On a sunny afternoon, after a hearty lunch, three little friends got together to see a book…
they shifted the pages to and forth, their eyes got locked..
their senses were locked…
neither they could hear, nor they could feel
neither they could hear, the footsteps of an approaching sir
nor they could feel, his hand tapping their shoulders
It was the magic nineties, Hindi songs were jazzy, actors were yet to discover designer clothes, yellow pants and red shirt were in fashion, all songs sounded the same, and the centerfold of a magazine carried an actress in a saree…
yet in those magical days, for some reason, out of curiosity, out of the sheer excitement, out of sudden impulsiveness, three little friends decided to read a Flimfare magazine after lunch…. a special issue dedicated to the flimfare awards
These three, ninth standard students, collectively amongst them would not have watched more than nine films in their so far lifespan,, yet since this is India, and we like to debate, they were debating the worthiness of the awards, and who deserved what..and who got the award without deserving it.
Now here you have to remember one thing,,, to talk about an actor’s performance in a particular film, it is not compulsory that you have seen that film,, you could still talk with authority on that performance, and for that authority had a gradation within the folklore at Crescent..
Grade A: If you had seen a previous film of the same actor, you had the top grade authority, your word had the highest esteem, it did not matter that the film you had seen (Hatimtai) had nothing to do with the film in discussion (Caravan) ,,because all actors, had similar roles in all of their films.
Grade B: If a family member of yours, usually elder brother, had seen the film and commented on it, you could use his comment and its authority transferred to you,, after all nepotism and India go hand in hand
Grade C: If a neighbor of yours had seen the film, you still were entitled to use their opinion
Grade D: If your friend had got the review of the film, from his family member who had seen the film, well you had a certain authority…
and there were similar Grades below… however all of them held higher esteem than the members of the jury who actually had seen the film and voted for the winner,,, after all who would you trust more, your friend’s neighbor’s friend’s sister’s opinion or some one like J P Dutta !!
anyways, the coming back,,, S1 (Student 1) was speaking with Grade B authority about an actress performance (Madhuri) and S2 was at Grade C trying to justify another one (Sridevi),, S3 was well just shifting the pages, (after using textbooks whose paper was so rough that you could use it for polishing,, getting hands on something glossy was too much for him,, he probably did not know that paper can be smooth and shiny)
as this debate raged,, PT Sir ( Patel T) saw a bunch of boys looking at a glossy magazine, his sirens went off,, he approached this group, without making a noise, (he just said “what are you boys doing” and probably blew the whistle too !!), but for the boys injustice meted out to Sridevi was more important than anything else in the world, until… PT Sir, tapped the shoulder of S3, he turned around, and the flipping of pages stopped.. S1 and S2 had gotten so used to changing images in front of their eyes, that when a Rahul Roy image stayed in front of them for enough time that it registered into their brain, they too stopped debating..
next few mins saw frantic action,,, the magazine was ripped from the hands of S3 and it went flying, by now the commotion had caught the ears of another couple of teachers, they too gathered, its was 3 teachers against 3 students,, the students knew they were doomed… “Sorry” “Its not mine” “Its his” “it was lying here” “we don’t know”
Also by now the lunch time was over an a curious crowd had begun to swell to watch the spectacle,, now none of us knew what had exactly happened,, but somehow hearing a teacher scold “Is this why you come to school !!” and she is saying this to someone else, it is sweet music to your ears,, and the way hapless students say “Sorry” “Not me” … is so compelling, so full of drama, it’s hard to miss such a event
actually No,, not everyone was interested in the drama, for me drama was lame, we were there to see some action,, after all, once we saw, PT sir with a stick in hand, and two teachers with a reputation for slapping,,,and three rodents in front of them saying ‘sorry’.. there was bound to be some action..
and within moments we were rewarded for our patience, first came a body blow to the face, SLAP, S1 went in shock and instinctively put his hand to cover his now red cheek,, but his raised hand made his legs vulnerable and BAM, a stick hit his leg…
now it is really a sight, one hand clutching the face to prevent a slap, and the other hand trying to cover the leg to avoid getting hit by the stick, and still inevitability had no escape, the stick does come down, and at the last moment there is a realization, the hand is not made of steel,, its either taking it on the the hand of the leg,, suddenly leg seems a better option, and the hand moves itself out of the path, and BAM, another one on the leg..
Wooooh,,, now S2 and S3 were in a fix,, there was a clear choice in front of them, drift to the right: Slap or drift to the left: the Stick,,, both choose the stick by drifting towards the left,,
Now it may seem a dumb choice, which is hard: a hand or a stick… but every true blood crescentian knows that stick is the smart choice..
see, your neck is not flexible, when a slap comes your way, even if you try an avoid it, it’s difficult, and it can also make it worse, like you move your neck, and instead of hitting your cheek, it hits your nose , or eyes, or back of the head…
now stick on the other hand gives you options, because it’s target is the leg, and with legs one can dance, and missing is much easier, puts if have those leather shoes, getting a hit on the shoes is much better and less painfull
but the key aspect is satisfaction… when a teacher slaps you, there is instant feedback is on their hand, if they feel that nice hot sensation on the hand, they know its a good hit, if not they can go for another one !!!
…. with the stick the feedback is indirect, when the stick hits something it gives an feedback to the hand, but does not convey the intensity of the hit..here is were FAKING comes in,, even if the stick had grazed your trousers, FAKE it like anything, “eeew,, oowww,, ohhh” ,, holding on the leg as if it has been hit by a bullet.. makes the hitter feel its a good hit… and they stop, satisfied with their effort
so you see S2 and S3 were smart.. that is what all crescentians are
not smart enough , to avoid trouble
but smart enough to get the better odds when in trouble