This incident happened when I was in my first standard at school. It was first period of the day.My class teacher Sreelatha miss just distributed the report cards after the third series of tests. I had got first rank for the first test, 3rd rank for the term exam and now awkwardly a 16th rank for my 3rd test. How did this happen? Clearly there was some sluggishness in the studies part. My achan and amma never used to teach me or not even interfere in my studies. Those days the teachers did most part of it and I had always been a studious girl.But something had gone wrong.I couldn’t bear the thought of going to my achan to get the report card signed. I shared my fears with my friend sitting next to me, my eyes welled up with tears. Lincy, my friend handed over a red ink ball pen which we children were not supposed to touch those days. I was shocked. From where did you get this Lincy? She smiled and said, from my mother’s bag. Lincy’s mother was a teacher and hence she had close access to a red ink pen. What am I supposed to do now?I looked baffled. Next, she gave me a blade. She had that too!! By now, I had got it right. The very next minute I did the unthinkable. My rank 16 on the report card is going to vanish. For a jiffy, I thought, should I make it 1 or 6? No, I don’t deserve the first rank this time. Let it be 6. Aghas, number 1 disappeared and my rank was now 6 marked in red same as my teacher.
But there was something wrong in my report card. The blade had done its mischief. The scratched mark was still there. Was my achan going to find out? Did I do the wrong thing?The period had got over and the next period had begun. But my worry only increased with time. By the end of the second period I knew the seriousness of what I had done.I wanted to rectify my mistake. I was going to put the number one again. I asked Lincy for the ren ink pen one more time. I will write 1 on the side of 6 and my rank would be 16 again. I would be relieved and a good girl again. But to my dismay Lincy refused to lend me the pen the second time. No you cannot use that again. She was adamant. I nearly fainted. I spent the whole day in dismay. I couldnt talk to anyone. I was figuring out ways I would solve this puzzle.
Finally the last bell of the day rang. I walked back home with a heavy heart. I decided I am not going to lie anymore. For a minute the story of George Washington blazed through my mind. I went home determined. When I reached home my achan and amma hadnt returned from work. My sisters suspected something but they couldn’t take it out from me.Even I didnt disclose anything to my amoomma (grandma) with whom I shared every story in school. Within sometime I saw our car outside the gate. My heartbeat went up quickly. My unaware of the devil I am, enquired how my day was. I didnt reply. Then after the evening tea. I went to them. Achan and amma was discussing something. I told them what I had done. The story was not as simple as George Washington’s. My achans face reddened with anger. Amma reprimanded. My professor parents could not bear the fact that their daughter had done this. My sisters and amoomma came to know about this. The reactions were mixed. The whole evening had passed by and morning I woke up with the same agony. What would happen to the report card. It was not signed. What would be the next step.
My mother was coming with me to school. She wanted to meet my teacher. As we walked to school, amma lectured on the gravity of the situation. I had realized it. But there was nothing to be done now. I heard every piece of my ammas advice. We reached our class. Sreelatha miss was surprised to see my amma as she never used to be a frequent visitor to my school. Amma then explained to her what I had done and said sorry. Miss was shocked as this was unexpected from me. She then asked me to say in plain sentence ” I will not do it again Miss”. I said that and went to my seat. Amma then signed my report card and gave it to her.The fact that my amma apologized for me and made me apologize too urged her to take the whole incident in an affirmative way. Sreelatha miss was a great human being who never uttered a word about this incident to me or anyone else again!