Chapter 3:

The Legend of Jajanshu Mamanpade

The Mildpowered Virgins of Novylion High

Name’s Jajanshu Mamanpade. Born 17th May BT45. Brown eyes, brown hair. Left eye -1.5, right eye -1.0. Five feet and two-and-three-quarters inches currently but I will get taller soon I am sure because Papa says I will. Papa is right about everything. I am proud of my Papa. He is the best Papa in the world.

My Papa’s first job was in the film industry as a lighting man. His guṇa is that he has a veeerrrry bright light in his throat so whenever he goes aaaahhhhh like this-much wide, it turns on and shines up the whole room. When the light went out in our small little house in Jambuwan and—I’m so embarrassed—no, I don’t want to say it—no, but I guess I could tell you if you pinky swear to cross your heart and hope to die—but it’s OK everybody has little secrets from their baby times—I’ll just say it: I was so so scared of the dark I pee-pee’d my pants. No, don’t laugh. You said you wouldn’t! You’re so mean! Now where’s your pinky? Gimme it…

Anyways, even after such a long day of hard-hard work and his jaw was so tired, Papa always turned on his light until I found a candle. Papa was so famous in the film business because he worked so much. He did two or three movies or serials all in the same month. And he climbed and reached wherever the cameraman-ji wanted him to go to get the perfect shadows and stuff. He climbed rigging, he climbed poles, he climbed towers and he even climbed a cliff once. He always made the heroine look pretty and the hero handsome and the villain scary. Director-jis from all over the city came to him and asked him to give them his ‘Mamanpade glow’. Once even a journalist-ji came to visit our house and he wrote an article about it.

My favourite serial that Papa lighted up with his throat light was Chi Man. Chi Man was the bestest superhero of all time in the whole world. He just went whoosh! and fwang! and paton! and all the bad guys were defeated and the girl was saved. Chi Man was so strong and had big muscles and he was so tall and his costume was so cool. And he could also fly by spreading his arms out like this and then he would flap them like fwop-fwop-fwop-fwop and he could fly faster than a bullet.

When I was seven years old, I wanted to be like Chi Man very bad. The other kids made so much fun of me for being short and thin. I told on them to sensei but she told me that I should stop getting angry when they make fun of me. I asked sensei why and she said there was this great sage a long time ago who some nasty man came up to and said very very bad words to but the sage said nothing back and was quiet. I asked sensei what were those bad words but she didn’t tell me. She said they were so bad she couldn’t say them and I shouldn’t hear them. Then she said I should listen to the rest of the story. But then when I asked sensei how many muscles did this great sage have and where could I meet him she said he was a thin man who died a thousand years ago. This was very sad and I asked sensei how did he die. Was there a big monster he couldn’t fight? And sensei said she didn’t know how he died but it wasn’t because of a monster. The great sage didn’t fight any monsters. This was even sadder and I told sensei about Chi Man and how he has a million muscles and he can fight any monster in the world and he will never die because he drinks milk with ChocChi powder just like me which makes his bones super strong. And whenever someone bullies his friends, Chi Man uses his ChocChi Kick to knock the bully out. I showed sensei my own Super ChocChi Kick but I accidentally broke the globe on her table and she screamed very loud and I got sent home and suspended for one week so I never got to know why the great sage didn’t say anything. But that doesn’t matter much because I’m not interested in some old man who never fought a single monster.

My Papa is so cool that on my eighth birthday he got me a Chi Man bag and a Chi Man tiffin and I was so happy. I take both to my school every day till today and will do forever. But the other kids at my school still made fun of me. By then they were all watching Bow Man and not Chi Man. Bow Man was so lame. He just had a bow and arrow and he lived in a forest. Bow Man didn’t even have special powers. What is the use of a bow and arrow when a bullet is much faster and Chi Man is even faster? They were stupid for thinking he was cooler than Chi Man. I had so many fights with them and they always beat me up because I was so thin and weak. I wished for Chi Man to come and save me and beat up all the bullies but he never came. So I thought… Maybe I am Chi Man. I didn’t know my guṇa then so I thought it would activate somehow and I will become just as strong as Chi Man.

