My mother is a Maths tuition teacher, and ironically, both her kids are absolute duds at it. Ronnie always managed to pass, though. I was the one failing everytime. I had to reappear for the blasted subject when I was in class 9, but in the 10th Board Exam, I scraped 38 marks out of 100. All my classmates were complaining about their marks. Even those who had scored well in the 70s and 80s. On the other hand, I was the only one in a state of euphoria! I had done it! I had somehow managed to clear the paper, and now I wouldnt have to take it as a subject again!
I realised that I belonged in the Humanities stream (Its also called Arts) somewhere in class 9. But there was a problem. My school had stopped offering Humanities as a choice of stream since the past 10-11 years, since it did not have many takers. I had to change my school.
I approached the Vice Principal. I thought that I would somehow be able to convince him to restart the Humanities stream, since there were 6-7 other children who were also interested to take it up. But he flatly refused. I now knew that my efforts were going to have no results. A new stream could not be started so soon.
I withdrew from the school, and then my school hunting began. I had changed schools twice before, but then I was too young to know the entire process. But now, I was more aware and more interested.
None of the top schools let me in because they needed someone with a minimum of 80% in the Board Exam. Well, it didnt bother me too much. But at the same time I got an invitation from a newly opened, but highly prominent school in the city. The place where snooty children of snooty parents went to. I refused because I could not see myself settling in there comfortably.
After a few days of inactivity, a thought struck my mom. There were just 2 more years of schooling ahead of me. Since I had always studied in exceptional schools, why couldnt I take a chance and go to a small, newly opened school? After all, they were mushrooming all around our locality! I decided to take the risk.
The very next day, I went to the oldest of the newly opened schools (and most reliable among them), accompanied by my mom and one of my friends. The school was small and not at all imposing from the outside. But I got an inferiority complex once we went in. The floor was gleaming and the reception cum waiting area was highly ornate. There were water dispensers all around with those little plastic glasses. I was awestruck. In my previous school, though it was one of the best, we drank directly through the taps. This school was also airconditioned. My friend said that it looked like a 5 star hotel.
There were a couple of parents waiting with a child or two in tow. The school was going to start its first batch of class 11, so there were many takers. An admission was guaranteed here. These very students, including me, would subsequently become the school's first batch of class 12 as well.
The Principal was interviewing the children and their parents one at a time. It was our turn next, and I insisted on taking along my friend as well (I didnt want her to feel lonely). The three of us knocked the door, entered the room and sat down immediately. I saw an angelic looking lady sitting in front of me. She smiled at all of us and started talking to my friend. She kept talking, kept asking her questions for the next couple of minutes, until I realised what was happening. She thought that my friend was here for the admission! I quickly corrected her and we all had a heartly laugh.
We came outside, my admission fixed. I looked around with a sigh, and prepared myself for the stay in the hotel.