“So, here we rest the chapter of genetics. Go through it and we’ll have a group discussion cum debate on it after two days.” Jay announced once he was done rubbing the board sketched with figures of chromosome and gene structures.
Jay Baxi, a highly talented and experienced guy, in his mid-thirties, was a renowned bio teacher, working with one of the most reputed schools in the town. His knowledge of Biology was impeccable but it was not the most popular trait of him. His unique way of taking the students into the depth of topic without discussing topic was the attribute which made him a prominent teacher in town.
Students always loved to attend his class because none of the classes were ever dreadful. The level of energy Jay carried to his every class was truly amazing. However, his love for his teaching methodology was in juxtaposition to his temper.
Jay was an uncompromisingly strict person and it all came down to one word i.e. discipline. Of course, that didn’t deprive his classes from learning with fun, but the code of discipline had to be maintained. Anybody who dared to cross the line faced the wrath of Jay’s putrid sarcasm. His words would penetrate through anyone’s heart like a juggernaut leaving it like shards of shattered glass.
Among the students, Jay was the only teacher who was looked up to by the students after the principal. Jay’s clout ate the heart of his colleagues out. Other teachers, especially, those who were jealous considered Jay as a big fat arrogant knucklehead you don’t mess with.
Jay was well aware of the Chinese Whispers and the mudslinging campaigns carried out by his colleagues to tarnish his esteemed image. He never gave a damn about it and unlike his other colleagues; he was never a social butterfly.
For Jay biology was the love of his life. His workaholic nature had already cost him his family life in the past. He had been married to his school friend but the couple couldn’t get along and went their separate ways, just after two years of marriage. That had been the last time he had got into any serious relationship.
Natasha Tiwari, popularly known as Nats was widely known for her nasty nature, was a 12th grader, B group (biology) student. Her nickname was a mirror to her real badass teenage persona. A Beauty with brains who also possessed a sordid mind a very unlikely combination.
Natasha was one of Jay’s student. She was a perfect example of a spoiled brat. Her parents were also worried about her but, it was too late, she could not be contained by anyone. Natasha lived a life based on her whims and fancies believing herself to be the queen of her world and everyone around her to be just annoying slaves. Her arrogant and bashful nature deprived her of any interpersonal relationships. In fact, her classmates wanted to be in her good books because they all knew the consequences of messing with the devil. You mess with the devil you get the horns.
Natasha had a history, she had played the dirtiest tricks to get at the person, who had hurt her ego and had fought tooth and nail for it. She was one of a kind, a shrewd nasty girl who should not be labelled as a kid. Nevertheless, she was not blind to the faults of the other students who called her BIGHEADED BITCH behind her back but she didn’t give a damn, after all, nobody dared to say it on her face.
Even the teachers had been victims and prey of her dirty games. At times, just to embarrass the teacher, she would spend hours together in the library just to get the edge over the topic, that teacher would be discussing in the next class. It had always satisfied her ego. That was one of the reasons; teachers never bothered her and she acted like an unleashed wild cat. The other reason was her arrogance and ruthless nature which made teachers feel insulted in the class.
The freedom of not being disturbed was always enjoyed by her. Sometimes, she would be painting her nails while the teacher would be teaching a difficult math sum. She didn’t give a shit and the teachers had already lost their interest in her. Nobody wanted to light up the darkened coal mine with a torch lamp in their hands. In the end, it’s gonna burn out.
Though ignorance is bliss in some cases Jay was ignorant of all such issues. In fact, he was well informed about anything and everything that happened inside the campus. The only thing that kept him out of anything was the lack of personal bonding with anyone. He never butted in anyone’s matter.
Natasha too was not a dunce and was well aware of Jay’s temperament. She always liked the challenges and Jay was one such challenge for her. She always derived sadistic pleasure by cracking the tough nuts like Jay. It was no less than an addiction to her.
“Sir, I have one doubt?” Natasha raised her hand as Jay finished the class.
“Go ahead, we still have five mins before class ends.” Jay replied checking out the time.
“Sir, do genes control the production of the reproductive gametes too?” Natasha didn’t care to stand up from her place. She was biting the tip of her pen cap, looking at Jay with raised eyebrows.
“In fact, genes control a lot more than that. They are even responsible for the development of the intellectual part of your brain and your thinking pattern too. I am sure, all your doubts will be cleared once you go through the chapter and class notes. You can even refer few of the reference books from the library too.” Jay looked straight into her eyes.
