Shhunkk! The javelin quivered, its head stuck in the sandy soil. The graceful missile had traversed nearly sixty metres after leaving its wielder’s hand.
Rimi Sen, the champion javelineer of Dalberg, slowly walked towards the javelin. Her left arm was massaging her right shoulder, which she slowly rotated to loosen the muscles that had propelled the javelin this far.
Dalberg was the home for prodigious students, and Rimi Sen was one. The lanky six footer was a national level athlete. At the age of sixteen, she had repeatedly shattered the national record for the javelin throw. Apart from the javelin, Rimi was good at nearly every athletic event. She could sprint like a deer and jump like a hare. Her participation in various athletic events was limited only by the scheduling of various events.
“What a throw!” “Woooow!” cheered some of the girls who had gathered to see the trials for the sports day. The gangly Rimi smiled awkwardly, flashing her buck toothed smile and flicking away the messy curls of hair from the front of her eyes.“Thanks!” she cried.
As she walked towards the javelin, Kamran stood in her way. “So you think you can out-throw me, girl?” Kamran was the best javelin thrower in the school. Correction – the best “boy javelin thrower”. He had never crossed sixty metres himself, and he was naturally jealous that his record was inferior to this girl’s. “Why don’t you use my javelin? It’s heavier than yours. You can’t throw even forty with this…”
Rimi said: “Kamran, the reason I don’t use your javelin is that I train with and am used to the lighter javelin. I don’t know if I can match you with your javelin… but you are welcome to try with mine. See if you can throw it further than me…”
Kamran sneered at Rimi. “I don’t compete with you, girl! I am a serious athlete! I am gonna be off to the states as an undergrad and be trained by the best of the best!” Kamran made no secret of the fact that his father was an influential man and that he was destined to greater glories in his adult life. He walked up to her and made an aggressive gesture of fingers crossing the neck. “Stay outta my face girl!”
The bemused Rimi walked to her javelin. Her lean, veined arm reached out and caught the javelin at the corded grip. Briefly, the taut sinews of her arms jumped out in stark relief from the pale freckly skin. As she effortlessly pulled out the javelin, her bicep muscle corded into a thick bunch that pushed back the short sleeve of her tee shirt. Kamran couldn’t help but gape at that spectacle. Conscious, Rimi tugged at the sleeve, but with the javelin in her grip, the muscle just wouldn’t melt back!
Kamran stepped back. With a wrathful glare, he walked away. Rimi shrugged her shoulders, turned and walked back to the throwing spot.
Soumita had witnessed this exchange. The gears were already turning in her mind. A plan was being formed – to ‘take’ Dalberg.
Soumita already had Payel as a fast friend. The latter was the diminuitive maths wizard with the wild hair and an incredible, lithe body toned and muscled from years of dance practice. It would be great to also have Rimi as part of her clique. With her powerful, athletic build, the three would form a strong, wild team that none could resist.
Soumita was always a precocious kid. A keen, inquisitive mind, a voracious appetite for learning, and a god-gifted physique matched with a superb sense of balance marked her as special. She was quickly into gymnastics, where she excelled. Her Ukranian teacher had even remarked that she was the best student he had ever coached – even better than the supremely talented students in the erstwhile Soviet systems. Not only had she the grace, balance and poise of her East European counterparts, she also had the strength necessary to do the real hard routines: Her arms and legs were so strong that she could do jumps and vaults of high complexity from a very early age.
She could have represented India at the international level. But she chose to move on from gymnastics. At the age of 12, Soumita had written source code in C+ that had seriously impressed the open source community. The Deb algorithm (which she named after her father) is today part of the coding that goes to make a website design responsive. She had also written some code that had been licensed by a global software giant. The license fees served as good pocket money for her.
Though she had stopped pursuing gymnastics, Soumita continued to dance. Her toned gymnastics figure kept getting shaped as she picked up the intricacies of rumba, tai chi and jiu jitsu. As she crossed the age of 16 (just before joining Dalberg), she started working out with heavy weights. Of course she knew all along that she was way stronger than boys and girls of her age, but one day, at the local gym, she casually tried to pick up a set of stacked barbells. The gym instructor had rushed to her in panic, panic that turned to wonder, as she had snatched up a weight of 120 kilograms without much ado.
