Children of My Heart

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Machurina Hussain
Head, Dept. of English
Govt. College, Diphu.

The roars of weaving bikes, the screeches of brakes synchronizing with peals of merry laughter,  joyful whoops,  excited voices of students, darting here and there in a flurry of satchels and backpacks, which beside paper notebooks and pen, contain perhaps their usual paraphernalia: umbrellas and handkerchiefs, cell phone chargers and key rings…these lighthearted pleasant sounds and scenes of gaiety, have all become a part of me. I have listened and heard these familiar sounds—all precisely blending into one oscillating loud boom, echoing across the building walls and around the corridors—with much delight.

True, their buffooneries may sometimes get me all huffy…especially, on an incredibly hot and humid summer afternoon, in a classroom packed to the gills. Many a time in class—unexpected sharp vibrations of cell phones on desk tops, sudden surge of noisy chatter, text messaging on the sly— such disruptions trail clouds of distractions enough from intense lessons! Their focus wanders off and it’s no easy task to bring them to refocus.

But that’s not all.

I think it’s a bit spooky: they don’t walk…they fly in the corridors! At the sound of the bell ringing, students spill out of class rooms, as if their life depends on it. Tired of swerving, veering right and left; and for fear of any head-on collusion with the on-coming herd of youths, I have stopped wearing six inches! No kidding.

Yes, they are considered as adults. Maybe, they are. Though they don’t completely behave maturely. Let’s put it down to youthful naivety. They are like the newly emerged butterflies from the chrysalis. Very soon, they will metamorphose into serious hard-working individuals anyway. Why spoil their fun stage like some manic depressive by always reminding them of tests, exams and about the consequences of failure, and freaking them out?!  They are, after all, merry, witty and rollicking…all essentially human characteristics. They are childish and plain annoying sometimes…but they are certainly NOT Frankenstein’s monsters. They just appear slightly crazy and confused maybe. But the truth is that they are still at the age of dreaming…dreaming about almost everything.

The college is certainly no closed arena, and the teachers no fighters on horseback armed with lances.

Yes, it is genuinely frustrating that after a lecture, very few raise their hands to ask questions. And if questions are put to them, they answer ever so softly that no one understands anything. They have healthy lungs though. I have heard them yell and shout and making all kinds of ruckus. When one chooses to be a teacher, these things are part of the deal. And to me it is a little slice of heaven.

Come five in the evening the college corridors are empty, the giggles and all the sound of multiple conversations are replaced with monotonous creepy silence.

Thus…with all their faults and annoying antics and shenanigans, they are the ones who exude a  cheerful  vibrancy instead of woe vapors. No matter what! It’s one of the things I love most about my students. I wouldn’t have it any other way. They are the ones who dwarf the crumbling ugly pile of cantankerous fossilized stones!

They are my students of Diphu Government College, my little champions and…the Children of my Heart!

That’s the way it is. They are amazing people.