Sprouted

He had just completed his intermediate and his physics teacher offered him to teach maths in his coaching classes; he accepted happily. He reached there 15 minutes before time. Peon was cleaning the class. He introduced himself as Ankit and told him that Gupta Sir had sent him to teach maths. Peon introduced himself as Bachchoo. Bachchoo was surprised by the lean, young and shy personality of newly appointed teacher.

Ankit sat on a bench there and started waiting for students to come. A charming girl, in a light yellow suit, came and sat on the same bench. She introduced herself as Tanya to Ankit. Ankit reciprocated the gesture. Bachchoo and Tanya got busy in their nostalgic conversation of previous year classes. She said, ‘We used to tease Tiwari Sir by hurling chalks on his back whenever he got stuck in tricky problems. But fun apart, he was a nice man. He got a good job in Delhi. Gupta Sir was saying that he had appointed new maths teacher for us’. Bachchoo said, ‘Tanya, don’t you know Ankit? He is your new maths teacher’. And Tanya turned pale.

Ankit had done introductory discussion for 11th std. and returned home as no one for 12th std. had come. His dad wanted to know everything about the classes, the students and other teachers. More than telling the details his dad was interested in, he narrated Tanya’s chalk hurling story to everyone in the family. He was mesmerized by the budding beauty of Tanya. He kept recalling her sweet smiles entire night.

Soon classes started running with multiple batches. Ankit had established himself as a strict, introvert, young teacher. His grip on the subject helped him maintain the discipline.

A soft corner for Tanya was getting tough to control for him. That day when biology teacher didn’t come and Gupta Sir asked him to go and maintain discipline in his class. He scolded Tanya badly for making noise and drumming the benches. Tanya broke into tears and that triggered a storm of feelings for him. Two-three days passed but he couldn’t forget her tears.
    
Tanya was a sweet intoxication and our studious student turned strict teacher was having a daily dose of it. First term exams results were not good for Tanya as a maths student. Her teacher had warned her to submit an extra project on maths else join biology. She therefore requested Ankit to give her extra time for the project.

One week, two hours, daily post regular classes: a dose of maths for Tanya and a dose of sweet-fresh-smiles for Ankit. He, however, respected the limitations of teacher-student relationship and didn’t share his feelings with her. The week got finished and so was the project. She asked him for his time on Sunday as she wanted to be more confident on the project. He agreed for afternoon.

Ankit, as usual, reached classes 15 minutes before time. Tanya came in off-white suit; she had little wet hair, straight combed as if she had just taken shower and come. Afternoon sun had added sweat droplets on her forehead. Project was already complete and she started talking about her liking, disliking and hobbies. Ankit was trying to capture the moments. She was getting friendly. Ahead was a night full of Tanya and her sweat droplets for him. Entire world was running as usual, it was Ankit only infected with beauty syndrome.

The other day, she thanked him for her selection in maths stream. Bio teacher cracked a joke on Ankit and said, ‘Ankit, you have put lots of efforts and hijacked one of my potential student.’ Ankit smiled.

Few days later, one of his achievements has killed all his sprouted feelings. All the threads, both tied and untied, broken in a jiffy. He got selected in All India Engineering Entrance Exam. Dad’s joy was mixed with pride. On the day of his farewell in the coaching classes everybody congratulated him; he was not only leaving his family, his city, but a lot more, perhaps nobody noticed. Tanya was looking prettier than she ever looked. Ankit lost himself in her deep eyes.

It had been five years - another achievement, proud moments for dad, time to leave the city, office party to celebrate and similar deep beautiful-but-sad eyes on the verge of getting blown all the oceans of love, they are containing for so long. He couldn’t ignore affectionate eyes of Payal and decided not to refuse the offer of love for anything else. He told his decision of not going abroad for long term on-site opportunity to his boss and happily shared the reason and said, ‘Now I can afford being with my love’. Payal was her colleague; she had studied engineering with him. She had great love and respect for him.


- Amit Roop

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