Once I finished my Bachelor of civil engineering, a patient wait for a plump government job would be over, I had thought, but alas, the government announced zero based budgeting the year I passed out, meaning no new jobs. As they say, when one door closes, another opens, the government gave permission to open several engineering colleges in our state of Maharashtra. There was a sudden spurt in the demand for lecturers in these colleges. That’s how I got my first job as a lecturer in my hometown in a new Engineering College. Since our young teacher brigade was of almost the same age as that of the students, our interests matched a lot and so did our hangout places.

Those were the days when I innocently believed that learning martial arts would make me a fearless person, magically. I and my colleague joined a Karate training academy in the town, so did two students of ours. We had a teacher, with black belt of some degree, who ran the academy, had a grand physique. He also had undeniable resemblance to Sylvester Stallone which, I guess, he too knew and so one day he announced that he would make a sort of a movie showcasing his talents. Besides the lead role which he would portray anyway, he had this whole academy of his ready to take their chances. We were called on our weekends at limited locales in our town for the video shoot.

On one of these shooting days, the teacher called all of us around him and peered at us one by one and picked a few people.  Our two students got selected in that privileged group. This group was asked to take off their tops and they were visibly excited to show off their brawn. While the rest of the crew was getting ready for the shot, our student duo, with possibly Bruce Lee on their minds, was flexing their biceps and making us jealous of their opportunity.

Our karate teacher then started explaining the scene: The few of us who were still wearing the tops were the bad people. The group without their tops was a group of hostages who were not fed for the last 10 days, and so on. Aha! we got the answer to the question that why they were asked to remove their tops. Our student duo wasn’t too amused and it was I and my colleague who had the final laugh.

(featured image:Photo by Haste LeArt V. from Pexels)