Chemistry and English

She cleared her throat. “Do you know the atomic mass of Oxygen?”
“Is it 15?”, I guessed.
“Pretty close, it is 15.99 something, say 16.” she said in a thick Marathi accent.

Though she was known as the best chemistry professor in the college, her communication skills were not as good as others. It was a prestigious college in Mumbai and the majority of students were fluent in English.

Knowing she had only 20 minutes left, she skipped the basic topics of the chapter and explained the new examination pattern which was applicable for us.

“Okay, we are set for the test?” she asked.

“Yes, ma’am.” everyone screamed in one tone.

Dheeraj entered in the classroom like a rebel with his two friends and occupied third last bench in the second row.

She rolled her eyes. “May I know where ‘was’ you three?”

Everyone burst out laughing except her and me. It took me a while to process that she had made a grammatical mistake.

“Did I crack a joke for a laugh?” She asked with an embarrassed smile.

Few of them were still laughing at her and she had no clue why. The college bell rang, she walked out of the room quicker than usual.

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