One such man was Mr.Jamal,our maths teacher when I was in the 6th grade.All through the 5th we heard about the treatment he reserved for the young souls who put one wrong step in his classes.It was rumoured that once in a while,he smiled,though he was never caught in the act ! It was also said that once upon a time he was one of the more popular teachers in the school.That was so revolting a thought that it was easier to believe George W Bush had a thing called common sense ! He walked with a limp,an injury he was said to have sustained when playing soccer in his younger days.Don’t know why,but that’s equally revolting a thought.Him playing soccer i mean!
So it came as an anticlimax,when he limped into our class on the first day,wide smile in his face.Wow,we thought,the man does smile after all!
We were almost coming to the conclusion that all the rumours were,well,rumours,when he asked me to get up.
“Well boy,how would you define a triangle?”
I had gained in confidence,what with his friendly behaviour and even a smile as he asked the question.Looking back,i should have realized that the smile was a sadistic one!
”Sir,a triangle is a figure with three sides.”
Time came to a standstill.everyone froze.I remember the girl beside me was reaching for her water bottle.Her hand remained suspended in air for the next minute!Before i knew it i was slapped again.He then went to the board and drew a figure with three sides,but all lines curved!
“This according to you is a triangle?”
The next year was a year I wouldn’t forget for all the wrong reasons.I remember another incident.
That day,during his period there was a teachers’ meeting.We were more relieved then happy.A game started soon on who could imitate Mr.Jamal’s limp the best! The period was almost over when my turn came.I guess i was doing pretty well,when everyone stopped laughing.Oh no,this could mean only one thing!Turning around I saw,YOU-KNOW-WHO standing behind me.
What happend next is anyone’s guess.Suffice to say,it wasnt pleasant.!
The same man is now bedridden,paralysed after a stroke.I wish him well.