(As told to Himani Pande)
He was my rescue child. As an institutional trainer, I was friendly but no pushover. I believed in fellowship. He being a sulking student, I was always trying to reform him! I wanted him to be a performer, a student proclaiming his rarity. In the chalk-dusted classroom, I was, however, daily dealing with my ‘crucible of pain’. He would interrupt my sessions, fool around, get punished and stand outside like a statue.
An unwelcome message
Come Friendship Day I received an unwelcome notification on my mobile. ‘Happy Friendship Day Ma’am! Love Abhimanyu. ☺’ I was not a teacher of easy affection and physical display with male students. Only during counselling support services would I become affable. I’d asked him two months back in our school bus, “Do you have a personal problem?” Abhimanyu vigorously shook his head side, “No Ma’am!” I’d reassured him that I would always be there as a guide. I returned the text, “Happy Friendship Day! Take care my child! Love…” Next what I read in Caps Lock hit me like a meteor. “I DON’T LOVE YOU AS A TEACHER, BUT AS A LOVER. I ACT DIFFICULT IN CLASS TO GET YOUR ATTENTION. PLEASE ACCEPT MY FRIENDSHIP. DON’T TELL ANYONE.” I was shocked.