Select a topic from the list of firsts and write about it. Post poetry, prose, a memoir, nonfiction, or an essay.*****
I was in a reminiscent mood and went back to the days when I just entered college. On the first day, we sat inside our classroom, anxiously waiting for the lecturer to walk in and give us the time-table of periods on each day of the week. In walked a smartly dressed lady, in a colorful polka-dotted skirt and matching sleeveless shirt. She was slim and appeared to be in the late twenties, with a fair complexion, wavy black hair, which I thought was in the style of Elizabeth Taylor’s in the film, “National Velvet”. We stood up in obeisance to our first teacher. She acknowledged it with a slight nod and walked straight to the chair meant for her, wearing a serious look, before daintily sitting down.
“I am Caroline Pinto and shall be taking the English classes,” she said, in a serious tone, which forbade anyone from asking questions. Many among us were curious to know about her marital status, but were afraid to ask. “You can call me Miss Pinto, if you like,” she clarified, setting at rest all our doubts. She took the roll call, by calling out the names from the register and taking a hurried glance towards the direction of the response. She then wrote out the time-table on the blackboard and I discovered to my disappointment that her periods were only twice a week. Too less for an important subject like English, I mused!
Next day was her first English class. It was the first period of the day and I came as early as I could, so that I could occupy a seat in the first row in the classroom. She came in time, with a book in her hand and after the initial formalities, she declared with a faint smile that she would be teaching us about George Bernard Shaw’s play, “Arms and the Man”. “Ah!” a gasp escaped from my vocal chords and, unexpectedly found sanctuary in the ears of Miss Pinto.
“Did you read it..er..Subroto..is the name right?” she enquired, as she slowly walked to my seat with a swaying movement of her hips.
“I acted in a one-act play in school, which was based on this story,” I said with a slight nervous stammer in my speech.
Her eyes sparkled and her smile grew wider as she said, “You must be familiar with the story. Can you tell what it is about?”
“It is about the conflicting beliefs and ideas. The romantic or idealistic belief of war and love, portrayed by the character, Raina and the realistic picture of war drawn by Captain Bluntschil,” I said, unhesitatingly.
She nodded in approval and walked back to her seat to unfurl more details of the plot. This was the first time I saw her from such close quarters. I inhaled the sweet fragrance of her perfume and felt I heard her heart beat. It could have been mine, beating at an alarmingly high rate! There was something in her demeanor which captured my imagination.
As the days passed, my attention remained more focused on the English classes, at the cost of the other subjects. I realized to my dismay, that inadvertently I had developed a sort of crush on her, which I tried very hard to remove, but all my efforts were in vain. I played the last card at my disposal, which was to stop attending the English classes. However, this also did not work, because she sent some of my classmates to me to tell me to meet her in person.
“What’s the matter with you, why aren’t you attending my classes. Am I very boring?” she asked, point blank, when I met her.
I stood silent as I could not reveal the real problem.
“I think you need some help. You can come to my house. I’ll see what I can do,” she suggested.
I politely turned down the suggestion and promised to attend her classes regularly. I had to follow the adage, “What cannot be cured must be endured”.