Twitter has dropped that rusty old star that we’d click to indicate that we liked a tweet. It has now replaced that antique with a bouncy, bubbly, belly-dancing red heart.
While I personally prefer a heart to a star, in the towns and villages of India, a red heart often spells something totally different. It symbolizes danger!
Here’s the story of Chandraketu who was my room-mate for an year when we were at college. He had cleared one of the toughest entrance exams for undergrad studies, got an under-100 All-India-Rank, and was a student of Computer Science. Chandraketu (the light of the moon) was as dark as a moonless sky. His parents must’ve had something against their newborn child, because by naming him Chandraketu, they had consigned him to twenty-plus years of bullying, all for his name. He had a rather broad nose without a nose-bridge, wore glasses, and had begun to bald at eighteen – but beneath this rather unappealing exterior, his heart was as bubbly, bouncy, and pink as the Twitter heart.
When Chandraketu was in the final year of school, he studied in the Government Boys School of his town. The State Government-run schools usually suffer from an annoying dearth of teachers, which makes the rare breed of studious students seek out a tutor. Chandraketu did the same. They didn’t have a Math teacher in their school for three months straight, and so Chandraketu joined the morning tuition-class of a private Math tutor, who was known as the sabse sahi Ganit Guru ji (Best Math Teacher) in the town.
Guru ji held the class in his drawing room (living room.) Chandraketu had some eight tution-mates, three of them girls. Rekha was the smartest. Despite being a girl (Chandraketu’s observation, not mine,) she was the second to solve any Math problem that Guru ji gave them to solve (the first was obviously my friend Chandraketu.) Other than being rather bright, Rekha was also pretty. Fair and willowy, doe-eyed and rosy-cheeked, she had a long-plait of dark hair that swung like a lady-snake when she walked. (Chandraketu’s description, not mine.)
So before he knew, he fell for her – hook, line, and sinker.
Our Chandraketu wasn’t a man who would leap into action without giving the matter due thought. So he nudged the bridge of his glasses to push them up on his bridge-less nose, and donned his thinking hat. Before his first week at the tuition was up, he had it all chalked out.
The next morning…
— More later—
Gotta go. Emergency call from one of my uncles. Excuse the typos.
Thanks for waiting.
Read the second part here.