In Summary
  • We admired the same girl. We would walk back home from school together, our rucksacks full of 8-4-4 torture implements.
  • Gradually, his voice got scratchy then it turned into a growl and finally, it broke into a crackling deepness, like the uncertain rumbling of distant thunder.

The boy who sat behind me in class broke his voice first. His name was Bob. He had cat eyes and the most meticulous handwriting. He was my friend. We often shared a samosa over break time.

We admired the same girl. We would walk back home from school together, our rucksacks full of 8-4-4 torture implements.

Gradually, his voice got scratchy then it turned into a growl and finally, it broke into a crackling deepness, like the uncertain rumbling of distant thunder.

We weren’t the kind of boys who found it easy to talk to girls. Don’t get me wrong – we liked girls all right, but we just didn’t have the chops to speak to them. I particularly liked this one Indian girl called Vanita. Boy, you should have seen her. Her face looked like a sand dune at sunset.

I spoke less when Bob’s voice broke before mine, because I sounded shrill like a Vanita. As a result, when I spoke I lowered my voice. You know how they say ‘don’t raise your voice, strengthen your argument’? I didn’t care for any argument, but I wanted to sound deep. Like a man.

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