I was studying in the 1st standard. Our science teacher gave us a surprise test. I tried to answer all questions correctly. After the corrected notebooks were returned, I found that the teacher had incorrectly marked one of my answers as incorrect. I was sure that I was correct. So, I showed it to the girl sitting next to me and declared innocently, "This answer is correct. But she doesn't know. She is stupid."
When she went to collect her notebook, she informed the teacher about what I had just said. The teacher was offended and asked me to stand outside the class. Our principal was passing through the corridor and she was surprised to see me standing outside. She asked what I did and I said that I called our teacher stupid. She asked me to apologize.
I didn't know how to do that. I started recollecting from Hindi movies. The villian would fall at someone's feet and cry, "Mujhe maaf kar do. Please, mujhe maaf kar do."[*] I thought, "I can't do this. I can't fall at her feet. That would be very embarrassing. I said that she was stupid and I was right. Why should I fall at her feet?" I refused to apologize, inspite of repeated warnings and requests. I was simply not ready to fall at her feet and do the drama.
The matter escalated and I was asked to leave that place. I was taken to the reception area. I was not allowed to attend any classes. I sat there crying the whole day. Visitors came and enquired why I was crying. I explained. Before the final bell rang, a complaint was registered in my diary and my parents were asked to meet the principal next day.
The next day, my parents met the principal. Thankfully, it went well. She explained how she was impressed with my innocence and honesty. It seemed as if she had called my parents only to praise me. I grew up to be wiser and humbler. Now, I understand that falling at someone's feet is not the only way to apologize.