June 29, 2010

My day as a teacher

A Short story
By Prabhavathi.K

My board exams are over and now iam absolutely free for another two months. I Wanted to do something interesting and useful in this vacation.

I got an idea of taking tuitions. which meant ‘0’ investment and plenty of money. so I took a chart and written “TUITION AVAILABLE” using the most creative letters of calligraphy and kept the board outside our gate on one Auspicious day after doing puja.

I spread this news to all my friends and neighbours and eagerly waited for someone to join,but no one seems to turn up as it was vacation time…A week passed…but there was no trace of any student. I was waiting for someone to turn up with a strong hope.But,no one turned up…so I planned for a trip to Ooty .

I need to purchase some cosmetics and costumes for the trip so I went out for shopping at T.Nagar in chennai on Wednesday morning at 10.am with mom.we got down at Usman Road.The stretch from North Usman Road to Ranganathan Street is jam packed with retail outlets as well as pavement shops.Today The scorching sun would have forgotten to wake up from his sleep.It seems that,it was still lying under the Blanket of dark clouds.The day was very pleasant and cool in the absence of sun. I loved to walk on the roads admiring the picturesque rather than traveling by car or auto.it was busy as usual even in vacation time.The groundnut seller was frying peanuts in the kadai filled with sand. an auto walas, motorists, cars and busses passed,stirring up a vast amount of dust on pedestrians.A group of young guys crossed us. a sugarcane juice vendor was busy in his work. I purchased some glass ear rings from the hawker, who displayed his wares on road. it was intricately designed with glass. an ice cream peddler was selling his wares, sounding a bell. Middle aged woman sitting under the gulmohar tree on the Pavement with her basket full of Ice Apples and another women,who sat next to her had spread her mangoes on the sack for sale. a lame man was limping hither –thither begging alms wearing a torn dirty clothes with a broken plate in his hand.I took out five rupees note from my purse and handed it to him. he looked at me gratefully.

We reached The textile showroom The Chennai silks while watching roadside shops.I reached for summer wear section where i would like to buy some cotton wear. I purchased few cotton chudidhars with chikankari work and lucknow work,which comes with tassels on pallu.Then I selected one cotton sari for mom,which has tiny sequins spread all over and the other one with Ribbon embroidery.two set of jeans with fancy embroidery and kundans stitched decoratively and few cotton printed nighties for me and my sister.

After my purchasing I came out of the shop with my mom. I took her to ‘The park hotel’we had a nice meal there. my mom enjoyed the food but shocked with the bill.
‘One family can be fed for a month with this money which you lavishly spent here'. she said in worried tone. She doesn’t know that I want to see her eating there.

I bought a bubbles While coming out of the hotel.I blowed bubbles in the air.It flew high in the air.Blowing bubbles is really a fun.when I tried to poke one of the bubble.
suddenly my mom pulled me aside 'Arey look ma'
I merely escaped a narrow hit by an auto.We hired an auto and reached home at 2 o’clock.

Ramesh,a friend of mine came with his colleague.He was tall with dark complexion.He looked young too.He introduced him and informed me that he wants me to teach his sister spoken English. There was a spark of happiness suddenly spread in my mind.

Meanwhile ‘Ooty trip cancel’ my inner voice roared...

he said 'Hello mam'

‘Hello’ I wished back

‘Mam,Iam Rajesh driving auto.my sister studied in tamil medium school. she is very much interested to learn Spoken English.we joined her in many coaching centres but they didn’t teach her proper English. she is shy girl, so she feels shy to ask any doubts.so she discontinued from there.then i got to know about you through Ramesh and came to meet you.so…’ he stopped with hesitation.

‘Hmmm…I can understand…This happens with many students.’ I told him like a professional teacher.

He added,‘Ramesh told me that you are teaching for working people and college goers so I came here with a hope” he said.

‘Yes i do...’ as I was pleased to hear this in the joy of getting a first student.

‘ma’am,one more thing,my sister is deaf so you have to adjust with her. I will pay whatever you ask’

The word 'Deaf' was a bolt from the sky.I am not a teacher by profession. I just started it as hobby,to earn some money for my personal use.but how can i speak louder for two hours?Its highly impossible for me to speak louder.

