It was the Parents Teacher meeting of my class 12th, and as always my Dad was accompanying me. With me always being one amongst the top three rankers of my class since the late childhood, my Dad had got used to praises from the teacher during such meetings, which was quite gratifying experience for me as well as my Dad. But that time, the case had been pretty different. I had performed dismally in almost all the subjects except Maths, and my class rank had crawled down to stand amongst the bottom fews.
Those days, the mighty preparation for JEE with numerous everyday assignments and test-papers left me completely enervated to concentrate on the school studies and thus, the result was more or less expected. But, I feared that my Dad would feel bad about it and might scold me, since he didn't know how much pressure the studies for JEE had on me. As we entered the class-room, my class-teacher immediately stood up from her chair and with a worried look on her face, approached my father.
'Mr.Pathak, your son is going nowhere. See the decline,' she said, pointing at the dismal marks in different subjects, 'the highest is 99 out of 100 in Chemistry and Harsh has got just 67. His rank has slid down to 24th, from 2nd in 11th class. This is not what we expect from him. He's certainly not studying. He's lost his spark.'
My Dad looked at me with a serious face. I was expecting a reprimand, a reproach echoing my teacher's words, to hit my ears.
'Madam, don't you worry about Harsh. He's working hard, I can assure you. He will do better the next time. And mind it, he has not lost his spark. It's right there.' My Dad said with a reassuring smile as his palm caressed my head softly.
The teacher was dumbstruck. She had nothing more to say. Handing over the report card, she moved back to her chair and greeted other parents. My Dad put his arms around my shoulder and asked, as he always used to do when I secured a rank, in a delighted tone, 'So, which ice-cream do you want to have - butterscotch or chocolate chips?'
I looked into his eyes, smiled and blinked. I had butterscotch, with two drops of tears, thereafter.
One year later, I topped the boards as well as cleared the JEE. That time, he had butterscotch, with two drops of tears.
Written for Indiblogger's Happy Hours conducted for Housing.com's new lookup. Check it here: https://housing.com/lookup