Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Learning Curve - Chapter 4

'Theories are always correct!...well almost'

'What the'!! 'Sicko'!!, two words spoken together, by two equally shocked persons, Mrs D'souza looked from Khushi to arnav, wondering why the two were standing like statues, and did she just hear khushi say 'Sicko'? she cleared her throat as both khushi and arnav came out of their stunned silence and looked at her, first bewilderment and then awareness hitting their face "Ms Gupta..did you just say sicko?" Mrs D'Souza said, her face a mask of utter confusion.

Khushi quickly composed herself before flashing a big smile at her principal "Off course not mam, I meant...ss...sick...i felt a bit sick...so i'm late...yes..i'm late because i was sick" she said stammering, trying very hard to ignore the heated stare she was getting from the man standing in between them. "Oh...I hope, you are feeling better now? Do you want to rest?" mrs D'souza asked with a concerned voice. Khushi slowly stepped aside and stood near the table with arnav on her left. "No..no i'm pervertly fine now...I..I mean perfectly fine...i took some medicines, so i'm a lot better" khushi lied through her teeth, mentally slapping herself for her slip of tongue.

"Oh well, for a minute i thought you both knew each other!.uh...do you?" Mrs D'souza asked watching both their faces as they both cried out a "No", Arnav though took time to respond since he was first shocked, then irritated,then amused and then completely dazzled by her gorgeous smile..it made all the stress lines on her face vanish, her eyes twinkled while her cheeks bloomed with a natural blush..'Shall I compare thee to a summers day...'..wait WHAT!! was he seriously quoting shakespeare! Get a grip man! He cleared his throat as he sat down on his chair, pushing it further away from her...the farther the better.

Mrs D'souza smiled as she looked over at the uninterested girl "Anaya, why don't you go and sit outside dear?I need to talk to your father privately" she smiled warmly as anaya picked up her bag and without saying anything, dragged herself out, closing the door firmly behind her. Arnav looked over through the glass partition to find his daughter once again buried deep inside the book, He averted his gaze as it unintentionally...yes totally unintentionally flitted over to the fireball next to him, who at that precise moment was staring straight ahead at the certificate on the opposite wall while cursing her sheer dumb luck to find that this...this...was Arnav Singh Raizada! "Well then, since the introductions are made, maybe we can start discussing your child Mr Raizada?" Mrs D'souza said kindly.

Arnav quickly turned back to Mrs D'souza, who opened anaya's student record while sipping her tea "So Arnav, I have known you and most of your family since a very long time and I have known Anaya since she was but a toddler..she has been the epitome of perfection all these years; academics, sports, extra-curricular activities...she aced everything...but recently, ever since she has come to grade 4...she has been behaving very rashly, causing so much trouble unnecessarily...and this is creating a lot of stress amongst the staff and students of our school...do you have any idea what might be going on in her mind?"

Arnav found it very odd that anaya was behaving badly, she was always a very sorted out child,...he knew she would never hurt anyone intentionally, but he too had deduced that something was different about her recently...he knew they did not have an ideal father-daughter relationship, but...was she acting out Because of what happened? But that was nearly a year ago... "Mrs D'souza...i really don't understand...she is absolutely fine at home..i mean she has never complained about anything..." he started saying, but was rudely interrupted by the vixen.

"Well Mr Raizada...sometimes certain things at home may disturb a child and they may act out in a negative manner to rebel...like for example...do you spend enough time with her to go over what she studied in the day?umm..help out with her homework perhaps? Or are you always jet setting leaving her in the care of nannies! Or maybe you bring over a lot of friends and company which may be uncomfortable for her...especially the female kind" SHIT! What the hell was she saying, she looked wide eyed at Mrs D'souza who was giving her a very disapproving stare...she had no idea what made her ask that!

Arnav looked at her with barely controlled anger at the accusations she was freely throwing at him, 'What was with this woman!' "Well Ms Gupta...i do have an empire to run, so i'm not with her 24/7, but i do spend time with her...and let me assure you that her nanny is one of the best nannies ever! Anaya has always got everything she has ever asked for! I make it a point to spend my weekends at home so that my daughter and I can have time to ourself...and as for female company...i keep that part of my life away from my girl...i will never make her privy to anything unpleasant...i hope this answers all your questions?" he said, his anger lessening with the answer he threw at her, but he was surprised to see her smirking instead of looking guilty.

"Exactly Mr Raizada! Anaya has the best nanny...Anaya always gets what she wants! Anaya gets to spend quality time with her father on the weekend, which he so graciously remains at home for...Mr Raizada...in case you have forgotten let me remind you that it is natural to stay at home on holidays, its not something out of the ordinary! And as for Anaya's needs...don't you think that she would prefer her father's time instead of materialistic things? Don't you think she may rebelling in this way because you are never there for her! Maybe she needs some attention! Hell you weren't even bothered to come and visit her school until i explained it to you in your terms!" khushi said breathlessly..her eyes flashing green.

