I was very good with numbers till I was 15. But when I completed my class 1o exams, I decided to major in computer Science for my higher secondary education. I neither had great love for computers nor did I want to become a computer engineer. Still I wanted to major in computer science for three reasons.
- I was very bad in drawing and if I had to major in Bio-Maths, I would have had to draw many Biological and zoological diagrams.
- By taking computer science elective, I could become a computer science whiz by becoming a world class programmer in cutting edge programming languages like BASIC, PASCAL ( Back in the year 1997, these were hi-5 programming languages indeed)
- I could also play mind boggling computer games like Skyroads, Prince of Persia,Dave and Super Mario. ( Some body would upload these games in the school computers via a floppy diskette). I learnt all the cheat codes in all these games.
I was one of the bright lads in my previous school. But in this new place, I was totally out of place. The only saving grace was my love for the subject Mathematics". I was very sure that I could blow away anyone with my number tricks. Shakuntala Devi's puzzles were solved in a jiffy. Yet I never knew the surprise that was waiting for me in this new school.The first week in the new school, all of us tried to garner attention by telling the best possible lies that we could tell our new classmates. I soon had a small crowd around me with my wits. The subjects that I had to encounter in the next two years were announced. They were
- Tamil ( Though I took Tamil as my second language, I was always found in the French class. The French ma'm was HOT)
- Chemistry ( This was one subject that I was very good at)
- Physics ( Though I did not have a great liking towards this subject, my dad's scientist cells were flowing in my veins)
- Computer Science ( Read it as computer games)
- Mathematics ( I was the guy to watch out for. I was very confident that there would be no one to beat me on this)
After the first week, the ice was broken and we had our own gangs. I wanted to sit in the last bench. But because of my short stature, I had to sit in the front row in class and as a result of which, I was always chosen by the teachers to rub the black board. I found it real hard to rub the top portion of the black board with a duster. Yet I managed it.
Arulanadham took special interest in my poor bum. He often tested the flexibility of his cane on my bum. On one occasion he caught me singing inside the class. He exercised his cane lashing skills on my bum and I found it hard to sit on the wooden bench for one whole week. Very soon, I developed an Arulandham-phobia. He had a very bad habit of making the students answer mathematical formulae and when they gave an incorrect answer, his cane would do the talking.
I still remember that Friday afternoon class. He suddenly asked me ," Chriz! Can you tell me what (a+b)^2 is?". His eyes were burning like red coals. He was flexing his cane too. I had a gulp in my throat. My mouth became dry and the mathematical genius in me committed an instant suicide. "Can't you even tell the answer of a simple formula?". I still did not answer. The cane played music on my bum. The girls in the class saw it. They enjoyed it too, because I was the only MALE CHAUVINISTIC PIG in the class.
My friend Prakash's butt was also pampered to glory. That day , we decided to take revenge on Arulandham sir. Prakash and I hatched a plan to flick Arulandham's cane. Without the cane, he would only be a half tyrant teacher. He was not effective with the other canes. The cane that he had was so special. It would bend like an elastic wand and when it comes in contact with our rear ends, we would hear jazz music in our ears.
Arulandham sir kept his cane on his bike. The cane was always tied to the side grip of the bike. I and Prakash went to Arulandham sir's house that night. It was 9 pm. The bike was parked in his front yard. Only the street light was on. His house was locked and the lights inside the house were switched off. I climbed the compound wall and jumped inside, ran to the bike, took the cane and jumped out of compound wall. It all happened in no time. Prakash was waiting outside on his bicycle. We escaped from the scene. Prakash cycled as fast as he could. Our hearts were pounding faster. But soon everything returned to normalcy. I was the most happiest boy in the planet. I broke the wooden cane into two and threw it in a dustbin. I had a peaceful weekend.
After the joyful weekend, I headed to school. During the morning assembly, the school principal (Mr. Williams) came forward to give an important announcement. "Chriz and Prakash are requested to come forward to the stage". I literally peed on my pants. When we walked to the stage, we were greeted by Arulandham Sir. He had a brand new cane in his hand. I heard unpleasant non stop music in my ears for ten minutes. At the end of the music session, i was lying on the floor. Prakash was also in a similar condition.
Moral : If the light inside the house is switched off, it is very difficult to spot people inside the house. But that doesn't mean that people inside the house cannot notice all that is going outside the house.
Latest News: I met Arulandham sir after 10 years. He still remembers the incident