Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Lass from Bangladesh - Part V

The first day at school is only getting acquainted with the students and scanning their syllabus.

A week goes by Mumtaz is pleased with the school and her work. She loves the little children that she teaches and they too seem to react with her very well. Mumtaz becomes a very popular teacher and is admired by all her colleagues. Soon it’s Children’s Day and they have to get the kids to do something special that day. She helps the children in staging a special play and some skits. All the children do very well and all the parents have a good time on that day. When all the parents and children were leaving she notices one little boy sitting and crying in the corner. She calls him towards her and asks him “Jaffar why are you crying?” She thinks he is worried because his parents have not yet come to pick him up he must be crying .He looks up at her and cries, she hugs him and wipes the tears from his eyes. She tells him not to cry and that his parents would come anytime now. It was getting late and the teacher too was getting worried. At that moment the principal comes by and sees the little lad crying in her arms and feels sorry for the boy. She tells the teacher that he is an orphan and is being looked after by his uncle. Mumtaz asks the principal how this happened and she told Mumtaz that only a few weeks back his parents met with a freak accident and passed away so now she realized why he was crying. She knew that he must have missed his parents on this special day as every year his parents would come to see him perform and this year no one turned not even his uncle as he was a business man and was very busy. The driver was late to pick him up from school to that day.

The teacher sits with the little boy in the school lobby and waited till he was picked up. Jaffar was nine years and handsome little lad. She told him about herself and told him that she too missed her parents but that life must go on. Mumtaz told him that his parents were up there and were surely there watching over him and seen his performance. She was sad for him. She heard the lobby door open and in walked a tall man with broad shoulders. She assumed it could be his uncle. The boy looked up and said teacher my uncle is here. She thought that Jaffar looked handsome like his uncle. Jaffar introduced the teacher to his uncle Imran and his uncle thanked her for her patience and waiting until he came. He apologized for the delay and assured it would not happen. All along his conversation he kept staring at Mumtaz. Mumtaz although in her early thirties was very pretty looking. She suddenly caught him staring at her and felt a bit uncomfortable. She suddenly said that it was late and they leave. They said once again said thank you and good night and left.

That night Mumtaz was really very tired, she took a hot shower changed and went to bed. She could not sleep well she was very restless, she kept thinking of Jaffar, her herself and his uncle’s stares. It was all very disturbing. But next day was a day of surprises for Mumtaz. When she woke up she was surprised to see Nina up before her and found it very strange – she then thought that she must have over slept and work up late. And she gets ready and the transport is there to pick her up. Nina has this strange smile on her face all the while. Mumtaz ask’s her she is up to and Nina just smiles and says nothing. They reach the school. Mumtaz goes to the assembly hall; she thinks that she sees that there is a strange smile on all the faces of everyone out there today, but she cannot understand why. Then when she enters the class was a bigger surprise, she says a big bouquet of flowers at her table and then all the children stand up and instead of wishing her they sing to her “Happy Birthday teacher”. Mumtaz was surprised as she herself had forgotten that today was her birthday. Al the children bring to her little bunches of flowers and cards that they have made. She goes to the bouquet and sees a small card attached to it and wonder who has sent it. She smiles when she reads it. It was from Imran the uncle of Jaffar. Besides saying special thank you to her he wishes her on her birthday, she looks at Jaffar and sees that Jaffar to is looking at her and giving her that cute smile. She thanks all the children and they all get back to studying.

That evening Mumtaz waits with Jaffar till her goes as she was waiting to thank his uncle for the special flowers and greetings that she received. The wait seemed too long and she was getting rather restless at last he came and when he approached the boy they (Mumtaz) and he exchanged quite smiles and she thanked him once again. Later that evening was yet another surprise all her colleagues and the principal gave a dinner treat she was very thrilled and appreciated it with thanks.

Mumtaz was tired and had to call it a day. She went back to her room and sat and thought of the lovely day she had. She decided to pen a long letter to her friend Shakila. She wrote to Shakila the whole day events and also of her silent admirer or the one she quietly admired in her heart. Life went on for her. She saw life changing on the fast lane for her. From where she came and how she reached the Gulf was all one big change in her life. She was happy as she forgot about her past although at times whenever she sat back she would think of her childhood then her married life but smiled when it came to the present.

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