It was again a winter day, a day from 1st week of January. Dressed up in a black top and blue jeans, Neha rushed to her college. There is nothing unusual to talk about her travel from home to college. But yeah, today she reached the college before the first bell, only because she had her semester exam. Usually, semester exams do begin in the afternoon session but this time it was scheduled for the morning session.
She found her exam hall. It is very obvious that most of the students will be rushing through the pages of their textbooks in the last minutes before the exam, and which is again a cliche scene in front of every exam hall. So yeah, here also with no change.
Without a second thought Neha joined her friends, interrupting their studies.
Time – 9.30 am : Exam started
Few minutes later (approximately after 30 – 45 minutes)
Time 10.15 am
Neha realised her periods was out. The tragic part was, she wasn’t prepared. She was in such a helpless situation that exam at one side, and her pain and discomfort on the other. She being in the middle of her exam, somehow finished two essays out of four and few other one word questions within another 45 minutes. Leaving the answer sheet, she ran out of the exam hall.
As said before, Neha wasn’t prepared, she wasn’t carrying any sanitary napkin. She ran to the ladies room, where a machine was placed from which one can collect sanitary napkin immediately after inserting a 5rupee coin.
She reached the ladies room, on her way she was in search of 5 rupee coin in her bag and wallet, after some search she got the coin from her bag.
She inserted the coin, the machine returned the coin instead of the sanitary napkin, unfortunately, the machine wasn’t working. She tried for 2/3 times, again machine was returning coin itself.
She thought of borrowing from a friend or from someone she knew. She searched for faces, though there were no familiar faces, she asked almost everyone out there whether anyone had a sanitary napkin, unfortunately, none of them had. Someone in a loud voice said it is available in the college store.
Time : 11.20
Neha rushed to the storeShe ran the store was closed. She ran to the office and asked,
Neha: why is the store not opened?
where It was opened in the morning, now might have gone to have food.
Neha: shit….. When will he return?
Attender: (didn’t even consider her second question)
Neha was crying inside, she was badly suffering from pain more over she could feel the blood flow on her body and she was more tensed about the blood stain that will be soon visible if the situation continues to be the same for few more minutes.
Neha was in such a situation that, all her friends were in the exam hall, so she didn’t had anyone like, to whom she could ask for “please somehow get me a sanitary napkin from somewhere”. For the time what she could do is only to wait until the storekeeper comes and she prayed for his fast arrival. Finally, after few minutes of wait he arrived. She bought sanitary napkin and again rushed to the ladies room and made herself comfortable. But she wasn’t that comfortable since the pain had increased. Her body had already become very week and she was completely tired.
Time – 12.35 pm, Exam time is over.
Neha thought of going back to home. The she remembered about the viva which was suppose to happen in the afternoon session.
Neha went to her classroom. Again her friends were busy with the preparation for viva, but this time she didn’t interrupted their studies, though she wasn’t prepared.
(Some questions in the background)
Neha, were were you till this time?
I thought you might have gone home without telling me.
Are you prepared for the viva?
You might have completed everything right?
You are a nerd, Neha.
How was the exam?
How did you completed the exam in just one hour or so? How was it possible?
Nothing is impossible for nurds. Right Neha?
Neha: Enough. Can you all please stop asking these questions.
Pooja: Are you okay, Neha? Haven’t you written the exam properly?
(Neha sat near Pooja, lying on her shoulder)
Neha : Pooja, I’m not feeling well (she described things happened in brief)
Everybody keep your books aside (loud voice)
Viva will begin in 5 minutes, said the teacher.
Neha: Excuse me sir, I’m not feeling well. So can I attend the viva tomorrow?
Sir: Yes, you can. But I will cut your mark into half if it’s tomorrow.
Neha: No sir, please do that. I will attend today it self. (Since she couldn’t write her exam properly, now through viva only she could score enough marks)
Sir: Roll. Number 1 come inside
Neha: Sir, Can I attend the viva first? So that I can leave home at the earliest.
Time – 1.45pm (she finished her viva)
Neha: Pooja, drop me at the bus station.
Pooja: Haaan. Come fast.
Neha and Pooja started walking towards Pooja’s a scooter. As Neha was very tired, she was walking very slowly.
Suddenly her eyes are striked on him. Yes, she had eye contact with him, their eyes locked with each other.
Neha: Pooja…, can you see a boy standing near our big tree in front of the gate?
Neha: The one dressed in the black shirt and blue jeans.
Pooja: Yeah. What happened?
Neha: Do you know him?
Pooja: No. Why
Neha: Even I don’t know. I have never seen him before. Is he someone from outside the campus?
Pooja: Hmmm…may be. But why do you wanna know?
Neha: We had eye contact
Neha: No. Nothing.
(When Neha saw this man, he was standing some 30-40 feet away from her feet. Though their eyes locked with each other, both of them didn’t smiled at each other, nor there wasn’t any tiny change in their expression. They looked, they looked. When their eyes locked, there might have a heart lock too, which is unknown, if not, the look wouldn’t be this intense. Without a word, without a smile, without any expression, she passed by him.
Neha went along with Pooja, reached the bus station, she was about to get into a public transport bus, then someone from far said in a loud voice, “that won’t go now, come and get into this bus, this is also to the same place” (showing a super fast private bus) this will go fast.
What if, if something might had happened to Neha on her journey? Though she passed by many faces after him, till the bus conductor to the other passengers in the bus. It is his face that she saw for the first time stays when she close her eyes forever and never opens, her breath ends with his face on her eyes.
She regretted about the smile her face was hiding. She regretted about not giving any response, not even with a little smile, which was much easier for her. Now when the time is near, it ends without a smile, which shouldn’t have happened.
She left, leaving things unsaid and unfinished. The last moment is the last and it is uncertain.