|Our Class at the Attic|
The journey to Anita's attic today had started an hour earlier than usual as I had to drop my son at his school, thanks to the compensatory working days imposed after the many hartals caused by the Cauvery issue. The morning had been hectic. Packing his lunch, tiffin and then facing a hundred tantrums he had thrown at us. Add to it the many excuses he had put forward to explain why he couldn't go to school today.
Once he enters the school gate, he waves at me and walks towards his class happily. Would anyone believe that this is the same boy who had shouted just an hour ago that he hates school? But seriously, who wants to leave the warmth of a cozy bed on a cool Saturday morning.
The driver switch on the radio and latest Kannada songs starts playing. I spend some time trying to understand the lyrics without much success.
My main hobby while traveling these days is to try and read at least a few boards in Kannada. My first attempt itself fail. I read ‘Nurabhi’ instead of Surabhi. I make a mental note for the hundredth time that letter na in Kannada doesn’t have a dot. But it just doesn’t register. The only progress I have made, I think, is that after months of struggle the letters doesn’t seem like jalebis anymore.
I take out the book I had to return to the British Council library, a collection of unseen archives from the life of Princess Diana, and become totally engrossed in reading it. The recurring thought while I leaf through the beautiful photos is how much sadness the photos hide about the woman who was fighting bulimia, an unfaithful husband and the rigid laws that governed the life of a princess in the British Royal family.
I keep back the book after a while and check where we have reached. The ISKCON Goshala is on my left. I have heard that protecting cows is one of the most important activities being done there. They give protection to cows rescued from the slaughterhouse and provide all medical facility. Kind of a five star facility for the cows?
The houses on the next street mostly have asbestos roofs which are in a dilapidated condition but the kids are playing around unaware of the chaos or poverty around. Women walk around in nighties but have flowers decorating their hairs.
I pass a charity trust that bears my name, then a school and I know I am nearing the attic. The Lulu supermarket appears after a while and I keep back the book in my bag.
I have reached half an hour early.