Tag Archive | counsellor

A bud blossoms

I was late and hurried home. My husband was out-of-town and I wanted to  be with my daughter. She can take care of herself but its exam time and I want to be there for her just in case she needs any thing.

“Good evening Doctor’, a voice called out. I looked up.

‘Hi Teacher, will catch you later, want to be with Sneha’, I said and rushed.

Ajit, an English teacher at Sneha’s school, who lived in our colony had become a very close friend of ours. A teacher who loved to teach innovatively, who was able to inspire students, who made them curious and taught them to inquire. He often asked me advice on some students who needs some psychological help. A help which I was glad about.

I feel as a generation we cater to all the whims and fancies of our kids but so very over ambitious we are, of them that we do not allow them to spread their wings.

But now was not the time to have these thoughts. I had to see if Sneha needed me.

A week late Ajit called me, ‘Doctor, can we meet this evening’.

It meant he had to discuss something,’Why not, come over this evening. the better half will be there too.’ And he agreed. The better half is quite insightful with matters concerning kids and that’s why I like him around if Ajit has a problem.

So in the evening after some juice, Ajit began, ‘I have a new student in fact in Sneha’s section only, resident of this colony. Do you know the people who have come in, in Building A4, Flat 45?’

I nodded in negative.

‘ The girl I feel is bright but is very shy. Hesitates to participate in class and gets very tense about any test’

I really did not understand what help Ajit wanted from me.

‘Doctor, I need some support from all of you’, he said.

‘What?’ we cried out in unison.

‘Can Sneha have some combined study with her and see if it makes a difference?’

‘Sure’, I said

‘We will have to ask Sneha, first’, added my ever wise husband.

‘Sure’, Ajit smiled understandingly.

Sneha said an emphatic “NO”. The reason; the girl Medha was of the silent types, did not mingle, was always hyper and the most important reaso was what the others would think of her. They might call her a baby sitter or a nanny.

‘Its alright. But Ajit thought she needs company and he thought you are the right person who could help her bloom’, said her father.

‘He thinks so’, said the kid with star struck eyes.

Our daughter has a crush on her English teacher. We know that and do not encourage her generally but today was an exception.

And she agreed.

So Medha came everyday. And she did start interacting with Sneha but if we adults  were around, she got anxious.

And then one day Sneha was invited to her house and she returned in a rage.

‘What happened?’, I asked.

‘That aunty, Medha’s mother is a b****’, she said.

‘Mind your language’, I yelled, ‘What happened’.

‘She interferes in everything. Including what we should read and how. She checks on how we write our answers etc. Can’t she mind her own business?’

So that was the problem. New age parents I tell you, can be a real pain.

Some days later the girls were very animated. I was happy Medha had opened up very nicely and now had a ‘mind of her own’ which I was sure must be giving her mother sleepless nights.

‘Maaa’, Sneha called. I went.

‘Ma, Ajit SIr has divided us into groups of 4 and asked us to prepare a skit on deforestation. We 2, Adesh and Surekha are on the same group as we belong to the same colony and practise would be easy.’

‘Only Ajit could think of all this. Shuttling kids for their practise is quite troublesome.

But then my mind went on an overdrive.  ‘Alright you four can practise e here but …. Medha have you told your mother?’

‘No  my aunt is unwell so she went to meet her. She will be coming late tonight’.

‘Alright then, do not tell her. Prepare your skit and present it’.

‘You will not help us?’, was Medha’s doubt. “no”, I said. ‘Yipee’, Sneha said.

My daughter likes it when I am away from her life. Sigh.

And so when we were at home we put ear plugs. 4 teenagers in the same house meant that our ears suffered a lot.

The skit happened, and our colony group lost. But it had helped their confidence. One was dreaming of becoming a playwright. Other an actress. But more importantly there was a glow on Medha’s face which had never existed before. And it was while the group was rejoicing their loss, Medha’s mother made an entry.

‘Medha lost her glow and she bent her head in shame.

‘Why did you forbid Medha from telling me?’, she screamed.

‘I looked towards Sneha and said,’ Can you please take your friends to your room’. They were more than happy to leave the scene.

‘So that you may not interfere’, I replied to Medha’s mother.

‘Interfere? I would have aided them to make a better skit’, she screamed.

‘Speak softly’, I said in my most professional voice, ‘It was better this way. They developed confidence, they know what went wrong and they will do better next time. ‘

‘They have lost, they will get less in their internal assessment….’

‘So what. They have gained confidence’.

‘I will not allow Medha to come here any more’, she said.

