The bell rang. It wasn’t really a “ring”, it was a sort of personalized bugle noise. Probably composed by the Music teacher. She had composed a lot of songs. More than 80% of these were prayers, and that’s why nobody really liked her. Pramod stood up and joined the rest of the students in a bored chant of, “Good afternoon, and thank you ma’am,” and the teacher left. Pramod stuffed his books under his desk. He closed his black gel pen and stuffed it into his pouch. Closing the pouch, he threw it under the desk. He sat down and let his mind wander. He was simply staring at the door, but his ears were everywhere. This was exactly what he did between classes every day. Listening, but giving no indication that he was. He knew almost everything, but he acted clueless. He knew that Nakul, Manoj, Anika, and Lata were planning to watch that new war movie tomorrow. He smiled. They weren’t going to get the real beauty of that movie. Then his mind drifted to the war movie. To its director. To that director’s other movies. To an actor from one of the other movies, and the noise seemed to fade out as somehow, he managed to reach his favourite movie. He was thinking of the movie, of its acting, of its twist, of specific scenes, when he suddenly blurted out a dialogue, leaving the guy sitting next to him in utter confusion. He laughed, apologized, and then sighed, his eyes visibly glazed, his stare distant, as if he were thinking about his lady love. Man. That movie is SO good…
Then the food came rolling in. A metal table with an extension jutting out to put the plates on while serving yourself the food. Five tins of food sat there, as one servant opened them up and tossed the serving spoons inside. Pramod got up and walked over to the tins. Hovering over them, he felt the foul smell of the disgusting school food, all of it smelling as if it was at least a week old. He surveyed the food. Chapatis, rice, and – oh yay – chana. He rolled his eyes at the seeds of grain thrown into gravy and mixed sloppily. Did school even pay the cooks? The class teacher walked in. “Good morning, ma’am.” Pramod said.
The teacher replied with a simple “Come on, take a plate.” Pramod sighed. He grabbed a plate and thrust his hand inside the bowl of spoons, deliberately shaking his hand to and fro inside the bowl to create an irritating clanking noise. He hated his class teacher. If he failed this year’s board exam for any subject, be it one she did not teach, Pramod was blaming her. He tore open the packet of Chapatis and grabbed one. He took some chana and thrust it into his plate. It made an unpleasant slop. He went over to his desk and threw his plate onto it. He slumped into his chair and tore his Chapati apart.
Every bite he took was terrible. It was so bad, it didn’t even want to go into his mouth. Every piece taking forever to go inside, and when it did, it didn’t want to stay there. He felt like barfing three or four times with every bite. He felt as if he were eating magotty bread from Lord of the Rings. He smiled at himself for making that reference, and suddenly cried, “THREE STINKIN’ DAYS!” into the air, with the exact same accent as the orc, yet again utterly confusing the dude next to him.
He could hear each bite making a crunch sound, wondering whether a Chapati should be doing that. At long last, he had finished his Chapati, but his chana were still in his plate. He groaned and walked over to the tins again, deliberately making stomping sounds as he did. He REALLY hated school food.