Ammu Kutty's Color Pencils
Ammu Kutty's Color Pencils
Ammu kutty is in class 5, waiting eagerly for her turn to be called Inside the meeting room for the Parent-Teachers' meet. She smiles whenever she looks at her class mates' parents. She is waiting in the edge of the corridor where she can have a look at the bus stop. She knows that the bus that departs from her village will reach her school by 12pm. But today, she could sense that something is wrong when she heard the school bell rang for lunch break at 1. The bus has not arrived yet. She was eaelier expecting that her parents would arrive before lunch so that she could share the savouries with her close friend Nithyashree. Ramu sir saw her from the other end of the corridor. He knows that she is nervous when he saw twirling her tie with her hand. He called her and informed her that there is a road block on the way and the bus would arrive anytime soon. He gave her a chocolate and a soft pat on her cheek which made Ammu kutty to smile again.
During lunch, Ammu kutty never spoke about anything with Nithyashree. She was envious of the savouries and chocolates that Nithyashree's parents bought during the day. She always smiled whenever she felt like crying. On her way back to class, she met some of her classmates' parents discussing about their kid's future with each other. She felt that her future would be bring if the bus arrives in next one hour.
It was an unwritten rule in her school that a kid's mom and dad attends the meeting together.
Twenty minutes past the first hour after lunch, she had the sight of her village bus from the edge of the corridor. She saw her mom getting down in a grey saree. Then she saw her mom standing near Saleem bhai's store. Ammu kutty is happy that she is gonna get her monthly quota of chocolates and savouries. Ammu kutty is all smiles when she saw her mom closer. From the first sight her amma understood that Ammu kutty was worried during the best part of the day. Amma is guilty to see the look but amma never reveled her emotions. She always wanted Ammu kutty to feel that amma is very strong.
Ammu kutty and amma went into the meeting room and met Ramu sir, Ammu kutty's class teacher. After discussing about Ammu kutty's academics and mischievousness at school, Ramu sir asked why is Ammu kutty's dad not here today. Amma looked at Ammu kutty for a split second and said that her dad was occupied with work and he would definitely attend the next parents meeting. Ammu kutty masked her emotions with her biggest weapon- smile. Ramu sir glanced through Ammu kutty's progress report card and found that it was all signed only by her mom. This time he tried to ask Ammu kutty about this but looking at her face, he felt that let him not spoil Ammu kutty's rest of the day with his questions. Also, he don't have another chocolate to give it to her.
Amma gave all the chocolates and savouries she bought from Saleem bhai's store to Ammu kutty and left for the home. Ammu kutty will go back once her classes are over.
Ammu kutty's last period of the day is maths. Ammu kutty is good in maths and she knows that she would get one more chocolate from Elizabeth madam for solving the three by three digit multiplication yesterday. But for her surprise, Vanitha madam came as a substitute teacher for the day. Vanitha madam teaches geography and Ammu kutty hates coloring the world map sheet given by Vanitha madam with different color. Ammu kutty felt that one day she would become an astronaut by solving complex maths problems, go to moon and look at the color of the world from there. Fortunately, Vanitha madam asked the children to goto the ground and play as Vanitha madam was worn out after meeting parents for the entire day.
On her way to the ground, Ammu kutty held Nithyashree's hand. Nithyashree and Ammu joined school together when they were in their kindergarten. Nithyashree always felt that she knew everything about Ammu kutty and it is her responsibility to keep her happy.
Ammu kutty and Nithyashree did not play today. Nithyashree emphasised Ammu kutty's silence and tried to make her smile. Nithyashree kept asking multiple questions to which Ammu kutty replied with mono syllabus. Nithyashree suddenly asked why Ammu kutty's dad didn't come to the meeting. To her disguise, Ammu kutty's protesting smile couldn't bear the question. Ammu kutty wanted to shout and tell everyone that her parents are seperated. She wanted everyone to stop asking about her dad. She wanted to yell that her mom is stronger than life. Ammu kutty wanted to cry, laugh, jump and hurt herself. But she always had her own weapon of masking these emotions, she smiled. Understanding Ammu kutty's emotions, Nithyashree answered her own question by saying "your dad must have been busy today".
A month passed and now it's time to get the progress report signed by the parents again. While distributing the progress card, Ramu sir insisted that it has to be signed by both the parents. Next day Ammu kutty sat in her desk after morning prayer awaiting Ramu sir to collect back the report card. Ammu kutty is anxious and paranoid about not having her dad's sign in the report card. She doesn't want Nithyashree to bombard her with questions again for the rest of the day. Ramu sir entered the class and started collecting the progress reports. Suddenly, Elizabeth madam entered the class as well and had a casual chat with the children. Ammu kutty always felt secured when Elizabeth madam was around. Ammu kutty smiled. Ramu sir collected Ammu kutty's progress report, he emphasised her emotion when he saw Ammu kutty twirling her tie again.
Nithyashree suddenly popped up from her seat and asked Ammu kutty that why is her dad's sign not there in the report card. Ammu kutty just smiled. Hearing their conversation, Elizabeth madam came close, took a chocolate from her bag and gave it to Ammu kutty for being the only person in the class to solve the time series problem in the monthly test. She told Ammu kutty that "one day you will solve multiple complex problems, reach heights and touch the moon and will look down the earth, and during that point it doesn't matter who has not signed your report card, you will only remember who has signed it". This time Ammu kutty smiled. But Nithyashree dived into her own world of silence for not knowing Ammu kutty better.
Nithyashree said "hey Ammu kutty, will you be able to see me from the moon". Ammu replied "No re, I won't be able to see you from moon because you would be sitting next to me there and asking questions. We would the world together from there". Nithyashree smiled and Ammu kutty wiped off the tears from Nithyashree's eyes. The school bell rang indicating that next period will start in next 2 minutes. Ammu kutty and Nithyashree smiled at each other when they saw Vanitha madam entering the class with new set of maps. They colored the sheet for next one hour, laughing at each other every second minute.