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March 01, 2006

A page from my teenage...


I was asked which college I was in by people when I was 13 years old and studying in 8th standard at school. I hated it. I hated that I had breasts. I hated that the school belt I had to wear had to be set in the maximum for me to wear it. If not for Kavitha and Ratnamala, I would have been the fattest in my class. I was good at dancing and sports, so that was a relief. But in a small town, a girl going by bicycle to school which was 4 kms away was like asking for trouble. I asked for my share too. I had to cross a rickshaw stand amidst vulgar comments passed by the rickshaw wallas who dropped me at school when I was younger. I had to pass a cinema hall. The housing unit where sometimes my classmates joined me when I did nt have to go early for my Hindi class. Lots of puncture shops where I stood sometimes and waited for the guy to fix my cycle tyre amidst stares. A roundabout where I had to get down from the cycle, cross and then ride again as per my fathers instructions. Then at last the safety of my school compound. Safe only from the men, that is. Girls can be very cruel in their own way. I was always caught between two groups and used as a spy by both the groups. I never had the same best friend in the 3 years I studied in that school. I made it up later in high school and college. If not, I would have died of shame. Thanks Vee and Pam. Even then, my whole family says that my sis has such nice friends and poor Boo, who has nobody. The scoundrels!

So one day, a boy probably a year or two older than me, who I knew lived in my street, followed me in his cycle. He tried to talk to me but I always speeded up when he came near and almost peed in my pants in the process. This kept happening for a week and then I gathered courage and told my sis. She was quite surprised and asked at what time he followed me. I told her that it was mostly in the mornings and sometimes in the evenings. Then she confessed that the same guy has been following her mostly in the evenings. (She went to a different school.) Never the one to let me have my own limelight. We had to share even the stalking! This went for a few more days and I got paranoid and did nt go to school faking stomachaches. I am not sure what I was so scared about. Probably, girls-only-schools do this to you but I was terrified. So one rotten day, I blurted out to my dad. I regret it till this day. I plead temporary insanity. I was young. I did nt know what to do. My father was my hero. I did nt know being my hero, he has to be a villain to some poor, harmless guy. (I know that only now.) He and his friend beat the shit out of him and got a letter signed by him saying that he will never ever go near any girl ever again. I was guilt ridden for months after that episode and blamed my sister for everything and for not having warned me on what to expect. The worst thing is that I came across the poor guy a lot of times after that and felt really bad for him. If I had any filmy bone in my body, I would have even ended up loving him and ran away with him. But probably God was with him on this one and he escaped unscathed this time.

Few years after that, we had gone to Kodaikanal as a big group and as fate would have it, we had another cycle episode yet again. My sister and I were cycling around the lake and our dad and his friends were coming behind us at a distance. A boy without having done his homework on stalking started following my sis and me and asked our names. That’s all he did. Poor fellow, he did nt know what hit him next. My dad and the other goons pounced upon him. My sis and I did nt stay there to see what happened. But there was no confession letter this time, so it should nt ve been very bad. The goons shared their war stories and my sis and I went guilt ridden yet again. After we went to college, my sis and I warned our respective guy pals about their fate if they were to call/visit/write to us. Of course they all thought that we were exaggerating.


The Man fakes selective amnesia and with the father-of-all-denials that he has, it’s hard to talk to him. But last year I told HD these stories. On one occasion, the topic came up when my dad was present and HD asked my dad, "Was nt it wrong what you did to the poor boy in Kodaikanal?" My dad feigned ignorance. Then HD said something I am really, really proud of. He said, "Appa, I am the young boy whom you hit and I hunted down your family to marry your daughter for revenge". The expression on my dads face was absolutely priceless.

8 comments:

S... said...

Scary thoughts!
Loved the punch at the last para! Was laughing out loud!

A.G.Sudarshan said...

Wow...

Some impact that incident had on HD.. :)

anantha said...

lol.. HD's mah man!

(P.S: I have you on my bloglines these days :D )

B o o said...

s - thanx.

AGS - impact on HD? more on my dad I would hope! :)

anti - I just learnt what a blogline is and voila! you are on mine! Thanks! :) *Technology has imbroved sooooo much ha?*

Deepti said...

ROTFL!! :) :) The last statement by HD was the icing on the cake!! But yeah... it can get really scary to be followed that way!! I've signed on too for blanknoiseproject's blog-a-thon!

joy said...

lol..well narrated:)

sdRay said...

My name is Ray and I just started a new blog about prayers of confession. Its a place where you can chat about prayers of confession confidentially. I hope you will come and check out www.MySecretConfessionSpace.com. Thanks for letting me post on your site.

Akila said...

Hey boo, lately your blog has become my one-stop shop for all my entertainment needs! Simply had to leave a comment after that last repartee by your HD - LOL really. You write very well. I'll leave it at that because I'd like to think I'm part of anti-hype campaign.
Btw - dunno if you remember me. we've met. I'm R's (of STAR) friend, I used to work with her. We met at her wedding.