I don’t remember much of my kindergarten days except that I used to get bullied by a girl of my age who used to snatch away my lunch and I couldn’t but just complain it to my mother on getting back home. She was a neighbor .
Then there was this accident when I was watching children play on a swing and as it was approaching me , some two-bit asshat pushed me from behind on cue which got me a long deep cut on my chin . Next thing I remember , I was lying in a hospital bed with a big white santa beard like cotton wad sticking to my face all the way from the left to the right ear . The doctor offered me a chocolate as a reward.
We left the city to move with my army personnel father to the city Patna , which awaited my first crush (at the age of 6).
CHAPTER-2 : TUK
Before getting my ass into the first grade , I had to take an year of U.K.G. ,which was fraught with poop-shows and pee-shows .The school was pretty nice (Army Schools are supposed to be) . At the time of enrollment , the principal’s register couldn’t fit my full name in it so he struck off ‘chandra’ from the middle and what remained of it was – Neelesh Chandola , a name sounding as mighty as Thor spanking bison butts with his hammer. And then he too offered me a chocolate to which my reflex arc responded at the speed of light and I reached my left hand out , and he handed it to me after handing a piece of his mind about how I should always accept things with the right hand.
The first day at first grade was poop-free . My class was supposed to be I-B (roman numeral I ) , and since I didn’t have the faintest idea what that was , I was simply told to look for the classroom that read “IB” BUT !! it turned out I was missing the whole point . All this while , I had apprehended it to be “ib” ( How could I have possibly known they were talking in uppercase )
The search ended with some samaritan leading me to my classroom . When the day ended , I was all the way gleeful ,though I knew this wasn’t a one-day affair , same story on the morrow , but still , CARPE DIEM !
It took me a few days to learn things about my classmates , their names and shit . Most (read all) of us there were children of army personnel or rather “Army Brats/fauji brats” ,as we call ourselves.
…AND THEN , there was Oh! This Girl… , I-somehow-don’t-know-her-name so let’s just call her TUK. (TUK=the un-known. )
TUK was , hands down , the prettiest girl in the class. She was white as fog , her face round with mahogany hair in a hime-cut style that just made me want to poop a lot lesser than what I was used to.
Patna was all about tobacco stains.
There were literally more tobacco stains than bird poop stains.
There were literally more tobacco stains than there are asteroids in the asteroid belt.
There were literally more tobacco stains than there were stars hovering over the city at night. The tobacco-stain-density on that piece of the earth was comparable to snake-density on Medusa’s head. Let us just say it was Charlie and the chocolate factory with me in Charlie’s stead and tobacco in chocolate’s stead.
As Time passed by , I came to be more and more accomplished at the things they taught , and went on to become a prodigy at ‘jalebi-races’ .I’ve never lost one (go figure).
Just so you know , a jalebi race is basically a race where you have your hands tethered behind and nedd to run to the other end and jump-grab the a suspended jalebi (that’s an Indian sweet dish) with your mouth alone .
more next time…