Of a model or a pupil

Her innocent face was looking very gorgeous. The dimple formed on her left cheek by laughing had increased the beauty of her appearance. And the lovely laughter, showing solely the top row of pearl like teeth, as rosebud filled with snow between two red colored lips was mesmerizing. She was on the cover of a top magazine of the country perhaps a dream of every model to appear in that magazine. “Can you recognize the model?”My roommate asked handing me the magazine.

She was appearing as a very pretty and elegant woman in my every glance and her aspect seemed known to me. But the girl whom I knew surely by this face was rather simple than attractive. As a student of engineering, I had just studied quantum physics in which I learnt that ‘observation affects the reality of what is being observed.’ May be, I didn’t then look at her by the present perspective.

I started my undergraduate study with a chronic eye pain. I could hardly look at the black board or the white screen of the projector in the class as I had to take much more pain to do so. I had always deficiency of discernment by staring for my aching diminutive eyes. That’s why, perhaps, beauty of her physical appearance couldn’t enchant me. But also a year and a half  before, we used to spend at least six to eight hours in a week sitting face to face in her living room. And it had continued at least for four months.

It couldn’t be! Today, I was looking at the picture of the young lady again and again, bewitched by her look whereas, I hardly gazed at her face during that total time. I could hardly believe it! May be, it wasn’t reasonable to me to notice whether or not she was attractive for a different relationship between us.

 I did very good result in Higher Secondary Certificate-HSC examination. Before starting my undergraduate class in the university, I had earned a handsome amount of money by private tutoring students for mathematics and statistics of higher secondary school. In the meantime, I became a specialist tutor of higher mathematics and statistics of higher secondary level. My roommate also knew it.

My roommate had got the offer for home tutoring the girl for higher mathematics and statistics as he was somehow acquainted to her family. But he was reluctant to receive the offer. According to him, he was a third year student of engineering. He had almost forgotten solving techniques of higher mathematics of higher secondary school level due to lack of practice.  Moreover, he had studied Geometry and Technical Drawing instead of Statistics in his higher secondary level. That’s why, my roommate requested me for tutoring the girl as he could no way decline her family’s request.

“She has cut a sorry figure in mathematics and statistics in the test examination of the college. Her HSC exam is knocking at the door. Under these circumstances, she is seriously in need of help of a tutor like you to prepare her for passing the exam well. She is not too much junior to you, may be by two or three years. Her mother told me that she failed in these subjects because she couldn’t study well during exam time owing to her illness. So far I know, she is a brilliant student and she has an excellent academic track record.” My roommate perhaps said all these as I was too unwilling to keep his request.

“It is very challenging to provide tutoring for this type of students whose present academic performance isn’t very good and who need remedial assistance as you have to take much responsibility for them. Especially, when there is not much time to take preparation for the exam. In this situation, tutoring may hardly be effective in raising the grades; on the contrary, one has to lose his own reputation as a tutor.” I said in reply.

“She is not only a talented student but also a good dancer! Understand, young brother, don’t refuse lest you will slap your forehead.” My roommate said this with a gesture as if he was inviting me in a historical Jalsaghar of India. Anyway, I was afraid of her passing the examination well but got comfort remembering the proverb and its learning ‘If you cannot dance then the yard is bent’ “So, she won’t  probably put blame on me in case of her failure as she knows how to dance” and agreed to relish the challenge.

First day in her house, when I saw her for the first time she was standing before her mother wearing a denim pants and a crop top with long sleeves and turtle neck.  She looked a very tiny woman beside her mother’s gigantic figure. “She is Shiropa-my beloved daughter. This year she will sit for the HSC exam from Science group. Perhaps, you have heard everything from Rony about her status. You’re like my son. Sony, we have only a few months to fully cover the syllabus, revise it and prepare for the exam. I have heard lots of eulogy about you from Rony. I believe my daughter will be able to overcome her present precarious situation within a very short time if she receives your tutelage. Sony, she is very intelligent from her childhood. Unfortunately, she couldn’t do well in the test exam because she had suffered awfully from chicken pox during the exam.  She had to appear in both math and stat exam in the sick bed of college. Though she has recovered from chicken pox, still she has many dark spots on her whole body, much on her chest, back and belly and the spots don’t seem to be fading. Take a look at her! We are lucky that there’re not much spots on her face. Thank God! Sony, After all she is a woman! To be honest, she had of course no preparation of statistics because she couldn’t understand her course teacher’s lecture.”