The bell rang and Jay left the class, leaving Natasha’s ego smashed and crumpled, like the dry leaves of autumn getting crushed under the heels of a horse, with his sarcasm.
Everybody in the class was giggling and murmuring about it. Furious with what had just happened, Natasha stormed out of the classroom and walked to the ladies washroom. Her anger flushing through her eyes as she splashed water on her face and looked at herself in the mirror above the basin.
“You son of a bitch, I’ll make you pay for this.” Natasha said loud enough for anyone in the washroom to hear it clearly. The junior girls were passing by, looking at her in bewilderment.
That night, she couldn’t sleep cause it was the first time someone had crushed her ego like smothering out the cigarette butt with one’s shoe in front of everyone. Natasha was sitting on her bed, playing with the switch of a table lamp, turning it on and off.
Natasha was a player. She never rushed into things and when it came to taking revenge, she believed she had the instincts and characteristics of a black widow spider, who took her own sweet time to kill, after paralyzing its prey. She had it all analyzed at the back of her mind, how she was going to work her way around this issue.
Couple of days passed and everything was normal but not for Natasha. She was fully prepared for her revenge. Jay’s class was just before the recess break and she quietly attended it. Her mind was not in a class, but on the plan at hand that she had chalked down in her head.
As the class ended with the recess bell, the students started rushing out of classes and flooded the corridors. Natasha waited for everyone to leave the class. She took a deep breath and calmly walked out of the class. Jay was already in his small chamber, in the biology lab.
Natasha looked around, to be assured that no one was watching her and stepped into the biology lab.
“May I disturb you, sir?” Natasha asked softly.
“Ya, come in.” Jay replied without looking up. He was too busy checking the list of lab requirements that his lab assistant had given him.
“Hope you are not too busy, SIR.” This time her voice was a bit higher to grab his attention.
“Absolutely not, tell me, what can I do for you?” Jay saw Natasha standing across the desk with hands at the back. He kept the list aside.
“Sir, I came to talk about the last class.” Her voice was no more soft, rather, curt and crisp.
“I thought I cleared your doubt that day itself.” Jay asked with raised eyebrows.
“Yes, you did but… not the way you should. You insulted me in front of the whole class.” She was standing with hands folded over her chest. Arrogance at its best dripped from every inch of her.
“Really… I thought it was your agenda to play on.” Jay leaned back in his chair without taking his stare off of her. She was now breathing heavily and anger flushing through every nerve of her body.
“You must get one thing straight. You treat me good and I’ll definitely treat you well. You picked the wrong person to play around with. I think you know that.” Jay was not letting his taunts and sarcasm go off and it provoked her more.
“Oh really??? You think you a bigger player than me???” She rolled her eyes and smiled wryly.
“Listen, I am just your bio teacher. And I don’t take any nonsense from any students. It would be better for you to leave the lab before I call the peon and ask him to shove you out.” Jay stood from his chair, pointing his finger at her, stared into her eyes.
“Of course, I will leave, but not before these…” She left her words in the air.
Before Jay could comprehend what that girl was up to, she dug her nails in the shoulder of her shirt sleeve and tore it off. She quickly started ruffling her hairs and slapped herself for the marks and started screaming. Jay was stunned with whatever he saw. Never in his wildest nightmare, had he imagined such an outrageous consequence.
“Please sir, leave me… Leave me… Don’t do this… Please…” Natasha started screaming and before Jay could hold her back, she rushed out of the lab, crying.
Natasha reached the reception area near the principal’s office and started crying. She immediately dialled the police control room and reported the incident between her sobs. Everyone was stunned. The principal came rushing out while she was on the call and asked her what had happened. Natasha accused Jay of trying to molest and rape her. Other staff members stood around the principal and Natasha.
The principal asked one of the female teachers to take Natasha to the infirmary and calm her down. Jay was watching all this from the corridor of the third floor. He would have never thought of how bitchy Natasha could be. His fist and jaw clenched tightly. He stood there paralysed for a while. Deep in his heart, he knew that this was gonna affect his life terribly.
Soon, the police arrived and were escorted to the principal’s office where Natasha was sitting with other female teachers and principal. Natasha narrated the event contradictorily to what had really occurred. The sub-inspector patiently listened to her woeful story of an alleged rape attempt. Jay was sitting in his chamber all the while. No one had dared to go and talk to him.
