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All of us have sweet school life memories. However, there are often memories of events that have taught us a lesson or shamed us. I would like to narrate one such incident when I was in the seventh grade.

Playing cards was the rage those days and at school during recess we often played with cards made of paper or cardboard. I am from a conservative family where my father neither drank, smoke, or gambled. Yet we had a habit of playing with real cards as a family for entertainment. Our parents would play with family friends too, but merely for entertainment, never for money.

Somehow or other a card (Queen of hearts) found its way into my Sanskrit book. Our Sanskrit master, Mr. Raman, was a Brahmin and a very strict teacher. He had a habit of asking for the reader from a random student to read for the day and on that fateful day Mr. Raman asked for my book. As sir opened the book, out fell the Queen of hearts. Mr. Raman was shocked. “I never thought you were such a girl…. I am ashamed to have you as a student,” he raged. He began checking the bags of each girl in class, but could get only a few paper and cardboard-made cards. Sir asked all the girls to stand up on the benches until they told where the rest of the deck was. I could feel the angry glares darting in my direction.

After some time Mr. Raman let us go with a warning that we were never to play cards again. Many of the girls were angry with me for quite a long time and began to see me as a girl of bad character. It was here that I learned not to judge anyone by mere circumstances.

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Posted on May 5th, 2014 by shinchi


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