By Uchit Solanki, a new MADster in Delhi.
It was a warm, bright Sunday afternoon. I remember myself being tensed, rather anxious, as I almost ran towards ‘Arya Bal Griha’ in excitement. The reason? I was about to meet the kids for the very first time! Now, most people ‘get’ butterflies in their stomachs.
In my case, however, those butterflies were ‘exploring’ every corner! My brain kept firing questions at me. ‘Will I be able to do justice to the children?’ ‘Will I be able to woo them as a teacher?’ I had been waiting for this opportunity for quite some time now and was just as eager to find out how’d they feel.
So, as I walked down the girls’ wing, I caught a glimpse of a few of their faces. Slightly puzzled and withdrawn, they peeped through the corridors, with a ‘what’s-going-to-happen’ look in their eyes. And just like that, I was all geared up to meet MY CHILDREN!
Slowly, gradually, we settled in the classroom, the intro round underway. Soon the reluctance turned into openness and I didn’t even realize when I became their ‘Salman Khan’ (I don’t know why. I had not been dancing to any of his songs!). All the stories of how amazing the kids are, that I had been hearing, became true right in front of my eyes. Beautiful. Blissful. Breathtaking. I can go on and on!
Within minutes they were pouring out their dreams and aspirations for their future. Doctor, policewoman, dancer, engineer; these little girls had BIG dreams!
Made me wonder how I was like when I was 10!
With this thought, I was back to my childhood! We played games (‘dumb charades’ being their favourite!), showed off our acting skills, with of course some *priceless expressions*! When we asked the kids to describe their teachers (yeah, we wanted to hear them say all the nice things about us as well :P), words like sweet, nice, fun started shooting in.
But the ‘prize’ went to a girl whose words to describe my co-teacher were, “Ma’am, you are very handsome”. We burst out laughing, but the innocence and sincerity in her words only made my determination to come every week, teach and be taught by these kids, stronger.
Next up, we played a few songs to dance. There I was, thinking, ‘will they, won’t they’, but it seemed like the girls were waiting to hear the beats of the songs. All the Sheilas got ‘jawaan’ and the Munnis, ‘badnaam’ :P
We quickly got our cameras ready and the girls, their poses. Everybody wore my sunglasses in the ‘Dabangg’ style (now I know why I was tagged as ‘Salman Khan’!) and left not one opportunity to get clicked with the world’s funniest expression on their face! When I look at them now, I know I will cherish those moments forever..
Then, time to leave! As we were moving out of the classroom, one of my students pulled me down and whispered, “I will miss you sir”. I was totally caught unawares. No words in the world can describe how I felt. But it is something that I will remember all my life! :)