Exclusive Excerpt – Chasing 33% by Jitendra Jain

4 months ago Shaili Desai 0

Chasing 33% by Jitendra Jain is a fictional story of two teenage boys, set to take their board exams. The story looks interesting, with one of the boys (now all grown up) reminiscing about their teenage years.

The book has also been featured in the Bangalore Mirror and The Hindu this month and shares a different view on the current school system.

Here’s an exclusive excerpt:

I used to find Science very boring. On top of that, we had a very funny looking teacher. His name was Anirudh. Swadhin and I used to call him 17 paise. Why did we call him 17 paise? Well, only Swadhin and I knew the answer. The day we christened him 17 paise, we decided that the first person, other than us, to know the reason would be 17 paise himself. He knew that we used to call him 17 paise but he didn’t know why.

17 paise didn’t have hair on his head, but had too much hair in the wrong places. He resembled a human version of a black bear. 17 paise knew that most of the students and even some of the teachers called him Black Bear behind his back. Once during a class on scientific names, I asked him what the scientific name of a black bear was. I was asked to kneel down for 30 minutes. To be very honest, it was less painful than attending the Black Bear’s class. Unlike real black bears, this Black Bear liked attacking Swadhin and me. Attending Science class was the worst form of human torture. I always thought of asking the teacher if he had ever studied Science in his life. Only those who want to be an engineer or a doctor should be made to tolerate the tortures of such Science teachers, else, schools should have good-looking Science teachers.

Physics made some sense to me as it involved finding out reasons for why nature is as it is. But I hated Physics because it used Mathematics to logically explain the phenomenon. Physics constituted 33 marks in the exam. The remaining marks were made up by Chemistry and Biology.

I was never in the mood to know why salt or sugar dissolved in water or why steel was harder than iron. Hence, I hated Chemistry. No way could I ever study the interaction between and formation of chemical substances. Attempting even a single question on Chemistry in the exam was out of the question because I never paid attention in Chemistry class.

Coming to Biology, I found the chapters on bacteria, algae and fungi and other micro-organisms very boring and a waste of time. I mean, who cares if they are the ones who help in converting milk into curd? Just enjoy the curd, why worry about the composition of bacteria in the curd? The only fact that fascinated me was that bacteria reproduced without undergoing sexual intercourse. Swadhin and I challenged 17 paise on this fact once and we were made to clean the toilet in the principal’s office that day. To be very honest, we enjoyed that more than the Science class.

Once, I asked 17 paise if there was any proof of the fact that single cell micro-organisms were the first creatures to appear on earth three billion years ago. I was asked to stand outside the classroom for 40 minutes. Again, I found that better than attending the Science class. That’s what Swadhin and I did in all our Science classes. We asked stupid questions to 17 paise and he asked us to do something that involved getting out of his class. It was a win-win situation. Initially we were the ones who asked him stupid questions so that we could spend time outside the class. Later, he started asking difficult questions to Swadhin and me at the beginning of the class. Then, he would ask us to get out, making sure that we didn’t attend his class.

If you liked the excerpt, and want more – then buy this book on Amazon.

Also, I finished reading Men Without Women by Haruki  Murakami, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn and The Post office by Charles Bukowski, apart from Looking for Alaska by John Green. All this reading will soon be followed by more writing !