The first time she came to our class to teach International law, me and my Mallu friend began to wonder where we had seen her before. Oh hell! ofcourse, Mammootty! Yes, she was Mammootty’s elder sister. Perhaps not. She was Razia Sultan! Oh yes, that is what she was. She was Razia. But this one ruled by terror. She was a despot.

With a strange movement of her hands and her mouth tightening into an arc that reiterated the unnamed bond she shared with the Mallu mega star, she would say, “the League did much”. This was like the pronouncement of an exceptional wisdom. She alone knew what ‘much’ was.
She would not let us drink water in class; in the scorching summer. She thought it was not something ‘good girls’ did, she had told me in Hindi and I told her I didn’t understand what language she was speaking. Then Razia ordered me to see her in her ‘Chambers’. Hail Hitler!
I met her outside class. I told her, well, it was my bottle, I filled it and if I am thirsty I will drink from it. Razia looked helpless. Then she thought she was bound to justify her action to me as if i she stood before me in my ‘chambers’. I thought she was almost pleading when she said ‘yeah, I know it’s the heights of summer and you need to drink water. I think I should allow you to drink water but you should understand, I didn’t forbid you from drinking water because I was cruel or anything. I will never ask you not to drink water. I know it is hot. But how can I let people drink coffee in class and read news paper. Yes, you can go. It’s ok. I think I should allow you to drink water.’ Huh! Thanx ma’am!

Next time she caught my friend applying lip balm in class. She said she couldn’t allow that in her class. She saw another girl sleeping she woke her up and said that we couldn’t sleep in her class. She said she didn’t approve of us talking or whispering or turning our head or putting up our hand to ask her doubts and that at the end of the day all that mattered was, “the League did much”.After us it was the turn of our juniors. They drove her away.

Razia happens to be the girls’ hostel warden too. She went through a lot in the junior girls’ hostel before she moved into ours. We heard random storied of how she was locked inside her room and how her under garments got stolen from the clothes line. And may be that is why Razia always leaves her door half open now.

Once I called her up from the city to tell her I would be getting back to campus a little late. She was unusually sweet to me. So as soon as I got back to the hostel I rang her up and told her I was back. After sometime I met her on the corridor and I thought may be I should give her some consideration which was the last thing she got in this place, not that she deserved it. Well, if she goes around bootlicking the administration and conspiring against us she couldn’t expect more from us. Anyways, I told her, ‘Ma’am you have grown chubby’. The next moment I realized what a big mistake i had committed cos I knew she didn’t know what I meant and I really didn’t care to explain. She made me repeat it several times and finally got some clue, or so I thought. And then she told me in hindi 😦 ‘well we don’t look at ourselves in a mirror right, so never noticed.’ i wonder what else we look at in a mirror. But she was beaming as if I made her day by giving her that attention she was dying to get in this hostel where she lived like a ghost.

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