|Mallika Kagzi conducts the exercises|
The initiative instantly triggered a round of applause – more so, because nobody expected Mallika to volunteer and secondly, both Srichand Arora and Razia Khan (the only experienced ‘teachers’ left behind by the Shekhawat gang) were under the weather this morning.
But that was only at the beginning. The moment Mallika started, Mohar Singh and Bijoy Gupta started complaining that she was not audible. She turned in their direction and started counting louder, only to have Arun Patil and Karuna Waghmare instructing her from the other end to raise her voice still higher. “We can’t hear you,” they chorused.
Mallika ignored them. Before matters could precipitate further, Arora intervened by adding his voice to Mallika’s and for a while, the exercises continued on double count.
|Slanging match between Arun Patil and Mallika|
At that point, Arun intervened and instructed Mallika to shut up – obviously because that would leave us to follow only one call, i.e. Arora’s. Effectively, it meant Mallika had no business to be in the middle now and she could as well join the rest of us in the circle. She walked away in a huff and Arora took her place.
But Mallika was not to forgive Arun. Soon after the exercises, she tore into him, charging him to be a congenital troublemaker, out to pick faults in others and himself being a good for nothing. In defence, Arun tried to say something about “keeping the rhythm and flow of the exercises”, but all that was drowned in Mallika’s high-pitched rage and uproar.
In all this, Razia Khan wisely kept her counsel and did not utter a word. Her scraps with Arun – long before Mallika was anywhere near the scene – is part of Big Laaf lore.
Well done, Mallika. Next time come with a loudspeaker; but do not give up. You will definitely be our new good and most feared teacher!