When I was in High School….
This happened long time ago, when most of these kids weren’t even born. This was in a small town in Karnataka state, India. I was in Government High School (like Public schools here), as 9th grade student. The staff could care less about the students. But there was one, who seemed to be an exception, Mr. G.K. He cared especially about girls who wanted to know more, who could visit him at his residence, to seek his guidance. Of course none liked him, neither the rest of the staff members, nor the students. He had an eerie look, as if piercing through the clothing of girls and scan their body. None liked him.
One Thursday evening, we, four friends were playing throw-ball (like volley-ball) in the front yard of our home. We were careless young girls shouting, cheering, and cursing one another in the name of the game. Hardly we noticed that Mr. G.K. was passing by. We were in our own wonderful world, cheering and cursing each other. Next morning at school, I got a call from him to meet him in staff room. There were all the other teachers, getting ready to go to their classes. I had one test in the very first hour. I had no idea why I had to meet him (call from a teacher to meet him/her is usually on the basis of some serious mistake, behavioral problem). He started to scold me, in a high voice. He said that the previous evening when we were playing, he heard me call him names. That was not true. But I had no one to support me, as he had not called other three girls. It was an emotional trauma, 23 years ago, for a 13 year old. But I didn’t give in. I stood my ground; said that I didn’t call him names and none of us four girls did anything like that.
He asked me to confess that I did call him names, which I refused. I was not ready to yield to an arrogant person just because he is my teacher. More so, his claim had no basis, it was false. I stood there in the staff room, in front of most of the teachers, tears in my eyes, but held my head high. My class teacher, Mrs. Bert, came to me and asked if she can call my parents, I said yes, without any hesitation. Almost everyone in town knew my Papa. She went and talked to Mr. G.K. I don’t know what she told him, he walked out of the room without a word. Mrs. Bert came up to me, stroked my head and asked me to attend the class. The first hour test was a total disaster, I couldn’t remember anything. Since that teacher was also present in the staff room when all that drama happened, he ignored that test score for me.
I can never forget what went on that Friday morning. I strongly believe that my Papa’s reputation as a strict, honest officer, and my record as a good student has seen me out of trouble that day. Truth won again.
(Written as class assignment for EWRT-1A at De Anza College, Cupertino, CA, USA; in October 2002)