“What time do you prefer for tutorial session, Sony?” Shiropa’s mom asked me after a short pause. “Aunty, I prefer the evening.” I replied. “I have classes in the university from eight am to five pm as I’m now a fresh student. It’ll be difficult for me to manage time other than the evening.” I added. “It’s okay. But Sony, let me inform you another thing that my daughter practices classical Indian dances. She likes dancing very much. She has already performed a few stage shows successfully. Last evening also she had performed in series Kathak ,Kuchipudi and Odissi dances in a cultural program in Indian High Commission and received much applause. Very often she has to give time for such type of programs. Please, forgive the inconvenience if sometimes you have to change time for such programs.”Shiropa’s mom said. “Aunty, Better to inform me earlier so that I can change to some convenient time as your house isn’t near mine.”I replied.

Next evening, Shiropa hailed me with a smiling face in the drawing room. She had worn today a green pleated maxi with a loose open neck red shirt and a red point on the forehead. She looked very cheery.  Between our sitting arrangement was a tea table, some books and papers, pen and pencils were already kept on it. I sat on a settee and she on a cane stool. Her unkempt wet super-long silky hairs, rippling down around her nape and shoulders, were covering her chest and cheek almost. “Okay, Shiropa, before starting our study let me know the academic reasons for your weak performance in mathematics and statistics. Although, I know you were sick and I am sorry for that.” I said. “Oh God, forgive me please. Sir, I don’t understand geometry well. And I couldn’t catch what statistics teacher taught us in the class especially the meaning of statistical terminology and symbols.” She said in short. “Okay, Ma’am, we’ll get remedy of all these problems very soon. But remember one thing; we’ll have to go through the syllabus as fast as we can because we have very little time to finish it. And please be free for learning the lesson. I’ll assist you to prepare these two subjects for the exam and to get a better grade. And you work yourself on other subjects; I shall be there if you have any question. Hope everything will be fine soon.” I said.

Within a very few days I could understand that she had an outstanding ability to overcome. And it is the aura of her genius that had fascinated me very much. But she often said “Sir, you’re a mastermind and a super computer.” I did never pay heed to her this type of acclamation. What I liked very much were her politeness and sincerity. Their flat was on the third floor of the building.  Every evening whenever I took adieu after tuition she accompanied me to the down stair, sometimes to the main gate of the premises. She stepped on every stair with me so carefully that her gait didn’t let her body come into contact with mine, muttering for several times ‘Oh God, forgive me please.’ I would like her humble begging for forgiveness of this type always because I also think that we should seek His pardon as we use to do regularly a lot of actions that may be sins by His judgment. One evening, I reached her house half an hour earlier. She wasn’t in the house. Her younger brother informed me that Shiropa along with their mom had gone to a cultural program but he couldn’t say anything certainly about their arrival time. I became doubtful about their return on time, guessing the distance of the program venue and regular traffic jam that existed on the way. I was about to leave her place at seven o’clock sharp , just then she entered into the drawing room so hurriedly as if the train was leavening the station whistling keeping her in the flat form.

“Sorry Sir, I’m late for two minutes and also sorry for not informing you about the program before. Frankly speaking sir, I couldn’t even show any courtesy to the person who helped me to get the opportunity to perform. After finishing my performance I rode on a taxi cab to reach in just time. Mom is still there in the show.” she said breathlessly. “You needn’t do so in this situation, ma’am. I would have come in my day off giving you a phone call.” I said. “It’s okay. But in that case I would have to wait for taking my preparation of the lessons for another day as I usually take it following your lecture on a chapter” Shiropa said.

