The Roffensian Volume CXVI by John Jones - Issuu
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His friends told him to leave me alone. I faced the first interview of my life. Three old men sat in front of me. They looked like they had not smiled since their hair had turned grey. I had learnt about wishing people before an interview.
I had even practised it. He seemed to be around fifty-five years old and wore square, black-rimmed glasses and a checked jacket. It was the highclass-to-low-class smile. Of course, I had no choice but to smile back.
The man in the middle was Professor Pereira, the head of sociology, the course I had applied for. Professor Fernandez, who taught physics, and Professor Gupta, whose subject was English, sat on his left and right respectively.
I turned around to see a man in a tracksuit standing at the door. He looked too old to be a student but too young to be faculty. You are the final authority. PiyushYadav was the sports coach for the college and sat in on all sports-quota interviews. He seemed simpler and friendlier than the professors. Fernandez asked, scanning through my file. Gupta said in a firm voice.
The four men in the room lpoked at me. The professor had asked me a standard question. And why is St. Answering in English would require pauses and make me come across as stupid. Maybe I was stupid, but I did not want them to know that. I saw my blunder in their horrified faces. I had not said it in defiance; I really wanted to know why they had to interview me in English when I was more comfortable in Hindi.
Pereira seemed to be the kindest of the lot. He turned to me. I started thinking about my return trip to Bihar. I was wondering what would be the best way to take their leave when Piyush Yadav broke my chain of thought.
Are you from Bihar? I loved Piyush Yadav in that instant. Three hours from Patna, right? I could have kissed his feet. The three English-speaking monsters continued to stare. He sensed my nervousness and spoke again. I am Hindi-medium, too. I know the feeling. I composed myself and spoke my rehearsed lines. Last year, I was in the waiting list for the BFI national team. Can I explain in Hindi? I had little choice. I took my chances and responded in my language.
I wanted to learn more about our society. Why are our villages so backward? Why do we have so many differences based on caste and religion? I thought I could find some answers in this course. Gupta understood me perfectly well. He asked Piyush to translate what I had said. Pereira said once Piyush was done. Will you go back to your native place?
It took me a few seconds to understand his question. Piyush offered to translate but I gestured for him not to. I didn't feel the need to tell them I would go back because my mother was alone there. Even though there was nothing royal about us any more, we belonged there. Hence, I gave the shortest answers possible. But one question had me stumped.
Piyush tried to speak on my behalf. Gupta raised a hand. You should know Bihar. But why is Bihar the poorest of the poor? Gupta kept his eyes on me.
Nobody invests in my state. The government is in bed with criminals and together they exploit the state and its people. He nodded as he heard it. Fernandez wiped his glasses as he spoke, turning his head towards me. The interview was over. They asked me to leave the room. Piyush came out of the committee room. His lean and fit frame made him look like a student, despite him being much older. He spoke to me in Hindi. See me on the basketball court.
That interview went horribly. Anyway, sports quota trials are worth 85 per cent. It is funny how her height shaped my life. If she had been four inches shorter, my eyes may never have met hers and everything would have been different. If I had not been bored and arrived at the basketball court an hour earlier, it would have been different.
If someone had not missed a pass and the ball had not come out of the court and hit me on the head, I would have had a different life. Tiny bumps in time shape our lives, even though we spend hours trying to make long-term plans. I had no plan to meet the love of my life on a basketball court.
I was there only to kill time and because I had nowhere else to go. Everyone spoke in English. I straightened my back and stared at the court with a sense of purpose, mainly to come across as if I belonged there.
As ten girls came on to the court, the crowd cheered. Five of the girls belonged to the existing college team; the other five had applied for admission under the sports quota. Piyush came to the centie of the court, ball in hand and whistle in mouth. As he blew it, the girls sprang into action. Five feet, nine inches is tall for an Indian girl.
It is tall even for a girl in a basketball team. She collected the ball within seconds. Her diamond earrings twinkled in die sun. She dribbled the ball with her right hand.
I noticed she had long, beautiful fingers. Well, the men did. The wisecrack distracted R for a moment, but she resumed her game as if she was used to such comments. The sports-quota girls played well individually. Three opponents surrounded her. R passed the ball to her teammate, who missed the pass.
