The Nights Before Examinations

>> Sunday, April 12, 2009

Midnights, creeping in, usually find me gaping at the window, absentmindedly doodling on the margins of my notebook. My doodles usually conform to depictions of typhoons, Chinese fans and noses. It probably reveals something deeply disturbing about my psyche, but I choose not to delve on it.

It is 12:30 soon and the cellphone tinkles. The first message of the day is a cryptic plea from an unknown number. I read it again and again to make sure I have not skipped a few words or sentences.

"Sweetie (it says), I miss u. V hv not met up for so long. I know u hv exams but cant u make some time. If yes, give me a missed."

I gaze fascinated at this epistle for a long time and then call up Bonky.

"Whom do you know," I ask wonderingly, "who would miss me?"
"You should really learn some phone skills, you know. How come you never say a hello?"
"But who is capable of missing me," I ask insistently.
She ponders. "Apart from the entire faculty in our department, I really can not think of anyone else. Why do you ask? Having a sneezing fit?"
Whereupon I tell her the story.

"Hmm," she says after a few moments reserved for giggling. "Give this person a call. See who it is."
"Is not that a bit desperate," I muse.
"Honey, when you can not recall any person who would miss you in the middle of the night, chances are you are desperate."
"We are not having this conversation. Go study."

It is now one hour and ten minutes. I have finished my seventh typhoon and am starting on my fifteenth nose. The cellphone tinkles again. This time it is a phonecall.

"I have not started Indian Economics. Do not ask me anything. Go away."
"Umm, Pongs," says the voice on the other side. "I am in love."
"Oh dear," I sigh. "Now?"
"Uhh, yes?"
"Who is it? Does he have any single friends? Please do not get married before I get a boyfriend," I plea, my voice trailing away into a whine.
"Well, I met this guy in the metro. I actually bumped into him and apologized. Then I looked into his eyes, oh Pongs, such dreamy eyes, and fell in love."
There is a pause.
"Uh," I say, breaking the pause. " Then?"
"That is it," she replies, matter-of-factly.
"You do not know the guy," I exclaim, scandalized.
"I do know that he is my soulmate," she mumbles in a small voice. I can even visualize her puppy face.
"OK, honey, you know I am all for this sort of thing. But I can hardly help you hunt for the love of your life. I shall be very busy the next couple of months."
"Oh no," she hastens to explain, "that is fine. Actually I called you to help me find a perfect song for this moment."
"Oh."

It is close to two. I have actually read something from my notes and fallen into a reverie, most of which involves ghosts materializing through open windows.

The cell phone tinkles again. I start the conversation with the familiar denial of ever studying Indian Economics when I am interrupted.

"Could not care less. Listen, I bought two club sandwiches for dinner today. You know the hostel food. But I could only finish one. If I keep the second one for breakfast, what are the chances it will not stink or something?"

I blink.

"Is this a probability question," I venture, flabbergasted.
"No, idiot, I am asking you. You are a girl. You should know about stuff like this. Food and rotting and things."
"Ohh. Right. But, you see, I do not," I reply, as gently as possible.
"I knew I should have called Deep. He would have known. By the way, we have to go to Chennai in a month's time," announcing which he hangs up.

Wherein begins a flurry of phone calls, messages and further downloading of application forms.

It is soon almost half an hour past three. I have now degenerated into spelling my name in Bengali. Succeeding in that, I now venture to spell the names of the characters in Harry Potter, faltering badly with Hermione, and shift to spelling the names of the characters in Feluda.

The next tinkle on the phone is Bonky.

"Want to go out for coffee tomorrow?"
"No."
"Eh, this is coffee we are talking about, something you have Freudian dreams about. How can you refuse coffee," she asks, taken aback.
"Bonks, I have been practically stuck in this house for three months. My face is now a deathly white, and my dark circles make me look like a poltergeist. I actually have a haze all around my face. I look like an indeterminate mass. If you take me out for coffee tomorrow, everyone would think it was the family ghost's day out."
"Want to meet up in your park and crib about our lives then?"
"Yeah, all right. Also, I need a couple of notes. Get me the text on commerciali.."
"Never mind, Pongs, I think I will take a nap tomorrow," she says, a little wistful.
"Bleh."

It soon is five. I close the windows, give the books a malevolent gaze, avoid my image in the mirror and thankfully go to sleep.

This morning, however, I blogged.

4 scaly flippers:

Smart Primate 11:12 am, April 12, 2009  

Awesome, the way the mind wanders and things start happening at such times (exams). Don't know about you, but I end up doing every other thing other than what I am supposed to be doing- studying.

Recently went hunting for a ghost with a few friends (scooby-doo style) in a nearby building. Turned out to be the wife of the guard there.

the girl with a zillion namesakes 12:38 pm, April 12, 2009  

ah exams and the night before....

Sam 8:31 pm, April 12, 2009  

lol...
got my exams in exactly 2 weeks time, and all i am doing is: blogging (read/write), roaming about the city (London allows u to get lost at times), watching movies online, and finally haunting SNS at odd hours so much so, my classmates tagged me as the ghost of Facebook :P
oh and also experimenting in the kitchen, which sadly hasn't yielded anything mind blowing!!
Studies however, have become non-existent amidst the flurry of activities, to such an extent that i must accept am at dire straits now!!! back to books i must trudge... cheerio!!

Diwakar Sinha 11:24 am, April 22, 2009  

lol...
very good post actually...

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