One Monday evening, I was sick. Moreover, I was awfully busy with preparation of my class tests. I couldn’t inform her in due time that I wouldn’t go to her place as there’s no mobile network and very few land phones. We students had to depend on the only coin box phone we had in our residential hall. It was also out of order almost; very bothering as the machine would eat coin after coin but hardly generate the ring tone. After losing several dear fifty paisa coins since they were not returned for unsuccessful call attempts, finally I got the connection of her land phone. “Sorry, I’m very busy with my class tests. That’s why I couldn’t come today.” “No problem, Sir. There’s a very good piece of news. Day after tomorrow, I’m going to Japan to join a cultural program. I’ll stay there for a week.” Shiropa said. “Therefore, one week preparatory leave is from my part for taking preparation of your test. So we’ll meet on next Saturday, if Allah will.” Shiropa added by laughing with tinkling.

The Saturday evening after her return from Japan was really embarrassing for me. Today, she came before me wearing a mini skirt and a free people peplum pink top. She wasn’t tall enough. Perhaps she’d time to reach her final height. She looked like a little pretty woman of age of a new teen .The bare legs looked like that of a black stork; the thin top showed almost the lingerie and all the beauty curves of upper part of  her slender body. Nobody was noticed in the house except the maid servant Maya. Why did she do so?” I didn’t try to understand, instead I became puzzled.  This evening I couldn’t give her much time as I was still very busy with my class tests and assignments.

The following evening was perhaps an ordeal for me. Nobody was there in the house. Even Maya wasn’t seen. We started to study as usual. Today a model test of Statistics was prescheduled at the end of regular lesson. She had started to write in the exam paper crooning. I was reading a magazine, stooping my head to the tea table. Our heads could collide even for little carelessness. After some time I felt something unusual happening that she was caressing her one foot rubbing by the other keeping between one of mine. In this intimate setting suddenly she, inserting my one big toe into the gap of her toes, was shaking the foot in and out of the ‘gap’ in a special manner. I could feel that my sensory neurons were sending feedback to the central nervous system; perhaps the big toe has a special nervous connectivity, which was transmitting signals between different parts of the body giving a special sensation of first kind for me. It didn’t surprise me much as I know ‘teenage girls are hot and they’re masters of flirting and teasing.’ It seemed to me at that moment that acting on her impulses in any way in the privacy of her home was quite unreasonable and as exploitation. I was mute and stunned. She was doing her feat without any hindrance and writing in her exam paper simultaneously. Finally, I raised my eyes from the magazine and looked at her face inquisitively. “Sorry Sir, I beg your pardon.” and as usually she muttered, “Oh God, forgive me please”. I couldn’t say anything. Very interesting that she was doing the same thing as before comfortably this time covering the junction with the lower part of her extra long blue chiffon skirt. I couldn’t leave her as she was still writing seriously and yet to finish the exam. I had just finished my teenage and she was perhaps on the verge of the late teen stage. I didn’t try to penetrate into what she was doing, instead considered it as one of her innocent actions or mannerisms. But the feelings were anyway different to me. I read somewhere once that girls feel more like an adult and can make more mature decision than boys of same age. When I looked at her again she said, “Sir, please forgives me. I have finished my writing .Statistics is so easy. I couldn’t understand it before. Of course it wouldn’t have been possible without your guidance. Now statistics has become as clear as water to me.” Perhaps, she was saying all these to dilute the gravity of the situation.  That evening I retuned my room with a different experience and anew passion.

