Papa called in the morning to wish me luck. He said that he was getting better and that the doctors said he could leave in a couple of months. Though I was not sure if I should believe him, it felt really good to hear Papa’s voice after so many days. Mamma calls everyday at 10:05 at night, when the long distance call tariffs go down. And when I ask for Papa she always says that he is too tired to come down to the lobby. Talking to him did make me feel a tad bit more hopeful, he definitely sounded better.
“Your new school is going to be nothing like Carmel”, Papa continued. ” Kids are going to be less disciplined, teachers might not be as attentive. That means that you will have to put on some extra efforts and keep yourselves challenged”.
“Yes Papa”, I answered.
“Mamma said that your Grandfather has bought all the text books and guides that I had listed out, just make sure you cover all the topics based on the lesson plans that I had made for you”, he went on. “Well, I might not be able to call you everyday, but I will try to call you at least once a week or something. When Mamma calls, let her know if you have any difficulties understanding anything, I will figure something out to get you some help..okay?”
I again whispered my consent. I badly wanted to ask Papa how he was feeling, if his stomach hurt him as bad as it had during the summer. But trust Papa to worry about my studies when he should be worrying about his health. He hung up after giving me a few more pieces of advise.
Papa was very upset from the beginning when it was decided that I will be going to the public school near my Grandparent’s house this year. He always gave great emphasis on the quality education, being a teacher himself. But it was not like we had many choices left. “And it’s only for a year …”, Mamma reassured him. “After you get better we can go back to Bangalore and Gautham can attend Carmel once again”. Papa had merely nodded without meeting anyone’s eyes, he didn’t seem very optimistic about anything.
I missed Papa and not a single day went by without me praying for him. I wanted him to back, as healthy and a strong as ever. But that being said, for the first time my life has begun to seem easy. Without Papa to order me out of bed every morning at 5 and without his shadow looming over me every single second of the day, life was in fact getting a little better. Since Grandfather did not care much about what I did and Grandmother was too much focused on keeping me happy, I was pretty much free to do what ever I wanted.
I looked into the mirror and carefully applied some gel on my hair, something which I could never have dreamed of doing with Papa around. The plain white shirt and dark blue pants looked so much less sophisticated when compared to the uniform at Carmel. Not that I missed the tie or the suit.
This time I had a plan. I was not going to be the bookish student avatar that I had been playing in Carmel all these years. While in Carmel, I was Sachidev sir’s son,the model student.And here nobody even knew who I was. I was finally getting a chance to not have to live up to anyone’s expectation. May be it was only an year, but I was going to make it count. If everything goes as per my plan, I am finally going to be one of the cool guys, I am going to have more friends and my life is going to be much more interesting.
I didn’t want anyone in my new class to realize that I was nothing more that a whimpering bookworm. To prove myself worthy I needed the right attitude. As an afterthought I pulled out the shirt that was neatly tucked under my belt and decided that it looked better that way. After all, if aim at becoming one of the cool guys, attitude definitely matters!
I am participating in the A to Z challenge this April. This is my first post in the series – for the letter A