Inflammable Substance

Ring of Fire, Blurred Motion                              

Inflammable chemically simply refers to the property of a material as to how easily is ignites, or sustains a combustion reaction.

A few days ago I was quite jobless, and lost in thought, and for some weird unknown reason the term “inflammable substance” came into my mind. Now, I should probably be frank and let you know that I’ve been called a lot of things – talkative, crazy, psycho, and mad – because you see I was too cool for people who hated me. But nevertheless, “inflammable substance” was the craziest thing I was ever called. Funnily enough, it was my chemistry tuition teacher who called me so (quite obvious).

Well, this was back in 2011, when I was in tenth standard, and you really didn’t have to write board exams anymore, and CIA along with MCQ’s were introduced. I always hated tuition, but I pretty much flunked in a Physics test, so I decided to go for one, till I’m quite stable in the subject. So I send my parents to find a decent place for Physics tuition, but what do I end up with? Tuition in Physics, Chemistry and Maths – throughout the week. Thank God, my mom was sensible enough that she didn’t enroll me for Biology, which was on a Sunday – she knew I would go into Badrakaali mode.

Triumphant Institute of Management Education (T.I.M.E) was my destination, and apparently the guy in charge of that branch (HOD I think) had very inconveniently (for me) convinced my parents that Physics was incomplete without Chemistry and Maths. Biriyani is incomplete without raita, I agree, but this was ridiculous.

My classes would get over by 3:30 p.m. and I would get down near the coaching centre by 3:45 p.m., and my session wouldn’t start for another 45 minutes. Unfortunately I did not have the time to go home and then come, because my bus had a very twisted route. So, I was pretty jobless.

This Chemistry teacher had a problem with pretty much everything I did during this free time of mine. I used to sit in the reception, which was near the ‘staff room’- a large part of the room divided into cubicles. Sometimes I would simply try to sleep – there was no use pretending to study, it was way too boring. And at times, I would eat something like chips. But one day, sir came into class and said,” You can’t sit there and eat, so many of us will not have eaten our lunch.”

Obviously, I wouldn’t know who had lunch, and who didn’t – it was not my job. All I know is that I never forbade anybody from eating their lunch. And that I WAS HUNGRY. Probably, he meant himself by ‘so many of us’. I was just happy I didn’t get a stomach ache.

Since then, I started to hunt empty classes, and the room where I used to sit would be free by 4. And I would go to the washroom to freshen up, and transfer all those chocolate wrappers from my pocket to the dustbin. This trip to the washroom was a short, pleasant walk, and I would observe other classrooms on my way. One day, on my way back from the washroom, I paused for a second to examine my shoe, near the class where this guy was teaching. Big mistake.

That day, during the last 15 minutes or something, he said that I was not supposed to wander around during class hours. Pfft. I did not have any class at all, and I pay the fees, so I can use the washroom you know. And he also called me an inflammable substance, which is why I shouldn’t ‘peep’ into classes.

Though, at that time, I didn’t quite realize the complete meaning of what he said, I would rather take it as an unintentional compliment.


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