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The eyes overwhelmed, ambivalent, and reluctant to decide between letting the water flow out of its control or keeping it inside even though the face beamed with unusual anxious excitement. The finger wanted to hold on to the little one longer while the mind commanded to let it go free.
The tiny eyes and the tearful face, unwilling to take the step away from the warmth of her presence, remained clung to her body, the little finger held onto her mother’s more tightly, even as she tried to let the child go.
The mother stared at the building ahead and the large ground, bustling with kids, running around, some chatting loudly while other’s whispering in groups, some waiting for the classes to begin immediately while others hoping for the day to continue as it is, with no classes and the morning prayers.
The little hand now embraced the mother completely, the face hidden inside the mother’s dress as she tried concealing her face away from everyone’s gaze, wishing to remain covered behind her mother’s towering self, while trying to save herself from this new experience.
‘Everyone has to go to school, even your Mamma went once,’ the mother tried reasoning.
However, the kid remained oblivious to her mother’s words, her face still repressed inside her tightly held knees; the hands holding the mother even more firmly now, least; she gets taken away.
‘Mamma will come and pick you up, once the classes are over,’ she tried explaining again with little success.
‘And we will have a great time discussing what happened here at school. We will have so much to talk about,’ the mother used all her imagination to convince the little one peppering her voice with excitement, but with almost no success.
‘I don’t want to go,’ the muffled voice was now laced with fear, anxiety, and an appeal to let her remain in the comfortable security of her presence; she was not ready to break the chord, probably the memory of being forced out from the womb into a different world, was still fresh in the subconscious as she tried avoiding that experience again.
‘Didn’t you declare, you wanted to be a painter, you want to be, right,’ the mother asked, hoping to hear a yes, before putting forward another compelling argument to convince her.
However, she declined to reply, reluctantly nodding her head to indicate her agreement, while remaining buried in her floral saree.
‘So, if you want to be a painter, you need to study here, learn from the teachers, and become an amazing artist one day,’ she tried convincing again while caressing her head, and bending down to gaze at her bridling eyes.
Suddenly a teacher came close.
She and the mother communicated with their eyes instantly; the teacher immediately realized what was happening and the kind of help the mother needed.
The teacher carried colours and drawing sheets and handed a few to the mother while allowing her to pull the little one’s face towards her, till now hidden from everyone.
‘See, what has Ma’am got for you,’ the mother exclaimed in excitement as the little one gradually pulled her face, curious with the crushing sound of drawing papers.
‘You want to draw,’ the teacher asked and handed over the colours to her little stretched hands.
The kid was surprised and nervous initially about what was happening.
The sight of the paper and the colour; however, immediately distracted her anxious mind, the eyes stared at the colours, while the mind unknowingly engrossed itself in this new distraction.
‘Come, let me help you,’ the teacher offered and walked towards the bench. The child too followed, while still holding onto her mother’s finger.
Soon, she was busy drawing.
The mother walked back slowly; her eyes still followed the child intermittently even as the kid remained involved with the task at hand, the teacher blinked her eyes, gazing at the departing mother, aware of what she must be thinking.
‘This is much more difficult than I could ever imagine,’ the mother murmured to herself, her reluctant steps though now took her farther away from someone she loved so dearly.
‘I will be back in a few hours,’ she tried comforting her agitated mind, as the face broke into a subtle smile, the heart looking forward to meeting a part of it again, soon.