Have you ever got a red mark in your report card? A red mark indicating "FAILURE"?
Well, I have!
And this "FAILURE" came as a big lesson to me. Now, what was the lesson that I learnt? Wait! Let me tell you the story first. . . Coz though, I have failed many times since then. . . The very first failure has surely got to be memorable. . . So, here goes. . .
I was this absolutely ridiculous 1st standard student who hated goin to school. It wud actually take an entire post for me to explain how much I hated school. . But, for now, we can let it pass.
So, I was this absolutely ridiculous 1st standard student who hated goin to school. I used to cry continuously (well. . . Almost continuously) pausing only rarely (for e.g., to breathe). My class teacher was Sister Lucy Lobo and she hated me. And very truthfully, I hated her equally. . . as I still do. Khair, toh Sister Lucy had given me names like "Crying Baby", "Milk Baby". . . And now when I look back at it, she kind of treated me in a way that was very unbecoming of a 1st standard teacher; though, at that time, I didnt understan it. I simply disliked her for the way she treated me. And as goes without saying anymore, I was one of the 'unsmart' kids in the class. One who is a 'DUMBO'. (Though, I must tell you, at this point, that 1st std. was the only year, apart from, maybe, my college life, wen I was considered a 'DUMBO' (and that was gr8ly helped by my fantastic relation with my class teacher)as otherwise, it wud be being ungrateful to my Most Loving God)
More can be told bout my 1st std. experience l8r. Filhaal, let's concentrate upon my singing abilities.
Alrite, so put very simply, I cant sing. Not at all. You might not have met a worse singer than me. And to my sheer bliss, for a substantial number of years in school we had this "beautiful but dreadful" subject --
complete with a Notebook and Exams.
BEAUTIFUL coz we were taught amazing songs-both prayer songs and songs wid words that went. . . .
"Hey Little Hen. . When when when will you lay me an egg for my tea?"
and DREADFUL coz. . . Well. . . There were times when we had to sing alone. . . Not very often. . . But, still, on certain occasions we had to sing all alone. . . For e.g. During Exams.
And in my 1st std. 1st Term Exams too, I was supposed to do exactly that. . . Sing alone. .
So, this ma'am. . . Crap! ! ! I meant "Miss" (which is what we called our teachers). . . So, this Miss (whose name I've never known) asks me to sing a certain song. . And I begin singing. . . Rather, I begin doing 'the-thing-which-I-presumed-was-singing-but-which-definitely-was-not'.
I was faltering with the words not coz I didnt know the words but coz . . Like I've already told. . .
I BLOODY CANT SING.
And even before I could falteringly-finish the 1st stanza, this lady tells me
"O.K. . . So, you dont know this song. . . Alrite, sing the song that Sister Lucy has been teaching you."
Miss: "Sister Lucy has taught your class many songs right? "
Miss: "So, sing."
And here, let's have a little flashback to a week or two before my Singing Exam. . . .
Sister Lucy, my class teacher, announces to us that in 2-3 weeks it wud be Class IA 's turn, that is my class's turn, for the morning assembly in the stage.
>>>[Every morning, we had prayer, news etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. relayed from the principal's office and we just followed it sitting in our classrooms thru the speakers. . . But twice a week we assembled outside in the ground (the volleyball court, to be more precise) and one class performed a skit on the stage (followed by the SAME stuff. . . 'Let us pray'. . . 'Thought for the day'. . . 'Goodmorning, in today's news'. .'Let us sing') And this entire set-up was shifted to the 'Hall' if our clouds were showering the Gorgeous Andaman Rains on us. . . And ya! Remember that we're talkin bout 1993- when Carmel was still a 'High School'. . . When our uniform didnt include a kind of clothin called 'Salwar Kameez'. . . And wen we still had a 3rd playground. . . Where now stands the 'Mother Veronica Auditorium'. . . ] >>>>
Sooooo. . . .
Sister Lucy gave us our parts for the skit. . .
I was a LOTUS.
My line was somethin like. . .
'I grow in dirty water but I am a beautiful flower'
(That's the only line from the skit that I remember)
Andddd. . . She taught us songs.
MANY BEAUTIFUL SONGS. . .
Songs that were 'New' to our school. . . That we hadn heard over the morning assemblies. . .
AND. . . We had been told by Sister Lucy. . .
NOT TO SING THOSE SONGS IN FRONT OF OTHERS.
coz she wanted it to be 'new' on the day we performed. We were told NOT to sing those songs even in front of our friends from I(B), the other section.
These were to be 'OUR' songs. . That we wud serve on a platter before the school on our Assembly Day. . . .
Now, let us get back to my Singing Exam. .
Miss(to the class): "You all go out everyday to practise. . . Have you all learnt the songs? "
Class: "YESSSSSS MISSSSSSS"
Me: on my face: *Blank*
:in my heart: *Scared*
:in my mind: *IDIOTSSS!!*
:and if have to say in my mind today: *FUCKERS!!*
Miss: "Sing. Dont you know a single song?"
Miss: "Then, sing."
Miss: "Go. . . . . Next number."
(Next number arrives)
Miss: "Sing your assembly song."
Next Number: *Sings*
Miss: "Good. . . . .Next number."
(Next Number arrives)
Miss: "Sing the next song."
Next Number: *Sings*
. . . . And on and on and on. . .
. . . And our class students sang all the songs that were supposed to be OUR songs, that we were told not to sing in front of anyone. . . We sang them before our Singing teacher. . Who was also I (B)'s Class teacher.
Later that day, the class was scolded by Sister Lucy for not obeying her. Scolded. . . And that's it. . .
And I got a 'red mark' in my report card. . . To carry forever.
I remember crying very badly on my Ist Term Parents Teachers Meeting when I was presented with 'FAILED'.
Singing Miss told Abbu that she had no other option. . . Coz I didnt know any song.
I cried and cried and cried. . All the way up the hill. . . To the main gate. . And on the way, whichever aunty or uncle we met had to be explained by Abbu. . . That his gr8 daughter had managed to fail in a subject like 'Singing'. I wonder what was goin in Abbu's minds that day. . . 'Will dis gal study at all?'. . . 'How wil she cope in school?'. . . Given that I used to hate school. . And was also the target of a certain female bully in my class. . . Ha ha ha ;D
Glad that my parents' fears got erased the very next year. . . Alhamdulillah! :) but, still. . . I might be the only person to have failed in "Singing" in the history of Mount Carmel, Port Blair. . . Though, I'd be glad if I found someone else who'd raise his hands with me to have accomplished this feat. . .
Now, on retrospection. . . I still dont know wat shud I have done on the day of my exam. . .
Sung that song?
Or told Miss dat Sister'd told us not to sing?
But, c'mon. . . Today wen am 22. . . Almost 23. . It feels ok. . . But, God!!! I was only 5 then. . . I mean. . . I told it to my parents alrite! But, tellin it to a teacher is a completely different 'DIMENSION' for a 5 yr old.
In any case. . . I learnt the lesson that I carry till date. .
and putting it the way we used to do in our childhood skits. .. . .
MORAL OF THE STORY:-
*Being loyal to someone or something might get you screwed. . .
Be loyal anyway. . .
Coz avoiding a 'FAILED' on your heart is worth a thousand 'FAILED' on your report card*
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.