Insipid humour like life
“Yes, Sir, I was just thinking of you,” said Dr Prerna when Dr Rakesh walked into her office. He was not even in the most remotest part of her thinking. He knew it too. That was just one of their many secrets.
Dr Prerna had done her PhD on the artistry of octopus tentacles and Dr Rakesh’s thesis was about the destiny of leeches for sucking blood. The former was the principal of the school and the latter was a leading principal-aspirant. The latter warmed up to the former hoping that she would recommend him for the vacant vice-principal’s chair and the former entertained the latter as he played the role of both the stooge and the snitch. Having buried his soul in the most dishonest flattery and having informed on all his colleagues who matter, Dr Rakesh would cover up the stench and filth of his inner rot beneath his three-piece suit.
“Your disrobe looks fabulous today,” said Dr Rakesh as usual trying to flatter his boss’s new dress.
“What?” Dr Prerna was scandalised in spite of herself.
Dr Rakesh’s knowledge of English was one of the many handicaps that he hid beneath his three-piece suit. So he had sought the assistance of the English teacher, Joyonto, to learn the name of the Queen’s latest garb which looked like a hybrid between the cassock of Catholic priests and the habit of Tibetan monks. The crooked Bong had played a nasty game on him, realised Dr Rakesh. Saala, what does he think of himself? That eating fish-head will make him more shrewd than Dr Rakesh? Let him wait and watch what Dr Rakesh, the Chanakya of New India Residential Public School, has in store for him.
While the Chanakya sat in the air-conditioned office of his Queen, Joyonto was taking his usual evening walk on the campus with his little son.
“Be careful,” he warned his son. “Don’t fall down.”
“Why, dad?” asked the boy. “What will happen if I fall?”
“Friends will laugh,” said Joyonto.
One of Joyonto’s friends was having his laughs sitting in the Principal’s office. “He is promiscuous,” Dr Rakesh had learnt that word from Joyonto the other day. “Have you noticed the way he flirts with the lady teachers?”
Promiscuity was a good allegation, thought Dr Prerna. She encouraged the stooge to exercise his creative imagination and fabricate some substantiating episodes for Joyonto’s promiscuity. Every staff member has to be kept in his or her place. A principal who doesn’t know how to do that is a potential failure.
“Your AC is very good,” said Dr Rakesh having come to the end of the creativity of his imagination. He thought it wise to depart from the disrobe while flattering the Queen.
“Sir, sir,” the Queen became suddenly excited. That was one of her diseases. “Have you heard the joke about the patient who complained about the cold in the operation theatre?”
“No, tell me, madam.” He said though he had heard the joke twenty-five times since the lady assumed her present office.
“The AC is very cold, said the patient. Then the doc said, if you find this cold unbearable how will you bear the cold in the mortuary?”
Dr Rakesh roared with laughter. “Oh, I’m sorry. You made me laugh so loud,” he apologised.
Don’t be sorry, you numbskull! The Queen said in her heart. Your mortuary is getting ready.