“You have been giving the same boring lectures about you and your teaching passion.” I had been irritating Samarthya since the day I was selected to teach music in a school. Anyway, I love teaching and Samarthya too. For the first day and first class, my excitement was high. “Thank you for listening to my boring lectures. Now, wish me for an interesting day. Sam, it is the first class I am going to take. Oh, I am going to love it.”
“Good luck mom. I don’t know what made you leave your clinic for this useless teaching.”
“Sam, this is first and last time. Never repeat that again. Teaching is never a useless job.”
“Sorry. Mom, I am leaving for school. You will rock today’s class.” He gave a tight hug.
I drove fast as my heart demanded me.
~First day in Satya Vidhya Mandir~
As decided by school, grade two would be my first class on the first day. The little ones greeted me as I entered the class. I was overwhelmed by the innocence in their eyes. I smiled and they welcomed back.
I wanted to do something different. I did not want to begin from the music notes. I decided to unearth the childish feeling of my little students.
“Dear children, I am your new music teacher. My name is Lisa Sharma. We are going to have tons of fun in this class.” I presented myself in such way that my students would be in fear free environment. I knew one can never grow in fear.
“Now, I shall begin my first class by listening about your dreams. What do you want to be in your life? What do you want to do? You need to tell your name first and explain about your dreams.” Their eyes were full of curiosity and excitement. Those curiosities were heaven and encouragement to my decision of teaching.
I pointed a boy in the first bench. “My name is Samyak. I want to make the car with highest speed in the world.” The class turned out into big laughter and my smile accompanied. “Bravo! You will accomplish your dreams Samayak.” He raised his chest with a long breath listening to me. The students kept describing.
“My name is Rukshana.” I loved her name and the way she pronounced RUK-SHHA-NA. She continued, “I want to fly free. My dream is to be free like a bird.” Her words pinched me somewhere in. I kept gazing at her.
“Ma’am, it is your turn now.”
“What is your dream?”
“Ma’am, please play a keyboard tune for us.”
I could hear many voices but I kept thinking about Rukshana and her words. I ended class with a song.
I reached home with mind full of queries. What would be the feeling of flying free like a bird? May be I would feel the wind and see the stars at the same time. I would create the waves of love with my music. Did I do right giving up the job of nurse? Was that flying?
“You have been playing the keys continuously for an hour. Take a break, mom.” Sam brought me out of my talk with inner me.
I entered grade two again.
My eyes searched for Rukshana. It was amazing; an eight year’s old little girl had made me feel different. I saw her looking at me. She was smiling, excited to learn new tones and new songs.
After the usual music session, I asked the students to write about their favorite stories. The students submitted their assignment.
~Rukshana explains- to be free like a bird ~
My name is Rukshana. I am eight years old. I have two members in my family-me and my Ama. We are a happy family. My mom says, “Life is short but world is large. We need to be like a bird, get out of the cage, fly in the sky and see the world.” I love being with Ama and listen to her stories. Her stories are sometimes of her life and sometimes of fairies. I have loved every stories of Ama but I have a favorite one. I love the story of “Ama flying like a bird”.
Ama was married at the age of eight. She must be like me, perhaps attending the school. The man who married my Ama was eighteen years old. I don’t know what marriage is like. Ama tells, “Marriage for girl is like a bird going in a cage to spend whole life there. But you are going to the cage, you must fly.” After her marriage, she was not allowed to go school. But why was that? I try to ask her every time but she never replies. She would be busy in house hold chores all the day. She was supposed to take care of her man, his parents and entire house. How was that possible? I don’t think Ama was that strong to work for day and night. She has become thin and weak these days but her eyes are charismatic.
I have not yet seen my Ama’s man. He left us when I was two years old. Ama worked for his parents for two years more. But my Ama had dreamt of learning to paint. Is not this surprising? I get surprised to see her paints sometimes. She is good in handicraft too. There were no questions of getting out of the home. Learning painting was not at all possible. Ama started going to Guru Maskey , her painting teacher, secretly. According to her, he was expert in painting with use of natural colors. Unexpectedly, her father in law saw her going to Guru. I remember the day my Ama got brutally beaten with bamboo stick for her passion of learning. I was five years old then.
Two days later, we came out of home in the mid-night. Ama was worried. “Rukhshana, we are getting out of this darkness. There shall be a new morning tomorrow. And we will fly in the serene sky.” And may be Ama was true. She is flying. Sita aunty tells, “Your mother is a wonderful artist. Her passion for Thangkas is admirable.” What is Thangkas? Why do they call my Ama’s painting with a weird name? I am happy to hear that anyway. Ama makes beautiful pictures though her hand has many scars.
She says, “Scars cannot hinder the waves of passion. Passion is irresistible. Rukhshana, it helped me to fly from the cage. Passion is divine.”
I have heard this story many times. I have lots of questions though. I shall ask those the next time Ama tells me.
Grade 2 ‘A’
I was thrilled to read Rukshana’s story. The story of a woman~ flying like a bird. Like I did. I put the paper of Rukshana in an envelope for Samarthya with a note.
You should know the reason I left the clinic.
I am born to fly
To reach the mountains
Mountains of the dreams
I have created …
January 08, 2016