In the current edition of “Story time with Soo” I bring to you this exaggerated but kind of a real story about a part imaginary, part real fight. And hence the title of the post.
“Maar Saale Ko!” has been my war cry from the naughty days of Madonna school. It was in fact, the war cry of the whole class ten batch of 2008 from Madonna.
Introduced by Parth, we would use it in those nigh, high testosterone moments, when “chowk par aana dekh lenge” and “aa jao dikha denge” sentences were blurted out with pointed fingers and red eyes. It was often directed at teachers or at other students or our enemies in situations that might incite or conclude a fight.
We had been using it since class 7, I believe, and, even today, it continues to be my slogan in situations of physical provocation, when delivering knuckle sandwiches becomes necessary.
This is a tale from the long-forgotten days I spent in the blood boil city of Bokaro, from the good old “young and silly” times, when life was about attitude and aggression, and hair styles and all other meathead, metalhead, nonsensical things.
All the stupid things you do when young. Siigh! This was one. But first, a mild disclaimer.
This article may or may not have any kind of resemblance to reality. Some things are pure imagination of the author and he might have taken unwarranted inspirations from the actual events in the name of inspiration.
The author holds no responsibility for any claims of copying or bad mouthing being made… because he is not a responsible person.
For those deluded lot who might find this article to be similar to something they could have heard, it is advised to keep their opinion right between their legs. The author would like to warn that it may be physically uncomfortable and a medically stupid thing to do.
A long, long time ago, I had to leave my sweet hometown of Darbhanga and move to the blood boiling city of Bokaro. I stayed at this horrible, dilapidated lodge that was the residence for a lot of other students, mostly from class 4 to 12. A good lot of these students were on the younger side, mostly 11-13, while we were their “seniors”, about 16 years old in class 11 and 12.
The lodge was infamously called “Toad Lodge”, and we would proudly refer to ourselves later as “Survivors of the Toad Lodge”. It was a three storied building, with ground floor allotted to multiple shops, the first floor resided by the owner’s family and a few other students, and the top floor roof rented completely out to students like us, living in poorly made asbestos roof prison cells.
The many memories of that place are both happy and daunting. I will avoid them, but for this instance where we went for a street fight.
You see, toad lodge was one unit of a set of joined duplexes, all part of the same complex, all making up the “Laxmimarket” area, with a big open concreted field in front of it, and a bus stop and a road on the other side of the field.
There were about 25 students in the lodge, some in older but most in early teens, so it was always full of life and activity, with the kids playing different games all the time on the roof, much to the indignation of the owner. We would play night cricket and carom on our holidays, and sometimes throw liquids at unsuspecting strangers from the roof.
There was this good-looking, latest-mobile-wielding, gelled-hair, clean-shaved, blue-eyed, six-feet-tall good-at-everything guy who had a girlfriend from every tuition he went to. How he did that is not the subject of this post. But he had a lot of respect in the lodge for it. He was the stud and commanded our awe and had been generous enough to let a few other guys talk to some of the girls on phone more than once, which was greatest favour that could be done to teenage boys.
Let’s us call this stud X. He is kind of the protagonist of this story. Well, kind of.
What happened was X had been talking to this girl, all night, for weeks. She would sing him songs and all the other itsy bitsy stuff. It had been going well.
Eventually her boyfriend found out!
Let us call her boyfriend as Bappi for simplicity. He was from another school and a Bokaro native. He was kind of a strong dude himself and had enough rowdy friends to back him up if need be.
Poor Bappi found out that X had been more of a boyfriend than he was to the girl in question and decided to take matters in his own hands, literally.
So, this on this holiday (how considerate!), Bappi came late evening, flanked by his equally intimidating four other friends, you know, the gym-going good-at-sports, tight T-shirt wearing types. He stood at the bus stop in front of the lodge, on the other side of the field, and called X down to handle “business”. He held a hockey stick in his hand, and so did his other friends, each with a bat or an iron rod, and they waved to the top of the roof, shouting the choicest expletives and calling X’s manhood down.
One of Bappi’s friend, had a green hockey stick in his hand, and he was indeed the loudest of them all. He was the biggest, and had big round cheeks, and long hair and his bright white teeth were very visible as he stood the farthest towards us, calling unspeakable names to X’s mother. He even demonstrated what he wanted to do to X with that hockey stick of his and kept challenging him to come down or they would come up.
Let us call this guy as Chotu, to ensure the irony of his size.
