The Wishing Hair

I look through the window in the bathroom. It’s not a window exactly, a criss-cross structure made out of cement. The sun rays get filtered and pour through the sieves of the window creating patterns on the bathroom floor. There are two washbasins on either side of the window; one jammed with the vomit of yester night’s pot, and the other available for use. I wash my hands in the clean basin, splash some cold water on my face, dig into the corners of my eyes and pull out the sand that the night fairy put in. There’s some crust on the eyelids too. I try to clean those, and in the try, a hair from my eyelid falls down. I pick it up.

I look through the window in the bathroom. I have the hair from the eyelid, the “wishing” hair, on the back of my fist, ready to be sacrificed for a wish and blown away. But I am not wishing. I don’t make a wish. I do not want to make a wish. Even if I did want to, I don’t know what to wish for. I stand there, looking out of the cemented window.

I am not looking at anything in particular. I am looking at everything, unconsciously. I see the tree just outside the hostel, its green leaves shining with the sun rays, swaying slowly with the wind. I see the roads washed with last night’s rain, and the newly scattered leaves all over the place. I see the fruits that have fallen from the trees on the road, splattered; the tea-shop just across the hostel, and people. I see everything that can be seen from the sieved cemented window and everything that can’t be.

I have been standing for too long, I have a class to attend. I run back to my room, put on my clothes and runaway to the department. I have reached just in time. The class begins and I find it boring. The professor is blabbering something, something about metal foams, and the children aren’t interested. Some start sleeping, some sleep with open eyes. A few people are making notes, writing every word of what the professor speaks. Some are writing different things, some doodle, some chat on their cell phones, while some drool over their notebooks unknowingly. I am looking out of the window.

I am thinking of several things, I don’t even know which ones. Probably about the reason I am in that class, my mistakes, my interests, disinterests, the laughs I have had with the people in the same room, the fights too. I try to listen to the teacher for a while.

Metal foam isn’t actually the correct terminology, but people use it anyway. The correct term for it is “cellular solid”, as the word “foam” is used for liquid…

I realize that being absent minded was more fun. I look out for somebody who was as bored as me, mutual culprits. But everyone seems busy. People around me are sleeping, and the ones ahead of me are busy playing games. I try to call the guy in front of me when I see the back of my hand and find the wishing hair stuck to it.

I have my eyes closed this time, and my mind wide open. I am searching, searching for the one wish that hasn’t been fulfilled. But there are so many. I want a Harley-Davidson, a Ferrari, and a decent placement offer. A free flight ticket and a party invitation also sound good, and so do a girl-friend and a question paper of the examinations to come. But I am not satisfied. No, I am searching for a wish of smaller magnitude, one that can be fulfilled by the small hair of my eyes.

I race my mind again. A pen, a pencil, a free ride to the outside of the university campus, a free meal… Arrgh… these seem too small. I can get these any time! I concentrate on things of immediate concern. I look around and then the idea strikes my mind. Perfect.

I open my eyes to make sure the hair is still there on the back of my fist. It is. I look at the professor in front of me and smile. I close my eyes again and make my wish, “Let the class be over.” Then, without opening my eyes, I bring my fist close to my mouth and blow on it. I have my fingers crossed as I open my eyes. I see no hair. Yes. I did it. I had completed the steps precisely and perfectly.

Within thirty seconds the bell rings and the class is over. I jump with joy. As soon as the teacher leaves, I start dancing.

Meanwhile.

A fellow student asks another fellow student – “What’s the matter with him today? Why is he dancing?”
The second fellow student answers – “I guess he is still high.”

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