“Tomorrow is the last date. You listen to me? Tomorrow is the last freaking date ”
My friend who owns a French coaching institute told me.
This last date he was referring was the date of last batch starting of the season. I had a long desire to learn French. In fact all of the languages possible, but the things didn’t work well for me. Studying a new language after tiresome daily office work haunted me. But the other side of me wanted to learn all of it.
“Not this time Sudeep, I got no time” I replied slowly.
I knew he would be furious. This was the third time now that I have asked him to book a seat for me in the batch and then leaving it at the last moment.
“You’re just impossible man. “ He seemed to show no concern this time. Maybe he was accustomed with that.
“Any way I’m leaving now. Can you pick up my daughter from Sheetal aunty’s home?” he asked.
“Sure. But what she’s got to do with Sheetal Aunty. Didn’t she use to work as a maid at your home? And she lives all alone past the town”. I triggered a rapid fire round with him.
He didn’t answer me properly and left to work.
I went to pick up Sneha. She’s a very sweet girl.
“Why do daddy always drop you here with aunty? ” I asked her while driving back home. She didn’t reply. I asked her again.
“ Because I want to meet her. Promise me that you won’t tell dad. ” That interested me. I mean what would a tiny 3rd grade girl would have to keep secrets from her dad.
“I promise. Tell me why Sneha” I asked.
“ 10 more chocolates please” she said, “ a fair deal, no?”
I chuckled. “I’ll get you 20.”
“ Dad thinks I come here after school every Friday and Saturday.” She looked up into my eyes and said.
I raised my eyebrows demanding further explanation.
“ But I bunk school every Friday and Saturday and come here, to spend more time with her.” She said hesitantly.
I wasn’t shocked at this. Kids normally do stuff and hide from parents. I acted like it wasn’t a big deal to bunk school to make her comfortable and not to frighten her.
“Oh that’s fine sweetheart. I used to bunk school as well. I didn’t like school as well like you.” I said.
“ But I like school. I like books, I like maths, I like science. I love being there.”
“Then why do you bunk the school? “ I asked.
“ I come here to teach aunty. She is my student and she calls me little teacher ” she smiled proudly.
I smiled back and said, “ So little teacher, what do you teach her?”
“ Every thing they teach me in class. Aunty is so poor that she can’t go to school and she has to work as well, so I teach her everything. I bunk school and she bunks her work. She is learning English so fast. She wrote one letter for her son as well.”
“Where does her son live?” I asked.
“I don’t know. She says he lives with god. Do you know where does god live?”
“ No, I don’t know.” I said.
“What has she written in it ?” I couldn’t hold my curiosity and asked after a while of silent drive.
“She thanks him in the letter. I am going to deliver it for her when I meet him.” she said.
We didn’t talk about her after that. I dropped her home and came back to work. But I couldn’t get this conversation out of my mind.
How selfless a little girl can be?
And we, we are all obsessed with ourselves.
Her only student was five times her age, but still it didn’t matter at all when sharing knowledge. You could be a teacher, teach someone who needs it, teach someone something valuable, not just studies, but a way to live a better life.
And when you have to learn, you learn even without resources. Will Power is enough.