Madam Will Always Come-Part 2

By: Tania Bhattacharyya

Her report card was good. But Ma laughed and complained, “Her result is so bad.”

Madam said, “Her teacher has not written that. Her report card is so good.” and stared at Ma smilingly in utter disbelief as if trying to say, ”Are you mad?” Ma felt ashamed.

One day she was down with fever and Grandma told Madam,” Take her class. At least she would be engaged for some time and we do not have to manage her.” She was very sick.

Madam said,” I do not teach my students when they are sick. I myself do not come to teach if I have fever or any infectious disease because I do not want others to suffer. This is scientific. This is my principle.”

On her 5th birthday, Madam gave her a painting set.  Madam had a gut feeling that she would love to do painting. Ma admitted to Madam, “She loves your birthday gift the most.”

Grandma told Madam, “I don’t know what you have done to her. She always speaks of you.”

Grandpa asked,” How do you teach her?”

Madam said casually, “Well, she is a moody and imaginative child.  I feel she is very talented and creative. I teach her according to her mood. I try to understand her mood and preferences; I give her choices and teach her in a playful and entertaining way, with humour and fun. She enjoys and learns.”

Aparna admitted to Madam,” I love you the most.”

Madam was alarmed. She loved the sweet child like her own daughter. She had a gut feeling that if the child loved her more than her family members, she would be disliked and eventually dismissed. Madam cautioned her, “You should never say you love me the most. You should love your parents and grandparents, especially your mother. If you want me to come to you, you must not praise me too much. Remember this.”

Madam was the loving mother to listen to everything she had to say, solve all her problems, scold her when required, play with her, caress her; the protective mother to protect her from evil, and the powerful mother to impart to her the power of knowledge, creativity, decision-making, judgment and the power to speak up against elders for her own good.  They were united by heart and soul and seemed to be made for each other. Madam had always intelligently played the game of tact to help her survive amidst the bullying and uncultured elders in her family and make her formative years beautiful. If only Madam had been her biological mother!

On her 6th Birthday, Madam had come to her Birthday Party in a red saree and was the cynosure of all eyes. Madam had given her a sweet dress material, a sweet card and had written a sweet poem for her.

Her mother started to grow envious of Madam.

Ma reduced Madam’ fees and class timings She made Aparna stop painting saying it was not required in school. Learning to draw was far more important. She did not allow any kind of colouring. The child became grim. This gave Ma a sadistic pleasure.

But whenever Ma said, “I would dismiss Madam,” Aparna fought with her, pulled her hair, scratched her and became unmanageable and played so many antics that Ma had to surrender.