The two teachers were friendly, and Vyas had worked with one of them for a school project!
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 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, few still sucking the thumb, and even smaller kids who were barely stringing few words together, 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!