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I saved the class from punishment

I saved the class from punishment
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I studied at Mount Carmel Convent High School, Pune. I was the naughtiest girl in the school and all my teachers and Principal remember for my pranks. ...

Former Miss India-World Pooja Chopra recalls how she locked up her teacher in the washroom to bail out her class which had skipped the Science homework that day

I studied at Mount Carmel Convent High School, Pune. I was the naughtiest girl in the school and all my teachers and Principal remember for my pranks. The teacher made me the monitor in Class VIII only because she thought at least that way I would mind the class and not make noise. But during the free hours, I used to close the classroom door and make my classmates sing, dance and play. They all loved me for that and voted for me as class monitor in the subsequent classes as well.

Once we had to do Science homework and none of us in the class had done it. I already had too many bad remarks in the diary; I didn’t want to get another, especially since I was the class leader. I went down to the staff room before her class could start. The moment I entered the room, she went inside the washroom. I waited for her to come out so that I could talk to her and gently knocked the door. Meanwhile, I had a wicked thought and I silently locked the door from outside and ran to my classroom. I pretended as if I knew nothing. My friend was tensed that she would be punished for not doing homework. I assured her that the teacher wouldn’t come. Five minutes before the class ended, my teacher came to our class worn out and in a paranoid state of mind. She apologised for coming late to the class and told us to show her the homework the next day. I saved the whole class from punishment. I confessed about this incident after I passed out of school. She freaked out, but admitted it was indeed hilarious.

Whenever we had an open meeting, my Principal used to tell my mother that if I had been poor in academics, she would have expelled me from school. Despite the naughtiness, I was good at studies. I have a Hitler sister who is seven years older to me and is very strict when it comes to studies. She used to hit me if I didn’t study. I used to bunk tuitions too. I had all the freedom to be naughty at school and tuition. At home, my mother and sister controlled me. Once, I was caught red-handed in a garden when I bunked my tuition. I had told my teacher that I was going out with my sister. My teacher saw me and called my sister and the moment I saw her, I froze. She tweaked my ears and asked me ‘Kya bola tu ne teacherji ko’. She dragged me home.

Whenever the class was noisy, the teacher would shout out my name and asked me to keep quiet. I would ask my mother why my teachers always blamed me if the class is noisy. She told me that I was the brain behind all the pranks and that’s the reason my teacher called out my name. What I am today is all because of the teachers who moulded me. My Class IV and V teachers helped me get rid of my stage fear by making me recite poems on the stage.

I did my graduation from Ness Wadia College, Pune. In my college days, we were a gang of 13. We used to bunk classes and sit at Café Coffee day and McDonalds. We used to park our vehicles at the college itself so that even if my sister or mother came to college to check, they would see the vehicle and think that I was inside studying. I’ve always been a prankster and still am. I love being what I am. When I grow old, I have so many memorable moments to think about and laugh about.

(As told to Purnima Sriram)

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