As I entered the auditorium, I saw the benches all set up in straight lines. But for my peers and me, they were the trenches where we would hide and attack our enemy. Within minutes we took our places and made necessary arrangements in our trenches. Our target entered the auditorium in no time. He was gigantic with huge broom-like mustaches and a furious lion face. But who cares? We were a troop of lion hunters! We’d done this before. We had crumbled a few and won the heart of others. We’re an army of 50 trained soldiers and he was alone. We had already won the battle. We could take him down too.
The lion threw his first weapon: “Gibber!” His roars made us all silent and soon it was only his voice that echoed in the entire auditorium. He was mistaken. He thought our silence was the symbol of his first achievement but he was highly mistaken. While he was putting all his energy into growling, we observed him very eagerly. We are an army of wise soldiers. We observe, plan and then take actions. Our targets are generally silly as they believe they’ll take us over by throwing their heavy vocabulary and making an Einstein impression in their first appearance.
Till that time we thought that this lion was the weakest of all. We knew his roars would not prove his strengths so to fortify his position he had to take support of other spiteful actions. Five minutes had passed. A few of our soldiers were yet to come and take their positions. But we knew our target was already frightened. He couldn’t see us getting stronger. So as soon as our fellow soldiers entered the room, the lion jumped towards him and roared in a raucous tone that we never heard before.
“You are five minutes late! And still you have no manners to seek permission before entering the class. Has no one taught you manners before? How dare you enter like this?” yelled the lion. Our innocent soldier blushed. He suppressed his ego and tried to face the situation in a more peaceful manner. But before he could utter a word, the lion roared again “Get out!” The poor soldier couldn’t take it anymore. What could he do? Obviously he couldn’t stand and wait for the lion to cut him open and chew his heart. Therefore, he ran for his life. Within split seconds he was out of our sight. And then the lion turned towards us. His eyes were blood-red and his face was full of aggression. We could see right through him. We knew very well what he had just done.
We were trapped. He had won the battle. We dropped our weapons, calmed ourselves and sighed. We couldn’t do anything better because it was clear that we were stuck with him for the entire semester. The lion started roaring again. This time we had to open our ears and decode his roars. He was yelling at how ill-mannered the new generation is and…BLA BEEP BLOOP… the rest just passed in from one ear and out from the other. This was the beginning of our new semester – the first one where the lion won. But whatever! We’ll fight for our dignity again and in the next semester we’ll ensure that all our soldiers take places before the lion jumps in.
(The writer is an undergrad student at Lahore School of Economics, Lahore, Pakistan. The writing piece is inspired by an International Relations course. The instructor, Sir Sajjad Naseer, was surely an item – in a good sense, of course!)