2

Terminalor

r r BEY SAY TIME FUrs WilEN YOU ARE HJWING FUN. IN nl~ 1I1"st semester illo,It~, with. six courses, ~oilu of them \'VltIL practical classes, time dra~ed 1$0 ;'IO'\\' and comatose, fun was conspicuous by its ,absence. E,,rery clay" from eight to l~ve'j '1'iC were IfloCked in the eight-storey i IlW -bulldi fig wi ~J1 lectures, t .. ttoruals and labs. T.h," next re·w hours of the e\'ening.\-vere :spent in the Wlra.ry or i,~:l our rooms as we prepared. reports and :linishcd I]!t~ignnllents, And this d.id not even Include the tests! E;fdlSi..:lbi(~ct had t'I\'O minor tests, o'l1e ll121Jor and three surprise Ql1lU::C·S; seven tests (0'[ 5L"': courses meant fort;y~o",ro 'test~ p r semester, mathc-rn;lti·i'iHr :ipea:king~ l .. u:ckjIYI, the professors

p:ared us surprise 'C1!:IIz:ze'.s ill the lfir:a month, citing ragging season aud the settHTlg~.it:l period ql' COlIJrs~'; but the ra,gging, S!.)'3 son c nded soon and it meant a. quiz ,eoul,d tu,pp(;' Iii. any 'l:hne:

In 1.7",X'n ,d,.l!i'<; we hOled to' look out fna- instructor's subtle hints

J .

aboij;t ~, po.s.'S~ble quiz in the next class,

Me.anwi1:ile. [ gotheuer RGG:uailllted with .Ry.m J.!'ld M:ok. lly::m'~ dad had! this h3nd'ic r ~fr.. business that was esselui~Uy a swea (shop fOT potters that made 'V,[1'Ses fo.r the European mu~et, l1._wJ'!,'s f.ijwer and. mother were ~oth ifl,til::Elately ,~n\'olved in '[he' business (J[~d their 'regular !travel meant: Ily.an. stayed in hoarding ~du)o,I" is plush colonial one in hiU-,tQ, .... rn Muss oori e.

},.J,ok. s famiJy, l gue.s.s ~ w;a! of limited 1l1e:a[ll"s,!i.'\I'niCh. is ju.st II polite "'\'\",;)IY of saying he was poor. His mothe.c\'I,'a:s ,the oniy Cilrning merober and last I he~n;J! sclmoi.teaclher-s di,dn't enctly hit dirt, 011 pay-day. Besides, haff her sabry r~gubrly went to support. her husband's medical tr~atn1~n:u,. At the same tiJil"le'. A]'ok's el:dcr sister was &!!lling: near "r;\',h,n he mOl.l.rni"ully ca]Jed 'ma,rr:iageaM.e ,age\ another cause of major 'woir)' for his b,'t}li,J,5ehold, GO'll:lig by Alok"s looks I gue.li,s sh,e. wa,.sn'lt bFeathtakingly beautiful either.

1 also got f:3i.miliar wi,tb KUIrll1Ion and o~er wi~g"'ma,res. 1 wori't .:go into an of them .. but in ·one(:Otner there was Sukhwinder or the '!Happy SUrd' si~~ his face b{ok~anm sunny smjJe;s at p,mximity '1;vi {h m~ing rentotel.y human. Next t~, him. 'WIlls the studknu Venbat" who coated his "vil1doiW~ with tMck bbck pape.r JJJd :;tayed locked Inside alone. There was 'Itchy' Rajesih whose hands"I¥el"C !i1h~ys, scrltcbing somerall'! ,Qf hls body" semetlmes in QbJecti~nab]e .places. On the ,other' s~ide of the hdhvay were :semorst J"o.o:~s,indud:~n:g Baku, li\nur .. g and D,ther animals.

Ryan, Aiok and r often ,studied, ~ogethe.r in the ,e\'ernings.

