Monday, November 4, 2013

Days of Thunder - Part II

Read the first part here
THE FINAL CUT: IInd Year

It was our final year in the college and we were a part of the elite group of species called ”seniors”. It was time for ragging. And by ragging I mean all we did was ask our juniors their names and that too politely.

It was time for college elections. Compared to other colleges our college elections were a low key affair. Class representatives were elected and then those representatives would choose the college leader. I was unanimously elected as the college leader. My college principal Rekha and Nanaiah called me into their chamber and requested me to step down as college leader. The reason was that a college leader would have lot of responsibilities and I being a science student would find it difficult to manage it along with my studies. I kept nodding in agreement thinking how mistaken these lecturers are about me studying all the time. I agreed and a guy from commerce was elected as the college leader.

But in return Rekha appointed me as the rotary club president. That was a blessing in disguise as I got a chance to participate in a 2 day camp organized by the rotary club of Mysore. The camp had students participating from various colleges across Karnataka and I got a chance to interact with them. We indulged in various activities like Para-sailing, rock climbing, trekking, camping etc. That was undoubtedly my best experience till then.
Post that the Rotary club of Madikeri arranged an evening party in the town hall where I was supposed to brief the members about my experiences in the camp. I prepared a very good speech explaining all of my experiences and dedicating the last paragraph praising my college Principal. I delivered the speech confidently and I could see a of lot Rotary club members appreciating my speech with my Principal. She called me later to congratulate me and told that she was very proud of me.

Mr. BAKRID
The first half of the year had gone by and mid-term exams were staring at our face. It was Biology exam and I and Naresh while walking towards the college saw a new adult movie was showing at the movie hall. The posters looked titillating and we both planned to watch the movie once the exams are over. We informed about the movie to Lijesh who decided that we bunk the exam and go for the movie. Both I and Naresh didn’t agree to bunk the exam but agreed for the movie if Lijesh could get up and submit his papers within the first 15 minutes and leave the exam hall. Lijesh agreed while I thought it was not possible at all. It was a government holiday due to Bakrid but our college was functioning courtesy to the exams. The invigilator was from the arts department and started distributing the question papers and the blank answer sheets. The first 10 minutes went off with me trying to understand which question paper was it. I was about to start scribbling down something when I saw Lijesh getting up from his place. I looked at Naresh who was also equally surprised. Lijesh went up to the invigilator and gave his papers. The invigilator asked “what’s the matter? Why did you get up so soon?” Lijesh said”Sir, its Bakrid today. I have to go home for Namaaz”. The invigilator asked ”What’s your name?”. Lijesh said ”Mohammed”. Both I and Naresh started laughing whereas the other students looked on confused.

Lijesh came near the window from outside and whispered to me that he would go and buy the movie tickets and I and Naresh should be at the movie hall in 10 minutes.

No sooner did Lijesh leave; both I and Naresh got up and gave away our papers saying “sir, Bakrid”. Even before the invigilator could ask our names we dashed out of the exam hall. We were laughing and running out of the college building. For some reason I turned back and saw Devaraju and Nanaiah looking at us with disgust and with their hands on their hips. I told Naresh ”Shit, don’t look back. Nanaiah and Devaraju are looking at us”. Naresh said” Don’t worry. There is nothing that Devraju can do. He can’t deduct any marks since we have not written a single word in the answer sheet”.

THE ANONYMOUS LETTER
Meanwhile a love affair had bloomed between Nandini from our class and a guy called Madhusudan from the commerce class. Both this Laila and Majnu would sit and chit chat to eternity oblivious to all other students staring at them. Slowly this guy started to come to our class during free hours and sit in the last bench and talk with her. "This is heights" said Lijesh. "This rat has started to enter the lion’s den". Naresh said”Ha ha ha .. you call yourself a lion? Lion of the rat world!!!”. Lijesh immediately got into damage control mode.”Hey I mean we all are lion’s here. Isn’t it? Now let’s concentrate on them”. I said “somehow we should expose this love affair to Kasturi and she will take care of the rest”. Lijesh asked ”How?”. I said ”May be we can write an anonymous letter to her regarding these two”. I just said that but I never meant it.

