Our second trip was scheduled on 14th July, 2008. As Sahithya and I were participating in Fresher’s Day dance, which was to be held on the following day, we wanted to practice for it. Thus with the permission of Ms.Mercy ma’am our trip was postponed to 16th July, 2008. Instead of us Komala’s group volunteered to go. Thanks a lot Komala!!! I was very much looking forward for this trip because both Vignesh and Lokesh were sending me their warm messages through my friends who belonged to other groups. [And hey, this time I made sure that I carried my wallet with me.]
!!! Ms.It was 16th July [Day 5] last hour – STAR hour Fancy ma’am had given us a test in Normal Forms and Principal Normal Forms. We were writing the test sitting under the trees [of course under the supervision Ms. Fancy ma’am]. Mira, Lithiya and Sahithya were unable to write the test as they had to conduct Library Orientation for our juniors. At the stroke of one, I finished the test. By the time the orientation program was over and the three retuned to join us. But Diana and Inbam were still sincerely writing the test. So, the four of us, Mira, Lithiya, Sahithya and I, were patiently waiting for them to complete. Meanwhile Sahithya, not wanting to waste time, started applying sunscreen lotion to protect herself from the hot sun. It was indeed a hot Wednesday afternoon! We were all ready by 1:15 p.m. This time we all agreed to follow Lithiya’s directions [It was a big mistake!!!]. She said that we could get into 29C, get down at Kalyani Hospital and then get a 21G to Kotturpuram.
We were all waiting at the bus stop [opposite to SMC] for 29C. Ina few minutes a 29C deluxe bus arrived. But it didn’t seem to slow down at our stop. So Mira quickly moved forward to stop the bus. God bless the driver! He did stop. Lithiya, Diana and Inbam hesitated to get in as it was deluxe. But seeing that the bus was almost empty Sahithya, Mira and I ran and got into the bus. The bus started moving and oh! I was having Inbam’s money [which she gave me to get the ticket for her] and Sahithya was having Inbam’s cell phone [which Inbam gave to her as she didn’t want to carry while getting onto the bus]. Thus we left with Inbam’s money and cell phone, leaving behind Lithiya, Diana and Inbam. The ticket was worth Rs. 5/- . We didn’t know where Kalyani hospital was and so we safely got down at Mylapore Tank, as I was sure that we could get a 21G there. Diana kept giving missed calls to Inbam’s cell [which Sahithya was carrying at present]. Sahithya was unable to call back as Inbam’s cell didn’t support outgoing. We got down at Mylapore Tank. Irritated Sahithya, not able to do anything with Inbam’s cell took a photo of me.
Shortly 21G arrived. It was deluxe again! Anyway we got in. This time we didn’t get a place to sit. The ticket to Kotturpuram was worth 7Rs/- . We soon learnt from the conductor that the bus would not stop at the Kotturpuram Bridge stop. Thus we realized by paying more we needed to walk more. Diana tried calling us again. This time Sahithya attended the call. It seems they were walking towards VM Street [which is 2 stops before Mylapore Tank]. Hearing this we felt a bit better as we were in a better position than them. We thought of getting down from the bus while it’s running. But of course we can’t do it! Mira tried shouting ‘stop’ when we were crossing the stop where we wanted to get down. No use! We were cursing Lithiya and were designing new, better plans for the next trip. Finally the stop arrived were we had to get down. Then, we crossed the road and retraced the bus’s path; back to the stop were we wanted to get down.
Finally we reached the place by 1:45 p.m. The other three hadn’t, of course reached the place. We were once again given a warm welcome. Lokesh and Vignesh were very excited to see me. I thanked them for their messages. They told me that they didn’t like the gap between my two visits and they wanted me to come everyday. I was very happy to hear that [c’mon kids don’t lie!]. As the other three were detained, Mira volunteered to take care of Vignesh and Lokesh while I handle II grade. There were four students in my class. They kept asking where the other three were. It was difficult to convince them that they will be arriving shortly. The four, Thirunavkarasu, Swetha, Bhuvaneswari and Rupika, were silently copying down the sentences written on the black board. It was general knowledge for class II, about computers to be specific. I speeded their writing by introducing a competition between them as to who would finish writing first. Rupika finished first. Bhuvaneswari was second. The other two were still writing. Rupika was curious to look at what I was hanging down my neck [my ID card]. Looking at my picture in the ID card, she exclaimed that I have become fatter. This increased the curiosity of the others. All of them wanted to see my ID card. Almost everyone agreed that I looked better then. Then I taught them about computers. Vignesh and Lokesh kept calling out for me as they wanted me to teach them.
Finally Lithiya, Inbam and Diana arrived. My class was happy to see Inbam. I handed over the class to Inbam and joined Mira to teach Lokesh and Vignesh. The two were teasing Mira as she didn’t how to read Tamil. This time a new girl, Vijayalakshmi, who is not a student of this school, was giving us company. She is the daughter of one of the teachers working in the school. She seemed very young, smart and she was neatly dressed and well mannered. Then Ms. Revathy ma’am asked them to copy down the Thirukural meaning which ma’am had written on the board. Vignesh finished first and got his notebook corrected by ma’am. He was not allowing Lokesh to finish writing. He kept troubling him. Ms. Revathy ma’am hit Lokesh on his back as he had still not finished copying. Mira and I readily protested against her act. She tried convincing us saying that it was the only way to make them work; and she said even if we [Mira and I] worked in the school everyday we would be doing the same thing. Adding to it, she gave a stick to Mira to hit Lokesh. She refused to take it and said she wouldn’t hit any child any time. Mira, with her sweet encouraging words tried to motivate Lokesh to complete his work. Meanwhile Vignesh and I were discussing in general about Thirukural and Thiruvalluvar. I learnt from him that he wanted to become a Police officer when he grows up. I encouraged him to follows his dreams.
Our next subject was Origami. Vignesh made a boat from paper and presented it to me. Lokesh was disturbed by our activity. I asked Mira to take care of Vignesh. I helped Lokesh in copying the Thirukural meaning from the board. He successfully finished copying in few minutes. Then he got his notebook corrected. The he too made a boat for me. Mira taught them how to make a rocket. Then we four played flying the rocket. Ding Ding Ding Ding!!! The school bell was sounded with help of a metal rod hitting one of the supports of the roof of the school. The children rejoiced. They bid us good-bye and happily ran out carrying their back pack and lunch bag.
We all walked back to the bus top. Mira, Lithiya, Inbam and I got into 21G and left. I reached home safely by 3:20p.m. It was yet another memorable trip.