Monday, October 15, 2012

The big bong theory

The year was 1987. I was in the fifth grade and so was she. She had an angelic round face, silky black hair, white color ( as our desi matrimonials describe fair skin….and even not so fair skin for that matter)…the rest of the body was quite round too. She went by the official name of Bipasha Banerjea………behind her back I used to just call her ‘fatty’. We were academic rivals (actually she always ended first and me second best…..but that's just coz I didn't really want to pick a fight with a girl..especially a bong......I mean you do know Mamta di don’t you?). By now the few idiots who are still reading this would have got an impression that I was going to present a saga of my first crush. So if you conjured images of me running around trees in the white shirt and the baggy navy blue trousers of Kendriya Vidyalaya no 1, Cochin, belting mushy hindi songs.....Not quite... It was a crush, alright, in the sense that something was crushed. Explanation below: I pretty much loathed Bips. Period. One fine day I come to know that the good lady has been elected as head girl for the primary section. The election was rigged too actually. It was pretty much a couple of teachers getting together over tea and Parle-G biscuits in the staff room and deciding that this female will be head girl. Kinda like that oligarchy thing. Me and my friends should have done some kind of candle-light vigil against this unconstitutional nonsense, but we didn't have NDTV back then to cover it. Anyway, next day madam Bips comes to class sporting a glorious smirk on her visage. We didn’t have smileys then, but her round mug would have been a perfect model for a smiley. The next thing I know madam Bips is handing out candies to all around. I mean c’mon it was just a primary school headgirl, that’s like getting elected deputy sarpanch of some remote village in Timbuktu…..looking at her you would’ve thought she’d won a miss world pageant though. Out of gentlemanly courtesy I accepted a couple of pieces, though with a very audible “Hmmpph”. During the sixth period after the lunch break (The big break from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm…the best period in school), I am half asleep as our class teacher Saramma madam keeps on harping on about some vague crazy poem by some vague lunatic poet read from some vague idiotic hindi text. Suddenly all hell breaks loose. I too wake up angrily ready to shout at the idiot who has disturbed my siesta, when I realize that the eyes of the whole class are on me. Actually the eyes are swinging like they do when you watch a tennis match. Only its not side to side.. its up –down…up-down…I look down and find the object of interest. A sad looking , badly mutilated , heavily stamped and crushed, but still wrapped piece of candy lies just below my desk. I can distinctly hear an off-key siren in the back ground. ……..No, that was actually Bips wailing. To cut a long story short, considering the circumstantial evidence , I was held guilty of stamping and crushing to death a piece of candy offered by the incumbent head girl. Actually it was an interesting idea and looking back I would have probably enjoyed doing that in front of her maybe…but then I personally would never waste good candy…whether offered by Bips or any other gargoyle. Anyway my fervent appeals of innocence fell on deaf ears. The crime scene investigation was pretty amateurish too. Saramma madam came, saw the crushed candy, took a look at my worn out Bata shoes and concluded based on the pattern of stamp marks that I had committed this heinous crime. Ingenious. I wanted to remind her that 90% of the class wore the same kinda shoes, but Saramma madam was a bit like Salman khan - “Usne ek baar commitment kar liya to wo khud ki bhi nahi sunti” .Saramma madam specifically went on to mention that she’ll ‘boycott’ me for this alleged unparliamentary act. I didn’t know the meaning of ‘boycott’ then, but I looked it up in the dictionary later that day and so learnt a new word. That was the only silver lining in an otherwise very cloudy day. From that day I promised myself that I would ‘boycott’ Bips for the rest of my life or hers, whichever ended earlier. My father dearest was promptly summoned to school the next day for discussing the repercussions of his son’s grotesque and perverted means of protest. When I mentioned this sheepishly to dad, the only question he asked was what was the brand of the candy. I have still not understood the mysterious significance of that question. Dad was pretty disappointed anyway. I mean if he had to be summoned to the school, it could at least have been a decent quotable offence. Next day Dad promptly arrived Rin-washed, Robin-blue dipped, white naval uniform, polished shoes and all. I don’t know exactly what Commander Shamsuddin (I.N) did, but whatever it was, Saramma madam was pretty much charmed. Saramma madam’s attitude to me changed overnight (The conversation in all probability would have gone something like “He is actally mentally retarded, he just disguises it well” or something equally exotic). The ‘boycott’ was lifted. I never did find out the real culprit. One of the greatest unsolved mysteries of our time. Just waiting ‘Aaj Tak’ to do a piece on it( “Kuchli hui toffee ki vaardaat….yeh kis haivan ki kartoot thi?”) Bips and I didn’t broach the subject of the mutilated candy ever after. Actually we didn’t really talk much ever after. We strictly followed a love-hate relation till I left that particular school around 3 years later. Love-hate as in I loved to hate her….and she pretty much didn’t mind me much actually. All said and done, retrospectively I must admit that this creature had her own good points…..guess I always had this morbid curiosity for bongs. Curiosity of course ‘simbly’ got the mallu in me a few years later when I got hitched with a certain Dr Kaberi Biswas …….class mate, soul mate, one who puts funny food on my plate..........my fate…(and this low quality literature is exactly why my blogging thing is her pet hate!) ( again the wifey is not here in person at the moment and as mentioned before I’m unusually brave as long as the abuses are restricted to the virtual world)