Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Getting her started on the journey of her life !

Ruhi's rather elite little Play School has branched out and added a full curriculum school in Greater Noida. The very first session will begin in the April of next year and grudgingly I have resigned to send her to the back of the beyond for the rest of her 12 years of growing up ! I always like to complain that I have no other option except this. But, if I were honest there are probably only a couple of schools in Delhi that I really would have felt happy sending her to. The others I visited were cramped, overcrowded, had teachers who bully kids, gave senseless homework with a mad rigid schedule. Or that is what I felt watching and asking around. Those couple of schools that I wanted - didn't want us. We did not have the right credentials and in retrospect I understand that.

Ruhi's new school had a written exam for Ruhi and ten others in her class who have applied to the new school besides kids from other schools. And they called us today along with Ruhi for an 'interview' the dirty word which in context of school admissions in Delhi means that a few stern and important looking women will grill you with questions aimed at making you feel small and useless. I know everyone in Ruhi's Nursery school. She has been going there since she was two, yet I started getting that same creepy feeling that I used to get while visiting other schools for her Nursery admission.

After a long wait, as Ruhi played on the swings with mad abandon - her brand new white trousers soiled completely at the knees, I sat outside wondering if many years down the line, I would regret my decisions about Ruhi's education.

We were ushered in to meet a tall, fair big lady with light eyes and pleasant features. As soon as we sat she looked at Ruhi and said she was happy to invite her for admission to class 1 in the Step by Step world school.......they started having an adult conversation and I kept wondeing if Ruhi knew what was happening. They spoke about what she likes and laughed and talked. We sat there, Wasi and I, each on one side of Ruhi, feeling and looking quite useless in the context of things. It made me so incredibly happy. It didn't matter who I was, where and what I had studied or where we lived or what we did - the only thing that mattered was the child who they were going to bring up for me.

Ruhi was saying she loves to swim and that she can make a 'roti' but cannot put it on a 'tawa' and that she loves to play with clay but not so much with toys though she loves best the 'Ballerina' Barbie but she doesn't have one yet and that the best thing she likes in the world is to get gifts !.....and that she loves to eat Papaya and all other fruit but doesnt care too much for food except Rajma Chawal and Maggie Noodles !

After their little tete a tete was over Mrs Raina asked me if I'd like to tell her something about the child. I told her Ruhi was a shy, introvert and a sensitive child. I told her that she was growing up too fast and that I was concerned that she may not be able to enjoy the innocence and abandon of childhood like other kids. About her being madly jealous of my attentions to little Rayyan. I told her about her questions about God about poverty, beggars, about the good and the bad. About how she gets bullied and that she was the only one in her class who was not naughty and that I never wanted anything more than for her to be naughty and 'normal' like other kids.

She heard me through and then said to me that the world was becoming an insensitive place because our kids are taught to be tough and aggressive from the start and that in fact what is required today are 'more Ruhis'. She said it will be a painful journey for me because I will have to handhold her much earlier than other kids, through her struggle with life and its understanding, but I must learn to be stronger myself and to let her be. Because she is OK like she is.

In my heart I believe that too. I realize I am only looking for reassurance.


Poppins said...

Lovely post, came here via the mad momma. I can totally identify with you because my daughter (who's only 2.5 years old) sounds similar to Ruhi.

It must've been heartening to hear those words of encouragement from the school!

P.S Linked you up !

Poppins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Poppins said...

And here's the link (sorry for the excessive number of comments)


Preethi said...

Very lucid post.. Ruhi seems like a lovely precocious kid. My friend's daughter is 5 and similar to Ruhi.. you remind me of her.. she is the most well behaved and adorable kid I have come across. So don't worry... I left a long comment in Poppins post on how my son was shy too.. would love for you to read that :)