A: "When are they putting up the internals marks? Weren't they like supposed to put it up last evening?"
B: "I hope I score good marks.."
C: "Shut up! I just hope that I don't get any backlogs"
The whole class was buzzing with the news of the internal marks being put up. I had never seen all the batch-mates present at the same time in the same class! The internals marks seemed like Satan who had ordered his minions to come and see how they had fared.
I was eager to have a look at my marks too but was not as worked up as the others. I knew I was not getting a backlog in any of the papers. The excitement of being graded after such a long gap from studies did have some enthusiasm in me. That was the only reason I was present there.
There were ooh's and aah's from the girls that had gathered around the notice board. I saw the peon walking away from the notice board and realised that the marks must have been put up. I walked to the notice board and tried to find my name on the list. There it was, serial no 8, roll no 8008, Arun Samotra. I shifted my focus to the marks and found that I had done good in all of them. I had scored more than 80% in all the papers, except one. I typed my marks on my cellphone and walked out of the now growing crowd of people. I added up my marks and was trying to figure out my aggregate percentile when a friend of mine patted on the back saying, "Congrats dude! You topped". I gave him a smile and tried to calculate my percentage. I sucked at maths! I somehow did manage to find out that I had scored 87.5%
I was feeling elated and wanted to share my happiness with someone. I had almost dialled my brother's number when I remembered that he had left for the ship last night itself. Damn it, I thought, why couldn't he have left today instead?
What other option did I have? How about Kiran? Yes, that seemed like a good idea. But wait, Kiran also left for U.K. today morning. Why did you too have to leave today??
I barely used to speak to my room-mates and other hostelites nowadays. They were sitting in a corner discussing their marks and I had no one to share my moment of happiness with. All of a sudden I remembered this one phrase that my teacher used to say in her classes, 'In the midst of plenty, but still in want'.
I was surrounded by people who were just classmates, but I couldnt spot even a single friend in them. I felt like crying, but no tears would come out. Tears always failed me when I needed them the most. Thoughts engulfed me like a dark dream. Maybe happiness was never meant for me. Maybe I'm meant to live a life of being an outcast. Or maybe I need to find friends among these people.
I walked back to my hostel alone, looking at the sun setting down in the west. The happiness had long vanished into thin air. What was left was the feeling of being a loser. Loser seemed like an understatement now. As I stood alone under the vast blue sky, a flock of birds flew above me, chirping as if they were mocking me. There I was, in the midst of plenty but still in want of a friend to share my happiness with!