We live in a Big, Social Jungle.
There are people running about, some preoccupied, some happy and some frowning.
And then there are some who stop,look around, think about and see what is not. Then they talk. And more often than not, people listen.
I'm just another one of those.
I'm a storyteller. And these are a few of my thoughts...
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Champu- Season 1
When I was in school, I was like a seasonal fruit. A poisonous one. The one that hangs inconspicuously at the end of a branch, just within reach of an unsuspecting passerby…
Not me. Actually, Yes me!
Sitting in a quiet corner of class, with a book in hand, I was the model student every teacher would have liked to rear as a pet, the types you saw featured in colorful charts on the walls of Nursery; the charts which prescribed ‘Good Habits’ and ‘Bad Habits’( I was, of course, the ‘Good Habits’ boy)
Homework on time, shoes polished the evening before school, notebooks with a crisp brown cover, nails cut every weekend and full attendance on record. If I was ever absent, everybody knew I was suffering from a terminal disease. Or something appalling had happened in the family- like a death or a marriage.
But there was another side to me. I didn’t know of it myself until it was out in the open and the world told me. Oh, I buried my face in the book all right, but I was endowed with extraordinary vision. I could peep out from the corner of my eyes at impossible angles. My ears were tuned to all the right frequencies, and I could listen to the most scandalous of news with a stone faced expression. But it went unnoticed. I was one who looked like he minded his own business, after all!
That was why, when I threw balled up pages at the teacher scribbling on the blackboard, nobody could even imagine it had been me. When a question was put up and answers were being yelled out as if it were an auction, I would put in a word or two mindlessly out of context; just enough to disrupt the flow and set the other juveniles laughing. Then, I would raise my eyebrows high into my forehead and very timely call out the right answer when heads turned towards me. And I would survive.
Soon, CCTV cameras were installed in classes and all over school. Not only because of me, I wasn’t that bad! But then, there had been a general outbreak of a bad behavioral epidemic that had reached its tipping point(To be more specific- towels flushed down the toilets, Potassium Permanganate in the Swimming Pools, ink on the compound walls, and, this takes the cake- stolen Mouse Balls!! (the 'mouse' in the computer lab, attached to the computer - yes, even they have b*lls!) . The management needed to catch someone. They wanted faces, they needed culprits. After all, they had to show they were in control.
Within a week, I found myself standing in front of the Class Teacher, giving a painful explanation as to why I was ‘making funny, unnecessary and distractive’ hand gestures in class while notes were being dictated. I got away at the strength of my reputation and a pathetic excuse that I would not like to mention on this public forum.
A couple of weeks later, it was the Principal’s office. Not directly, though. I was thrown out of class with another ‘friend’ for some little misbehavior I don’t even recall now. We were standing outside like sentries and enjoying the breeze of freedom blowing through the corridor. That was the precise moment when, like astrologers later told me, high above in the cosmos where decisions are made, planet Jupiter aligned right in the centre of the Orion constellation and apocalypse happened. The ‘Princi’ came on rounds.
Obviously, she spotted us; spotted ‘me’ to be precise. And she thought there must have been a mistake. How could the teacher throw me out of class? So she came to enquire. My history teacher was only too glad to let out her frustration. I bowed my head in shame as she ranted on about what an evil genius I was and how deceptive my looks were. I could have cried if I had really felt her pain. But I was ashamed. Really. And I didn’t do anything wrong after that. The whole day…