The Fateful Science Project

by Akshdeep Singh

People say I’m a clumsy klutz, and after some incidents in my life, I believe them. The most bizzare of these is as follows:
It was winter time …
Hell I’ve got to submit my science project today, or I’m a goner. Needless to say, I’m already a goner. The chill wind agrees with me.
“Hi!” said Ranja , as I climbed up the stairs. “Having a good day?”
I scowled. “I expect my days to be dark and gloomy from now … my science project isn’t very good.”
Which was true–I knew very well that my hurriedly assembled soil structure project would need heavy doses of fixes and truckloads of makeover to make it pass muster.
The silly project consisted of the awe-inspiring cardboard box whose interiors were buried in sand and dust. In fact, I later heard a rumour that it was a sandbox for the nursery section!
Even though I was absorbed in my own thoughts, I noticed Ranja ‘s project–a chart that he was clutching in his hand as if it was made of gold! I racked my brain (I always do that!) to remember what Ranja had been working on, but in vain!
“What’s your project about, Ranja?”
“About.. about what?”
“Uhh, about your project?”
“Well, what about it?”
“Don’t act the dunce … what is your project about?”
“Ah, yes! It’s about ‘the uses of trees’ of course”.
“Ah, yes, yes. Mind if I look at it?”
“Of course not, but wait till we reach the classroom”.
Once inside the classroom, he showed me his project rather proudly. And it was really nice. He got full marks for it (good for him!)–and needless to say, I failed!I winced when our science teacher announced this!
I had tucked it away safely inside the cubbyhole of my desk like a shameful secret, but Akshit’s hand moved in and out before I could say “Stop!”, and there was my project, on his lap!
“Wow, look at the future of science projects!” he smirked sarcastically.
“GIVE IT BACK!” I was losing my temper. Already sore about failing, I was smouldering on a short fuse as it was, and Akshit’s jeers did nothing to help!
“No way–let me see it properly!”
I tried to get it back; he tried to pull it towards him. Together, we proved Newton’s Third Law of Motion. My ill-fated project had its supreme moment, as it got ripped to shreds!
I was looking daggers (swords, rather) at Akshit. He was glaring back at me, and there followed an exchange of unprintable remarks.
@#%@$$#^&$……..
The class was in fits of laughter all around us!
The teacher, meanwhile, had stepped outside the class, and so, had missed the entire drama. I opened my mouth and raised my voice to complain:
“MAAM..”
“Rampal, stop screaming in class! And incidentally, please get some notebooks from 8-B”. She crisply ordered, casting a damper over my anger.
“Triiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing!” screeched the shrill notes of the bell–if it were any shriller, only bats would be able to hear it!
And so, ended my fateful science project, in an avalanche of mud and sand, all over the classroom floor, the desks, Akshit and me!
***
Akshdeep Singh is 14 years old and a student of class IX at Guru Harkrishan Public School, Loni Road. His hobbies and interests include Science, reading and writing.

Akshdeep wishes to thank his friend, 14 year-old Rajkumar from Europe for collaboration and editorial support.

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