My parents were the top favorites of the strictest nuns and teachers at my school.
Some teachers acted like their main concern was to see whether I wore the uniform tie around my neck or not. I hated the tie . Just like I hate seat belts. So, my tie rested peacefully cuddled within the comfort of my skirt pocket. Unable to stand it any longer, one day I went home with a note in my school diary saying,
Your ward, Anita Jeyan, does not comply with the rules and discipline of the school. As you can find in Page 9 , Column I, paragraph 3, point two of the school diary, all students are expected to wear the uniform tie while they are within the school premises . However your ward has repeatedly violated the rules despite warnings. I request you to either sign this note or come to the school to have a word with her class teacher’.
Signing the diary hardly took five seconds. But Noo…Papa took the longest route – he came to school promptly the very next day. He doesn’t believe in signing diaries or letting me go. He had to ride the ancient, creaky scooter all the way to the school, drag me along, almost pin me on the wall, gang around me with the teachers and throw dart arrows at me. Then he rode atleast 30km to his office in the hot morning sun. And when he arrived, they came running to him with complaints ranging from socks not pulled up – not wearing the right pair – wore nail polish – turned around and talked to a friend during the national anthem type of silly, unreasonable complaints with an expression as grave as if I took drugs or something. And I stand there, inspecting my nails, or the lizard on the ceiling, with a sheepish expression. Mostly I’d be tediously gulping down laughter wondering how jobless must be these people to be discussing intently about my socks on the prime working hours of a productive day. The note in the diary was not worth it you see. Papa could’ve just signed the page and saved the day.
That’s not all, buddies. There was an open house day at school, which was the most dreaded, and the most awaited day for me and my parents respectively. It was the day the parents were allowed to see the term exam answer sheets. My parents came equipped with all the question papers, pinned and sorted by date and sat down with the corresponding answer sheets in classroom. What followed was at least an hour of brickbats and I skillfully wore three dresses to shield my thighs from the occasional pinching that most pages of my answer sheet triggered. Most parents of all my friends were more or less the same – they were on the teacher’s side – but very few pinched their wards on the venue of open house - for them the pinching waited until they got home.
But there was this girl, Ms.K, whose parents came to school to sing praises about her- Who’d yell at the teachers for reducing her marks for spelling mistakes - Who wouldn’t let her travel in school buses or vans - Who waited outside the school chanting prayers as she wrote exams.
Our school had this policy that the students were allowed to wear color dress on one day of every academic year, and that was for Christmas party. On that day, we ate, drank (frooti of course) , danced, sang, commented on each others dresses, talked, screamed and did everything which we were usually yelled at for doing inside the classroom. Then we had make-believe fashion shows, mostly comical, and based on popular interest we chose a class beauty. Every year. So when I was in my seventh grade, one of my friends was chosen as the class beauty, and we all lauded and celebrated that by making a lot of noise. However, K was of the impression that she would be the class beauty that year and started crying while the other girl was chosen. Noone could console K. She cried so much that her eyes became red, cheeks swollen, much to the amusement of my friends and myself. Oh how she took this class beauty thing seriously! We slowly came out of the classroom and laughed our lungs out, went inside as if nothing happened and enjoyed every moment she cried. Sorry if I sound like a sadist but this girl was unbelievably silly.
Soon after, my friends and I walked to the shop just outside the school with permission and fund from the teacher to buy sip-up for the whole class where we met K’s parents eagerly waiting for her. I really wonder what their source of income was. May be someone paid them for waiting there all day. Seeing us, her mother asked, ‘How is the party…whats K doing?’ Then we all replied in unison that K cried because she wasn’t crowned the class beauty and few of us smirked sarcastically. Her mother looked like she was going to pass out. Then we went our way back to school.
As soon as the bell rang, K snatched her pink bag, which by the way no one is allowed to touch or even look, and ran outside after banging the classroom door in total disgust. Few minutes later, regaining our composure after laughing our heads off, my friend and me walked to the school gate where K waited with the pink bag, her parents by her side. K looked like she was using her pink bag as a weapon for a war against the bulls that were running at her. Her mother rolled eyes at us. We almost walked past them, when K said ‘ Wait’ , in a filmy bass and tone. The drama family looked at us fuming with anger. And her father spoke. “ Who told you girls that K cried ? “ We looked at each other and at K, who was now all composed and confident. We mumbled..’Err…uncle… actually’… and he roared ‘Don’t you dare talk nonsense about K !’ We mumble again…’But….the….’ But K and the drama King and Queen already strode off into their luxurious Maruti 800 car and vroomed past us leaving a cloud of smoke and confusion.
We weren’t able to speak for the next few seconds. We then looked at each other in sheer disbelief and then burst into peals of laughter.
This incident, which then did rounds at school in various versions created a brilliant sucker image for K , which she rightly deserved.
Her self-assumed super-model display picture on gtalk makes my day :D