Teacher A: Hello!
Varun: (Turns and sits showing his back to the teacher).
Teacher to me: Please come and sit with him so he feels comfortable.
Teacher A: Shall we stack these rings? (and hands him a ring)
Varun: (Grabs the ring and throws it near the other teacher’s feet. Repeats it the 2nd time too!!)
The dad and I exchange that ‘gone-case’ look..
Teacher A: What’s your name?
Varun: Solla matten. I’ll not say
Teacher A: Sari, indha book pakkalama.? Shall we see the pics in this book?
Varun: Enakku yedhuvum vendam. I don’t want ANYTHING
Teacher A: (Points at a bicycle pic and asks): What is this?
Varun: Adhu Auto. That’s an auto-rick.
Teacher A: (Points at the auto and asks): Appo idhu enna? So, what is this?
Varun: Ummm… Cycle
Teacher A: (picks another book, points at a camel and asks): What is this?
Teacher A: (Points at the cow and then the same question)
Varun: It says Mooo…
At this point, you’d find an involuntary reflex from the dad, mopping the sweat-beads on his brows, and the ‘gone-case’ look now most visible on both our faces!..
Me: Just a moment. Let me try.
Teacher B: Please do! (And is visibly relieved!)
The brat at this point decides to run and check on the others! I bring him back.. I suddenly feel drained of energy!
Teacher A: Now, do you want a chocolate?
Varun: Chocolate vendam, onnum vendam! I don’t want anything!
Teacher A: A wafer? (And pulls out a wafer)
Varun: (Eyes the wafer and before we realize, has snatched it from her! This boy, who is generous with his ‘thank yous’ and ‘pleases’ when i help pick dry leaves or twigs to make a forest on a heap of sand, when i help find his screw-driver or spanner, SNATCHED a wafer, which is not even something he greatly likes! And we all are of course zapped and for a second I forget to even close my mouth!)
Me: (Opened the books with pics of vehicles): Where’s the scooter?
Varun: (With a bite of wafer in his mouth, points correctly at the scooter for a change)
Me: Where’s the motor-bike?
Varun: (Points correctly..)
The teacher gets a cue and leads from there, and what follows is a rapid-fire round!
Teacher A: (Points at the car) Idhu enna? What is this?
Teacher A: (the plane) This?
Teacher: What’s the color?
Varun: Blue (There is a thin blue line on a fully white plane. Technically, a white plane. But pass)
Teacher A: Where’s blue here?
Varun: Dho..(points at the blue line!)
The teacher pulls out a few rings in different colors and our man identifies all the colors..
Teacher A: What’s the color of your tee?
Teacher: Whose pic is that on your tee?
Varun: Kisshnaa (his mouth stuffed with the last bit of the wafer!) Krishna!
Teacher: You want to play cricket? Here, take this ball and bat..
Varun: Maaten! Naan foot-ball dhaan veladuven. No, I won’t play cricket. Only foot-ball.
And he thrusts the bat in dad’s hand and hits the ball all over the room..
Teacher B: You must be a good boy like Vyas when you come here next, ok?!
Varun: Looks at her, and turns away without a response!
Teacher B (To us): Here, please fill in this form and pay the fee in that counter, over there!
Phew!! We said a hurried thank-you, lest she changes her mind, and rushed to the counter!The entire 15 mins, felt like an eternity! A good 5 minutes later, when I was leading Varun out of the room, he went to the same teachers and bid a very endearing ‘Byeeeeeeee, voluntarily!!’
Now, we most certainly would not have been refused admission if Varun had not answered even a single question right.. The interview at this school is more to assess if the child is ‘ready’ for school, and if there is a case of a delayed/different milestone etc.. There were cranky kids crying due to hunger or sleep, some simply bored, a few still sucking the thumb, and even smaller kids who were barely stringing a few words together, a few, absolutely mature and so cooperative and at their best behaviour.. (another friend’s son sang Shakira’s waka waka!) All made it… But only our man seemed to be like a fox on an overdose of honey (thaen kudicha nari!). If anything, I’m now sure that they do not refuse admission even for bad behaviour provided, the older sibling is a ‘good boy’:) If they had refused admission, we would have pulled out Vyas also and put both of them in another school just 2 blocks away from my house, and that was Vyas’s worst nightmare:) It was really the anna who sought the admission for the thambi after-all!