Indrani was an ambitious girl. She knew what she wanted. She accosted me and made herself clear one fine day, in the PT period. She looked up to me (actually, at me. I was much taller than her) and came straight to the point.
Indrani (In): Look, this is too much.
In: Means you are coming first in every test.
In: My dad is a big inspector. Exercise inspector!
In: You took my first rank. Let me come first or my dad will put your dad in jail.
As a 6-year old I mostly talked in mono-syllables to save breath, but this situation demanded intense negotiations. I was thoroughly confused. Being the gentle angel that I was then, I believed in giving, being good and the essential goodness of human beings. So I half-believed that her dad would do what she told me, to mine. Still one couldn’t be sure. Of course, I had snatched her 1st rank after Upper KG and had to give it back. Besides, coming 2nd would mean I’d get to sit with the really cute boy who came 3rd(we were made to sit rank-wise in class 1 !!). But… just how did one gift the first rank? I thought and thought and came to a decision.
Me: OK, take this.
I said handing over my sparkling green badge which said “FIRST RANK”. She was overjoyed and pulled out her blue ‘SECOND RANK’ badge and gave it to me. In the next period, we happily swapped positions(!!). She got her first rank and I, well, got my cute guy!!!
Our happiness lasted for only two periods as our class teacher Miss Molly finally realised something was amiss and immediately established status quo.
That night I told Dad he might have to go to jail because I came first in class. He heard me out and asked me her surname. “So-and-so” I replied.
“Daddy, she said he’s a big inspector..Exercise inspector..Will he be bad to you in jail?”
“HAHA!!Don’t worry sweetie, he’s a friend. And he won’t put me in jail! He’s an excise inspector not a real policeman!”