The rival team took the ball, passed it to the other end and scored a basket. R cursed herself, inaudible to anyone tise. She then signalled to three of her teammates to cover specific opponents and jogged across die court.
When she went past me, I saw her sweaty, flushed face from up close. We made eye contact for nanoseconds, perhaps only in my imagination. But in those nanoseconds something happened to my heart. But I felt something deep inside, strong enough for my heart to say, You have to talk to this girl at least once in your life. Her state of mind was as far from mine as possible.
She passed the ball to her teammate, who missed scoring a basket again. I felt nervous; how would I ever speak to her?
Her face was grimy, dust sticking to her left cheek and forehead. Yet, it was one of the most beautiful faces I had seen in my entire life. Sometimes it is hard to explain why you find a person beautiful.
Was it her narrow face, perfectly in line with her slender body? Was it her flawless skin and complexion, which had turned from cream to pink to red? Or was it not about her looks at all? Was it her passion, her being totally immersed in the game? Of course, I never actually thought it would lead to anything. She seemed too posh to even give me a second glance. Destiny, however, had other plans.
For why else, in the seventh minute of the first half, would the college team captain overthrow the ball outside the court, where it hit my head as I stood on the sidelines?
Why would I grab the ball in reflex? More than anything, why would R come to collect it? I held on to the ball for an extra half second. I wanted to look at her a bit longer. I threw the ball at her. She caught it with ease and looked at me. She could tell from my throw that I knew the game.
For some reason, I had managed to speak in correct English this time. She surveyed me from top to bottom. I now wished I had worn better clothes.
I had not changed out of my interview shirt and pants, both of which the tailor back home had stitched too loose for me. I looked out of place on the basketball court. With my folder of certificates, I resembled a hero from those Hindi films of the seventies—the one who could not find a job.
I have a Bihar state team T-shirt, I wanted to tell her. Of course, in the middle of a game, and as a first conversation, this was a terrible idea.
The referee whistled to commence the game.
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She turned away and forgot about me faster than her throw reached her team member. Her point shooter held the ball and looked around, confused. The point shooter passed the ball, R caught it and took a shot from well beyond the three-point line. They already had a soft spot for R anyway. The referee announced a break at the ten-minute mark. The college team led R huddled with her team, figuring out their strategy for the next half. As her team meeting ended, she wiped her face and neck with a towel.
I forgot I had my own trial in less than an hour. I only wanted to figure out a way to talk to her a bit more. Maybe I could tell her she played well.
I wondered how to tell her about my state-level game without coming across as a show-off. And, more than anything, how would I go beyond five words of English?
She caught me staring. I wanted to kill myself. She continued to jgnli directly at me, the towel still around her neck. Then she walked up to me. A shiver ran down my spine. I wondered if she would scream at me like she had done during the match.
She had walked across the court, to thank me? She was breathing hard. My eyes were glued to hers. Look away, Madhav, I scolded myself and turned away. Uttering each word was like hitting a brick. Two of yours should move with them. You become the shooter. Of the other two, one is your defence, the other supports you.
Did it mean she would catch what I had said later? Or did she mean she actually wanted to catch me? Like, she liked me so much she wanted to catch me? Of course, this seemed unlikely. But then I had given her good tips and you never know with these modern people. Basketball, underrated as it might be in this country, packs it all in half an hour.
The match ended The newbies had lost, but still kept pace with the college team—a considerable achievement. R, however, seemed disappointed.
She wiped her face with a towel and picked up her blue Nike kitbag. A few boys tried to make eye contact with her but she ignored them, i wanted to speak to her. However, no boy from Dumraon has ever had the guts to approach a high-class girl from Delhi.
I wanted her to watch my game. There was nothing else I could impress her with. Coach Piyush went up to her. They became engrossed in a conversation. This was my chance. Underconiident guys need a go-between to speak to a girl. I ran up to Piyush. Trial-va hai ya mazaak? Is it a trial or a joke? I regretted knowing him. I could have taken offence. However, he had helped me without knowing it, so I was grateful. She looked at me and smiled. I loved her short little name.
Or maybe when you start liking people, you start liking everything about them—from their sweaty eyebrows to their little names. For the first time in my life a girl had asked my name. It was only later that I learnt that people who construct sentences like that sound low class. You see, we think in Hindi first and simply translate our thoughts, word for word.
