With the aid of the liquid courage (2 gulps of Coca Cola), my mind has wandered off to a story happened quite some years ago.
It was the time when I was in 6th standard. Fresh out of Class 5 State Board exams. Now those who don’t know about State Board Exams, Class 5 Board Exams for students younger than 10 years of age, were what IIT-JEE exams are for students interested in engineering. They were used to be one of the most rigorous and toughest exams, second only to Class 8 Board, Class 10 Board, Class 12 Board and innumerable exams, GDs, Interviews to follow rest of our lives.
We always used to have our class divided in 4 sections. A, B, C, D (obviously). Till Class 6, the sections were the same. We had been studying with same people, seeing the same faces in the class, having the same friends, crushes and bullies. But due to a power shift in the ranking of students after the new criteria at hand (or maybe random shuffling), we all were allotted new sections that year. Hence, a new class, some familiar faces and friends, many unknown people and acquaintances.
Anyways, the results of the exams were out and suddenly the students who were invisible before, were more shinier than ever, with a tag of “90% in Boards” stuck at their forehead. I have been among the horses who were bet hugely on and misfired. So well, for a person like me in that situation it was pretty hard to actually try to have a conversation with other kids, when the initiating line was “How was your result?”. Funny thing, they all knew it. But still I had a chance at redeeming myself. Something I was having as my birthright passed on to me from one class to another, the position of prefect. The first day is when the class representative is chosen by the teacher. Haah! Routine..
To my utter shock, I was not even in the elected participants. There was this guy, who I kind of befriended, before him being chosen. And a girl, who I knew was with me in the last class too. How can I go against the guy I just befriended? So I channelled all the energy I was going to put in being a sore loser, to support my new almost friend. And he lost!
“This girl I knew was with me in the last class” was just selected as the class representative! How could you expect a boy of nearly 10 year of age to cope, going through emotional distress due to reflection of his own below par performance in the mighty State Board exams, getting robbed of his birthright and loosing to “This girl he knew was with him in the last class”? Now he was furious.
I looked closely at this single tailed (hair), dressed in white shirt and maroon skirt girl. That was the description of maybe 75% girls in the school. I tried for looking something peculiar about her. Something with which I could paint a red “X” on her as target. I scanned her again and again without blinking while everyone was standing and applauding for her appointment. That’s when I noticed something. Something yellow flashed on her ear lobe. I tried to zoom in on it (actually wished I could), but could not get a clear image. The girl was returning back to her seat when she crossed me. “Congratulations” I faked a smile and said. She stopped midway and turned to me. “Thanks!” and grinned hard. One could easily tell she was elated, but who cares! Focus on the ear lobe. She wore earrings which were shaped and designed as Tweety face. “Tweety” as in “Tweety bird”, the yellow canary on cartoon network!
I smirked as she passed by and pledged an oath that this girl will face the most horrifying experience a prefect could ever have, even if I have to be the one who has to prepare the master-plan for it. That was the birth of a rivalry that kept on for 3 long years.
I would love to think I made the most out of it, was successful in ruining it for her to the best of my capabilities, straight for three years. And I would also like to believe I have kind of lasting impression. That she won’t be able to forget me for the rest of her life.