Friday, 16 August 2013

3rd Period Hindi - Of Mother tongue and Scratchers

No one really liked the Hindi teacher. While hate would have been too strong a word, no one was exactly falling heads over heels to attend those classes.

For one, he was bloody annoying. And I mean ANNOYING! His voice was as high-pitched as some of our female primary teachers. He bore an uncanny resemblance to a toad, with his protruding gut, affinity to wear his trousers where his man-boobs ended, and slanting eyes that gave him the comic look of a squinting cartoon-toad, right before it shoots its tongue out to catch a fly. Incidentally, that was the look he wore most of the time in front of us. Well, I suppose we earned it.

Few of us chose to skip his period, by not showing up. But he soon fixed that by marching up to our morning assembly line and memorizing every face that was present that day. If we decided to do a no-show after that, we could count on him to send for the attendance register and scratch out the 'P' with a red 'A' adjacent to our names.

Of course, that slowed us down, even if not really put a stop. We would file out of the classroom at the slightest excuse. While I was more tolerant, some of my gal pals would leave at the slightest insult or cutting remark he passed. Me? I merely nodded and tried to suppress my laughter, all the while thinking of his resemblance to a Bufo bufo

He loved insulting us by dragging our parents names into our faults. "Maa Baap ne kuch nahi sikhaya? Yahi sab sikhaya hai? Yeh sab badmaashi karna, halla karna?"

We retaliated (Silently, of course) by whispering "Tereko aise chillana tera Maa Baap ne sikhaya hai?"

That was the first year we got him. By the second year, the mutual tolerance increased, but our mischievousness didn't. The first year we, the Science Students, were separated, but this year, we tied up with the Commerce Students.

The Commerce Students, though not as notorious as the Humanities ones, still made his life a great deal tougher than we Scientists could have ever managed by ourselves.

Let me present a typical day:

We Scientists usually reach the Commerce classroom at least ten minutes late. Reason? "Sir Chemistry ka class le rahe thei, ab hum thode na unke muh ke samne se nikal aa sakte hain?" (The Chemistry Teacher was still inside, we could have hardly left the classroom before him)

"Sirf Chemistry ka class hi important hai, hamara nahi?" (Is only Chemistry important? My subject isn't? Important pronounced like YIMPORTANT)

Class starts. The regular ones drop their heads down within minutes of his lecture. I occasionally make eye-contact, nod as required and day-dream about who's bringing what for lunch.

The floor starts to tremble, and for an instant, he's startled, alarmed even. Earthquake!

It doesn't take him long to figure out that it's the Commerce guys, stamping the floor artfully with their feet. Even I am fooled for a moment, they're that good at it. Though they do it for another couple of times, it gets old, even for Bufo bufo. 

It's not a new trick - putting your hand in your pocket and sneaking a scratch. When Bufo shoved his hand into his pockets for the first time, it was perfectly innocuous, as though he were feeling for something, perhaps something like keys. But seven times consecutively? Every time after the first he jammed his hand into the pocket, we burst into fits of giggles. I, in particular, was having a hard time controlling my tremor in my stomach that demanded to be let loose, especially the memory of my viva from last year came up. That made me even more giggly.

It was the final straw when one of the Scientists called out, "Oi sambhal kay, chill jayega!" (Careful, it's going to peel)

He didn't say it loud. He didn't have to; he was sitting only two or three rows away from the perpetrator. That did it for me. I banged my head against my desk in my haste to hide my laughter. I was unsuccessful, mostly. My whole body was shaking uncontrollably. I sneaked a look at him. Though he pretended to have to not heard, his cheeks had a red tinge to them. 

Which was pretty impressive, considering he was as tanned as the benches we were sitting on. 

Sorry. No racist angle meant. :P

1 comment:

  1. This one is hilarious. Wish I were also present in your classroom.