In a few days, Soumita discovered that she could lift freakishly heavy weights. She could walk with a load of 300 kilos. She could bench press 120 easily. But what really took the cake were her legs. She could squat 400 kilos! And that wasn’t all because the gym did not have any more weights to add to the machine.
Soumita’s svelte figure did not look muscular, at least in her normal attire. She wasn’t striated or bulky in size. The sheer power in her body was the result of good genes and her training in various physical disciplines.
In fact, the only part of Soumita that was muscular was her calves and thighs. The calves were like compressed steel, ready to swell and show definition whenever she climbed stairs or stood on her toes. No, they weren’t chunkily muscled; nor could they be described simply as being huge. Perhaps the best word to describe them is ‘Voluptuous’.
Each calf itself was thick and long, running almost half-way down to her ankle, Had anyone the temerity (or luck!) to touch those glorious globes of power, they’d have realized the density and hardness of those calves were almost unreal. Not many have had the fortune to run their fingers down her bulging calves. Those who have, have marveled at the sensation of the hard edge of the muscle, which clenches and dips suddenly to a broad expanse of muscle just below the peak.
Soumita would take good care to hide them, ensuring all her dresses were tailored or customized to camouflage their tantalizing shape. These calves were her ultimate weapons. She would reveal a glimpse of those calves if she wanted to make a conquest of a male. She could make them swell and stiffen enough to elicit the strongest, most primitive of sexual urges in her victims. And once she got a male hooked, she would inevitably bring him to her knees.
Soumita realized early on how to influence people. She had been a leader all along in her student life: House prefect, student of the year, being the school representative in cultural exchanges et al. She would use her intellect and her ever growing physical charms to win over others to her side. She also had this streak of wild justice in her. She would ‘hunt’ down the alpha males who were known bullies and abusers. She would use her sexual charms, her dancing skills and her superior intellect to make the male beg for her to take them. Then she would use the power of her calves to squeeze them. And she’d do it real hard. She would make them cry for Momma. She’d make them beg for their lives. The sensation of desperate fingers on her hard calves would tickle her, and she’d laugh at the sorry state of these inferior boys. She’d once broken the ribs of a boy, a burly football champ who’d dared hurt her friend.
She also had a tender streak in her – for the weak, for those who were repressed. She had once used her not inconsiderable strength on a drunkard and wife beater. He was a mason, spending most of his daily wages on alcohol. In senseless rage, he would thrash his wife (who happened to work as a cleaner in Soumita’s neighbourhood). Soumita happened to come upon the weeping wife with a bloody nose. She had immediately gone off to the latter’s home, where she dragged the burly mason out, subdued him by expertly twisting his arm behind his back. She drove home the point that he was expected never to raise an arm again on his wife, by twisting his shoulder joint out of the socket.
In the few casual flings that she’d had, she was always the one on top, always the one driving it hard. She would wear down her lovers in mere days. There was no one who could hold her interest for long.
The track pants that Soumita wore that day were tailored just enough to give a tantalizing hint of the voluptuousness of her calves. As she stretched towards the javelin mounted on the wall rack, the calves ballooned enough to get Kamran’s eyes on them. The cocky athlete walked up to her… “That’s a serious piece of equipment, lady… for someone like me!”
“Oh! I was quite impressed the other day – the way you ran, the way you released – wow!” replied Soumita. “Heh heh… There’s much more that I do well…” Said Kamran. “Wanna walk with me to the canteen for a coffee? Maybe I can tell you about my discus throw move as well.”
The line had been cast, and the fish had taken bait.
Over coffee, there was much talk about throws and claims about his strength. The boy bragged about how good he was at athletics, and how fast he could run. He tried to impress her by claiming that the Olympic team selection was not far away. “Rio, I am coming…” he exclaimed loudly, making the other patrons in the café arch their eyebrows.
With her eyes on him, she got Kamran quite excited, and he bragged even more: “Oxford? Cambridge? Naah… UK is so outdated maan… I think it should be the Ivy League for me…” Soumita could barely control herself when she asked him, “So which Ivy League Univ is the best for athletes?” And only got a fumbled evasive response from him.”Aahh.. all of them will open their doors for me – you just see, girl!”
