All those who have been to High School that it is impossible to pass through high school without acquiring a collection of nicknames. One such nickname which I was often teased by was ‘Hermione’ (from the Harry Potter books), and my last birthday gift from one of my friends was a Hermione figurine-key chain. I didn’t mind this particular nickname as much as I minded some others. Hermione is the favourite character of 90% of all Harry Potter fans, and definitely falls on the list of Top 5 favourite characters of all others. This might also be due to Emma Watson’s good looks though – detailed research is needed.
Here is a list of my 7 quintessential behaviour (there are lots more, but my readers’ patience is limited and seven is THE MAGICAL NUMBER according to Harry Potter) that earned me the sobriquet:
1. I always had a tonne of books with me wherever I went. Throughout my school life, I have spent a majority of my recesses in the library, poring over literary volumes. My poor friends had to track me down there, if and when they wanted to talk to me, and converse with me under the pointed glares of the librarian and her constant shush-ing; and in all probability I would be so lost in the book that I wouldn’t be listening either. I have spent most of my P.T. periods leaning against the pillars in the balcony and reading books too. Even on those rare occasions when I could be dragged out into the playground, I would be found on the swing, reading a book. Inducing me to play, like inducing Hermione to fly on a broom, is an activity fraught with peril. I remember one fateful Games period when our coach forced me onto the pitch with a bat in hand and a runner in tow. All I had to do was hit the ball with the bat. The runner would get my team runs. The first ball was a wide. On the second, I swung the ball hard and hit — my runner hard on the forehead. My classmates left me in my books in peace from then on.
2. My Hand was constantly up in class. I am not even kidding. Sometimes I would raise my hand even before the teacher had framed the question. It grew to a point where teachers started completing their questions with anyone else besides….yours truly…
3. My Marks were usually over the average. You know how there are some students whom you seek out after exams to ask their scores so that you can know exactly how well you have done? Yeah, I am one of those.
4. I have lectured teachers. If there is one thing I can’t stand it is incompetent teachers and bad teaching. The next generation depends on teachers. They can’t afford to be lazy. The number of fights I have had over teachers who made mistakes in class would fill a volume. Some common topics were — Kolkata is on the sea side – it isn’t!; Ammonia cannot be liquid and other such errors.
5. I do not care how I look. Why? It is simply time consuming. I may wear make-up and make an effort to brush my hair on special occasions say the Yule Ball but otherwise it is just too much effort. I would rather study or read books.
6. I have asked teachers for extra homework. I like studying. Seriously I do. It is fun to learn stuff, like exploring dimensions you never knew about. To me it is an adventure. So, yes, after finishing my class work and home assignments, I have spent time asking teachers for extra work. I have taken more subjects than anyone else too. While we were required to take only five papers for graduation, I insisted and took six.
7. I have fought hard for what I believe in, and always stood by my friends. Arts students should be allowed to study science subjects, and vice-versa. I fought so many battles over that with my principal, and finally became the only student to opt for subjects from both streams. And the extra effort I spent in studying for them were amply rewarded in my marks that only proved my point. You might be now wondering how such a nerdy, geeky person like me ever have friends – simple, I am also very loyal. You tell me a secret, no one else will ever hear of it. You need my help, you just need to ask. My friends mean a lot to me, and are perhaps the only people for whom I would keep the book aside.