A Thousand Thoughts Of Ravi, A Rural Boy

by | Aug 3, 2023

The class is so boring. Why is Madamji teaching things that don’t make sense? I have seen people on YouTube who speak better English than her. I wonder what it would be like to learn from them. Would they ever come to teach here, at this remote school, so far away from home? I should probably look towards the board every once in a while or I will receive a cane whack as a present (that’s my idea of a joke!)

Hmmm! I glance around the room. What is Sarayu doing? He is writing with an empty expression on his face. Shanti is looking so serious, as if studying is her duty and someone will die if she does not study. She needs to relax sometimes. On the other hand, maybe I should get a bit more serious about my studies. I am not flunking, but I’m not excelling either. Wondering if I top the class, would Shanti be angry with me? (I chuckle at the thought)

Ting, Ting, Ting (signaling freedom from the classroom!)

A Thousand Thoughts Of Ravi, A Rural Boy
Outside the window!

Thank god, the class is over. I can go home now… wait there is one more class. Oh no! It’s social studies. If only Masterji would teach this class in Hindi and not force himself to use broken English instead. He explains things well in Hindi, but in English, it’s a struggle. Do I give him this feedback? Nah, I will get a barrage of angry screeches or possibly a smack in return. Better to keep my mouth shut. Aah! My hand will hurt after this class again, there is always so much to write.

What’s that noise? Oh, it’s the Sarpanch’s car. Why is he always wearing white and how does he keep it so clean all the time? His white clothes never seem to lose their brightness, unlike mine which fade after a few days due to sweat and dirt. What did Sarpanch study? I remember Ramesh telling me that he has not seen the face of a book after 9th class. If I pass 10th, then I would be more educated than him. Now that would be, what’s that English word that I saw on Instagram. Ah, yes, “Flex“, a big Flex.

Maybe, I can become a Sarpanch too! (Chuckle)

“Ravi, why are you smiling to yourself? Would you care to share the joke with us?”
“It’s nothing Masterji. I was just thinking what would happen to me after I pass 10th.”
“And what have you concluded?”
“That’s what I’m wondering Sarpanch ji… chi chi chi, I mean Masterji. What will happen to me?”
“Sarpanch Ji is HERE?”

Off he goes running to the office room. Ehh, he came back!? “Children, keep quiet till I return. Monitor, please keep the class in check.“, he says and leaves again. I noticed a momentary look of relief on Shanti’s face, quickly replaced by her usual stern expression.

Silence, else your names will be reported to Masterji“, she said while hitting the tabletop with the cane. Oh Shanti why? “Sit down Ravi and stop smiling.” Was I still smiling? Oh no! Now everyone is laughing (nervous chuckle.) “Thanks for the break, Ravi” commented someone.

I said SILENCE“, shouted Shanti.
OK Madamji responded a girl.

If I became the Sarpanch, no one in this village could order me around and tell me to stop smiling. Maybe then Shanti would pay me some attention and respect. Hmph, as if I care about Shanti. Ramesh’s brother is in 12th class; I should strike up a conversation with him next time he is in the village. I heard he is doing quite well. I wonder how he is managing everything.

A Thousand Thoughts Of Ravi, A Rural Boy
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20 more minutes and I can then go home. That car outside the window is nice, what’s it called? Sc..or..pio, ok Scorpio. I will buy it one day, in creamy white.

I wonder what’s Ma doing? She must be back from the fields by now. She anyway spends more time working there than Baba does. I think he can do more and not chill whenever there is a chance. Maybe next year we can hire someone to help us in the fields. We had good yields in the last two seasons but Baba and Ma were talking about sourcing soil from the riverbed because our field has become less fertile. It will be a costly affair. The worry was written all over their faces. I guess hiring someone will have to wait in that case.

One minute left.

What’s happening outside? (I look out of the window). Hmmm (squint)…Why are flamingoes here during this time of the year? They should not arrive for another two months, I guess they tagged along with the cyclone. A girl was born to Sheetal Ben, my neighbour’s daughter. Her birth will be remembered in connection with this cyclone.

Also read: My First Rain In Kutch

Ting, Ting, Ting

Come on Ravi, let’s go!“, says Ramesh.
Yes, coming“, I respond.

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