Moving on to other events during the 4th Standard, the next one that comes to mind is the Spelling Test.
2. Spelling Test
Although I don’t remember the first instance that she became our teacher, I honestly believe it was during the 4th Standard that she became our English teacher. Of course people who are more sure of their memory are always welcome to correct my faltering memory. The person I am talking about is none other than Anantalakshmi maam(of the “not even a blade of grass can move without His will” fame).
She was our English teacher in our 4th Standard and was a formidable one at that. Not that she had an imposing figure, she was actually reed thin, as if she might be blown away any minute if we switched on the fan. If there was a reason she was feared, it was because of her voice. It had a reed-like quality to it, as shrill as a trumpet stuffed with macaroni can get. Although no glass ever shattered during her class, there was always the risk that it might happen any day(just kidding, her voice was like that only when she got angry, though one must admit, it was the norm, because she would get easily ticked off at the slightest movement).
Anyway, returning to the crux of this post, maam conducted a spelling test one day, when she was really disgusted at some of the spellings she saw in the unit test. It was for 100 marks and there were hundred words to spell. She would rattle off the words and we had about 20 seconds to write the spelling. The test was over and done with, and she went about correcting the papers. The marks were soon out, and to my great astonishment, I had got a 99.
I mean people would say why crib when you got the highest. But its not about getting the highest, it is about getting what you deserve. I deserved a hundred because I put in the effort to get it and wrote all the spellings correctly. It irked me more because the whole issue was about the legibility(my handwriting contributed to it in a major way, being almost as neat as a doctor’s prescription).
The whole issue was that my ‘i’ looked like an ‘e’ according to her. And to me it was clearly an i. To this day I don’t know if she refused to give me the mark because of a genuine misunderstanding or because she refused to accept that anyone could get a hundred. But I do know the consequences of the whole incident. I refused to attend any more of her classes, until she gave me the hundred, and just walked out of the class. She too stuck to her stand, and refused to relent. Thats what I relish, a fight with an opponent who doesn’t bow down. And besides women have always been the haughtier of the sexes and thats what makes it all the more fun fighting with them(not physically i mean).
Anyway matters came to a heady climax, when I started walking out of the class the moment she walked in. For two days she just shouted at me to get back in. The third day, she decided she had had enough and took me to HM. HM was as usual looking through those inscrutable glasses at both of us. And I don’t know what made her do so, but she just told maam, to get my paper and took a look at it and said “it looks fine. why don’t you give him the mark and get on with the classes”. That settled matters and the verdict was binding, and yes, although she could have still fought, she decided to be a gentlewoman and gave me the mark.
to be continued… … …
– GUPTA GHOST
1. Its quite a paradox that the word in dispute happened to be ‘friend’.
2. For those who didn’t know, Anantalakshmi maam used to brag that she had “four eyes” and could see everything we did(referring to her moony speactacles). Surprising though that her four eyes couldn’t help her decipher the spelling. That’s what happens when Gupta Ghost writes.