Mantam’s school picks a theme each month and they have so many events conducted all through the month based on it. This month it was ‘Community Helpers’. Yesterday they had an event where parents were invited. The school had put in so much efforts to beautify this event. They had made makeshift hospital, boutique, post office, airport, salon, court, prison, bakery, supermarket, traffic signal etc. I was very much impressed with the whole setup. The teachers were helping students in playing their roles. For example, any parent would come to the Doctor’s clinic, Doctor would check their BP, check using stethoscope and write prescription. Then they would be either sent to nurse for injection or Pharmacy to buy some medicines. It was very well coordinated. Final stall was post office. The postman insisted to fill the feedback form and provided an envelope. We had to fill the feedback form and put it in the envelope and deposit in the post box there.
I felt very nostalgic looking at the whole post office setup. I used to write letters to my friends who had moved away and wait for the postman in anticipation of a reply. I know, e-mails are fast and convenient. But they cannot give a personal touch that a handwritten letter can.
A few of Tammu’s antics:
1. She was more keen on picking up Koflet and eating them than attending patients.
2. There was a boutique adjacent to their hospital. She was looking at the pretty dresses hung there and was whispering to me “Wo dress mujhe chahiye”
3. Tammu was pointing towards the judge (refer pic below) and telling me “Wo dekha. Matha mein ice pehna hai” (Meanin – Look, he has worn ice on his head)
3. At the end of the event, they accumulated all kids on the stage and played a Hindi film song. All kids started dancing but Tammu started crying for me. (I was filling the feedback form) She thought that I had left. I picked her up and she refused to get down. Next song was ‘Lakdi ki kaati’ and she jumped from my lap and kept on jumping on the stage like a spring. In the evening, when I asked her why she didn’t dance initially she said “Wo gaana mujhe pasand nahi hai, isiliye” (Meaning – I didn’t like that song. That’s why)
4. This event was from 10 AM to 12 PM. Abbas and I had to go to office and Mantam thought that we were all going back home. I made them understand that they had to stay back and that I would come in the evening to pick them up. I asked the caretaker to give them some snacks as they were very hungry. As soon as they were given the snack box, Tammu didn’t bother about our presence / absence. Mannu started crying now. While we were trying to convince Mannu, Tammu takes a break from her munching and says “Baba-Mamma chala jao. Khabo, uske baad Mannu ke samjha debo” (Meaning – Mamma Baba, you leave. I’ll eat and then make Mannu understand)
PS: I had written about costume hunting here. I finally borrowed both the doctor’s coat and nurse’s frock from acquaintances, bought a doctor’s set and made that Nurse Hat myself.