On my ninth birthday, my Papa became the coolest Papa of all time in the history of the entire universe because he bought me a Chi Man costume! It was just like the one in the show with the same colour and the same logo. I hugged Papa so hard and said I love you I love you I love you a thousand times. I wore my Chi Man costume every day after coming back to school and practised my Super ChocChi Kick and watched the new episode of Chi Man at 5.00 pm. Then I carefully washed it so it didn’t get damaged and hung it out to dry.

But one day, at the end of an episode, Chi Man announced that his show was going to end in three months. I was shocked and sad and sad and just… sad. No, I’m kidding. I was crying and shouting and screaming. I couldn’t believe it. Who will save me now? Who will beat up all the bullies and defeat all the monsters? Then, just after the announcement, Chi Man said we should all believe in ourselves and carry on Chi Man’s legacy. I see then. I thought if Chi Man can’t be here, I will have to be Chi Man. I will have to be the new Chi Man. But to be as strong as Chi Man, I had to train. So I went to the roof of our house and I ran around and I did hundreds of Super ChocChi Kicks but I just couldn’t turn into Chi Man. I thought being Chi Man needed more believing in myself like Chi Man had said. It would take lots and lots more of believing in myself.

I thought what can Chi Man do that I can’t. I was perfect at the ChocChi Kick so that wasn’t a problem. I tried many many times but I couldn’t make a laser beam come out of my nose. What else was there? I couldn’t fly. I thought I should at least try it. So I went to the edge of the roof and flapped my arms like fwop-fwop-fwop-fwop and… I jumped.

For some very little time I thought I was really flying but very soon not even two seconds later I hit the ground like ba-bam! And all my body hurt and OWWW was all I could scream. I looked at my hands and both of them were bent the wrong way and I could see my feet even though I was in a weird pose where I shouldn’t have seen my feet. Before I could scream more, everything went black and fuzzy and I went to sleep.

When I woke up some doctor-ji I didn’t know was screaming at me about how I was so stupid and if I jumped from two floors instead of only one floor I would have died or something and blah-blah-blah. I shouted I know I’m stupid doctor-ji. All the teachers in the school tell me all the time. Why are they complaining to you? You are not my Papa. This is not an open house. Then I slept again so I never got to know where he met my sensei.

When I woke up proper-proper I saw Papa crying and I started crying too and he asked me why are you crying and I said because you are crying and we both cried for a long time. Then Papa told me that many-many bones in my arms and legs had broken but the awesome doctor-jis will fix them up quickly. And the producer-ji of Chi Man will pay for my bone-fixing if I never tell anyone that I was trying to be like Chi Man when I jumped from the roof. I said to Papa but I was trying to be like Chi Man. I will always try to be like Chi Man. That was the first time Papa got angry with me and told me to forget about Chi Man and he was sick about hearing about Chi Man and now Chi Man sent me to the hospital. I asked Papa what did he do with my Chi Man costume and he said it was so bloody and torn he had to throw it out. This made me very angry and it was the first time that I was angry with Papa. I shouted at him and he slapped me which I deserved if I think about it. It was the first time he had hit me. Then he cried again and hugged me and I cried too.

