School days form some of the most memorable days of our lives. They hold some of the tender memories, first time fun, first time mischief and a whole lot of other things which we did for the first time. If we roll back our memories to those times, it is for sure that we recollect some very kind faces who have always helped us when we were kids, helpless little kids . They were our mothers when we were at school, they always bore with us when we were the naughtiest, when we did the most disgusting things, and they were always there. Without them school would have been a nightmare and very much unmanageable. It’s very much apt they are called ayyAMMAs. True that teachers play a very important role but there is a realm of our memories we don’t talk much about, ayammas hold a very special there and if u visit your school again now you will definitely have that face lingering in your mind.
Step inside a school and you will find them engaged in helping kids with feeding them food , taking them to the washrooms and whichever way they can help the child. Stepping into the school I found one of them helping a student with his homework very patiently and diligently. As I approached to talk to her , her English surprised me . Though she had not studied to speak such fluent English , the way she picked up the language from the students kept me dumbstruck for a while.
There was another ayamma who was working for the school, her Late Husband who was a gym trainer, left her with four daughters when he passed away falling prey to a disease. Since then life has been a tough journey and she has chosen to be an ayamma in school. She manages to pay her bills and support her daughters with her monthly salary of Rs.6000. In spite of being the only bread winner in the house she does not encourage any of her daughters to work. Rather she has all of them studying. Such a sacrifice. I ran into another ayamma , as she was carrying a kindergarten kid into the class who was crying , calming down this mess is just rocket science for most of us but she knows how to do it and she does it perfectly . As soon as the child sees her he stop crying .she has joined in the school to help her husband pay the debts they accumulated for their daughter’s wedding.
Year after year the kids keep changing. They grow up just in front of their eyes. Some remain kind to them and some turn arrogant. But it doesn’t matter to them. Their source of happiness comes from the tender smiles they see each day , the innocent talk the hear from the toddlers , and the silly things they do , all this make up their world . All their struggles seem to disappear when a kid offers a share from his snack. Their life is just about this little happiness amidst all life’s harshness.