Those days I was in college.
In one of the class tests, friends in the front benches were copying from each other. It was Stats paper. The teacher came suddenly and they got nervous. The paper they wanted to pass dropped on my knees. The teacher immediately snatched my paper, suspecting I was cheating. Insulted to the hilt, I left the room.
My HOD found me with red eyes and asked what happened. He was very affectionate. I told him. Later I figured, the teacher thought I had complained against her. It only made things worse.
I had never been so humiliated. In front of the class she threatened that my paper will be scrapped. I lashed back, feel free to do that...I will approach my finals for 80 marks; do watch out for my score.
After that I attended her classes but my face said it all. I literally cried when the final results were out. I scored 94. Which means, I had scored well out of 80, but the teacher hadn't scrapped my 20 marks paper either.
She was not my favourite teacher; as a student I never considered her my inspiration. But looking back, I feel she triggered my vengeance and extracted my best to the extent that whether I copied or no, became irrelevant.
Only the success stayed. And the memory, the learning, the gratitude.