I came to the school and found that Vaidehi maam was our class teacher for the year, and was really pleased, because she always had a disarming smile that would put you off your guard. Of course, those who have seen her frown(with eyebrows, surprisingly arched downwards , and pouting lips) would vouch that she seemed quite uncomfortable acting angry. Anyway there she was, checking the luggage, as the students checked in, one after the other.
My memories of the 4th Standard are not quite momentous. Although I must admit, that things did happen then, which have played a far greater role in moulding my character to a greater extent than during any other class, specially the ones involving Vishnu and me. A pity though, that I don’t yet want to share them. May never want to. But you never know. Times do changes. Atleast for now, those episodes are best left unmentioned for the benefit of everyone concerned.
There are however incidents that have come to mind, that I believe can be shared for the purpose of this blog. Actually I currently remember only three, and hence this series will be limited to that number unless my memory can do better. They are:
1. Third Eye.
2. Spelling Test.
1. Third Eye
This was the first experience in my life that I recall with my lifelong comrade-in-arms, Ashish Verma a.k.a Sadde(hereinafter called so for the rest of this blog). The classes had resumed and one fine day, in the afternoon, after lunch, we were in the dormitory(still wonder why, because we had classes after lunch, maybe a bunch of us came up for toilet). Whatever the reason, about 10 of us were in the dormitory, and I was actually just walking in.
Everyone was surrounding a guy, who was in the middle of the circle and was apparently talking something interesting. I decided to get up close and hear for myself what seemed to be so interesting to a bunch of 4th Graders. Sure enough, there he was, mesmerising everyone with his sales pitch kind of talk. It was about his spectacles. He had just got a new pair of them and as is wont with children, was already bragging the earth about it. I wouldn’t have taken much interest in the whole episode if it wasn’t for a claim that really set me thinking(really couldn’t resist my Newtonian urges then).
He was saying “these are unbreakable. just drop them anywhere and on anything and see if you don’t believe”. Since there were a fair number of naysayers, he felt it an obligation to give them an unwarranted demo by dropping them a number of times onto the floor. I was naturally fascinated just like the others, but unfortunately didn’t stop at that. I went forward and asked him if they were really unbreakable. Really irritated by my question even after seeing such an impressive demo he said “if you don’t believe, any of you can try”. I promptly accepted the offer and took the spectacles from him. I lifted it as high as I could(too bad, wasn’t really so tall then, wish I was ten feet tall and had done the experiment), and threw it onto the floor with all the force I could muster. It hit the floor with a resounding bang and the inimitable shattering sound of glass. It was then I found that he wasn’t as sportive as he was a few moments ago.
Rama amma too had heard the sound since it had disturbed her afternoon siesta. She immediately got up, took her stick and came as briskly as she allow towards us. I was just frozen there transfixed, not sure what to do, when Rama amma reached us. It was then that Sadde pulled the most coolest trick I ever saw anybody pull.
He pulled the stick from Rama amma, and that itself, although really shocking, was enough for me to get unfrozen from my ‘petrify’ spell and start running. Unfortunately, that was the year when the cots from Ooty were put in the dormitories and they occupied the entire central portion of the dormitory, severely limiting my escape routes. I tried to get as far away as I could before I got hit. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be my day. Adding to the trick he had just pulled, Sadde pulled another ace from under his sleeveless sleeve.
Unable to chasing me he was about 10 metres from me. I was just about to break into a grin, when he pulled off a smart move. He decided to turn the stick into a missile and hurled it at me. Caught unawares, it hit me squat in the center, on my forehead. It hurt for some time and then subsided, but not before being replaced by an enormous blob of a swelling, which stayed that way for a good part of four days despite any medicine I applied on it. Throughout that period I was taunted as Shiva, because my name was Thandava and the swelling on my forehead exactly resembled the fabled “Third Eye”(the very same one on which many tales were cooked up amongst us about pralaya and that kind of stuff).
I don’t remember him talking to me again, throughout the 4th Standard. Although I wouldn’t blame him for it. If I was in his place I too might have cursed the guy who broke my brand new spectacles that weren’t even a day old and besides there was the explanation he would have to give his parents about what happened to his spectacles(he was never much of a storyteller, though he has vastly improved since).
to be continued… … …
– GUPTA GHOST