I was busy pretending to solve a problem in Polynomials when he came up to me and said "I want your cap", I looked up to see a dark ruffian looking kinda guy looking at my cap with a lust that one could associate with when watching late night porn.
Me: "Ghanta! Go get one for yourself" I said even surprising myself with the tone of my voice.
Bully: "Say what?" he asked with his hand on his hips and eyes gleaming with fury.
I realized that I was messing with the wrong ruffian here, he looked much older to be studying in tenth. He looked like one of those henchmen you find in the movies who fights for the villain, but nonetheless gets his ass kicked by our pot-bellied fat-assed mustachioed Madrasi heroes. I was no hero, I was not even pot-bellied or fat-assed to pass of for one, so I decided to do damage control with my words.
Me: "I cannot give it to you sir... uhh... bhaiya... its my favourite cap" I said with the utmost politeness which was nowhere to be seen two seconds back.
Bully: "I want it and Iam gonna have it from you" he declared coldly and walked away.
I looked around to see four girls of my batch in the tuition watching the one-sided duel with interest. I being the only alpha male in our tuition batch now had a platform to showcase my non-existent machismo, I said with an air of cockiness "We will see" praying to God he didn't hear it. But he did, and he turned around to give me a cold stare that made me realize that I may have to kiss my cojones goodbye anytime. They say behind every successful man there is a woman, but you should also know that behind every black eye and messed up face is also a woman. In this case four average looking chicks, and in the process of impressing them I may have pissed off the wrong bully.
Law of High School Life: The geeks and the geek looking school boys will always be preyed upon by the over-aged high school bullies unless you befriend one belonging to their tribe. You befriend one, you befriended them all. And from then on they are your shield.
The back benchers in my class always found it hard to believe that I was not a nerd, I had a hard time convincing them that not all boys who spoke good English top the class. The facts did not help me either, my mother was a teacher in the same school where I studied, and my uncle was the bumbling headmaster who amused the school with his unintentionally funny English during school assembly. According to the back benchers I had to be good in studies because I hailed from a family of educationists. It took me one month and three class tests in Maths, Social, and Science to make them realize that I was indeed a different kettle of fish. I was now a proud member of the Back Benchers Association, I was looked upto thanks to my superior English skills and also being the only guy who passed (read scraped through) in two out of the three core subjects. The rest of them royally flunked in all. For them I was an advisor on how to barely scrape through your monthly tests. And that was my way of winning over bullies. But the bully who was lusting after my cap belonged to a different school which was well known in the locality for manufacturing hard-core bad-asses.
After the bully had gone to his class, the Average Janes came over to me and asked what I was going to do. I nonchalantly told "Oh please! I dine with ruffians like him, trust me he is just all talk" I said with a nervous chuckle hoping the last part would come true. But in reality I was masquerading my fear all the while praying that this should not be my last evening with my balls intact. The bully had not stopped with the glare, he looked out the window when his class was going on and was mouthing words which I knew very well what they meant, I gave him a flying kiss because back then I was not aware of the usage of the middle finger. The Janes were surprised to see me holding my own, maybe even a bit impressed with my audacity, but I did not care about it anymore, saving my ass from getting kicked was the only objective I had. "Chicks may come and Chicks may go, but the Danglers shall remain where they belong" I thought to myself.
As his batch was about to get over and mine was about to begin the bully passed me by along with his cronies and said "See you outside". I now felt like the oppressed against an army of oppressors, the age old formula of making mediocre Indian movies. I could not concentrate in the class, I generally have other fantasies during classes but during Trigonometry my mind wandered back to what will happen when I stepped outside, "What if he is there with his cronies and beats me to pulp and takes my danglers as a souvenir?" I thought. My visions were interrupted when I realized that Master Saab who noticed my perplexed look was calling out my name for the fifth time, the Janes by now had let the cat out of the bag when they told him everything. Master Saab said he will handle everything from here on and I do not have to fear the cap-luster and his cronies.
It was quite hard for me to attend tuitions for the two weeks that followed. I would make excuses of not feeling well, or would pretend to have slept overtime. I finally mustered the courage to fight it out even if it meant having to give away my precious cap. I went back to my tuitions only to learn that the bully was thrown out of the class, apparently Master Saab felt two lions cant rule in the same jungle. He being the other lion. I sometimes wish the bully were not expelled, I wanted to know how far I would have gone in defending my cap, it was not just about a cap. Things could have gone worse, I could have been in a fight, I could have gotten my ass kicked, but like Tyler Durden says "How much can you possibly know about yourself if you've never been in a fight?"