Sunday, Nov 27, 2022
Outlook.com
Khushwant Singh 17 in 1932

The Standing Member From Lahore

The Standing Member From Lahore
Courtesy: Roli Books
The Standing Member From Lahore
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Ahhh, all these sohni damsels. How they haunt my painful nights—and much of my day too. ‘Sweet Seventeen’. Sure, you could call it that. But how would you describe that to an awkward banda like me with out-of-control hormones? There are many strapping, self-confident chaps at my new college who don’t seem to suffer any of my inadequacies. I’ve yet to bed a girl. If only the real thing would be as easy pulled off as in my fantasies.

And to top it off, I’m anxious over moving out of home and going to Lahore. Was I right in leaving Stephen’s after my intermediate earlier this year, and coming here—to Government College—for a BA? It may be most sought-after for its sports and academics. My backhands are getting better, but I am a bilkul so-so in the latter. I just about managed a second division, whereas that show-off Mangat Rai had topped in several subjects. Yes, yes, he’ll become a successful diplomat, with his smooth talk and foppish clothes, but he’ll always be a pompous gasbag. I am still completely in awe of him though, and was all puffed up when he spent weekends at our home. It was most unfair of Principal Mukherjee to listen to the rumours about him being a homo, and gating him in the hostel on holidays. Mangat wept when I told him I was moving to Lahore, and he still writes me long letters telling me what I’m missing out on at Mission College. Ki pharak penda, I am now stuck in Lahore. I’m sure we’ll meet again. Theek hai, so long as I and not he wins the hand of the comely Kawal, who I have been in love with since Modern School. Nahin ji, all those other kudis are okay to pretend to screw, but she’s The One.


Photograph by T. Narayan

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