Chapter 2: Keep your friends close
I still remember when we used to run down the corridors of junior school. And that too for not any particular reason as such. It was in Class 3 we really began to get a hold on our handwriting. Some did a lot of “Cursive Writing” while others just copied it. And Mental Mathematics would make us all go mental. It was in this year that saw the downfall of many peeps. The ones who used to be extra brilliant just faded away in the shadows of newer chaps.
The year opened with a new hope, but then soon saw everyone so preoccupied with something or the other that every single guy was on his own. Friendships started to break and drift in opposing directions. Yeah, peeps started to hide under their caliginous selves. Everyone became the cynosure for themselves. But then in all this shit, there were guys who grouped together. Who can forget those games we played near the football net adjacent to the junior school building. Robber and Police, Dollar, and then expeditions to the “mysterious villa” in the school compound, it was fun.
Then there was this special elite group called Ranger Crown Cap Collectors aka RCC. It took me about some 2 to 3 weeks to find out what they did, but then I soon found out where those Cola bottle caps from the Canteen were going. Yeah, there was a bag filled with such “Crown Caps” on a tree near the Tennis court. After a few bottles of Cola, and after them finding out that I too have cracked their “Precious Secret”, I was inducted into the RCC. I saw organization and building of a new mafia under the RCC. John and his goons, which included SP, MY, Shemban and other high rollers, as I remember, was the first secret club we ever had. Since I was not a founding member, and my membership was their liability, I had no jurisdiction over anything. It was like I had to spy on the whole Mafia so that I stay up to date. But then it was fun. We all found some kind of satisfaction with that. Soon the RCC’s operations started to imbricate and some of us started to feel less felicitous. In a year, almost half the class got to know about the RCC, and so the Organization fell the very next year. Such diffusion was also due to the amount of Math class work we had that year. We all had to finish various sets of sums by Lunch break, and at the end of it, The Class Leader chap had to submit each and every book to the Teacher. Those four years were the best in school. So much happened everyday that no one cared to keep an account nor did anyone remember everything by detail.
Class 3 and 4 saw my old friends distancing from me. Karadi and I started fighting mainly because of our mutual friends. There was enough tension created for such a fight, and if we hadn’t then everyone would see us as guys who are mentally disturbed. It is a very different fact that we became friends later on, but this, I still feel it was rather a lil too late. Every single guy set out on a mission. To prove your dear friend wrong, by all means. But that was all old stuff. In those two years, with that entire CC incident, and we changing places in class, I found two new friends: Nick and SP.
Nick was like this diehard perfectionist. Somehow whatever he did, he did it with perfection. Even his handwriting was like that. Since I never had a hand writing font or style on my own, for a whole month, I copied his fancy left-slanting handwriting. I had to sit with him for two terms and so we became kinda good friends. He used to call me “Neytholi” and I called him “Choole”. Then there was SP. He was this chap with biiiggg glasses and a ‘JK White Cement’ complexion. He looked like a Buji, an exact Buji from a distance. A “Dexter” from all perspective, except for the fact that he never had a secret Laboratory under his house, but this guy always used to think different from the pack. He used to read a lot and was like the central attraction in the Youth Festivals We met through CC Mafia, and soon we found ourselves talking about everything from sketching vehicles to Owls. We still are very good friends. He is one of my very best friends and he’ll remain to be so, I hope. There were other incidents too. Everyone remembers the “Junglee” Card incident, doncha? For all those who don’t remember, its better you all don’t recall.
That year, we all started to play Football. Yeah the whole class was into soccer. There was this Shemban’s team, and the other side ArjuNarr’s team. Both sides were packed with talent. There was Brittoli, and then Karooly, ArjunZee, and so many ace soccer maniacs. But soon many found the soccer politics too disgusting, that they quit. So, as the seniors of the block, with very little academics and a whole lot of fun, Class 4 ended. And then we realized…Junior School was over!
to be continued…