Chapter 16:

Tan Talagari’s Inner Tantrum

The Mildpowered Virgins of Novylion High

There is no none nothing now or never nor would there be another way to go another way when there were no none no options left in the right side of the well of established killed now and today tomorrow to give the emotion some chance to shine on along a way staggered and eclipsed by the very same people that once said hey—

My brain is breaking down! All the rāgas float around in my head like little sharks nipping upon it. I want to rock and roll and light my microphone on fire and jump into it and go out in a blaze of glory. Every day I try and I try and I try and I get my voice hoarse to scream like the demons of death metal. No one listens. No one cares. I’m an automaton built for classical musical chairs. I lie and I lie every day to everyone. I say I can only use my twelve-octave range for classical music but in reality I can only use it for music I hate. If I start loving classical music tomorrow, I’ll sound like a dying hippo when I sing it. I love rock. I love metal. Because I love them I cannot sing them.

God hates me. God exists and he hates me.

I can’t sing what I want. I have to sing what I hate. And nothing else goes right. No one loves me. I don’t deserve love. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate classical music. I feel like I’m going to die. Like my heart’s going to give out right in between class. I feel fake. I want to live. I don’t deserve to. I’m a loser through and through. Tan Talaragi is an amazing singer, everyone says. Let’s never listen to him. His songs are so boring. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Just go away.

Mother wants me to become a maestro. I can’t take another moment of those old men stretching out one note for forty minutes. They act like they’re the kings of the universe. They act like all musical development stopped with them. Those coots never moved a single soul. They only want to make people feel bad about the music they love. I wish classical music would just die. It will die with the old coots. Maybe they’ll kill it before they die. Turn enough people away so that everyone forgets it. That moron Archemperor keeps giving them money. I wish he would die too. Everyone can die.

But Rushil should die first.

Her name was Emita. She went to the same cram school as me. Rushil went there too. One day she came late and all the seats were taken except the one next to me. She started talking to me. She started talking to me. She knew I sang. She asked if I sang rock songs and I said I didn’t. But I love death metal and rock and she did too. We talked about our favourite bands and albums.

She started sitting next to me even when other seats were open. Maybe it was all worth it. I hated going to cram school before. Mother wants me to sing classical music well and she wants me to score well in all the exams too. I can’t be a duffer. I can’t be a disgrace to her. I have to be good at everything. I can’t be good at what I want to be good at. But Emita encouraged me. She said I could practise and get better at singing rock. I didn’t have to have a wide vocal range. She said I should learn the guitar. She’d learn it with me.

One day, Rushil saw us exchanging emails. His smile is so disgusting. It’s like a crocodile’s mouth on a pig’s face. I wish I was the Archemperor. I’d make the dirtiest sty in the world and make him roll around in it all day. That ugly, fat swine can’t let anyone be happy. He has to destroy everyone’s happiness. He started telling everyone I liked Emita. I was in love with Emita.

I don’t even remember now if I was in love with her. But I was just happy to have a female friend. I was happy to have a friend who believed in me. Those incels at school only like to drag me down. I didn’t want anything else. And I wasn’t simping for her. Rushil is a simp. Pushpako doesn’t care about him at all but that pig still licks her feet like they’re covered in poop. That pig likes to eat poop. He’s only worthy of eating poop. Emita was an actual friend. We joked around, we helped each other with stuff. It was an equal friendship.

Rushil’s rumours about me being in love with her travelled all around the cram school and reached Emita’s ears. Emita already had a boyfriend. To her, I was suddenly someone with ulterior motives. If everyone’s saying it, it must be true, right?

She started sitting with other people. We no longer recommended bands to each other. Then we stopped talking.

I set about planning my revenge. Pushpako’s really all about honour and stuff. I’d embarrass Rushil in front of her.

I noticed one day that there was an old classroom chair lying near the beach at our school. One night I took my father’s motorboat for an errand and stole the chair. I studied its structure meticulously. It was very poorly designed. I figured out that if I cut it where the legs joined the seat little by little at certain angles, the entire chair would collapse all of a sudden.

I would do this to Rushil’s chair. Little by little, I’d shave away the joints in his chair until one day, he’d sit on it and fall on his ass. Everyone will then say ‘Ha! Ha! Look at Rushil. He’s such a fat hog that he broke his chair! Ha! Ha!’ He’ll feel the humiliation.

I couldn’t let anyone else find out. I convinced my father to drop me to school early. Ashukami boatpools with me so I had to deal with him too. Another night, I snuck into the South pier and about twenty feet to the side I made a mound and threw on some religious symbols of the Isekami sect. The next morning I said look, someone made a shrine over there and from then on I had five minutes every morning during which Ashukami would be worshipping my fake shrine and I would be alone in the class. It was going great.

On Wednesday, 22nd April, I was about to finish my project. I was going to make the last cuts that would hold the weight of Rushil’s bag but not his body. I had tested it on my prototype. But just as I was about to do it, in walked a little girl wearing the boys’ uniform. The wrong uniform for the day. He would later be introduced as Jajanshu Mamanpade to the class. He saw me sitting on the floor, toying with Rushil’s chair. I didn’t know what to say.

‘Oh, good morning. You must be a transfer student. My name’s Tan Talaragi. What’s yours?’

