This post is dedicated to the weirdest creepiest female I was a student of, around half a decade ago.
To begin with, she had this odd fashion sense. Her pencil thin frame was usually clad in saree- draped in sheer carelessness sans any effort to look neat. She was also supremely short for an average Indian adult, and this made her look comical- but mind you if you smile around her she will scare the daylight out of you using ultrasonic expletives. She complemented the bandage of a saree with pointed high heels which she obviously considered very funky to be wearing in a college where one has to walk in kilometers to go from one classroom to another. The annoying noise that her heels made could be heard from the nearest railway station.
When she entered the classroom, the sound of her heels automatically transformed the normal working of our brain to a state of numbness wherein we were reduced to vegetables which can read and write. As soon as she left we reverted to our normal state. Whenever she gave us a problem to solve, she walked amidst us creating an air of fear and sometimes casually banged her wrist on the desk- which caused a minor myocardial infarction to the student whose desk that was.
Again, her vocabulary in English consisted mainly of the word ‘man’. ‘Come here, man’ ‘Get lost, man’ ‘What the hell is this man’ ‘Get out man’. And mind you, ‘man’ was not used for men alone. Once she told me, ‘ You Anita ! Get me a chalk, man’ K
The primary reason why she was weird was the explosive temper which could give any Shaji Kailas protagonist a run for his money. The subject she taught was associated with a lab – and hence this semester was a painful slow death for any student aspiring to attain a degree. To get her signature on one chapter of the record book was mission impossible; imagine getting it for all 21 chapters and appearing for the lab exam where she will be there with her devilish grin and eagle eyes to get any prey she can lay her hands on. If at all you complete an experiment at the lab, document it and go to her for signature, she glances through the pages and if there is a micron of a correction she hurls the record book outside the staff room. The wailing students were supposed to pick them up and run to grab their anti depressants. The area outside her staff room was appropriately nicknamed ‘runway’ because the flying record books always crash landed there. The students actually formed a queue and stuck themselves to the wall so that there was enough space for the flying saucers.
Once she was joking to another teacher in the staff room and smiling..yes I caught her smiling! I continued to wait happily in line for my first experiment, when the boy standing ahead of me handed over his pen to her for signature, and to his fate the pen did not produce enough ink for her to carve her much anticipated signature and it went flying out of the window. The guy cried ‘My Pierre Cardin!’ out of an instant gut and he has not been allowed in her class or lab ever since. Well, when the pen went flying, so did I, straight to my hostel holding my record book tight to myself. That day I called home and cried to my parents blaming them for sending me to a place where there are villains for teachers. However I made it a point to never be a victim to her outrage and learnt my experiments in depth and wrote them accurately.
Another very appreciable quality which she possessed was her relentless ability to curse. Once a guy talked in her class and she cursed him, his parents and ancestors and even subjected him to further humiliation when she expressed her desire to see him around writing arrears for the next seven years. And on her last class before the exams all the other teachers wished us good luck...whereas she expressed her sincere wish that all of us fail her subject and wait at her desk again the next year.
Finally the day came when I went with shivering hands and feet to the University Lab exam. I got an experiment which I was not an expert on and started with a doubtful mind. The external was a man in his 40s and was a kind person. Madam Cruella De Ville sat next to him, looking at me as if to find some fault as she learnt from my expression and body language that I was doubtful. Unfortunately the tiny screen did not show any output when I heard the creaking of a chair being pulled back. I turned to look at her coming towards me. My fingers were literally shaking. She said, ‘Okay Anita, so see you again next year, same lab’ accompanied by devilish laugh. Other students looked at me pitifully, when tears started gushing out of my eyes. I dint say anything and continued to work on my experiment. However it did not give any positive signs, and I proceeded to my second experiment for which I got the desired result. But Madam Adamant was stern on her decision, and gave a smirk as I proceeded out of the lab. Needless to say I was torn apart.
However the graceful Almighty not only passed but also gave me good marks for her theory paper and lab. The 40 something normal external professor gave me marks for the experiment I did correctly and also reduced for the one I dint, but adding up record book marks and internal marks I got a decent score. I do not know how long she continued in that institution after I graduated seven years ago, but wherever she is, I remember her and feel pitiful for the students who get suicidal under her guidance.
Wherever you are, I dedicate this song to you, Ma’am, and I really mean it!