Sunday, August 10, 2008


When someone mentions the word “genius”, what’s the image that comes to your mind?

A man, who seems a little crazy, with a shabby workplace, shabby clothes, and difficult to understand??

Satyajeet Mohanty was exactly that. A fifteen year version of the weird, wacko scientist.

As a kid, he was always falling sick. He had to take painful injections every 21 days for his joint pains. He kept on finding innovative ways to get injured. Even early this January when we went on a 3 day trip to our old school and were playing a crazy game called “King Kong”, he twisted his ankle and sprained it!!!

As he grew up, his triangular head seemed to confine in it a very able brain. He was one of those cool guys who somehow scored the top marks in every test.

Both of us were from Orissa. We know each other from the age of 5. He was inquisitive as a kid. To the point of getting on your nerves, sometimes!

As he grew older, his talents and intelligence seemed to grow even more. Sadly, so did his weird, wacko side. It was like a Dr. Jekyll - Mr. Hyde symptom that the teachers failed to comprehend. How could a guy who was so vastly talented be such a complete weirdo?

He gained the reputation of the guy who knew a lot. I knew stuff. But my knowledge was basically GK stuff. ‘Mohanty’ was the Maths and Science guy.

So, people generally listened to him. And guess how he used to take advantage of our credulity?

In class 3, he said that eating the seeds of drumstick would make you better at Maths. Since he was the best in Maths, nobody questioned the logic. I would have eaten probably a thousand drumstick seeds, but my Maths still sucks like a vacuum cleaner.

All these theories seemed true only because he said them. Half of them believed him. The other half probably agreed so that he’d stop his damn ‘explanation’ sessions!

The theories always went above our heads. Geometrically speaking (Now, I am trying to sound like him when he’d explain his theories…here’s a taste of your own, bitter
Medicine!) If our heads were like circles, his logic was like a tangent that went right over our heads!!

Another theory of this child prodigy. We were in a boarding school, and the proper functioning of our bowel movements depended on the teacher. If the teacher didn’t let us go to the bathroom when we asked her, we were doomed.

But we had the wise Mohanty to go to for advice:
“If you want to feel better, keep 2 big stones in your pant pockets. It’ll reduce the pressure”.

We guys must have been really dumb if he could have got away with this stuff.

As he grew older, it was clear we hadn’t seen the last of his talents yet. His health improved and he started showing an avid interest in games. He could play cricket, football, basketball, table-tennis, badminton, chess and any other game that we had a chance to play. In one of the most memorable matches in my life, the two of us had an 8th wicket partnership that saved the match for our class.

Though he had no inclination towards music back then, in 4 years, he plays the guitar for his college band and now is also learning to play drums and the saxophone too. He’s like an irritating version of Forrest Gump!!!

The two of us got along fabulously because of our common interests. We were interested in films and books. We used to read Harry Potter, Sidney Sheldon and Jeffrey Archer on the sly. We’d also stared attempting to solve the Hindu crossword from Class 9.

You must be thinking he’s this fabulous, talented person, right? Good. That means I can now get to my favourite part.

This guy is too weird to be true. The reason he’s a teetotaler is simple. You cannot act drunk than he does when he’s normal.

In our younger days, he was a pain in the ass. If the entire class was the UPA, he was the CPM. I remember, when we guys wanted to play carom, he’d come and sit right in the middle so that nobody got to play.

And when a teacher asked us in class, “Should I teach some more or should we continue in the next class?”

Mohanty would be the only guy to say, “Yes, sir. Please teach, sir.” And then turn and smile at us.

We were roommates in 9th standard. He was my room leader. And not an ideal one at that, because all our night study hours would be spent in devising ways to pour water on the guys in VRR’s room, opposite to ours.

When we would read the newspaper, what’d you expect a guy to notice everyday? This guy used to count the number of people reported dead everyday!!

And he used to say at the end of it, “Aah…today, our population went down by 57!!!!”

Didn’t I say geniuses were weird?


KVR said...

i dint know about the 2 stones in the pant pocket until now. will try it some time. hehehe

Harsha said...

you forgot to mention the pond incident, when mohanty fell in the primary school fish pond.
That's one hell of a story!!