You can catch up on all posts on Pari’s school life by visiting the School Diary section of this blog.
The cuts on Pari’s nose and around eye area weren’t too deep, but what had actually triggered my fury was the sheer insensitivity of the school staff towards a child who was mere two and a half years old.
The most disturbing finding was, when I had noticed Pari’s injury at home, she actually had the mud from her fall still clinging to the scratched area. The only thing it meant was, her teacher hadn’t even bothered to try to clean up the wound, let alone attempting first aid or to the least inform me when I reached school to pick Pari.
It has been a norm at Pari’s school that the child was accompanied by a staff member to the school gate at the time the school got over in afternoon, so the teacher had every opportunity to share a word or two with me.
Things were not going right, but Pari’s annual day was hardly a few days away, so I decided to be a sport for the time being.
The Annual day arrived and Pari did extraordinarily well in the fashion show blowing kisses to the audience. In the group dance she had a cute partner, but once the music started, Pari was so busy having fun dancing away that she almost forget the existence of her partner. The little boy (who was her partner) kept dancing at one spot in shock watching where all Pari was going on stage leaving him behind.
The biggest surprise came when Pari’s name was announced among students being awarded for being ‘excellent in academics’. Yes, I was surprised, excited, jubilant and much more but in the back of my mind I was ‘shocked’.
I know I sound like a mad mom who was shocked to see her child being awarded for being very good in academics. But, I have to confess I was. The reason being, Pari had been attending school for hardly three months then and was only at the start of learning up rhymes, alphabets and more. She was nowhere close to being considered exceptional.
But, I played on and we were all excited on Pari doing exceptionally well at the annual function.
The spring break resumed and after around eight days her school reopened for the new session.
In a meeting with principal, came the moment that came to me like point-blank fire. When I had no clue for a long moment, how to react.
It so happened, that while discussing with the principal when would Pari be prepared to be promoted to Nursery, in the middle of the discussion the principal mentioned that Pari’s fall on the flower-pot seemed to have healed well during the spring break.
Seeing my puzzled look that reflected well the anger that was about to pour in words she decided to re-phrase her sentence saying she ‘assumed’ Pari must have had a fall on the pots where the kids usually fell.
The height of negligence triggered my anger enough to point to the principal that if she had been aware all the way as to where had Pari had a fall why was the staff continuously refusing any knowledge?
Secondly, if many other kids too had fallen on the pots before Pari, why had the flower pots not been removed from the area as yet?
What started with a few firm questions from me, was meted with jaw dropping replies from the school principal. When I pointed out that besides academics the school was also expected to be responsible for the well-being of the kids during school hours, the principal in haste of ending and winning the argument made a very ‘nasty’ remark on my character and my being a divorcee.
I had no way seen this coming.
Especially from my child’s school principal.
Are single parents not just parents like others? Is being a divorcee a qualification that entitles every Tom, Daisy, Harry to pass a loose remark on my life, my character or any other aspect of my private life?
No, I am not looking for answers to any of the above questions, because I have my own answers etched in my mind for the same.
Yes, I am a parent, but I am first an individual before being anything else, who has her self-respect and pride intact irrespective of my marital status.
I retorted back to the principal with a fitting reply and decided that the school was no way fit for molding my child’s future.
The nasty remark was reason enough to push me off the edge, but when the principal said (on the verge of losing the argument) that she’ll see how Pari fares in the remaining academic year and will see to it that Pari pays well for the argument we had just had, I really had no other choice but to decide to change Pari’s school.
The time bomb I had felt ticking in my head since long, had finally exploded. Because (despite my efforts) all of this heated argument actually happened with my precious Pari sitting in my lap, where she didn’t understand a word but was shaken and panic struck beyond words.
The song on my mind : Ajeeb Dastan hai ye – Dil apna preet parayi