Two months have passed since the first day of the school, since the day I gathered enough guts to sit right at the back of the class .But little did I know at that time that I was biting off more than I could chew.
Ravi, Jamshed, Girish and Sreedhar- my co inhabitants of the revered backbench had started testing my worthiness the second I parked my butt next to them. Sreedhar was the most curious one among the lot.
The first round of interrogation took place during our first maths lesson. The teacher had walked in and asked us to write down the multiplication table for nine and thirteen. I have to confess that I found it a bit amusing. I had thought that seventh grade maths was way above memorizing multiplication tables. Anyway I opened my notebook and started writing. Before I knew it I was almost done with the work and that’s when I noticed Ravi staring at my book. He and Sreedhar exchanged a mocking smile and Ravi announced- “looks like we have got a nerd with us today”.I felt my back stiffen.
Sreedhar leaned over and asked me, ” So which school did you attend last year?”. “A school in Bangalore”. I spluttered out.
“Bangalore?”, Ravi sounded amused. “As in the city..?”
I could sense a tone of disapproval in his voice. “Not exactly the city”, I lied.”A little off the city limits”
“And what the hell are you doing in this scum of a place?, Jamshed dropped in to the conversation.
“I was expelled from my old school…”, I responded. I still don’t know why I said that or where I got the idea from. I just wanted to wipe that mockery off their face and prove that I was as cool as any of them
“Expelled..why?”, Jamshed pressed.
“Amm..I got involved in a..in a fight”. The boys were still looking at me expectantly, perhaps for an explanation.
“The boy I fought with broke two bones and lost a teeth”, I added cautiously.
Soon the foursome burst into a laugh.”Looks like you found the right company here”, Girish added with a smile. I knew that this time their smile was genuine!
Being one of them meant doing things their way which involved some of the following
a) making fun of the teachers – . The instant the teacher turned his or her back towards us, we were supposed to send a paper plane/ make funny noises/ cause some commotions. They(not the teachers of course) found this highly hilarious.Other activities involved addressing teachers only by their nick names, sometimes even to their face (never did that yet), drawing funny pictures of the teachers or writing nasty stuffs about them on the blackboard when ever possible. I have tried to restrict myself from participating in the above mentioned activities whenever I could. But I had to show my loyalty to the group from time to time, which meant I too had to do some of these. And whenever I did something like this, I felt my stomach tighten with guilt and I couldn’t stop thinking of Papa.
b)Never participating in the class. The main things that we did in the class, apart from mocking the teachers, involved playing book cricket, playing hand video games on Girish’s “brick game”, play pranks on other students etc.
c)Bunking the classes. This was the most difficult thing for me. Initially I refused to comply, but then if I had to be one of them I must do what it takes. I have bunked classes two times in the past one month. The first time we just roamed around and the second time we went for a movie. That night I had a hard time sleeping.
d)Picking fights with random kids – and trust me these fights often turn ugly!
I guess I have finally crossed over to the dark side!
I am participating in the A to Z challenge this April. This is my post for the letter C.