One month i.llto t~e' 8rst ~meSilie.r. we wne .siulug i IJ. my room

chaSing aquanto.~physics aB.sigrrm~nt deadline. -

. "Damn," Ryan s;~kl as he -got up ids easy c;hilir ~Q stretch

his sp·""c..._ ...... , 1- ". Il"I. i'L .' L 'I· .

". cscu ar splne. 'I''''~la'l.' a crazy WNIi'; C asses, ,fI,s5Ignments.,

l"!11Jm"C classes, assigrll1l1cnts and not to mention the' OJil'iingm i:!t UaCl1icn qu lzzes, 'You c~a this a [lfe til

i\j,ok salon tile ltudy cle:s\(::, facl.lSied on the' physic,;; l'iSKi glln~C~i:I: i hCiiiI,d bent d,o.\I\H1r i!lili1.d ::ide\/wysj lust two I riches ~bo\~ bjs ~h.je.et. [ie;) I~a y~ writes this w~y. head near tile sheet" pen presser] tlght between hi~ fingers, his 'whit~ wod;:shCcts rc,l:leded, 'O!l:1 his th:l~ .gl.~:s;Se.$"

"'V'Iha, .. 1" Alok ~,ook~d up. !iiO!Jtidi$lg re rarded,

,b' Lsald you c<lil~ thls a Hft"?" Ryan asked, tills; ti melooki I'1g' at rue,

l'!r.va{l sitting 0.!l1 the bed cross-legged .• ;atte'l1lp,ti:ng the, assign merit on a. dnll'",(,ing 'oo;,lrt;i, I hced:¢:d a brea~, ,so [ put lily

. ,

pe:t:i. down,

~I Cal I, 1'1: "vm:i: you '\ vant'l II 1 said. words :s:tiflf:d 'by <I, Tkanic yawtt" "but :t:ha.l is not gOing todu nge it. jll

'Lit think this is ja1'1. 1 t ~'eally is, ,D.aJ1i1n [all," Ry~n said, .hitting file pertl ins wall .. "ith .fI fist

'~~'Maybe 'Y0u,~re Ibr:gett~I!Lg that you're in 1[T, the best-coiiege In tlu!' '~ourn'U"y! I'jo Alnk_ said. cnckin_g knlJdde&,

~'So.?' You put studellit!> ill laiU" Ryan, asked!, hands, on hips. 'INQ. B,ut you c:x:poct a eertalu :s,caJnd~,rd!u Alok s~id" put<dng; his hand ~p to huHcare helgiiJ'f.

"This ia high sta[ld.u:d.? VVQrki:ng a!liovay like' moronic cl:L~anes until midtl'ight~Ma:nJ'l'f1O yesterday,. ApM~""Ch dary be£o.r~~ ~uanto tod~.y ... :jt ,flCvt:l" ends,~!' :Rya,1.1 :grumbled" "I need. 3· ·br~a.kj, m:u~.

. ~ . (" ........ ';.'" ,nl1;!o:n.e ,lor '1~1;""\'1~. .

''l\.lld "l~la~ ab<:nn the iis:~~m.'mc nt~· rio AJ.o:~, bli nk~cl. "Prlva hasrer.H.lina:{;ar .oft,'" IRvan 'be(J'l,lled.

~ J o~

"Thenwhen waU .... ye ~I~~ .~.!.i' Alo~, said,

i'You are one- .real, nlu~ e!h1'~'Rya[ll said ~ndul,ge'rn:t1y [0 him.

"1. ~U go, " l "'!l,~d, keep,l~lg :my d:r~i:ilg lOo,;'lircl I1lfSide', "cotnc AJ.ok, we'll do jl: .lm.oor.n

'~Jt w~ll get late, man,' Alok warned haif:'heartedhl'.·

,

J .sooacl up'and tookhi:s pea, put ~[ in.to hi5 wom~~vy box.

)t;s., Alok had ,<I geom'~try hox~ like he was nbou't ~~!C,ke yel],ts okL

"Come g~t '!:.Ip,." ] said when [ natj,ct1l l""!'","O palatbruahes in h]s; box, I'l-iey. what a re the paintlH."uSf:Je:£ ror?"

