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16 May 2014

How Nair sir handled the Village Bully...

Begin Story of Sajimon

Sajimon was the village bully in my native village.

This incident happened long time ago when one kg of onion used to cost 2 rupees and weight of the vegetables procured was far, far higher than the weight of the money given to procure them.

The village used to be shrouded in innocence. A poet might say that 'Nattakom' (our village) was where sun god pays his obeisance (not to confuse with Obesity) before proceeding to bring light to millions across the globe.

A more romantic poet will probably mention that Nattakom was the village where gazelles learned to frolic and swans learned love by seeing the loving couples who used to sit by the village stream and say sweet nothings in each others ears...

Just kidding. Ours was a regular, boring village where nothing happens, any time, ever...

This was the village where Sajimon roamed around as the village bully.

Always itching for fight, was Sajimon. Nothing good ever came out of his mouth. Always needling people, always wanting to fight (but backing off at the first sign of aggression from his prey), terrorizing the village maidens, speaking loudly and crudely to women making them cringe by his comments...

Sajimon was a bully, a class one at that...

( It is funny. In Malayalam language, 'Mon' is the affectionate term for a boy and 'Mol' is for girls. You will hare names like Sajimon, Shajimon, Sunnymon, Lizymol, Rosamol...)


Like any typical bully, Sajimon was bad at studies. Even with a very lenient educational system which tried to push and shove students from one grade (Class) to the next, Sajimon was like a snail, taking his own time to move from one class to the next. He spent two years in class 6, another two years in class 8...

One gets the point. 

People either avoided him or used him. Those who wanted to take revenge on others used Sajimon as a tool. Like a typical bully, Sajimon was always susceptible to manipulation. A well placed news about someone would see Sajimon extending his wrath on a mostly unsuspecting person.

This was Sajimon.

And then there was Nair Sir.

Nair sir and his family relocated to our village when Nair Sir joined as a Professor in a nearby Engineering College and was allotted a free accommodation by the college. He had two daughters Beena and Sheena. Beena was about our age (did I mention earlier that Sajimon was of my age? No? Must have missed it) and Sheena was about 3 years older. They also had a brother names Aji and a step brother named Gopi. 

Along with his wife, that completed Nair Sir family.

Though she was of our age, Beena was small and cute (In English Language, it is called 'Petite', I think). She was very pretty, with dimples as deep as Grand Canyon. In addition she had a faint squint (which made her pretty and mysterious, in my opinion) and Sajimon took a morbid fascination to her squint. Every morning he will stand in the path that Beena took to go to the school and bullied her about her squint. Every evening he bullied her as she returned from the school.

It was bad. It was only a matter of time before something gave.

That came one afternoon. I was sitting at home playing marbles and thinking things. Suddenly, Kosh, my childhood friend came all a'runnin. Panting like a dog, was Kosh, and his eyes bulged out like Google Glass. To say that he was excited and little scared would be correct.

Kosh was one of the minor recipients of Sajimon's bullying largesse. A minority shareholder, if you will. 

"Did you hear about Sajimon?", asked Kosh, all inhaling and exhaling laboriously (Panting, I mean). 

"What happened to him? Did he get religion?" I inquired, all sarcastic.

That was our fond hope. That Sajimon will one day get religion and realize the futility of bullying.

"No, no. Nair sir found him bullying Beena and caught him and tied him to a pillar in his house. He has sent for Sajimon's brothers to come. He want to discuss with the brothers before releasing Sajimon."

In a village where the only exciting thing that happens is when Pillachan runs after his chicken, to catch them of course, in preparation for afternoon repast, this was news.

Sajimon tied to a pillar. This was big news

Breaking news...

We kids went to see Sajimon. From outside the gate we could see Sajimon. And he could see us.

We gave him a sympathetic smile. He responded with a sheepish smile. As limp a smile as you can imagine. Tied to the pillar, Sajimon was as listless as a Pelican caught in BP Oil Spill.

But his eyes said it all. He was scared. He had seen the limits of his bullying. He had seen that power did not lay in shouting, rather power laid in quite firmness. Power laid in moral authority rather than loud sound. Power laid in deeds and not in words.

(Later his brother came and got him released)

From that day, there was a perceptible change in Sajimon's attitude. A few of our friends encouraged (needled) Sajimon to seek revenge on Nair sir by actively targeting Beena. But other than occasional shouting at night while walking in front of Mr.Nair's house, or an occasional long distance whistling as he espied Beena on the horizon, Sajimon was like a mouse when he approached Nair Sir's house. The pillar seemed to scare him.

And slowly his bullying tendency also reduced.

He had a series of failures since then. He failed class 10 multiple times. 

These failures can take a toll. They can either make you into a more vicious bully or as it happened in Sajimon's case, can mellow you and can even lead you to religion (this did not happen in Sajimon's case).

Thinking about those times, I still wonder. What if someone had given a good direction to Sajimon when he was growing up. In this case, he was unfortunate, that his family was not very educated and they did not have it in them to give a good direction to their kid. Sajimon had talent, it was obvious, but he lacked direction.

That is how it happens. That is life.

End Story of Sajimon.

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