A few days ago, on my way back from class, I saw the children from the local KV practicing their Republic Day march past on the street. A red-faced PT master was shouting out instructions, while the children stamped and shouted "left-right-left" energetically, but without much synchronization. One chubby little girl at the front with two oiled pigtails and big red bows however, was concentrating furiously and trying her best to catch the master's attention with her marching. She really reminded me of myself.
Through most of school, it was very important to me to be the teacher's pet. I loved being held up as an example. When teachers would say things like, "Why can't you be more like Nithya?" or "Sit next to Nithya and learn how to behave," I would flush pink with pleasure. This naturally made me rather unpopular with my classmates, but I was too busy gloating to notice.
I did change eventually, my friends began to like me (I hope), and I discovered the joys of sitting on the last bench- reading novels and passing chits. But that energetic little girl brought it all back, for a minute. I hope she grows out of it someday too. Being a back-bencher is far more fun!