Anand yawned as the lazy chair slowly seemed to put him to sleep. The temptation to fall asleep was just too great to resist. He knows business will be slow today. He is tired of Facebooking every morning, and just like his every other peculiar, strange promise-to-self innuendos, he has banned himself from browsing this morning. He glanced at his laptop and also computer, and remained unmoved- as if taunting them back in his own language that he doesn’t need them to pass his time. He stood up, and looked around, still yawning profusely. Something, somewhere, must need fixing. It’s impossible that there is nothing to worry about in his shop. Nothing to break a sweat about. Then he realized, this is a worry. The fact that he doesn’t have to break a sweat is a worry. No customers is a major worry.
That’s when the door swung open- Sabhi’s entrance finally awoke Anand. “No business,” he mumbled to her. “Anand, it’s only been two weeks, give it a break,” she said strongly. She was wearing a white colored churidhar, and Anand smiled upon seeing her attire. “What?” she asked, as she took her seat on the sofa as she always does. “I know what it is about, they forced me to follow them to temple, what am I to do?” she added, removing her heels, and settling for a pair of slippers that she plucked conveniently from under the sofa. She smiled at him. “Tea?” she asked, irresistibly.
“You are going to make me miss customers, this is bad for a new businessman,” he said. “You haven’t taken a break, you are entitled to eat and drink, because that is what all human beings do. Sadly, I doubt you are one,” she took a seat at the nearby restaurant, with a sigh. “They asked about you today,” she said. “Who?” Anand took his seat, blurred. “Who else? They mooted the possibility,” she added with another sigh. “Oh,” Anand took a long pause, a long winded one. “Is that a good thing?” he asked. Sabhi snapped.
“Can you afford to be a little more sensitive? Not to be an ignorant, blurred moron every second of time?” she stormed. Yuva paused again. It was as if words got stuck in his Adam’s apple and they are refusing to be uttered out. Sabhi starred at him in fake contempt. And slowly, her angry face carved out a smile. And he gave a wide grin upon seeing that smile. “You idiot,” she said slowly. “As I said, I’ll be there, anytime you want to break the news to them, I shall be there,” he finally talked. “But apart from that, I can’t say much, I can only support you in the decisions you make.” Sabhi nodded.
Karthi was panting. The books are ridiculously heavy. She has no idea why she had decided to adorn a saree to school today; it just doesn’t fit who she is. And as she finally made her way up the stairs to the corridor, she saw a couple of kids tugging at each other in ferocious fashion. And a crowd of boys cheering them up, with plenty more rushing to the scene to become spectators. “Hey!” she shouted at them. In truth, she hardly had any energy left. She gave thought to running towards the chaos, but chose to walk instead. This happens every day in this school. There is nothing special or new about this incident. She stealthily reached the boys, and by that time, even her voice drained out to let out another shout. The spectators started whispering among themselves as Karthi arrived at the scene. “Hey! Boys!” she finally found her voice again, ignoring the whispers, but the boys would not care less. “How come you are here teacher, we heard you were sacked,” a girl came up and asked. The fight stopped. Karthi’s heart stopped. She was cornered. All the more by Pei, with whom she always seemed to run a mutual dislike for. There was a hidden grin on Pei’s face. She loves it that her most-despised teacher is out of the picture. Karthi was in disbelief. Nevermind the sacking, but whoever allowed the news to be revealed in such a way that Pei got the chance to taunt her back must not be forgiven.
“Tell me why,” she stormed into the principal’s office. Lingering lazily, the principal shot up a compassionate look and a sigh. “I told you to change your ways, too many people did not like it,” she explained. “This is very sensitive, this is a government school,” she added. “Farah, I know why I was kicked out. I saw it coming. We had this conversation before. I knew the consequences the last time you told me about it,” Karthi started calmly. “But it should have remained between us, why on earth was it out so blatantly until even students are sniffing on it?” she raised her voice. Her frustration was apparent. Farah looked dumbfounded. She knew whose doing was the part that has infuriated Karthi. She thought about calling him in, but the damage was already done. His disgust towards Karthi was never hidden; so he would be the last person to be sorry about Karthi’s situation. Farah felt utterly helpless. Karthi stood still, starring angrily, demanding an answer. The sweat all over her body, beneath the edges of her thick saree doesn’t help. She realized, it’s the first time she has worn a saree to school. And she had to get sacked today. How ironic.
“You know who, I’m sorry Karthi, but there’s nothing I could do. You know who did that,” Farah whispered, careful not to get heard, she might offend her colleagues if she was heard being compassionate and pitiful to Karthi’s plight. Karthi turned to her right to the teachers’ office. There he was, with all his idealisms and disgust towards anything he describes as being ‘out of tandem with nature’. “I’m suing you lot,” Karthi said and stormed off. She collected her bag and the little amount of things she left on her desk, and walked off. For most of the teachers there who glanced up as Karthi exited, only one thought crossed their mind. Karthiga Rani is no more a teacher in this school. No judgement was made of her time here. She was efficient as a teacher, but her personality was enough to become a barrier why nobody bothered to get close with her. And for few in the office, she was a devil and her departure is positive. For Farah, she knew she lost a good teacher because people can’t stop judging. They never will…
To be continued…