Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pranay tussi great ho

It was the first day (some day in Feb, 1996) of our Board (Xth) exams. I was standing alone waiting for the exam to start. Nobody was allowed to talk to me as the batch (of 100) had decided to boycott me. To top up my plight, this was my first ever public exam. I was wathcing my friends talking/discussing/fighting/.. till somebody shouted my name and I saw Pranay waving his hand, saying Hi to me!!!!!!
That too in front of whole of the batch. I was extremely happy and I knew he is the only person in the batch who could do this. In fact, the reason of his doing this was simply that here was a guy whom the majority was against. Then, what better chance to show his anti-establishment views, which he had (I'll say still has) ardent faith in. Only he could dare do this (he didn't have to dare, for him its natural), nobody else in the batch could. (I remember on few occasstions bumping into Onkar, Rajeev, Santosh or few more, of course one at a time, and they confiding in me that they don't want to boycott me but they hope I did understand what the batch-pressure was like). Pranay and I were never mates enough to pass my judgement if we were good or bad mates. But that day, his gesture made my day. Surprisingly, my exams didn't take a hit (atleast results said so, I can't say in absolute sense) by this month-long boycott by my batchmates.
(Let me tell the reason as people may take me or others in wrong opinion if reason is not stated, for the boycott:
As every year, some mischievous guys did some mischief and then they got identified. School-admin decided, as everytime, to give them some punishment. Few genius in the batch came up with a idea that they can punish few, not all. (George Orwell's "Animal Farm" in practice!!!!) The masses didn't have much clue. "Everybody" was just told to do what "everybody" was doing which was actually being decided by "Few". Masses complied. I happenned to be aware (I was not inside) of the core-team's decision. I said, its stupid idea, but since I was almost a non-entity, nobody cared. All I could do was telling them that I wont join them. Nobody took it seriously till I really defied!!!!!! They all suddenly vanished from school, in the wee-hours, with me left for grilling by teachers asking where did the 100 students vanished!!!!! 4 years of training - I clearly expressed my ignorance about all my friends, where they were and all, and techers didn't pressurize me enough, as they might have foreseen my situation and they didn't want to add to my sorry situation. Well, for me, it was not a matter of anti-establishment or any such thing. Simple thing was I was the first guy in my school to clear Math Olympiad (still in Xth) and I didn't want to loose the next-level opportunity for some reasons I could not justify. Anyway, whatever my reason, the boycott was imminent and I wont say, totally unjustified.)
Anyway, where was our esteemed friend Pranay then. FYI, he was rusticated from school till the board exams, as punishment (ek reason ho tab to likhoon!!!!)
If I have ever seen a guy totally unafraid of society, its him. Sometimes he seem to be unaware of its presence.
This reminds me of a very interesting story of his.
Of course, its natural for parents to be worried about such a kid. His mom somehow convinced him to take him to some REAL famous jyotisi. New challenge, Pranay complied. There the jyotisi ji thought of first building some relation as well as asserting some of his prowess. So he asked Pranay if he wanted "Agra ka petha" or "Kolkata ka Rosogolla" (he used to produce things like this outof thin air!!!!). I have spent sometime with him and I can easily imagine the glint in his eyes that must have had appeared. He, jumping with joy, asked "humein to Asansol ki sonpapadi chahiye"!!!!! Just imagine his mom's condition!!!!! but he does this as he just doesn't give a damn about all this craps. If you wanna assert your authority, act and prove it, don't pretend. If the jyotisiji had the power, he should not feel offended by someguy really challenging it.
I really sometimes wish, I could pick some such traits of his. Almost total fearlessness. He might fear some goons' thrashing (that too his threshold is way higher than we mortals can imagine) but he has no fear of future, society, nothing. What I have learned is that its difficult to imbibe this fearlessness once you are gorwn up. I have seen him since we were 12 years of age. He has always been like this. I think he is a child who have really been groomed with fearlessness instilled in him. (But then why is his one-year younger brother, just like me and all, I cann't comprehend). I agree, it so extremely difficult to handle him. In fact there are only 4-5 people left in the batch whom he doesn't find irritating and doesn't mind talking to. But how good things could be if every child grows with no concept of fear of people/society/../... as long as they know don't cross into others' domain, whats better. Yes, the majority in the society don't like such people. Around 80% of my batch avoid Pranay for simple reason that he is so straight-forward that it becomes insulting to you sometimes. (I agree that if he gets mean, since he has not much idea of protocols, he would straight-forwardly insult you!!!! But then thats what he meant to do, so why pretending!!!!
But, still, courtsey, protocols etc. etc. are much easier to learn, but truth, honesty, fearlessness etc. are some virtues we should try to groom in kids more. Rest they can decide if they wanna pick or not.

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