“Mr. Jay Baxi…?” The sub-inspector asked walking in the chamber. Jay took a deep breath and walked around his desk and faced the inspector. Jay knew that nobody was gonna believe whatever he would say, he kept his mouth shut and a constable handcuffed him. They walked him down the third floor till the reception area. Every eye on the campus seemed to be filled with disgust and hatred for him. Jay kept his eyes down and walked quietly. He looked back at the building with moist eyes but held back his tears from rolling down. He felt he had lost the battle of life.
Back at the police station, Natasha was sitting across Senior Inspector, Sunita Verma. Natasha’s parents were also sitting next to her. She was still trying to control her sobs. While Jay stood in the lockup with his back to the bars. He didn’t want to face anyone. Natasha’s statements were taken down and an FIR was launched against Jay.
News of girl child molestation couldn’t stay confined within the walls of the school campus. A massive crowd of reporters was flocking outside the police station to get the exclusive news scoop. Within hours of the incident, news was out on every local media channel like an infestation. Everyone wanted to interview Natasha to get the details of the incident but with her parents by her side, she could avoid it and the police cleared out the crowd. Even the police didn’t provide much briefing on the case.
That night, was the toughest night for Jay. No one can expect good care and treatment when you are charged for child molestation in the present world. After the constables and sub-inspectors had vented out their anger and frustration on Jay for being a child molester, Sunita asked her assistant to bring Jay to the interrogation room.
It was a dimly lit room with one metal table and two chairs placed across each other. He had not uttered a single word from the moment he had been handcuffed. He hadn’t even winced one while receiving heavy blows on the sole of his feet. Sunita knew who Jay was. She gestured the other staff to leave them alone. Sunita and Jay were together in the room and that was the first time Jay broke down.
Next day, Sunita with her team got busy in taking the statements of other staff members, including principal, at the school. She took a brief tour of the school in plain clothes as she didn’t want kids to freak out. There was no CCTV in Jay’s chamber. Thus Natasha’s words were the only things that could to be counted on. A kid won’t lie to this extent and her disposition yesterday was a clear revelation that Jay was the one who was the real culprit.
Natasha had taken a leave for a couple of weeks, her parents had cited the reason of depression and shock she was going through. The school was back to its normal routine with the tell-tale dying out like an ancient ritual of a nomadic tribe. Natasha was using her break time for her leisure activities like shopping and visiting the different cafeterias. Of course, she was cautious as she did not want to be spotted by media person or they would chew her ass off for exclusive scoop.
With no friends on her friend list, she continued window shopping in the malls till she craved for coffee and some food. Life was fun for her and it was the best time she had ever had in years. However, the best time of your life never comes at the cost of someone else’s life. A couple of times she felt that she was being stalked. A pang of fear started pricking her and she reduced her outings but she just couldn’t throw that feeling off.
After watching a boring movie, Natasha walked down to the CCD to get her coffee. She could feel that someone was following her. She turned to look around and saw a handsome college boy walking behind her. The moment she turned to look back, the boy immediately drifted towards the left and started walking in another direction.
Natasha’s gut was barking loud that he was the guy who had been stalking her. She hurriedly took the escalator and walked into CCD. The cafe was a bit crowded so she felt safe. Ordering her coffee, she grabbed the corner table in the cafe from where she had a good vantage point over the people outside. Her coffee was served and with the first sip, she tried to calm her palpitating heart. She exhaled a sigh of relief, being convinced that she was no more being stalked.
Natasha looked around the cafe. Everyone was busy talking and drifting into their own worlds full of fun and frolic. While browsing through the cafe, her eyes suddenly fell on the guy who was now sitting to her left corner and intently staring at her. It was the same guy. Natasha’s heart started pounding but she had an aptitude to hide things. Her bashful nature would never let anyone pry on her real feelings.
Natasha looked straight into his eyes. The boy winked and smilingly sipped his coffee without taking his eyes off her. Startled Natasha, left her coffee and started walking to the parking lot. She was assured that that fella was gonna follow her and that is where she would confront him. She always carried a small keychain with a sharp blade, for her safety.
She took cover behind the pillar next to her scooter and waited for her stalker to appear. As expected, the boy came scanning the area to spot Natasha. He knew her scooter and he stood there leaning his back on the scooter. Natasha jumped on him from behind and pushed him against the pillar on the left and placed the blade on his neck. Her shivering hands exhibited, how hard her heart was pounding against her ribs.
