THE QUEST by gurpreet singh bhamber

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: Booksie Classic
how does a woman feel when she realizes that she is becoming old and loosing her charm.

please e-mail your reviews- gsbhamber44@gmail.com

Submitted: September 22, 2012

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Submitted: September 22, 2012

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THE QUEST

A SHORT STORY BY GURPREET SINGH BHAMBER

Mrs. Rekha was the economic teacher in S.P.S convent school in Ludhiana. She was teaching in this school for the last 12 years. Considered the strictest teacher in the school, she was famous for her record that not a single student was ever failed in her subject in the exams. Students never used to miss her class. Even if somebody is ill, he used to attend the school until the period of Mrs. Rekha is over. All used to finish their homework for her. She is the permanent holder of the annual prize of teacher of the year. She was as strict in her home as she used to be in the school. Her husband Mr. Bharadwaj was a CA. He was an obedient husband who always does as his wife says. It was famous in the street that Mr. Bharadwaj is a puppet of his wife. But he never considered these things seriously. This was because he loves his wife and used to respect her.

“I think I am lucky enough that I have a husband like Mukesh. He has given me the respect which a wife deserves. And I always try not to disrespect him.” Rekha said.

Mrs. Rekha had two children. One boy and one girl. Boy was studying in engineering collage and girl was doing B.Com.  Life was set. She was satisfied. She goes to school, comes back and has a quality time with her family. Every day was a routine for her until that student came in her class.

On that day when she entered the class he was sitting on the very last bench. He was looking a 20 year old boy having a stylish hair cut, was not wearing tie, no ID card was hanged, the school shirt was half out and half in the trousers. Mrs. Rekha was upset with him.

“What is your name?!” She asked him.

“Gurpreet.” He says.

Mrs. Rekha was expecting him to say “Teacher my name is Gurpreet.”

“Don’t you know how to speak with your teachers?! Is this what you have got from your parents!!?” Mrs. Rekha was angry.

“What I have done!?” Gurpreet said.

And then he was out of the class. Mrs. Rekha called his parents the very next day.

“We feel sorry for his behavior madam. We were living in America. But due to recession, we have to come back from there. This is the first time he is coming to India. I will talk to him.” His mother apologized to Mrs. Rekha.

But he was never in her good students list since then. He was outside the class maximum times. He used to get the least marks in the class tests. 12th standard section A was becoming a room of battle between Gurpreet and Mrs. Rekha.

“He is an average student Mrs. Bharadwaj. Why you are so much angry with him.” Miss Mina the history teacher said.

“Yes, he is doing pretty well in my subject too.” Mr. Singh of Punjabi literature said.

“I am not satisfied from his performance sir.” Mrs. Rekha said, “On that day he took leave from the school when I had conducted such an important test.”

“But the leave was reasonable madam.” Madam Renu of Hindi literature said, “He was sick. I actually saw him when he came to meet doctor Batra.”

“His parents have complained also against you madam. I think you are behaving rude to him.” Miss Mina said.

The principle on that day also said to Mrs. Rekha that she has to change her behavior for this student. Because there is nothing wrong he is doing in his behavior.

But the actual truth behind Mrs. Rekha’s behavior was something else. On the very next day when she met with Gurpreet’s mother, he came to meet his economic teacher in staff room to apologize for his behavior.

“I am sorry for my behavior last day teacher.” He said.

“You must know that this is not US but India.” Mrs. Rekha said.

“Yes teacher.” Gurpreet said, “Teacher one more thing. You asked last day what my parents taught me. My parents taught me to respect my elders. And you are an old lady. So I will behave myself from the next time.”

“Old lady”……Mrs. Rekha was trying to find in the mirror. Was she really old now? She used to be the first crush of the boys when she was in college. Boys used to flirt with her. Although she never gave any attention to them but somewhere inside she used to enjoy this feeling that she is beautiful. Her classmates used to ask her the secret behind her beauty. May be it was a gift by God to her. After marriage and having children, every woman begins getting old. Now she was 55 years old. An age where the beauty leaves every lady. She is considered beautiful either by her husband or by her children. Maximum the women who are of same age will say,

“Hey, you look beautiful today.”

But that doesn’t make any importance to a 55 year old lady. A 55 year old wife is only dependent on her husband for one word of appraise. No other men seem to do it often.

“Hearing “Aunty” is very difficult for any female. Accepting that now you have got old.” Mrs. Rekha said.

After that day she used to ask often Mr. Bharadwaj,

“How am I looking today?”

Once he replied,

“You are a mother of two children now, how you should look?”

Mrs. Rekha used to find her charm in the young school girls. She sometimes used to sit alone in the staff room and feel that how much her figure and face is changed now. One comment of that boy has changed everything. She hated him.

“It is the time when you know that all those treatments are harmful for your skin and too much expensive which make you look younger. And no creams are powerful enough to give your youth back to you.” Mrs. Rekha said.

It was the function of retirement for Mr. Singh when Mrs. Rekha received a comment from Gurpreet.

“Teacher you look beautiful today.”

And she smiled at him instantly.

“Thank you Gurpreet!”

“I thought you are old.” Gurpreet said, “But that was my mistake.”

And she was a happy person since then. Suddenly the student became her favorite student. He was getting good marks in the tests now. On her birthday Gurpreet gave her a card on which it was written,

“Although you look more beautiful when you are angry, but still keep your beautiful smile on your face this day.”

“I was impressed. He made me feel that I am special. I invited him on my birthday party. I never thought how the other students will react, how my husband will react on this but I just bought a card for him saying “YOU ARE SPECIAL.” Mrs. Rekha said.

When she was buying card for Gurpreet, she picked up one card on which it was written, “I love you.”

No…..What are you doing Rekha? You are a teacher. A 55 year old lady. Your son is elder than him. Why this crap came to my mind?

She was surprised on herself. But then on the same evening, she went and bought that card. She bought a sari worth Rs. 25.000. She spent 8.000 on making herself beautiful. Expectations were high that Gurpreet will praise her.

“How do I look?” She asked the mirror, “I know I am beautiful.”

 But her whole plan ruined when she saw that Gurpreet came to the party with a girl. He said she was his girlfriend. The cards were torn by her on the same night. She couldn’t sleep. She was crying sitting in the bathroom. This incident affected her performance as a teacher. The results of the students came down. This was the first time when she lost and Miss Mina got the prize of Teacher of the year. Next year Gurpreet left the school. Mrs. Rekha also decided to leave her job.

“But why Rekha?” Mr. Bharadwaj asked her.

“There is nothing in the outer world now Mukesh. And I have become old now.” Mrs. Rekha said.

She remained in her home for many days. She used to look in the mirror and try to find that how more old she has gotten. Her life was totally changed. 

“Actually I was never in love with Gurpreet. I was in love with my charm which left me long before I realized.” Mrs. Rekha said, “Yes, I have become old now. My husband hardly tells romantic things to me. My children are busy in their own married lives. And I…….I have those wonderful memories of the days when I used to live in the heart my well wishers  who made me think that I am the most beautiful creature made by God. Not only for me, but for every woman, it is very hard to accept that she has become old now. Her quest for looking beautiful lives forever.”

 

 


© Copyright 2018 Gurpreet Singh Bhamber. All rights reserved.

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