This incident happened when I was in 9th standard. And it’s one of the most memorable experiences for me which I remember even now very clearly. I have been a teacher’s favourite all my life. Wherever I have studied be it my school or my coaching, I have been the apple of their eye. Besides all of my teachers who had taught me in school, there was this one P.T teacher in my school who did not like me at all.
So when the school had to prepare for the Republic Day or Independence Day, he seemed to be the busiest person because according to him, training the students for march-past was the most difficult thing, which certainly is right. I was very bad with sports and other physical activities. Perhaps, because of my weight. I have been a fat kid ever since I came out of my mother’s womb. It’s genetic. And I think no diet, or exercise could make me look slim. I accepted the fact long back but people around me did not let me forget that. So when the whole class was called out by our P.T sir for march-past selection, I went too. Although I was very underconfident about my marching skills and most importantly about my image in front of P.T sir. I wasn’t even anticipating to get selected. But to my surprise, I got selected. I wondered why.
I was quite happy to be a part of this new marching team. I thought he did not dislike me so much. I thought he was just strict. One day, amidst the marching practice I overheard P.T sir saying this to the peon while he handed over him a cup of tea, “Arey Bacche Kam hain, is moti Ko bhi Lena pada, warna mein kabhi nahi leta. “(There aren’t enough students so I had to take this fatso too, otherwise I would not have considered her).” It was such a heartbreaking moment for me. I have always been the favourite of my teachers (and I certainly knew this) but listening to P.T sir that day, I felt really bad. I ended up crying. He was so unsure about taking me in the team. That uncertainty was eating all my confidence. I was anyways good with the marching and I tried too hard to be the best. I even tried to be the commander of the girl’s team too but I couldn’t make it.
Well, the big day arrived. Republic day was welcomed by rain that year. That day, it was raining heavily. The ground was too slippery and the soil was too moist to walk. I was facing difficulties in even walking normally on that and I was conscious as to how will I manage during the march-past. Finally, when the march- past began, after around 20 steps I guess, I found myself lying in the moist soil with my white dress all messed up in the brown filth. I was so embarrassed. Nobody but me fell down in front of the entire school. My legs just fell apart and I slipped like anything. I couldn’t even manage to get up on my own. The last two girls who were behind me helped me get up and then they continued with the march-past while I just ran straight to the washroom. I was too embarrassed to even stand there for another moment. Even today, I could feel the humiliation and insult. I just proved P.T sir right. He was right. I was just another fatso, good for nothing, at least in sports. For months, I remembered the incident. It haunted me like anything.
Well, I was good at academics. I think books and me share a really nice bond and that’s why the teachers really appreciated me. I topped in my 9th standard. Later, when I came back to school after my summer vacations, there was a huge debate about the selection of the new Head Boy and Head Girl of the school. Everybody unanimously voted me for the post of the Head Girl. Later, that year, when the school was about to celebrate the 66th year of independence, I was confident enough to walk down on my own and tell P.T sir that I wanted to be the commander of the team. Being the Head Girl, it was my informal right too. He had nothing to say and nobody else stepped forward. My base voice is strong and that is one of the most important requirements for being the commander so that even the last person in the row could hear the commands and walk accordingly.
I lead the team that year. This time, there was not even a tinge of nervousness in me and I walked confidently.
I still remember everybody said that they had never seen a Commander like me. Everybody appreciated me. But there was a special appreciation. It was from P.T sir. When the event was finished, he came to me and said “You did a great Job. Well done”. His words still echo in my ears. And I still haven’t forgotten that smile on his face. He was proud of me. That one teacher that I never thought would even talk to me normally was appreciating me.
Even today, whenever I visit my school, he would tell me “This school have never got a Head Girl like you again. We really miss you”.
Today when I think about that incident, I feel happy.