After 2 days in the Kannada class Kasturi was explaining a lesson about how a king desperately tries to woo a queen. And she said “We have such people here in our college who are desperate for each other”. Saying so, she asked both Nandini and Madhusudan to stand up and started to insult them. Both I and Naresh looked at each other confused about how Kasturi got a wind about their affair.

I looked at Lijesh and he gave me a wicked smile. After the class when I asked Lijesh what he had done, he said “I took your idea seriously and wrote a postcard to Kasturi explaining everything about these two lovers. Now let me see him entering our class”. Naresh said that this guy is impossible.

FIRST BLOOD
Some of our lecturers were in a meeting, so we had a half day class and were free to go home. Since my mother would make me to study the moment I reach home, I suggested to Naresh that we go and play cricket and return home at our usual time. Lijesh was absent that day and so I, Naresh and Nandish went to the ground and played for couple of hours and returned back to our class. Since we still had another 2 hours to go we decided to finish lunch box inside our classroom which was empty since others had left for home long back and then leave around 4.

Now they say ”empty mind is a devil’s workshop”. We ourselves being the devil, anything around us were our workshop. I took some of the chalks and started writing some crap on the black board. Slowly the writing got raunchy to outright dirty and before I knew, I had written a shit load of crap on the board.

Naresh was laughing loudly appreciating my writing skills like I had written some thesis on sex. It was 3 PM now and the adjoining class had Kasturi’s class in the last hour. I had closed the door to make sure that Kasturi doesn’t see us. But that proved to be a big mistake.
Kasturi upon seeing the closed door felt suspicious, came in to check and saw that we 3 were having lunch. She screamed at us asking what we were up to. We said that we were having lunch and about to leave for home. She again screamed that we should close the door and should leave for home if we don’t have any more classes. She just turned to leave when her eyes fell upon the black board. She started reading what I had written all over it. I could see her expressions changing with every sentence she read. She turned at us and asked who wrote it. We out right denied writing it. I even went on further to say that somebody had written it before we came into the class and we were about to wipe it when she came in. She yelled at us to stop our lies. She went near the door and asked some other teachers to come and see what we had written.

Some of the teachers were laughing and saying that these guys know biology better than the lecturers. Kasturi had caught a big fish in the net and she was in no mood to let go of it. She marched us to the Principal’s room and told the whole story to her. Principal asked us who wrote it but we denied that we were involved in it. She asked the college peon to lock up the classroom and asked us to write something in a register near her, so that she can cross check our handwriting. I wrote in a very peculiar manner to make sure my handwriting didn’t match with the one on the board. She said she would call the forensic experts to the college to find our finger prints on the chalk lying in the classroom.

She asked to leave for the day and come back tomorrow prepared.

I and Naresh just didn’t know what to do and what to expect tomorrow. We thought that we can go to the college in the night, break the lock and wipe the board clean. But we were already in deep shit and we didn’t want to screw it up further more.

I couldn’t sleep the whole night and kept wondering if someone has cursed me. Ever since I came here I end up with trouble all around me. I prayed to god to set things right and I would just study hard and stay away from trouble. But I guess even God also was in a mood for entertainment.

Next day when I and Naresh entered the college campus lot of students were staring at us, some giggling, some smiling at us. I realized the issue had spread across the campus. We stepped inside the college building and saw that our class was still locked and our classmates were standing outside. The girls gave me such a disgusting look as if they had seen a jet black pig drenched in the worst smelling shit. Many students would peak inside the window, read my thesis on the board and tell me “Super, super writing”. It would make me laugh but soon the smile would be replaced by a worried expression at the thought of what’s going to happen next would haunt me.

Classes for other sections resumed as we (including my classmates) stood outside the classroom for 2 hours. I just went to answer nature call when I saw a guy in formals and holding lot of files entered our college. Thinking that he might be the guy from forensic department I rushed back and immediately asked Lijesh to go and check. Lijesh came back saying “He is no forensic porensic inspector. He is a courier guy”. My heart heaved a sigh of relief.

