The First Lesson

The bell rang.

Ajay got up from his seat and  rushed ahead. Loud cheers and whistles greeted his ears as he doubled up.

The Principal would be on his rounds.

The old man was surprisingly fast and extremely stealthy.

For all you know, he could just be breathing into your back. He glanced around cautiously.

What make was his shoes? Ajay wondered.

Like a  royal beast of prey the class waited for its victim. Feet shuffled at a distance. Clearly the informers were preparing the cadres for the battle ahead.

Yesterday Ajay  had rushed to the classroom in spite of being weighed down by the two samosas.He had wanted to start his teaching career on a good note. What happened though was worse than a nightmare.

Ajay  knew that he was reasonably good looking.It amused him  when girls vied for his attention.

On festive occasions when he dressed in the traditional kasavu dhothi, there was always a chorus of oohs and aahs. Exaggeration…may be.

His heart though was set on that elusive damsel who buried her nose into books and romanced the pot bellied librarian.

Attitude or stupidity!

Fools indeed rush where angels fear to tread..One day he is going to confront her.

He stood outside the classroom for a fraction of a second and then stepped in.

In front of the class was the devil himself with a tie stuffed beneath his shirt to give the impression of the breasts  and a scale held below his belt suggesting you know what…

Devil 2,3 and 4 watched the  rainbow of colours on Ajay’s face with glee.

The girls giggled uncontrollably.

Human anatomy  had just got an altogether new interpretation for these 13 year olds.

Ajay’s  hand touched his beard nervously.  He  walked up to the little devil and thumped his back.  The rolled up tie fell from its place.

Good show, Nirul. Keep it up.

To the class he said, Yes the show is over, lets  do what we are here for.

He quickly got into the routine of classroom teaching. The title on the board, the date while kept his third eye open for any  stealth arms aimed at him,paper balls, chalk pieces or even some heavier stuff.

Corporal punishment was a big no, the old man had reminded him on the day of his induction. Ajay  too knew he could not sustain anger and  the posture of a tough taskmaster for long. How long can he pull off what he is not?

Unlike his corporate friends he had no bench time. He had to plunge ahead into icy waters and learn to swim. There was no other go.

What  happens to you is nobody’s business at school but what you do or don’t do is! He knew it well.

Ajay envied the magic of Sathish. All Sathish would do in a class room is to go in with a grumpy face,grab the chair and settle down to sleep. It is said that no one, not even the Devil D himself dared to disturb his sleep.

Well! such times will come for him too…

He  explained the concept using stories and anecdotes. He could feel that the class warming up to him. He felt relieved.

When the bell rang, he made some small talk and stepped out. A few of the students came out too. Surely, they have enjoyed the session or why would they want to know more about him.

Ajay smiled to himself.

The Devil D rushed past him, almost causing him to trip. Well, no need to be complacent yet….



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