I never told anybody I was trying to be like Chi Man but I kept watching the new episodes every day in my nice hospital room that the nice producer-ji had paid lots of money for. All day I watched TV and ate food and talked with the nurse-jis. Three months went away and my bones started to come together and I was able to get out of bed a little with crutches. Then something good happened. Chi Man said his amazing fans all wrote letters to the TV channel people to let Chi Man keep going and so Chi Man will continue for six more months. Six more months… My arms and legs were going to be OK enough in one month to walk everywhere with crutches and I will have to go to school. I thought how much the other guys will make more fun of me because I was thin, weak and I can’t show them my perfect Super ChocChi Kick. I didn’t want to meet those guys at all again. None of them had even come to visit me. The nurse-jis were much better than them and they played games with me sometimes. I thought about how much homework I will have to do more because I didn’t go for four months. Sensei will just give me a huge big pile of papers and I don’t know where to start or end. I’ll have to do homework all day, every day. I will have no time to watch the new episode of Chi Man. And only six months more of episodes were left. If I stayed in the hospital for just six more months that will be so cool…

And that is when I discovered my guṇa. Somehow, my bones stopped getting better and they started getting a little worse. But I didn’t feel any more pain. At first, I just told doctor-ji how it was but then I thought what will happen if he says OK, Jajanshu is not feeling bad let’s just leave him with broken bones forever. So I started lying a little bit and telling him it was still hurting. I kept doing this for a week and Papa started getting a little worried but whenever I felt bad for what I was doing I thought about my Chi Man costume in the dustbin. I still had some actual pain so I wasn’t lying 100%. But I also got very hungry and ate lots more food. I thought it was because my brain was taking so much pressure lying to Papa it needed more food. One night, I did another bad-boy thing and pretended I was sleeping but I was actually not sleeping. When the nurse-jis were all gone and Papa was sleeping too I got up in my bed and I thought to myself my bones are getting better, my bones are getting better, my bones are getting better. And I was so shocked. They actually got a little bit better but they did not heal completely. I realised this was how much they healed while I was faking my extra pain. I was good enough to get out of bed and go to school now with plasters I realised. To school… No! I don’t want to go to school. My bones are getting worse, my bones are getting worse, my bones are getting worse. And they got worse. But I didn’t feel any pain. But I got very sleepy and I fell back down in my bed.

Next morning I woke up and it wasn’t morning. It was afternoon. I woke up very late. Papa was gone for work and there was no one in the room. After some time a nurse-ji came to give me food and I was even more hungry and I asked for more. Doctor-ji was so confused because my bones were not getting better and I was getting thinner. But I did not want to go to school still so I kept lying for four more months and I kept my bones the same all this time. But my brain was taking so much pressure from lying I was looking like a skeleton. I was watching Chi Man happily but Papa was getting sadder and sadder seeing me like this. So finally, I couldn’t take it and told Papa what I was doing and I said sorry a hundred times. I was in the hospital for seven months. Three months for real and four fake. My bones were all OK now and I was getting thin because my brain was taking so much pressure from lying and making Papa sad and wasting Producer-ji’s money and Doctor-ji’s time. I thought Papa would be very angry but he didn’t say anything for a minute and then started laughing.

He said I never imagined you will have such an amazing guṇa. Why didn’t you tell me sooner? And you are not getting thinner because of brain pressure but because of using your guṇa. Using a guṇa takes a lot of energy.

I asked Papa why he was not angry with me and he said he was not angry because my guṇa will earn more money for him and me than he earned in his whole life. I asked how will fake broken bones earn money and Papa said he will tell me later. First, I will get out of the hospital and go back home and get out of school if I didn’t want to go. I said OK, I don’t want to go and Papa was like that is fine.

For two months, as long as Chi Man was on, Papa didn’t say anything and everything was going good. The day Chi Man ended with its last episode, I was crying very bad and Papa hugged me and told me it was going to be alright. For the first time, Papa took me to a restaurant to eat dinner that day and I got a little happier. Then Papa said to me this was the first time we were eating in a restaurant but it won’t be the last time because we were going to get lots more money now. I was like yay! and I asked how. Papa said first, we’ll sell our house and he’ll quit his job and we’ll travel here and there. That sounds awesome! We’ll go places where nobody knows us.