~'Nodling,:" AJo:k m~nlb]c'd~

] ]i~rted the br w.hes, ~~flti,~,g jll1.agirla~y arcs j 11 ai f. "Then why d,g you have t~e'f;n, ~ To ,ghfeco lour to yOIll~ circei t di~gram.$ij~ [ laughed at my ~-I;,tl"l joke" w~"il1g thee brushes i.n the air. "Or to express Y0,uT sow in 'the' Jl.i<l,[]P.rQicla,Ss? To rlraw Prof Dubey"s 'ftc;nmy t: a Cf'?'"

"Nt). Actua]J}Ij they are.:Il1.y ratber's, J-Ie: was <Ill artist, but he 's ,Par,aJp.:ed IJO\V;'l

There are tim~~ in ,J ife yOLli \"Iisl ~c'&l!no~un",veren't: exdnct a nd could be whi stIed till come and gulp you .d~'\I'WI.. [ we nt

mot~Jo:n]e:S5~ iA ngers il:l mid~;lil;'; .

.Ryan 5.1\,\' my face and ;pressed his teeth ~to~th~r to be 5imulJtBJ!k""Ol1sly n:i;l.-u:h~ymp~meti,c t~ Al'ok andr Stop Jaugfting

.311 me i;~~"''''li.~jL .'\1' .. ~~, T'L, I' - . ~I~! . -I '-[". .. ~

• ~v.:""!~l.y ftjJ,Q.I'.:. . nsr JIil l e;:liu ~J ,sac.. m gun-y mailll t.~ he :s:;] I d,

Plittitig his h;tnd, arnund M,ok';\ish'Ould~rr; The ba1i!tard,,~ring O'\"e-r rne [or no fallllt of mine .

"I"]L -

t S o!t{lit}" h was ,al!or.l,g while' agn. We at"e'lils€'d to. himHke

that. I]OW~n AJok ~i~ 6nJIIy gettingl,tpror dlt1 movie whUe .~. '!ji' .. <is.stUl hQP~ng- J' 'd ~'I\"apo:rilte'.

. '. \lv1'1e'll wewalked (nJitt .~~'R lViDi$ wi~h, Alok;" U1~ mmn,g .~ix

Mep~ bel~~ad.. -

'''WeJl'l J have liMed Uri, bo~ rding $[:hoo] HH my tHe, so ], ca Ill!' really uttd,ersrnnd~ But it must be P!~~U·'y difOQlh: rQr y(:l'U. :I mean . how did ),.01.1. manage?" ~yan con ~:i 11U~d,

~iB.Oli:rJlJy maltla,Ud a:ctu:.aUy. My mother is iii 'b'ioI1Q,gy teaclier, ·nj~11. was the orillty i~lrnIiltc·.EldeE sister is still inooilege.'!'

[ nodded my h e.ad" tryi ['Ig d€! spera tell' te. elfi nee b O\W

e·mp a theuc tn ]l is cause I ·'.\l~j too. .

jl How do you fuhlk.] g~,ti.n'to ]rn I '\'.<1JS taking "(,1'1 re of hi m

for ~bt put t\'ilO yea:tS.·! Alek "S<I id i

•.• Really? ~ I Si1l. 1rdl finaUy ge'tti.r.lg my coonce to get: lltOOr d"H~ conven>ati 0]1.

'~~Yes" every day af!ler school ~ 'ii\'a& :n'!J..l.rn1mg 11l1tl'l and n:ading

my OOQb.'"