 The next evening was very interesting and truly awesome .Our everyday sitting place was the drawing room. Today as I had entered into the room she promptly ushered me to her bed room. I was a tad hesitant to follow her as every member of the family was there in the drawing room watching television. My nervousness had been increasing exponentially because of the way she was leading me toward her room, as if, she was lugging her belongings. I found her room very much messy, just reflecting the untidy nature of a teenage girl. Books and small personal items scattered here and there on the bed. Thrown off leisure clothing and even the undergarments were in the same condition on the bed. Entering the room she started to store promptly the garments in the dresser and keep the books in order on the shelf. Then she started sweeping the bed sheet by a broom of coconut cane. Everything was okay. But after all what she did, seemed very daring to me. She had closed the door and locked it from inside. “What’s the matter, Shiropa?” I asked. “I perceived that you felt discomfort sitting in the drawing room, nothing else, Sir.” She said excitedly. “That’s true. But what they will think about you and me?” I said “This doesn’t matter you. This is my room and I have taken you here.” She said in reply. The reading table was a long high bench leaning against a wall. A video game console was set at one end of the table. There was no scope to sit in an opposite chair and face to face. I felt comfort thinking that there would be little chance for happening the yesterday’s episode again. And I wouldn’t blush by her staring obscure eye sight into mine during our discourse and understanding language of her eyes as someone’s saying, may be a quote of Audrey Hepburn ‘the beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes because that is the doorway to her heart’ recurred to my memory whenever I looked at her eyes. Today I sat beside her in a wooden chair very close to hers. Statistics syllabus was finished almost. She had answered every question correctly in the yesterday’s examination. Presently we were solving mathematical problems of physics and chemistry along with higher mathematics. “We haven’t had many days, Shiropa. So we’ll have to hurry up to finish the rest of the syllabus.” I said “Okay sir, I have no problem if you’re with me.” she answered. Shiropa’s preparation for examination was so far well enough. Of course, it had been possible in this limited time frame for her acumen and clear conception. A teacher didn’t have to take much pain to teach such an intelligent and sincere girl. She had firm determination for her achievements.

 In the next evening also we sat in her personal room. The study was going fine. Today the door was locked from inside as well. She was very much attentive to her lessons. After a short while there was a knocking at the door. Maya’s voice was heard from inside of the room.  “Apumoni, please open the door” Shiropa opened the door with a whining sound. “Why do you always disturb me during my study? I have no time to spare.” Shiropa asked Maya showing much anger in her eyes. The girl answered in frightened voice “Here’re some snacks for you” saying this she handed Shiropa a tray carefully and left the place as soon as possible. Putting the tray on one side of the table, Shiropa shut the door throwing the plank from some distance that it banged into the frame making a booming sound that surely reached into the ears of the inhabitants of the five storied building. I was ashamed of her this type of action and rebuked her much. A few minutes after, Maya again knocked at the door. Shiropa stood up from her chair violently and headed toward the door yelling at Maya. “Please, cool down, Shiropa, control your temper.”I said. As she was somehow in her black moods, she didn’t care my words, perhaps. “Apumoni, Mamoni told me to say you to keep the door open” Maya said entering the room. “Tell Mamoni, I better know when I should keep the door open or close. She needn’t be worried of the shut up door.” Shiropa said in an angry voice to Maya. They didn’t treat the young girl as their maid servant rather considered her someone of their kinship. I comprehended it from their attitude toward her. But today, Maya, the poor little girl, was trembling with fear seeing the wrath in her Apumoni’s eyes. I was in what to do situation. All these had increased my headache much more. I left her house with a heavy heart and a subtle feeling. Yet she didn’t forget to accompany me in the stairs as everyday she used to do.

Last evening was very tension growing and thrilling as well. As usually the room was locked up. I was advising her on what to do or not to do during the final exam, encouraging her to come out from her fear of Statistics and Geometry.  After a comprehensive discussion about all the science subjects, she looked very confident. I was also inspired by her look. Though she was listening to me for long with great patience, at one point, all of a sudden I noticed that she was looking at me in an absent way. It occurred to me that she was searching something misplaced. I was also distracted by her restless fingers, running hither and thither under bundle of books and other belongings scattered on the table. Finally, she had found it perhaps. It was a sealed green colored envelope. She was looking its front and back turning over it again and again. I became inquisitive about its content. “What is in it? Why she was searching it so seriously right this time. What she will do with the envelope? What will happen in the next second?” My head was buzzing seeking answers of all these questions. My blood was running fast in my arteries. My heart was throbbing fast. I could feel the pulsation. I was tensed up with anxiety. But what was very perplexing that she was now calm and quiet, serene in her mood. Still she was holding the envelope and listening to me with great attention sitting stiffly. Just then someone knocked at the door. It wasn’t Maya for sure. She wouldn’t do it so shortly after being scared so much in the last evening. Perhaps, it was Shiropa’s Mom. Every emotion came down abruptly. Shiropa opened the door hiding the envelope again under the stack of books and papers on the table without making delay even for a second. Shiropa’s mom entered into the room. “Aunty, how are you?” I asked her stridently standing up from the chair on jumping. “Fine” she answered nodding her head and smiling. “I’m grateful to you, Sony. You have done a great job for Shiropa and helped me to get rid of my worry. Shiropa has improved much in the science subjects. She said to me always that “you are a God gifted genius and a super computer.” Shiropa was standing beside her mom as like the first day I saw her first. “He is also a robot” Shiropa told her mother in a very low voice. I pretended that I couldn’t hear her ironic compliments. Meanwhile we had come into the drawing room. But Shiropa didn’t follow us. I noticed that she was staring at me from her place like a helpless hind caught as prey by a lioness. Shiropa’s mom continued, “Sony, She is so much impressed by your teaching that she wants to get your help for taking preparation of admission test of universities. How stupid I am! You’re tutoring my baby for so many days whereas your detail contact address hasn’t been collected yet. Sony, I’m sorry for that. Please give your address to Shiropa so that we can contact you whenever we need to. “Okay, Aunty” I said. Shiropa was still staring at me with her obscure eyes. Shiropa’s mom was dilly dallying chatting with me but not leaving the place.

