In the years gone by, I am fortunate to have made some friends who are always by my side in both high and low moments, who have supported me through thick and thin. One such person is Neeru, a beautiful lady who is a radiologist by profession. This real-life anecdote is about her daughter Muskaan when she was about six years old. One day I had gone to meet her mother I have always called the little princess a cherub and I can vouch for the fact that she is in the hands of best care. One evening, when it was breezy and the weather was quite pleasant, we all sat in their lawn, chit chatting. There came the doll running towards me and gave me a hug. “Hello aunty, how are you?” “I’m fine Muskaan”, I said lovingly. “How was school today?’’ She said, “Aunty, it was great. Today, in my drawing class, while I was whispering something to my friend Khushi, the drawing teacher got a little annoyed and asked me to stand up and tell her what I and my friend were talking about. I got a little scared but I had no choice, I spoke timidly,
Ma’am, actually we were sharing our experiences of our school bus. To which Ms. Francis said, Child, this is a drawing class. Why do you discuss your school bus here in this period? I said: Tina and I were saying that school bus is such a nice place to be. While climbing into the bus, we all wish each other. If we get a seat in the middle we always say excuse me and then move to the seat. We always display good manners as this is the age to learn all that we are being coached and groomed about. Now Aunty, Ms. Francis was keen to know what next. I answered that we also greet the driver and say thank you to him. We discuss in a low voice so that, while driving, he doesn’t get disturbed. We always use the word ‘thank you,’ ‘sorry’ and ‘please’ as and when required. Ms. Francis was now very interested. She asked: Then what did you and Tina discuss? I replied that I’d simply told Tina, I feel that I haven’t seen many adults using these words with each other and very often I see them using much more rude words. ‘Sorry’ is a very big issue with adults and ‘thank you’ seems to block their ego. When papa returns from office, he would narrate such experiences where adults have fought amongst each other over trivial issues and lifelong friends turn each other’s foes. So, Ms. Francis can you please write a letter to the authorities to make people travel by school bus so that our society could improve for better and people could be more cordial. I could feel my eyes moisten while Muskaan spoke. I asked her what Ms. Francis had said to her. Muskaan replied, “Oh, she behaved somewhat like the way you are. I don’t know why her voice became heavy and she also said that she would try her level best to write to the authorities for the suggestion I gave her. She also asked me to submit my drawing sheet. She gave me a peck after that, and said, let me see what these pretty little fingers have created, and aunty, she was surprised that I had drawn a school bus which was very colourful and vibrant where all the travellers seemed happy and contented.” I gave Muskaan a big hug and I assured her that this friend of hers, her aunt, has already hopped on to the school bus and was ready to be a happy, polite, courteous, sensitive traveller.