(continued from the last post)
“All the papers are correctly produced, and everything is clear. There is no discrepancy as you mentioned” ma’am spoke in a rather surprised tone. But I was eagerly waiting for the clerk’s reason, and I was all ready to defend myself when he says something. More than being excited, I was curious to know what exactly made him say a “no” to me. But I was completely disappointed, when he stood silent, still as a rock. No single word was uttered. And then ma’am asked me to meet her the next day for collecting the documents, “the memo and suspension are withdrawn, your parents would be informed, don’t worry. And the scholarship is approved too. So, you need to meet me tomorrow morning for further procedures. Good luck!” she told me with a smile. Later, she asked the clerk to meet her the next day. I wondered what she might do to him. Will she scold him? Or will he be just left like that? Many questions and no answers. But I was happy with the Principal’s decision.
I came back to my room, and called my mother. She spoke in a cool manner. But, she was the true hero of this story. If she hadn’t pushed me to do what I felt was right, I’d have never gone, thinking that I was wrong to speak up in the office rather than keeping shut, just like how most of my friends did. I was extremely happy for this. Somewhere deep inside, I felt proud of myself for doing such apparently courageous act. But it all disappeared when I thought about my mother. Marrying a man outside her community was a big deal, but then, going to places all by herself, and speaking in a language that she barely understood, was truly commendable. I remember how she easily handled situations like the one I faced now, but with no help or ill usage of language. Even when people would judge her and make fun of her broken vocabulary, she was confident in speaking with whatever she knew. I could never inculcate that confidence, maybe. In fact, my parents are the only role models I’ve in my life. I get inspired by great personalities, but I never tried to imitate or be like any. If ever I have tried to be like someone, it’s my parents. Though I like my father more for his transparent personality and better ideas or decisions, I love my mother for her management skills and support she lends to everyone. But both of them have something in common – the coolness, or as some might define, the guts to be what they believe to be. I have never seen them adjusting or changing their views for pleasing others. If they have done so, it was only for my happiness, but that is too rare. And often that ends up in fights between us, because I don’t recognise them when they aren’t themselves. When people call me stubborn, adamant and a girl with the go getter attitude, I feel that it’s just a fraction inherited from my parents.
The next day I completed all the work which made this fuss, and I even received the scholarship amount which was a big relief. I looked for the clerk in the office. I didn’t find him. I wondered where he might be now. I just asked ma’am about this. “There were many students and doctors who made complaints about such behaviour of his. And yesterday, your case was the extreme. Hence, it was decided to suspend him for six months” she told me. Now that was some real shock! And million questions about his suspension came to my mind, but by the time I could ask them all, ma’am left the office.
I called my father and told him everything. Of all the queries, the biggest issue that disturbed my mind was, “was it because of me that he was suspended?”. He has a family. He would be unemployed for six months. How would they live? Does he have any other source of income? Am I the reason for this trouble caused to his family. Maybe I should have been silent, at least for his family’s sake. And silently complained about his attitude. I shouldn’t have retaliated. Guilt covered my conscience. I was not blank, rather I was stuck.
With all these things told in a single breath to my father, he said, “suspension is not meant for him to suffer. It is the time given to that person to learn what exactly his job is, what he forgot to do now, and later come back and do it more correctly and efficiently. And why would you be the reason ? He didn’t know what to do being in the post he was assigned to do the job, and he is sent home for learning that. That’s all. Why do you keep thinking so deeply about everything. Every small thing bothers you. Are you sure that you don’t have some anxiety disorder?” he laughed out loud.
“You keep making fun of me like this, always” I loved being pampered by his mocking like this.
“When are you coming home? At least Bangalore? Leave Moodabidri. It’s been a year now. We didn’t meet. You met your mother, not me” he sounded like a child now. But I badly wanted to meet him. There was a small argument, where he pointed out my hesitation to go to my hometown, which I defended with stupid reasons, as always.
“Okay, you have the schedule. After the AFMC training, book the tickets. I won’t cancel, I promise. After the last day at AFMC, book the tickets for the very next day from Pune. I won’t skip. Happy?” I knew I was overreacting.
“Cool. I can book the tickets. But it’s your call to keep the promise. If you cancel the tickets, I won’t book them again. Also, you remember about the engagement right? They want to meet you before the engagement. So, tell me a proper date. Now. Now !!!” Pa asked me. Sometimes it’s fun to talk to Pa than Amma.
“Yeah I remember that I have to meet them. I won’t break my promise. Haha” and I almost felt that my heart stopped working.