On a freezing day in Pune, I decided to take my thermos to college. I had been ill since a few days, taking regular doses of codeine to relieve my cough. The doctor had advised me to drink hot water until it got better, thus I was following his cue.
Keeping the water to boil on the stove, I began packing my essential. After some time; I realized that stove had still not been turned off, hence, I dashed into the kitchen only to find the water boiling vigorously. Cursing my own habit to forget things, I quickly got the water down and filled it in the thermos, burning my fingers in the process, which was again a habitual ritual. There was still some time left for college, so, I again kept some water on the stove, stayed rooted in the kitchen until the water got hot enough for me, and then began sipping it slowly, enjoying the warmth of the cup on my palm and my mind wandered off to a hilariously funny incident that occurred when I was in 10th.
It was another boring day at school………with teachers blabbering something and most of us dozing off. English class was the worst, with even the staff that had come for inspection dozing off. The first English class ended and the “ENGLISH INSPECTORS” ran off as quickly as possible. It was us, the heroic students of Grade 10B, who had to bear her for another torturous 35 minutes. Most of us dozed off, whereas, me, a seemingly sincere, studious, and mostly silent student had to bear this abuse.
To add on to this, I had a severe cough and cold, thus, I was sitting huddled in my jacket, with my thermos accompanying me. It seems that this thermos was bound to follow me everywhere!!!Anyways, feeling the phlegm rise in my throat, I quickly un-capped my thermos and took a long sip, grimacing as the really hot water went down my throat, burning it……This drew some attention, of my most honorable English professor, Miss Quack Quack, just kidding, Miss Pique.
Actually, a month earlier, 2 boys were caught smuggling 2 bottles of Bacardi Breezer and a bottle of Whiskey…They poured these alcoholic drinks in plastic water bottles and distributed it to everyone who wanted to get their hands dirty. Unfortunately, they were caught and suspended for a week. Trust boys to mess things up. Along with them, some elite students of batch were also caught, not me, of course…As a result of this, the teachers watched us like hawks, not even allowing us to take a sip of water from someone else’s bottle.
Okay, back to the present, Miss Pique asked me what was I drinking, to which, I simply replied, “Hot Water, Miss”. This shut her up, but the next time I drank out of my loyal thermos and my eyes watered, she looked at me sharply and asked me to hand over the thermos.
“But why miss???” I asked or pretended to ask timidly.
“Because, young girl, I suspect that something fishy is going on over here,” was her snark reply.
“Ma’am with all due respect, the only fishy thing that’s going on is at the last bench,” I replied, pointing at Riya and Dhruv. This caused a round of laughter go through the class, with few boys wolf whistling…
“Shut it!!!!” Miss Pique screamed.“And, now, if you don’t mind Mira, hand over that thermos.”
Sensing an opportunity to make a fool out of her, I replied “Ma’am, I strongly advise you against it. This thing nearly burnt my throat and I don’t know what consequence it would have against your tender throat”
“Hand it over, now,” she said in a low and dangerous tone.
“Ma’am, this is very strong…… I…I…I meant strongly hot.” I replied, stammering on purpose.
“Whiskey huh????” someone asked, fuelling madam’s anger to a point wherein she approached me and snatched away the open thermos, sniffed it and after not smelling anything suspicious, was about to give it back to me, when Arjun, the troublemaker said “ It’s impressive how she managed to fool ma’am so easily. Really commendable.”
This dialogue hit right on target and our old Miss Pique suddenly gulped a mouthful of hot water from my thermos only to swallow it in the most hilarious manner, with her eyes bulging out like that of a bullfrog, only to scream later in anguish. She paced around the class, trying to dissolve the burning feeling in her throat. What was she thinking that I’m a whiskey smuggler???And, the bell rang. What an eventful finish!!!!!
We ran victorious out of the class and the story of how we made a living joke out of her was the talk of school for that entire year. Even the teachers made fun of it!!!
“Come on, we have to go, getting a bit late here.” My friend instructed, snapping me out of my dreamland.
“Yep, coming,” I replied“Hey, by the way, do we have Geography today???” I asked.
“Yaaaaa….I don’t know how I’m gonna bear her,” was her reply.
“Don’t worry. You will today,” I replied smiling sheepishly as I closed the door behind me, with the thermos safely enclosed in my bag.