H, P and I used to be the most notorious girls in all four of the 9th standard classes. We would annoy the heck out of our teachers, unintentionally of course. There was this teacher, we will call him HP sir, who was pretty strict. Now being teacher of a few hundred female students, he was a little shy about the physical abuse on us teenage girls, which made him little more lenient than the other teachers of school.
As you know, in India, the teachers can literally hit the students (with anything within their reachable range) if they do anything out of place during the school hours. The evil teachers actually consider this their birth-right so as a student you don’t really have a choice but be extremely smart about going out of line. You just have to be sure you aren’t visible, that’s all. Now that’s how I was most of the time being one of the tallest students in class and sitting on the last bench. Many times I wished I didn’t have to but then the shorties in the class complained so being such a kindhearted person I let them sit in front. I still haven’t understood why they were the shortest possible when they were my classmates. Hmph!
In any case, so this one day, HP sir enters the class and looks around his desk. Some of the girls were having too much fun the previous class so they had thrown a bunch of rolled paper balls all over the place. He starts picking them up around his desk and there’s a silent laughter going on all over the class, mostly in the back. As if you didn’t guess that already. He realized that and stopped right away. Then he started wiping the black-board that was left unclean by the previous teacher. There was writing on all three big boards so he’s started cleaning it up with a duster from his left side and while doing that asked us about homework and what not.
Once the board was clean, he started writing the daily agenda, and while the laughter domino effect is still going on in the back of the class, I start tapping my bicycle key onto those big nail heads on the bench. The noise was amazing! :D I still hadn’t stopped laughing from the way he was picking up those paper balls and neither had H and P. While I am tapping away that key I realize that there is almost a pin drop silence in the class now. And as you know, one of the benefits of sitting on the last bench is that you aren’t visible from about 175 different degrees. HP sir screams (in Gujarati) "paachhaL koN khakhaDaave chhe?" [translation: "who’s making noise in the back?" OR "who's knocking in the rear?"]. At this, the whole class burst into tiny fits of laughter and almost 100% of the class turned their heads towards the noise. Thanks to my reflexes the tapping stopped automatically. Even HP sir couldn’t stop smirking after what he had just said. He shied away and started on with the lecture. Our inside joke was the response to his question. We said "paachhaL fari ne joi lo ne sir" [translation: ["turn around and find out for yourself sir"]. All of that class period and every single class period after that until we got out of that school after 10th standard, we laughed at that line of his and our response. Needless to say, we still do. I’m not in touch with P any more but with H, every once in a while we remember HP sir, the old school days and laugh out loud.
During my India trip two and a half years back, I visited my school and when I met HP sir he got that big smile on his face. He recognized me instantly even though it was after more than some 14 years he saw me. It was nice to see him again and felt great to find out that he remembers me as one of his smartest students but I do know from his smile that I also hold his most mischievous student title as well. :)