The area behind the rear boundary wall of the school was like a jungle. Rajeev, Babu, and 3 other boys had bunked the class in the last period. They crossed over the wall behind the school by scaling. They all sat down in the grass.
Babu asked Rajeev, "Will you play cards?"
Rajeev was not interested in the cards.
"No, I'll see you guys playing," Rajeev said.
Babu got a comic booklet out of his pouch and handed it to Rajeev.
"You read it."
They started playing cards.
After a while, Babu took out a packet of Wills cigarettes and a lighter from his pants pocket. He lit a cigarette and all the boys drew on it by rotation. Babu knew how to make smoke rings. He demonstrated twice by blowing smoke rings. Then a strong wind started to blow and it became impossible to make the smoke rings. Then the school bell rang off. They climbed the boundary wall, jumped inside, and ran to their classrooms. They took their bags and came out of the school. Rajeev had come to school by bicycle. He moved toward the bicycle stand.
School buses were standing ready. Babu and his companions boarded a bus. They were backbenchers in the class and preferred the rear seats in the bus too. All the students knew this and nobody dared occupy the seats normally occupied by Babu and his gang. Babu and his friends sat in their seats and traveled indulging in some or the other mischiefs
BABU IN COLLEGE
Babu and his gang enrolled in the City College of the Arts.
It was the first day for Babu in the college. There was a good deal of hustle and bustle. New students were easily distinguishable by their nervous and terrified faces. Though the ragging had been banned by the administration, some senior students were still harassing the fresh students on the pretext of getting an introduction.
Babu arrived at the college and parked the bike in the parking lot.
When he turned back a group of three or four boys called him.
"Hey, come hither."
"What's the matter?" Came and asked Babu.
"No manners to talk to elders?"
Babu laughed. None of them looked bigger. He understood that they were trying to rag him.
"What happened, sir?"
They asked his name and class and let him go.
This was a big college with an immense building and a large playground behind it. From the big entrance gate to the main building, there was a broad drive in. Both sides of this were lawns. The building was coated with light yellow paint and looked fantastic.
Babu moved to the main building of the college. Three boys stopped him. These young men looked like rowdies. One of them was taller than Babu and he had a light beard and mustache. He asked, "New admission?"
"Do you know me?"
"It will be good for you to know me. My name is Mahendra Singh. I am the king of this college"
"Yes, sir," Babu himself was no less naughty he did not mind a little fuss.
"Give a salute to the Majesty," one boy told Babu.
"Salaam," Babu raised his right hand to his forehead to salute."
"Bloody fool, you don’t even know how to salute the king?” Mahendra said, "Raju, you teach him."
Raju bowed down from the waist before Mahendra and raised his right to his forehead thrice. Babu also did that.
Now Mahendra said, "Sit like a rooster now."
Babu felt irritated. He looked into Mahendra’s eyes in a revolting way.
"Duffer, did you not hear what I said?"
Babu looked around. Some other students had gathered around to watch the spectacle. At some distance, some girl students were also standing.
"Fuck your sis…," Mahendra reviled and tried to tilt Babu's head down by his hands.
Babu pushed Mahendra’ hands aside, raised his head and stood upright. Babu was enraged now.
"Straight off you guys are passing over the limit."
Suddenly Mahendra slapped Babu.
"Motherfucker you forgot how to talk to seniors. "
Babu had tolerated more than enough. He was also hot-tempered and rash. Babu was slightly smaller in stature, but not in physical strength. Babu bounced and hit hard Mahendra's chest with his head. Mahendra did not imagine it. He was hurt and pushed a few steps backward. Babu also retreated several steps. He feared that Mahendra and his friends could pounce on him together. So he was thinking of defense to protect himself. He badly missed his gang, which was not with him at that time.
Mahendra and his partners advanced towards Babu threateningly with clenched fists.
Babu challenged, "Come on, one by one if you have the guts”.
A junior student had challenged Mahendra and his friends for the first time, so they wanted to teach him a lesson. Many of the students, including girls, were watching the fight, but they did not dare to interfere in it.
Babu took on the four opponents at a time. From the left, one boy raised his hand. Babu quickly ducked to the right side and delivered a karate kick by his left leg in the stomach of that boy. He sat down, holding his belly. Mahendra, meanwhile, came increasingly closer to Babu and tried to give him a punch on his face. Babu bent his head backward. Punch hits his chin. Babu wobbled and got back a couple of steps. In the meantime, the boy, who got a kick recovered. Mahendra and his associates wanted to somehow hold him and then punish. Babu had understood that if they caught him, they would beat him hard. He was stuck in the phalanx like Abhimanyu of Mahabharata. The crowd of onlookers was growing too slowly around. Some of them were female students. Losing and fleeing in front of so many people, particularly in front of the girls was exasperating for Babu. Abhimanyu of Mahabharata did not have any weapons left with him in the end, but Babu had one in reserve.
Babu retreated a few steps and put his hand inside his shirt, pulled out a pistol and fired in the air. Mahendra Singh did not have any arms with him at that time.
People scattered and fled when they heard the sound of gunfire.
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