A Friday

Fridays are fun.

Friday mornings are brighter and Friday nights are livelier.

The Chennai city is a beauty during the month of December and commuting makes me feel heaven as I travel with the school kids. As the students are busy with their half-yearly examinations in December, it is a nostalgic scene to see the kids all over the city in the morning. All of them carry a plastic bag in which the wooden/plastic writing board is kept. The projection of pencil box and books could be clearly seen outside the plastic cover. The relief of each exam getting over is clear on their faces. The kids are accompanied by either their Mother or Grand Father. I look into their textbooks, at times into their question papers too and then sigh thinking what an emotional fool I am. Some kids will be very excited to tell me how they multiplied two numbers or how they matched certain monuments to their respective places. Thus the third week of December and March are weeks which I indeed look forward to. The kids bring back a lot of memories and the nostalgic-emotional-heart of mine forces me to regret for not understanding the value of childhood and school days then.

In last December, on the third Friday, a Mother and a boy got inside the share auto. The boy and I became great friends in two minutes. It was his last exam and he showed me his Social Studies question paper and we discussed the answers thoroughly before I predicted his marks. I carry chocolates in my hand bag only with the motive of bribing the kids who travel with me. To celebrate the closing ceremony of examinations and to welcome the Christmas holidays, his Mother had already bought him a chocolate. So to give him company in eating the chocolate, I took one from my bag and started eating. He sat on my lap and we enjoyed the messed up traffic jam licking the chocolate. 

Suddenly, his Mother beat him on his thighs and nobody understood why. Interfering between the Mother and the son didn’t seem like a good idea, so I waited for her to speak up. She sternly asked him why he threw out the chocolate cover through the share auto’s window despite her teaching him that it is wrong.

Then, why are you scolding only me? I did so because I saw her throwing off her chocolate cover through the window.” He said this pointing at me and with mixed emotions.

The Mother rudely looked at me and said nothing. But, all that she wanted to tell me was clear from her face. Her face told me why I am such a fool who doesn’t know how to behave in public despite boasting being educated and employed. I saw the anger on her face about why people like me are not aware that the next generation is watching us.

Truthfully, until that moment I never realized that it was my habit to throw things out of the window while travelling. The boy and his Mother got down one stop before mine. He waved me good-bye and I faked my smile. I didn’t have the guts to look at the Mother’s face. I felt ashamed of myself and I stared at my cell phone.

After getting down from the auto, I walked to my office asking a million questions to myself.

Watch your acts, the kids are watching you.