Friday, January 11, 2008

Gunpun, Tathu And Balu Dog

'Tis the cold,miserable weather outside that's making me turn to warm memories for comfort. Hence this nostalgic post.

As a child, I'd like to think I was quite independently minded although, Lily Madam -- my LKG teacher -- phrased it a bit unflatteringly as "stubborn and sometimes moody". I don't think I liked my initial school years very much. Mom had taught me alphabets, numbers, colors, animals, nursery rhymes and what-not even before I went to school. And I found it very boring to sing "A B C D" all day in LKG when I knew how to do it quite well. And what was with all the classwork and homework stuff?

"Write A B CD 10 times"
"Write 1 to 100 10 times"

If I could write 1 to 100 correctly 1 time, what sense does it make to write it 10 times? So I refused to do this absolutely boring homework. I was very logical even when I was 3 and my teacher didn't see my genius. She made us write our homework in the calendar book so parents could monitor them. Because I was refusing to note it down in my calendar, Lily Madam did it herself. The next morning when my Dad came to drop me off at school, she promptly complained to him:

"Your daughter refuses to write her homework down in the calendar. So I do it for her now. And if I ask her to write the alphabets 5 times, she does it just one time! Please check her calendar at home and make sure she does it right."

Hmph. None listens to a 3 year old, anyway. So I was forced to actually do my homework with my mom watching me while I did it. She wouldn't let me play if I didn't finish HW right after school. So, I came up with an ingenious plan. If I had to write numbers from 1 to 100, I'd write 1 to 50 correctly. Then, I'd skip numbers in between. Like, I'd skip 53-59 and 71 to 75 etc...This way, no one could find out and everyone would be happy with their stupid homeworks. Hehehehe. Mom and Lily Madam would scan through the first few rows of numbers and the last few rows (I wouldn't blame them. It must be sooo boring to look at the same numbers in 30 different notebooks). And I'd make sure I wrote them perfectly. In between, I had my freedom to do as I choose!

This actually worked for sometime. But then, one day, mom got suspicious about how fast I was completing my homework and she started scanning everything. She was furious when she found out my little scheme of cheating! I whined to her that she knew I knew how to write 1 to 100 but to no avail. She notified Lily Madam of this trick the next day. Of course, I was out of sorts and hated Lily Madam for the rest of the day. I was sulking, didn't pay attention to her and I kept asking for bathroom breaks. So she unfairly commented that I was a "moody child". Duh.

Here's where Gunpun came in. His real name is Devidutta Panda and he lived down the street from us in Acharya Vihar. My mom decided she needed someone to monitor me at school. She made Gunpun sit next to me in class. I didn't like him at first. After all, what kid likes an overseer? I kept pinching or scratching him so he'd go away to some other desk. But he just put his metal, school box in between us so I couldn't do anything without making a lot of noise and the teacher noticing.

I've forgotten the details of how we came to be best friends or how he managed to win my heart. But I do remember that we'd both do our homeworks in the free period at school. We made it a game -- whoever finished last would have to be the seeker in Hide-n-seek that evening. So both of us would scramble to finish first. And then, he would arrange my notebooks neatly in my school box, sharpen my pencils, make sure I'd not forgotten anything in my desk and escort me to my mom or dad after school. I just loved him! :)

After a point, it became so that I'd listen only to him. If Lily Madam wanted me to practice cursive writing between the 2 lines of the 4 line notebook, she'd tell him. And if he promised to write along with me, I'd do it. We would play in the evenings on the street with his little brother. So it was all wonderful until he got double promoted and moved to a different school.

To Be Continued...

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Red Phoenix said...

Ahaaa.... Oru mini kutti pasanga serial paakura maariyae irukku... Still waitin for Tathu and Balu Dog... PS I used to number my lines in the margin till 12 correctly and then skip the next 10 no's in random... My way of skipping multiple times of working on the same alphabets or words. I too hated the four lined handwriting practice note. :-)

The Doodler said...

Yeah, can't believe I was that same person, you know? Sometimes growing up is a bad thing! :)

Anonymous said...

ha ha........ Same pinch.... I also used to skip numbers and alphabets. I think all kids the same. I was bit moody too as I used to sit quietly in a corner and do my HW if we get free time - so I could play in the evening. Its sad that Our countries follow the same sys still :-(