“Why are you stalking me?” Her eyes flamed with anger and her fingers with nervousness. The boy smirked. He was still very cool though the blade was just an inch away from cutting his throat.
“Answer me…” Natasha pressed her elbow on his chest and blade touching his skin.
“So that I can get you.” The boy winked and smiled. Before startled Natasha could comprehend what was happening, she was stumped, she felt the ground slipping under her feet. Everything in front of her eyes started fading out. The boy had pricked a small needle in her neck to render her unconscious.
Natasha slowly opened her drowsy eyes still fluttering under the effect of the drug. It took a couple of moments for her eyes to adjust to the bright lights of the room. She saw the boy she had threatened in the parking lot, sitting on a chair. She tried to get at him but her hands were tied to the window latch above her bed. She was shocked to find herself imprisoned in her own room.
“You bastard, what do you want from me? Where are my parents? This is my room.” Natasha struggled to free herself but all her endeavours seemed to be meaningless to the tight rope confining her.
“Relax darling, you know you are one bad bitch.” The boy smiled and got up from the chair. Leaning over her on the bed, he sniffed her hair.
“Damn… You are such a wasted beauty.” His intentions were clear now.
“What do you want from me? Why are you doing this to me?” Big teardrops welled up in her eyes and eventually started rolling down her cheeks. All her ego and arrogance was disintegrated like ashes in thin air. Her undaunted ego melted down into rueful tears. Natasha, a big-headed bitch, was now a poor miserable girl, struggling to free herself from the treacherous mess she had got herself into.
Ironically the black widow had been stung and by a wasp and her life dangled in the hands of her predator.
“Look at you… You have become an overnight sensation, darling…” Saying so he pulled out the camcorder from his duffle bag and set it up on a tripod stand with Natasha in focus.
Looking at all the preparation, her worse fears began to crawl through every nerve. She tried to scream so that someone could hear her and come to her rescue.
“Nothing ain’t gonna help you babes.” The boy grinned, once he was done with setting the focus.
“What you gonna do with this?” She pulled her legs back and brought them near her chin.
“You are the most wanted piece of news by media and now I’ll make you a hot sensation of the internet. A HOT, SIZZLING BABES…” His grin widened and continued.
“I’ll earn some money too.” He leaned close to her, unbuttoned a couple of her shirt buttons with his fingers.
“No, no, please… Stop… No…” She tried to kick him away but he held both her ankles tightly.
“The more you cooperate, the easier it gonna be…” He kept his finger on her lips to silence her. Tears flooded from her eyes. Her voice choking between her sobs.
“It will ruin my life… Please don’t do this… Please… I beg you…” She felt she had finally lost everything. Unlike a soldier who has lost all hope of winning and fights till his last breath, Natasha let her guard down and prepared for the worst.
“Look who’s talking…?” Clapping at his words, the boy laughed out loud before continuing.
“You did the same to someone else too. And I bet, you never thought about how you tarnished his life.” He winked and unbuttoned another button and pushed her shirt back, revealing her bare shoulders and the unisex vest she was wearing. She closed her eyes and kept sobbing silently.
“Karma always finds you, babes…”
“I beg you, please… Don’t do this…” She spoke with closed eyes, feeling the pain of that person whose life she ruined.
“I now feel and understand how that person would have felt…” She opened her smudged, moist, red eyes with tears of regrets rolling down her cheek.
The door swung open and Inspector Sunita with her team and Natasha’s parents stormed in.
“Enough now…” Sunita said in a stern voice.
“As you say, MOM… Recording is still going on…” The boy winked and walked away from Natasha and stood next to Inspector Sunita.
Natasha was baffled on seeing everyone in her room. Her mom walked up to her and untied her. Before Natasha could hug her and cry her heart out, her mom slapped her tightly and kept slapping her for the heinous crime she had committed.
Jay Baxi walked in from behind the sub-inspector and looked at Natasha whose eyes failed to face all the fierce eyes in the room. She had just indirectly confessed her crime.
“You can press charges against her.” Sunita spoke with disgust in her eyes and without taking her eyes off Natasha.
“I don’t want my student’s life to be ruined, ever… Thanks for letting your son help me prove my innocence.” Jay spoke with a heavy sigh.
“How can I not let him. After all, you are his favourite teacher…” Sunita smiled at Jay who was already leaving the room…
Written by: Hemang
Sketch: Paranj Sankdecha