Jumping down into memory lane…

I am reading a novel where the protagonist keeps running her fingers over her scar. It kind of reminded me of my own scar, right below my left knee. Unlike the heroine, my story is not dark but extremely silly and childish.

I was 8 or 9 years old. And, my family had gifted me a bright yellow folder which could be used as examination cardboard. I loved the colour and there was a cheery cartoon wishing me luck for the exam. And, the best part was it opened up as a folder. God, my mind boggled. I could pin pages in two places. I could finish a sheet on the right side and attach it to the left side. How neat!

Yeah, I was a geek. So, the plan was to carry my new shining folder next Monday. We had Unit tests every Monday. I used to leave my home at 8:20 am every day, catch a rickshaw for 5 rupees and reach school by 8:35 am. So, the very next Monday, I was ready and left on time. I took a rickshaw. So, let me just paint a picture for you. A girl in pigtails wearing a red checked frock with her bag already strapped on her shoulders and a book in her hand (Revising for the exam! I always had the feeling that once I sleep I might forget the stuff I studied the last night. So, it's better to revise).

And then I freaked out because I was not carrying my new folder. I just had the old brown one which had many pen marks and no cartoon wishing me luck. That’s just not acceptable. So, I ask the rickshaw driver to turn back home. I made him hurry. Now, I know I might get late and that's a very big deal for me. One, I have an exam to give. Second, I am never late. Third, I am freaking never late. I have won Punctuality certificates every year in school. And, attendance certificates. Yeah, I sound like a kid who would get beaten up at school but I was in a convent. Neurotic women (kids back then) shine in a convent school.

Anyways, there I was turning back the rickshaw, It was already 8.25 am and I had to rush back to the fourth floor, into my room and study cupboard, rush back out and climb the rickshaw again. So, yeah, I was in a hurry. As soon as the driver was near my building, I jumped down in a hurry. The path was gravelly and sure as hell I bruised both my knee. But, I didn’t have time to check that. I was filled with adrenalin. I climbed 4 floors because who had the time to wait for an elevator. My Mom was in the kitchen. I said Hi Mom and Bye Mom literally in the same breath. I had grabbed my cardboard and all was well. The driver rushed to the school. When I was getting down from the rickshaw, I felt slight pain but I ignored it. I was right on time for school. Not my right on time, but school’s time. I looked at my knees — covered with blood and dust. Sheesh! I kept my mouth shut and dragged my skirt a little to hide it. I don’t want to be dragged to the nurse when I had a Geography Unit test.

Oh, the joy of using the yellow cardboard. My exam was done a few minutes early. I submitted the paper. Unfortunately, the teacher saw my bruised knees, blood flowing out of the scrapes and staining my white socks. She gave a slight screech and rushed me to the sick room (I know! Bound to make you feel sicker). The nurse cleaned it up and what I thought of as bruises and scrapes were really large with blood and pus flowing out. Eew. I turned my face away but my ears pricked up when the nurse said I need to go to a doctor and I might need stitches. My mom was called to the school and I was taken to a doctor. Thank god, no stitches. But, both my knees were bandaged up and it was difficult to walk.

The bandages were there for almost a month but the entire incident was so worth it. I used my cardboard for the day I had planned. I used it for the next 7 years but the first time is special. I even used it for my board exam in class X. I scored full marks in my Geography test. So, I took the right call to not inform about the knee situation to Mom when I went home to collect my folder or my teachers until the test was done. And, the cherry on the cake, I got to miss 4 Physical Education classes. What else can a girl ask for?

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