Monday, August 29, 2011

The Blind Scene

The class teacher was an unpopular one. Today he announced a surprise exercise for the students; the reason precisely why most of his students disliked him—for being innovative.

Today he wanted his students to look through the nearby window and make a mental note of what they saw outside. He asked them to prepare a write-up on what they saw, by the next class.

One boy stood up, moved to the window. He hated the teacher’s class, too. Standing beside the window he gazed out. He noticed termite activity on the windowsill. There were ants too marching outside the room carrying white raw rice. He scrutinized them closer. It was not raw rice. It was ants’ eggs.

Suddenly, he felt the wind and realized his eyes drooped down, locked on to the windowsill. He tried hard to focus outside. That is the task, he reminded himself. Then there was something that lured his curiosity, there was a long hair locked within one of the tiny projections from the windowsill. It was perhaps a girl’s. None of the boys had long hair in the class. Who would that girl be? The darkness of the hair gleamed up at him in blue. He wondered in the color change. He wanted to touch it and smell it. Would it smell of oil?

There was some movement in the strand of hair that brought him back once again. He bit his lips. He wanted desperately to study the hair, as if he was madly in love with it, all of a sudden. But his teacher expected something else from him, to study the outside. 

There were white holes on the green painted windowsill. The window, from a distance looked green. They are not holes, but big pores, he thought. Inside the painted green surface, the wood was white. He had thought it would be brown or dark brown, but now he could see the inside through the holes. There was something more, dry lentils, on one corner. It might have fallen there when someone emptied their lunch wastes outside the window. The dust that enveloped other parts of the windowsill had barely covered the lentil; it may, soon.

Then the boy heard the teacher’s sound calling his name. Something was strange. The voice of the teacher brought with it a strange lurch in his heart. He had to write an assignment on scenes he saw outside the window by tomorrow. And he did not know what existed beyond it, yet.     
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