This skeletal little figurine is my main man Harsha. Harsha is a 2nd grade boy in a 1st graders body. He is hyper cheerful. He bobs around the school with his characteristic squeaky voice. Apart from squeaking he also has a melted butter rich Kannada voice that will eventually sprout into a man’s voice and wow the ladies… this is probably not true. He likes to make noise and disrupt class with his antics. I have images burned into my retina of him pelvic thrusting with his eyes closed and hands above his hand shouting hindi songs in the middle of class.
Harsha has been my student since the first day. The very first day we met he played a game where he was trying to get imaginary party favors for his stuffed animal. When we played the game and I looked over his sticky body, I remembered thinking that he must be much younger. Then as my eyes grew accustom to the disconcerting way the children look “way too young” due to malnourishment and ” way to old” due to a hard living, I started to understand how differently the clock works for these kids.
Harsha and I became buddies because we always had class together. I spoiled him with phone games and computer time. I spoiled him so much, I almost lost the ability to teach him anything. Harsha doesn’t know it, but he received one my best lessons ever when we reviewed pronouns and the phases of the sun. Then after a great class I gave him computer time and I lost him for-almost-ever. Harsha always comes to me as if he has something up his sleeve. He has some sort of little mission he is on. Either to get closer to his beloved computer or to enjoy my lax tutorship. During the dark days, I got Harsha hooked on the computer. If he didn’t get his fix he’d start tweaking out on me. I had to wean him off the stuff. We abandoned the computer and started to do division in the sand with rocks. He hated it at first, but eventually he got his head around it. Harsha and I also did Bill Cosby’s favorite program Hooked on Phonics. It was fun to finally do this program which I had heard so much about from Dr. Huxtabul.
Harsha seems to find ways to make arguments with his classmates. I have become his accomplice in crime. Whenever he is about to get beaten up on the playground I swoop in and rescue him from his own loud mouth. Speaking of a loud mouth Harsha tells tall tales. He told me that he flew to Delhi and went to the beach. Delhi is landlocked no beach, and you never went on a airplane Harsha. But let him dream.
Harsha got into the habit of stealing pencils. When the school told his mother that he was up to this little thievery, his mother took a hot piece of metal off the fire and burned him up and down. When I saw him after that, I almost cried but he was chipper and not as much of a pansy as me. He has a lot of cards against him growing up, but he has a heart of gold… ….gold!!!