Something always stops you somehow…

…from forgiving snitches.

Sometimes when I relive rare and typical moments of school memory lanes, it often ends up bittersweet. Today I got an FB friend request from an old forgotten classmate. I hated her. Not only was a goody-two shoes teacher’s pet, one day she shouted out in class that I’d forgotten my notebook and was actually writing notes in rough note book, causing me to be beaten on my knuckles with a wooden ruler. I remember ambushing her to a bathroom, delivering a punch on the nose and running off, scared stiff. For some reason and to my great relief, she never complained. But we remained enemies throughout school. 

Trust me, the beatings/canings were really not that big a deal. I used to get them on a daily basis from both school and ‘madrasa’ (Islamic studies class). Often these beatings were, thanks to darling snitches that seemed to be buzzing around everywhere. 

Every day I used to make an oath – Today there won’t be any trouble with teachers or students. But it always happened. Either there would be punishments for speaking Malayalam or forgotten homework or tiffs with classmates or something else.

I think my sense of independence and eccentric love for freedom were literally molded by these snitches only. Because my bitterness and anger with the situation predictably led me to have thoughts like, ‘why do teachers listen to what kids say in matters like these', 'why can't people mind their own ass for a change' etc. 

I remember in my class 8, a girl was caught n a date by teachers. Her best friend snitched probably thinking she was doing a great social service. The drama followed was horrendous. More rules in an already too-strict convent school, parents meetings, endless discussions, tears… In short, the girl’s reputation was ruined. Everybody shunned her. Treated her like a criminal. Yea, like nobody remotely even heard of the concept of dating! She shifted to another school.

Kids can be pretty cruel. I agree with whoever said this. 

Then a reversal of roles happened. I became a teacher’s pet. 3 teachers, in fact. One was the most formidable, another was the coolest and the third was an ice cold exterior with a golden heart if you dig deeper. Of course being noticed for something other than trouble was quite nice for a change. That was when I finally accepted that teachers too are human. I got my chance to snitch as I had teachers practically hanging on my words. But it somehow wouldn’t come. Even about my enemies. That was one of the proudest moments. YES, I was loyal to my classmates even though I'm not friends with half of them. 

After 10th I was glad to go to a new school, where rules were relaxed. But there was no escaping from snitches of course. Someone reported me climbing over the wall behind canteen and bunking school on a regular basis. TROUBLE. And I still don’t know who was as jobless as that. But after that snitches never directly affected me. Though I hardly know most of my classmates even now, I was vaguely aware that tattlers were causing many dramas in people’s lives. Teachers actually appointed spies to find out the petty things going on in class, usually dating and such. And if enough proof was collected, parents were summoned. YEA… this happened. 

I myself was a witness to my class teacher publicly humiliating a parent because his daughter was seeing someone. I mean, what were we supposed to do? Ignore the guys' charm and pretend to be asexual? Sorry, I don't think that girls are made like that. Then WHAT exactly? I'm still clueless.

One thing, college was a completely snitch-free zone. May be because teachers care two hoots about the supposed dating or bunking or boozing. May be because students have each others’ back whether they like each other or not. May be everybody had a life. May be ‘they’ finally accepted that we are adults (though I somehow doubt it). 

Now in work life, snitching is not that uncommon, though people do it stealthily and subtly. Yet we all deal with it admirably, being calm, composed and smiley. Well, we are professionals after all.