“No Telugu in school premises. Fine of Rs.1 if you’re caught speaking Telugu.”
Rs.1 might seem like a joke looking at the current status of Indian Rupee. But it was everything for us in our school days. It got us Pepsi from a local pan shop, Guava on the bandi outside school gate and also cloud9 (creamy chocolate that is extinct now) from school canteen. I was always careful to save my rupee (can also be read as honor) but sometimes I had to donate it to the school fund. PS: It is rumored that our school opened its sister concerns with the same money.
Apart from the fine, reporting names of rule breakers was considered an achievement. While the punished pupil had a tough time facing the lecture by Preeti miss, the remaining class used to LOL at him/her secretly thanking God for the narrow escape. I always used to react based on the circle we both shared (the one punished and myself). That was way before Google introduced circles. I am such a visionary I tell you.
In one such bad situation, I had an encounter with the worst badass of our class. Let’s call him Sam to make it easy. All near and dear friends know how engrossed in talking I am when it comes to tittle-tattles. Tsunami or call from the principal’s office or such heavenly disasters can only divert my attention. Only after my zeal for knowing the latest gossip was satisfied, I noticed that Sam was eavesdropping on our conversation all that while.
I was enraged for obvious reasons:
- Sam caught me talking in Telugu.
- I had a tiff with him the very previous week. I wrote his name on the black board for making noise during leisure hours. He was made to run around the foot ball ground thrice for that. His every glance seemed like a death threat from that day.
- Sam towered about 5’10 in those days and I always had to tilt my head 45′ N to look into his eyes. I think I am the only blessed one to see a hulk in real life.
- Again, why the hell did it have to be SAM of all people?
So the ruckus began.
Sam: “Ei you were talking in Telugu to Sruthi no?”
Me: “No.” (in Manmadhudu style)
Sam: “I heard no..you were talking. I will tell to Preeti miss wait.”
Me: “Go tell.” ( The very first rule when you do something wrong is to be brave and not panic.)
P.M: “Anu, were you talking in Telugu?”
Me: “No miss. ”
P.M: “Then why did Sam report your name?” (Poor teacher fell into my trap. I was waiting for this question.)
Me: “Last time I wrote his name on board no, so he is taking revenge.” (Not even an iota of guilt in my voice)
Sam:” No miss ..Mother dead promise, I heard.”
Me: “Believe me miss. I was not talking.” (Promises can only be countered with tears. So sniffing for the good girl effect)
Sam: “You also put promise.”
Me: “I won’t put.”
Sam: “See miss..She is not putting. That means she is lying. Liar!”
Me: “You only liar. Your father only liar. Your mother also liar. Your whole family is liars family.”
P.M: “Enough! Stop calling names. And don’t fight like this. Say friends and shake hands.”
I wanted to push Sam off the second floor that minute and Preeti miss was asking me to be friends with him.
Me: “You say first.”
Sam: “No, You only say.”
Me: “No, I won’t say.”
Sam: “Girls first” (If anybody says that now, I will kick him first and say “you asked for it”)
P.M: “Come on Anu..Does it even matter?”
Me (Grumpy tone): “Hmmmph.. Okay friends?”
Last month or the month before that, Sam added me on Facebook. Thus leaving an electronic proof that he said “Friends?” first.
Gentlemen, God is watching all your actions. Thus proved.