At length, I interrupted her nonstop talking and put an end in our tete-a-tete as the situation turned to an anticlimax by saying “Well Aunty, begging your pardon, I’m in a hurry since I have a midterm exam  tomorrow morning and yet to take my preparation. You needn’t worry about Shiropa. She is now a strong candidate. Aunty, please make dua for me.” “Okay, Shiropa! Wishing your success! I’ll call you later on and give you all my details.” I said aloud so that Shiropa could hear me looking toward her albeit she was standing like a stone wall, perhaps ‘she couldn’t break her even when she cried’ with an unblinking stare. I did neither call her nor meet her ever. That day she didn’t accompany me in the stairs. Perhaps, Shiropa’s need for me had come to an end or she couldn’t dare to do so due to the fact that her mom was watching me as I was going down by stairs or guarding against something that could happen.

Today I was vibrated by the photogenic beauty of an alien looking girl with wide set eyes, exaggerated with lots of makeup who may be Shiropa. “Surely, she is Shiropa.” I answered. “You youngster, what you have missed you don’t know.” My roommate said. Though I answered confidently still I was in doubt. What had lowered down my confidence level? Why my mind was misgiving me? What had made the difference between Shiropa- my pupil with whom I had spent enough time, who made me remember her by her inner beauty-‘it was not her physical appearance, it was what was found inside that reached all the way into the depth of my soul’ and this model. Not that I thought that this was the glamour world that had made her dreamy? May be, she had grown up her glamour with the passing time like the emergence of a beautiful painted lady butterfly through an amazing transformation from caterpillar to chrysalides and then an attractive adult butterfly by the magic of metamorphosis. The magazine described the amazing journey of her evolvement from baby Shiropa to a model, dancer as well as an actress. She was cited by the magazine as one of the most prominent and promising female model actress in the country for her excellent works and stunning performances. I could know what I didn’t know about her while tutoring after reading the biography of Shiropa. As the caption, it was written in colored calligraphy fonts “Shiropa-The Girl from Heaven.” At once, my all suspicion disappeared. Looking at her appearances in the magazine it occurred to me that she had perhaps worked so hard to get those photos in the magazine and make her glamorous with elegant clothing , sometimes scantily clad, and alluring makeup, something that was not given but what she had made herself to be it. Though she had made me so proud of her, yet a big hot sigh came out from the depth of my heart and some subtle feeling obsessed my mind at once. She was looking like a wingless fairy. Today I had no eye pain as I slept a deep sleep last night. “A drama performed by Shiropa will be telecast in television today. She is now one of the most elegant and pretty woman in our film industry. Understand, my dear boy!” my roommate said while I was reading about Shiropa with rapt attention and discovering her. I didn’t usually watch television programs because of my eye pain. Today I wouldn’t also watch television where I might look someone’s cosmetically enhanced beauty with a different look crossing my set boundaries that was not crossed even in the privacy of her own home.