The Maths Paper

“Sonu, you’ve shown me all the papers except for Maths. Where is it?”


I stopped coloring, looked up at her and said, “The teacher is still ticking them”


She observed me and then broke the momentary silence. “But it’s been a week and the rest of the papers came in last week except for Maths.”


“Yeah” i swallowed and then continued, “She had jaundice.”


Truth was, i flunked my Maths.. again!


I was 10. So like every ten year old would do, i hid the Maths paper in a Dumex tin and hid that tin also somewhere in the house.


I remember the first time i failed my Maths, I casually walked up to the van (she used to drive a van those days) and made up an excuse to say to her. It was the finest repenting speech ever!


“Mie, I tried my best. I studied my butt and socks off and guess what? The teacher was so inconsiderate! She failed me! I got a D for Maths”


For the next few days I had a hard time eating through my mouth.


So this time, precautionary measures were taken. I hid the paper.


The next following week, again, after coming home from school she asked me for the papers. I said teacher was still ticking them.


“Still ticking??”


“She’s weak.. jaundice has slowed her down. So she’s slowly doing it”


Few weeks passed and mum kept on asking for the papers. I was running out of excuses.


Then i came up with the best excuse of them all:


“Mie, teacher said since she’s still ticking the papers, she will put the marks in the report card and give us the marks in the year end”


“She’s ONLY going to give out marks for the midterm Maths paper in the year end??”


“Yes. She has devised a plan. She said she will calculate the total of the marks of Semester 1 & 2 and then divide by percentage. That will be our total overall score for Maths”


“So Math’s the ONLY paper that has no midterm and year end marks. Instead, both are totaled up?”




Phew! What a relief! I had devised a good plan where when I get my report card in the year end, i will sign it myself (i’m good in copying my dad’s signature but not hers) and then pass it back to my teacher. The teacher won’t know.


If she asks where’s the report card, I will tell her they didn’t give, instead they’ve forwarded it to the next year.


I’m amazed how stupid i was when i was a 10 year old kid!


Diwali was approaching and I was looking forward for the best moment in the year. I always look forward for Diwali. The friends, the cookies, the atmosphere, the food, the Rajni Kanth movies and fireworks.. ahh what a life! 🙂


A week before Diwali i was helping my mum clean the house. I was busy washing the toilet bowl when i heard her shout for me from my room.


“Sonu! Come here!”


I walked into the room innocently and asked her politely, “You called me, Mie?”


“What is this?” she removed a paper from the Dumex tin.


My heart skipped a beat. “That?”


“Yes this” she moved the paper about.


“That as in the tin can?” I pointed to the tin can to prolong the time to think of a proper excuse.


“No. This paper.”


“What paper? Where?”


She shoved it to my face.


“MATHS PAPER!! I thought your teacher had jaundice!”


There was silence as i studied the paper which was stuck to my face like glue.


“Hey! What’s this paper doing here??” I asked.


That year Diwali was not celebrated.


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