt it. She looked suspiciously in our direction. We stared back attentively as if we were all ears, listening only to her teaching and nothing more.
Then like the proverbial straw on a camel’s back, one of my friends took out a nail polish bottle and started applying it. Then the bottle was passed around surreptitiously till it was empty. The sharp smell of the nail polish filled the class and became over powering. The teacher’s face grew red with anger. Three different kinds of smell in one hour was a little too much for her. She was ready to burst.
Luckily for us, before all hell could break loose, the bell rang.
I can still remember the expression of utter hopelessness on her face as she saw us rushing out of class, with mehandi adorned hands and freshly painted nails, feeling pleased as PUNCH!
By: Fahmida Irfan. Chennai.