A turn­ing point in my school life!

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I

walked fast; no I was vir­tu­ally run­ning, aim­ing at Su­nitha teacher’s house. I kept my SSLC mark sheet in­di­cat­ing full A+ proudly in my hand. I thought I should in­form her at first this good news. In fact Su­nitha teacher was not merely a teacher for me but some one more than that. She was my men­tor, my guide and a true­friend. But how did all this hap­pen? That in­ci­dent which trans­formed my life is still fresh in my mind! It was almost two years ago when I was in class VIII (A). An in­ci­dent which hap­pened dur­ing the an­nual exam opened a new leaf in my life. Though I was not a dull stu­dent I had pre­pared very badly for the exam. I played through­out the day dur­ing study leave. Fi­nally, pass­ing the exam was a mat­ter of pride there­fore I de­cided to copy. I got a ‘bad ad­vice’ from a rick­shaw puller who in­sti­gated me to copy in the exam. I pre­pared the an­swers and hid them in a ban­dage on my left arm. The trick on the first

day of

exam was suc­cess­ful. Be­fore reach­ing home I re­moved the ban­dage and heaved a sigh of re­lief. In the evening, I went to town with my mother. As we were about to board a town bus, I saw Su­nitha teacher in front of the med­i­cal shop. I was scared and tried to hide my left arm. “Is she look­ing

at me?” I asked my­self. Some­how I man­aged to board the bus and es­cape. On the sec­ond day of exam too I de­cided to re­peat the same trick. I en­tered the exam hall with a ban­dage on my left arm. When Su­nitha teacher came for su­per­vi­sion I was a lit­tle frightened. I tried to be very nor­mal and con­cen­trated on writ­ing. But the mo­ment I took the ‘an­swer pa­per’ my hand started shiv­er­ing. Su­nitha teacher looked at me sus­pi­ciously. “I think she is ob­serv­ing my ban­daged arm”, I told my­self. Ul­ti­mately my copying failed and I was dumb­founded. After the exam, Su­nitha teacher came to me and caught my arm. She re­moved the ban­dage and I couldn’t say any­thing. I was very ashamed of what I had done... At first she scolded me very harshly and then slowly her words turned soft and sad. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I looked at her face. It seemed that she was also almost in tears. I couldn’t con­trol my­self and I heard her words with a lot of emo­tion. “My dear stu­dent, you are like my own son, you know why? I lost my son a year ago, he was of your age; had he been alive my son would have been like you”, I heard her trem­bling voice over­whelmed with emo­tions. I touched her feet cry­ing louder. “I wanted to make you re­al­ize your mis­take; you are a very good stu­dent. If you study well you can bring lau­rels to our school”, She con­soled me by pat­ting on my shoul­der. I promised her not to copy again and to be sin­cere and hon­est. Next year in the school I was a to­tally dif­fer­ent stu­dent. I per­formed well in all class tests and never missed any spe­cial class. I played only in the sports pe­riod and for limited hours in the evening. Su­nitha teacher no­ticed the trans­for­ma­tion in my be­hav­ior. She helped me a lot in stud­ies. I stood first in the class. She came to my house in the evening with a gift and ap­pre­ci­ated me. Thus Su­nitha teacher be­came my friend and a source of in­spi­ra­tion. But within a few months there ap­peared some changes in her ap­pear­ance. She avoided my ques­tions re­lated to her health. Many days she was on leave. Slowly the news spread that Su­nitha teacher was suf­fer­ing from can­cer. I vis­ited her at the hos­pi­tal and at home many times with my par­ents. Once she held my hands and said, “My son, study well, I want to see you as the most suc­cess­ful stu­dent that I have ever had.” Her words brought tears to my eyes. To­day, who else would be hap­pier than my teacher at my suc­cess? A few drops of tears fell from my eyes on the mark list. I sat on her bed. I showed her the A+ mark list to her. Her face glowed. She pat­ted me with her shiv­er­ing hand and ut­tered vaguely, “Con­grat­u­la­tions, wish you all the best.”

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