THE CLOSED DOOR
Sometime back when she still found Kannada serials interesting thanks to the likes of producers like T.N. Seetharam, Reena was watching one on TV. There was a lady acting the role of a soothsayer cum counselor. She felt that the actor was really made for the role. She was quite beautiful in a ‘big’ way. Her richly ‘kohl’ed eyes looking deep and penetrating, the big ‘tilak’ on her forehead signifying authority, her thick, pouting red lips, colorful necklaces of outsized beads adorning her ample bosom, multicolored bands of thick bangles on the hands all added to the occult aura the character was supposed to project. After some time, Reena started getting a sense of familiarity about the woman, though perhaps in a different context. Then it struck her suddenly. Why, she was her student Malini, whom she had taught Maths for one year in a high school! ‘Just imagine seeing her on TV after so many years!’ mused Reena.
Well, even as she was trying to place her, Reena could not help remembering a funny incident associated with this girl Malini. At that time Malini was no more her student as she had passed out and gone to College. Even Reena was teaching in a different school. She however remembered that Malini was an above-average student in class.
Reena’s son Abhi had come down for his holidays from IIT. On that day he was helping his mother to choose the vegetables from the vendor, imagining each of them converted to his favorite dish in his mother’s expert hands. Reena suddenly saw Malini coming down the road. She greeted Reena and stopped to chat with her there itself though her glances kept going more towards Abhi. Well, courtesy demanded that she should introduce Malini to Abhi which she did in addition to the information that he was on vacation from IIT. Those days Abhi was in his early twenties and was quite an eye candy with his light complexion, golden ringlets, greenish eyes with thick long curved eyelashes(‘like a camel’ as someone remarked!) and red non-smoking lips. Fortunately his fairly tall swimmer’s body with broad bones and well developed muscles had saved him from any ‘femininity’ in his looks.
On the spur of the moment, Malini told Reena that she had to have ‘some’ Maths tuition from her and that she would be coming to her house every day. Feigning ignorance, Reena told her that she was never the one to take home tuitions that too for college levels. Moreover she was now working in a far off school and commuting took quite a bit of her time. She even wondered why Malini so good in maths needed special coaching! Well, once Abhi excused himself and carried the vegetables inside, Malini also left.
After a day or two, when Reena came home from work in the evening her son had this to tell her:
After the maid servant finished her work and left, he saw Malini approaching the house. He secured all the doors and drew the curtains and would not respond to the persistent ringing of the door bell, obviously by Malini. He was not a shy type. He had his own set of girl friends. His idea of enjoyment in coming home for holidays was to eat the goodies his mom made and not to hang around with her nubile ex-students. Moreover he did not want to risk inviting the girl inside when he was alone in the house.
After a while the angry frustrated girl had stopped ringing and left but not before leaving a chit under the door.
The missive ran like this,” I know you are in there. I confirmed with your maid servant. It was extremely rude of you not to let me in.”
After this episode, Reena would miss even the greeting due to a teacher by a student whenever she happened to meet Malini!