Thank you, Chetta

“Pass it through the window.”

Lina’s outstretched hand was trying to grab the pencil pouch bag Akshara was extending to her. Our classroom was visible through the window on the wall perpendicular to the balcony we were standing upon. If you reached out, you could just barely high-five someone in class. But right now, we were on a different mission.

Lina grabbed the pouch, but it was only when its contents fell out that that we realized it hadn’t been zipped close.

We screamed for no reason from the first floor, watching the pens that had fallen out bounce onto the ground. 

Eva’s face was the physical definition of oh no, especially since it had been her bag passed through the window. It was safe, but half empty. 

“I can’t find my ID!” Eva rummaged through it, and came up empty-handed. She took off back to class to check if she’d left her ID there.

The rest of us peered down below, and watched a couple of boys walk briskly into the building. We hissed to get their attention, and one of them looked up.

“There’s a pen there.” Lina pointed in its general direction. The boy grabbed the pen, pocketed it, and continued walking nonchalantly, leaving us with our jaws on the floor. 

Everyone slightly panicked. It was basically our fault- we had encouraged Akshara to take the risky move of passing us Eva’s bag through the window, and now we’d screwed up. It was especially embarrassing since the only purpose of the bag was as a prop for an impromptu tik tok video.

We were berating the thief and looking down helplessly when he turned the corner on our floor and walked towards us. “Chechi, your pen,” he said, offering it to Lina. She was at a loss of words, since we’d just been cursing him a few minutes ago, and also because he’d called her chechi, a term used to address our female seniors. 

To us, it seemed like he was our peer. But no one rectified his mistake. Lina took the pen gratefully, and he was on his way back when he ran into Eva. Eva, who hadn’t been present for the events that had taken place but had seen him walk to us and return her belongings, ran up to him and said “Thank you, Chetta”, chetta being a term used to address male seniors.

All in all, we were thankful. Eva had her ID and bag back, and we resumed our video. But it was still funny to think of how surprised he must have been if he realized we were in the same year as him.


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