"How dare you!" arnav said coldly as he stood up and glared at her "How dare you question my parenting?!" he asked as khushi too got up and stood facing him, Mrs D'souza was too dazed to say anything "Who the hell do you think you are? Your'e just a bloody primary school teacher...not some child psychologist to analyze my relationship with my daughter! Don't you dare assume anything!" he said as he banged his hand on the table while khushi calmly folded her hands and looked him straight in the eyes "There is no need to get this agitated Mr Raizada...but i don't mind..your'e only acting out a universal truth" she said shrugging her shoulders.

"Excuse me!" arnav said, his anger getting replaced by irritation at this mad woman, Khushi smiled at him slowly as she cleared her throat and said in a loud mocking tone "A man gets angry on the truth" she said as she straightened her pallu while narrowing her eyes at him "And for your kind information, I am not just a primary school teacher, though i think its one of the toughest and honorable jobs ever...but I am also a certified practicing psychologist! So voila...I can analyze away all that i want!" she said triumphantly as arnav raizada looked lost for words.

Mrs D'souza looked at both of them with bewilderment, but stepped in at the right time "Mr Raizada, I am sure Ms Gupta is not questioning the integrity of your parenting, but trust me when i say that none of us understand why a bright student like Anaya is acting soo out of character, especially when she seems normal to you at home...we are all here just to find a solution to this problem, please...will you sit down? Lets talk about this rationally" she said gesturing Khushi sternly to calm down herself and sit.

Once they were seated, both looking the other way, very obviously ignoring each other, a sudden thought stuck Mrs D''souza "Actually I think i have a solution to this..." she said suddenly making the other two participants sit straight "Ms Gupta...didn't you say that the last part of your thesis deals with children? And that you were looking for a troubled child?" she asked as khushi suddenly started feeling uncomfortable "Y..yes..B..but i have already decided to replace that with something else...plus we have policies regarding teacher-child relations right?...i don't think it should be broached outside of the premises..." khushi said as Mrs D'souza cut her midway "oh rubbish! You are a qualified physiologist, plus this will help you with your thesis...and I think we have found the right candidate for you!"

"What? If you are suggesting that my daughter will be questioned, probed and poked around by this psycho..." arnav started as khushi cut him once again "Hello! Its psychologist...get your words right! And we don't poke and probe...we observe, analyze and work out a solution based on proven theories and facts...and I bet I will be able to deduce the exact reason for anaya's unnatural behavior!..in fact i probably have!" she said sneering at him.

"Ms Gupta please...arnav, Khushi has worked with the best institutions before pursuing her PhD, she is infact one of the top rankers in child psychology at state level...I truly think this will be very beneficial since khushi has been very closely observing anaya in school, now she needs to observe her in more natural surroundings, I am sure a few sessions with her at your home might even help her confess her troubles ..it will help us in evaluating her behavior and come to some understanding" Mrs D'souza said as khushi and arnav both widened their eyes

"What?" khushi squeaked "Home?..n..no...I think i can manage quite well here...I..I mean i can take after school sessions with her here itself...that should...suf..suffice.." khushi stammered as the proverbial axe fell on her dainty little feet. 'Khushi Gupta! Learn to keep your mouth shut and your ego in control!" she cursed herself as Arnav too seemed unsure of this, but nodded his head

"Ok..she can come over this entire week but i'll be out of town..." he said as khushi muttered "Surprise surprise!' but breathed a sigh of relief at the fact that she won't have to face him. Arnav heard her but remained calm while gaving her a heated look; He turned back towards Mrs D'souza and spoked politely "I'll let Anaya's nanny know about this arrangement...BUT i do not want her interfering in my daughter's life where its not needed!" arnav said sternly to Mrs D'souza not even sparing a look towards khushi, whose mouth was open and ready for a fitting retort, but couldn't say anything when Mr's D'souza quickly spoke before her.

"Great! Ms Gupta will start tomorrow...she'll visit with Anaya everyday from 4-6 pm after school for the next 3 days..I'm sure we'll get good results, and don't worry Arnav, Ms Gupta knows her limits" she said as she turned towards khushi raising her eyebrows. Khushi simply nodded as arnav stood up and shook Mrs D'souza's hand before turning and waking out the door, completely ignoring Khushi who looked on as both father and daughter walked out of the office while she sat back in her chair with her head in her hands, cursing her luck for the thousandth time. God! Why me!

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