[ultimate_heading main_heading=”M(i)sCalculation, short story by Sithara P. M. – Issue.XXV : February 2017 ” main_heading_color=”#1e73be” sub_heading_color=”#8224e3″ spacer=”line_with_icon” spacer_position=”bottom” line_style=”dotted” line_height=”1″ line_color=”#1e73be” icon_type=”custom” icon_img=”id^48|url^http://ashvamegh.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Ashvamegh-ICO.jpg|caption^null|alt^Ashvamegh Journal Icon|title^Ashvamegh ICO|description^null” img_width=”48″ main_heading_style=”font-weight:bold;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:34px;” line_width=”3″]when feelings pour…[/ultimate_heading]

Introduction to the Author:

Sithara P.M is an Asst.Professor, working in the PG Department of English, Nehru Arts and Science College, Kanhangad in Kasargod District. She was a gold medallist for both her UG and PG degrees from Kannur University and Pondicherry Central University respectively. She hails from Kannur and is currently pursuing PhD at Kannur University. Her area of expertise is Trauma Theory. She has to her credit a number of publications in both online and print journals.


The students had nicknamed her Ammayi which meant aunt, perhaps more than just an aunt-someone who was capable of bossing you, a domineering aunt, an aunt who was never liked. Of course there are lovable Ammayis but this Ammayi belonged to the former clan of most feared terrible matriarchs. She was our Maths teacher who sincerely taught us to hate Maths. Even those of us who loved numbers developed a frown at her brand of Mathematics and those like me who could only nibble with numbers started looking at Maths as if it were a horrific monster that could devour you alive. It seemed like she had counted it as her supreme duty to make us suffer and regret our decision of choosing Maths group.

 She would take special classes daily as if with some kind of vengeance. She would give a hundred sums for home work every day to make sure Maths choked us to death. She would make us study by heart the theorems at gun point. If at all, someone asked a doubt regarding any problem he would be made to do that on the board to expose his ignorance before the class and get humiliated. Which guy in his senses would ask a doubt for the second time in his life!

Ammayi went about her task of tormenting us, torturing us with mathematical precision. If she was on leave on a day that became sufficient reason for celebration among students. A year went by this way. My life assumed the proportion of a wicked sum that refused all solutions. It was then, we learnt from someone that she had applied for transfer and like never before we all became religious. Mandir, Masjid and Church echoed with our prayers for her-for her transfer. God could not refuse so many petitioners and so that day dawned when we ecstatically received the news of her transfer.

It was a dream cherished by all to tell her someday, may be years after, what a terrible teacher she was and how she had literally killed the subject she taught and murdered our appetite to learn it further.

The teacher who came after her was her opposite in every sense. She was a balm for our broken senses. She had a hard task of reviving our ailing Mathematical sensibilities. With all patience, she differentiated our problems and integrated us back to the system. Ammayi was pushed to oblivion but only to re-emerge in my nightmares.

Years went by. Most of my friends landed in diverse professions and as fate would have it I became a teacher But not definitely a Mathematics teacher but an English teacher. Life was smooth. I was tremendously pleased to keep Maths as away from me as possible but the nighmares about Maths classes never really died down.

 One fine day on my way to college, at the Railway station I happened to meet Ammayi . Though it was years since I met her last it felt like yesterday. I could hear my own heart beat like a drum. This was the moment I was waiting for, wasn’t it? So now I was to go to her introduce myself and tell her how she had failed as a teacher. With these thoughts occupying my mind my steps might have slowed down. It was then she sighted me and I could see recognition dawn on her face. She had greyed a little, except for that there was hardly any change but the smile I saw on her was definitely new. My heart was in my mouth when she rushed to me and held my hands. After so many years… she remembered me! I who was never a remarkably good student …someone who had just managed to scrape through. I was tongue tied. The dialogue I had rehearsed all my life was crushed under the superfast train that passed by. Instead I heard myself utter all profanities…all sugar coated words in the world landed on my tongue. I saw myself responding to her warm smile.

What had happened to my long cherished revenge? What happened to the words I had sharpened with my tears? