Remember that I’m reading a biography of Stalin for my summer reading? Maybe not. Well, it’s freakishly long and the font isn’t even large, but it’s actually okay…a whopping six-hundred something pages worth of okay but still.

What I’ve learned so far is that Stalin’s parents were a little messed up. His dad was a drunk and beat him often and his mother had high expectations of him and it’s possible that she beat him too. He was a model student in school, but he always wanted to be on top of things and so he got into a lot of fights trying to lead a street gang. In those fights, since he wasn’t the biggest or strongest boy, he fought dirty and would win sometimes that way. Ironically, he went to school to learn to be a priest, and his parents fought about that as well, but his mother won in the end. He then went to a larger school in the city where he continued to act like a model student until he decided to join the school rebels. Apparently, one of the prior students had stabbed one of the old headmasters because he was so upset about all of the rules, but nothing like that happened to Stalin. Instead, he wrote and read things that were banned from his school, and continued to rebel as best he could. In his last year at the school, in the week of the final exams, he dropped out so he could do other things. That is as far as I’ve gotten so far, I’ve read maybe fifty pages and trust me those pages gave a whole lot more detail than I just did…ridiculous…

Guḍbai – Telugu, which is spoken somewhere in India and only looks like that in English phonetics.