LKG- A Kindergarten Love Story Or How I Started Breaking Hearts Without Knowing What I Was Doing.
No one can explain the attraction between two people- it just happens. Likewise no one can explain, least of all me, the attraction that people of the opposite gender have always had for me. And the havoc it has created in my innocent mind, giving me all sorts of troubles when it comes to women. Don’t take me wrong. I have friends, lots of friends of the other gender. Some of my best friends are women. A few of my 3AM friends are women and they are all friends only, no affairs or attractions with them. Even now, whenever I get too big for my boots, these girls are the only one who can put me back in my place with a few choice words delivered in a no-nonsense tone. And I don’t mind hearing the truth from them for they are my well wishers and the truth however bitter is for my own good.
And that’s why I have these separate categories in my life when it comes to having female friends where some are friends and some are girl friend material with sparks and attraction and all. The attraction I am talking about here is the magnetic attraction my charming personality exerts on the wrong kind of women who immediately and hopelessly fall in love with me. And this is not a new phenomenon. This un-looked for attraction has followed me all through my life, ever since my kindergarten days and that’s the story I am going to tell now, about the girl who started this whole crush on me thing.
My very first girl-problems started when I was a cute little three year old and entered lower kindergarten to study and get on in this world. At the convent where I studied the usual practice was to sit the girls and boys in separate rows, unless they did any mischief when as a part of the punishment the boy was made to sit in the middle of the girls’ row to shame him. This kind of punishment provided me with a lot of entertainment in my later years, when I used to deliberately irritate my teachers first thing on entering the class and then spent the rest of the period happily ensconced in the middle of a group of pretty girls, all of them my admirers, chit-chatting with them about school life. But that is the later part of my interesting career at school and I am getting ahead of the story.
In my kindergarten class, although I looked as cute as a pat of butter, my teachers soon realized that I was hell on wheels, a little devil. Having had a lot of rough and tough cousins who had trained me, since I could crawl, in the art of using my feet and fists efficiently, I had established my dominion over the rest of the delicate darlings and mommas boys in my class. I pretty much did what I wanted with no one to question my authority among the rest of the boys in my class. And the teachers soon identified me as the ring leader, the mischief maker, the naughty boy of the class- a little Dennis the menace in the making. And consequently, I started spending more and more time on the girls’ bench. But that did not stop me from proposing brilliant (or harebrained, depending on point of view) schemes to my classmates on how to have fun in the temporary absence of teachers from the classroom.
At last my class teacher put two and two together and came up with the brilliant idea of changing my seat and making me sit beside the most bad-ass girl in the class. My mom tells me even now that she remembers the day I first came home from LKG with my tail between my legs, having more than met my match. This girl, a bit big and hefty for a kindergarten girl had the unpleasant habit of punctuating every remark of hers with a punch to the arm. As I had disdained to fight with females (yeah, I was so naive back then- I really was an innocent kid), I refrained from hitting back at her. There was also the unacknowledged fear, that if she ever got the better of me in a fight, I would have to spend the rest of my school life living down that bad reputation. So I kept my cool and ignored her. Till the inevitable happened. And she charmed by my cheerful personality, indicated that she wanted to make friends with me.
This was my cue, to get my way with her. I ignored her and kept ignoring her persistent efforts to become friends. She stopped hitting me then and started bringing me gifts from home. My mom says I used to bring home kerchiefs/chocolates/some gift or the other daily from school and show her and tell her my next seat neighbor got them for me. But still I did not talk to her, for I was now wise to the ways of women and knew that the minute I opened my mouth her attraction to me would evaporate and better to stay the forbidden fruit than the in-hand fruity. And once as a climax, when my parents came for a PTA meeting, my bench mate went straight up to them and complained to my mom “Aunty, your son is not becoming friends with me, please tell him to talk to me” embarrassing me completely in front of my parents. The end result of this request was that in half an hour, the entire extended family had heard that ganesh had a secret admirer, by noon the entire street had heard that ganesh had got his first girlfriend and by nightfall the entire area or at least the civilized part of it, had heard that someone had a big crush on ganesh. Such is the speed of fame.
And still I kept my distance and steadfastly ignored her, I could be pigheaded like that sometimes. I dint want to be anyone’s boyfriend and share kerchiefs with. I had too much fun as it is with the boy gang to ever feel the need for female company. And soon the year ended and we moved onto different sections in the next year and I had to leave the school to join another one. Here I ended up having still more friends, girl friends and girl problems but that is a story for another day. But even now, whenever things don’t work out for me in the matters of the heart, I half suspect my first bench mate, the girl whose heart I broke by not talking to, of being a witch and casting a hex on me. I will meet her somewhere/someday, I believe and then I will talk to her, apologize and ask her to remove her voodoo-curse on me and to hand me back the doll into which she had stuck the pin in the heart. It is either that girl or the one who put a love letter in my record book in my tenth standard- again a story for a different day. Either one of them must have jinxed me. Or wait was it that girl, who threatened to commit suicide, in my eleventh standard, if I didn’t accept her proposal? Who is the black sheep? And how to find out who hexed me? Any suggestions?
P.S. One of my closest friends Sangy, once told me her diagnosis of what women find interesting in me- basically my big goofy expression which I always sport on my face. In her own words “you look like a Thiruvillala Kaanama Pona Kuzhanda Madiri Thiru-Thiru’nu Muzhikira” or roughly translated into English- you look like a child lost in a village fair and that lost look arouses the maternal instinct in women and they want to take you home and comfort you. I am not saying she is right, although in my experience she almost always is, but you can make up your own mind about me and let me know.