The class, which until today, did not even know who Halkat Pinto was stunned into silence. We all hoped it was nothing too serious. Yes, it was all okay, nothing would happen to Halkat, we all convinced ourselves. But the vacant expression on Walker Sir’s face told a different story. Bhupesh couldn’t take the tension anymore and finally broke the silence.
“Tell no Sir! Why he was so much tension mein?” he said looking twice as anxious as he would on the day Jayachandran Ma’am would distribute the Algebra mid-term papers.
“Who was in tension?” said Walker Sir confusedly.
“Halkat Pinto sir!” said Bhupesh slapping his forehead.
“Kidhar hai Halkat?” asked Walker Sir excitedly.
“Arrey Sir the STORY!!” yelled the class.
“Story, of course of course, saans to lene do!” Walker Sir, took a deep breath and continued, “I had never heard Halkat in so much tension. Woh to saala bade se bada lafda kar ke hasta tha! I knew something was wrong, but then I had to remain calm for him. I asked him…Arrey tension nahi le yaar, tell me what happened starting se.”
“Arrey men, what to tell you now. There’s nothing left only to say.” wept Halkat.
“Yaar, you tell me aaram se, we’ll figure something” I told him.
“Okay men, but please haan, don’t let all the other buggers from class know. Bloody my full on kachra will become, men.”
“Tereko bola na. Nothing will go out. You say.” I assured him.
“Arrey so you know na, Julie was home and all last night. Now I swear haan, I didn’t plan for anything and all. It was all her idea. In fact I was fattay scared men. But she said not to worry and all.” Halkat stuttered. “So we were relaxing and all and I put on some musics, you know na all that Lionel Richie and Bryan Adams wala new cassette no. So then she comes next to me and akses.’You are thinking, what I am thinking?”
“Now what I knew what she was thinking and all. But then all these dames no, they get solid angry if you don’t understand them men. So I said, I’m to kabhi se thinking only, you are only not saying anything!”
“Julie just smiled and she’s saying, it’s getting hot and all in here no? And then she winked. So I aksed should I on the fan and she’s laughing and saying, ‘What men everytime joking only?’ I was full on confused but then what the heck, even I laughed. What to do na?”
“Tu saala, you just make all these big big claims. Aur ladki saath mein hain and you don’t know anything!” I teased him, said Walker Sir. “Chal chal go on, fattu saala.”
“Julie was coming all close close and then she put her hand on my shoulder and said, chal go on the fan and off the light and come here.” Halkat nervously continued.
“Utna to you did correctly na!” I asked him.
“Arrey enough haan, I’m serious here and you’re bloody joking! Accha forget, then I went and sat next to Julie, and she put her arms around me and then….”
“TRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIINGG” rang the bell with all its ear-splitting might.
“Reeessssasssss!!” yelled all but one of the Shah’s in chorus.
“Arrey saambhdo! Let Sir finiss the story no!” Bhupesh roared. “Kip quiet now, if anyone talking no, I will write your name on the board and show Geometry Madam!” he threatened the class. “Sir you pliss continue” he said flattening his hair once again.
“Haan to I was saying…hmm…haan so Halkat told me that they turned the lights off aur Julie uske paas mein aake baith gayi. I asked him to go on.”
“Arrey, I’m feeling shy and all men.”blushed Halkat.
“Waah, naam tera Halkat, and you are feeling shy? Kya zamana hai!”
“Arrey now how to tell you. Accha you’ve watched that movie Julie o’what?”
“Sir Dimple Kapadia wali ke Neha Dhupia wali?” yelled a wisecrack from the back of the class. Within no time Bhupesh spotted the culprit and wrote his name on the board with 2 Xs next to it. Clearly Bhupesh wasn’t going to let anything come in the way of this story.
“Arrey abhi samajhdar ko hint kaafi hai. Waise Neha Dhupia wali jyada accurate hai.” Walker Sir winked. “Fir I told him, Saale, itna kuch kiya tum logon ne! Waah! Aur bol”
“Arrey, then what else men. We just cuddled and all and went to sleep. Then six o’ clock in the morning na, the doorbell rang and I woke up. Julie wasn’t there next to me, so I thought she must be in the bathroom or something. So I open the door and took the milk ka thayli from the bhaiyya and he’s seeing, “Saab tumhare ko letter aaya hai”
“Abey 6 baje subah letter?” I asked Halkat.
“Yeah men, and what’s more it was smelling of Julie’s perfume and all! So then I slowly opened it and all while searching for Julie but I didn’t find her only.” said Halkat sounding worried as he was earlier.
“One night stand? Bhaag gayi kya? What was in the letter?” I asked him out of shock
“Arrey that’s why I’m screwed na men! I opened it and all and started to read it. And it was Julie ka letter only. And she’s saying, Halkat I’m sorry and all, I should have told you this before only, but I didn’t because then you wouldn’t love me. But I have AIDS” Halkat burst out crying.
The class stared open-mouthed as a visibly emotional Walker Sir wiped a tear away. Bhupesh, now white as a ghost, was also on the verge of tears. Somehow he once again egged Walker Sir on to continue as he had done many times today.
“Fir, Sir…” was all he managed to say before his emotions got the better of him.
“Agle din, Halkat passed away. Bechara kitna young tha!” said a weeping Walker Sir.
Our worst fear being realized we were dumbfounded. We simply couldn’t believe that a night of carelessness could cost Halkat his life and that too the very next day! Suddenly it made sense why our folks never spoke to us about the birds and the bees. Suddenly the stork stories seemed so much better. But someone had to tell us the bitter truth, and that man was Walker Sir, who had now regained his composure.
“Mera dost bechara, he lost his life. But you don’t have to make the same mistake!” he warned us.
“Yes Sir, I also readed something about safe sex in Junior Encyclopedia.” Bhupesh butted in.
“WHAT? Safe Sex? No no no! Don’t listen to that book” thundered Walker Sir. “There’s no such thing as safe sex! If you have sex, YOU WILL DIE! Is that clear?”
“But Sir…”Bhupesh tried to argue.
“Saavdhan! My job was to tell warn you, now you do what suits you best. Remember, SEX WILL KILL YOU!” said Walker Sir as he walked out of class.
The final bell rang soon after, but it wasn’t greeted by the usual sounds of 70-odd boys rejoicing their newly attained freedom. Today we walked out silently, almost as a mark of respect to Halkat.
As we walked out the gate and towards the girls’ school nearby, Bhupesh told me,
“Arrey, that Walker Sir no, he is to bevda. What he is knowing. I am telling no, Junior Encyclopedia is not saying like that.” he boasted.
“So you mean you don’t die if you do it?” I asked out of shock.
“No rey! I am telling you na” Bhupesh tried to convince. But I would have none of it. I politely excused my self and hailed a rickshaw home leaving Bhupesh there all alone.
“And they are calling me a chomu! Hmm what to tell them only.” chuckled Bhupesh to himself. He then proceeded to take his tie off, mess his hair and undo the top two buttons of his shirt. And then Bhupesh took a deep breath…and whistled in front of the Girl’s school.
NOT To be Continued.