The whole class was silently listening to the lecture of Mahajan Sir on the topic of foreign trade. Akhil was sitting on the second bench of the row. He was feeling heavily sleepy but had to keep his eyes open & keep pretending that he was equally attentive as that of his other classmates. A few minutes later he dared to wander his neck & eyes all around just to take a look at the facial expressions of the rest of the classmates on the topic which was running in the class. And to his astonishment he found that almost everybody was in the same place as that of his.
And suddenly Mahajan Sir turned his face towards them. Without wasting a single moment all of them got more attentive & sat straight. Then he asked all the students to start noting down the key points in their notebook about the topic which was just discussed. While he asked them to do so, one of Akhil’s classmates sitting on the same bench with him asked him if he has an extra pen. Sir saw this & immediately called out Akhil’s name. He asked him to move to the last empty bench of the class. He tried to explain him that he was just giving him the pen & was not talking or gossiping with him but he chose not to listen to him.
He gathered his books & bag & was about to move to the last bench but then all of sudden Sir asked him to move out of the class. He and rest of the class went into the shock . He got stunned & again tried to explain him that he hasn’t done anything wrong. But Sir said , “Young man please don’t waste time & move out. No more arguments.”
He felt humiliated, embarrassed & insulted. He came out of the class & immediately left for home. Though few hours later two of his very good friends tried calling him on the phone but he was so disturbed with the incident that he didn’t attend any of their calls.
Next day when he went to the college his friends consoled him & advised him to forget the incident. But things didn’t stop there. In fact it was the beginning because the moment Mahajan Sir saw him in the classroom he asked him to leave the class again. He got shocked & surprised. He asked him, “Sir! I didn’t make any mistake. Today I am sitting all alone on the bench.” The reply he got was, “No arguments! Please get out”.
He had no choice or option but to move out. He headed towards the canteen & kept sitting there for sometime till few of his friends arrived there. They all were busy discussing the weird behavior of Mahajan Sir towards him & suddenly Mahajan Sir appeared in front of them. He asked Akhil , “Listen! It’s really chilling outside these days & I need to warm-up myself before I start delivering the lecture so if you want to attend my class then you must get me a cup of coffee. Until you get me a cup of coffee you are not welcome in my class.”
All of them including Akhil kept looking at him with their eyes & mouth wide open. They failed to understand his logic .Even after he left all of them kept sitting in silence & kept wondering that why just for a Rupee 5 cup of coffee he is not allowing him to his class. It was totally strange & unexpected.
Akhil thought he should approach the principal & should complaint against Mahajan Sir for his unruly demand & weird behavior. Some of his friends advised him to go ahead while the other lot warned him that exams are approaching & he should avoid getting into any kind of mess. He got confused & left for home. He felt shattered as he used to respect him a lot but today’s incident had rocked him from head to toe. He kept thinking throughout the day about what to do & what not to.
Next day morning when he reached the college he inquired about Mahajan Sir. Some teacher in the staffroom told him that he is delivering lecture to 2nd year B.Com students. He straight away went to canteen, bought a cup of coffee & headed towards the 2nd year B.Com classroom. He knocked at the door. Mahajan Sir saw him holding the cup of coffee in his hands & said,”Oh Akhil! Please come in.” He moved in & simply said, “Sir! I Here is your cup of coffee”. Then Sir said, “You are such a darling. Why did you bother to come here just for a cup of coffee? You must have asked the canteen boy to deliver it here. Anyways thanks a lot! See you in the class”. He said, “Anything for you Sir!” and then he left.
And yes from that day onwards till the time he appeared for his last year exams he got to attend all his lectures & became his “the” favorite student. But even after so many years of his graduation he wonders that why Sir asked him to get him a cup of coffee .Was that a price or rather a bribe for attending his lectures? Why Sir chose only him to got a cup of coffee? It’s still a mystery as he never got a chance to meet him again.
Usually we say that, “Let bygones be bygones” but Akhil just couldn’t let this bygone go away.