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Hand in hand for eternity

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dad's Diary 13 - Infernal Pizazz

He stood ramrod straight when he didn't have to speak. When he spoke his head seemed fitted on a loose neck. His favorite nod was sideways; his neck moving the head first right and then left. And he had an extra set of teeth in his lower jaw placed just behind the normal one.

His name was Pratap,. In school he terrorized the English language teacher who incidentally had been terrorizing the students for umpteen number of years.

The instruction was simple. Write a sentence using at least two new words that had not been discussed in the class. Pratap wrote, “The foolish old man lost some of his zing when he found the smarter student had great pizazz in sentence construction.” He underlined zing and pizazz as his two new words.

The teacher swallowed hard, but did not give up immediately. His red-inked note advised Pratap that pizazz should have four Zs, double Z occurring after each vowel. He was asked to write another sentence with the correct spelling. Pratap humbly said “OK Sir,” and his head nodded side-wise more than twice which betrayed him of being under great stress.

We apprehended an explosion of some sort the next day when we found Pratap standing ramrod straight outside the classroom to greet and escort the teacher inside. He peremptorily acknowledged Pratap's greetings, and stepped in.

Once inside the teacher and the student locked horns. The former quietly extended his hand which duly received the English notebook. The teacher nearly missed the header-word on the top of the relevant page. It read 'Confirmation' instead of 'Correction'.

The teacher's grim countenance bore ample testimony to his head having gone haywire. He kept his cool with great difficulty, and read on. It said : “The foolish old man has never heard of the thesaurus, and writes pizazz with four Zs, even though three Zs are also lexicographically acceptable, as if using an extra Z will add more dynamism to the word, as if spelling 'pilllar' with three Ls instead of two will make the pillar itself stronger.”

The teacher looked up from the page. If a rigid stare could cause violent death, Pratap would have dropped dead. He approached Pratap with an eloquent silence, but the latter could not hold back a last minute jibe : “Please don't lose your oomph, Sir.”

He caught Pratap by the shoulders, and said, “If the chattering of teeth in the ensuing freezing winter do not claim that extra set of ignoble teeth in your foul mouth, I will supply you with enough teeth breaking words next year to correct your infernal dental imbalance.”

There escaped a sound from the teacher's throat that could either be a chocked cry or a suppressed giggle. None in the class believed it to be either. Then a roar of laughter almost shook the classroom as the teacher took the lead, Pratap picked it up a fraction of a second later, and then all joined in. The school closed on winter vacation the very next day.



  1. tapas kriti that is the best thing i have read this year it is up there with don't clap i am wearing a clapper bra. ha ha ha ha ha lol lol lol love it !!!!! **** pop pop pop pop pop bang bang bang bang bant the fireworks good. gb

  2. Wonderful, If the chattering of teeth in the ensuing freezing winter do not claim that extra set of ignoble teeth in your foul mouth, I will supply you with enough teeth breaking words next year to correct your infernal dental imbalance. hehe loved it...


  3. BTW I could stare at the top photo for an eternity..
    It is so beautiful as to bring tears to my eyes.


  4. Love the last words of the teacher. A teacher like that rocks!

  5. My wife was a teacher for over 30 years .I will have her read this. Reallllly Funnnny :)))
    Thanks for the laugh

  6. @ Roy - so happy to make you laugh like that
    @ A - : ) the pic is of my daughter and my Dad - I love it too.
    @ Savira - we grew up hearing this story and loved it each time we heard it
    @ Regina - SO glad you liked it : )))

  7. Loved it! Glad I visited your blog. Wonderful story

  8. This is great! 'ignoble teeth'? where did you come up with that one...what a great post all the way down.

  9. Tapas,
    A man with a the gift of creative writing and beautiful story telling. I admire your work and your use of colourful imagery to entice the reader into wanting more.

  10. Hi Tapas and Kriti,
    Enjoyed it - is this fact or fiction? I particularly liked the line "as if spelling 'pilllar' with three Ls instead of two will make the pillar itself stronger.” Seems almost as if it would!

  11. Omg this is hilarious!!! I could so visualize the teacher and Pratap and the very last encounter before the winter break!!! Thank you Uncle for the laughter

  12. So funny! Wonderful as always: the battle of wordsmiths as told by one and shared by his wordsmith daughter! <3

  13. As always uncle surprised me with his writing style...wish I could write like this.The reader never loses interest till the end.Great post Kriti :D

  14. That was a wonderful story!! You have such an incredible gift for words as does your adoring daughter, Kriti!

  15. @ Anna - thanks
    @ Jim - I am sure she will like this then. Thanks for coming by
    @ Ritu - so glad you came too
    @ Corinne - thank you
    @ Mary - my Dad has like a treasure of stories from his life - so glad you like it
    @ Jess - exactly my sentiments ; )
    @ Lavina - Dad says it’s mostly fact and part fiction
    @ Charles - thanks mate - thanks a ton!
    @ Prats - thanks a ton! Pratap is really hilarious
    @ Sweepy – awwwww thanks a lot
    @ Abhishek – you are a good writer yourself pal. Thanks a ton for your comment

  16. the picture alone was enough to draw me in..made me cry... and then the words made me laugh.....thank you... as always..XOXOXO

  17. LOL....I've been giggling to myself constantly since I read this....very funny!!! Loved it...

  18. oh wow...I love the picture ~I had a difficult time taking my eyes off of it!!!

    The words made me laugh, too! I giggled from the 1st sentence of the 1st paragraph...

  19. @ Bongo - : ) - you are too cool. thanks a ton!!
    @ Swati - : )))
    @ Mommetime - Thanks a ton for your kind words : ))

  20. After a long time Kriti..Its awesome..please tell Uncle that I loved this..

  21. Another wonderful tale or truth. I'm never quite sure which and that makes the reading so much more fun!

  22. Just checking back to read any postings you may have written.

    I’ve been following and enjoying your blog for a while now and would like to invite you to visit and perhaps follow me back. Sorry I took so long for the invitation.

  23. That was a laugh! Thank you.

  24. @Alpana - Dad says thank you to you : ))
    @ Mari well this is 90% fact : ))) Glad you liked it
    @ Covnitkepr1 - thank you so very much - I will definitely check it out

    @ Rachel - thanks!!
    @ Rimly - Thanks!!

  25. Kriti, your father is the quintessential storyteller. Is this is nonfiction? All these wonderful stories are from his diary? Simply amazing!

  26. Debra - thanks a ton for the compliment. Yes these are from his diaries. He is an excellent story teller and most of these are part fiction and part fact. I love them too : )))

  27. Great story...sadly, the picture looks like me (in a few years) with my grandson :)