punishment

By Tanuj Kalia

In class, I used to be the most disciplined boy, unusually quiet and reticent to the extent that the norm-breaking complaint of “He doesn’t talk at all” was once made by a teacher to my parents in what used to be a festival like parent-teacher meeting.

Courtesy of my discipline and good marks and everything which made a student ‘good’ in those times (there I use ‘those times’ for the first time: September 6, 2013. Note to self: ageing) I was made to sit down by the teacher whenever the whole class used to stand-up as a punishment.

Here is a dialogue which was often repeated:

“EVERYONE STAND-UP! AND RAISE YOUR HANDS”.

“Tanuj, you sit down”.

After 2 minutes.

“Girls, sit down”.

I didn’t like this softer-than-girls treatment (Feminist? Put in a comment below).

This dialogue and the proceeds as I said were oft-repeated.

x

A rewind to Psychology 101: Ivan Pavlov’s dog learnt in a week that the bell meant food. It took me longer than the dog, say a month, to learn that I had to sit down when everyone else had to stand-up.

One day (it could have been any day) this punishment was meted out to everyone, yet again.

This time around, I just sat down before the teacher could say:  Tanuj, you sit down.

“TANUJ! DID I TELL YOU TO SIT?”

I stood up and like an obedient, submissive student eager to do the extra bit also raised my arms.

The full class stood up with their arms raised for around 10 minutes.

Then all were instructed to sit down.

I wasn’t.

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