Parent Teacher Meetings…the very word brings a flood of warm memories for me…and a flood of harrowing memories for my Mom. I smile happily in reminiscence while she cringes. I loved going for PTA meetings even if my report card and discipline record was the pits. My Dad always accompanied me and he had a healthy disregard for Parent Teacher Meetings (PTA). Like most primary school kids, the villains in my small world were mostly teachers and not ghost and ghouls and Goblins. And like most kids I was convinced that my Dad was a superhero and hence my expectations of him was err...a bit too high.
Dad’s friend: Shall we meet up today for lunch?
Dad: No. I have to go for a PTA meeting.
Friend: That would take about an hour right? You can drop by after that!
Dad: Nopes, My daughter says that I have to meet the Science teacher….
Friend: Well that shouldn’t take more then 10 minutes!
Dad (continuing): …and tell her that she is no good.
Dad: And then I am supposed to meet the English teacher ….
Dad: And tell her she sucks.
Friend: What language!
Dad: And she says I cannot use any other language.
Friend: tch tch!
Dad: And then I am supposed to go meet the Hindi teacher and pull her hair real hard.
Dad: And then meet the Math teacher and punch him a bit and then threaten him so that he leaves class and there is no more Mathematics in school.
Dad: Then I have to meet the History teacher and flirt with her so that she gives my daughter grace marks in History exams.
Friend: *shakes his head disapprovingly*
Dad: And then I am supposed to haul the PT teacher by the collar and drag him to the football ground and punch him around the ground, thrash him to pulp and then pick him up and throw him into the garbage bin.
Dad: After that, I have to barge into Sister Principal’s room and tell her that she should abdicate her post and give it to that nice sister Marie who teaches kindergarten and loves my daughter to bits.
Friend: That Nun is over 100 years old surely!
Dad: Exactly! And then I am supposed to intimidate the Canteen lady and tell to either shut shop or stock Chips and Bubble gum banned by the school management!
Dad: And if I have energy left…I am supposed to slap the watchman for not allowing her to go out and buy Guavas which she is forbidden to eat. But she says she buys it for her friends you see.
Dad: I am dreading the day she starts Computer classes next week.
Dad: Then I will probably have to beat myself up, as they don’t have a Computer Teacher yet !
Thankfully my Dad had no notions of being a super hero and tactfully ignored my creative suggestions in dealing with my teachers. He believed in handling the situation practically. So while most parents met the class teacher and then the rest of the subject teachers, my Dad bunked after meeting the Class Teacher. And since there was no record of the meetings we were never caught!!
Every attempt by the school authorities to get my Mom or elder brother to come for the meeting was futile as I was trained to give the PTA Meeting Slip only to my Dad.
Mom: When is you next PTA meeting?
Dad: Oh! That was four days ago! I forgot to tell you. heh heh
Mom: %$$#$ (turning to my eldest bro) I swear on everything that is holy and sacred to my family that one day I will get that slip.
Dad: Please make that your “maternal family”.
My Dad slept on the couch that day. But that was for the good actually. We got him all to ourselves to tell us a whole lot of tall tales in which he was the super hero!
I will give anything to walk those dusty corridors again, hanging onto my Dad’s hand, passing class by rickety class and glowering teachers. If looks could kill, a certain Dad and daughter would be deader than a Dodo fourteen years ago… killed instantly by the violent looks of the daughter’s History Teacher, English Teacher, Math Teacher, Hindi Teacher, Kannada Teacher, Geography Teacher, Science Teacher, PT Teacher, EVS Teacher, Catechism Teacher and Watchman.
( When in Dilli do as the higher IQ Dilli'ites do... says Babychen!)