Teacher to Garima: How can you see with your eyes?
Reena was the only one to raise her hands. Getting the chance to speak, she answered “The light from the source, say a tube-light falls on the object. It gets reflected from the object and falls on our eye which is a lens.”
Everybody was amused with Reena’s smartness.
Garima, after a few moments, just after the teacher praised Reena: Then, how can owls see only in the dark?
Teacher: Reena, any idea?
Reena was quiet, pondering over the query. Some students were excited with Garima’s return war on Reena.
Teacher: Anybody else?
Seeing nobody with an expression of getting the answer, the teacher said: Well, first of all, we are interested in studying the characteristics of light and not in vision of animals. But Garima, different animals have different sensitivity of the eye. Owls have night vision unlike humans. Nevertheless, I asked the question to see what you can think about vision.
Garima was irked with the teacher not praising her. But she was happy that she was able to put forth a question which Reena could not answer.
The students were used to such kind of battles between the two girls. In fact, Vikas and some other naughty lot of students were maintaining a diary. They recorded each battle and who won them. Garima was the topper in last two UTs. Reena was just a mark below Garima in UT2. But Reena boasted of her dancing skills being far superior than that of Garima’s and her team’s win in basketball over Garima’s team. Also Reena’s beauty being the talk among boys was something which Garima’s profile lacked.
Vikas: So who’s won the battle today? Considering that the teacher did not show much hurray to Garima, Reena deserves the win.
Kushal: But what a question by Garima! How the hell can one think of an owl so quickly! Even if not today, she is the Serena Williams, the champion!
The entire gang busted out in laughter. Vikas said, “Reena is definitely Sharapova then.” All echoed “Yeah!!”
Reena: This Garima will never stop being jealous. What the hell was she proving by asking the stupid question of owls! I swear I will beat her in UT3. I want to win every battle with her.
Shweta, Reena’s best friend: This talk of ‘battle’ irks me! I mean, the competitions between you both are OK. But, what the fuss with this stupid rivalry! And in every little thing! I find this stupid.
The other day Sagar and Reena were decided as partners in a dance competition. Sagar was arguably the best looking guy in the class. He was also a great dancer. As Sagar was a newcomer and his academic profile did not match to the standards of Reena’s, there was never much interaction between the two.
After the evening dance rehearsals in school, Sagar asked Reena, “How are you going home?”
Reena: My home is near. I go by walking.
Sagar: I have my bike. Should I drop you?
Reena: No, thank you! I will be fine.
A little smile flashed on Reena’s face. It was a little blush. As the days passed, there was attraction building between the two. They were the prime dancers and were the centre attraction of the entire sequence. They guided other dance couples. One of the junior student asked guidance to improve academics in between breaks between rehearsals. Sagar told him, “Buddy, ask princess Reena. She is the topper, a true scotch!” Reena: (smiles) Yeah! I am the only scholar!
The day of final dance performance came. The function finished late. Sagar: Reena, it’s late. I will drop you home. Reena just smiled. Both were off to home on the bike. It started raining. The two stood under a shade. Sagar: I love rains. It is so romantic season. “What romantic! So many puddles get created. People cannot even go out”, Reena said. “So you don’t want farmers to be happy. You don’t want reservoirs to be filled princess”, Sagar flirted. “I am not princess.” Reena smiled. “Garima is the real princess of the class.” Sagar said, “You are amazing!! You remember Garima in this lovely weather!! See, even rain God stopped pouring rains. Reena laughed and both were headed home.
Reena was enjoying the attention from Sagar. By now, the class knew about the sparks flying between the two. The two of them ate together, walked home together. They planned to study together for the UT3. One evening, Reena and Shweta met in the park. “Did you start preparing for UT3?” asked Shweta. Reena replied, “I am preparing with Sagar. This time I will show to the class that I can have a boyfriend and still top the exams.” The uninterested Shweta said “Hmm.., I got to go. Mom has some work. See you!” Surprised Reena asked “Then why did you call me to the park?” “Forgot about Mom’s work!” replied Shweta while walking away. Reena doubted Shweta’s sudden exit. Slowly walking, Reena, in thoughts, left the park too.
It was Geometry exam the next day. Sagar: Thanks Reena for teaching me constructions. Also, we have discussed every chapter. Let’s revise everything.
Reena: I have to do the extra sums.
Sagar: But, they don’t ask out of the book questions.
Reena: I have to be prepared extra if I have to beat Garima.
Sagar: It’s already late. You can’t complete all the extra questions before morning.
Reena: I will give it my all. I will at least go through the extra sums and then revise the book.
Sagar was scared when he saw Reena study all day long. He doubted his own preparations. To avoid his lack of confidence, he told Reena that he will study on his own for the remaining exams. He was happy with his academics. He did not want to disturb his contentment with the marks he used to get. He was not interested in Reena’s commitment to work hard. He started losing interest in her. The top status of Reena never baffled him but rather now he was disturbed by it.
Reena thought, ‘I will show them all. Sagar cannot digest my will to shine. It hurts him. Even Shweta seems to be affected with envy on my status.’ Reena worked overtime. She managed to beat Garima in UT3. She was very proud of herself. She invited Shweta to the park for some time pass in the evening.
Shweta: Nobody cares who comes first in exams. It’s great to be on top. But you are taking it too seriously. You have programmed yourself too much into academics. You will only lose smartness and not gain anything.
Reena: Don’t worry. This is not as serious as you think.
The two enjoyed chatting for some time. Reena knew the genuineness of Shweta’s friendship. She was happy with her achievement but it was true that the UT3 had exhausted her.
Reena’s uncle: Drop this packet in the post box while going to school.
Reena: I don’t remember any post box coming in the way.
Reena’s uncle: It is near the Hanuman temple. You have not seen it even once!
Reena: Ok, I will get it done.
After some time Reena comes back finding no post box.
Reena: Come on, there is a rashan store, Vicky ice cream shop, a few more shops. Where the hell is the post office!
Reena’s uncle: Oh God! Girl, I am talking about the red post box, not the office. Come, I will show you.
Reena’s uncle takes her to the post box, the opposite corner of the temple. “What, you are a topper! And I have to come with you for this little thing!” said Reena’s uncle in a taunting way.
But this was the eye opener for Reena. She was paying too high a cost just for being on top.