Chronicles of a Tamil Freshman – Part 2

Chronicles of a Tamil Freshman is a story series featured on revolving around protagonist Tanya. Make sure to read Part 1!

Written by: Thagsana Rangarajan

Tanya stared, eyes wide, at the girl who stood in the doorway of their dorm room.  Plastered on her chest, was a generic nametag sticker that read: “Hi, My Name is: Eliza Henderson”. She was tall and thin, with a pale white complexion and stunning blue eyes. Her blonde hair was tied back in a tight pony tail that swayed back and forth with the ceiling fan. And she wore a bright red dress that enhanced her entire appearance. Tanya knew it was rude to stare, but she had never seen someone so flawless. It wasn’t long, however, before the encounter became awkward.

Her soon-to-be roommate began staring at her with a disturbed expression. It was then that Tanya caught a glimpse of herself in a mirror within the room, and saw that her mouth was hanging wide open like a hungry gorilla.

Embarrassed, Tanya closed her gaping mouth and apologized profusely. “I’m so, so sorry! I’m not very good at meeting new people, as you can probably guess”, she said, letting out a sigh. Eliza laughed, and her disturbed expression quickly became a kind smile.

“Haha, don’t sweat it. My name’s Eliza. I’m a first year Fine Arts Major, just moved in a little while ago”, she said as she pointed to the nametag on her chest. Tanya began to wonder if Eliza was ever hit on by a guy with a pitiful pick-up line like, “Are you a Fine Arts Major, because you’re so damn fine?” She chuckled to herself. Eliza began giving her a strange look again.

“Sorry, I got lost in my thoughts again! My name’s Tanya Surathkumar. I’m a freshman too, majoring in Arts and Science. Am I the last to move in?” she asked

“Wow, some last name you got there! And yeah, you’re the last one in. Claire just stepped out a little while ago to meet up with her boyfriend at another residence. She was the first one to move her things in,” Eliza replied.

“Ah, I see. Great, I’ll just move my things in, and hopefully the three of us can get to know each other a little better before classes start tomorrow,” Tanya said, cheerfully.

Luggage in hand, Tanya entered the room,and was nothing short of stunned. The dorm was tightly packed, with three beds in an awkward arrangement. Lining one side of the wall, she could see a wooden bunk-bed that looked as if it would topple over at any moment. On the opposite wall lay a single twin bed, with a birch wooden bed-frame. The carpet was a dark shade of blue, and looked as if it hadn’t been vacuumed in ages. The curtains were a soft nude colour, which matched the dull, cream coloured bed covers. At the back of the room, three small desks were lined next to one another, each with their own storage space. Tanya soon noticed that each piece of furniture was also labelled with a letter: A, B, or C.

“Welcome to your new home for the rest of the year, Tanya! So, first off, everything you see in here with ‘B’ labelled on it is all yours. There’s also a dresser in each corner of the room, and believe me, you can store a whole lot in those. I was able to fit my entire wardrobe in mine! I mean, our room is tiny, but I think we can make it work. Also, before I forget, washrooms and showers are shared with the rest of the third floor. You’ll also find a common room and kitchen out there, which is also shared with the other freshmen on the floor. There’s a mini-fridge right here too, so feel free to store any food in here,” Eliza said, with a warm smile.

“Haha, thanks Eliza! You’ve helped me out a whole lot,” Tanya said, cheerfully.

“No problem, girl! Let me know if you need any help, alright?” Eliza replied, just as she sat on the bottom of the bunk-bed. Tanya looked up, and noticed that the top bunk just-so-happened to be labelled ‘B’.

“Damn it,” she thought. She knew she had a habit of doing clumsy things, and being given the top bunk would just add fuel to the fire. “What if I roll over one night, and fall flat on my face? Or, what if I gain so much weight that I break the bed and crush Eliza?” She began to imagine an obese version of herself, dressed in black, attending Eliza’s funeral. She pictured her tombstone reading: “Crushed to death by fat Tamil”.

Trying not to think about it, she began unpacking her luggage, and found the container of her mother’s infamous chicken biryani. “I’ll save this baby for tonight,” she thought. She put away her clothes and supplies in her assigned dresser, and organized her binders and notebooks for the first day of classes tomorrow. “I think that’s it,” Tanya thought to herself. She began digging through the rest of her luggage to see if she’d forgotten anything. She felt something underneath one of the folds, and pulled out a few packets of Fair and Lovely. “Jeez, thanks Amma,” Tanya muttered, as she threw the packets into the garbage bin underneath her desk.

Tanya climbed the rigid ladder of their bunk-bed, and toppled onto the top bunk. It was surprisingly comfortable, as she sunk deep into the mattress. Her serenity, however, was suddenly disturbed, when she heard the door knob turning. A short, curvy girl with a light brown complexion entered the room. Tanya saw that her nametag read: “Hi, My Name is: Claire Vijayanathan”.

To be continued…

Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this story are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. 



Thagsana Rangarajan is in her final year of a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering at McMaster University. In her free time, she enjoys writing short stories and hopes to publish a novel in the future. 

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