She always felt inadequate. Born into the typical Indian family, where accomplishments in academics were not an expectation but a necessity. It was not that she was a bad student, she was second in class. The typical model child; obedient and confident, playful yet well behaved.
When saying goodnight, her mother casually asked her about her Maths result. The bile rising up her mouth kept her mute. “The teacher has not checked the answer sheets yet mumma”, she glibly lied. Entering her room, she rushed to the bag pack stowed away under her bed and checked whether the dratted answer sheet was there or not. It was. 55 marks out of 100. The lowest she had ever scored.
The next day after coming back from school she decided to buck up and tell her mother the marks truthfully. “One bad paper wasn’t exactly a career ruining move in class sixth, was it?”, she thought to herself. Boy, was she wrong!
Before the frown lines on her mother’s forehead could be formed completely she felt the resounding slap on her left cheek. The volley of insults that followed fell on deaf ears. She was already crying, confused and hurt. “One paper, ONE MATHS paper where I did not teach you and you get these marks? Disgraceful! Stupid girl!” her mother screamed.
The ranting went on for almost fifteen minutes. Fifteen agonizing and painful minutes. The answer sheet lay torn at her feet, her lunch cold on the table. The certificates and medals adorning the pin-board in her room seemed to be jeering at her. Maths, her one weakness, one enemy. She had had enough.
Her eleven year old brain wanted to run away. It is said that a child’s thoughts turn into actions immediately. This time they definitely did. After coming back from school the next day, she packed her bag with her favorite clothes and an unread Famous Five and prepared to run. Remembering a scene from an old movie, she scribbled a note ” I love you mom and dad but i hate maths. Sorry!” and ran away.