After 2 hours the Principal came down near our classroom with her battalion which included a lecturer from arts department, our physics lecturer Siddaraju and some more staff along with Kasturi. It looked like Hitler was coming down with his soldiers to throw us in to the gas chambers.

Siddaraju called me and Naresh to the center of the corridor as other students looked on from their classrooms. He asked me “who wrote it?”. Even before I could answer me he gave me a tight slap. I felt like a iron rod fell on my face as I turned around 180 degrees. Even before I could realize what happened he gave me another slap on my other cheek. My head was completely dizzy as other students looked on in complete silence. I just leaned against the wall until I regained my senses.

Next was Naresh turn as he got slapped twice just like me. Nandish was spared as everybody knew he was just at the wrong place with the wrong guys.

The Principal then ordered her peon to open the classroom as I and Naresh were marched inside the classroom with the rest of the lecturers. We both still denied that we had written it. The principal now fuming with anger threatened that if we didn’t accept our mistake, she would inform the police and make sure we are rusticated from the college. But I and Naresh still kept saying that we didn’t do it.

Devaraju entered the class and without even looking at the board even once started saying that he is 100% sure that it is my work. I was thinking ”Hell man, at least look at the board once before you give me the credit”.

At this point the arts department lecturer took me and Naresh to a corner and said “Look, if you have done it, accept it. Else she will blow this issue out of proportion. Just accept it, get punished and finish this issue right here”. I looked at Naresh face and then accepted that we had done it.

The principal took out a bamboo stick and started whacking me and Naresh left and right. I didn’t know which was more painful, the bamboo stick beatings or the embarrassment. The principal also hit Nandish saying that in future he should never mingle with us. 

The principal asked me to take out my hand kerchief and wipe the board clean. They then left not before throwing some more curses and abuses at me and Naresh. Finally our classmates were allowed to enter and our classes began.

“Lucky for me that I didn’t make you the college leader” the principal fumed as she left.

I remember I sat in my bench the whole day with my head bent down. Many of my friends from other class came during the break to cheer me up saying that all these incidents do happen and that now I am a college hero but the embarrassment was so much that I just kept quite.

After we were done for the day I just walked back to home quietly, kept my bag in my room, put up a smiling face in front of my mother and wept profusely in the bathroom. I didn’t know why I was crying. Was it because I was forced into this college, was it because of all the troubles I got into in the last 2 years or was it because now I was scared that there were more trouble to come. But all the time Kasturi’s face kept coming in my mind as she kept laughing like Mogambo at me. My heart started to fill with vengeance. I swore on the tap, mug and bucket in the bathroom that I would have my vengeance in the worst possible way.
But still the embarrassment was so much that in the coming weeks, I would just sit in the class and didn’t even go out for breaks. Kasturi would give us a taunting smile at us in her classes indicating how she had screwed us. We started going to the highpoint regularly every evening as Naresh and others would keep cracking jokes there while I kept hatching multiple plans in my mind to teach Kasturi a lesson for her life.

Once when we were seated at the highpoint and enjoying some smokes, we saw Devaraju walking down the college road with some people. Lijesh who was high now asked if we wanted him to throw a stone and break Devaraju’s head. But Naresh kept looking “Those people with Devaraju look familiar”. I looked at them but couldn’t recognize. Naresh all of a sudden ”That looks like.. Oh my god.. That’s my father. When did he come down here from my native? And that’s my brother-in-law. Shit, I am dead. I am gone. I don’t want to go home”. I consoled Naresh saying that he has to face this and there is no way he can escape. With a heavy heart Naresh said bye to me as he entered his home.

Next morning I saw Naresh was waiting for me near his home. As soon as he saw me told me to move and not wait for him and that he would explain everything in the college. I was waiting eagerly for him to know what had happened at his home. Naresh entered the classroom and sat next to me and didn’t speak a word for an hour. After that slowly he started to narrate how his father had actually cried in front of him saying that he is so sorry to have a son like him. His father was also told by Kasturi that a guy called Ponnappa had actually spoiled him. His father had asked him to stay away from me. I was so shocked wondering that everything came on me now. I am the guy who is spoiling everyone around here. This further fueled the fire inside my belly for revenge.

