"Best of Luck for the Boards" - it almost changed my life...

lijoe's picture

1995 was a year I was rolling. I had joined Jabriya Indian School, Kuwait a year back. Very unhappy, cheated I would say by my parents who got me to Kuwait saying its summer vacation and then enrolled me here saying these are the last few years we will be together as a family.

With all the emotional blackmail, I agreed to leave K.V. NAD, my footballing career and freedom to settle back in Kuwait as a Second Class Citizen.

A year had passed and I guess I had done well. I was able to slowly move from a total stranger in class and school, to becoming a teacher's pet and a good friend. I was made the class leader, was topper in class and had made a lot of friends both seniors and juniors. The tenth boards were over and I was glad for the same. However in JISK, since the school year is different to that in India, eleventh standard classes started immediately compared to India where it started after the results were announced. So I had to write an entrance exam to get admission to the Maths- Bio group as there was a lot of applicants. Funny I came in first again.

My parents were the proudest around by this time. I think when you do good, you attract friends and well wishers by the loads. As our eleventh started, inter school football tournament was about to start. My favorite sport, so I diligently remained after school to practice with the rest of the boys.

One day I was changing dress inside the 12th standard class room, when I noticed a white out lying on the table. The boards were starting for the 12th standard guys and I had an impulse. I wrote with it on the table, "Best of Luck for the Boards..." . A few friends had seen the white out in my hand too.

Next day I came to school and was surprised to know I was called by the Principal on a very urgent issue... the entire football team was there with a very agitated Jose Sir (P.T. Sir). We were informed that someone had scribbled all bad words on the teachers' desk the previous evening with white out. The Principal was very forthcoming about it and went on to tell the story of the Group Effect, where he said ordinary people tended to in the group psychology end up doing wrong things that they would never dream or even think it right themselves if they thought alone for a moment. Hearing all this talk, I felt a twinge of guilt, though I had not written any bad words with the white out, I DID write something on the desk. I also had seen a few of my friends walk around with it later in the evening. Principal Rao sir, turned to me and said Lijoe my favorite student, you were also there did you not see anything?

I became nervous and I think he understood and waved me back. He dismissed us and said mostly the entire team will be suspended. As I went back a wave of guilt filled me and I wrote in paper, exactly what I wrote and also included the couple of friends who I had seen with it and gave it to Sir in person. He read it and then the chaos started.

The first inclination that something wrong was going to happen came from a most unexpected source. Sunita maam, the computer miss who never had taught me before but knew a lot about me from the other teachers and my eldest sister Laiza who was her student, came to me and asked how could I be so foolish to write and give the entire thing to the Principal?

She went on to say she knew I would never use those bad words as she had observed me in the past one year. But because I had given somethings in writing, punishment was inevitable. Being the topper and a role model, punishment was going to be harshest.

I had a very grave looking Principal call me to office, hand me a envelope and asked me to hand it to my parents when I reach home. There was uproar in the entire school knowing some people were caught. I felt like a thief. I was distraught, and when I reached home, I read it. I was suspended without further notice and would end up in termination if my parents do not come forth and meet the school authorities. All hell broke lose at home, dad was shocked by the entire set of events, angry I could have done so, lot of scoldings from mom and I was suspended for one week. It was the hardest week in my life cause everyone though they trusted me thought I was not saying the entire truth. It was painful to watch everyone who cared about you turn against you. The eyes said it all, "How could you? How could you show disrespect to teachers, use all those bad words? "

The friends I had named initially were angry with me and so were their parents for giving all this in writing. It felt bad but those friends forgave me when they realized I had named myself too and all they said was you innocent mallu! (they were goans by the way, Caesar and Sydney) . After a week I got back to school and it was a tough time as every teacher wanted to hear my part of the story and though they listened to it unconvincingly, they minced their anger and asked me to be more careful in future and don't be so innocent.

I guess thats one story I have yet to learn. To add to it, the board results came and there was shock. My best friend Punit and the second ranker in my class had got the first rank in my school for the Tenth Boards. His mom taught us Science, so he got to know first and I had a very disappointed parents. I was hoping the results would make them forget this incident. Instead a beaming Punit and his mom greeted my Parents when they went to visit the Principal. He was sorry for me though he said, you are going through a bad phase....

As I looked into the fax that had been put up in the notice board, I noticed a small mismatch. Though I had been given only 62 marks for science, I had A1 grade, which could not be possible. Hope suddenly built up in me, my heart raced and I hoped against hope it was what it meant. I knocked on the Principal's door to see Nidhi Maam and Principal exchange pleasantaries congratulating Punit. I asked sir if he could clarify this to me. It was then that it dawned to everyone it was a fax print being smudged; I had 82 marks! I was the topper. It was a shocking turn around for Punit and I was elated!! I had not lost it...I had won that free return ticket to India as the prize. I was relieved.... Next two years I worked hard, never forgetting where I stood at that precarious moment... I had just lost everything to and had to prove myself.

1997, at our farewell party as the juniors bid us farewell, the Princpal informed me that I was selected as the Best Outgoing Student of 1997. I was overjoyed and for a moment felt vindicated. I thought of how it would have all ended if I had been terminated in 1995 for that event..

I still sometimes wake up thinking of that embarrassing moment, standing outside the Principal's office as students and teachers walked passed...

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Hi... Just got to know about

Hi...

Just got to know about your blog yesterday and had to read this. You just brought back all those memories back with a bang.
We all got involved with something or the other during our school days in JIS and learned our lessons. Now when you look at things everyone is well settled and doing very well. It is just a phase i believe that we all go through in life.
I just can't wait to see what my own kids are going to be be when they are in school.

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