Sunday, October 25, 2009

Overheard, Misheard & Unheard offs-I

OMUs 1

As the 2:20 PM bell rang that day as usual, the students from all sections of the classes VI to XII rushed out of the school building. I was one of them too. As we stepped out of the building’s side-door onto the brick-laden narrow pathway, I heard a guy’s voice murmuring, “You know that’s Dharmesh!” My ears instantly got directed towards that voice and the corner of my right eye caught a glimpse of two guys probably of class VII (+/-I) walking beside me. The other guy ‘rejected’ his friend’s hypothesis and added, “Dharmesh is taller than Him and Dharmesh must be in class X or XI.” I was in class XII at that time and I was also a bit interested in this character named Dharmesh! Why? Because Dharmesh was supposed to be an epitome, apotheosis even… of a student and I just wanted to meet him and get to know what made him so! But that guy’s comment made me realize my folly. It could not be such that just meeting Dharmesh would satisfy my curiosity! No, it could never be so simple because I had just realized that Dharmesh is just a myth, a legend, a fable… in fact, it is just a name thrown around by some people which gives others (like me & those guys) either a cold sweat or a cold shoulder. Thus, I was convinced that I could be a Dharmesh as well and nobody would be the wiser! However, I am glad that I was the Dharmesh they were talking about.

The above paragraph may seem like a short fiction story I concocted but it is not true. That is a true story from nearly a decade ago along with the quoted and systematic uncertainties! To fill this month’s blog quota, I’ll take a walk down my memory lane and come up with some weird and hilarious (hopefully) anecdotes from my high school days. Here goes another one similar to the one above:

OMUs 2

On some other auspicious day of class XII, I entered the school building’s same side-door after the bell announcing the end of our lunch-break sounded. There is a concrete railing, separating the walkways around the morning-assembly-ground inside the building, on which some students sit during the lunch-break. I saw two girls (probably of class VIII) on the railing as I entered and continued walking past them to get to the stairway on my left a little ahead of us. Just as I passed them, I heard one of their voice which (like before) murmured, “You know that’s Dharmesh!” The other girl’s voice replied, “Really, He looks kind of dumb, doesn’t he?” By this time, I had turned into the stairway, away from their sights & sounds and I could not help but smile!

The following is a bit different than previous ones but still similar to them in some sense:

OMUs 3

We used to have short quizzes with 10 or so questions picked from a given topic on Wednesdays after the morning assembly. Four teams representing  four Houses (Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Gaurishankar & Kanchenjunga) consisting of four members each would compete and the ‘points’ gained by each team would accumulate over the whole academic year and... This history is not important, what is important is that for the topic of ‘space science & space explorations’, I was recruited ‘against my wishes’ for Gaurishankar’s team when I was in class XI. On the chosen Wednesday, I donned a lackadaisical attitude and went to the designated place after all contestants had already gathered which frustrated my house captain a bit (as if I cared!). After meeting my team members, I began browsing through my competitors’ faces, I noticed a familiar face and most probably she also noticed me because the next sentence from her (to her team-mates) was, “Hey, Gaurishankar’s team has Dharmesh!” This apparently innocent & informative sentence was said in such a spirit-crushing tone that led me to wonder if even my presence was considered an ‘evil’ out here. Anyway, the quiz continued and as I ‘envisaged’ I was almost of no use to the team except that I got the first answer correct. I knew 2-3 more answers but my team members knew them too (they’d prepared well!) and I didn’t offer any more ‘assistance’. Finally, ‘we’ won that quiz (if I hadn’t contributed, there’d been a tie which is not that bad either!)… it was a first win for Gaurishankar that year and ‘our’ winning streak continued for a few more weeks!

The following anecdote is quite ‘controversial’ and after a first reading, if you don’t get it, get over it and get on with your life. Do Not re-read this piece:

OMUs 4

I used to go to the library after having my lunch for the remaining 15-20 minutes of the break. [A side note: I was the ‘only one’ allowed in the library during lunch-breaks without any questions asked. Others had to convince the librarians that they had to consult the reference books for some project or some other such excuse!] On that particular day of class X, I was stopped on my way to the library by a girl (the same one mentioned in OMUs 3) and was asked to select one of the two chocolate bars lying on her outstretched hands. I did not get whether she wanted me to tell her which one I liked most or was she offering me one. Assuming the later, I refused and went to the library. The bell sounded at the end of the lunch-break and I went back to the class. After sometime, she also came to the class and offered (it seemed more like ordered) me to take one. I refused again. By this time, another girl had entered the class and having heard our little exchange, she jumped in and ‘on my behalf’ told her, ‘If Dharmesh does not want it, why are you forcing him to take it?’ The reply was quick: “Who asked you to poke your nose in someone else’s business?”… And I was standing there near my seat looking dumb-founded listening to two girls quarrelling ‘over me’. My mind was now busy thinking of ways to get out of this unpleasant situation. I turned my head away from the bloody scene in front of me and my eyes ended up looking straight at yet another girl whose gaze disturbed me and on top of that, she smiled (out of pity probably) and I could not help but smile back! (Damn it… too many witnesses for this event!) Anyway, our teacher arrived shortly and a major ‘disaster’ was averted. Although those two girls dispersed towards their seats, I heard them telling their respective groups of friends about their quarrel and it seemed like hell was going to break loose later. I don’t know what happened between them after the days’ classes were over but I guess either their tempers were short-lived or they realized ‘fighting over me’ was not worth it!

This post belongs to a series named OMUs as you would have probably guessed by now. This series along with other series well-known as IMMs will capture some of the comedies/tragedies my life has showered/will shower on me along the lines of ‘Sketchbook’. Keep looking out for more.

Halloween celebration in ‘Sketchbook’ [Relevant pages are 87-94!]