A teacher’s day in the garden city
Long before it's bright, you see them rigorously burning their fat out around the railway meadows. A quick bath in hot water, a bowl of oats, a kiss on the cheeks of the baby asleep, and a bye to the better half....a waving from the balcony..
The steep ascent of the railway overbridge, sneaking through the spilling crowd, pointing finger at the id card round my neck to the ticket checker, the dirty subways, the newspaper seller at the entrance, the jacket sellers surrounded by a bargaining crowd, the differently abled with things from safety pins to socks and then the BMTC platforms..
Wait for 280 series, again a flash of the BMTC pass to a dutiful/doubtful conductor, out of the Montreal-metro like doors, wait for the rushing airport-bound cabs to leave a gap to cross over to Defence gates, the gun-wielding frustrated security guards at the gate and then the school..
An impatient and panting crowd at the attendance register, "good morning"s, "namastey"s tossed around in the corridors and the staff room...then the morning assembly.
A restless lot addressed by the principal, a group of threes and twos here and there at the back updating the latest news, voicing grouses, few loners, the stock career-guidance from a few,
"you r so talented, yaar..y don't you try for better jobs? u shouldn't end up in a job like this....see, our case is different, we r trapped"
To the classrooms..... from the hyperactive to the lethargic.....the reservoir of a nation's future! ya, the heterogenous group.....nobody empathises with their plight...how they cope with the dynamic and the bore....each waiting out for the one inside to come out like at a public toilet.
The lunch break...a quick bite/gulp/gorge....each cheek swelling out, the uniform movement of the jaws (note: we r the ones who use mouth the most).
A quick sign on circulars without even reading the content...lots of signature here and there...a call from the boss, a clarification from a parent, a file of data for the office, a brief meeting, a few tips to some participants and the most tedious task of checking and count-down of the pile of copies....the long bell..and a peal of "bye-sir" in various pitch on the corridors...
Again, the same crowd in hurry at the attendance register, A bye-handshake from a few helmet-covered heads, some remaining for an extra 5 to 10 mts for the above said tedious task.
the wait for a less crowded 280 series, a colleague, like a granny, with a rich vocabulary of family line, unhappy with the changing values, yes the journey back..
the busy traffic, and the wait for the favourite colour of all motorists/passengers.. GREEN, the BMTC platforms, the dirty subway with new set of vendors, ladies(and the ladylike too) with thick lipstick and partly covered parts making their intention crystal clear(note: i feel they are the best communicators in the world), the fruit vendors, the space of the newspaper seller now replaced by a ground-net seller and a BANGALORE CITY MAP seller....entry to the over bridge through the metal detector....men and women running frantically searching for the platforms, a few fined for no ticket, a board reads...PISSING HERE IS FINE! and then the steep descent, on the steps the food for the pantry car in boxes, uniform-clad caterers counting them.....
walk along the railway colony, now not-so busy roads, the half-drowsy late afternoon, dogs enjoying a nap under the trees, RPF men on a drill in the railway meadows, knock on the door of A-3, kiss for the baby and the id card to play with, a quick gorge and then the day's recap with the better half...and then a sound!(yes, literally a disturbing snore)sleep, poor thing my better half hardly enjoys a sound and deep sleep, the hectic schedule is obvious on her face.
a refreshing tea, daughter clad in sweater and with a cap on for the chill, gloomy evenings impatiently waiting for a walk in the railway meadows...the time for the better half to set the house right, the cartoons on POGO and a long browse through the same old sites...a light supper and then the alarm for the next morning....LIGHTS OFF.