Dec Edition: The Strongest Man and other stories

The write club Dec 2017 edition has a total of five stories from five different authors.

What was my contribution? Good thing, you asked! ZERO. NONE. NADA. I was travelling for the most part and I failed to submit on time. These may seem like excuses, but that’s only because they are 🙂

Anyway now that you are here, you could read a sample of the featured story and decide to buy the full edition of the magazine by clicking on the link below, or you could give it a pass 🙂

Either way, I am glad you’re reading this right now!

The kindle version can be bought (free for kindle unlimited users) from here

***

The Strongest Man

~Arjun Shetty

I used to wonder whether Mathew sir is the strongest man on earth. I mean, I KNOW he is the strongest man in my school. I just am not sure whether he is stronger than Batman. It wouldn’t be fair to compare him to Superman. There are no super powers. I am old enough to know that now. I am 10 years old now. I now have two digits in my age. That’s the same number of digits that the grownups have.

10 years old and in an all-boys school. I am happy. It is great being in an all-boys school. There are no pesky girls around. But I hate it when our physical education teacher Mathew sir starts telling me that I throw like a girl. There is no way to show him that he is wrong. I am going to go home today and ask Dad to record me and my sister play the game. I don’t throw like my sister.

So here I am standing with my best friend David and the other worst performers in the game, awaiting our punishment from Mathew sir.

The good thing is, Mathew sir is so strong that he cannot give the punishment himself like the other teachers do. He is too strong for that. Like superman has to restrain his strength, Mathew sir cannot use the cane himself to punish us. It is said that once Mathew sir struck a kid using a cane and he never could walk again. That is why they have that parking lot with the picture of the wheelchair. That is where people who have received beatings from Mathew sir and cannot walk normally like us are allowed to park. David told me this. David tells me everything he knows.

So, as I was saying, since Mathew sir cannot punish us himself, he instructs us to punish ourselves. Today, we have to run around the playground 5 times and do 10 pull ups.

Mathew sir is not all sports. He values studies. Which is why the punishment is that the worst performers should carry the school bags of the top scorers of the other team and run 5 rounds around the ground. Dec 2017We are not supposed to wear the school bag, we are supposed to hold it over our heads with our arms outstretched. David told me that Mathew sir learnt this punishment when he was in the Indian Army. They used to make him hold his gun over his head and run around the ground. David tells me everything he knows.

We finished one round around the ground and came to starting point where Mathew sir was standing. As we were running past him he shouted at the top of his voice “Faster, run faster”. He said the words at the exact moment that was I passing him and the force of his words hit me in the side of the face like a warm brick.

I ran faster because of the force of Mathew sir’s words and we started our second round.

I am carrying Aron’s bag. I think I hate Araon. His bag is so heavy. I would say it weighs a ton but you see my dad told me that school is of no use if I don’t apply it to my everyday life. So I always use mathematics. This bag seems to weigh at least 10 kgs. We have only 6 classes in a day. Aron is in a different section so I don’t know which classes he has but I know exactly how much each book weighs.

History and maths are the heaviest. Around 1 kg each. The other textbooks weigh only 300 grams each.

Even if he has both history and maths and 4 other subjects, the textbooks should not weight more than 4 kgs. The 6 notebooks for the 6 subjects will not weight more than 2 kgs. So, 6 kgs. And I will give 1kg for his lunch box and crayons and pencil box. He does have a heavy fountain pen. Still, just 7 kgs. Where did the extra 3kgs come from? Aron put in extra books deliberately just because he knew me and David would be the ones to carry it. I know I hate Aron.

My head was beginning to hurt from my calculations. “I said run faster you little girls” shouted Mathew sir as we passed him on our second round. The force of his words hit me on the side of the head again and knocked out all my calculations along with the ache in the head.

Now my legs started to pain. Not just my legs, my back and shoulder were paining too. Now that I think of it, my arms are also beginning to tire. Suddenly, everything was paining. Except for my head. Such was the force of Mathew sir’s words.

We managed to complete the second round. As we reached the starting point, Mathew sir yelled again, “Move faster you little girls”.

“Two more rounds to go you little brats. Don’t drag your feet already, move it, move it.”

He bellowed and as I ran past him, I could feel his breath hit me hard on my sweating cheek as he shouted “faster”. My eardrums felt numb and I made an attempt to steady myself and continued running.

Mathew sir was dark. The only thing that could be darker than him was his moustache. He manages to see everything that happens on the sports field. He manages to see what each one of us does no matter how many of us are present on the field. David tells me that this is possible because he is so black. No light escapes him. David has a lot of explanations but you cannot trust all of them. You have to check them scientifically. Dad usually does not know these things. So I asked mom. I did not tell her the details of course. I just asked the scientific details and she said that light indeed does not escape black holes.

I told my dad about my day at school and how my body ached today. He raised his eyebrows and peered over his spectacles at me. He does that whenever he wants to figure out whether I am telling the truth. If he figures that I am telling the truth, he pushes his specs back up his nose and looks through them. If he figures that I am not telling the truth, then he removes his specs.

Thankfully, he pushed them up his nose today and looked at me through his thick glasses. “You see son” and folded his newspaper away. This wouldn’t be a long talk.

“Your body hurts when you exercise your body, your mind hurts when…”

“I didn’t say my mind hurts dad, I said my head hurts.”

“Yes, yes,” he cleared his throat and continued, “Your head hurts when you study. The hurt makes you strong. The hurt is because you are getting stronger in your body and in your mind.”

I didn’t correct him this time. I just nodded.

“That is why they make you do both, study and play. If you only study then your head would hurt all day, if you only play then your body would hurt all day. That is why they make you do both at school. So that when your body is aching, your mind can rest and get stronger. When your head is aching, your body can rest and get stronger.”

Read the full story

About the Author: A researcher looking for ways to pen down the thoughts that cannot be written in his thesis.

Email: arjuntalk@gmail.com

Blog: http://reminiscentarrows.blogspot.in/

***

About Write Club Bangalore: It’s a weekly meetup group of writers, that’s been consistently running for past 7 years.

Every week we assemble at 2 in the afternoon and write on a prompt given to us by the host. Then we read (out loud) whatever we have managed to write, one by one, and the host, or the other members of the club, tell us how good or bad the pieces are.

Post the writing session, we have coffee at a close by restaurant and we often debate (and/or joke) about everything under the sun. The waiters at the restaurant probably hate us, because we are usually very loud. But then it’s a lot of fun. I mean, I could go on and on about the group, but I can’t put it in words. Why don’t you check out the official website instead?

Categories Fiction, Magazines

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