Naresh said ”All this is because of that Kasturi. I will set her house on her fire. I will stone her to death”. I asked Naresh to control his volume as his voice could be heard by our classmates. I told him that we have to wait for the right opportunity.
Kasturi had indeed drawn first blood.

VENGEANCE IS MINE
Our college was selected to host the annual district level competitions which meant that students from different colleges across the district would participate in various competitions like art, singing, mono acting etc. Kasturi was made in-charge of the complete programme. Lijesh was also participating in mono-acting competition.

The night before the competition I lay in my bed thinking what I could do to spoil the competitions tomorrow and get a bad name for Kasturi. My heart wished that I could throw a bomb at her. “Bomb!! Yeah bomb. That’s exactly what I am going to do!!”. An idea had occurred to me.

I quietly tip toed out of my room to the pooja room making sure I didn’t wake up my mother and got a packet full of Agarbathi’s (fragrance sticks). I had lot of fire crackers in my room which were leftover of Diwali festival. The plan was to make time-bombs. I spent half the night tying up crackers to the bottom end of the agarbathi. The idea was to keep the agarbathi wherever we want the fire cracker to explode and lit the agarbathi. The agarbathi would take at least 5 minutes to burn and reach the bottom thereby triggering the fire cracker. Thus I call it time-bomb.

I got up early in the morning like a man on a mission. There was a smile on my face and a determination to do something today. I had a goal to achieve today; I had to get my vengeance.

I carefully packed all those time bombs inside my bag and left for the college. Upon reaching the college, I quickly explained my plan to my band of boys. Surprisingly most of classmates offered their support to me saying that Kasturi ought to be taught a lesson. Only I, Naresh, Lijesh would place the bombs in different locations inside the college whereas the others would mingle with other students here and there and keep their eyes and ears open for any information if we had to abort our mission. We band of boys looked like a bunch of brave Indians soldiers planning to sneak in to Pakistan and kill Dawood Ibrahim.

The chief guests for the function were some dignitaries from our town as well the district level educational officer. Kasturi was busy with the arrangements ordering her followers of ass licking boys to run errands. The stage for the function was set inside the Gokhale hall (Auditorium).

As we were surveying the college looking for suitable locations to blast our time-bombs, there was a commotion near the Gokhale hall. We ran near the hall and saw the educational officer himself slapping couple of arts students. I enquired with some of my friends as to what had happened and they told me that those arts students were playing WWF inside their classroom breaking some benches. Upon hearing those noises the educational officer himself ran near the class and caught then red hand and ended up slapping some of them looking at the damage they had done.

I told my group that this was good for our mission as now everybody will suspect the arts students behind the time-bombs.

Initially we placed some bombs near the college compound with their blast sound echoing throughout the college. Then slowly we started blasting around the buildings, inside empty classrooms, labs etc. I saw Kasturi had a worried look on her face and so did the other lecturers. We continued blasting the bombs till lunch. Then I told Lijesh and Naresh that we should make an impact before going for lunch.

Lijesh said that he knows the exact place and asked us to be the near the gate while he completes his mission.

After 5 minutes he met us near the gate and asked us to just wait for 5 more minutes. Lo and behold within 5 minutes the time-bomb went off with a thundering sound and lots of girls screaming near the ladies rest room. I looked at Lijesh and he said “Yes, I put it in the girl’s rest room”. I saw Nanaiah, Kasturi and a host of other lecturers running to console the girls. The word had spread that the educational officer was very upset with what was happening in our college. Our mission till now was successful but I was not done yet.

We returned from lunch and continued with the bombs here and there. Pretty soon the lecturers gave up since they couldn’t find who was behind this and quietly continued with their competitions.

There was one hour left for the competitions to come to an end. I gathered my band of boys and said that now we will do the impossible.

And what is that?” asked Lijesh.

“I will place the last time-bomb inside the Gokhale hall” I said.

“What!!!!” Everyone said in chorus.

