Saturday, September 13, 2014

First Day at School


Mother said, “Find a school for him. Get him admitted”
“Is he not too young for school? He is hardly four” asked father.
He is old enough. Public school will take him in kinder garten
How is he going to go to school and come back? It is so far away” Those days two kilometers was considered very far.  There were not many cars, public transport was an illusion, schools did not have transport.
Many kids are going. Some even from this area. He can walk to school with them” Mother was tough and determined.

So one day, which was considered auspicious enough,  little boy took off with his father. They walked pass the petrol pump, big pond behind Rajbari, tennis court and a few more milestones before reaching the school gates. He saw Shivani masi, tenant at the ground floor of Rajbari, spreading her clothes to dry. She smiled at him and said, “first day at school, baby?”. He smiled but did not answer. He had many questions of his own,

I shall be here all day, baba?”
“Yes, till the school ends in the afternoon”.
“How will I go home, baba?”
“Today mother will come and   pick you up”
“Are they going to beat me, baba?”
“No, they are going to teach you many things”
“What am I going to eat, baba?”
“Why, mother has packed food for you to eat at lunch time”

Together they went into head mistresse’s office. She was a stern looking woman in her late forties or early fifties. Not  that he could guess her age correctly at the ripe old age of four. Head Mistress aske him “what is your name?
Tell your name”.
He was reluctant. Murmured something inchorrently. No body could understand what he said.
speak up son” said father.
But he did not. Headmistress asked, “Is he shy? Does he not talk often?” “ Very talkative  at home. May be nerveous in new place”.said father. Head mistress called for the ayah to take the new boy to his class.

The boy saw his father leave. Walking back the way they had come. Now he was going back alone. How the boy longed to be with him on this trek back. How is he going to survive in this big school, in his new class. He did not know many children. He missed lazy mornings and afternoons at home. Chasing butterflies and watching squirrels running around like busybodies. He longed for post lunch nap by his mother. He wanted to be home.


 Little did he realise he has taken the first step of a very very long journey that will span a large part of his life. He will break many old bonds and create new ones. Life will move on.

Tags: Admission, Ayah, Head Mistress, Kinder Garten, Public School
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