PrEm Ji

LIFE-SKILLS (Short story)

 

LIFE-SKILLS

 

‘Premji... Please tell me, your frank opinion about your Sony HD handy-cam,’ Dr Prashanth, my psychologist friend, requested through mobile phone.

‘Superb video quality... Do you plan to by one?’

‘No... no… Be ready with that, by 2 pm...Today.’

‘I am not free today... You know... its November... All of my casual leaves are over’

‘No more explanations please... I will come to pick you up,’ he cut the phone.

Friends are real traps sometimes!

Dr Prashanth parked his brand new Toyota Innova at a lone corner of that expensive private management school and we walked straight into the Principal's chamber.

‘Good afternoon Sir,’ Prashanth greeted him pleasantly.

‘Good afternoon Doctor... Please take your seat’

‘Thank you... This is Premji.... O.K... Let’s get into the matter’

(I am just a spectator here!)

‘See Doctor... I am quite new to this institution... We have a boy named Sameer Mohan, studying in ninth standard... He is a real headache for everyone... Our whole staff wants him to be dismissed... His class teacher Ms Sheela Devi threatens me... If I won't dismiss him, she will submit her resignation... But,’

‘But?’

‘But... I am against his dismissal.... It may spoil the reputation of our school... You better counsel him once... We will decide later…’

We selected an air-conditioned room for counseling. 

'Video-taping a counseling session is a crime against that little boy...' I said.

'I know... But, it's done on his mother's request...' Dr Prashanth replied.

I kept the handy-cam hidden among the long books in the shelf in video capture mode.

‘When this rubbish is over, just make a missed call,’ I told while getting out.

‘What did you say?’

‘Rubbish!’

‘Now get out,’ he laughed.

‘Wind up as early as possible…’

Sameer Mohan entered into the counseling room with his parents and his most hated rival, his class teacher, Ms.Sheela Devi. He was a tall, handsome boy around 14. The elders sat on the front row and Sameer sat in the rear.

‘Sameer Mohan, are you comfortable?’

‘Yes Doctor’

‘Now... Tell me... What is your problem?’

‘I have no problem’

‘That's a common answer... See... I am here to counsel you... why? You know, very well, that everyone in this school has complaints against you’

‘That's not my problem... Even I can simply raise a complaint against you... Can you do anything?’

Doctor Prashanth was shell-shocked for a moment.

‘See Doctor... This is his problem... He doesn't care anyone,’ his mother interrupted in the middle.

‘Madam... What are you doing?’

‘Doctor... I am Dr. Maya Mohan, associate professor at Government Medical College’

‘O.K. Madam... then, you might know more about child psychology?’ Dr Prashanth said.

‘Whatever written in psychology books may not be applicable sometimes in day-to-day life...’

‘Do you teach your son?’

‘How is that possible Doctor... I have private practice till 10 pm everyday... I am a known Neurologist... My husband is free by around 4pm... But, we have arranged the best teachers for giving him tuition...’

‘Why don't he teach him?’

‘See Doctor... My husband is having a PhD in Quantum Mechanics... He doesn't like to come down to the level of Sameer the boy...’

‘Don't talk rubbish,’ Mr Mohan, her husband interrupted. ‘Do you want to insult me?’

‘I don't... But, I told the truth,’ she said burning with anger...

‘Sir... This is my problem... My parents are my real problem... They don't throw away their positions and knowledge in their workplaces...,,’ Sameer declared his stand. ‘What do you call this --- professional jealousy or intellectual intellectual intolerance?’

‘Ms. Sheela Devi... Why are you so adamant on dismissing Sameer?’

‘Doctor... He doesn't have any manners... He never listens to anybody... He doesn't even allow his classmates to learn happily... He is a real trouble-maker,’

‘Do you think that he can't be corrected?’

‘No way’

‘In that case, who is the failure? Either you or he?’

‘I can't answer it... I cannot tolerate a student, who does deliberate copying during examinations,’ her face turned red.

‘Excuse me... Doctor,’ Sameer broke his silence. ‘Even, I cannot tolerate a teacher who is a role-model for copying!’

