It usually goes Karma is a B****. But given how Karma can wave her magic wand and bite you back any moment she wants I would like to call her a Witch. Because, a witch she is. Vile and cunning, but justified; making you think your evil plans are on the winning side, when in actual fact, she’s got the Champion’s trophy all the while.
And I learnt this at a really really young age.
I was probably in 5th grade. Or 4th, maybe? The older I was, the the more embarrassed I feel about myself.
It was one of those periods when the teacher was unavailable and had let the class monitors to ‘mind’ the classroom. There were two of them, a girl and a boy. We were all supposed to just lie down with our heads on the desk and stay still like corpses. So still that you could hear the sound of a pin dropping on the floor. ‘Pin drop silence’ they said together.
I was too busy recalling events of the past few days when I had had a silly spat with one of my friends that I was no longer close to. About having made a new friend, as a matter of fact. It was really silly, but my friend thought otherwise, and had thought her mom could resolve it, making her come talk to me which made it seem like a huge scene, at least for a 10 year old me. Her mom’s advice? I honestly don’t remember. Because as I said, the whole thing was too silly to be a significant memory.
All I remember is how pissed I was. That me making new friends had been made such a big deal. Especially when this victim friend of mine was also equally responsible because she had also chosen to hang out with another new girl. What annoyed me the most was that she had involved her mom in it. ‘Fight your own battles, and fairly’ I wanted to yell.
Silly school fights.
Now, sitting in this free period, with my head on the desk and a pencil in my hand, all I could think of was how I would get back at this victim friend of mine. How I could make her pay for all the trouble she had caused.
Silly. But evil. Seriously, I could be a real evil genius, when I intended to, as a kid.
The devil started its business in my idle mind. Take a piece of paper, write ‘I love you, A’ and place it in the victim friend’s pencil pouch, I thought. A, being the boy monitoring the class right then. Sounded like a brilliant idea to me, that would get a person in just the right amount of trouble, because love letters were a big deal and inappropriate according to our teachers. I wrote it down on a piece of paper with as little movement as possible, so as to not attract attention. I was sitting at the end of the bench on the last row. So every time any of the monitors passed by I would crush the paper in my fist, because I was still considering how it would play out. How much trouble she would get in, and IF I should let it happen. I just wanted her to get a good earful from whichever teacher got to address this issue.
Nothing more, nothing less.
My reckoning of the pros and cons went on for so long that I lost track of it and unknowingly left the piece of paper on my desk, with my head still on the desk pondering about the loopholes in my evil plan.
I suddenly felt a hand snatching away the little note, and I saw the girl monitor, let’s say B, reading it. As it would have happened, B happened to be my numero uno nemesis at school. What fun is school without a few nemeses, right?
Her eyes went wide and she gaped at me. ‘Ooh la la’ she said, like she had just got the juiciest bit of information a 5th grader could ever possibly get. Okay, she didn’t say ‘Ooh la la’, but her expression did. She clearly thought that I was in love with A. I don’t think we were enlightened enough to call it a ‘crush’. It was love.
Karma, and her timing.
At that moment, I felt like I had just failed the year and had to inform my parents about it. (I used to be among the top 5 scorers in the class)
Wrong piece of information in the wrong person’s hand. Oh, all the firecrackers she could have burst with that information. All the trouble I could get in. An occasionally devout kid that I was, I began praying and swearing to myself that I would never do anything evil again. Never cause no harm. Just don’t cause harm to me, I prayed. It barely calmed my nerves. It felt like a volcano had erupted inside my head, and my ears were feeling the heat. I started imagining which one of the teachers would get to deal with this.
God, not my favorite teacher!
Any moment she could go to the teacher and get me the earful that was intended for my victim friend.
Instead, she gave the chit back and walked away with one eyebrow raised and a smirk on her face.
I tore it immediately. Destroy all evidence.
The class ended, the next teacher arrived soon and began with her teaching.
Days later, nothing had still happened. I’m not exaggerating when I say we both were nemeses. It wasn’t for one academic year or two. We always walked past each other like strangers not exchanging glances, despite being in the same class. We had the same relationship for almost all the 10 years we spent in that school, except on few occasions when we had a couple of amicable conversations that upgraded the status to short term frenemies. It had began as a lackluster effort on her part to bully me when I first joined her class, and on my part to defy her and her group of friends who were constantly the teachers’ pets and subsequently the class monitors. The war between the first benchers and the last benchers. She also happened to be a contender for the top scorer in the class. It was a 10 years long cold war.
Yet, when given a ripe opportunity to get me in trouble, and rightfully so, she had walked away from it. She was supposed to be a villain! That’s how it works, right? You are the hero, because your life is your story. Any person you dislike, even remotely, automatically becomes the antagonist. Her random act of undeserved kindness had just caused an imbalance to how the whole hero – villain equation worked. For all I know, she could have told all her friends, but seeing that there was not even as much as a rumor of that sort I believed that she had just let it go. All I could do was thank my luck and pledge to not do such a thing ever again.
We remained archenemies in spite of that, but we ended up having respect for each other over the years. Not that we ever admitted it to each other, save for one isolated occasion when we all had been selected for a quiz contest in a different school and she admitted that her usually stern mom allowed her to attend only because she had heard that I was also on the team. (Most teachers and parents included me in the ‘good kids’ list)
My victim friend and I continued to drift apart with more intent than two north poles of two magnets repelling each other, and the new friend that I made went on to become one of my best friends and my oldest friend to date.
As for me, I just got my first ever lesson on karma and how her plans are always two steps ahead of our best laid evil plans.