A Visit :: A Short Story
- Part 3 -
Uttamkumari Yumkham *
Students attending Mock Test at DM College of Science for Pre Medical Coaching Centres on June 03 2012. :: Pix - Bunti Phurailatpam
Oh my god! I am late for college. I put a notebook , a pen and few books inside my bag and ran towards the bus stand and wait for the bus . I read somewhere in the magazine Good housekeeping that 'life is full of choices make a good one today' , I was very elated at first but when I consider it again I feel so sad because choices itself is an indication of limitations and we just cannot go beyond that boundaries and what for those people who doesn't like any choices and didn't belong to any of the category .
The human voices wakes me up again , I am lost somewhere always , always preoccupied and most people admit this to me , I am ashamed of this behaviour in public places but I can't help it. I went inside the overcrowded bus and look forward to my destination - my college where I used to go always because I have to and there is no other alternative but I never find it interesting nor do I gain sufficient knowledge to feed my imagination and my curiosity for different things. I reached my college and as usual I went upstairs and listen to prof. Sharma's lecture.
He dictates us about the development of Greek city states and how to train young minds according to their capability , talent and age and in which field, be it archery , horse riding, mathematics , sciences , rhetoric's etc., whether young children should be allowed to listen to horrible war legends and stories because this may affect their young minds when their young brains is developing and acquiring new knowledge. The Greek scholars often known as sophists are also popular for their contribution towards knowledge.
The Greek civilisation was one of the oldest and most beautiful civilisations of the world .He also told us about the ideal state of utopia that sir Thomas More created . His lectures sounds like a fairy tale because the present situation of Manipur is completely in juxtaposition with the stories he has just narrated because there is no such thing as ideal and there is also no hope for an ideal state instead regular bloodshed , violent killings, general strikes, curfews have completely suffused the minds of the people and so the whole classroom was charged with the atmosphere of gloom and there is not a single face who looks satisfied as well as happy with what he has just taught.
Prof. Sharma is also well aware that no one is interested in his lecture , he screwed up his eyebrows and adjusted his glasses and he grew bored and thus finally the political – science class came to an end .The teacher had done his duty and we the students had also attended his class and this is a kind of mutual understanding although we learn it or not , our duty is to pass this paper and what else do the students care.
One or two students who are keen on know! ing som ething more or who had some doubt pursue Prof. Sharma after he went out of the classroom while inside the classroom , all the students sighed with relief that it was all over and then the commotion began and I flee from the room as soon as I can. My father who is also a Prof. in my college teaches English literature and today also he is supposed to give one lecture but I decided not to attend his class because I am going to find out Jay's house and have a word with him.
I went to the zoology department where most of my childhood friends are . Sonia , Romi, Maya almost everyone was there , they were doing their practical sessions and dissection of various creatures like lizards, frogs was their main agenda and I hated it the most. Many students take zoology as their major subject and so their teacher didn't recognise me and also practical sessions were mostly left to the students to pursue themselves.
The pungent smell from the chemicals and the pale dead creatures and forceps, razor blades, Petri dish, microscopes makes me sick and a slight wave of nausea swept over me. I told all of them that I am going to find Jay's house , I have never went to his house and this is very urgent because he is going to leave for Bangalore soon and that I may not be able to see him again.
'Not able to see again' said Sonia. ' why on earth are you thinking like that'' declared Maya with a grin . Romi said ' this is not the right way to get into some guy's house that too not completely friends but just acquaintances '. 'Let her go, for god's sake may be tomorrow the sun will not rise again , she is anxious , go ' said Maya . I love him , I love him , yes I must go , I will propose him , hmm. Ok baby . I was flirting with them but they take it very seriously , but there is some kind of fun in this so it kills our regular boredom . Somi told me that she will record something in her mobile phone , so speak anything that you feel about this man .
She said 'silence, then begin ' - I love you Jay .... I will be missing you when you left for Bangalore , I said . She played on the video recording and I find it very strange because my voice was very soft and cool like a small baby and I can feel every nuance of it and it is so estranged from reality. It was like a new me. We all laugh as she play it on several times .
Life and times are fast changing and you know we can steal a person's voice with the help of a small gadget and after the person dies or get lost somewhere in this world or the other the voice will remain intact if we preserve the gadget . Although we are conscious or not, but we were in the process of creating history and the coming generations will remember us or not but we are constantly moving forward in life and we are putting layers and layers of ages into our lives.
All of them were very sorry over my madness , my craziness or rather to say love for this man of which I have little knowledge and they wish me good luck. I grew so helpless and they are not free to accompany me to Jay's house and so I said I am leaving and went past the college gate and hire a rickshaw and look forward to Jay 's house .
As I move along the Governor road I watch the beautiful lush green grass and on it the trees stood firmly and the boundaries are lined with colourful flower beds and it is scalloped with red tiles and the light afternoon breeze brought ripples on the water of the moat that is in front of the historic kangla fort which was once the abode of prince and princesses , O at least the governor road is ok .
Oh my god! Oh my god! Why I am so mad I just know his surname and name plus his address and also that his father is an engineer in the public works department , how am I going to find out . Tension was brewing up in me and I see no hope of meeting the man I love. I feel so lost and anxious , am I right , is this ok that I am going to do , I think over it several times .A friend of mine , Sahil ,brought him to my home one day and thus we get to know something about each other but as time passes by he used to come to my house whenever he came back from Bangalore and thus started our connection and you can call this relationship any name but I started loving this man .
The rickshaw take me along the rickety road full of potholes and speed breakers which are the landmarks of this once beautiful princely state Manipur. I cannot believe that Manipur was once a princely state with a rich heritage, if looked from this present day perspective because everywhere there is a symbol of utter h! opelessn ess but anyway like the bird phoenix it will rise from its ashes and there will be life again with full of vigour and vitality.
I finally reached a small lane and went ahead and at about the middle of the lane I told the rickshaw driver to stop and halt for some time and I said I am not going to take much time . I stepped down from the rickshaw and asked to a middle aged man who was a shopkeeper, and I described his features, like he is tall and stout with a wheatish complexion . He said Jay's house may be just next to his shop because there is a guy who study in Bangalore and he is there next house , he said go and ask , it may be him .
I went ahead to the house that the man had pointed and asked if anybody was there and suddenly a tall woman with long black hair that reaches up to her waist came out , she wore an olive green pyjama with a black top and purple coloured plastic slippers , in an well mannered but rather authoritative tone she told me that ' yes this is Jay's house but he is not at home , then she said 'our dog is missing so he went out to search for it '.
We talk in front of the gate and I couldn't look into her face but I know she is one of his sister she didn't say to get inside and wait for him , her mild hostility towards me although I am a stranger make me feel so helpless and I want to leave that place , I came with high spirits that I will meet him but I must leave. . As I was about to go and turn my face away from her , he came along with his brother in a bike ; my eyes lift up in a momentary wonder and I smile at him and try to open my mouth to say something but I was interrupted by his speech and he said ' our dog is missing and I went around each and every nook and corners around the locality and even at the butcher's shop '.
We both look into each other's eyes and knew this is not the ! moment to talk and I said since you are leaving I just want to know your house , you sometimes came to my place but I didn't know yours so I came , anyway I want to go since you are busy , I said ' make sure you find it' . He said 'he will also go to the local TV channels and make an announcement that their dog is missing'.
'I will come before I leave' he said but at heart I feel he will not come .So came the time of parting and I began to remember a scene from Romeo and Juliet which said ' Parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow'. With a heavy heart laden with emotions I came back towards my college again .
* Uttamkumari Yumkham wrote this Story for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at uttamkumariyumkham(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on June 15, 2012 .
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