my life: chapter 2

Expiry Period
My sister had warned me. She was already suffering from it and she said I was slowly getting the symptoms. It was a dangerous disease most children whose fathers are in the army suffer but none of them know about it, it hits them once every two or three years. Some lucky ones escape this dreaded disease but alas, I fell prey to it. The disease is called chicken pox, nah, just joking. Its actually called expiry period (I know the name is a bit cheesy but I just came up with it so you can’t blame me). It’s a state of my mind wherein after you have stayed in a place for 2 or 3 years, you then feel like moving out for no apparent reason. While my sister began to suffer severe bouts of EP and I was just catching it from her, we moved from Lucknow to Pune and this time, along came my Dad.
Pune was the first real, modern city we had gone to (no offence to Lucknow, your one rocking place, but c’mon, get real). We shifted into the army colony and I was the new kid. The ‘new kid’ in the army is always the cause of a lot of curiosity. Everyone are like ‘ok now what does this guy do different’.
The one thing common to all kids in the army is cricket. No, I must rephrase, the one thing common to all kids in India, is cricket. So you better be good at it or else your left out. I was quite the bowler, I was a lean, mean bowling machine. I used to bowl at the speed of 12 bowls an over (I used to give away too many extras, but that was my strategy, to confuse the batsmen, it didn’t work too well). Slowly I brought in a revolution. It was called Hide and Seek. Cricket was over, and so were my extra long overs. But I still had problems making proper friends. I thought I was over it but there were many days when everyone would finish their Hide and seek without bothering to look for me. But as I mentioned earlier I had my friend, I gave him a name, Neal. He was really good to me, he was there when I needed him and when I had people around me he would disappear. He was giving me a chance to make real friends I guess but I was happy with him.
In Pune, I joined another one of those ‘best schools in town’. Getting in was a bit of a problem, as this time I laughed at the principal when she asked me a math related question during the interview. My parents nearly cried, while I laughed. Neal laughed along with me. He always said I had a great sense of humour.
On the first day of school I had my second crush. Now I was in a boys school and was sitting and wondering what was wrong in that place, everybody looked the same. And then out from all the confusion and chaos, came Ms Gulati (turns out she was Mrs Gulati). I had never known love like this before, I was 8. She seated herself at the table and opened out the register and called out our names. I was so lost in her musical voice that 45 names later I realized she hadn’t called out my name.
‘Anybody whose name I didn’t call out’, I came back to my senses.
‘Mine, miss’
‘ Oh I knew your name, you just looked a bit dazed, so I didn’t call it out’, and then she smiled.
Neal was sitting next to me, as I was the only one in the class sitting alone. He winked at me when he saw Ms Gulati’s smile.
I skipped home that day. Neal followed me all the way, for the first time I was totally ignoring him but he didn’t mind.
‘You got to learn to tie your shoe laces, your 9 now’, this was my paranoid mom and she rightfully was, I still didn’t know how to tie my shoe laces.
‘No cricket till you learn to tie your laces’.
Who wants to go? I thought. After all I was hardly ever involved in the game. After the sad and untimely demise of hide and seek, I was left on the side again. But I was still the best fielder and nobody could disagree on that.
Ms Gulati slowly began liking me, after all I was a good student. My math was still mediocre, especially when my Dad tried to teach me because now when he asked me a question I didn’t laugh anymore, I blushed, because I was thinking of Ms. Gulati now.
‘How much is 2*2?’ and my face would become red and so would my Dad’s but for entirely different reasons.
I was in the 2nd standard now and was chosen for the school play, by guess who. Yes your right, Ms.Gulati. She wanted me to play the role of a prince and my mom told me that princes were brave and handsome men.
‘So that’s what Ms.Gulati thinks of me’. But unfortunately Ms. Gulati had different plans. I was to play the prince in Sleeping Beauty, remember the same story where this gal sleeps of and this dude on a horse comes and kisses her and she then wakes up from her hangover, ya the same one. Well so I was the ‘dude’ but the problem was that the ‘gal’ too, was a dude (boys school, remember)
‘You don’t have to really kiss him, just make it look as if you are’, was Ms. Gulati’s solution.
So easy for her to say. Neal was having a good time laughing at me, he knew I was caught in this evil trap laid out by my very own love who had deceived me with her web of deceit and betrayal leaving me wondering, ‘How the &^%$ am I going to get out of this?.
Neal had an idea. I loved it.
The Annual Day of our school arrived, there was excitement, parents, food and lipstick on my face!! For heavens sake, I was the prince, wasn’t I supposed to look like a man, but as Ms. Gulati did the make up I didn’t complain. But I was going to take my revenge and it was going to be sweet. Ms. Gulati, Beware!!!
So our play finally started and my part was coming as I got onto my wooden horse on which I had to come. I had to get of it, kneel down in as chivalrous a manner I could and kiss the fair lady on her cheek. I did everything according to the script, I came on my wooden horse, many said that I looked like a prince out of a fairytale (the scary ones I think). Parked my horse beside my fair lady, got of the horse and as the narrator came to the kiss, I picked up the wooden horse, bent it low and placed it on the cheek of the princess and as the narrator stared in horror, the princess woke up to the loudest applause and laughter that hall had ever heard. I put the horse down and took a bow and ran of the stage with the horse ala Mask of Zorro style.
Back stage I basked in my new found glory with Neal for only a few minutes and then in came Ms. Gulati, anger all over her face. I had taken my revenge.
The next few days turned out to be the best of my life, the princess of the play, Vishal, loathed my existence and Ms. Gulati hated me, but I had got over her. Otherwise I was a hero for pulling of one of the bravest stunts in the history of the school. Even the seniors congratulated me. Neal seemed to have disappeared for a few days but as my popularity faded away Neal came back and so did my normal life. I was happy but I did miss the appreciation, it seemed like for the first time I was accepted. My parents began to think I had got over my problem but I was falling deeper into it. Neal was becoming a bigger part of my life and even though people now wanted to be my friends, I still preferred Neal because he always listened to me and I always agreed with him. I was 10 and growing fast.
EP was showing its symptoms again, I wanted to get out. It didn’t take long for me to get my medicine. Dad came home one day, ‘We have been posted to Bengdubi’.
‘Who’s Dubi?’, my sister asked.
‘The place’s name is Bengdubi, it’s an army cantonment near Siliguri.’
‘Now what the hell is Siliguri’, said my mom.
‘ The place is near Calcutta, in West Bengal, got it’. Dad walked out of the room in a huff.
I was ecstatic. Mom had already prepared herself for this. I looked at my sister to see if she had come out of her EP as we were now finally going but I saw something different, I saw tears. I didn’t understand this, nor did Neal. We were happy, a new place, another chance for me to try harder at making some new friends.
Everything was packed, we were ready to move, again. It was a rainy day when we got into our train to Delhi. As the rain pounded the train, I saw the tears in my sister’s eyes and then I came to know the reason as a group of her friends came to say bye to her. I never understood why she cried so much that day, it would take me a long time to understand. But for the time being I decided that if this was how having friends was going to be than I didn’t want to have anything to do with them. The rain subsided and so did my sisters tears as we got of at Delhi station.


nice narration... for some strange reason i like neal, no not that i had difficulty in makin friends too, am an extrovert n had many friends for that matter!
the story's got a strange feelin, dont know if i should feel happy or sad for the narrator; the sad stuff is well covered wit humour, or, am i the one who is seeing it...
whatever, like i liked the 'my life: chapter 1', i liked this one too..