Mine

Four blunt pencils in a mud pot. A junk of bright pens that don’t write stand crammed at each other’s mercy in a purple pen stand, a long scale that goes unused for the longest time of the year, two sharpeners, one of which obviously does not work but still sits there, is picked up now and then, shoved into a pencil’s head and thrown back in disgust, curses under the breath. A pink eraser sits with black smudges and illegible markings all over it. A bunch of answer scripts peep out of the corner of the table. A malnourished water bottle wedged in between piles of books left unread. A pale blue plastic chair sticks out from in between the little space the desk accords it. A big window opens behind the desk.

 Students with all manner of hairstyles walk in and out of this room every day. Conversations, laughter, questions, rebuttals, answers, period. Repeat. A book shelf stands next to the chair quietly wielding boundless dialogues between its books and the owner. Another book shelf opens miles away, in front of the desk, like a monster yawning and showing off its mammoth teeth.  Pen stands glow in the light from across 11 tables sprawled on the floor, strong of wood, bulky of papers and old books. More plastic chairs lay scattered in their fate, rammed now and then into various desks to enable conversations. Some are merely disturbed by the helter-skelter of running students, no conversation, no song, no praises, and no cheer.

The room springs to life at 8:00, sometimes earlier. The first batch of the day’s old book smells hitting its first guests as they enter. Newspapers flash unreadable pictures and words from the floor. A kettle sits ready to wake you up, if the ancient smell of books hasn’t already woken you up.  Motes of dust sit collected on all manner of woody surfaces.

By evening the energy has plummeted into short naps and some rare long ones. Now you wake up and reread another long answer, now you wake up and listen to trashy music to keep other trashy noise away, now you wake up and sense the pressure of oncoming deadlines, now you wake up and feel inspired to just read.

The day ends when you take your feet off the chair, bang the net book shut, get your bag and lock up. A session of chai and more conversations open their arms out to you and you fall into them like the nose falls into slumber.

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