When is Hasita’s school reopening? Asked my husband looking at Karthik. (Hasita is my five year old grand daughter).
Karthik in turn looked at Prathima for an answer.
Mamma, I am not going to go to school, announced Hasitha, sipping her milk from the tiny glass with a spout.
Why darling? Asked her mother endearingly.
No, mamma, I hate school, she literally screamed spilling some milk on her frock in the process.
No, you should never say that, don’t you want to study and become a big person like your dad? Prathima tried reasoning with the little girl.
No, no school for me , she repeated almost with vehemence. I want to PLAY with my friends, the child said with tear filled eyes.
Didn’t you play enough in your summer camp? asked her mother.
I hate summer camp, she groaned.
Come on child, didn’t you have lots of fun in your summer camp? Said Prathima.
No fun, no play, it was so boring, she said stretching the word boring.
What did you all do in your summer camp? Asked my husband sounding curious.
A lot of things but no playing, she complained shaking her head from one end to the other.
Things like what? Asked my husband.
Like swimming, painting, story telling , yoga and, and, she made an effort to recollect.
That’s good. Now I am sure when we all go on a holiday next, we don’t have to worry about engaging Hasitha, she can engage herself, said Karthik appearing relieved.
But pappa, we do all these in our school , informed Hasitha looking at her father.
You mean, they teach you swimming also in school? Asked her father surprised.
No, no teach swimming, but I don’t like water, said she looking frightened (probably the fear of getting into water overtook her).
I am not going to go to school, reiterated Hasitha ,tears rolling down her chubby cheeks.
Oh, these summer camps !see what they have done to the child ? She has developed an aversion to going to school, remarked my husband.
But all my friends’ children attend the summer camp, sometimes they are sent to more than one camp, said Prathima. Some children are even younger than Hasitha for that matter, she said as though to support her decision. What’s wrong in following her peers? she asked appearing upset.
“Your” peers( meaning mothers) or Hasitha’s? Karthik retorted ( it was surprising to find Karthik vocalizing his opinion for once ).
N.MEERA RAGHAVENDRA RAO