I was not exactly a born leader. In fact, I was not even close to it.
When I was studying in fifth standard, one of our teachers formed groups of four and appointed leaders for each group (among the four members). We have to study, they will ask questions and we need to answer them during one period. In my group, one girl was made the leader. I was irked because I had got a better rank than her in the recent examinations. I went and enlightened the teacher about this fact and asked her why I was not made the leader.
To this, she replied that my handwriting was pathetic and the girl who was selected had better leadership skills than me! So, that was my leadership credentials till then. But what did my handwriting have to do with that? Anyways,
Fast forward. It was sixth standard and elections were introduced in our class to select the class leader. But no one actually came forward to contest. So, our new class teacher asked the students to give some names who they wanted to become the leader.
During this time, and most others, I was as usual in my blissful state of imagination and dream world. Ah, those student days…… Suddenly, my name was put forward and the teacher asked me to stand up. I stood, and other students were asked to vote. Damn, almost the whole class voted for me! Two more names were called after me and they did not even come close to my performance.
The teacher innocently made me the class leader! Having no idea of what this ‘duty’ would entail, I too innocently started minding the class (during the period when a teacher leaves and another teacher arrives).
So, whenever I wrote some names on the board, the teacher who comes in, sees it and scolds those students for being talkative or sends them out for that period. But immediately after that, those guys will come up to me and say, ‘I thought we were friends’, and look so sad and make me feel so guilty that I subsequently came to believe that I was a betrayer of friendship by writing their names on the board!
Obviously the class was not quiet at all (during my ‘minding’). I should make a special mention about the assistant class leader, who got the second highest number of votes. I have never seen this girl come out of her place to mind the class in my entire leadership career of 3 months! Once I got irritated and looked at her firmly. She was busy talking with her friend but looked back at me. I gestured to imply, ‘Come and Mind the class’. She gestured back by shaking her head and went back to talking!
Somehow, this torture lasted for three months. Then one day I went to the class teacher and offered my resignation. The second time, she chose the class leader by herself. Teachers do learn fast!
After a few years, I thought about why the students elected me as their leader. Did they think I was capable? Did they think I was extremely good at this job? Did they think I was a born leader whose skills were somehow hiding all the while?
Obviously not. They elected me because they can have all the fun and I will not come in their way. How insightful, even at sixth standard the students knew how exactly to make democracy work for them!
When ever I think of this incident, I always think – If sixth standard students were so clever, how clever would the 18+ year old citizens who could vote in the elections, be?
These articles (Category: My Autobiography) are a part of my marketing efforts to sell my Autobiography which I will write after 31 years (When I am 60 years old). It will come out in the name of ‘Destination Infinity’ – So, please buy it then