On the very first day itself Nitin made a distinct impression in his class teacher’s mind. The class teacher asked, “What’s your Name?”
Nitin said “Nitin”
Trying to teach the boy importance of respect, the teacher said, “You should say Sir”
Nodding his head Nitin said, “Ok. Sir Nitin”
The teacher looked for any sign of mischief in the boy’s face and found none. But he was not sure. His doubt was confirmed next day when he asked “Nitin, how do you spell 'elephant?'
Nitin spelled it “A-L-I-F-A-N-T”
The teacher said, “No, that's wrong”
Nitin said, “Maybe it is wrong, but you only asked me how I spell it”
The teacher thought, “I have to be careful with this boy.” But he realized soon that normal carefulness was not enough with the boy when he had asked the boy to frame a sentence starting with 'I.'
Nitin began, “I is...”
The teacher interrupted, “No, Nitin... Always say, 'I am’ “
Nitin obeyed and said, “All right... 'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.”
The entire class laughed. The teacher needed a few minutes to regain his composure. In his ten years service as a teacher he had not come across such a mischievous boy. The boy’s answers to any question were never normal.
It seemed too much to the teacher. In next class, purposely he asked a tough mathematical question, “If you add 34,875 with 76,989 and divide the answer by 81, what do you get?”
Nitin quickly said, “The wrong answer”
The teacher decided not to ask any study related question to keep his peace of mind. But still Nitin annoyed him in other matters. He was actively naughty in the class and lazy to do homework.
One day he asked his teacher respectfully, “Teacher, would you punish me for something I didn't do?”
The teacher said, “Of course not”.
Nitin was very much relieved and said, “Good, because I didn't do my homework”
Next day Nitin’s excuse was different. “I didn't do my homework because I lost my memory”
Suspiciously the teacher asked, “When did this start?”
“When did what start?” Nitin asked. Unable to control his rising of blood pressure the teacher requested the school management change of class and got it.
Nitin’s class got a new lady class teacher, Revathi. She had learnt so much about Nitin and came with prepared mind. As her twin kids are of Nitin’s age and they are also very naughty, she didn’t mind.
On first day there was a constant stream of “Miss”, “Miss” calls from her students. Fed up with the calls, she said firmly, “Do you think we could go for just five minutes without anyone saying ‘Miss”.
Immediately the classroom was quiet. Then, from her back, Nitin’s soft voice said, “Um ... Revathi”
She couldn’t suppress her laughter. Unlike earlier class teacher she had good sense of humour and loved kids. She also found it difficult to make the boy to do homework. One day seeing his finished home work she said, “This home work looks like your mother’s writing”.
Nitin said in convincing tone, “Of course. I used her pen”
Next day Nitin told Revathi truthfully, “Miss I’m tired of doing homework”
Revathi patiently said, “Nitin, hard work never killed anyone”
Nitin worriedly said, “I know, but I don’t want to be the first”
Suppressing her smile she told Nitin to bring his parents to school next day. Nitin said in serious tone. “They won’t come, miss”
Revathi asked, “Why?”
He said gravely, “They don't like school any more than I do.”
Next day Nitin was absent. Revathi got a phone call, “My son has a high fever and won't be able to come to school today.”
Noticing Nitin’s voice Revathi smiled and said, “Nitin, tell your father to speak with me”
Immediately the reply came. “My father only speaking”
Disconnecting the phone Revathi laughed till tears filled her eyes.
Next day she asked Nitin, “You missed school yesterday. Didn’t you?”
Nitin said, “Not very much”
The boy was a good mixture of mischief and innocence. Though playful, he was also smart and intelligent. He could think really different.
One day all children were advised to draw something unique and different. The subject of the drawing was left to the choice of the children. Revathi was observing the children while they drew. Seeing Nitin thinking deeply and drawing seriously, Revathi asked Nitin what the drawing was? Nitin said, "I'm drawing God."
Revathi exclaimed, "But no one knows what God looks like."
Without missing a beat, Nitin replied, "They will know today."
One day a special guest speaker came to his class to give moral lessons. His lecture was boring even to the ears of Revathi. After explaining heaven and hell, he went on explaining the ways to go to heaven by merit. Finally he wanted to test the kids how much they understood his preaching. He asked, "If I sold my house, my car and all belongings and gave all my money to charity, can I go to heaven?"
Everyone was silent except Nitin. He said, "No!"
The speaker was surprised and asked, “If I pray God whole day and involve myself in public service activities can I go to heaven”
Again, Nitin’s answer was, "No!"
"Well," he asked, "then how can I go to heaven?"
Nitin confidently answered, "You've gotta be dead!"
Entire class burst into laughter and the speaker also joined them.
As Nitin’s father got transfer to Delhi, Nitin left the school soon. Revathi missed his humour and mischief very much. She loved those random memories of that kid that always made her smile.
(This article won a prize and published in our bank’s house magazine Vijaya Vikas)