So, my algebra was always weak. Except for the concept of the constant "K." I understood that very well because I experienced one constant through all my evolving dreams. As Kakali (also a K!) gave way to secret fantasies about newer girls and my constant endeavor for growing a moustache, I was also exposed to other necessary things that one should be exposed to as part of growing up proper. I changed schools and moved to this government school for boys when I was in standard eight. My concept of being "bad"was thoroughly jolted. The guys there had taken perversion to an art form. I later heard some of them went on to join the Indian Army and some others were making bombs for the local councillor. At least they don't pelt bombs at unsuspecting young girls any more.
I still used to meet Kakali at the tutorials sometimes. She liked biology (she too seemed to have missed out on algebra) like I did. It was the only option if maths was too much for you. All I could ever mumble was a Hi and she returned it with a polite smile. By then the world knew about my continuing crush for her (it was already five years by then), and probably even she had an inkling. What the others didn't know was that in the meanwhile I had had quite a few other crushes parallely.
Frankly, these were purely platonic in nature. We still had our sexual fantasies about the "white woman" but these girls, our dear classmates, were never subjected to any such desires. We loved to think about their moms instead. The "we" stands for me and all my peers, because our dreams were always shared.
Much later—having lost my virginity one sunny afternoon and after having spent many years indulging in frenetic promiscuity, when I was almost certain that the K on my mind was this pathological urge to slam dunk just about anywhere—I suddenly felt it slipping first from my loins and then from my brain.
I panicked, looking for something to hold on to. Hey, that is me, all I'm about. But it was gone before I even realized.
Now I have a jeep and a Royal Enfield motorbike and tell you that these are the two balls of a man. If only you knew that I'd lost mine trying to learn algebra.
P.S.: The day she got married, Kakali confessed to a common friend that she shared a crush for me too, only wanted me to speak first.