The Annual School Day functions had not begun yet. My daughter pointed out her friends sitting on the other side. Her whole class and their parents were sitting there.
“Let us go there, Amma”, insisted my daughter Vani.
I hesitated. I didn’t know most of them. But we went and sat there, anyways.
“Anyone knows of any good guitar classes” came a loud voice from somehwere
“Rani, try Mathew sir. I’ll Whatsapp you the number. He’ll come to your place and teach.”
They were all discussing about studies, homework and other activities with each other. Most of them knew each other, as they meet everyday while picking up and dropping the kids to school.
Vani goes to school by van. So I hardly knew anyone there, including her teachers.
I felt like a total stranger. Vani had gone off to chat with her classmates. I tried to smile and make eye-contact with a few ladies sitting near me, but they were too engrossed in their discussion to notice my attempts.
Just then, someone tapped on my shoulder from behind. I turned and smiled.
The lady, clad in a heavily embroidered saree, introduced herself as Srilakshmi, Myhtili’s mom.
“I’m Vani’s mom, Sumitra”
For a few moments I wondered – when I was a child, people knew me as Mr. V’s daughter, after marriage as Mrs.K and now I’m introducing myself as Vani’s mom!!!
I relaised that Srilakshmi was asking me something.
“What all extra curricular classes is Vani going?”, she repeated.
“She goes to dance classes on weekends. How about Myhtili ?”
“Myhtili has music classes on Monday and Wednesday, dance class on Saturday. Its a one and a half hour class. She attends Mental Math class on Tuesday and English Grammar class on Friday. I am planning to put her in Chess class on Sunday.”
“Oh!”, I exclaimed. I couldn’t think of any better response. I was wondering how that poor kid was managing all these classes, when her mom added, “you know she is free on Thursday evenings. I was just asking around everyone so that I can put her in some class on Thursday too. Do you have any suggestions?”
“Well..”, I stammered, overwhelmed by the sheer number of classes an 8-year old was attending, “maybe she can play on Thursday evenings.”
“Ah! That is a brilliant idea” she responded totally misunderstanding my words, “I have to find a good piano class for her.”
“By the way”, she asked almost as an afterthought, “what does Vani do on weekdays, after school?”
“She cycles, plays with friends, waters her potted plants, chases butterflies, sometimes paints or draws and does just about anything she likes.”
“No, she does not attend any classes, nor do I have any plans of enrolling her in any”, I added angrily before she could ask me.
“The Annual Day functions will commence soon….” came the announcement.
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