“Yes, that’s what I am going to do and I need you guys to help me.” I said.

To my surprise everyone was up for the challenge.

I asked Lijesh to take everyone along with him and stand around the lecturers pretending to enquire about the competitions thereby blocking their view. At the same time both I and Pradeep will place the bomb in the last bench in the hall.

As planned Lijesh and the rest of the guys went and stood around the lecturers enquiring about the mono-acting finals timing and I and Pradeep went and sat quietly in the last bench. After 1 or 2 minutes I slowly took out the time-bomb and fixed it at one end of the bench and lit it. Slowly we both got up and were walking out of the hall when I saw some girls occupy the same bench.

“What now?” asked Pradeep.

“When the mission is big, some sacrifices have to be made!!!” I said.

We signaled the others to come out and all of us sat outside the hall in full view of lecturers as innocent bunch of children.

BOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A deafening sound came out of the Gokhale hall. Most of the students ran towards the hall. I saw the girls who sat on that bench shivering and shit scared while smoke came from one end of the bench. Lecturers looked on stunned as they couldn’t believe that somebody had the guts to blast a fire cracker inside the hall. And as for Kasturi, she was almost in tears.
The educational officer got up from his seat and gave an earful to Kasturi and other lecturers, saying that the students are behaving in such a manner because their lecturers are weak and clueless.

That was one moment I was waiting for. I wanted to see somebody humiliate Kasturi in front of the whole college like she had done to me. I had my vengeance.

Nanaiah came and ordered all the boys to get out of the campus and the rest of the function would go on with just the girls inside.

We walked towards our highpoint with some bakery stuff to enjoy. We sat there like kings overlooking our Madikeri town as our kingdom. Madikeri looked very beautiful that day to me.

Later we came to know that due to the fire cracker incident, the district level competitions for the next year would be held at a different location.

We had our exams in the month of March and apart from me and Rohit, rest of the guys had flunked.

And out of 24 girls only 11 managed to clear the exams.

Our college got the lowest pass percentage for that year in the whole of the district.

2013 – At present
Lijesh is happily married, has a child and runs his own furniture showroom in Bangalore.

Naresh got married recently and works as a software engineer in I-GATE.

Prasanna is also married and works as an engineer.

Ashfan is happily married and works as a break inspector in RTO of state government of Karnataka.

Pradeep is also married and works as a technical trainer in Chevrolet.

Raghavendra is married and works in a bank
.
Naresh still doesn’t like to talk about his brother Nandish.

Even though it’s been more than a decade now, every incident is still fresh in my mind bringing a smile on my face every now and then.
 Pic from 2007
From Left - Naresh, Raghavendra, Ponnappa, Ashfan, Lijesh & Prasanna.

11 comments:

  1. wow it was so much thrilling bro a perfect vengeance.............................awesome

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  2. very nicely written, kept me hooked till the end. I knew this notorious ponnappa so can imagine ur plight :) neverthe less for your mown mistake. Typical madikeri boys :) i wish we had better overview and exposure of academics then.

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  3. Oh god what a Vengeance, this was done 15 years back?? U should have been a film director dude only you get such ideas. Loved the second part equally. Keep writing

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  4. Mast reaction Ponnappa, great creative thought you had and have.

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  5. Oh my god! This reads exactly like a movie script! I can imagine the kings of Madikeri looking over the town at the end of the episode, along with the music hahaah!

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  6. hahahahahahahah hehehehehehe sooper plans kudos to u and ur friends

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  7. Keep it going Ponnappa..
    I would love if you can write a blog about places in and around Coorg..
    I am sure.. that will help many and can even go viral(I mean sharing ur blog)

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  8. and when you can narrate a story so well.. why not a short movie(of course no producer required)...

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    1. Thanks Raju.. About Coorg I have been thinking of writing a travelers guide but need to visit each n every place in Coorg before I start writing about it...:)

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  9. dude its just awesome writing.... awesome narration....

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  10. You have a great blog. I have nominated you for the versatile blogger award. Collect your award here. http://theconchblower.blogspot.in/2013/11/versatile-blogger-award.html

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