She had to practically restrain Kamran from pulling up his Tee Shirt sleeve and showing her his bicep. She put her hand on his shoulder and said: “My! What traps you have… You’ve got a strong arm, haven’t you…” She leaned forward: “I can imagine how you hold the javelin…” she reached for his hand… “…it’s this hand, right?” She ran her fingers down his palms, to his wrists… “…Oh! You are STRONG! Show me your javelin throw, will you? Please, Kamran, I want to see you grab your shaft and send it soaring… Let’s go to the ground right now!” Soumita didn’t need to be too persuasive. They quickly walked over to the changing rooms, where Kamran changed into his tracks.
He had taken his favourite javelin, and was bobbing it in his palm, getting ready to throw it. As he made ready to launch, Soumita cheered him: “Go K boy! Take the shaft and ram it far. Show the earth your power K boy!” Kamran looked at the horizon. Spreading his legs, he stretched himself back and forth. Pointing his left arm like Brad Pitt’s Achilles at the temple of Apollo, he took a sharp run and let the javelin soar. Soumita watched it spiral slowly and gracefully dip towards the earth. It plunged and fell short of the fifty metre mark.
Soumita tittered long and hard. She doubled over, almost unable to control herself. After a long while, in between bursts of laughter, she said: “Not even fifty? Not even FIFTY? And you call yourself an athlete!?!”
“Ha Ha Ha Ha….” Soumita laughed long and loud. Others on the track stopped and turned to look. You can’t throw fifty, and you talk about the Olympics?!? Jeez… I’ve seen that tall girl cross sixty at least thrice yesterday!”
Incensed, Kamran raged: “Hey! That weird girl is a freak! She’s no match for me. Did you know, her javelin is a good 200 grams lighter? Haah! Let her try my javelin – she’ll not match my throw. Match? Heck – she’ll not be able to reach even forty…”
Soumita, still not recovered from her paroxysm, said “lighter or not, she’s a better thrower of the javelin…” She stopped laughing and walked upto the flustered Kamran, looked down into his eyes and said in a straight voice: “She will take your shaft. She will hold it in her hand, a hand that is stronger than yours. With her long fingers, she’ll grip it tight. And she’ll hurl it, faster, higher, stronger than you ever will, Kamran… She will take your shaft from you, K boy – she’ll take your shaft and ram it in the earth farther and deeper than you ever will!”
At the lunch room, Soumita and Payel sat flanking Rimi. The Junoesque girl was busy with her meal, not really paying attention to any small talk around her. She had a large appetite, and today was no exception.
Soumita knew Rimi couldn’t be influenced easily. She was not even interested in being friends with anyone else. So she had done the next best thing. She had seeded the social community and chat lines about Rimi’s prowess with the javelin, and more surreptitiously had compared Kamran’s lack of prowess with it. The latter was already seething with the body blows to his over-inflated ego, as boys and girls all over seemed to be whispering about how Rimi could throw better than him.
Kamran was in the lunch room too. As he bit into his burger, he saw Soumita wink at him. She then took a toothpick, and quite suggestively, broke its tip between her fingers.
The silent taunt had not gone unnoticed. Suppressed laughter in the hall. Broken by the clang of a lunch plate hitting the floor. Kamran walked upto Rimi from behind. And like the jerk that he was, he said: “So you think you’re better than me, eh? GIRL! I’m speakin’ to you…” He screamed.
Rimi didn’t turn her head. She said: “Not while I’m eating, Kamran…”
“That’s coz’ you ain’t got my power, you ain’t got my style girl! You are nothing compared to me… So give up throwing the javelin, and do some… uh…cooking…or knitting…or whatever stupid girls do!”
Rimi’s nostrils flared with that insult. She continued to eat, though. Soumita smiled at Payel, and ticked off a check box in her mind. Now she had one last thing to do.
It was time again for the sports practice. Rimi was all occupied in warming up, doing her languid stretching exercises. The day was abnormally hot. In her dark grey sports tee and matching tracks, she was sweating freely. Her fair skin glowed in the sun, the outline of her muscled upper body clearly visible. The tight tracks hugged her rear like second skin. As she bent to touch her toes, the fabric of her tracks made her taut, hard glutes shine like billiard balls in the sun. There were a few admirers who watched her routine with drooping jaws.
