The Summer of 2005........................
"I will do it!"
"I will study hard!"
"Yes Sir!I won't waste time!"
My parents were listening to him intently.He was giving me a sermon which I think he was used to as a director of a very famous coaching center.After the end of the speech which had repeated lines;he looked at everyone in the room with a sense of achievement.Coast clear.My father paid up the fee while I filled the application form.The clerk made some notes in a book,wrote a number on a piece of paper(227!) and gave it to me.It was a ticket to the jungle.After all no one was to be blamed............I followed the herd like the brain less goat.......
I was standing in front of Mr.Krishnan,in a manner completely contrast to what I'm usually;with a well oiled hair,formals and folded hands.I thought that it was the only way I could impress this Maths teacher so that I could get into his coaching classes;after all who would want a student who scored 5,2 and 0 in the MPC entrance test which is taken by some 2k students every year for some 200 available seats(loosers!).
Mr.Krishnan looked the way every student would fantasize a middle aged maths teacher as.A 6 footer,he had a pot belly which he usually hid under the table while sitting.He had faint hair on his 'to-be-bald' head and wore the old fashioned idly sized,thick glasses.If not for his pot belly,he had a well built body with broad shoulders and strong limbs.With a commanding voice,he carried himself with an air of authority.
I was given the evening batch.The two and half month crash course was for 6 hours daily(!!!) with an hours break in the middle.This consumed the whole of my summer after my Xth exams.So the whole household was sitting in Hyderabad without any sort of entertainment after the harrowing mugging up of text books,endless revisions of the previous papers and infinite number of exams.After all I had to prepare for competitive exams coming my way.....
Competitive exams.It'a an exam for getting into a vehicle.Every student(and parent) wanted to get into a 'big'(famous) car which could hit 'great speeds '(good coaching).It was only after the engine started that everyone realised that the ride isn't smooth.The coaching was for getting into a 'better' coaching center,which would train the 11th's and 12th's for getting into 'famous' engineering colleges.........so that the kid would study well and later in life,sit in a cabin bugging,debugging and writing algorithms;live on EMI's;marry another engineer and produce engineers.After all, Indians are born logical.........
* * *
It was half past two in the evening when the temperature was hovering around 40C.I was waiting for Reddy my auto guy.He came blowing his horn ten minutes later.I grabbed my bad and walked swiftly towards the auto.From a distance I saw others in the auto and could make out that there were some two girls and two guys.The girls were sitting on the seat while the guys were sitting on the plank facing the girls.I got near the vehicle and looked at everyone with a smiling face.No one even cared to look at me.One guy moved his butt a bit and offered me some space where only my leg would fit in.I looked at the auto walah with a face which said 'This is what I get for 100 bucks a day!?'.I shared the drivers seat with him.I was very thankful to him because he wasn't that ghutka eating,stingy mouthed and the red-fluid spitting guy.
The drive to the insti was silent;except for when the fat girl(later i learnt that her name was Nisha) broke the silence.She started talking about the things she heard about Krishnan Sir,his son Madhavan,some physics lecturer named Ranganath and others.My friends who attended their year long classes since eighth used to tell us a lot about them;the way they taught stuff,the way they hid meanings in their talk,and the way they used to punish the students.Now half the reason I got into this institute was due to the what I heard about them and their ways.I wanted to have some fun after all.
We reached our insti at around 3.15 p.m.The building in which our classes were located looked like a lost child.It was situated on the main road of the famous Nallakunta area(famous for an infinite coaching classes of this kind) amidst the traffic chaos,impatient drivers blowing their horns,street vendors selling their wares at the top of their voices and local & distant trains running at all times during the day.Added to this,the building looked in a way no man would ever dare to get into.The entrance to the building welcomed us with a rusted shutter ready to fall on someone at anytime.There was an open space for parking bicycles and vehicles and the stairs were to the right of the entrance.There was a narrow path behind the stairs for more vehicles.There was a guy shouting and directing everyone to park their vehicles in an order.
Our classes were on the third floor.There was one guy standing with few sheets of paper directing the students to their respective class rooms;the same guy who gave me my ticket to hell the other day.I showed him my piece of paper and he said "6!Go left" in a serious tone without looking at my face.The others from my auto were directed to different rooms in different directions.The fat girl was asked to go upstairs.There were class rooms even on the terrace.
I walked down the narrow corridor.The class rooms had no windows.They were small with cramped benches and with students packed to the brim.I was walking looking at the room numbers on my left.'1,2,3,4,5.....'.The room next to room no.5 was closed and had no number on it.I 'logically' thought that it was room no.6 when someone behind me shouted "That's the girls toilet!".I backed away instantly and turned back to see room no.6!My class room was facing the girls toilet!
My class room faced the black board and the entrance faced the board.So for those sitting in the front can't see those walking in and walking out.Since our class room was the last in the row,we had a window large enough for two people to jump out at once.The guy who warned me was Akhil from my room.He was a thin being with fair complexion,a very cheerful face and of average height.He pointed at the space beside him and I sat down.Were were sitting on the last bench.He said "I came here very early and walked into the girls toilet by mistake.Thankfully there was no one!".I smiled and thanked him.He asked me to move in so that I could give space for a third guy(the bench was only for two).I was happy to see that KKP from my school was in the same room!With him,it's serious fun(KKP is the person because of whom I got scolded by all the teachers in my eight.Notorious,intelligent and a very funny guy.He even broke my nose once.)
We were talking when someone walked in.It was time for the classes to start.So we stood up thinking that he was a lecturer.The guy who walked in silently sat down besides me.Me,Akhil and KKP looked at each other,chuckled and sat down.
Later Mr.Krishnan walked in.It was time for the ride!!!!!!!!!!!!!
To be continued..............