Genius kid and the big fight of yesterday
This incident dates back to the time when I was still a fat and stupid kid continually being chased around by demented dogs. And as you may... or may not... have guessed by this time, the "genius kid" that the title speaks of is yours truly. Why genius kid? I suppose that will become most painfully apparent by the end of the narration....
As kids, my brother and I would keep inventing crazy games to keep ourselves entertained. Most of these games, though hugely entertaining to us, would end rather abruptly with some flimsy household decorative paraphernalia being smashed to smithereens, which would bring mom to the scene of the accident. And then, the following events would occur in the order listed....
a) Mom reaches scene of accident and surveys the damage.
b) Mom, aghast at the scene of total devastation confronting her, reprimands bro and me.
c) Bro pleads innocence, claiming the game was my idea.
d) Mom directs a further torrent of words at me, which ends with something like, "You are the elder brother. You ought to have more sense than this..."
e) Mom bans game with threat of "or else" should the ban be flouted.
"Or else" seems to have been the theme of my life since my early days... my mom, dad, the IRS, the neighborhood dogs, all have threatened me with with the potent "Or else" at some point in my life.. But I digress... the average lifetime of a game my bro and I came up with was about 3 plays before it got banned. Now there's only so many games that the imagination of a kid, even one as undoubtedly brilliant as myself, can churn out and it was not long before we were all out of ideas and down to playing Ludo and "Snakes and Ladders" whose entertainment value and intellectual appeal could not measure up to the high standards set by our games. I was seriously contemplating the unthinkable, returning to playing one of the "banned" games, risking life and limb when inspiration for a new game appeared out of the blue. How ironic that what looked to me at that time like the best idea ever was thrown up by the "idiot box"...
Mind you, the incident this post seeks to document occurred before the cable TV revolution in India... when DoorDarshan ruled the airwaves and continually fed Govt propaganda to the unsuspecting masses passing it off as entertainment on the only channel on offer. At the time of occurrence of this incident, the Seoul Olympics were in progress and the Govt, in its collective wisdom, had decided that the populace ought to watch the Olympics. And my bro and I, being part of this populace, were stuck with watching the Olympics. Most of the events covered were about as interesting as playing Ludo... which as explained above, didn't really cut it. One day, as I was sitting in front of the TV, watching dudes looking in serious discomfort as they struggled to lift huge weights and wondering why they were lifting the weights when they were clearly not enjoying it one bit, the scene suddenly shifted to two dudes who were struggling with each other in a square enclosure. The commentary conveyed that this spectacle unfolding in front of my eyes was called "wrestling"... Now, this wrestling thing was so much more exciting. The concept of two guys duking it out I could understand. As I sat there, entertained for the first time in many days, realization dawned that wrestling had the potential to solve the serious dearth of entertainment that my bro and I were experiencing.
All that was needed for wrestling was two dudes willing to duke it out. And with some minimum precautions taken, there was no danger in the least of any stuff breaking/cracking/blowing up or generally being rendered unusable. This idea was the holy grail of entertainment and I truly was a genius... Still reveling in the glow of my brilliance, I pitched the idea to my brother who could not have been more enthusiastic with his approval.
The rules of the game were simple. Anything went and to win, you had to pin your opponent down on his back to the count of three. The double bed in our parents' room was chosen to host the festivities. And, for obvious reasons, the game could be played only when mom was either out of the house or busy in the kitchen. And so began the greatest game of all time. Things went on splendidly for a while and mom was happy that things were staying intact around the house. In short, life was perfect...
One day, when mom had stepped out of the house for a bit, my bro and I were involved in our usual game of wrestling. All seemed to be going well and I had the upper hand, quite literally. I had an arm twisted around his neck, trying to force him on to his back but the dude, though he was a couple of years younger than me, seemed to be punching well above his weight and was refusing to go down without a fight. I continued with my efforts to force him down and he continued struggling. This went on for a bit and I was getting a little impatient with my lack of success. I turned to ask him if he wanted to call it a tie and got a start when I saw his face... it was a deep shade of crimson. I had unknowingly choked him as I tried to force him onto his back as we were wrestling.... I immediately got off him and scrambled to the side of the bed, instinctively getting some distance between me and and the scene of the accident.
For a few anxious moments, my bro lay on the bed with a shocked look on his face and then his face began to assume a more natural color. I was only beginning to breathe a little easy when the dude let out a wail loud enough to wake up the entire city and I knew I was in big trouble. I bolted out of the room and began searching for a place to hide as the little dude continued his high-pitched bawling. After a few moments of intense cerebration, I came up with the perfect place to hide and even in the prevailing moment of crisis, I found time to marvel at my genius. Then I got into the lowest rack of the cupboard in my room, squeezed myself behind a huge pile of bed sheets and quietly pulled the door shut. I could still hear my brother's wailing from my secure hideout about a quarter of an hour after it began and I marveled at his persistence. And then I heard the main door of the house open and my mom's concerned voice enquiring of my bro the reason for his discontent.
My brother seized this golden opportunity that fate and I had presented him with, with both hands and proceeded to narrate his side of the story painting me as a villain in the darkest sense of the word... it was a veritable David and Goliath story, ending with Goliath almost strangling David to death. All this while I bristled with indignation, bemoaning my current inability to launch an adequate defense for myself. At the end of my brother's story, mom was sufficiently convinced that serious injustice had been perpetrated in her absence and the wrong had to be righted and justice dispensed with an iron fist. My life had transformed pretty rapidly in the past half hour or so, I reflected from behind the pile of bed sheets.. from the excitement of a wrestling match to this excitement that I could really do without.
The manhunt for the culprit started in earnest, with my brother enthusiastically joining the hunt. Mom and bro searched high and low all over the house for a further half an hour without any success. Mom had even opened the cupboard door and closed it back after a visual inspection convinced her that I wasn't in there. I was beginning to get comfortable with my situation and for the first time since the accident felt that I might actually ride out of this disaster unscathed. Man, I really had more intelligence than my mom gave me credit for, I thought.
A short while later, I heard my mom's voice promising not to punish me if I came out of hiding. The battle was won!!! I couldn't believe I had gotten away with this. But before I revealed myself, I wanted to make sure that mom was as good as her word. So, the genius that I was, I yelled out from inside the cupboard asking mom if she really meant it when she said she wouldn't punish me. Mom didn't answer me. She simply homed in on the voice from inside the cupboard and I was hauled out kicking and screaming. What followed was not a pretty scene (though my bro would beg to differ), with corporeal punishment for errant kids being commonplace in India. Though on this occasion, I think the punishment was warranted for the gravity of my crime... insuperable stupidity...
So there you have it... the story of the "genius" kid. Though, I really blame the Govt. for my misery and stupidity. Had the Govt not broadcast the Olympics on TV, I wouldn't have chanced upon wrestling, I wouldn't have gotten the bright idea about the new game and wouldn't have had to perform the action of incredible stupidity. So, as you can quite clearly see from my indisputable logic, the fault on this occasion clearly lies with the Govt. Down with the Govt!!! Stoopid Govt... until later... cheers 8-)