Sumit Ganguli: He, She & It

I grew up in a one-hairstyle-town. In Santa Barbara, California, you’re nothing if your hair doesn’t flow down to the middle of your back in lustrous, straight, sun-kissed tresses. The messier, the stringier, the more it looks as if you’ve just emerged from the glistening sea, the better. Because of this, every girl on the street looks as if she’s auditioning for the Brook Shields role in Blue Lagoon.


It’s 2:30 in the afternoon, the last class of the day. Steve Perkins, my 8th grade teacher, is asking one of my fellow students to answer number seven down on the crossword puzzle. “Sumit, fill in the blank. He, she, and …?”

Sumit stares blankly at the teacher, then the wall, then the clock and finally, with an aura of confusion he mumbles with his funny accent: “The???”

The pin drop silence of a worn out class is rattled by the laughter of 16 students as the teacher states: “No Sumit, it’s a 2 letter word. Lets try again. He, she and …?”


With a bit of frustration the teacher emphasizes: “A TWO LETTERED WORD!!!!!”

And so, Sumit nods his head as if he‘s stumbled across some great discovery and immediately blurts out: “Them???”

Steve finally gives in and says: “….He, she and IT. He, she and IT. Alright? Lets try again. So…he, she and …??”


It’s odd how some of what seem to be the most important events of your life evolve into easily forgotten occurrences. Even more strange is the idea that Sumit Ganguly, a.k.a. “8th grade dorky loser”, torments my mind and haunts my soul with the absurd remarks he made half a decade ago which I thought I never heard; but I realize, in the back of my mind, that I did. So, what does Sumit have to do with this COM 201 intro paper?

I never thought that Sumit would ever give me reason enough to write a paper in college. I never even thought that I would tell Sumit’s story to so many people. As I write this now and realize how many times I’ve told and re-told this story, I think of all the other stories which I write to my cousins and friends. I think of the massive emails I write to people telling them about the way 6 orange maple leaves floated magically in the air like a spiral because of the wind. In the end, I learn that little things in life have the ability to charm forever. My awe of those few moments is the cause of my writing. My memory allows me to take snap shots but writing is the only way I know how to preserve and frame my pictures eternally. Some people write to run away from life, others write in search of life, but I write to capture life.