Ninan walked in dot on time. Sua loved his punctuality. “ But why was there a scowl on his face?”she wondered.She was Ninan’s art teacher.Over the past two years, Ninan had become very close to Sua, with whom he shared his thoughts quite uninhibitedly.
“Miss, Ratna ma’m is very bad. She threw Simi’s copy today and Simi could not stop crying. Ratna ma’m has no manners. She does not even know that throwing things, is not good. Then why is she our teacher?” A very angry outburst indeed! Sua asked him that what had Simi done to drive her teacher to this?
“Her work was very untidy! But why did she have to throw her book? Do you not tell us that throwing things is wrong? So is a teacher not supposed to know too?” Ninan was really angry and upset and Sua had no answer to his logic.
“Ninan, were you not saying, just the other day, that Ratna ma’m teaches Maths very well? That your concepts get clear so easily, unlike your experience with your teacher of the previous class?”Sua quipped in.
“Yes, I stand by to what I said but does that give her the right to do just anything?”argued Ninan. Sua was struck by his logical mind, that she herself had encouraged to develop. She knew she had to be careful in handling him, just now. She asked him to sit and told him, “ Ninan, no one is perfect. Each one of us is a mixture of some good qualities and some not so good. We can be the person we choose to be, provided we are aware of our thoughts and habits. Often we mindlessly acquire our habits from our surroundings. Your Ratna ma’m is a very good Maths teacher. May be she expresses her anger in a wrong way but that does not take away her subject knowledge and her teaching skills that have impressed you. Do you agree to this Ninan?”
Ninan was listening to Sua intently and with all the thoughtfulness of an eight year old, he nodded in agreement. Sua carried on lovingly, “Respect her for her qualities and understand that shortcomings in all of us, are all the wrong habits picked up and held on to, since childhood.
Sua could see a new understanding in Ninan’s eyes.She knew that this would slowly take the shape of tolerance, that in turn would restrain his impulsive reactions to situations in life. It may help make him grow to be a non- judgmental person.
Ninan left. Sua suddenly realised that it was past seven in the evening and there was no news of Aanika. Aanika, her sixteen year old, was out since early morning saying she had to meet Rajat, her childhood friend who had come down from the U.S..She had promised to be back home for lunch for sure. She had her final exams starting the next morning and there was no sign of her yet. Her phone was switched off and this situation, was driving Sua crazy. She had been into similar situations before concerning Aanika and she was fuming when the door opened and Aanika walked in.
“Aanika, how can you behave like this?”screamed a seething Sua. The screaming continued for a few moments till there was a loud bang of a door. Aanika had shut the door of her room. Sua sat there alone. Her anger cooled down a bit. Why did she get so angry every time Aanika was very late? Didn’t she trust her own child? Was it not her own fear that was always responsible for this angry Sua?
Some time passed. Sua got up and went to Aanika’s room. She knocked and on not getting any answer, she opened the door and walked in. Aanika lay there, sobbing, on the bed. Sua went and hugged her. Aanika looked up with swollen eyes and said, “Rajat has met with an accident and is in the I.C.U. . We were at the hospital all day, till his parents arrived.”
“Shhh!” said Sua softly, “Rajat will be fine soon. Our prayers will pull him out of this.”
She just held Aanika gently and both kept sitting there silently.
Sua was thinking about her advice to Ninan about not being hasty with our reactions. How easy was it to preach, thought she.