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Monday, November 7, 2011

Homework

Selvam sat in his classroom looking out the widow. Two sparrows sitting on a branch of the mango tree in the playground were chirping playfully. The teacher was reading a passage from the Social Studies textbook. Nothing that happened around him interested Selvam. He was preoccupied with something that demanded his entire creative faculties. So, the sparrows and Social Studies had to wait.

The past two hours he had been thinking about what excuse he would give this time for not finishing his Tamil homework. Ms. Malini was a tough teacher and very adept at detecting lies. He remembered how Sudhakar goofed up a few days ago.

“Why didn't you finish your homework?” asked Ms. Malini.

“I was out of station this weekend,” said Sudhakar.

“Where did you go?”

“Bombay!”

“...and you returned over the weekend? In just one day?”

“Yes!”

“How did you go? Did you fly?”

“No. We went in my uncle's motorbike! It is a Bullet... very fast!”

Selvam hit his forehead with his palm. ‘The idiot doesn't even know how to lie... This is not going to be good!’

Ms. Malini rolled her eyes and grabbed Sudhakar by his ears. “So, you and your uncle made a trip to Bombay from Madras in his bike and returned in one day!”

The bell rang and Selvam came back to his senses.

‘There is not enough time. It is mathematics class now followed by recess and Ms. Malini will be here for the Tamil class! Think Selvam... think!’

‘Should I say that I lost my homework notebook? No, I have used that excuse already! She would only get mad that I am repeating the same stupid excuse... What if I say that I left my notebook at home? Selvam, come up with something original and believable... Some other idiot would give that excuse today! Should I say that my younger brother must have got my notebook mixed up with his by mistake? Nope... too dangerous! What if she asks me to go to his class and collect it? Oh the perils of having your sibling study in the same school...’

Ms. Jaya, the mathematics teacher was explaining mean, median, mode. Lies, damn lies and statistics!

Selvam's mind was grasping at straws helplessly as he drowned in the river of rejected ideas. I am doomed...

The vice-principal walked into the class and Ms. Jaya stopped her lesson. The two of them walked out of the classroom and discussed something softly. Ms. Jaya returned a minute later. She closed her textbook and asked all the children to gather their belongings and assemble in a single file, in the corridor outside the classroom.

“Children, we are closing the school now as we have received news that the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had been shot dead by her bodyguards. Public transport in the city is stopped. No buses are plying. We will be taking you to your homes in groups...” She continued explaining the logistics.

Selvam was not paying attention to any of that. The sparrows were still there on the tree branch, chirping merrily.

4 comments:

debajyotighosh said...

outstanding

Susan Deborah said...

Wow! Every child's dream. When in school, I always wanted someone to die so that we could get a holiday.

Simple yet very brilliant.

Bravo, Giri.

Missed you at the Indiblogger meet.

Joy always,
Susan

VPZ said...

Hahaha... Thats a really great post!...If you don't mind a lil criticism.. the prime minister shot dead was unexpected for school closure..

Great writing.

Do check out my own fiction of "Those 2 extra hours" at http://thatstwowords.blogspot.com

Great blog you got Giri

Jsslvng said...

I like it! The ending was completely unexpected and throughout I could not help but picture an ending of my own imagination. Also I have taken a few stats classes and have felt the same emotion "Lies, damn lies and statistics!" I would appreciate any comments or critiques as well.

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