The whole class burst out laughing as Mohi rushed into the classroom. He was a
strange sight. His half-buttoned white shirt revealed a red striped pyjama top
underneath, and instead of white school shoes, he had on a pair of bright green
sandals that were two sizes too big. The physics teacher's hand froze in the
middle of writing a formula on the blackboard.
Mohi mumbled, Sorry, teacher,'
and scuttled to his seat. Mr Tan glared at the rest of the students. The
chuckles quickly subsided. Mohi's classmates
always looked forward to Mondays. Nine times out of ten, they would be
entertained by Mohi's late arrival and his odd appearance which usually included
inappropriate clothing. That day, it was the pyjama top and the green sandals.
Mohi lived just a street away from the school. He walked to school daily.
Students passing by in buses would yell his name in unison just to see him jump
and stop in his tracks. When he spotted the
merry bunch in the bus, he would wave good-naturedly. Although Mohi was
likeable, he was too lost in his own thoughts to make friends. His classmates
found him amusing but they ignored him most of the time. Only Hamed, who sat
next to Mohi, tried to be his friend.
The following Monday, Mohi did not turn up at school. His classmates were a
little disappointed but quickly forgot about him. After school, Hamed decided to
walk over to Mohi's house to check on him. As he approached the gate, he could
hear violin music. Mohi must be listening to music, he thought. The gate was not
locked. Hamed let himself in. He called Mohi's name a few times but there was no
response. The music played on. Hamed peered in through a window. His eyes
widened in surprise. In the middle of the living room, Mohi was playing the
violin. His eyes were closed in concentration as he drew the bow over the
strings expertly. He played flawlessly, so
much so that it sounded like a recording. Hamed left quietly.
When Teacher's Day came around, Hamed had a plan. It was the tradition of the
school to have a concert for the teachers. Every class had to contribute an
item. Hamed convinced the class to let Mohi perform. Short of ideas, the class
agreed. On the day of the concert, both the teachers and students were surprised
to see the school's clumsiest student walking on stage with a violin. When he
started to play, the audience fell silent. Jaws dropped. As the last note ended,
there was a moment of silence. Then the audience erupted into thunderous
applause. Mohi became a sensation and had many fans in his final year of school.
Today, Mohi and Hamed are the best of friends. Mohi is on a scholarship
pursuing music in Austria. Some days, he still arrives to class wearing an
inside-out shirt or a pair of mismatched shoes.