‘’This is how we depict the offer curves*, Yes any question”. The first lecture of the day and Meera anticipated some reciprocity from her students. “Yes, any question”. First calmly and then annoyingly Meera asked repeatedly. No answer, only scared and blank faces, enough to flare up her anger.
“Madam”, a feeble voice entered her ear exasperating her more. Turning her eyeballs towards the origin of the voice she saw Neetu trying to point at something on the blackboard.
“What”? shouted Meera,” what are you pointing at? Have I drawn a lizard or a monster and that is why whole class has frozen?”
“Madam”, Neetu again tried to speak.
” What Madam”! She again snubbed her and turned her back to look at the black board. “Oh, no!” she could not stand erect but subconsciously caught hold of a bench so that she should not fall. Instead of diagrammatic representation of offer curve, Meera had drawn something that faintly represented a cobra swaying on the notes of a been.
Meera being too proud to let her feebleness be exposed, swiftly regained her composure and immediately dismissed the class. After all the boys and girls left, she looked palpitating at the black board to perceive what she had drawn. Indeed, it was not the offer curve. It was more evident as a hood of snake that feigned the offer curves of England and France. Meera rubbed the board with shivering hand and suddenly something striked in her mind her vehemently –no lesser than a panic attack. “Oh no!” exclaimed Meera,” This is the same hood that had appeared in her dream last night. What is happening to me! am I getting insane, physic or possessed?” Gripped with frenzy she ran out of class room into the empty corridor of the college. A gush of cold wind blew so hard perhaps only to stop her. Meera stood erect and she felt this silence not only inside but outside, as if the whole universe was corroborating her state
Meera, an assistant professor in a semi urban college of a small sleepy hamlet of northern India, was a weirdly charming young women. She had an impressive lineage and was married (That was what her face book account revealed about her). But Meera felt otherwise. She is not what she was. “Why a snake like creature in my dream and I, standing inside the college premise could not be segregated? Who am I? Why do I feel that creature is inside me? Oh Lord help”! But her broodings and silent prayers could not provide her strength to stand and with a thump she fell on hard cold floor.
” Madam are you alright… Need some water”, Jena, the peon of the college was trying to lift her. She regained her composer and politely refusing any help stood on her feet, perhaps the lineage she owned disallowed her to be touched.
Last night Meera had a very shallow sleep. She woke at three in the morning hearing melodious notes of flute.” It is dark, how could I hear this melody”. The deadly silence of pre-dawn does permeate the strange frightening odor, but this mellifluous sound is even more scary. She somehow erased all these thoughts slept again. Meera was hearing the same notes again and she walked towards the origin of the sound. And here she was! A strange creature- A calf with elongated neck which culminated into the hood of a brown cobra was swaying rhythmically on the notes of flute.” Meera”, faint voice entered her ear and with sudden shudder, she woke up. “Have your tea and get up or else you will be late”. her Mother said
Meera was a meticulous person and religiously followed strict disciplined life. But that day she was different. She ran out of college ignoring everything, her classes, assignments etc. etc. Air was impregnated with heavy ness and Meera swallowed all the heaviness that made her soul too heavy inside her frail frame. She walked out of college only to be stopped by the faint melodious sound of flute. She was startled “, same notes? “
She literally ran! An auto rickshaw stopped and absent mindedly she boarded it. After gathering some courage, Meera tried to communicate the driver of the vehicle but instead her voice choked. She was unable to speak anything. She helplessly traveled in the auto rickshaw that speeded to an unknown destination. A thick Fog enveloped the vehicle forcing it a sudden halt. Initially Fog was too thick for visibility but gradually Meera could see amidst fog, a contour of a temple. She stepped out of auto rickshaw. “Where am I “? Temple was more visible now and on the stair was the same creature with elongated neck culminating into a hood of brown cobra swaying to the notes of flute. Meera stood petrified as one of the embellishment adorning the temple.
Shrill voice of mobile phone continued until Meera picked. “Where are you”? Her friend was at the other side. She tried to look around. Where she was? She was standing on grazing ground nearby her college. No temple and nowhere to be seen was the creature. Meera tried to mumble some words.
“Meera are you listening… whole of the town has been destroyed by the earthquake. How is it possible that you are alive and I am able to communicate you “?
*International trade is part of the curriculum of Economics taught in undergraduate level in most of the Indian universities. In International Trade the Offer curve is the pairs of export and import of quantities desired at each possible price ratio of the two countries concerned.
Been is a musical instrument, generally associated with snake catchers whole play melodious tunes on this instrument through their mouths.