As the track and grounds started to get more students in for the afternoon sports, Payel had quickly put up flags on the javelin patch. One flag said “Rimi”, put at about sixty-five metres, the other, smaller, planted at a noticeably lesser height, said “Kamran”. This was put at forty-eight. There was also a banner put up that said: “May the better and stronger javelineer win”.
The field banter quickly became aligned to this issue. There was hectic arguing as to who was the better javelineer. Rimi had been arraying her javelins at the track for some time. Kamran had already been egged by Soumita to prove his manliness, which by proxy was his prowess at the javelin. So he went to Rimi and said: “Get outta here girl! This space is mine.”
“What do you mean? This space does not have your name written on it!” said Rimi.
“When I say it’s my space, I mean it’s for me, for I am the champion. I am the better javelin thrower here. And you’d better get the hell outta here girl!”
Rimi was now completely incensed. “For the last time, I am not GIRL! And I AM the better javelin thrower! And I’ll prove it to you!” She stepped up to him. Drawing up her six-two frame (against his five-eight), she said: “You’ve been talking shit, Kamran. All this while. And I’ve been ignoring it because I have far better things to do.” She pointed her finger at his chest. “So let’s get it proved today. Let’s see who can throw better!” Kamran slapped her finger away .“You have thrown well… for a girl… But when it comes chosing who is better, it is I! For I can throw fifty. With a javelin that is heavier than yours!”
Rimi walked over to the stacks of the javelins, and said: “You want to throw mine, or shall I throw yours further than you ever can?” This was a direct challenge that Kamran hadn’t expected to come from Rimi. He tried to bluster his way out:“Naah! Forget it… I don’t compete with girls!”
And that is how the scene might have ended, when Soumita stepped in… “What’s the matter, K boy? Afraid of being proved a loser?” “Stay out of this Soumita!” Warned Rimi.
“I’m not a loser. I am THE CHAMPION!” said Kamran. Soumita tittered richly, loud enough for quite a few to hear: “You are scared, K boy, because you are weak. You can’t take on a strong girl like Rimi; she can take your shaft and ram it down your own throat, or ram it up some other place… You are a weakling, K boy, face it! And you know it in your heart!”
By now there was a fairly large audience watching this war of words. Many had begun to chant: “Ri Mi Ri Mi…” The pressure was too strong on Kamran to back out now. He had to now prove his worth.
They decided to throw Kamran’s javelins; a toss of the coin decided that Kamran would go first.
He made a show of it. Couple of mock run ups; Checking the balance of all the javelins before choosing one; a few leaps and stretches to get his circulation going; the entire jingbang of a pseudo-professional athlete. After almost ten minutes, he broke into a sprint and released the javelin with a mighty roar. There was a hush as the javelin soared – to land just before the fifty metre mark in a puff of dust. Fortunately the tip had touched the ground first, so his throw was not disqualified.
Almost as soon as he was done, Rimi trotted over to her javelin. The veins and sinews popped as soon as she had gripped the corded centre of the shaft. She held the javelin at the release position, balancing it properly. Her concentration was on the landing area. As soon as she was done with the balancing, she cocked her arm and got ready. A hard bulge of the bicep had now pushed back the sleeve of her tee. Her arm was steady, her head straight. She ran towards the throwing line and released the missile in a fluid motion.
The world seemed to pause to watch the javelin trace its ballistic arc. The tip landed gracefully and stuck in the soil. The distance was well over sixty. Rimi had won. She had proved that she was stronger than Kamran, having hurled his javelin at least 12-13 metres more than him.
“Don’t you think I don’t know who was responsible for this entire episode!” Rimi blazed. She sat across the canteen table to Soumita. The latter smiled. “Of course Rimi, I know you know. I also know that this was absolutely necessary. We needed to show this jerk that his inborn notion of females being weaker than males is untrue. There was no better way to prove him wrong. Certainly none better than proving him physically weaker.”
“He needed this, not only for shattering his fragile ego. There were many like him who have had a change in thought after today’s events. Strong women like you, Rimi, need to show the way. And the best way is always to show them what is right. Please don’t be annoyed that I manipulated Kamran to pick a fight with you. Please look at this as a step towards equality and towards self-respect.” Soumita leaned forward. Her eyes were intense. “Think of me as a friend. Let us get together to make this world a better place!”
Rimi’s eyes softened. And then they crinkled in a smile. “Let’s start with Dalberg…”