Pages from a music score of silent melodies.
Updated: Jul 11, 2021
Consonance and dissonance
Did you ever see a laddie go this way and that?
The child gradually grew disconcerted with his experiences at the 'nursery'. He was annoyed and often shocked by the world that unwrapped and what that he deciphered in the fourth year of his life.
Other than Sister Atlee, there's a teacher and a nursemaid in the nursery. Sister Atlee makes an occasional visit, and though she appears aloof and austere, the child liked her because he recognized that she is loving and harmless. So is Maggie, the nursemaid, who is probably a teenage orphan living in the convent. She wears floral frocks and has bobbed hair. Maggie serves the kids with the milk and cookies brought from their homes and cleaned the rooms. The teachers in the school have to be unmarried, and if they marry, they have to leave their job. In that case, the teacher in the nursery is a young lady.
The children are assigned 'homework', and every morning they are supposed to place the homework book, one on top of the other, on the teacher's table. Most kids didn't know the purpose of the ritual. As a routine, they often place the book on the table, even if they have not done their 'homework'. The teacher goes through each book, and the kids have to go and get their book when she calls their name. She called "Anuj", and the kid gleefully approached her. He was startled that unexpectedly she threw the book at his face and yelled, "Why you didn't do your homework?". The book came flying with its pages spread and hit him right at his face. It didn't scare him, but he walked back with a heavy heart as the brown paper covering of the book got unwrapped, and he remembered how attentively his dad encased it late at night. While he sat appalled and downhearted, he could hear her calling the names of other kids in the class. He soon saw her throw the book at the face of another boy and saw the poor child pee right where he stood.
The kid was puzzled why he is continually getting instilled with sad and obnoxious negative notions. He wondered what's funny if "Jack fell down and broke his head, and if Jill came tumbling after", and what's joyful about Humpty Dumpty's great fall. He felt sad for Little Red Riding Hood's poor grandma, who the wolf ate. He wondered why he's taught that Golliwog doesn't bathe or brush his teeth and is ugly; and portrayed as black, with big eyes, thick lips and curly hair.
The kid didn't understand why Vikraman while playing in the sandbox, hit the back of his right hand with the pail when he approached him with a smile. It hurt him badly, and he withdrew, perplexed by the unexplained motivation for such behaviour.