His name was Subramani (name changed to protect author from getting punched). He would come to school every morning with a great deal of vibhoothi plastered on his abnormally large forehead. By the end of the day, the vibhoothi would have spread all over his face, making him look like he had just used the compact from hell. We called him Powder Subramani – not very creative but then again, we were only 7 years old and our nicknaming skills weren’t exactly the sharpest. I think the best we did back then was Bajji Gomathi. Heh. Gomathi basically had too many molaga bajjis in the canteen and…I digress.

This post is not about Bajji Gomathi’s digestion problems.

Powder Subramani loved discipline. He was probably the only person in II C to have always brought books as per the time table. His walk had discipline. His speech may not have had grammar, but it had discipline. Even the way he ate rasam rice had discipline. It was no surprise that the teacher picked him to be class leader.
Subramani rose to the occasion, and how! Nobody could escape his sight, his 4 inch thick viewing apparatus (commonly referred to as soda buddi) made sure everyone in the perimeter was in his line of control. Even Badboy Naveen was quieter. It was almost as if class II ‘C’ had reformed.

Almost.

It was a Wednesday, I think, or a Thursday. I don’t remember. Our science teacher was absent, which meant Powder Subramani would be on vigil for a full forty minutes. The class was mostly quiet, except for Badboy Naveen who was singing the Su-Su song (I don’t remember the lyrics but it had a lot of Su-Sus). His name was the first one on the “Bad Names” list, not to mention it had an underline and “100 ticks” which was cleverly added by Subramani to save the trouble of actually putting a 100 ticks.
See, when we were in 2nd standard (or even the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and the first term of 6th standard for that matter), the role of the class leader was well defined. He would be the guy who would write “Names” (The visionary that Powder Subramani was, he even innovated and came up with 2 lists – “Good Names” and “Bad Names”) on the board, which was essentially the list of people who were up to no good in the class (or in Subramani’s case, the list of people who were breathing a little too loudly) which would be passed on to the teacher who would decide upon a suitable punishment, like extra Moral Science classes.

Where were we?

Yes.
That afternoon.
The Su-Su song.
Bad Names.
Now, in the middle of all this, there I was minding my own business when my pencil rolled off my desk and onto the floor. So I went to retrieve it, and in the process knocked down a couple of books from the adjacent desks as well (I wasn’t a big fan of poise. Especially not poise like Subramani).
When I fianlly came back to my desk, below Badboy Naveen’s name THERE WAS MINE.

I was appalled. My name was a Bad Name – which was somewhat WTF really, because my name is really nice and I’m sure my Grandfather knew much more than Powder Subramani when he named me.

Heated negotiations ensued.

“Ei, Subramani. Take my name off. I am quiet only”
“Ei, you are making noise”
“No I’m not. Take my name off.”
“No! You are not being quiet”
“Stupppid. I am quiet. Take my name off”

I had called the class leader stupppid. You can imagine what an Epic Badass I was, even back then.

“I am not stupppid. You are only stupppid”
“No I’m not”
“Stuppppid stupppid stupppppid” he said, with so much fervour that the first bench was full of his DNA samples.

At that very precise moment, as if by divine intervention, our class teacher walked in.

“Subramaniam!”
“Yes Miss”
“Did you just call this girl stupid?”
“Yes miss…no! no miss”
“I heard you! You tell me ma, did he call you stupid?”
“Yes Miss” I sniffed (for some extra effect)
“There will be no name call in my class”
“But Miss!” protested Subramani. “That girl was not shut-upping!”
“Enough! From tomorrow, she’ll be the class leader.”

It was too much for poor Powder Subramani to handle. He never spoke to me the entire year, and the next year, and the next year, and well, never. Clearly, he took IInd standard leadership a little too seriously. We had spent nearly 12 years without talking to each other.

Yesterday, Powder Subramani added me on facebook. My life has finally come full circle.

92 Comments on Leadership, and such.

  1. Aah, so "Subramani" made his way here, eh. Fame does, at times, hamper inconspicuousness. Or this wasn't meant to be? πŸ˜›
    "But aana" we used to have boy as Class Leader & girl as Asst. CL no? Or were you so dagaalti that you ruined all his future leadership ventures?

  2. "That girl was not shut-upping!"

    I half expected the teacher to react with "shut up… and do kneel-downing for half an hour!"

    at least my teachers said that…

  3. hehe, I enjoyed this post.. and seriously what memory..to remember all this so clearly.

    as usual, love your posts!

    –Saranya

    ps: you dont reply to comments these days, don't you?

  4. Hahahahaha!!!! – "This post is not about Bajji Gomathi's digestion problems." and "The Su-Su song."! Cannot stop laughing! Its a piece of art – your writing! (a regular visitor (read.. -> admirer) of your blog) ~~ Shini

  5. "The visionary that Powder Subramani was, he even innovated and came up with 2 lists – "Good Names" and "Bad Names""

    Haha! I used to do the good names, bad names list too. It was all the rage amongst class leaders

  6. @rohit
    accident? :O What kind ? πŸ˜›

    @krishashok
    Heh, my memory is very badass. I remember a lot of details, I don't know how it happens but I do, and to the extent it creeps people out. And besides, I'm only 20 saar. IInd standard wasn't so far way πŸ˜€

    @aajay
    thanks πŸ™‚

    @ashwin
    thank you πŸ™‚

    @Idling
    Ada thoo πŸ˜› And i was young and ignorant then, hence the lack of like for the poise πŸ˜›

    @Nags
    πŸ˜€

    @Satish
    πŸ™‚ what happened?

