In the initial days, they stopped in their tracks to stare at us, say good morning, or simply welcome us strangers into their school. Even we got used to being stared at every now and then. Then I was assigned a class, VI-C. And little did I know, these girls would steal my heart one day.
In the first week, I had this strong urge to know what did they talk amongst themselves, looking at me, and their innocent giggles caught me off guard. On inquiring the reason of their hush hush talks, the monitor, who is always the most confident of the lot, boldly told me- “Ma’am she says you are beautiful.” That made me blush with uneasiness. I feel embarrassed and uncomfortable for some reason whenever called beautiful. Would rather prefer graceful or smart to that. But anyway, as the days passed by, we discussed their English lessons, played games galore, sang, danced, cracked jokes, listened to snippets of each other’s lives, and unknowingly, a strong bond was etched between us all. And as the last day of the observation dawned on me, I realized the time to leave the school and get back to my own University had arrived. I reluctantly bid farewell to my class, my kiddies, as I called them. It was so emotional a moment for me!
I had a pep talk with them, urging them to study hard, keep smiling and do something worthwhile in their life. I advised them to be proud of themselves and remain strong throughout, come what may. They did nod their heads silently, absorbing my every word, hopefully internalizing it. A few of them did come to me, and in soft voices murmuring goodbye’s, hugged me tight and confessed to my delight- “We shall miss you ma’am. Please come to meet us soon.” And I struggled not to sob. And my heart went for a joyride, experiencing a variety of emotions. I couldn’t agree more with Nelly Furtado- Why do all good things come to an end? One last look at my munchkins, with a fervent prayer to the Almighty to bless them, I turned to the Principal’s office, handed over the thankyou letter from our Head of the Department, acknowledging her best wishes for our future, I walked in slow motion towards the gate. One look at the school and I thought how I might not come back here, but they shall always remain in my heart, as a reminder of how life is beautiful, given to us to soak in all the love, attention, loyalty and blessings we collect while journeying ahead.
Inspired from Louisa May Alcott’s title, I hope my “Little Women” shine bright in their lives and do us womenfolk proud someday. Amen to that!