Ry..ln had a sosorer; which !1lli1l.dci t easy for usto get~.o Ptiy-a> h \\'as illegal. :lor three people ro ride togethe'r in J triple StJ.'nd:wi,J .. ! but cops rare]y demanded more thanrnfCl1Il')I bucks if they s:toppect' yO'Ll. Cb.an~es of geltingcau"ght were less thill:rt one' ln ten, se RyansJid it 'VaJ~'i still cheap On a probability \'!fe1ghlled bash.

fl-"i),il cinema at nlgh twas iii. completely- diffc,rtm.t world fm.m ous quic [ ca.I.nP1.J:!l. FamHi.es. rCQI.l~p]es .~II.~ld gtlJUpS 'of young :penple 'I i ned ~JP 'to ,ca·tcll the: hit J1'.IO\·ilet:if t~lI~· season. Wr;; boughl fto~t .ro'!. .. ' t,kkets,r as .Alok d'idnut want 1:0 spend. mo much. Flersbflan~ I thlrlk h,Q was just ton bHn.d 11;;0 sit fara'\va.y. ~ n any ease f t;he movl-e 'r'!(~a~ sclence net.iom" whkl1 I sho'I!JJd han:~ guessed give~1 RY<lllls. d"oi.~~ be ,,"l\~y:li p~ck{lld ,sci~fi nro\ie:s. 1: hate sciII mevi es, bl.d 11;,,11.0 .a'S 'ks me {l1~isp:n:e 'had 'ti me 'ti~\'eJll h'l!..l:t~1!I'1I.'I.'I r\?hlJts,~ laser gun:5, ,th.e 'w.rkz.~ pn~~ented 1111 ~n u1!llinmy 'way. In t.el'i mlnutes, 'the o~bS<;f:tijeJtyn,u:scuku· hem's ['},eJ."Q]cs .lookecl too :o;JI.ly ~o et -en. ·sli"li.rk (l.tl arid I. was p""'fIilng :uJ.nroifl,t[rl::)lIa:~~y:

'~Vrbw!'i Ryan said, brin.ging his hand to his f.ace as the: rili;:!Ln launched a torpedo froM his Ibackpack .

~~·~.'1at the hell do you see ln ~hes:e 'I,;m:lviresl" I \.-'Y'ht~per.cd,

jllS:t to jock his trip,

"'Man'l klOk at a .II dlq:te gad~ts. '"

.L I '1'1 rf'. ~-- [. .'. !:= .• ,.

I~ But 'm,eyre au ~3tt. t rs ncnon.

I~Yes~ bm .. ~ could ~l.aI.\lIe them one day~iI

"Ti me tfrfl'lj,~l2 Ynure;al~y think we could have time traeel ~" °Ry;:m!sr:idiculo~s ",,"'Ie'l1 'he :get~ excited,

I' H ush, i'e s hard enougb to ll[lde:r~Qnd the -ac.cent ,g,.my.s . .I f!

Alok objected.

\Vhen we returned to Kumaon <I.t m~r:IDfllighll "", :;]J5SeS "'\,"E'~"f' set on n.re, r. mean. nQt Utcr.aHy, but e'\"i:!rYiOne~, Id!ro Vel.1blt to SU:kh"Vinde:r were 'rti~b]g a round ,vit[li Rotep.a.ds and rexttlO'Oik,s,.

"Surprlse ,quiz. Sr~ong nnnOUf' of O'~C; in ApMechl!1r Happy S t,! rd explained as he £uri,ou:sly p fHed th:mllgh :h is notes, ro:a" Once' in'O~ cle:ctrifkd a:'t our company.

ApMech\\-,:!,s Appa1f'Q Mechanics, and. ZlJppaftntlYI some .studC:l1t ]8 Ni]giri ~lO'~,td ·lud vi!;,j ted the prefesser's office in du~ evening to i5.ubmit a. late aSlllgpllflent. The p.mfessQ.r bad ~inisteriy ad\r,~ed 'to ub.!eplf,evisin:gyour notes", rw.aggU:n:g lefJ!:

. ...

eyd::nmw at the same time. EnDu,gh to rirl:G:me alar m Oil S news

'inveUed through the can'l:pu.:s li ke 'Wi.ldfire.

"Dame .. Now we h~v.e to s~dy [or. Ap.Mech. It will. take bu urs,!~ A1o·k said mOlu~iy.

