Mom’s the word

A department of the state government organized an essay and drawing competition for school students on energy saving and green planet. Several students across the state participated in the competition and during the award ceremony, it was observed that most of the winners were from the districts. They couldn’t be present during the ceremony to collect the award because of their examination and the hall was filled with students of city schools ~ the winners, participants and their friends to cheer them.

After the dignitaries had given their speech on the topic and cracked a joke or two to nudge them out of their afternoon slumber in the air-conditioned hall, the organizers invited some of the winners to share their views on energy conservation. The students (those who managed to reach the function compromising their study time) spoke and some recited poems while their parents gleefully clicked pictures.

Despite all the speech, it seemed the organizers were left with some extra time. So, they invited more students to come up on the stage and speak on the issue. As the children looked around to see who was going to speak next, cry of a woman tore the silence of the auditorium. The mother of a well-known English medium school was coaxing her son to go on stage.

In her moment of persuasion and when even after repeated requests, her son refused to overcome his stage fright, his mother gave a final push. “Taratari ja Babi!”

The son was finally on the stage. He looked around the audience. The high decibel of the mother has woken everybody up. Everybody in the audience had their eyes focused on the poor kid. The kid started off with his introduction.

The words about saving electricity tumbled out of his mouth very reluctantly and yet, her mother sat charmed, smiling and starry-eyed. However, about 50 pairs of eyes focused on him took away all his confidence and he forgot whatever he had though he would speak.

Blank, he stared at the audience again. And, in a desperate attempt to save himself from further embarrassment, hurried out of the stage after thanking everybody. As he took his seat with all eyes following him, his mother took him in her arms and congratulated him. Ah! Mothers!

Soma Basu

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