All the while this circus was going on downstairs, X was watching from the rails, very calm and composed. The rest of us were playing carom in one of the rooms, and it being a holiday, the lodge was at its full strength.
X was not in the slightest bothered. This wasn’t his first instant of talking to someone’s girlfriend and being called to get beat up for it. He analysed the situation, did his math and came to our room, where about ten of us were playing different games.
“Kitne log ho idhar?”; He asked and did a head count. The he smiled and asked, “Maar karna hai?”
The one question that a teenage boy is forever waiting for is of course being asked out by a girl. This rarely happens, so the other closest question is an invitation to witness or be a part of a brawl. X did not even wait for an answer from us, and he knew from the instant twinkle in our eyes that the game was on.
“Sabko lekar aao. Jo mile utho lo. “, he said, “…. aur ..”, he winked at me, “Mar Saale ko!”
“Maar Saale ko!” , I repeated.
And it raised a hell fire. Soon all the little kids and the bigger teens were scraping their rooms to find a weapon thingy, but they did not (duh!!!) so they grabbed whatever they could. One of the guys got the blade of a fan that was lying in his room, while the rest of us were not so lucky. Ashish, a class five timid but sly kid with a tuft of hair always standing on top of his head, came to my room, and grabbed the fork I had used to eat Maggie in the day. I couldn’t find anything , so I grabbed the heaviest book I could find, named “Pradeep for physics”.
“Maar Sale ko!” was coming from every room, every mouth.
And we started going down the stairs. Someone had a badminton racket; someone a plastic bat and one kid even had a steel plate in his hand. X was leading the charge, and he had nothing in his hands!
X was the first to walk out of the main gate while we were still coming down. His hands in his pockets, he walked out swiftly, slowly, whistling towards the other side.
Bappi and his friends saw X coming alone, and they thought this guy was easy meat. Chotu was so overjoyed at this presumed surrender, that he made a run towards X, waving his green bat and shouting “Aaaaaaaaaa…”
Now picture this. X stopped a little further from the main gate, with Chotu running towards him, far, far ahead of Bappi and the rest.
X just stood by, smiling, watching Bappi and rest charge towards him. Then he turned around, and said:
“Maar Saale ko!”
Then one ten-year-old child emerged from the from the main gate, a plastic bat in his hands and cried, “Maar Sale ko!” .
Then came another kid, a badminton in his hands, pointing at Bappi and others. Then another.
Once by one, twenty-four of us emerged out of the small main gate, and ran straight at Bappi and Chotu and other rowdies, waving intently what we hand in our hands (I had a book!)
“Maar Saale ko!”
“MAAR SAALE KO!”
“MAAR SAALE KO!” “MAAR SAALE KO!!!!” “MAAR SAALE KO!!!!!!!!”
There were five of them. We were far younger, but there were twenty-five of us. Bappi realised in an instant what had happened.
Bappi was the first to run. Following suit, the others turned on their heels and hauled ass.
Chotu, however, was already more than halfway towards us, his hand still raised and mouth still open, but no sound coming from it anymore. He realised it was too late.
By the time he could even stop, he was swarmed by five ten-year olds, and overtaken immediately.
X and the other older boys gave a chase to Bappi and pals, while the little ones, including me, engaged freely with Chotu. He was big, but we were some fifteen of us, big and small alike. In no time he was flattened, his hockey stick taken away and his hair pulled in all directions. The tiny devils clung to his legs while the others locked his hands and bit him, and I landed the heavy book on his head. There may have been little science in his head, but there definitely was 700 pages of physics on top of it.
We were in process of beating him black and blue, when the rest returned having chased Bappi gang and lost the trail.
Chotu gave up and started to wail and raised both his hands in surrender. We realised he did not have beef with X and had come with Bappi only to show strength in numbers.
We decided to let Chotu go. But we kept his hockey stick.
And his pants!
Poor Chotu went away, barely able to walk, his hair missing in places and a red spot on his underwear, while the ten-year olds jeered at him, calling his mother fat and other censored things.
We gave Chotu a stinky send off and went back to playing carom.
That night X threw us a party from Rakesh bhiaya’s Dhaba, and while returning, I went to Ashish to gather my fork.
He gave it to me, smiling wickedly. It looked different.
“Why are two prongs missing?”, I asked, unable to contain my laughter.
Ashish smiled some more and said:
“Let’s just say Chotu won’t be able to sit for a while!”