When I was a little girl I loved going to school even on wet, rainy days like these simply because getting to school and back was quite an adventure. On really wet days even a raincoat was not good enough – for that matter even the bus didn’t matter because everything literally came to a grinding halt. For some strange reason our school took pride in never shutting it down even for half a day – even if only one child showed up. I grew up in a time when there were no mobile phones and no regular telephone in our home so calling up school to ask if they were shut because of the rains was quite a tedious task – going across to the neighbouring building to make a call – and simply ridiculous because of the cryptic answer ” School’s not closed officially”. For some strange reason, we didn’t want to be marked absent for the day and would somehow or the other manage to make our way across every ditch and clogged street just to find out that there were only about five students in class and after waiting for an hour or so, we were told that we could go home. And how we went home didn’t matter to either our teachers or our parents because no one really bothered how we did it as long as we got home.
There have been times when I’ve helped push the car of a stranger who offered to drive us home because once inside and stuck in water, it would have looked improper if we refused to help him when he offered to help us; there have been times when I’ve waded through water only to find myself wading behind some pigs who had managed to escape their pen; there have been times when I’ve changed three buses when ordinarily I needed to use just one; there have been time’s when I’ve come home umbrellaless because it simply flew away. But what mattered was that I’ve always managed to come home – wet and drenched to the bone. Once home it was a hot shower and a steaming hot cup of tea and then sharing stories of “how I got home that day” with the rest of the family.
So today when I saw the clouds outside my window I told my daughter that I didn’t want to send little P to school today. She was horrified at my reaction because I never allowed my own girls to miss school for a day… but honestly, when its raining cats and dogs, is it really necessary to send a pre-schooler to school?
I think I was happier than he was when a WhatsApp message circulated the notice that there was no school today!