Breathing for a glance

She looked at her watch. The mailman was half an hour late. Divya always thought of Raju, as her lucky mail deliverer  who always brought some good news about her relatives with him, every week. After she turned her sand-clock upside down, thrice, her sharp ears heard the bicycle ring. A stranger riding a bicycle dressed in khaki ,sped towards her and handed her the mail, in a hurry. Unable to understand, Divya asked the mailman quite loudly,” Where’s Raju?”. The old man replied with a deep unbothering tone ,”He was transferred last week. I’m your new mailman from now.” With those words, he turned his bicycle and drove away, with the same speed ,as if the earth beneath him was crumbling away.
                      Hearing those words, a small fading memory, turned bright as a sun, in front of Divya’s dilated eyes. The same her, thirteen years ago from now, flashed her vision. A timid ,dark-haired girl sat on the classroom bench eagerly waiting, for her favorite subject to be taught that day, like many other days. A subject which was her most hated one till last year ,had suddenly become her most loving now. She looked forward to that class more than anything.
                      When her teacher arrived, her world would become a merrier place. Miss Jacobs would greet the children in the most enthusiastic way and ask the students to tell their dreams, their passions and tell them the stories about her own experiences. she would present herself in the most casual manner. Her high heels would perform their tap dance ,as she climbed the classroom’s stairs. Her wavy hair ,tied in a bun and fixed with a large clip ,would eventually find their way out, after a few minutes. Her perfectly fitting chudidar looked dazzling with a matching dupatta which hung around her neck, like a scarf does, in the cold winds. For Divya , she was a sign of perfection, her role model ,who just showed no signs of a single fault. When she started teaching, Divya’s world would be focused on the blackboard and the book. Miss Jacobs’ voice mesmerized her and she would go in a literary world of Robinson Crusoe. That’s what she taught. The pictures she drew on the board, explaining the story , became alive, animated if, in her mind, she was on the island, with the sea, with Friday.
                       On the Christmas Eve, she would exchange gifts with all of them, sing and play merrily with them and tell stories about the Eve, which the children enjoyed whole-heartedly. When she got bored of teaching, she would close the book and tell them her own childhood stories and fun moments.
                       When the half hour of the class ended, that world would just be gone- vanished within a snap of a finger. Six months went by happily and dreamily. But one Monday, a big , fat, rowdy man came in the class and started reading aloud from the book. On looking at the confused glimpses, of the students, he told them lazily, not bothered ,” Miss Jacobs has been transferred and from now I will be your new teacher.”
                         From that day on, classes were never the same for Divya. Life for her now, was gloomy with nothing to look forward to. She felt betrayed, cheated, thrown away. How could she go so suddenly? would she see her again?
Divya flipped out of the memory. How vivid it seemed! The deja-vu which had just happened, had taken her back to the memory. All these years, despite of Divya’s wishful thinking , she still prayed for Miss Jacobs’ safety and good. That was a memory she preserved, the memory, which was etched in her heart, of a person, she was breathing for, just for a glance.


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