The Principal

She was the principal of one of those family-managed-schools that run on the ground floor while the principal’s family lives on the first. A bored woman in her mid 40s started a primary school to kill her time and luckily the school started doing well. It was converted into a secondary school a few years later. The school made enough money for the principal to purchase another property to live so the entire building could be taken over by the school.


It was my first school and she commanded fear on all students. Those were the days when teachers were scarier than parents and freedom of thought or speech from a toddler was not appreciated at all. It was in this school that I had my first crush, I was six. I made a drawing of a water jug in a drawing competition and wrote the name of my crush on its handle. It turned into a scandal.


The friends I made in that school came back into my life once again, much later in life, but they never made it to the cut-off list of best ones that I had. I wished they would, but none of them were stuck in the past as badly as I was.


The principal awarded me best student of the class for three years in a row. Reason? I strived to be the best. Reason? Because she scared me. Standing outside her office with my arms raised above my head never made it to my to-do list. Also, I wouldn’t want my crush to see me in such an insulting situation.


I don’t have many memories of my first school except a few one on one interviews with the principal, a conversation with my crush where I thanked her when she asked me for a pencil sharpener and two of my friends who knew I loved a girl the way Prem loved Suman in Maine Pyar Kiya. Dil deewana was in no mood of living without the Sajni.


The last interview I had with the principal was the day when my mother visited the school to collect my transfer certificate. I had no reason to tell her when she asked why I wanted to move to a different school. She even offered to waive off or half my younger brother’s school fee if I stayed. But, it wasn’t my decision to make. My father thought I would do better in the new school as it was a Sikh school. I gave my best in the school entrance exam and running test but I had no reason to tell to the new principal as well when he asked why I wanted to join the new school.


I just hoped the new principal wouldn’t speak to my old principal and inquire about me. I didn’t want him to know that there was a girl in his school, whose name I had once written on the handle of a water jug I drew in a drawing competition.

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