Personal

Time Bomb

Recently there has been a
spate of news reports about Pak President Pervez Musharraf’s new autobiography. Apart from
the usual stuff, he also talks in detail about his personal life, romances,
childhood incidents etc. What caught my eye here was a piece about how
Musharraf learnt to make a time bomb in college.

This brought back a lot of
memories from my past… more specifically the time I spent in Chandrapur. I studied
in the local Kendriya Vidyalaya, between 1996 and 2000, when my father was
posted there. Now this incident happened when I was in the 12th standard.
There were not many students in the 11th and 12th standards
of the school, for various reasons. Most of the kids had left the school after
the 10th boards. Some of them had shifted to the (apparently) easier
State Board while others had gone to boarding schools in other cities.

What we had left was a bunch
of 10-12 boys more interested in playing cricket and pranks rather than
seriously studying.

One such prank was played just
before the 1999 Diwali holidays were going to start. It was the last day of school
before the short vacations and we wanted to end the day with a bang. Now since
we were the seniormost batch of the school, the “discipline” of the school was
entrusted with us. Hence the “bang” had to be planned extremely carefully,
since any slip-offs could have had a huge amount of repercussions for us.

The 12th standard
was the only batch which had access to the school classroom wing during the
lunch break. This was apparently to ensure the cleanliness of the classrooms.
Therefore this was the best time when we could implement our sinister designs.
But any incident during the recess could also be easily be traced back to us. So
we came up with what Musharraf calls a “time bomb”. An agarbatti was attached
to the fuse of a “sutli” or “rassi” bomb and hidden in the 1st floor
boys toilet during the lunch break. The agarbatti was lit just before the break
finished thereby giving us an approximate time of half an hour to play
innocent.

The bell rang, the next
class started, the class ended but still nothing happened. There was no “earth
shattering” explosion, no chaos, no nothing. Now all our tails were up, we
couldn’t bear to see our evil plan fail without so much as a whimper. As soon
as we got free from the classes, we went to the scene of (could have been)
crime. The “time bomb” was no where to be found. A few investigations here and
there made the picture perfectly clear.

A tiny, little 6th
standard kid had chanced upon the bomb in the toilet when it was just about to
go off. The little prick had, in a fit of fear, pissed on the agarbatti and
made off with our bomb!! So much for our “blast”.

This really had us all in
a fit of rage and we then planted a couple of bombs in the dustbin near the
school playground. A window shattering blast shock up the entire ground floor
and also broke the lid of the dustbin used for the purpose.

The whole class was
summoned to the principal’s office and given the task of finding out the
culprits behind the “crime”. And since I was the school captain I was given the
responsibility of closing the case ASAP.

What happened next can be
easily guessed. The blame for the explosion was put on some outsiders who had
apparently entered the school compound by jumping the compound wall. Very
similar to what we see happen everyday in India
and Pakistan.
Every thing is conveniently put on the head of “outside elements”.

I guess I have the makings
of a president in me… a la Pervez Musharraf.

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