‘What do you mean Sameer?’

‘Sir, she cannot even derive a simple equation or solve a silly problem without referring to either notes or textbook... How can I respect a teacher like her? She has no knowledge... only degrees she has... She has nothing to inspire me as a student’

Ms.Sheela Devi sat there, so pale like the fallen leaves of autumn struck by a sudden lightning!

‘I don't care anybody who is not a friend of mine... parents... teachers... or anyone.... Why should I waste time for strangers?’

‘You...,’ Mrs Maya Mohan was about to slap him, but, doctor didn't allow her.

‘Today... you can hit me.... But, one day, I can throw you into an old age home too,’ Sameer told out of anger. ‘If she doesn't have time to care for me, why should I care for her?’

‘O.K... Enough... enough... Please calm down Sameer... calm down everyone... Just relax,’ Dr Prashanth said loudly... Suddenly office boy entered in with hot coffee... ‘You came in the right time’

‘Right... I hope everyone is relaxed now... So the ‘know me’ session is over... Do you know the difference between ‘I’ and ‘Me’? O.K... Let me explain... ‘I’ means... what I know about myself... and ‘Me’ is what you know about myself... So what is ‘know me?’ It is nothing but ‘I’ + ‘Me’... So, to understand yourself more and more, you should disclose more and more about you and get feedback about you from others who know you... It is through asking and telling that our open pane is expanded and that we gain access to the potential within us represented by the unknown pane. As you all know the plus and minus of yours, it's time to move on to concrete decisions,’ Dr. Prashanth said calmly.

‘Doctor... I am going to stop my private practice since my son is the most valued one in our life,’ Dr.Maya Mohan stood up from her chair and moved towards Sameer.

‘I am going to cut all of his tuition teachers.... We can handle any of his subjects till he reaches his degree classes.... We don't teach him anything.... We will just enjoy life,’ Mr.Mohan said with lot of happiness...

‘I am sorry Sameer... You have opened my eyes... I will not touch text books anymore...’ Ms. Sheela Devi apologized with tears.

‘Madam... Are you going to trouble me again?’ Sameer asked innocently and Sheela started laughing loudly.

‘No... Sameer... I am capable of teaching anything straight from my mind... So that you can also write any examination without copying... Is that right?’

‘Great... Thanks Mam’

‘See... Students are like taps... Parents and teachers are like overhead tanks.... If water doesn't run properly, it is not the fault of the tap... just clean up the tanks... that you can only do... then everything will be alright...,,’ Dr Prashanth told while searching through the mobile call list.

Everyone was silent for a minute. The very purpose of life is pursuit of happiness!

‘Then, what about you Mr.Sameer Mohan?’

‘What about him? He has already been corrected!’ I said while entering into the room.

‘O.K. Then... Thank you all,’

‘Thanks Doctor...’

I walked near the cupboard when Sameer and parents were about to walk away.

‘Premji, let that be there for five more minutes,’ Ms. Sheela Devi said. ‘Excuse me Sir, Excuse me Madam... Please stay here for five more minutes’

‘O.K. Madam,’ they sat back again.

‘Dr. Prashanth... I wish... if you could have peeled, at least, a big onion... or scraped half coconut in the kitchen... or you could have helped the kids in their studies... then, I wouldn't have been insulted like this today, my dear husband...’ Ms. Sheela Devi ended her stubborn words. ‘With all of your permission, I am going to upload this video on youtube... What do you say Dr. Prashanth?’

‘That's the need of the hour...' Sameer Mohan laughed loudly...

Comments1

  • L. B. Mek

    you should name this:
    'Wisdom's Rivers
    clogged, by that collective
    Intellectual Intolerance'..
    (an important topic
    I really like how you explored
    all the different perspectives
    and in such a short write
    managed to give each one, a voice;
    as usual a lot of lessons
    to be learnt if we invest our time to read and unfurl your message)
    a great write!
    thanks for sharing, dear poet

    • PrEm Ji

      Thanks dear Mek... Thanks a lot...



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