This boy is not in my class. He is in Class N(c) but he spends so much time here in Class N(a), his teacher asked me to write his report card.
Ever seen Hindi movies with a landlord (zamindar) village elder terrifying the villagers and ruling like a king? Well, Namgye is from a zamindar’s family. So for all the poor boy’s failings in class and on the field, all the students pretend to believe his stories of his intellect and physical prowess because their parents have to deal with his on a daily basis.
He walks with his nose in the air which for a tall boy is not advisable, when you haven’t got the good sense to have a clean nose. He needs listeners. It’s the only way he maintains his self esteem. He cannot charm, impress on the field or surpass with exams, so he talks. On and on. About himself! I found myself cornered one day and I remember it took the whole two hours of games time for him to move from his towering presence in school, to his father the local chieftain, to his grandfather the reincarnated lama, to his great grandfather the real lama and all the auspicious rainbows, rainfall of flowers and flames fluttering over the mother when each male child was born.
The only boys he acknowledges as equal in caste to him are Jigmi Thinlay and Jigme Tshultim. Their tales are as tall as his. And they find a mutual benefit in being each other’s audience when no one else is willing to listen. Namgye has asked if he can join them in this class section from next year.
I am not sure what to tell him. I have double promoted Jigmi Thinlay so he might suddenly be off to New York studying there. Jigme Tshultim will fail and end up out of school as this is the third year in the same class.