The boy that nobody wanted to draw with
Place: Saraswathi Devi Elementary school
Setting: V std A section classroom
Class Teacher: Mr. Ambikapathy
Dinnnnngggggg Dinnnnnnnngggggggg Diiinnnnnnnnnggggg [Bell rings]
Mr. Ambikapathy: Silence! Silence! Everybody settle down. I have some important announcements to make.
[Muniyandi and Ramasamy are in a frenzied discussion in one corner of the classroom oblivious to Mr. Ambikapathy’s entrance, calls for silence and any other matter of consequence around them.]
Loganathan: Sir! Sirrrrrrr! Muniayandi and Ramasamy are not listening to you only! They are discussing something that may or may not be of consequence to your important announcement!
[Subbulakshmi, the sole female student in the class of 6 rolls her eyes at the boys and adjusts her librarian glasses and inspects her rose-pink nail polish]
Mr. Ambikapathy: Yes, yes Loganathan. You, being the first rank holder, have my absolute attention. Muniyandi, Ramasamy – get back to your seats right now! Or else!
Muniyandi and Ramasamy look at Mr. Ambikapathy and mutter: … Meh, whatever… [continue discussion]
Mr. Ambikapathy: Dei dei, please da. I have some very very important things to say. Can you please please get back to your seats? If you can’t, that’s fine. Just stop talking for 5 minutes so you can hear what I have to say? Please? Please?
Muniyandi and Ramasamy oblige begrudgingly and Mr. Ambikapathy proceeds to write “DRAWING COMPETITION ANNOUNCEMENTS” on the black board. All 3 boys alternatively look at each other and at the board in quick motion like a Mexican standoff. Vishwanathan is sitting three benches behind them and waiting to see if any of them will also look at him and get included in this glancing match. No such luck. Meanwhile, Subbulakshmi continues to wonder if her rose-pink nail polish is too pink.
Mr. Ambikapathy: I have thought about all possible combinations for drawing competition teams from this class and it is after great deliberation that I have picked the following students to partner each other. Actually, I didn’t have to put too much thought into it since it really doesn’t make ANY difference. Also, please note that this is my final announcement and I won’t entertain any changes.
[Collective rolling of eyes in classroom]
Mr. Ambikapathy: The selected team is Loganathan and Muniyandi because Loganathan is class first rank. I know both of you will tear each other’s heads out when put in the same team, but I cannot think of all that nonsense and must think of only ranks to make this decision. As you can see, this decision did not need much deliberation at all contrary to what I almost had you believe! Ha! Gotcha!
Muniyandi flips out and goes to the Principal’s office: Principal Sir, Principal Sir! Please tell Mr. Ambikapathy the following things:
a) I should definitely be in the team
b) I should not be teamed with Loganathan
c) I should only be teamed with Ramasamy because we have been coloring inside the box the last two drawing classes
P.S: Ramasamy thinks Loganathan can’t color inside the box either, so please to be excusing him from being paired with Loganathan. You see, all of this is in the best interest of our school’s maanam and mariyadhai (pride, respect and all that jazz).
Loganathan thinks: Haiya Jolly! This Ramasamy and Muniyandi showed first aggression, so I can say and do whatever I want and become the martyr!
Thusly recognizing an opportunity to save face, Loganathan takes the mike on stage during the next morning prayer meeting at school. He cries, then does a strange chicken dance with his hands while wailing at the same time and then proceeds to prostrate on the ground and make swimming motions while bawling his eyes out. All at once also saying unrecognizable words that seemed to be on the lines of – “Muniyandi, why won’t you draw with me”, “Ramasamy – you too brutus?” and “I am First Rank and I should go to competition!”. He then abruptly stops crying and says this: “One clarification- I won’t go to competition with Vishwanathan”.
Poor fellow Vishwanathan. Collateral damage.
Confused by all this confusion, the Principal makes an announcement – “I am scared shitless of all these boys and their tantrums. Mr. Ambikapathy will make final decisions one more time!”
As luck would have it, Subbulakshmi who until then did not have a rank because of fail marks in P.T, suddenly became qualified since the drawing competition folks announced P.T does not count as a subject.
Mr. Ambikapathy thought: Haiya Jolly! Now, I will make Loganathan draw with Subbulakshmi to make him stop crying. Then this stupid Muniyandi and Ramasamy can draw together! All problems solved!
Little did he know that Subbulakshmi had a mind and a plan of her own. So, when she took the stage during the next morning prayer meeting, the rest of the school boys clapped their hands in glee, whistled at her short skirt and generally got very excited with all the entertainment.
Subbulakshmi: Good morning you morons! Just because I am the only girl student and I look cute in short skirts, you think you can put me in whatever team you want. Well, you better be informed that I can paint rose-pink nail polish perfectly on my nails without spilling on the fingers and thus fully qualify for the drawing competition! Also, I want to announce that Loganathan is a cry baby, Muniyandi is a spineless fool and Ramasamy – I don’t care for. Vishwanathan and I are the actual true heroes because you all insulted us. Having said that, one small request – please don’t make me draw with Vishwanathan!
Mr. Ambikapathy entered the classroom with a sullen face and sat down heavily on his chair: Loganathan (7) + Muniyandi (15) = 22nd rank. Whereas Muniyandi (15) + Ramasamy (13) = 28th rank. As you can see, Muniyandi + Ramasamy combination is poorer rank than Loganathan + Muniyandi combination which was my first final decision. So, although I might have taken correct first final decision, I will change the team to Muniyandi + Ramasamy because you are all crying and blackmailing and twisting my arm. Also, I have no spine. Loganathan – you don’t worry. You can go draw with Subbulakshmi, I know you like that very much. And Subbulakshmi – stop jumping and making a scene, nobody gives a shit what you say as long as you are wearing those short skirts.
After all of this, Vishwanathan stands up from a corner and says:
Author’s note: All characters and incidents in this story are not based on any person or organization living or dead. They especially do not have ANYTHING to do with the drama in the Indian tennis context.