'I wish someone told me earlier about the sufferings and sorrows of Mrs. Arora. Oh ! how much I wished that I had known what was behind the sad and helpless expression of this elegant and sober lady who was posted to my school. The depth of her eyes conveyed that deep down within her heart there was suffering , a suffering which was only hers and was purposely hidden from the probing eyes of the world.
This graceful lady, who was posted to my school, depicted a sober and composed demeanour when she came to join the school. I was instantly attracted by her towering personality. I had seen her some years ago. At that time she was a bubbly and exuberant young lady.Just within a period of three years so much change! I wondered what had happened to her during this period!
She was a hard working and a sincere teacher. She came to school, attended to her prescribed time table and left the school. She did not mingle with others, as if always lost in a world of her own.The outcome was,to say the least, that staff members and students passed unsavoury remarks about her. Some said she was arrogant, some others said she was presumptuous and brazen. There was no end to all these comments. I presume that most of these comments reached her but she paid no heed to them.
All this ended as abruptly as it started. One day in a school function some irresponsible students openly mimicked her. They uttered harsh words against her. All this was too much for her to bear and she burst into tears. Some staff members escorted her to my office. I let her cry for some time and then sat by her side. I spoke very softly and encouraged her to speak. Ultimately she came out of her shell. She narrated to me that her husband was mercilessly killed by an unruly mob.
She had hardly recovered from this shock, when she was informed that her only son, who was studying abroad, too became a victim of mob violence. This was the last straw in her otherwise life of sorrow. I let her cry. After narrating these two incidents she became stable.I advised her that whatever had happened should be forgotten. I reminded her of Tennyson’s famous lines
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act—act in the living Present!
Heart within,and God o’er head!
Slowly she was transformed . I felt that had I known all this earlier,I would have consoled her as I did now.
Note: This is a true incident.Only the name of the teacher has been changed to protect her identity.