‘Pindrop silence,’ she said. Her tone firm, her manner sharp, her piercing eyes peering down at us above a drooping pair of spectacles. She wanted the assignment finished and submitted in the next 5 minutes. No discussion was required, neither thinking. We just had to reproduce facts from the boring history textbook. My fingers played mindless games with my pen as it twirled and twisted, rolled back and forth in classic gymnastic movements. I was trying to remember the number of pillars in the temple architecture of this lost clan that existed far back in time. Was I ever going to visit this place? Meet these people? Would I be using the same number of pillars if I were to design a building some day? Who knows, I may be an architect like my father… issshhh the bell! Our school bell screeches me back into the present classroom dealing with past facts while I dream of the future… phew! now that’s convoluted. Isn’t it? I can’t remember half the things here and now this assignment has to sit on the teacher’s desk rather than mine. She would put another nasty red mark on this one too. I just wish my father doesn’t attend this Parents’ meeting to be humiliated for my follies yet again. Oh no! and here comes Mrs. Dandapani, our Mathematics teacher. She loves to paint my notebooks red and yes I already know I am terrible at this. You don’t have to remind me every single day! ‘ Mathematics needs practice.’ Oh yes, I practice and I work very hard trying to  do the same sums over and again. I seem to get nowhere though. She too wants some more equations sorted from this chapter on Algebraic Equations.  ‘Pindrop silence,’ there she goes again…

Those were some ramblings from my school days. I happened to be an ‘out-standing student’ usually found standing punished outside the class or practising for school co-curricular events simply to skip lessons of teachers I didn’t like. Talkative me couldn’t sit there in silence for 8 long hours for sure. Notorious me spent that energy finding ways to disrupt the lack-lustre school routine. I found positive as well as negative ways out. From Leadership Training service, sports, dance and dramatics to leaving a burning cigarette in the Biology lab skeleton’s mouth, school days made for interesting tales throughout.

Here I am now, on the other side of the fence. Ooops I am a mother, a teacher! And well, I seem to remember zilch out of whatever I crammed to get those good marks at school. Yes, I managed to score those. Wasn’t it supposed to prepare me for life? Why do I feel so ill-prepared then for everything?