Quite surprisingly, endsems haven’t taken a toll on me. I have been sleeping at about 3 in the morning everyday, waking up at 8, and yet, I feel perfectly normal. Thanks to some sleep in the afternoon, nothing out of the ordinary has happened. I was gazing at the ceiling lying on my bed thinking of what to blog on. Having got two holidays before the next endsems, I certainly can afford to blog for sometime.

This happened to me when I was in my 10th standard. In my school, whenever I was to receive any appreciation for my “contribution” to scouting movement, I would end up making fool out of myself. To receive a certificate, as a scout, you are expected to march down the stage, facing sideways to the audience, go across the stage, make a perfect left turn in front of the principal, move one step forward, a scout salute (three fingers) and a traditional scout left hand shake and then only you are the proud owner f the certificate. Of the three-four times I have received any certificate of appreciation for scouting, inevitably, every time I would make a mistake in one of the steps above. The most common one being the right hand shake instead of the left hand shake. Of course many would make the same mistake. But in my patrol, I used to be the only one.

This incident is not about me receiving the certificate or anything, but about the camp itself. My presidents’ testing camp was held in KV Pangode in Tiruvananthapuram. A scout is smart, so they say. The smartness comes in the way they press their uniforms, the way they polish their shoes, the way they move around confidently etc etc. With all the arrogance in me, I decided to pack the uniforms for the camp myself. It was the first day of my camp. Into the holiday mood, and with all the enthusiasm on first day of the camp, it was a quite jubilant scene in the class room we were allowed to stay.

All of us were wearing uniforms and I took out my shoes. What I saw was two shoes, which don’t make a pair. One of them was a Bata make and other one was Action make. They were indeed of different sizes, 8 and 9. Both were black all right, but one had a grainy finish and other was plain. I took me nearly five minutes to realize that no one was playing a prank on me but it was all my foolishness. Fortunately, one was for the left foot and the other right foot. Having absolutely no choice, I had to resort to getting ridiculed by my friends and wear those pair of shoes.

Well, only friend from my school, whom I had told about my shoes, noticed the weirdo in me. Students from other schools didn’t notice a thing. One of the scout masters, however, did observe the maniac in different shoes. He went around telling every one about it as I passed by him time and again in the camp. Only a highly observant detective would have noticed it anyway. I was relieved after a day in camp when no outsider was pointing a finger at me.

Needless to say now, that I did not get the President’s award. None in my school did. Fact is, we had no certificates to prove our service oriented minds. But I have a reason to blame my failure on. My shoes. Thinking back, I was quite smart to have walked in the camp with those set of boots on. Surely, one would find such crazy chaps in comedy movies with humour gone haywire; I guess I deserved an award just for that. Scouts are smart, not always. That’s it.

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