“I can understand if somebody takes forty winks once in a while, but there are some people sleeping in my class everyday.” Was our French teacher telling me that? Her gaze was fixed on me. Our French class in college was of a gallery type where the teacher could see the face of each student very clearly. I began twitching in my seat because I was trying my best to pay full attention to what she was teaching albeit it was very boring. Did I doze off unknowingly? Her monotonous drab was more than a lullaby and I would not blame anybody for even snoring!
Casting a sly glance through my spectacles to my friends sitting on either side, I noticed that my best buddy seated next to me was in her own dreamworld merrily unaware of the teacher’s stare. I was certain a piece of chalk would come flying in our direction, it was the teacher’s usual reciprocation to such pranks or rather behavior by her students. Keeping my gaze fixed on the teacher, I nudged my friend with my elbow murmuring under my breath to wake her. I was shell shocked when she loudly retorted, “What is it? Let me sleep dear.” I went pale in the face and prayed that the earth would part and swallow me in like Devi Sita in the Ramayana, an epic of the Hindus. Her retort was loud and audible to the entire class and the teacher who were first taken aback and then started roaring with laughter.
Though we had been to different schools in the same city, we decided to join the same college in a new city in a different state altogether. We had vernacular language issues and so were put in the same hostel where to our relief and joy we were allotted the same room. Hence we were always together, be it the classroom or hostel. It was this togetherness that confused my buddy when I nudged her in class, she did not know where she was!!!
Even to this day I remember, or rather we remember this incident so vividly that we cannot stop laughing over it. Some time back when she came home one day she had us all in splits narrating the incident to my children, husband and her parents.