Posted by AtPeace on August 13, 2005
It was a hot summer day. Well, to be honest, I’m not exactly sure – it could have been ‘winter’ as well – there’s no difference in Chennai, you see. Anyways, the point is, it was hot. And we were in our final year of engineering. Realising that I was thirsty and finding my water bottle empty, I walked to the water cooler next to my classroom, with the bottle in hand. I was just filling water when I noticed that Raam was sitting on a stool outside the class, beyond the entrance. It was a little weird to find him sitting there alone, but Raam is known to have done weirder things and I chose to ignore him, as usual.
As I lifted the bottle to drink some of the refreshing fluid, I heard a voice… “Madhuuuuuuu…..”. It was Raam and he was stretching out both his arms for the water bottle. The lazy goose that he was (and is), I think it didn’t strike him that he could actually walk up to the water cooler and get some water for himself.
Before I could respond to him with, ‘Iru Raam, kudichitu tharen’, Srikanth walked out of the class. He stopped dead in his tracks on seeing Raam with his arms stretched out. He followed Raam’s line of vision and saw me standing. He jerked his head back and forth between Raam (who still had his arms outstretched for some vague reason that I cannot fathom) and me. As a slight sense of dread began to fill me, Srikanth loudly exclaimed ‘Oohhh’, and turned back on his heels and headed right back into the classroom. Raam and I exchanged dark looks. ‘Raam loose-e’, I just managed to say before following Srikanth inside.
I swear I must have entered the class exactly two seconds after Srikanth did. As it was break time, lotsa ppl were standing, blocking my path and my vision. I located him standing somewhere near the third row, animatedly talking to someone. I tried to make my way towards him, but was almost immediately stopped by Aarthi. ‘Enna Madhu, Raam unna pathu ipdi nu pannaname..’, she stretched out her arms, grinning. Kashtam. ‘Illa, avan water bottle kettaan…’, ‘Summa kadhai vidadhe…’. As she went on, I managed to extricate myself from her grip and moved on towards the third row. Srikanth had by then moved on to the last row. Aaaaarggghhhh!!!! Srikaaaannnnntthhhhhh!!!!!! Lakshmi popped out from somewhere… ‘Enna di, Raam unna pathu -‘, ‘Illa Lakshmi, he wanted the water bottle’. ‘Adhuku poi yaaravadhu apdi kai-ya neetuvangala…. as though he was going to hug you -‘ YUCCCCCCCCKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!
‘Srikaaaanth!!!’, I directed my wrath on him. He was standing behind the last row, grinning and appearing extremely pleased with himself. He continued grinning as I narrowed my eyes, trying to look angry and mean. (Secretly, more than anything else, I wanted to know how he managed to tell so many people in so short a span of time).
‘Enna panni vechiruka?’, I questioned with indignation.
‘Naan pathadha dhan sonnen’, he answered with the same grin.
‘He wanted the water bottle!’, I exclaimed.
‘Patha, andha madhri theriyalaye!’.
‘Excuse me! I was drinking water and he wanted some. Adhuku dhan -‘
‘Illa, avan -‘
‘Nee vandhu -‘
‘ – kai neetinadha patha -‘
‘ – nadula la vandhuttu -‘
Our not-so-amicable conversation was cut short by the entry of some staff member. I tried to appear disgusted and gave Srikanth as dirty a look as I could muster. He grinned again and moved to his seat, and we were all forced to listen to the constant droning of a boring voice for the next hour.
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