THE GIFT ( part 3)


Amit was one of the naughtiest boys in the class!  An extremely intelligent   ninth standard student, he was also notorious for the practical jokes he played on the teachers. Extremely popular among the boys in the strict Jesuit institution that he attended, Amit was the bane of every teacher’s life. The fact that his father was a IAS officer and an alumnus of the school made  some of the teachers feel uncomfortable about punishing him.

But Mr. Devasahyam, the maths teacher  was made of sterner stuff! He had taught  Amit’s father and he was sure that  it was the discipline that he had instilled in Ravi during his school days that had made him shine in his studies and join the civil services.  So this boy Amit was not something that he was going to worry about. He had seen worse!

He looked around the class as they worked on the problems he had written out on the board. As usual, there were those who were working, those who were pretending to work  and others like that rascal Amit who had completed his work and was causing trouble whispering  in the back bench. He glared in the boy’s direction.

There was some rustling noise that was coming  from that direction and a stifled giggle could be heard as he slowly made his way towards Amit. The management’s decision to increase the class size was getting to him. He could not be expected to manage a class of fifty every day!

“Get up! Stand!” he commanded  loudly.

Amit stood up silently looking at him through his innocent brown eyes.

“What makes you giggle boy” he snapped. “Oh nothing sir.. I was not giggling. I was… just  coughing” he said causing more boys to giggle.

Devashayam, looked closely at the boy. There was something wrong.  The way the boy was holding on to his desk seemed very suspicious.

“ Come on show me what is inside your desk” he demanded.

A battle of wills followed as Amit stared at the teacher unfazed and the teacher stared back at him sternly. Finally, as the bell rang   announcing the end of the class,  Devasahayam, flung open the desk and looked inside.

Among the general disarray inside was a something that caught his eye- a grey colored book. He picked it up and asked Amit “ What is this book?”

“ Sir, this is a book on modern art. I borrowed it from my cousin. She studies fine arts in college” said quick witted Amit.

Devasahayam  picked up the book flipping through the pages wondering what it was.  Though not much of a reader, thirty years of teaching in a boys’ school was enough to help him spot “dirty literature” when he saw it.  He looked through the pages for those tell tale four letter words  or nude pictures. There seemed to be nothing  like that. He looked back at the boy  feeling really annoyed!

This  devil must have done this stunt deliberately to make him angry and disturb the class. He must have a word with Ravi about his son’s behavior. It did not help matters that the boy’s mother, also an IAS officer was posted in another location. With both parents being so busy with their careers, it was not surprising that he was growing up in this in disciplined manner.

“Class dismissed” he said picking up his register, the text books and the “fine arts” book  as he walked out of the classroom.

Amit watched the Maths teacher leave the class in a resigned manner.

“ Hey Amit what about that book? DS has it with him now. Do you think he will call your dad” asked his friend Raghu  worried about what might happen next.

Amit shrugged! It was not really his problem. After all the book was obviously his dad’s.  Otherwise why was it in his briefcase? So let Dad deal with DS when he complained. And if he started lecturing him at home, he was going to tell Mom about  that  book…!

Anyway, he hadn’t been able to read much of it. It was too girly.

“Amit, why don’t we go and get the book off DS when he is not in the staff room” suggested Vineet.

“ Whats the big deal about getting the book back. It is not as if it has my name written on it” snapped Amit.

“ Yeah.. you have a point” said Solomon . “ But man… what a book” he said with a loud guffaw slapping Amit on the back.

( I apologize to my readers for this long gap in coming up with part 3 of the story. Promise to complete it soon)