'Mam'he called again which brought me back to senses.

‘Thats ok…not an issue. I will take care’ I said and managed a smile while i tried to hide my inner feelings.my situation was worse like a cat on the wall.She was my first student.I cannot say‘I cant take class for her’ which may leave a wrong impression on my career. so however difficult it is... I have to teach her. I made up my mind.so I agreed for the proposal of teaching her, as I always believe in ‘nothing is impossible’

‘so nice of you ma’am…I will bring her in the evening. is that ok for you???’ he asked again in a polite tone.

I suppressed my thoughts and said ‘Hah,sure’ with a smile.

He left wishing me ‘Thank you ma’am’

‘Yeah…’I just turned around the room with the happiness of getting a new student.
How am i going to mange her???this very thought upsetted me.

In the evening.I referred few reference books.I clearly decided what to teach her and how to teach her in simple way so that she can understand easily.I rehearsed for a while.I had a cup of strong coffee to energize me for another two hours.

I cleaned up the hall and dusted the flowers in the vase.arranged the table neatly.
Then I got ready to welcome my first student.At 5 ‘o clock he came with his sister.

‘Come in, Please take your seat’ I said.

They sat on the sofa and he introduced her ‘ma’am,This is my sister Hema. please take care’

‘sure’ I said and smiled at her. she was in wheatish color with a cute round face.
She was wearing half sari in lemon yellow color.Her hair was neatly oiled and plaited wearing jasmine.

She wished ‘good evening ma’am’

I wished back ‘very good evening ma’

‘Mam,I have some work so shall I take leave.’ he asked with the same polite tone.

‘Ok…I will take care of her. you neednt worry’ I told him.

After he left.I don’t know anyone who is deaf earlier. so I wondered how to speak with her.but still I sat next to her and started conversing with her in ordinary asking about her hobbies to make her feel ease.she felt happy and shared her likes,dislikes,favourite movies,and other girly things.she felt my presence happy.I couldn't believe that she is blind.I surprisingly looked at her, but couldn’t find any hearing aid in her ears. I remember her brother say ‘my sister is deaf so kindly adjust with her’.
I Didn’t feel to ask her about it.so I started the class with basic grammar.

I didn’t find any difficulty in teaching her. she was like any other ordinary student.I liked her bubbliness and her interest in learning.She was very clever and fast learner.i felt very comfortable in teaching her.after teaching i asked her to copy notes from the book. she was copying it...

My brother returned from office and switched on the TV in the next room.
He always keeps the TV volume in high mode. it was quite disturbing. if I ask him to reduce the volume then also there wont be any use. so I closed the door.but still I can able to hear the music from the next room.

She looked at me.
I asked her ‘is the TV noise disturbing ma?’

‘No mam.Its not disturbing me,as i cannot hear anything’ she said.
I looked at her puzzled.

‘Mam,I Switched off my hearing aid when I started taking notes. so I didn’t hear anything’ she explained.

I was surprised with her reply.‘What an attitude!!!’i wondered.

‘I always do this mam,whenever my mom starts scolding me no,then I will just switch off my hearing aid and do some work. so that I cannot hear any of her scoldings.she only gets fed up after sometime and give up scolding’she said laughing out.

‘is it???HaHa...sounds interesting’ I admired her sense of humor

‘yes mam,sometimes my brother laughs at me asking, is this scoldings necessary for you???Then I will tell him that I am not wearing hearing aid.

he then tells my mom that she wasted all her energy in scolding me.’ she said with laughter.

'Are you wearing hearing aid'

'yes mam...'she removed it to show me.
she was wearing it behind her ear so that i couldnt able to see that tiny piece.

I too laughed out.
I felt happy for her, as she got a lovely family.

She then added ‘mam,I like the way you teach. now I got confidence that I can speak English soon’

‘I love to teach you dear. you made my day’ I said happily.

My mind again roared 'Ooty Trip Cancel'
'Trip not canceled,its postponed until i earn something as a TEACHER.
After that i will arrange the Trip on my own expense' I thought to myself.

***************************** End *****************************