After all misadventures, 9th grade finally came to an end. 10th was actually a milestone in a student’s life, firstly 10th marks card is the only educational proof which also has date of birth, so what you score there  will be noticed from time to time, although involuntarily and no one gives a flying fuck about your scores, as they are only concerned about what you earn and if your choices are acceptable by the undefined standards that the society has set, secondly, for its one of the filtering mechanism used during final year college placements, if you score less than 60percent, it’s confirm that you will spend a year or two as an unemployed graduate(with exceptions). As 10th grade is  largely overrated, our tuitions commenced during vacation itself, there were a bunch of morons who had started preparing for IIT-JEE exams which were  3 years away, but finally ended up doing engineering in some random engineering college and a random IT job in  some random IT company . Darshan, Indrajith and I were regular trouble makers, to spice it further Sashwat also joined our tutorials much to the delight of Darshan. 

All that mattered to me was Spandana continued our tutorials, that was something I was happy and few students from the school where I studied my primary had also joined, whom I hated as they belonged to that school, nothing personal, it was something I despised. 

It was April 2006, we used to have 4 hours of intense tutorial classes in morning and 2 hrs in evening. Physics was my strength, Chemistry and Mathematics were do-able, but I sucked big time in Biology, not that the subject was hard, I had made-up my mind that I would take engineering and Biology was not required for engineering entrance called CET, but developed an interest in microbiology few years later, so paid less attention to it. Amidst the lessons and our madness, my eyes would always end up scanning for Spandana’s eyes, she always sat resting her back to the wall and beside Shravya, I was always made to sit in the front near the board and would make myself comfortable by resting my back on the wall which was perpendicular to the wall on which Spandana used to rest, thereby ensuring clear eye contact. She would joke often, while her Kannada had traces of coastal Kannada influences which was kind of attractive, I would try mimicking coastal Kannada accent while I spoke to prove a point that even I had coastal Karnataka roots so as to impress her, but in reality I never could speak in that accent.

Our class used to have a friendly environment , our class teacher would joke often and make learning more fun. Sashwat was the butt of all jokes, I was a bit more harsh on him in my involuntary attempts to grasp Spandana’s attention. After classes we all would hang around for a while in the street corner, making fun of each other. This would some unknown reasons would bother an old lady who lived in the house on that street corner, she complained it to our class teacher about the cacophony and when we ignored his warning and continued our merry making, she complained it to cops, one day a SI and a constable came in a bullet and shooed us all away. While escaping on our cycles, I signaled Darshan to meet me in the parallel street, he did as I had told, “what?”, He asked, I looked at the ground and replied “I think am in love”, he started laughing hard and asked ” Baldwin’s chick?” I blushed and responded “no, it’s Spandana”. He laughed harder and said “Asshole, accepted it finally”.


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