Punyasloke Bose



Punyasloke Bose


Lost In The City

Lost In The City

6 mins

Little Gungun was happily playing with the soft toy Pooh. Gungun was feeling it difficult to play with Pooh in the new surroundings. So he was trying to show his Mummy that Pooh was angry. He was trying to tell Mummy, Ankita, with the best of his abilities as he was learning to talk and his Mummy was helping him on. Gungun had very recently moved with his parents to this new house.

Anil had recently moved to the City with his family. His family was his wife of three years, Ankita and his one-year-old son Arjun. Incidentally, Arjun was lovingly called Gungun by his mother Ankita. Although Anil was living with his parents till now and as his father was working so his parents continued to stay back. It was very difficult for Gungun's grandparents to live without the company of their loving grandson. However, life must go on, and at some point or the other in life, one has to get the better of attachments and maybe at any cost.

Anil had got a promotion and as per the bank's internal policy, an employee could be transferred according to the needs of the organization. After completing his engineering degree in Info-tech he had got a campus placement in a bank. After showing well all-round performance the bank thought it fit to promote him after four years of exemplary service.

A couple of years passed. Anil and family were now well settled in the city. The grandparents came visiting occasionally to fulfill their desire of being close to their grandson. Gungun had become school ready. His mother Ankita was now already on her toes and was eagerly searching for a good school for Gungun's admission. Times had changed in the cities. A lot of opportunities had drawn substantial populations from small towns and villages. Rising incomes and growing aspirations were drawing parents to good private schools for the education of their children. Now there were nuclear families all over and all aspiring mothers were competing to get their only sons or daughters to these schools for a bright future. As a result, there was cut-throat competition and everyone was running a mad rat race. Therefore getting admission to a good school was a big headache for all parents like Anil and Ankita.

Otherwise, city life was full of fun and entertainment for a housewife like Ankita. For a small-town girl, the city threw a lot of opportunities. She had become very aspirational recently. Her husband had a good income and beside the family expenses, there was quite a surplus in her hands to splurge. Anil had given her the freedom to spend. Also now Ankita was living in a household that was in her control unlike the one when she stayed with Anil's parents. So there was a lot of freedom for her. The only bother, of course, was the school admission of Gungun. Rest everything was a dream.

Ankita had made a lot of friends in the society where they were living. There were other kids who were Gungun's playmates. The other elderly people in the society loved Gungun and doted over him. So Ankita got time to go shopping and mall hopping with other housewives. Life had taken a 180-degree turn for her since she came to the city.

On some Sundays and other holidays, Ankita and Anil went to the movies or to some amusement Park to enjoy their time. This they had been deprived of in their town homestay. Sometimes Gungun accompanied them but otherwise, there were kind old couples who were ready to take care of him and Ankita and Anil had the freedom to go out. In sum total life was now very beautiful for Ankita and also Anil to some extent. But Anil missed the company of his parents as he was very close to them. He specifically missed his mother. Her cooked delicacies were Anil's pure bliss.

So the search for a good school continued. There were schools in which the application was done. Then there were interviews to be faced for Gungun and the parents. Within a few weeks, many interviews were faced. But the results were not encouraging. There was a lot of competition. Otherwise there were candidates who had support from the School's governing body. So due to one reason or the other the desired admission was not materialising. Within a few months of unsuccessful attempts, Anil and Ankita felt totally lost. I just lost in this big city. Almost a year passed without any success for admission. There were many schools where admissions were available but they were 'below' the grade. In the 'good' schools it was pretty difficult. The seats were reportedly being 'sold' behind the curtain in the schools of repute. That was what the parents were talking about. Also, there was talk of 'donations' for securing admission. Where there is scarcity there always arises problems and most of them are created. There was a lot of buzz in the admission 'market'. As a result lot of middlemen also sprang up. Various rates for varied schools were doing the rounds. Definitely those schools where admissions seeking was acute the 'rates' were at a premium. So Anil and Ankita became quite worried and unhappy. They felt very lost and helpless.

Then one day Anil got the news from his father that a big business house that was running a lot of schools under franchise agreements all over the country was opening a school in their town. This franchise had one school in Anil's city and they couldn't secure the admission as there was a lot of competition or there was a lot of lobbying. But Ankita was very eager to get her son admitted in this school. Because once admitted she need not worry about her son's future. Her son would complete his school education here and be ready for higher education anywhere.

Anil on hearing the news from his father was very encouraged. But Ankita was not too eager even though she was in favor of the school's lineage and reputation. Because the desired admission was achieved she would have to go back to her old house to live with her in-laws and sacrifice her freedom of city life.

But both Anil and his parents were deeply interested. For Anil, it would be the end of a headache and for his parents, it would be the reunion with their grandson.

As providence would have it, Gungun got selected. As the school was new the selection process was not too strict. Anil was terribly relieved as if a mountain had come off his head. It was a celebration time for Gungun's grandparents. Now they would be spending quality time with their loving grandson. Only it was Ankita who could not decide to be relieved or not. Although the franchise which manages the school was the dream one for Ankita and she was passionate about her son's admission there. But she consoled herself that in the greater interest of her son she had to make some sacrifice.

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