Monday, December 17, 2007

The Foolish and the Wicked

Fuzzy tagged me to be wicked. Somerset Maugham once said – A woman may be as wicked as she likes, but if she isn’t pretty, it won’t do her much good. To give a brief history of my wickedness – I never did wicked things. N-e-v-e-r. (Go on. Infer what you may about my prettiness from that). There were a few incidents when as a kid, I would scream bloody murder BEFORE my kid brother pushed/hit/pulled my hair, but that was done in anticipatory self-defense. No wickedness there. In school, I was the model student everybody loves to hate. Sat on the first bench, was always in the top three of my class, well-behaved, polite. Did I say I have never done anything wicked? Ok. I am going to let you in on a little, little secret. Now turn around and make sure nobody is reading over your shoulder.

It all started when I was in the tenth standard. Our class of 22 had discipline issues and the faculty, to disrupt the unruliness, decided to assign seats to us. In boy-girl pairs. In tenth standard. Can you imagine the horror? I was assigned the first bench (yeah, what were these teachers thinking? I would sit on the first bench, as is) and my bench mate was my contender of sorts. He always topped the class and I always came in second. He was insufferable. And boring and Mr.goody-two-pants. And mean. And he would refuse to share his texts if I forgot mine at home. I requested many, many times to our class teacher that I be assigned a different seat. But she would not hear of it and would not give me a reason why. Now, our class teacher taught us physics and how unimaginatively. Her post-recess drone would lull what could have been many brilliant physicists to deep sleep. Her explanation of the theories appeared to be so rehearsed and dished out of rote memory that it seemed instead of speaking words conversationally; she was printing complex sentences replete with semicolons and commas right out of her mouth.

So, on one such oppressing hot, humid afternoon, the ceiling fan in the tenth standard classroom hummed listlessly. Some of the class was already nodding into their post-lunch physics siesta. The air outside the window was abuzz with restless flies circling around looking for something to sit on. Somewhere in a distance, a lonely crow crowed. And two pigeons responded with nervous chatter. A school girl grunted on the field, playing hockey and the PT teacher whistled to halt. Amidst all this, our physics teacher droned on, not caring if our young, impressionable minds grasped how a light wave alters its phase velocity when entering water. And just then, the monotony was punctuated. The principal had walked to our classroom and was standing at the door. She beckoned the physics teacher over. Usually these interruptions lasted no more than a minute, but this appeared to be taking longer than usual. The two women moved away to cover their conversation from snooping ears. Seeing the teacher was away, the class broke out in a joyous cheer. Paper airplanes and spitballs filled the air. Boys jostled with each other and the girls gossiped. In the middle of this mayhem, something struck me about the way our physics teacher taught. She must be hiding long, handwritten notes in her notebook, I thought to myself. I leaned across the bench to take a peek under the textbook. They were no notes, but something better, something even bigger. There was a whole study guide hidden under the physics book. So that’s what she did! Simply read out explanations from the study guide. I felt so elated at having discovered her secret and felt so cheated at the same time, I did the unthinkable. I leaned and turned the study guide the wrong way under the text book. A few minutes later, she returned and picked up the book(s). Seeing the guide was upside down, she turned the book(s) thinking she had picked them up the wrong way and started to read from where she had left off. But, now, unknown to her, the physics book on the outside was turned upside down and while she read passages from the study guide held correctly underneath, and the whole class realized what had happened. Suddenly, the physics period had gotten a whole lot interesting. And in the next quarter of an hour, the not-so-bored-anymore fifteen year olds pelted her with questions and ask for explanations again and again. She was pleased that the class was beginning to warm up to her; little did she know it was for all the wrong reasons!

20 comments:

GettingThereNow said...

All I can manage to say after reading this is -

He he he he...

Let me come back after I have let it out of my system :D

noon said...

Awesome post! More than your wickedness - which hardly it is - the way you had described the classroom was lovely!

mnamma said...

LOL! My god that was wickedest!Wonderfully written Dotmom! It was as if I was there hearing the ceiling fan and the Physics teacher droning on! Kudos to you. And What a yummlicious cake in the previous post! Please post the recipe on DMC :)

Preethi said...

well written... and now you inspire me to write a few such tales of my own.. hardly wicked.. but very naughty !!! :P

choxbox said...

*applause*

LOL at the boy-girl pairing thing! it was the worst possible punishment if you were assigned a seat (albeit temporarily) in the boys side of the classroom and vice versa!

rayshma said...

u're an early starter! hehehe.. kewl! u're making me feel a li'l less wicked now! hehe..
p.s.: may i blog-roll u plz? currently, i hop over from fuzzy's. :)

Moppet's Mom said...

LOL! I can relate - I've been tagged for this too, and it's hard to come up with examples of real wickedness...really, I was such an angel! ;-)

Anitha(Nikki's mom) said...

Do you call this wicked? this is just naughty. And did I tell you you write so well? really soooooooooooooo wellllllllllll.

Fuzzylogic said...

LOL!see I knew there was a teeny tiny spark of wickedness there:)I bet you were the cool geek of the class:)I loved the narration.

Suki said...

OMG - wow! She was that bad?

We had a Physics teacher(why always Physics, huh?) who would be completely in dithers without two little yellow exercise books she gave us sums from. We thought of stealing them a lot of times, but sadly no one has managed it yet :P.

Kowsalya Subramanian said...

Wow.. that was some quick thinking and did the teacher ever knew that the physics book was upside down - I am imagining the look on the teacher's face after knowing it :) :) [Aah.. see you are making me more wicked..]

SUR NOTES said...

felt like i was sitting in class, right behind you!

just when i hoped to move away from the blogging world, getting hooked to yours!

dipali said...

Methinks the teacher was 'wickeder' than you were! Great narrative style, Dotmom:)

Poppins said...

LOL. Wicked ! Good one.

Ananva said...

Have been lurking here recently. Hope you don't mind...You write really well!

DotMom said...

GTN: are you done, are you done? :)

noon: thanks, girl :)

mnamma: can't believed I ended up liking physics after 'her'. will post recipe, pinkie-promise.

preethi: please do write.. can't wait to read nostalgia from you!

choxbox: such silly things we were, weren't we? girls today will think of these as opportunities :)

rayshma: you need permission to blogroll me? GOSH. yeah. Will add you too.

Moppet's Mom: see.. I should design an angel badge for us :)

Anitha: yeah.. I was terrible.. but thanks!

Suki: good question! someone shuld have posed a dare!

kowsalya: the teacher was umm not too bright. she never did realize.. can you believe it?

SUR: I hopped over to your blog yesterday.. please change your mind and stay. you possibley can't have said everything you need to say. come on now!

dipali: hahaha. she was both :D thanks dipali, waiting for more travel tales.

poppins: shall I tag you?

Ananva: what a lovely name! Hello, you. thanks for delurking. and thanks for the kind words!

ddmom said...

That was wicked!! Did the teacher ever find out why you'll suddenly became so studious?

Sheela said...

It seemed like you were describing my 8th standard experience! Loved the way you wrote about those afternoon Science and Math classes... I used to yearn for "Library" and "PT" classes in the afternoons just so I don't snooze conspicuously in the first bench...

karmickids said...

Lovely. Lovely. Simply lovely.
And congrats on the 100th post, and Douglas Adams speaks for all of us. I sometimes feel the Matrix scenario could actually be very real. Or that we are gene pool experiments for a race of aliens. Yes. I am quite nutters.

Usha said...

heheheh..and exposing a dumb teacher is the noblest act known to mankind - now tell us something wicked about yourself! :)