In MZMS, when we were in std. VII, we started forming gangs. If it were a pre-80s suburb of Rio, we would have fought for drugs and stuffs; but we were born and bred in peaceful environments, where you only heard of robberies through a very distant relative who had been told of the same by a very distant relative of his own. Sometimes, you’d come across the reports of murder in the locality, and you’d gasp at the realisation that there was a locality right behind your ass that you did not have a hair of an idea about.
Fights did break, among all age groups and over a wide range of issues. Little kids fought for candies and stuffs, elders fought because their wives demanded designer dresses which their neighbours got from sale. Women fought because their mother-in-laws were being bitches. Mother-in-laws fought because their daughter-in-laws were being bitches. Women also fought when the grocer was not ready to pull the price lower than what the worth of a bag of 250 grams of okra was. Actually, okra sellers were an endangered species. Everybody fought them.
At our age, we fought for love, or because the umpire gave a no ball when it was not one. I remember testosterone rushing through our veins, making us feel powerful and eager. We’d watch the scuffles in Indira Gandhi Stadium, hear stories that triggered them, and admire the gang leaders with undiluted awe. If somebody had even a vague connection to those gangs, like if he could tell two or three unheard stories about the gangleader, he was showered with much respect and honour. Most of the fights happened when two boys fell for the same girl. It was war after that. They’d get to the stadium with their gangs and beat the daylights out of each other. A few years ago, a boy was even beaten to death. It came in papers and there was a small candle march.
So in std. VII, with so much hope in our eyes, we started forming our own gangs, so that if ever we confronted a troop, we would have one of our own to fight back. It was not like one of those 4 houses the Sorting Hat puts you in so that you could chase shots riding on magical brooms, it was quite deadly.
We had just made the switch from half pants to full ones, and there was an urgent need to display the privileges that came with full pants. We tossed our beyblades into the wastebin, we stopped watching Roll Number 21, we fastened our belts and geared up for a new life.
The class got divided into various gangs, each with its own speciality.
My gang was called Indo Dragon, the only gang to have a two-word name, and a logo. It was a dragon I’d ripped off from my comic book. We had put together a bunch of weird kids. Churan was the psycho scientist who was trying to derive a formula to calculate the volume of his penis, Bihari was a WWE fan who could imitate sweet chin music quite well. We had Bhola who was built like Thor. Then Mausa who had loads of money. We were an exclusive group where entry required some talent or 80% or above in Maths. My friend PC qualified for none, but I kept him in the gang anyway. For moral support.
There was another gang called Mayo gang. Its leader was Atif, and I don’t remember who were in the team.
Shoodra gang consisted of students who didn’t give a fuck about the rest of us. They were either too innocent or too distanced. There was another group called MARD gang, which consisted of four people the first letter of their names being M, A, R and D, which was the only qualification required for entry.
Later, there was a reshuffle and a new gang came up – Batul Da gang. Batul da is this famous tutor of my city who prepares newborns and infants for IITJEE. So everybody who went there, including me, had to maintain a level of swag by talking in coaching jargons.
Now let’s talk about the girls. Yeah, I know you were waiting for this. Okay. There was this crazy gang of five girls who were high on hormones. They had boyfriends and were known to set girls for desperate boys. If you liked a girl, you just had to contact them. But they were also loud and phoney, and even though I did not particularly like them, they were a force to be reckoned with.
Doctor was a part of the trio which was high on marks but low on kindness. Their favourite passtime was getting us beaten up by the teacher, especially Lauvva sir, whose favourite passtime was beating up students, especially us.
Other than that there were a few random trios. Insignificant but they hung on.
Unfortunately, we never had a fight. The closest thing to a fight we had was the tae kwon do sessions on the terrace during lunch breaks.
The class evolved in the next two years, and then we got divided on the basis of our relationship status into the following groups :
• Classroom couples. The most annoying of all. They’d snog in the back benches and write corny love letters for each other, often in their blood. The girls would bring maggie for their boyfriends and the boys would bring the biggest packs of Dairy Milk Silk, recharge their phone and give them their kidneys to play with, etc, etc. They’d often get caught fondling each other, and we would hear an hour of moral science lecture from someone as inhuman as our Maths teacher.
• There also were people with partners outside of the classroom, and they were usually quiet. Sometimes they’d miss the classes. They didn’t usually care.
• Then there were fucked up one-sided lovers, like yours truly, who used to nurture sadness because true love is immortal according to Nicholas Sparks. Two years ago, when I joined college I gave away all my Nicholas Sparks for free. When I think about it now, maybe it was societal pressure. I mean all my friends were leaping into relationships, and Doctor was kind of cute and funny, so I thought it was love. Maybe it even was – if you ask my 15 year old self, he would swear it was. But I’m not sure. I mean we had a total of 8 conversations on phone, about which I shall tell you in the next post.
• People who were single had it easy. They read Bhagat Singh or French revolution and successfully kept their female interactions to a minimum.
Anyways, so this was it. We passed X and went separate ways. The attempts at reunion have been in vain so far. Let’s see…