Monday, September 17, 2007

The Man - The Monkey (1987)

My good friend Vivek got married last 13th and I went to Kerala to attend his wedding. Seeing him brought back memories of incredibly stupid antics from our childhood. This one surely takes the cake.

A bright and sunny day was spoilt by an unfair and malicious detention served cruelly on me for the trivial affair of lightly touching Laxmi on her shins. I argued my case convincingly and Sister Freda, sagely old soul that she is, accepted my explanation right away. However, she needed to work on her spellings and I could not refuse her stirring plea for help. I wrote "I wont kick girls again" three hundred times. Lunchtime was almost over by the time I taught sister to spell that and I rushed off in search of Laxmi to demonstrate the difference between a 'touch' and a 'kick' on the shins. Now Laxmi was a shade touchy about physical demonstrations and I wasn't sure she wouldn't have her friends around her to prevent me from my supreme duty of enlightening the less fortunate. I therefore when in search of my trusty aide who would handle the crowd while I do the tutoring. That was Vivek. I found him deep in thought looking down the parapet of the top floor of a two storied building.

Me: "Hey Vivek". Get over here, I need your help with something".
Vivek: "Hey Nishant, I bet you cannot stand on the top of this railing for a minute without falling?"

I forgot all about laxmi. Mentoring and tutoring was all fine, but this was the sort of challenge that a knight in shining armour could never back away from. You know the knight I'm talking about, he's the one who resides in 7 year olds and blocks out all reason when they need it most. The cry echoed through the corridors of my empty head .. Nishant is up to it. I ran up and on the railing in a jiffy, beaming down at the expression of shock and awe on Vivek's face. And then I looked at the other side. The drop was a good 30 feet which explained why Vivek wasn't on the railing with me. For about ten seconds I was frozen. Then a crowd gathered and started to cheer. My mojo returned and soon I was whistling a merry tune waiting the final seconds out. All of a sudden a shout "sister Freda is coming". Grateful as she would surely be to me for teaching her to spell, I still felt sure she would not appreciate this open display of shared ancestry with monkeys. And so I jumped. All would have been well if I had been facing Vivek, but as luck would have it, I was facing the outside of the building. Things happened real fast. A tree came up and I grabbed its branches, continued to hang from it and that's how Sister found me. She thought I had climbed the tree and hung from the branch and was preparing to walk off with just a frown and a sharp word. By my old nemesis Laxmi was in the crowd. This was her chance to escape from my unsolicited tutoring and she grabbed it. "Sister Freda, Sister Freda .. Nishant jumped from the top floor". I think mom broke her cane thrashing me that day.