    @Sriram
    thanks πŸ™‚

    @sasidhar
    thanks πŸ˜€

    @SJ
    I'll try πŸ˜› πŸ™‚

    @dilip
    lol, probably πŸ™‚

    @DivSu
    the great man hasnt spoken …yet πŸ˜›

    @maddy
    hahaha. No way.

    @natarajan
    πŸ™‚

    @detuned
    thanks πŸ™‚ keep coming!

    @Doli
    thanks πŸ™‚ psbb is very special that way πŸ™‚

    @BigMouth
    thanks πŸ™‚

    @subramani
    yes a? πŸ˜€

    @WA
    Ohh. Molaga bajjis? πŸ˜€

    @Kaushik
    Illa. He called me stuppid. so no assistant also.
    πŸ˜€

    @SRK
    hahaha πŸ˜€ enga teachers konjam better πŸ˜€

    @Anjana
    oh i had otns of 'enemies'. TONS.
    πŸ˜€

    @Saranya
    Course I do πŸ˜› thanks πŸ˜‰

    @DrKbodhi
    please. i was one terrrr. besides i never said 'shutupping'

    @kaushik
    πŸ™‚

    @deepak
    πŸ˜€

    @shin
    thanks πŸ™‚

    @naren-ji
    many thanks sir πŸ™‚

    @arvind
    please do πŸ™‚

    @neon
    Lol. Good times.

    @chiju
    thanks πŸ™‚

    @mybabynaren
    aaha πŸ˜›

    @saraswathan
    nandri πŸ™‚

  7. Incidentally, I was in II C in my school too. Never got made class leader though. Lost every single election I stood for right from standard 3 to 6th semester of engineering. Nice read, miss.

  8. I have an interview scheduled in the next half-an-hour. Thanks to your hilarious post, I don't feel nervous! Brought back all those sweet memories of semi urban schools. thanks.

  9. Came here from Murungakka … and "Shut upping" was the real twist in the story… very well written.

    I thought the "tell me 'ma'" kind of teacher would say "Yenouf" instead of Enough ! ??

  10. Name Lists FTW, seriously. Most of my recollections about class leaders in my school(s) relate to them turning into draconian beings when the PT Master was around and supreme pals otherwise.

  11. have been reading your blog for sometime now.. had found the link on Narendra Shenoy's Autobiography. Blogs like yours and Narendra shenoy's are really refreshing…forgive me for not voting for you or for that matter not voting at all.

  12. This has got to be one of the best written articles I have read thus far within the vestiges of cyberspace ! It def made me laugh as I envisioned every line written here , occurring in panorama mode ! I hope you have set your sights on becoming a writer, for I truly believe you will excel in this field ; you are a great narrative writer πŸ™‚ ( have you considered maybe writing for the big screen ? – I believe writers possessing your literary skill are slowly becoming a rare breed & are very much needed , in the literary world as well as the screen ) . I wish you much continued success within all of your life & career endeavors & I hope to someday see one of your books being published/promoted & up for sale by some big name book company ! * BTW: yes, your life finally did come full circle by being added to his FB – that is simply the perfect ending to such a hilarious story ! hope he's not harboring any grudges πŸ˜€ * wink wink * ) .

    Be well & continue your great writing flow !

    Mia ο£Ώ

  13. i jus came across ya blog by fluke.. n to be frank iv jus fallen for it… brilliantly done.. wen i started readin dis post i tot WTF… dis is so kiddish n dumb… but wen i read the last line of it, i jus cud imagine the depth of it.. brilliantly done gal/guy…. nice one..keep writin.. uv got a new follower..

  14. Truly hilarious story! I wonder how you remember so much from back then. But as can be seen, some people are not worth forgetting!
    Good thing that he's only your Facebook friend, for if he's on Twitter, we all know which 'List' he is going to add you on! πŸ˜€

  15. hehe.. did this powder subramani wear his shorts upto this tummy level? and what is he doing now any idea? IT? Infosys? πŸ˜€

    btw that blog was a beauty!!! πŸ™‚ like a page taken from swami and friends πŸ™‚

  16. why this list-business only till 6th std 1st sem? well into 7th std i think, it went on in my class.

    i have an unblemished record btw. NEVER on the bad names list. πŸ˜€

    this post just screams pee yes bee bee!

  17. Wow..quite nostalgic..I am reminded of that day in school when I (class leader then) wrote almost all the names under "NAMES" on the black board except for one girl and the class teacher sent them all out and yellarum yennoda KA/DOO sollita..buhu…;(
    yenna panna class leader na summa va..lol..;)

  18. One of the best short write-ups that I've ever read. Reminded me of reading swami and his friends. You've talent girl! And whats the best part, your namme ooru ponnu :D. Became an instant fan!
    Keep it coming.

  19. excellent sense of humour… i read ur family dramas and had a good laugh… i could visually imagine how ur home set up would be and what typically happens in families to the community u belong to… funny πŸ™‚ and a bit astound to see u teasing ur own community πŸ™‚ wish to meet u actually after reading ur blog so much….

  20. I love your blog! Since I stumbled upon it , i have been reading it at random and it has always made my day.
    Good Name and Bad Names, and I thought it was my school thatΒ had this strange system. apparently this happens all over india. brought back memories.

  21. It's been over 2 years since I've read your blog, and I've been catching up (Possibly the only benefit of you not having 365 posts a year)! Actually a friend of mine in Canada posted a photo from your blog on Facebook and memories came flooding back of the old days where I religiously followed your blog among others. You are still the funniest most entertaining blogger I have come across. Keep it up! -Sri

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