“Shyam, why did it took you so much time just to buy soaps and shampoo,” asked Ram.

“There were a lot of girls who came for purchasing. So, I couldn’t come out quickly,” replied Shyam.

“So, did u met or make any friends over there,” teased Ram.

“Noooo Ramm, I felt shy to go in between them. So, I waited until they left. Then, I approached the counter and purchased. To my bad luck, the person at the counter is also a girl.”

“Why do you feel shy in front of girls. By the way, Did you ever held a girl’s hand in your life?” teased Ram. 

ONE

“Yes, I did. I still remember holding Pooja’s hand in the midst of around 1000 people. After few minutes I got conscious of my surroundings and I felt uncomfortable holding her hand. I wanted to take my hand away from that of hers. However, she held my hand so firmly that I couldn’t withdraw. I tried twice or thrice to withdraw my hand, but was unsuccessful.”

“It seems she is interested in you”, smiled Ram. 

“Rammmmmm, don’t imagine much. This happened after the commencement of prayer in our school ground during my 1st class. She held my hand because our class teacher said so. She is a first-bencher I guess and she follows teacher’s word just like Ram follows Dasarath, unquestioningly.”

“What. Do you remember what happened during your 1st class?”

“This is one of the few incidents that I remember. Now I think you understood how I feel in the midst of girls.”

“This incident just answers my question “HOW” but not “WHY””

“To get the answer you have to walk with me through the second important story of my life”, says SHYam.

TWO

“In our school, one of the favourite topics of interest among our teachers is the glory of our class. We were the most silent, obedient and a class of exceptionally disciplined students 😜😜😜 of our entire school. It became too tough for them to handle us. To control our mischievousness, they came up with an ingenious idea which was like an atom bomb on many of us.”

“What was that?” enquires Ram.

“The seating arrangement”

“I didn’t get you.”

“Ram, they made us sit in such a way that there is an opposite gender beside each of us. My friend Ravan (Raman) ran quickly and took the place at the edge of the bench.”

“So?” Ram exclaimed.

“I ended up with Aarthi and Aradhana on either side of me for one year, while he sat between Aarthi and the wall.”

“Ohhhhhh, I think someone is lucky here,” teased Ram.

“Come on Ram, this happened in my 3rd standard.”

“Then”

“Our teachers were extremely happy as this new seating arrangement was an instant hit because we couldn’t produce half the noise in our class with the opposite gender sitting beside us.

“I still didn’t get the answer for my question “WHY”?”

“One day when we were relatively comfortable speaking with girls, I and Raman started teasing Aarthi. It slowly transformed into a verbal quarrel.  Our clever Raman slowly became silent while he encouraged me by pouring more oil into the already very volatile and heated quarrel. In the heat of the argument, I created rhythmic lyrics on her pet name (pinky) and sang “Pinky is a donkey, Pinky is a monkey, Pinky is lanky and most importantly Pinky is stinky”. To this, my friend who is a cocktail of Ravan, Kumbakaran and all the Asuras, laughed for 2 minutes”.

“At that moment, I realised that I have crossed a delicate line when I saw fumes in the Aarthi’s eyes. I stopped teasing her and she stopped responding and kept quiet for the rest of the day. In the evening, my friend Kumbakaran told me that the next day will be my doomsday. He frightened me by saying that she will bring her father and I have to meet the Principal. He further scared me out by saying that the Principal will call my parents as well to the school.”

“What happened next, did she bring her father,” asks Ram.

“She didn’t. But that fear has stayed within me for a year. I think around that point in time, I told myself mentally that I have to maintain certain distance from girls.”

“Now, I have got a fair idea, SHYaaam.”

Shyam ignores the fun and continues, “However, that fear has slowly taken the shape of shyness over a period of time.” 

“How come?”

“The third story of my life will answer that. Are you ready?” 

“Yes, my dear amigo,” replied Ram. 

THREE

“During one of those drowsy and boring afternoon classes of my 6th standard, my friend Gopal and myself wanted to entertain ourselves. We picked Vishnu as our source of entertainment and started tickling him by prodding at the waist. For that, he was jumping a few inches and swinging as if he has received an electric shock and he couldn’t control his smile. We suppressed our smiles while looking at two opposite emotions simultaneously playing on Vishnu’s face: fear of getting caught and smiling. As Vishnu was sitting in between us, he was unable to avoid neither of us. At times, when we couldn’t control our laughter, we use to dive below the bench and laughed. We three were enjoying this act while our social studies class was going. We were so engrossed in our own world that we didn’t realise that our Madam was noticing our mischieve while teaching the class.” 

“Wait, wait. What about the seating arrangement?” interrupted Ram.

“It lasted for only one year, Ram” replied Shyam and continued, “She had enough and she asked the three of us to come out of the bench and make us stand in the middle of our class. Then, she gave Vishnu a harsh thrashing with a stick and he revealed the truth. She left Vishnu and gave a relatively lesser degree of thrashing to Gopal.”

“What about you?”

“She didn’t beat me”.

“Why?”

“She gave me a different punishment which was far more painful than physical thrashing”.

“What was that?” asked Ram.

“She made me sit on the girl’s bench. There were three rows of girls in front of me, three rows of girls behind me and three girls beside me. Just like India is covered on three sides by water, I was covered on all the three sides with my class girls.”

Unable to control his laughter Ram asked, “What about the fourth side?”

“There was a wall. It became my best friend instantly and due to hesitation, I sat half on the bench and another half in the air so that I am away from the girl sitting beside me. Those were one of the most painful 15 minutes of my life. To make things more complex, at the end of the class, she asked me to sit for the next two classes as well. In the next class, our Maths teacher Hiranyakasipu, Sorry sorry, Hirani Kashyap Sir called me as soon as he entered the class. He enquired the reason for me sitting beside girls. I explained to him that social studies madam has made me sit over there for the next two classes for being mischievous during her class. Then he placed HIROSHIMA and NAGASAKI atom bombs on me at the same time.”

“How?”

“Instead of two classes, he asked me to sit over there for one full week”. 

Ram was rolling on the floor laughing his brains out. 

PS: Please do forgive me if your name is Pinky by any chance. My sincere request is please don’t ask me whether I am Ram or Shyam or both of them or a friend of either of them. 😜😜😜😜😜 As Swamiji says “Discover your own truth” (when you met me). 

Keep smiling often and take care of yourself. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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