Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mithun Chronicles - School Days

Mithun remembered a day from his school, he was in the 8th grade and on the cusp of adolescense. The class was geography - his favourite subject. The teacher was a short stout lady, who was teaching islands that day (Wisdom No 5 -"Every man is an island, but then some lands are also islands" Fact No 2 - "The biggest island is also a continent"). It was a boys schools, so all teachers had abandoned their civility, mild-mannerdness (if any) and a general caring nature in the interest of self-preservation. The geography teacher bellowed,"What does Sri Lanka resemble?".

Class fell silent, heads dropped. Mithun had done some homework the night before, interspersed with sideway glances at 'Yeh jo hai Jindagi'. He loved the sitcom. Mithun was confident he knew the answer. His hand shot up. "Yes, Chirag", the teacher said.

Mithun was used to teacher's persistent nominal gaffes, and blurted out "A tiger! Sri Lanka resembles a tiger".

The teacher paused for a second. And then burst into the most devilish fusillade of laughter. The class followed suit. Visualizing the scene now, it seemed as if all the fingers were pointing in his direction, as all the jaws went full circle in delirious amusement and heads bobbed back and forth as if trying to send their noses into orbit.

Tears streamed down Mithun's face. He couldn't believe that all of the class was mocking him. His friends were giggling underneath the desks. Mithun sniffled, "Agreed, Sri Lanka may not look like a tiger, but why am I being derided for saying what I think is right. It's the teacher's fault anyway. I am sure there is some association between Sri Lanka and the tiger. It's Madam's fault she didn't make it clear. Else it would have registered. It surely would have”. "

Mithun wiped his tears and sat at his desk staring at the blackboard.
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