Tuesday, October 03, 2006

2nd October 2006
Ha! Here I am, I never thought I’d ever write a post again for my blog. Old habits die hard.
I attended Thanksgiving function at my Alma Mater on Sunday night (1st October). I was late and the entrance to the ground floor was closed, so I took the stairs and went and sat in the Balcony. To my surprise I was the only one sitting in the Balcony apart from Mr. Kaura who was making a video of the proceedings. I was hoping not to be seen by Carver sir (or any of the people on stage) and invoke a negative feeling about me. Anyway I couldn’t help it, I just appreciated the amazing songs sung by the choir and gazed at the beautiful auditorium. When it was time for dinner, I met Romila, Ma-Puia and Hashmat. During the meal, I happened to cross path with Ms Patnaik, my ex-class teacher at St Stephen’s (She used to teach us English). Even when I was in school I used to wonder if any of my teachers were familiar with my name, so never in my wildest dream could I have thought that Ms Patnaik would be able to recall my name even if she happened to recognize my face (by any chance). So there was an eye contact between us for a second and I thought it would be better if I wished her; I did.
She smiled back and said, “How are you doing? Your name’s…er..er Jesse!”…this left my jaw hanging down to the ground. “You remember my name..???” I almost shouted in disbelief.
She asked me to follow her, she sat on a chair as she was tired, “so how’ve you been and what are you doing these days?” she enquired.
“I’m working on a research project at Imtech.” I replied.
“Imtech eh! Do you know who Dr. Patnaik is?” she asked.
“Ya, I’ve heard that name. Is he your husband?” I asked.
“yes” she replied
Then another lady came and sat with us, I recalled that she too had taught me at some point of time but I couldn’t recall when. She however did not remember me that well.
Ms Patnaik told her that she remembered me as a very sincere guy. When I heard that, I felt gagged and coughed and almost threw the food out from my mouth (Almost!!).
Sincere!! Me? Oh! my ex-school teacher’s saying a nice thing about me. I felt elated, English was one of the subjects I loved and used to visualize all the stories and poems that I read in my mind but never did I think that I’d give that impression to my teacher. I was extremely introverted and hardly ever talked.
She talked to me for sometime before saying goodbye. After she left, I was speechless for sometime. Here I was, filled with an immense amount of hurt from the past, feeling that if anyone ever met me from “those days”, I would be subject to the same scorn as I used to back then.
This meeting soothed many wounds that I’ve been carrying around for many years.
I saw Carver sir standing alone and thought “Quick! Before he gets hounded by the mob again…” I walked up to Carver sir and said something that I’ve been trying to say for…more than 10 years now “Sir, I want to talk to you”. [“Are you completely out of your mind?” said the other part of my brain.]
“It’s nothing special but I’ve been trying to gather courage for a long time now to say a few things”. I said to him.
In the mean time, there were people already gathering at some distance from us waiting for me to leave so that they could shower the man with adulation. “How does he digest so much of praise?” I thought to myself.
“You don’t have to gather courage to talk to me son, I’m free for the next 4-5 days and you can come in at anytime in the morning. I’m sure we’ll both have the same thing to talk about” he said giving me a heavenly smile.
WOW! I couldn’t believe what I’d just done. I just did what I’d been planning to do for the past 10-11 years.

And of course the other shock of the day was this:

My dear friend from Mizoram was accompanied by a girl who was around 11-12 years old. When she went to get the dessert, I asked him “is she your sister or your cousin?”
“She’s my daughter.” He replied.
“WHAT!!” I said in disbelief.
“Yes, She’s my daughter” he affirmed.
“So you’re married?” I asked as a matter-of-factly.
“No.” he said looking a little embarrassed.
“Some mistake of the past. But I really love my daughter.” He said (now defensive).

Sometimes the condom ditches you just at the right moment. Why right? Had that not happened, my friend wouldn’t have had this angelic child. I felt really happy inside and tried to imagine walking around with a kid of my own…

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