She laughed because Piyush had already revealed that fact about me. There was no judgement in her voice. I liked her more and more every second. I wanted to know her full name and her native place.
That is how we introduce ourselves in Dumraon. Plus, I had a selection trial in a few minutes. The coach blew his whistle. I ran—rather, hopped—in excitement towards the changing room. Soon, I was back on court and Piyush started the game. As the crowd dapped, I looked around. She was sitting on one of the benches, sipping water from a bottle.
I had a good game, but her presence made me play even better. The score inched forward; I pushed myself harder and scored a few more baskets. When I took a tough shot, the seniors patted my back. Piyush blew the final whistle.
We had done it. The newbies had managed to defeat die St. My body was drenched in sweat. I felt drained and exhausted. Players patted my back as I struggled to catch my breath. Piyush came running up to me in the middle of the court.
He ruffled my sweaty hair. I walked out of the court deliberately towards Riya. My head had known it would end like this.
But if they do, then see you. As she became more distant with every step, I wanted nothing more than to get admission to St. On fire on the court, huh? Disappointment slammed into me. He patted my back and walked away. I stood alone in the middle of the basketball court. Everyone else had left. I saw the brick-coloured buildings and the greenery around me. Is this place in my destiny? It was our destiny.
That is why, one month later, a postman came to my doorstep in Dumraon with a letter from St. He also wanted a big tip.
Her perky voice startled me; I had been scanning the college noticeboard. I had prayed for this to happen. She and I had both made it. She wore black, skin-tight jeans and a black-and-white striped i lurt. Without the sweat and grime from court, her face glowed. She had translucent pink lip gloss on, with tiny glittery bits on her lips. Her hair, slightly wavy, came all the way down to her waist. Her long lingers looked delicate, hiding the power they had displayed on court.
My heart was in my mouth. Ever since I had got my admission letter, I had been waiting for the month before college opened to pass quickly and to find out if Riya had made it too.
I wanted to tell her I had not forgotten her for one moment since I left Delhi. I wanted to tell her I had never seen a girl more beautiful than her. I wanted to tell her that the oxygen flow to my lungs had stopped. She smiled at me again. However, she laughed and I guessed it was something funny, so I laughed along. The noticeboard also had a bunch of stapled sheets with the names of all first-year students and their new roll numbers.
I adjusted my yellow T-shirt and blue jeans while she looked at the board. I had bought new clothes from Patna for St. I wanted to fit into my new college. A girl doing an English degree would never befriend a country bumpkin like me. Yes, all good, just finding my way. So I could talk to her. Small and large party bookings catered for. Menus have their roots in modern British cooking, with a hint of the more exotic about them. They change often to reflect the To be in with a chance of winning this fabulous prize, simply answer the following question correctly.
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His story is a common one: Then stop for traffic. After that cross the road but still looking. Finally you are there. By Harry Benson, aged 6 king was searching in the desert. Suddenly the king caught the golden lion. All at once the cruel king caught the boy. Finally the boy put his arms around the lion. The king set them free. The moral of the story is to be helpful. He is very big, And he likes to eat plants. I have once seen a man who was extremely strong get, slowly driven over by a car he was actually holding up a ramp.
You can easily recognise a circus because it looks like, a large red and yellow tent and, hanging from the roof are people on trapezes swinging backwards and forwards. There commonly popcorn and candyfloss stalls. I love the circus! By Sebastian Lawrence, aged 6 Sebastian The Circus by Florence 5 sentence challenge Dissecting a flower in Science The circus is filled with outstanding and amazing acrobatics and performances.
There is a big elephant sitting on top of a blue van, which has a flat tyre. A fierce tiger is pulling a man along the ground. The man is angrily whipping the tiger. The clown is wearing brightly coloured clothes and is juggling three balls at the same time. The acrobatics are balancing on top of an outstandingly beautiful white horse inside the big top tent.
The magician wearing a black hat and cape is showing the people some magic tricks. It was horrible and dirty and covered with all the nasty things in the world you could think of.
Two weeks went past and no one still knew who lived there. When the people saw who lived in that dirty house they were all amazed. Lola had golden hair that glimmered in the sun. The following day Lola went to the beach. When Lola got there she changed and got into the sea. The sea was warm and hot. The sharks started to surround Lola. Lola was so scared, she was screaming. A lifeguard heard Lola screaming and jumped into a boat and killed the sharks immediately and rescued Lola.
