November 13, 2012

Dhoom macha le

Today is Diwali and I'm glad my office is not closed. Hate being alone when everyone else is celebrating. Ummm, that's not the point of this post. I was speaking to a school-wala friend a few days ago and he reminded me how he and I were behind a huge, loud, principal-agitating, student-exhilarating *BOOOOOOMMM* during a morning assembly when we were in class XII. Ah, the sweet memories.

It's baffling that I had forgotten this great deed of mine. Usually, I don't forget a thing, have a razor-sharp memory (which freaks people out, by the way). Until the final year of my college life, I had been nursing the deep regret that I could never muster courage to do BOOM-BADAAM in school. This just goes on to show how modest I am; did an act of bravery and forgot about it as if it never happened. It was when my friend reminded me about it that I realised that modesty, like greatness, is inherent in me. You see, it wasn't immediately that I could recall that I had indeed lit the fuse of the bomb that made the principal blast. My friend had to narrate how he and I had come early that day—with agarbatti, matchstick and a couple of bombs—had gone to the toilet, peeled the paper off the fuse, attached it to the incense stick, lit it and came out with the most innocent expression on our face.

After the morning assembly started, off went the Sivakasi product: *BBOOOOOOOOOMMMMM*. What happened next was so gratifying. The bomb was pretty loud. And that it went off in a small, concrete enclosure ensured that echo added to the sound. A wry smile crept on our faces—my friend's and mine. The collective (appreciative) gasp of the students and the anger on the principal's face told us that we had achieved what we had set out to achieve. We felt proud and content. We felt complete. At peace. A deep sense of satisfaction descended upon us. Now, we were something. No one knew who did it, but there was respect in the air from the students for whoever had done that. Respect. I could smell it. It was wafting, just like the baarood. We were basking in anonymous glory. I am grateful that God let me do this.

What's even better is that our principal thought (he was convinced) that one of our juniors was the one who did it. That guy was notorious for being notorious. The principal kept grilling him for quite a few days. He would tell that guy that he knew it was him and he would not rest unless he got proof. The princi made the guy's life miserable. (That chap is not so innocent; he was behind some other blast.)

Hahaha... I  remember how the principal went ballistic about the blasts. One morning, after we did the routine prayer and took the oath that "all Indians are my brothers and sisters", the principal took the mic. "You people are terrorists! School me bomb phodta hai... Yeh sab kya hai, bhai!" Oh, the anguish-to-melancholy shift in his tone was such a delight!

Oops! I Did it Again
Despite having achieved so much, until the final year of my college, I lived with the inferiority complex of never phodoing a bomb in school. Just because I had forgotten. But it has its own benefits. When I perpetrated the 'terrorist attacks' in my college, I believed that these were my first. Felt the first-time-thrill all over again.

In the third year of my BBA at IMS, Dehradun, we were shifted to a new building. I was behind quite a few blasts, did it with friends. One of the bombs was so strong that it shattered a portion of the commode! Hahaha... And then all the guys who had classes in that building had to cough up a fine of Rs200. Yes, IMSians, I was behind it. Wait! I was behind at least one blast, if not more, in the old building too. When the loudest of those bombs went off, my partner-in-crime and I were crossing the corridor of our juniors. Both of us felt that the juniors could tell from our face that we were the bombers. Maybe our countenance was screaming "WOOOHOOOOO!!" even though we maintained a straight face. Rebel streak has a way of getting noticed.

Last year, I was thinking if it would be a good idea to phodo a bomb in the office toilet, but decided against it. Plus, I've nothing left to prove. This Diwali, I thought aaj kuch toofaani karte hain. I took a bath.

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