Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Can I drop you off somewhere, Ms Kempster?" - Part 2

So, about 6 months after my previous post on the same topic, I was riding my scooter down the same road in CH Area a week back when I saw a familiar figure walking down the sidewalk.
Aged, slightly hunched, more salt than pepper, she walked on braving the sun. But this time I wasn't in my car. I was on a 1987 model Bajaj Super scooter.
And this time, I didn't stop by, to ask whether she'd like a ride home. I just rode on, didn't even slow down. I felt this guilt for not having visited her home to ask after her and her ailing sister. And then I felt some more guilt; this time for not having visited the grave of my nursery teacher, Mrs Palamkote. The graveyard is just a kilometer from the campus. She spent her life getting kids in shape, up to scratch, and well mannered. Come to think about it, she didn't just give us knowledge, she actually gave us an education. She taught us to eat with our mouths closed, to walk noiselessly, without dragging our feet, to always say "Thank You" and "Please", no matter who we spoke to. She made us little gentlemen.
We've all gone our separate ways since then, each one of us. And even then, I can make out how different we, Mrs Palamkote's children (calling us her students would be an insult), are from the rest of the kids. Love truly can do wonders. Mrs Palamkote passed on a few years back. I couldn't bring myself to go to her funeral. And it pinches me every time I tell my friends that I'm at XLRI now, a few feet away from the place I started my education from. I cannot but bite my lip every time I tell my friends this, because I haven't had the guts to visit Mrs Palamkote's grave.
I don't know what I'm afraid of more. Whether I will break down when I go to the cemetery, or whether I won't feel a thing. I really don't know. But I hope that I find the strength to stop my vehicle the next time for Mrs Kempster when I see her walking on the sidewalk, and that I actually am brave enough to cross the road and say hello to one of my school teachers, or to help someone who needs it. I think that's all I gotta say about that.