There is a certain tact to summoning a student that Peon Rajesh didn’t have. In fact, Peon Rajesh lacked the slightest bit of tact, as far as anyone could see, even his wife, with whom he enjoyed the pleasures of fornication very frequently, but without the need to be tactful. She, on the other hand, had plenty of tact, which was required when she invited other men, considerably younger than her husband, to share their bedroom with her. She did these things when Peon Rajesh was out with his comrades, mates and colleagues, people he generally despised, but who he believed it was necessary to associate with to elevate himself to a certain social standing, one that was perpetually out of reach. Peon Rajesh found pleasure in scratching his crotch, which was also perpetually out of reach without careful precision on the part of Peon Rajesh’s eyes and his hands. He also believed that to be untidy was to be suave and to be disheveled was to be scholarly and to be unhygienic was to be busy and it was in this fashion that he approached the classroom, lacking tact, and significantly bored. He especially loved to rustle the drowsy classroom very early in the morning, when dew was still stuck on the wooden tables and when the teachers were opening fresh packs of non-dust chalk and eager to spread the seeds of knowledge in the students who ignored them. The students were always ready for distractions from the cumbersome lessons of squiggly curves intersected by heterosexual lines, or who took over which empire in which century, or why the government is important (it isn’t). And so it was in this atmosphere that Peon Rajesh boredly bellowed, “THE PRINCIPAL WANTS VIKRAMADITYA!” The buzz of the classroom fell silent and the mousy teacher with owly glasses responded in a reptilian voice, “Go, Vikram.” And Vikram went.

As they walked down the corridors and staircases that made up the school’s labyrinthine qualities, Peon Rajesh first, Vikram behind him, Vikram’s mind kicked into logic mode to figure out why The Buffoon wanted to see him. The Buffoon had been close on Vikram’s heels in the past month after the Spaghetti Food Fight, but he hadn’t done anything of consequence that would attract The Buffoon’s attention, except perhaps what he told Ramesh about the race. Maybe it was about that. Before he could decide whether he should switch to innocent mode, he was in front of The Buffoon’s door, which made him switch to innocent mode inadvertently. Peon Rajesh knocked on the door and opened it for Vikram. It was dark inside, and he couldn’t see much except his own feet when he stepped in.

In The Buffoon’s room was The Trinity, or so they called themselves. They were in fact Principal Srinivasan, The Vice Principal, and Dr. Karan. No one knew what The Vice Principal’s name was, except for The Vice Principal herself. There was also SPL Naveen, who was taking notes of the proceedings. Vikram tried miserably to stifle a chuckle. The Buffoon stood up.
“State your name for the record.”
“Vikramaditya Venkatesh, sir.”
The Buffoon looked at The Vice Principal.
“What the hell kind of name is Vikramaditya? Shouldn’t it just be Vikram or Aditya? I’ve never seen a Vikramaditya.”
The Vice Principal said, “Me neither.”
To Vikram, Äre you Muslim?”
“No sir.”
Äre you sure?”
“Yes sir.”
Ï don’t like that name.”
“You told me that last time as well, sir. May I know why I’m here?”
“You do study at this school, right?”
“Yes sir.”
“Then you’ve answered your own question.”
Dr. Karan said, “I think he wants to know why he was called here, sir.”
The Buffoon said, “I know that, doc, thank you.”
SPL Naveen was typing away on his iPad. SPL Naveen kissed the buffoon’s ass a lot, which was why everyone thought he had such brown lips.
The Buffoon sat down and continued, “Did you tell Ramesh last week that Thunderbolt was a sure winner at the races?”
“No sir.”
The Buffoon was dumbfounded. He looked at the other Trinity members. They were similarly dumbfounded. SPL Naveen noted the dumbfounded expression on their faces as something like: ??!!)(*&^$E#@$#.
“Did you tell Ramesh anything last week regarding the races?”
“Why, sir?”
“I’ll be asking the questions, son!”
“Sorry, sir.”
“Don’t interrupt!”
The Buffoon cleared his throat and took a sip of water. The Vice Principal continued.
He continued, “Ramesh says that you did.”
“Then it must be true, sir.”
“Then it is!”
“What is, sir?”
“That you told him about Thunderbolt.”
“Yes, sir, I did.”
The Buffoon turned to SPL Naveen.
“Did you record that, son? Vikram or Aditya said that he did.”
SPL Naveen  nodded furiously, as if a girl had just asked him to screw her.
“Oh, I didn’t mean that I told him about Thunderbolt being a sure winner sir. I just told him what Thunderbolt looked like.”
SPL Naveen asked, “Should I type that, sir?”

To Be Continued.


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