“Leave me alone, give me back my lunch money!” screamed the boy.
“No can do” retorted the girl in a taunting manner.
Daawat Ultima, a boy who hated his name, was a freshman at Evergreen Valley High and spent most of his day at school getting bullied. Summer Huntington, a sophomore, known as “ The Rich Bully,” picks on him all the time. When Daawat was about to buy his lunch, Summer stepped in and grabbed his money, and used it to buy her lunch. Day after day, Summer kept bullying Daawat. Daawat couldn't do anything because he was too weak, and nobody stepped in because they were afraid of her.
Summer held up the money high. Daawat kept jumping up trying to get his money back. All of Summer’s friends laughed at him. Dawwat tried and tried, but eventually, he gave up.
“Come on Daawat, get up!” said Summer
Daawat laid there in ultimate defeat, he knew that there was no way in getting his money back and that there was no point in telling the principal because the principal was her dad. After school, Daawat walked home with slumped shoulders.
Daawat Dixit, a boy who hated his name, was a freshman at Evergreen Valley High and spent most of his day at school getting bullied. Summer Huntington, a sophomore, known as “The Rich Bully,” picks on him all the time. When Daawat was about to buy his lunch, Summer stepped in and grabbed his money, and used it to buy her lunch. Day after day, Summer kept bullying Daawat. Daawat couldn't do anything because he was too weak, and nobody stepped in because they were afraid of her.
After school that day, Govinda, a third-year Computer science student and Daawat’s cousin picked him up. “You look downcast. What’s troubling you?”
“I don’t want to talk about it right now,” said Daawat
Govinda pulled Daawat into a tight embrace and began rubbing his head with his hairy knuckles. “No time like the present. Tell me what’s going on, or you’ll be bald in three minutes.”
Daawat tried to break free of his cousin’s massage then said, “I’m fine, leave me alone”
“Leave me alone,” Govinda mimed. “You American children are all so cagey with your feelings. That’s why Americans are always depressed. If you were in India, your father would beat the words out of you.”
“So, at least we Americans are not in poverty, and we are always happy in our lives” replied Daawat.
Govinda’s happy smile turned upside down. “You who have never seen the chawls of Mumbai pretends to have problems. But I shall leave you be, Daawat. What do you Americans call it? Teenage angst? Better to watch a Bollywood film than to sulk in one of your bloody dramas.”
“You would never understand” murmured Daawat.
As soon as they pulled into the driveway, Daawat went upstairs and slammed the door shut. He went to his bed and laid down.
The next day, Summer was waiting for Daawat at the gym. “We have P.E. together today,” she said. “We’re playing dodgeball, my specialty!”
“Ah shoot, here we go again,” said Dawaat
Summer rolled up her sleeves and picked up a ball. The game had begun and the balls flew in a flurry of red. She had a strong throwing arm because when the ball collided with the side of Daawat’s face, he could feel it all the way till next week. Summer cackled and barraged Daawat’s team with merciless headshots until the massacre ended in a 5-0 victory for the sophomores.
The P.E. teacher blew the whistle, and Daawat slinked into the locker room.
Daawat got dressed and headed out to his next class. When he reached, Summer and her whole gang were waiting for him to enter the class. Daawat tried walking in, but as soon as he did, Summer blocked his path and socked him in the face.
“OOOOOO” chanted all of her friends.
When Daawat arrived home that day, Govinda stopped him from going to his room. “Daawat, where did you get that black eye?” he said.
Daawat did not want to reveal that he had been beaten up by a girl and said nothing.
“Daawat, talk to me,” said Govinda. “Your mother’s working late again today. She doesn’t have the energy to work ten hours at the office, and also beat the truth out of a mute.”
But try as he might, Daawat would not give up the humiliating truth that a girl had not only beaten him at dodgeball but had also delivered a haymaker to his right eye. If Govinda found out, his parents would be the next to know, and then the cure would be worse than the disease.
The next morning, Govinda followed Daawat to school and observed his nephew on the grounds. He saw a blonde, physically imposing girl who started to talk to him. Govinda was eavesdropping on their conversation.
“Give me your homework for English you incompetent fool,” said Summer.
“No, that is not academic integrity, I can’t give you my homework,” said Daawat
“Well, in that case, I guess I’ll have to beat you up and get it myself.”
“Oh, all right,” Daawat relented, surrendering his essay on To Kill a Mockingbird.
Govinda was shocked to hear Daawat cower before his bully, a girl no less. In India, such a disgrace to a boy’s pride would’ve been laughed at by an entire neighborhood. Govinda decided to take matters into his own hands, and emerged out of the shadows.
“Daawat, you let a girl bully you?” said Govinda. “I would not have believed it had I not seen it with my own two eyes.”
Daawat felt the shame wash over him from head to toe. Summer simply stared at Govinda, who was physically imposing himself, almost two meters tall. Summer started to giggle, which turned into a great burst of laughter. All of her friends started laughing with her.
“This ain’t Pakistan, amigo, go back home before I call ICE on you,” said Summer
Govinda shook his head. “You American children think too highly of yourself. Always showing off with empty heads. Come, Daawat! We are going to the office to sort this out.”
Daawat squirmed, knowing Summer wouldn’t get in trouble because her father was the principal. “No, Govinda, you can’t just come barging in here like some Bollywood hero!”
“I’m saving your butt, Cousin. Come with me if you have any sense left.”
Daawat glanced at Summer who was sauntering away with his homework, and Govinda urging him toward the office. He had to make a decision now. He sprinted toward Summer and snatched his homework away. Then he bolted back toward Govinda, and both of them went to the office.
That day, Summer received the first suspension she had ever had during her father’s tenure as principal because the assistant principal was an Indian woman named Sanjana who spoke the same dialect as Govinda from their section of Mumbai. She understood that Summer had tormented Daawat and had been waiting for Daawat to file a formal complaint before taking action.