‘That is you wish. But have you seen the look of contentment in Medha’s face. why do you try to run her life, she is an individual too. Let her learn, experiment. Let her grow’.

She stamped her feet and went away and for 2 weeks Medha did not come to our place.

On the 15th day she came accompanied by her father.

‘Thank you, he said

‘For what’, I said.

He said, ‘ For letting my girl blossom into a person. She told her mom very gently and very firmly that she wants to be with Sneha . Her mother could not argue, and…. her standing out  gave me confidence too’, he said with tears in his eyes.

A single gesture, a little support could make such a big difference. I was happy. Happy that Medha would be fine from now on.

————————————————————

As parents we often try to run our children’s life forgetting that they have a life of their own.

A story partly inspired by Rachna’s post at the cybernag

For more stories of  Sukriti, the counsellor:

Occupational Hazards

Communicate

To accept

To accept

I sipped my tea and glanced sidelong at Anubha. She sat with her cup, in her own world, ignoring me and my presence.

Her husband Sudesh came in with a ‘Hiya darling’, and for a moment there was a flicker of joy in her eyes.

I did not like Sudesh. I like macho men, no, not really but I like those dependable men who act and behave as men. Sudesh’s mannerisms are effeminate. His walk, his talk, everything. And I can’t digest the fact that my best friend agreed to marry this person. Well it is a long time now since they got married-fifteen years in fact and …..

‘You have never liked him, isn’t it?”, Anubha asked me. Obviously she had read my face. Anubha and me have been friends ever since I remember and both of us can read each others expressions very well.

‘No, nothing like that’, I mumbled.

‘Don’t lie to me, Sukriti, you may be a Doctor but I know you’

Sudesh came in again and said,’Anu, I have a meeting and will be coming in late but you have your dinner and sleep, Ok?’

I was looking for a way to escape.

‘Anu, I will leave now, have to make some notes’, I said

‘But you said, you were free today’

Yes, but….’

‘No, I won’t let you leave. With a lot of courage I have decided to tell you everything and I am not letting you go now’.

My heart sank. I have heard worst marital stories but when it concerns your own loved ones, you need a mountain of courage.

‘Nobody knows my secret other than my mom and of course Sudesh but you know I am not able to face you because you have been my chum always and I do not like to hide things from you. It was Sudesh who said that I should tell you everything and that then I will be at peace with myself.’

I was at my wit’s end, did not know what to say and what to expect.

Anu carried on, Do you remember that I was going steady with a guy in college.

I nodded a yes

‘We were so much in love. After our B.Sc final year exams, he came in one day, met my mother, asked my hand in marriage. My mother agreed. He was handsome, belonged to a good family, would be joining his father’s business and there was no cause for worry. With no male member at home to search out matches for me, she agreed for the best one available.    One day he took me to the old fort  on his bike.’

She carried on,’I was very happy that day but little did I know what was in store for me.’

I sat motionless, too afraid to know what happened further.

‘Four of his friends were already there. I suppose you can understand what happened next’.

Again I nodded.

They left me home battered, bruised. We went to the police station to lodge a complaint but halfway we returned home.

‘Why?’, I asked.

‘There was no point Sukriti. They were powerful people. I had to think of my mom and my younger sister too. But even without lodging a complaint we were stalked, threatened and my sis was followed to her school and back.

Finally we decided to relocate to another city’

‘And all this happened when you had not kept contact with me for 3-5 years’, I said.

‘Yes’, she said, ‘We went to another city, I found a job but I had lost my faith in humanity. Sudesh was a colleague there. Because of his mannerisms, he was made fun off and many actually asked him, whether he was gay. But he would just smile and carry on with his work. One day I came to know that his family had approached my mom for my hand.’

‘Then’, I asked.

‘I refused but  then one day he cornered me and asked for the reason of my refusal ‘

‘What did you say’, I asked.

‘Initially I did not say anything but then when he asked me whether my refusal was because of his mannerisms, I had to tell the truth’.

‘Then?’ I asked. My curiosity was at its peak.

‘When he had heard me he had tears in his eyes, he just took my hands and said-We can’t change the past but let us make a beautiful future. From that moment on he has been true to his words. He has made each day special. Even when he came to know that I can never be a mother, even though he knows that I can never trust anyone fully ever, still he is always by my side.’

‘Tell me Sukriti, what is important? Is it important that a person’s looks and mannerisms conform to our standards or that a person stands true to his words.

I sat mulling. Ashamed of my own prejudices and behavior.

 

This is fiction and is not related to any person