Red Tiffin Box

I tucked in my white shirt inside the green baggy shorts, hooked the metal camp and made sure the belt was appropriately holding the name Xavier’s very well in the center below the shirt buttons. I then headed to the kitchen and climbed onto the short ledge, eyes gleaming and looking onto the cream box with a red top made my tiffin box. Mother was running her hands hurriedly everywhere, what will you give me today and as the jam was smeared onto the top of the hot chapatis I already had a good intention of going to school. Mother gave instructions of the food being filled in the two compartments of the tiffin box and said “Vinay, yenu bid beda” (don’t leave the food inside – finish everything). I grabbed the box and put it my green bag which had loads of these books, I went to my father carrying a shoe each in my hand and showed it to him. The toughest job those days was to tie a knot, I observed him each day and somehow the knot would not fall in place whenever I attempted.

As I stepped out of the door and swung the mesh door back, the yellow van was honking in the corner and running outside the 1204 in sector 34D I sided my gray Milton bottle aside and dashed. As I climbed the entrance of the bus and would always turn towards my left to see if the seat next to the driver was empty, the front view always enthralled me. It was 7 am in the morning when I reached school and everything was lovely about studying in Chandigarh, I loved Bhangra music and also winter clothing.

As the classes progressed I noticed the boy next to me sat with an open page and has an appreciation at the bottom of the page from the teacher for following up and answering the subject well (a star mark which says you excel and also written in bold “Good”). The boy was looking at me and had all the flaunting in place on his face, I also needed that appreciation and that moment the teacher came near me and asked “Vinayak, did you understand what I wrote on the board now”? I looked at the board 4 desks ahead of me and could see something as “HCF & LCM”, flabbergasted she knew I understood very well. I never knew how the two’s and one’s arrived but it was time for that hard shot on the hand by a wooden scale of 30 centimeters. The subject with numbers was something I dreaded, how does it matter 2+2 = 4 and 2×2=4 but 3+3 = 6 and 3×3=9.

I loved science also my favorite and rest of the subjects, I scored decently in exams but my father would never look at those marks in the report card and directly ask me how much did you score in Mathematics? Father why don’t you just sign the report card and I will see it next time, the moment he signed it I thanked my god a trillion times. Meanwhile I pulled out the chapatis and enjoyed munching it, In the lower compartment of the tiffin box was a sandwich with chocolate.

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