Monday, August 3, 2009

The English teacher

He possessed as balding a pate as one could have without plagiarizing Homer Simpson. Two sorry looking stoic weeds still clung on to dear life on the smooth planet surface. One look at the man's woebegone face betrayed how he treasured the loyal remnants of his weather-beaten top. Then he saw an infomercial on TV and bought himself a new lease on his dying follicular life in the form of a misshapen wig. He taught us English.

He claimed that even the sale of his entire literary prowess could not have bought him a head of natural hair after his undying stint at our high school. We, if he were to be believed, were dunces. And not just your average-joe, everyday Dummkopfs. We had scaled the highest mountains of stupidity, thrust our flags upon their snowy peaks, and still had the resources to uproot more records of incompetence. We explored the boundaries of English grammar and orthography to please him. We studied greater and greater works of English literature to earn ourselves a place in his good books. But he was never devoid of newer and newer innovative phrases to condemn our grasp of the English language. Several versions of his condemnations have been repressed in our memories for their sheer battery of any and all mental capabilities we might have possessed, but a vague residual recollection of them still lingers to haunt us nightly. Now all flora and fauna in the ecosystem are presumably allowed their opinions. But this man's intense critique was aimed at us. So as self-respecting students of the English language, we deemed it fair to "exact revenge".

Retribution of the scale which we had envisaged deserved an appropriate pedestal from which to unleash itself. A simplistic thumbtack on the seat routine did not do justice to our incensed souls. A bucket resting on the open door sequence was as overdone as a scorched omlette. What the years of copping denunciation of the kind meted out to us merited was an attack on the most cherished aspect of his life. He was blessed with a loving wife, lived in a huge bungalow in the richest locality of town, had money to burn after years of teaching at our fine school, a wig, several cars that engendered covetousness in all, a legendary stamp-collection that was rumoured to be worth a bundle, a gorgeous daughter, a beloved set of archived books in his personal library, and an iPod nano. We picked the wig.

The plan was simple in its potentially monumental impact: On Convocation Day, all faculty are supposed to wear hats- probably in altruistic spirit to give us solace for having to don our own set of graduation hats. Amongst ourselves, we assigned a group the task of applying a generous amount of glue on the interior crown of his hat half an hour before the ceremony. We also knew the Chief guest was scheduled for his speech right after the English teacher's farewell speech. If all went well, he would doff his hat in respect to the Chief guest, and with it strip his head of its modesty in front of the entire congregation present. And the consummate clergy of photographers there would capture the hysteric moment for posterity, and in all likelihood publish it as well since it contained the Chief guest.

He reported sick on the day. It later emerged that it was on account of hair transplant surgery.

1 comment:

Divya said...

Heheh.. Hilarious read!