It was exam time.

The class was confident; it had answered the homework satisfactorily because of them sharing their answers with each other. It felt prepared for the coming exam: the examples taught to them weren't too hard to understand, and to many it had been much easier compared to the coverage of the first exam. Smiles spread around, and the ambiance was indeed enthusiastic, as if ready to take the bull of calculus by the hands of knowledge.

That was, however, shattered when a sheet of paper appeared on top of everyone's desks. The smiles faded into thought, and the enthusiasm slowly leaked away as rain brewed outside, ready to shower blessings on the land bereft of it. It was a sheet of paper seemingly printed in English; however, not one of them could read it well. It seemed as if although the paper was written in English, one's mind could not translate it – thus, it was just the same as trying to understand the scribblings of a two-year old child.

Hush.

Without even the teacher speaking to everybody to keep quiet, everybody hushed. Perhaps some form of ghost ate up all the noise in the room; it seemed that it also ate its life. Faces started to cringe as time became nearer and nearer to infinitesimal.

The hushes then became a noise of quiet subversion, of an anger lodged within the consciousness of those faced with the ghost paper.

A tintinnabulation then resonated in their ears.

Typically, its noise was a welcome to students dying to escape towards the next class or to freedom, but right then, it was a castigation: it was a chastisement trying to invisibly etch 'You are just too dumb' in the foreheads of the students.

Some crumpled the ghost that haunted them for that time; others folded the ghot and placed it somewhere in the pages of their notebooks; some left the ghost alone to haunt others. The ghost, however, had already crept inside them and simply told them time and again that they were simply too dumb for their own good.

Others perhaps went home to refresh themselves. Some others went to sleep.

Ram and his friends decided to drink. He wasn't a natural drinker. In fact, he barely even drank. He also got intoxicated easily, and blushed red just after three shots. Ram, however, decided that after the fiasco of the examinations, he should clear his mind with alcohol.

Off, then, they went to a bar.

As it was early in the day, there weren't many people and it wasn't noisy at all. A violet light pervaded the place; it was perenially night inside.

'Give me a beer,' one of his friends shadowed in the light told the bartender.

'Give us a purple, a green, a blue and an orange,' told Jay, a friend of Ram, to the bartender.

For a while everyone was quiet. Jay then asked:

'So, how was the exam?'

A chorus of disgruntled voices emanated thunder –

'So it wasn't only me that had a hard time?' asked Ram.

'Of course not.' Mikey replied. 'What, you were wondering otherwise?'

'I looked on as you seemed to solve those problems.'

'Yeah, right. If you couldn't get it, how should we?'

'Well ... I am human, after all. Maybe I was born dumb in math.'

'Sure. Whatever.'

'Can we just stop talking about the past?' Dom, another friend of Ram, butt in.

Mouths were left open.

Hush.

Jay raised his glass. 'To Math!'

'To Math!' chorused the rest.

And the purples and the greens disappeared, leaving behind almost clear shot-glasses.

Ram, angered at his inability to answer anything, downed the first glass. After five toasts, the toasts disappeared altogether, and a drinking binge was in session.

Ram asked himself if it was only an excuse to drink. He drank, anyway, a lot of the purples and greens and blues and oranges, until his vision became a blur of colors, people disappearing and appearing right before his eyes, upheaval rose up, and he was about to puke. Seeing his water container as the only container to hold his puke, he fired ---------------

so why am i doing this why am i drinking ah because i failed at the exam because i failed myself did i fail myself or simply my exams failed me

you drink to celebrate he

to celebrate what i

celebrate everything thats good

like parties or baptisms

everything good

why do people drink

because theyre happy

no because theyre sad

they drink because theyre empty

no

why not

people drink when theyre happy

people drink for everything

youre right

lets drink

yellow colored brandy burning in my throat mMMmm tastes good good? no it doesnt it burns my throat i dont like it but i love it it doesnt taste good though

'Ram, are you alright?' Dom was patting Ram's back.

puke puke puke puke

Jay went out to fetch a pail for Ram to puke in.

puke puke puke puke rebuke rebuke yeah its just a rebuke

A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A

just keep thinking about your as you forget who you really are

who you are is not what you get

'It's okay, Ram, we'll get you home.' Dom said.

excuses excuses escape escape you drink because you escape not because you celebrate happiness bitch you just want to go away to forget and erase the memories of your sadnesses thats why you keep on drinking

Night started to fall. Dom aided Ram going down the stairs; he was more or less sober already.

when you really think of it drinking is simply a pathetic cathartic purgation of all your feelings that fail of everything that has failed for you its still funny though because you puke haha you also purge your stomach so thats it you are empty you are empty you are empty --------

'I am empty,' Ram said. 'So this is how I live.'