I was just trying to remember the man. I can see his face, but perhaps I never bothered about his name so I don’t remember it. I will tell you the whole story.
My Nani, seeing that I was unteachable, and sending me to school was just creating trouble, tried to convince my family, my father and mother, but nobody was ready to listen to her. But she was right in saying, “This boy is an unnecessary nuisance for one thousand other boys” – that was when I entered high school – “and every day he is up to something. It would be better to have a private tutor for him. Let him ‘visit’ the school, as he calls it, once in a while, but that is not going to help him learn anything worthwhile, because he is always creating trouble for others and for himself. There is no time left.”
She tried as hard as she could to teach me the basics, but nobody in my family was ready to get a private tutor for me. In that town, even today, I don’t think anybody has a private tutor. What for? The whole family was saying, “Then why are these schools here if we have to have private tutors?”
She said, “But this boy should not be counted with others – not because I love him, but because he is real trouble. I live with him, and I have lived for so many years that I know he will do everything that is possible to create trouble. And no punishment can prevent it.”
But my father and mother, my father’s brothers and sisters – and I mean the whole Noah’s Ark, all the creatures – disagreed with her. But they were all shocked when I agreed.
I said, “She is right, I will never learn anything in those third-rate schools. In fact, the moment I see those teachers, I want to teach them a lesson that they will never forget in their whole life. And the boys, so many boys sitting silently…it is unnatural. So I just do some small thing and immediately nature takes over, and nurture is left far behind with all its culture. She is right; if you want me to at least know language, mathematics, something of geography or history, then listen to her.”
They were more shocked than if I had exploded a firecracker, because that was absolutely expected. People of my family and neighborhood, everybody expected trouble, so much so that they even started asking me, “What is up your sleeve today?”
I said, “Can’t I even have a holiday? What is up your sleeves? Are you paying for it? The whole town should pay me if you feel it is of any value. I can produce every possible thing in the world.”
Only my Nani was really interested, and I told my family, “I should know the basics. Listen to her. I am going to have a tutor whether you listen or not. All that she needs is my agreement, and I totally agree with her.”