Many a young parents who leave their young children in pre nursery schools and crèches while leaving for their places of works, little realize the enormity of task of the teacher. Even though the kids spend just a few hours, the teachers who handle them have to keep them engaged using all their wits. I am narrating a short story of a typical day in one such school where Mrs Chandra works. Hope you will appreciate the great contribution made by her in managing these children for just few hours.
The moment she entered the class , little Chandni who was decked up as a doll walked up to greet Mrs Chandra, ‘ Good morning Maa’m, ‘ She said in a very cute voice as she handed over a lovely fresh rose she had brought. Mrs Chandra bends down her small frame to hug her. There is a huge noise of something falling followed with a shrill cry. She turned around to see, little Varun wailing like a banshee with a small trickle of blood oozing from a cut near the lip. ‘Mansi quickly get some cotton and Dettol from the cupboard’, shouted Mrs Chandra as she rushed towards Varun. Amber had pushed him when Varun was trying to keep his bag on the table. Diya who was the self appointed leader of the class came running with a water bottle in hand to assist Mrs Chandra and offered it to Varun trying, to console him. A bell rang indicating it was prayer time for the children to assemble in the foyer. Mrs Chandra escorted the children where a 15 minute prayer and a patriotic song would be sung. ‘Where is Umesh? ‘She enquired from Mansi who was the maid attached with Mrs Chandra. Her attention was diverted as she found Vibha and Prateek cuddling in the corner. They were enacting young couple in love and had pronounced the previous day of their intention to marry. She furiously told them to stop hugging, as crestfallen young lovers parted and silently marched to the hall. As Mansi had not succeeded in locating Umesh, Mrs Chandra returned to the class room to find Umesh hiding under the chair. He refused to come out, as those fifteen minutes of prayer time was the most difficult period for him. He could never sit still for more than a few minutes. He wore a very stylish shirt with golden buttons and dark blue jeans with two pink hearts adoring the back pockets. Mrs Chandra held him and virtually dragged him out. She shouted at him like every other day and made him join the group.
The prayer was over and the class returned. Anjali who was working in a NGO, was around twenty four years of age accompanied Mrs Chandra to the class room. She was an invited guest to hold a Drawing competition organized by her office. ‘Children, please wish Anjali,’ she addressed the class. The children got up and in a chorus wished her and sat down. ‘Kya yeh teri mummy hai?’ asked Amber looking playfully at Varun.
Anjali interrupted the conversation, and said’ Children I will give you crayons and paper for you to draw anything you like, and those who do well will get a pastry and pencil box as prize’. ‘Par mujhe to chocolate pastry nahi khane’ Kriti innocently said. ‘Aur mujhe bhi pineapple pastry hahi khani’, added Nidhi. Anjali was foxed and looked towards Mrs Chandra, wondering now what else to offer. Mrs Chandra’s eyes gleamed as she addressed the class again, ’Children, Anjali is no one’s mummy, she is here to conduct a drawing test, and you will get a prize for best drawing’ she tried to clear the air. Next forty minutes produced some of the most imaginative works of art, when Mrs Gupta who was the principal quietly peeped in and entered.
She gave the prize to Chandni for drawing her pet dog, as the bell rang announcing the break for lunch. Anjali thanked the children and while stepping out complimented Mrs Chandra for creditably performing the arduous task of managing the young restless children.