It was 4.30 am in the morning, he had just been woken up by yet another nightmare, but it was not as though he saw anything, he just heard voices, random words, he heard her. Sam got up from the bed, shut the window firmly. November had brought with it a little chill. He went into the bathroom and looked at himself in the basin mirror. His eyes were bloodshot, his skin was pale. He felt sick. What was happening to him? Was he going crazy? Or maybe he was just being a fool, maybe it was because he was living alone for the first time in his life, yes, that has got be it.
" I am going for her class today, yes I am", he turned on the shower.
8.40 am , Faculty of Arts.
" Now dude, you have to tell me whats going on, you look terrible" Ankit said when he reached college.
" I am fine, i am just a little tired, I have been working a lot lately."
"Working? on what? you have been missing so many classes, Deepti was asking about you."
"Was she? what did she say?" Sam said in a hurried tone.
"Ask her yourself", Ankit said pointing over his shoulder.
Sam turned, there she was, as always draped in a saree, olive green today. Walking towards them, her hair swaying a little, with a couple of books in her hand.
" Sam, what do I owe this pleasure to? you finally remember coming to my class, I feel so obliiigged". Deepti said, never pausing to smile.
Sam remained silent.
"Ma'am he has not been well lately" said Ankit.
"Speak when spoken to dear boy, now lets hurry, we don't want to be late, we have a very interesting lesson today."
The torture began.
" People belonging to lower castes have never enjoyed the opportuniiiiitiiies and benifiiiits that the people of higher castes have had acess tooo. They have been treated like animals and stiiil are, no one has boothereeeed to do anything about it. Substaaaantiaalll steps neeed to be taken. There has to be a carefully straaateggisssed plan, blah blah blah, blah blah, blah blah blah."
He felt his head spinning again, he felt fragile, as if his soul was being sucked out of him slowly. It was as if someone had inserted a pipe in his head, and was sucking out his blood.
The familiar vibrating sound was back again. Like the vibration of a guitar string, but an ugly pitch, that never dipped in volume and kept vibrating on and on.
She was still speaking, he could not hear her words, he could just make out little words here and there, the vibration was getting stronger by the minute, as if two giant hands were compressing his head, trying to crack his skull.
" The economic condiiitiiiions of these people were no better, they were very pooor. How could we expect such people , who had not even enough money to feed themselves, to send their children to schools and proviiiiide them with proper educaaaatiiiion. They were indeeed poor people, veeeryyy pooor, blah blah blah. blah blah blah."
This was it , his brain was going to burst now, he could hear his own blood rushing around inside his head, he could hear his heart beat that was increasing rapidly.
Staaarviing............ Poooor............. Neeedyyyyy.............
Then she paused for a second, she slowly moved her skinny hand to pick up the coffee mug on the table. He watched as the coffee mug moved slowly towards her lips. In ultra slow motion. Slow, slow, really slow. He could not move, he was stuck, he could not think.
Finally the cup reached its destination, she sipped, made a sppecchh sound, only ,he heard it a hundred times louder. He snapped awake from the slow motion mode. It was as if fresh air rushed into his ears. His eyes were burning, he had not blinked once all this time.
He staggered on to his feet, almost lost balance and walked out of the class. She said something to his back, but he was out now, running.
He was now past The Arts faculty, and was walking, quite rapidly, alongside S.R.C.C college.
She is going to kill me. I am going crazy. Lost our marbles, have we? She is sucking my soul. Are u nuts?
Then again, Sussstaaainaable................. Classsificaaation................ QUOOOTEEE UNQUOOOOTEEE
"Noooooooo" he put his hands on his ears and started running.
The Bus driver never saw him coming, and was quite late in kicking the brakes.
Sam lay on the road, covered in blood.
He woke up in a hospital, Ankit was sitting beside him, saying something, apparently pleased that he had regained consciousness . But he could not hear him.
He could hear nothing.