Pari has joined a school in Allahabad. It is not the best school there, but then who knows what defines 'best', so I have put her in a school that I felt was good for her. I did try getting her into other schools. The entire week that I was in Allahabad, immediately before joining the course was spent visiting different schools and pleading with them to consider my child for an admission. In comparison, my admission into this MBA course was a cakewalk. There were 2 major obstacles- Pari has been attending a montessori so far, and has barely started writing, while the schools here expect a decent amount of writing from a child her age. Further, Pari is born in Jan, which is the most inappropriate month to be born in as per the recent CBSE directive. All, please plan your child such that he/she arrives only between March-September. Pari missed the train by a couple of months or so it seems. So even after finishing 2 years of formal schooling, she is still eligible for only LKG. At this rate, we would grey by the time she reaches the first standard, and in all probability look more like grandparents than parents of the child in question. Anyways, after much heart-burn and more importantly petrol-burn, I finally gave up, and agreed to put her in the only school that was willing to accept her in UKG, with some conditions ofcourse -- my mom's school. No, she doesn't own the school, but has taught there for a couple of years. It is comparatively far from home, and huge, and not a convent.
I had many apprehensions when I approached them for admission. I could see my little girl getting lost in the sea of children, and wasn't sure how well she would be able to cope with it. I mean her montessori had only around 25 children. However, once there, I was amazed at the warmth of the staff there. Obviously, they don't treat everyone the same way, it is only because they know my mom. I also felt that they hold her in really high esteem, probably because mom was rather over-qualified for this place. She had been a lecturer and taught under-graduate students earlier, apart from having taught IGCSE syllabus when she worked abroad for a couple of years. Whatever be the reason, it was very reassuring to see them treating Pari as family. For the first few days, mummy actually accompanied Pari to the classes and sat with her while she got adjusted to the new surroundings. We definitely got some undue advantage, but I think it is only fair to a child, who has shifted from a tiny playschool to a big school, from Bangalore to Allahabad, from parents to grand-parents. I had already left Allahabad by the time Pari started school, and so had to be content with the daily progress reports recieved via telephone. From what I was told, I felt Pari was settling down well in her new school... till this happened.
Generally, there is a separate assembly of primary children for the morning prayers. However, yesterday there was a special assembly in the school where in the primary section had joined the senior section and all children from nursery to Std 12th had prayers together. It being a special day, some additional events had been organised in addition to the usual prayers. I am told that after the events, Pari walked up to the Director of the school, who was addressing the assembly at the time. She asked the Director to give her the microphone, 'I want to say something'. To say the least, the poor lady was stunned. However, she did lower the microphone to Pari's level. And thus spake my 4 year old--'I liked the Marathi song, but why didn't we sing the national anthem today?' The assembly diluted in a fit of laughter. The director wasn't too pleased with this, but she still entertained the child, and said -'Why don't you tell them your name..' to which our lady snootily replied -'But I have already told them!'. She probably meant her classmates and teacher, ignoring the remaining junta. In any case, I am sure the entire school knows her name by now.