~'And \'\,'C have the Qwrtt0 a,s:SlgpmE'iLI't 00' finisl! as; well .• " I l'enit nded,

Eve-rye rn;t: oathe·r,OO in my morn to :s:tudy~ ][to was at ,t1!il,fQin th.e mClrnir,:;' that AJ.ok ·:SPQke. ;j"·his wh[!~e movi.ie ,thing ~VIIS a d.u'l't! b idea. ~ I toid ., 'ou, ,.

'''Hm;~' was I ~o k'";(j.,\r~ An)'\vJ.y, wily .m:~ you l'Zikit'lg :3:rbil tt:, nl:i iu:,l?" l~,llm~Qok urferlir.!(·.

"It is' .not ~]'ibiL It's relariee grndh~ here I' so H we dQn~'t Ji,t.udy t'Ln{i 'Othc:rs dQ., ,,¥(' i1Ii'rt" screwed," Alok 1\.(lJ1d. sU"("$'sin-g [be last W'ON so h<1:rd even l~·.l:n 'iNi1ilfj startled.

JU$t (i1:(,,~l! a [nome d,a}ded OH't lrcmunder 11l); becl ~. ,Inid ~'OlJ see that('" !~~,r:;m, said" eageT to. cium'gc thie top:ic:. ] 1(' 'l"enlQ~'ed his ~UpP~rs" I.lopi~g. 'coO It<llkeaii'm 'and strike the rodent down, However; the :u-oclellt bad othC1r ]deqrs on his (J'w.n demise and dived dipLoHlaW:;,::dly back under th.f!. he-d,

'''Yes; {n,erl;! 211£' these tree-py mlce .il1my ~o9m. little

bastards, j1l 1 :srud~ almost affection,abel),.

!!yo~ M~ilrli~ n,)C to kill ,them. for youl'!! Rjalrl ,offered.

I'h'~ !lot that easy.. They are too smart. J,nd quick," I said, i!~hallenge",!- R)"aTi said.

I~~ beg you brothe::j-bor:1U1 not ~o!.;\~ Ca:£l. we plea~e study? ~~ A1¢.ksa~~,.1ilenn:o roJcl:ing hit) hilnd,.,. The guy i~ too· dr~nlatile" l~lln eased back h~ro tb~ ehalr :I.I'll! wore hi.., [oot'!i'l,-'('a:r. He opened the' ApMech. beak. and-exhaled de"ep thr9u~h h~~ mouth, I·Yes toh:" l~~ l.!I:S,lllllg a:nd em. Ill, Oili,er.mS!el, how ~'liU we beo;]mf" great e'og![If:ers' of this great country," l~'V~fI mod-

sighed. ,.

U-!5butllp" .... A]ok5.l1d. hi::: f.u:-.e· a~reacly Immersed In h't!}

werkbook,

Ryall did] shntup !lifer 'lh~t, even th@'ugb h~ k~pt ~~t.':nJing to 'loOk, ilnl(!ur tile bed: frmn rlme 'to drne .. I "'3,~ Iut;:e .be \'\\!~n~e'd 1:0 get a,t. leaSt olieril.Q1u:se, ~llt the' I i.uk~ qf:[lit,ures~f:Jrnli[tly maintained a "It;nv pr1ollre. W're nnl$he"d OUr Qtl~nm :lSs1_gl1m:ent in ito hour :m,J Ithcn l-C'l>isecl nH~ ApM,ech .n('H~es. u ntil fl ve, by 'L'I'hiJdl tFm~.Ryan '\'1:3'.£ sner:i.n:,g soundly. ] was, ~t-rln>gg1i~ to stay

:!I:'liV~ and even t\L()~.s. eyes h:il.d started watcrin:g. \Ve !i:till had (Ili'OLlllId .:11 I[bbd ,of the eou rse :1J€.'ft, but h. was necessa Fy to catch some sleep, Besid.es"the quiz. was o:nly ii;I njIllV\~ r, we ~Jid not kf:~O"'\; if i 1:: \'l.1QJ;]lci. ~ctu,a]ty I"n~tc.da~.~~il;:.

