Defying Gravity: My Journey As a World Record Holder – Chapter IV
As I returned home, my thoughts oscillated between hope and fear. Dr. Pradeep Kumar’s words had stirred a profound belief in me, igniting the flames of ambition, but simultaneously, fear loomed like a colossal elephant recently freed from the clutches of an oppressive captor. My anxiety was palpable, manifesting in trembling uncertainty.
Some days later, while at my grandfather’s house, a call from my class teacher disrupted my musings. I was instructed to send a list of topics in which I excelled, both within the curriculum and through extracurricular activities. I complied, submitting three subjects from the curriculum—History, Sanskrit, Tamil, and Science—and three areas of expertise from my extracurricular pursuits—Discourse, Story writing, Mridangam, and music.
Puzzled as to the purpose of this request, I began to speculate. Was it perhaps for an inter-school competition? My mother, however, was convinced that it was related to the world record attempt. Despite her certainty, I harbored suspicions that it might indeed be for an inter-school event.
In the month of August, clarity began to emerge. I received word from my class teacher that I was to attend an “interview” with Mr. Pradeep, held in the Principal’s office. At the time, I found myself in my mathematics class, located just above the Principal’s office and adjacent to the staff room. My mathematics teacher was my favorite in the entire eleventh grade. Despite my struggles with the subject, I studied it earnestly because of his encouragement. He was an exemplary educator, and I held great respect for him. His classes were a sanctuary of learning, where he didn’t permit students to disrupt the sanctity of the learning environment.
As I sat in his class, an interruption came from a fellow student who called out, “Sir, Krishna…”
Curious, my math teacher inquired, “Krishna?”
The student caught sight of me and melodiously sang, “Krishna nee begane baro.”
I hesitantly asked, “Sir, can I go?”
Unperturbed, my teacher replied, “Dei, sit… I said to sit.”
His response conveyed his easygoing demeanor, but I couldn’t help feeling a sense of sympathy for him. I made my way to the Principal’s office, where Mr. Pradeep sat in anticipation.
Our conversation commenced with a simple exchange:
“Krishna?” he queried.
“Yes, sir,” I replied.
“Mridangam,” he added “Already, there’s an existing record.”
For how many hours?
The answer to this question, dear readers, remains an enigma to be unravelled in the forthcoming chapter of this captivating journey. Until then, brace yourselves for a story that combines complexity and simplicity in equal measure.