Papa also bought a car. It was a small one but we never had a car before so I was very excited. The first day, Papa and I drove all around the highway and when it was almost night, Papa stopped near a big tree right next to the road and climbed up on it and started shaking its branches. I asked why he was doing it and he said he was checking if it was strong enough. Then Papa drove the car behind a big rock so no one could see it. Then he opened the dicky and inside it was a dummy that was just my height and size and was wearing the same clothes as me. Papa took out the dummy and gave it to me and he also took out some silver wire and a jacket with big holes, which Papa said was called a ‘harness’. The dummy was very heavy and I asked Papa what is it for and Papa said the dummy is my stunt double. He opened the dummy’s shirt and made him wear the harness then he attached the wire to the harness and then he put the shirt back on the dummy. The wire was coming out of it like a tail and I said this to Papa and he laughed. He showed me the wire from close and it was very strong. Papa said this is the same wire Chi Man used to fly. Now I laughed and said don’t joke Papa! Chi Man flies like this. And I started climbing the big rock to show him the fwop-fwop-fwop-fwop but Papa stopped me. Then he told me never climb anywhere again and I said it wasn’t fair he could climb anywhere I should learn from him. And he said OK, when you’re big and strong like me I will teach you to climb properly.

Then Papa climbed the tree again and he took some wire with him and he tied it on the branch in two or three places. Then he climbed down and tied it to another tree and finally tied it to the little piece of wire coming out of the dummy’s butt. Then he hid the dummy behind a bush and said it’s time for dinner. He took out a big box and he gave me a lot more food more than I could eat and when I asked him to stop he said no it’s important for what we are going to do. So I ate until I was like a balloon and Papa also ate a lot more. By then it was very dark and Papa explained what I had to do and what he was going to do and he climbed up the tree with the dummy…

Many cars went by on the highway very fast but one car was coming a little slowly and there was only one uncle-ji inside it. It was a big SUV. Papa gave me a signal and I could almost not see it but I saw it. When the car was a little close to the tree, Papa suddenly shined his throat light on the car and it was much brighter than normal. The uncle-ji lost control of the car for a few seconds and it was going zig-zag-zig-zag and when it was just under the tree Papa dropped the dummy on it and the dummy flew off and crashed on the road like blam! bateesh! and then stopped. The car stopped many feet away at a weird angle. During this time papa pulled on the wire and the dummy disappeared behind the bushes and I ran over and lay down where it fell. I got into a weird pose like when I had jumped from the roof. I used my guṇa to break my bones and used some red paint Papa had given me and put it on my head.

Papa came down from the tree and ran to me and he was crying and shouting. The uncle-ji from the car came out and ran towards us and Papa shouted something to him. I couldn’t hear properly because my one ear was against the ground and I had accidentally poured the red paint in the wrong spot and it was in my other ear now. Papa was still shouting at the uncle-ji who looked very scared. Papa was pointing at me a lot. The uncle-ji was looking at my arms and they were bent all in different places like origami. Then Papa got a little quiet and he took the uncle-ji to the side and now I couldn’t hear them at all. Then they both went to the SUV and uncle-ji took out some stuff and gave it to Papa and took out his wallet and gave it to Papa and took off his watch and gave it to Papa. Then he got into his car and drove away and Papa came back to me and he was laughing. I got back to normal again and Papa asked if I was OK. I said yes I am fine but Papa what did you talk about. Papa said he had explained to the uncle-ji it was all a very nice adventure thrill experience that we had made just like one at an amusement park and the uncle-ji was very nice and paid a bunch of money to us and gave us a lot of prizes.

That night we stayed in a three-star hotel and it was much better than our old house. The TV was also bigger than our TV which Papa sold before going. We did this for three-and-a-half years, going all around Sugodesh island. Papa taught me my school stuff all this time and he is a better sensei than any sensei in the entire world. But when I got a little older Papa was like you have to study from proper senseis now. So we were going to go back to Jambuwan but in the holidays just before when I was going to start IX standard, we went to Ronabara for one last season of performances. And oh! look at the time I have to go play tag with the little kids in the park now. Papa will continue the story from here. Papa! I’m going! Byyyyeeeeee……