l'erreur est humaine...

To err is human, but to badly err, is but being a kid!

The following incident dates back to the time when I was a lively little kid, full of life and with proper sets of teeth. That was long before growing up sucked the life out of me! This was the time when interviews meant telling your name, talk about your hobbies and maybe tell your parent's name, a couple of 'answer-in-yes-or-no' questions and the rest were to be handled by mum and dad. Back in the year 1996, I was changing my school from a preparatory school to one primary school. And all I had to do was show my face, blabber a bit and pass the interview.

'Don't do anything stupid and you'll pass easy..' consoled my dad before the interview.

I had no idea what stupid thing I could do, but I guess wetting the pants could have been an option to ponder upon in that young age, but NOT ME! I was the superman in such trivial occasions. Interview? HA! Piece of cake..

The school in Allahabad, where my parents were trying to get me in, was Boys High School (short for BHS, for which we came to know about a number of humorous and dirty acronyms in an eventuality..) The school was a huge Catholic convent, with separate junior, middle and senior schools. So hopefully you get it, how Big-shot of a school it was, and even bigger was it's Principal, Mr. CV Innes.

Mr. CV Innes was an MLA (member of the Legislative Assembly) or MP (Member of Parliament) or something along those lines, apart from being the principal of a gargantuan school. But even more immense was his pot belly, closely followed by the huge smile he used to bestow on the students. We came to realize in time, that he suffered from a chronic form of narcissism! We used to observe a Principal's Day, that was his birthday and he used to happily take all the flowers, gifts and whatever each and everyone of the students had to offer..

Yes Noelle, there exist such men in this universe, far more self-loving than moi!

Oops! I'm drifting. So, as the interview for my admission for class 1-E, in BHS was going on smoothly, the more I was convinced of it going good.. I mean where could I possibly go wrong while telling about my name, hobbies, a rhyme, trivial general knowledge (eg; how many planets are there in the solar system? ..and even that was before Pluto was booted out! BORING..), my parents' name and just a few more.

He was nearly convinced that I'll be one of those star kids in his school, maybe even a trophy.. when I guess he realized that he had forgotten one of those ultra-basic questions - 'How many brothers and sisters you have, son?'

I brought up my hand, pulled down my sleeves and started counting on em fingers!
'Two..' Anshuman and Ankita down.

'And where are..' had begun Mr. Innes only to be shot down by one flicker of my hand, I'm not done yet mister.. My mother shifted in her seat, to correct me, but was covertly asked by Mr. Innes to let me complete on my own.

'Three..' Polly goes down.
Mr. Innes smiles. Dad clears his throat.

'Five..' Arpita and Mitali go down.
Vanished smile, Mr. Innes now sits up, squared away his paunch. Mom still uneasy.

'Seven..' Now I was adding neighboring kids too. Meghna, Cynthia down.
Mr. Innes fell back, Mom must've fainted.

I think I must have reached a count of thirteen or fourteen, when my mother sprang forward and literally put her hands on my mouth. 'They are all cousins and close friends, of course, he is the only child!' she sounded as if beseeching.. Mr. Innes recovered from the trance I had sent him to, wiping his forehead with a kerchief and fixing his glasses, he smiled and managed an 'Of course..'

So what if I didn't know the difference between cousins and siblings and friends, I knew I had already passed. On my way back, my dad asked me how do I think the interview was? I was beaming with confidence.. a trait I still maintain.


  1. wow! could relate to this one really well! Things were really simple then. One did not have to worry about placements, relationships, internships or research publications! :)

  2. Superb....nice manifesto of innocence

  3. nostalgic..really loved it...have hrd it soo many no.of tymss!! naaiice..:)

  4. Deep excellently chosen words with perfect story telling and nice ending. Perfect........ I love you.

  5. world IS a family-ever been.surge ahead smiling, we r proud of you
    Arindam uncle