He didn’t say anything. He was looking at me suspiciously. As if he knew that I was doing something nobody else should know about. How did he know? I was putting on my smile. My painful smile. He still looked like he was scared of me. He kept his bag on a chair and walked away. I’ll kill him if I need to. Nothing will get in the way of my revenge.

On my way to the courtyard, I saw Jitsu talking to a junior. Who does he think he is? Just because he’s a rich boy with good looks, he thinks he can have his way with any woman he wants? I couldn’t lose focus. I subtly brought up the topic during recess and the bald monkey set about doing his stuff. Thankfully, Jajanshu didn’t know what I was doing and nobody believed him when he said I was evil.

On Thursday, 23rd April, Jajanshu wasn’t there and Ashukami was absent. I could do my business in peace. I made all the cuts and everything perfectly. Now all I had to do was wait for Rushil’s fat ass to show up. I was strolling around as the class was filling up. Puna and Umito came to me and told me about Ashukami’s curse and stuff. It was interesting stuff but I was too distracted to listen carefully. They asked me a question and I gave them my opinion but Puna dismissed it. Why ask me then? Jajanshu was complaining about his uniform again.

I waited with bated breath as he sat down on his chair in front of Pushpako. And then… nothing happened. My calculations were wrong?! Calm down. Not all is lost. Maybe it’ll give in after a few minutes. I heard Hagesh threatening Jitsu but the man was having none of his bullshit. What an utter failure on Hagesh’s part. But what else could you expect from a mentally deranged man? I bet he shaves his head just to seek attention and distract people from his ugly face.

Come on, chair. Break!

Puna showed up too and Hagesh suddenly said, ‘Hey, Puna, go ask Pushpako if you can sit next to her. The only teacher who’ll probably mind is Zankuru-sensei, and he doesn’t have a class today.’

What?! Not only had he failed to stop Jitsu from dating a junior, he was also going to get Puna a girlfriend and ruin my plan at the same time. You are next, Hagesh! After I kill Rushil, I’ll kill you too! I’ll cut your bowels out and let dogs eat you alive.

‘I don’t think that’s a good idea,’ I said.

‘I think I should try it,’ Puna said.

‘No, just don’t do it. Trust me,’ I emphasised.

‘Go for it, Puna!’ Jitsu screamed. He’s on my hit list too now.

‘Alright!’ Puna said and he started walking towards Rushil. But no way Rushil would get up and just let someone sit next to Pushpako. He’s the biggest simp in history. He’s going to protect his territory. But he got up. He got up?! Why? Why does he have to be decent now after all this time? None of this was making sense. Then I realised it.

‘Oh God. The aliens are actually real, aren’t they?’ I asked Hagesh.

Jitsu said something but I didn’t hear it. My attention was now on Puna Maiwal. He was smiling as he sat down on Rushil’s chair. Rushil’s compromised chair.

It went out with a bang. It was truly magnificent. The chair shattered into a million pieces and Puna Maiwal’s butt made a really loud thwap! sound. Everyone in the classroom went silent. Puna was hurt really bad. And the first word that came out of his mouth was…

‘Motherfucker!’ He screamed it so loudly that even people in the adjacent classroom heard it.

Everyone in our class went quiet all of a sudden. Pushpako looked disgusted. Mimi-sensei was the first to take action and went towards Puna.

‘Are you alright, Puna-kun?’ she asked.

He couldn’t stand up. Rushil rushed to help him and propped him up.

‘Come on, Puna-kun. We’ll take you to the infirmary,’ Mimi-sensei said.

‘Alright, mommy,’ Puna said.


‘I meant to say “mommy”,’ Puna said.

Mimi-sensei was really confused.

‘I mean, mommy, I wanted to call you “mommy” but “mommy” came out.’

For the first time, everyone saw Mimi-sensei getting angry.

‘Puna-kun! This is really inappropriate. After your injuries are treated, I’ll be writing you a diary note.’

‘I’m sorry, mommy.’

Hagesh stepped in. ‘Sensei, he should go to the infirmary. Don’t be too hard on him. He might be concussed.’

Mimi-sensei and Rushil both took Puna outside the classroom and as soon as they exited, everyone in the class started laughing.

Umito, Hagesh and Jajanshu were standing near me.

Jajanshu said, ‘Will nurse-ji be there now? She wasn’t there in the morning.’

‘Oh yeah. Who was that girl with you in the infirmary back then? You think she’s into me?’ Hagesh asked Jajanshu.

‘Her name’s Aina Pare.’

‘Aina Pare?! Jitsu’s Aina?’ Hagesh exclaimed.

‘Yeah. And she’s not into you. She said she’s in love with me. And oh yeah I forgot to tell you but I just asked Papa and he said I can have a girlfriend if I don’t do any hanky-panky with her. So Aina’s my girlfriend now.’

Jitsu started laughing really loudly and Umito did too. Hagesh looked sad. Good.

After a while, Umito said, ‘Hey, you never told me how you manage to row the raft, Jajanshu.’

‘Ah, you know, there’s this disease called myo… myo… I don’t remember the name but it makes my muscles strong. I can have that… temporarily,’ Jajanshu said.

‘That’s a useful guṇa,’ Umito said.

‘That’s not all of it. I’ll tell you someday. What’s yours, Umito?’ asked Jajanshu.

‘I have a compass inside my head.’


I looked around the class and saw laughing faces. Even Pushpako was smiling.

Everyone was happy, except for me. I was smiling too, but only on the outside.