Then Lola went to change and go home. She never went to that beach ever again. Titanic, Titanic people playing exciting card games. Titanic, Titanic children laughing as they watched the wavy water. Titanic, Titanic stars shone brightly in the moonless sky. Titanic, Titanic the water was glassy smooth and bitterly cold. Titanic, Titanic suddenly there was a huge iceberg dead ahead.
Titanic, Titanic nobody felt the silent iceberg scrape against the ship. Titanic, Titanic water gushing into the ship. Titanic, Titanic desperate loud screams slowly faded.
Titanic, Titanic, Carpathia was a welcome sight to the children and parents. Titanic, Titanic people were stranded on the sinking ship. Titanic, Titanic people helped the freezing cold people into the boats.
Titanic, Titanic there was survivors. Titanic, Titanic the sinking ship sank into the icy sea. Everyone was happy they got on. By Libby Burke, aged 6 Through the fog are ships, Heading for our land. Get on, get on aboard the ships, Smash them into sand. Spanish ships, one behind the other Frightened to death when away from each other. There go the ships, Under the bottomless waves.
The Spanish rest at Calais, Resting there one night. Drake sent some fireships, Spain can see an orange light. Escape from being overturned, Oh no, oh no, one of our ships in burned. Row, row, there is lightning! Bang, boom, crash, clank, All that is left are wooden planks. Splash, crash, in goes the sea water, All the food is washed away.
The ships, I sent so many! And now there are barely any! I have now lost, But I paid a big cost, Oh no! England won, It is absolutely no fun…. Crash, bang, smash Down sink our lovely ships! There was once a peaceful vast sandy island which had lots of crystals hidden underground. This island was called Renopia, named after its king, King Reno.
Fortresses protected the royal family like a lion protecting her cubs. It had a sandy beach which had beautiful palm trees swaying in the breeze.
Fiercely, volcanoes exploded each year. It had a long dark tunnel that led to somewhere; however no-one knew where it led to. Frightened, no-one went beyond the tunnel entrance. It also had a glorious palace which had one hundred majestical rooms for the royal family. Destroyed four of us And damaged many more. We wanted to get revenge But we decided to flee.
Burning speedy fire Growing dangerous strong speed Destructive horrid. By Christopher Nutt, aged 8 Sad Watching grave tears pass Falling down, left horrified Drop, splash, cry, groan, sigh. We decided to sail around Scotland, So we did not get harmed. But suddenly a storm blew up Only sixty of us survived. When we came back to Spain Phillip went insane!! He was enormous so it was easy for him to terrify the people. He had won a battle with the best army in the world.
This beast, unlike other beasts, can swim and walk. Now, despite the fact that great heroes were on the island, he kept destroying the houses like a boy eating a pea. He looked like a cat that could swim. He was half chicken and half crocodile and had chicken wings with no feathers, a crocodile tail, a row of crocodile teeth and the legs of a chicken. He always shouted, roared or screamed like a new born baby. He was very odorous like the smell of blue cheese.
By Abhay Mohandas, aged 8 The rain tumbled down a huge volcano.
Suddenly a crack of thunder struck, like rocks crashing together. The leaves were moving in the wind, swishing everywhere. Lola limped behind a rough tree into the magnificent, glorious Vines.
Lola was amazed, what a beautiful sight it was.
Lola was wearing a woolly jumper, lovely and cosy, and a neat skirt. She pulled on her beautiful gloves and did up the buttons on her jumper. She put her hearing aid in. Suddenly, she leaned on a tree to stop and stare at children playing nicely in the distance. In the distance there was a bench, she shuffled towards it. Lola perched gently on the wet, damp bench. She went through her pocket and found some clean tissues and wiped the bench dry. Watching a poor man beg, she gave him a five pound note.
Later, she looked at a lady and then looked at herself. The woman could move a lot quicker than she could. Remembering her old life, she thought through the great times. By Francesca Titmuss, aged 7 Laura shuffled along the bumpy path pulling her coat tightly round her.
Her face was wrinkled and her eyes shone like the sun. Then, she moved her hand across the rough, bumpy tree. Suddenly, a golden leaf twirled down and landed on her lap.