The New Student
The letter was obviously by one of my students, though the name wasn’t mentioned anywhere. Shocking, but shocking would be a soft word here. No one would believe someone could have gone to that extent of reacting to merely a small piece of admonishment she had become a victim to on that FATEFUL day.
Shabeeh was a mediocre student as it turned out after a few days of her admission. Having finished a question on story writing, she swayed her middle-statured somewhat plump body gently out of the desk, neared herself to the rostrum I was standing behind to hand me over her answer-sheet she held in her faintly tremulous hands. So soft spoken that she was hardly audible when she did utter some words:
“Sirrr,----- I’m done.”
She whispered. Shaky, she also endeavoured to lift her excessively long eye-brows feebly, perhaps in an effort to have an eye-contact with me, moving her hazel eye-balls up in an instant, and then had dropped them down without giving me a wee bit chance to examine whether she was wearing a pair of contact lenses.
“Is that shyness----------- or fear or ……..what?”
I couldn’t figure out. With thirteen years of experience in dealing with hundreds of students at hand, I could predict it rather assertively that she was the weirdest most creature I had ever come across. Same turned out after the elapse of just three further weeks.
That day class was planned for doing a grammar based exercise. Having distributed the work-sheets, I settled myself by the white board to blurt out a few guidelines. The girls listened, though with blatant we-can-tackle-it looks on their faces, over-confidence oozing out of their beaming eyes.
“Sit up straight and none would speak till she’s submitted her work…..” I made that routine announcement wearing I-won’t-spare-you looks on my face. While the girls bent over their work sheets, I busied myself in marking an incompletely marked assignment. There then flashed an uncontrollable giggling from the right back corner, compelling me to jerk my head up. I spotted Shabeeh lowering her head striving to stay unnoticed of me. Maryam, the one sitting beside her, was blocking her mouth using her right hand, busy shoving any amount of sound back into her throat.
“Whyyyy……….?” I growled at them.
I tore open the envelop from one side to pull out a small piece of white sheet. She had addressed me with:
I don’t think someone should lose temper on such minor violations. Moreover, it almost kills me the way you fix your draconian eyes into mine. I hate you. I quit this-----what you call SCHOOL!
A depressed soul
Slid out of my hands, the piece of paper fell down onto the marbled-floor, settling itself there upside down. I gasped, and then slumped back in my chair, a pang of remorse prevailing over me.