B-!1.rt r Unl01l.l:tiS~ e:s;peciaily ulgly ones, have '";'s: \",<I)'~I CoI1lLi'!Ig true. Thirty miniJ'oos !rna the ApM.ech das&, l~t)f S0n h)aed ~:he door and opened hls bj,:B:ck brkirC)~~; nlime f()!' some flJn. Here is a ct1i.llc.lde· q U12; (r),f IDu,1 uple choice q uG.s"tkms, ", he ~aid,

p'_rof Sen p1as_sed the: hand9.'U:l~ '~fJ the fl:C1ut row stude uts, whe In turn cascaded 't'h:em b~c.bvafd. Eve'I")'on~ ~n I!:i<l.$:!'ii !mev.1 aboue the rnmcur, and t"h~ ql..:l!i:z. ,\~1i.s ,~$ much a surpriseas :SIilO~! in Siberia I toek tb,e ques'ti:::;}t1 :s~~eet and gb:n,(;t:d if)ver 'l.h~ ql!Je'stkl'l1s:. ,Mo~t 'Gof' them were from r~11 t ~~d.'!Jf~';!j, the part .of m.e ce ... !! rse we. ,,,ula notrecise,

~Trap. V!i~e lle1:l¢:,r got t'Ofh.f! l~et:tt.IJFeS for que.stio n nve ~!l\<Vii'ird.," ]w·hiispeIrM l-o Alok.

"'We are screwed, Let's get screwed in s.illfl;f'lc;e at l€as1t/' he :said 2$ he place:d his be:ad lh his '~INd(' position, left check ,alma;!;!!: 'louching tht; ~nS'We.r .sheet,

'We never di":S;ClJI'fi;Secl the' qu,i1..upon Clt;rr return eo ~lH'r.I:;aQn tha t da)". Othel!" students ~[~ eal.bng anim~'tedJ)' a OOIl:t. snme 'I u(~:stions b~i.r.ilg ou.1l. of '00 ur se • C1]J"'irm.:sly! We: never .~ n] 5~OO the COUl"1if:!, S:O we did [loot know bett'er. ''We did nait have te \!I~i.'~ f~lr results lOO long et tiler. PrrQf Sen d i:s:.ttl'brultd th~ an.swer sheets 'in elass hWl' d~ys Laller:

'!~r-hlC:? I got a fr~'e: O!J:.ll of l\""~:I~ly~'U ] lS~id '1:,.0 Alol.-:, "jtliQ .:it next to Ine i rII class,

{'~ got seven, Damn wt." seven," AJok s,;)dcl.

~1~.htli' ... e three. Hovl,I' lZl!,bout. th.at? On~; t'I-~CJi'1 th:r:~:e:j!'I~ l'ty.:!Lft sa ld, COunHng on hi s f'i IILgen.

Prof Sen wrote the: custcmarv sununarv ~:D~ nn the

rf- . l

blad,;:boand.

Jltt·l"tlgt·: J 1/1,0 Iligli: 17/20 Low: 1/10

He kept UtQs.e written (~Jr a [e\,v min.ut,~s. befo:re proceeding with his- lecture 011 cantilever beams.

i'I have the lowest. bid you se that! '" Rj.'3.n \vhbspered: to m~, uamoved by canti~cv:er beams, [t was hard to figure mil]; what he was f~ellng atthhi· point. Even ,thoQgh he was trying to 'stay calm {lind expn.::sSianles,iI1n I could te.l~ he: '1'\'115 having trouble dj_gestin_g hl$ result .. He re-read ,hi~ qt:Ji?~ it did not ella ngp 1:11 e score.

