I was in 3rd standard and me and my younger brother were enrolled in Gyan Bharati Public School, Hissar. We went to school on a rickshaw. The owner of the rickshaw called himself Shobraj Madhu Charles. He was kind of inspired by Charles Shobraj (all of interpol was after him some time back). I remember his face slightly. If you ve seen those late 80s and 90s hindi movies. Some of the movies had those songs where the Hero danced and a whole group of guys would dance in the back ground. This group dancer with a french beard featured in most of those movies. Later he also played a part in the Movie Ghayal (the one who falls for the Moongra Dance Girl in the movie - Tu moongra moongra main gur ki dali :-) yeah that song). Shobhraj Madhu Charles looked like a impoverished version of the dancer dude.
Around 12-13 kids were accommodated on the rickshaw. The rickshaws were fitted with wooden seats to increase the capacity. In between the rickshaw picked up students from this Place called Canal Colony. The colony got its name because there were lots of open drains in the colony. there was a drain in front of each house. To make it easier to visualize I tried painting this rough sketch of the layout.
One fine morning when we entered canal colony I just felt good and got down from the moving Rickshaw. The rickshaw was slowing down to stop at the gate of a house. Now I really dont know what got into my mind but I kind of put my feet in front of the back left wheel of the rickshaw. And then something happened. The rickshaw lost balance and tilted to the right side. That was ok. No big deal. However, the kids (there were 11 of them) fell into one of the those open drains (nothing dangerous. those were shallow black water drains.
I will never forget that view. An inverted rickshaw, a visibly shaken Shobhraj Madhu Charles and 11 kids coming out from the drain with their heavy school bags on their backs. They all were black from the dirty drain.
Ha Ha and they did look like those commandos who smear their faces with black and green when they go for a mission with their backpacks.
All fingers were pointing towards me but I didnt admit anything . It was a rather funny accident. School was canceled for the day and shobhraj was furious.
At home, everyone was wondering how was it that of all, I was the only one who was clean. My parents always suspected me. Sometimes even without any reason. But they had a good one then. I was thrashed again by my dad when I was at home. And he asked me to leave house. It was around 9.00 AM. I had a nice long walk that day till it became hot at around 12:30. Then I went back home. My grandmother would always come to my rescue and was our last resort.
For your ready reference , I have tried to paint this rough sketch of the canal colony where the incident happened.