|Photo taken on my phone @ home|
20th September, Friday, was my niece’s birthday. My brother decides to take kids out for an experience present. For him, my kids are as good as his. My daughters also have a very strong bond with him; at times stronger than the one with me. He has his ways with kids that make them very comfortable with him, not just our kids, any kids. I find this a very rare thing among men. I don’t say he is a man with patience but for sure his patience with kids is always at its best. I would for sure also call him an indulgent parent. So somehow, he kind of convinces the kids, especially my eldest (with her ongoing 6th std semester exams) for the outing on Friday evening.
My eldest was in a dilemma. She neither wanted to miss her outing nor did she want to miss out on the time to prepare for her math exam on Monday. She repeatedly looked at me to get an assurance that I would help her cover the math portions on Saturday and Sunday. I being aware of the tantrums that she would throw up, was assertive and said, it is her call, I will for sure help her out, whether we can cover the portions or not is dependent on her focus. I also made a statement that if I were to be in her place, I would for sure not miss on the outing, and then would come back and put my best foot forward in preparing for the exam. With instant motivation from my words, she decided to go out with her sisters along with her Uncle and Aunt.
However, through out our math marathon on Saturday and Sunday, as I expected, she was all the while cribbing about being out and missing on her time to prepare. Though I constantly said its OK with me if she is scoring less or skipping a lesson due to lack of time, she was very particular about her scoring. She replied, it might be OK for you, but it is not OK for me. We had our usual ‘tu-tu, main-main’ on this topic. She was very particular about her scoring while I argued it does not matter as long as she knows she has put her efforts; she should also learn to enjoy life, and that life is lot more than marks. This argument of ours is always an unsettled matter.
There is so much peer pressure and teacher driven pressure to score that I only end up making failing attempts to make her convince that marks are just a number to indicate her current preparation. I only end up hearing from her that I am the only mother in her class who says scoring does not matter as long as she has learnt the concept. And I end up remembering my father telling me “I don’t want you to get first rank, anything below first is OK.” His words would work as a negative motivation and I would end up scoring first rank during my school days. I understand his intentions now though. It’s true when people say, What goes, does come back.
Coming back to my daughter, I was glued to math with her on Saturday and Sunday. Because she wanted to cover the entire portions, we ended up till 12:30 night on Sunday. Sometimes I dread my elder daughter’s exams, not because her score would be low, but because of the system that builds tremendous pressure for marks and my small efforts getting hit badly. I am at times caught in such whirlpool where I think if I have to go in the direction or against the direction of the whirl. However, my attempts are on, against it, I know one day she will understand.
The only time she allowed me to take a break on Saturday and Sunday was to drop my younger daughter to dance class. She skipped her dance classes to make up for the time she went out for partying on Friday. During that drive, while we were returning back, we met this gaadiwala with full of roses. My younger daughter asked me if we could buy the roses. And I stopped the car.
I took a bunch of red roses. I asked the gaadiwala for the cost.
Gaadiwala: Madam, 50 Rs; you give me 40 Rs.
Me: Why discount, I asked?
Gaadiwala: Madam you tell me, who buys roses without an occasion? You are at-least buying.
Me: Oh OK. That’s true. In fact, I came searching for you on September 4th at 9 pm. My daughter, at 9 pm tells me to get roses for her teachers for teachers’ day. You were not here. My daughter would not let me go without buying it. I ended up paying more having bought it from the floral shop.
Gaadiwala: (With a smile) I am here, only till 8 pm.
As I made the payment, he took a handful of orange button roses and gave it to me. My daughter was watching all the while. We got into the car with roses.
My daughter: Amma, how much did you pay for these?
Me: Rs 40.
My daughter: So many roses for Rs 40? We payed Rs 20 for one rose that day. Why did he give these button roses?
Me: Because he wanted to see a smile on your face.
Instantly I got a wide smile from my small wonder. So wide that it spread on my face as well.
Exams might dread, there are roses red, for the smiles to spread!