Alok was in. a.diffcrcl11 orbit, His filer lacked l~ke i't had on ragging d~y:He viewed the answer sheet like he ba? the coJ.re bottle, an e'>""Pr.ession of '<Imdety mixdlWith sadness. It's in these raoments that Alck ~L; most .. wnernble. you nudge him [usr a litt[p h~t and you know he'd cry. But for no;''II', the 9ui7. results were ,3 repulsive ["Flaugh ,stg]u.

[ saw my own answer sheet. The instructor had \~l'irte.n Illy score in Mg but careless lcttew.;" like grailiti written wi,ih cQnlteD"tpt.. Now I am 110 Einst(!hl. Or anything, but: this never hnpp~ned to H1f' in 5ci100L My score was five 0'1 'b,'1re..nty, f;>;r tweLji'ty-{i\<"C" r~r cent; ] h:.u1 rm'll'ler Ul 'I"Ily life -1lcor~d ,I~$S tn:1ll'J. il'ir..ee times, M n uch, O\1d,~ ,he .first ']ui7. inUT hurt.

But take Rvan's scores, I wondered i.fit had been ·l'!i.'Orth

. .

j,tiO_ him to' even ,srudy la!rt !light, E wastwo pointl'i ahead of

him, or wait ~ mirune, Si.l«y-.six per cent ahead of him, that made me: feel .lxur;;r. Thank god. for ruatiw misery!

/\Iok had the high'·"st percentt:~ge .a1l-10n~t the three or US; bun.. I coulrd~ LclL bt did not l1nd solace ln our misery. He $J\'!t h;:ol score, ;]11~ he .sa·w the <liverage on. 'l.he: board, I' SJ'>\! hbr r~l't" I!:wbaing !t.,\'Cl·Y :t:i1n~ he saw hi." \\'T,ong a,31~i'!."ve,r:',

Wr:: ke pt our .answer sheets, ~h{Z PJll~f of II) u r ul1derpcdonnaRce, ln our \,:ZIg-s a!'uJ .strolled I"r;l:CK to Knmaon. We nh .. "t at ,dlr.ll'l~" in the mess. The food! \'i~.:l: !i1$~pid Ct5 usual, ~'Hrd AlQk wri nk] ed his pugRt)~ as he dlispirit 'dly plopped a ~hick hlob of green :!;U lbJ>.t>lI nee, rne~:!H,¥orkt;:r.5 called bhindi m.Mtd~ into his plibte. He' -slamrned N\'O t'Otis, on his. :5tMnle~ ~t'i;'d. pJat,e .a~~d ig_'lN'r;ed the rest of tile sernl-solid substances n:k~ dal, raita and pulan, Ry~ n .il'id I I!t}okeye'rythingl though c\'l"r:·thing: tasted the Mn1~ .we could .it least h.m.re,·gp:n'le \1;Irj, It)' of colors on our plate.

i\lok fh'.lidllly hn::tll!.lght up rhetopic of ,the qUlzal the clinnet

table.

tlSo, now )"OIJi don"t ha'!j.'e a11ytI1ing bo My~" Ryi1fl.illln I loo.kedat each ptller.

'4S;wy ,'Chat?'" [ said.

"11~at how cr:01P this.Js," Aiel. said'.

"The to(ld?" I said, Fully .oJi\l;"'are Aj,ok meant etherwlse. '~NlI d~nln it! Not the d~nlm food," Alok said; "The

ApMoch qtl\~:lT His expression !:h(!mg~d From the. U£IU:!Il Lr~.giC' Oll~ to <I livelier ngry one. I Qun.d that expresslon ma;rt~l.lally mrn't' ple.;!l~41lUt to look at and ,et!1i'icr' to €.lea.1 '\I\'ith',

"\0\'11,3t ,<lJhQut the quizi W~'·~'l."1.t S'c.."C\\"e'(1. What is tOi d~.$cu~j.,!i ill lh:'lt?'~ RY,U:ti 5iimpTiflecL

"'011 reaUy. \¥r.;: are S'C1"C\\'!.."1(~; no damn doubt in rhar," A!ok ;o..;,)iu.

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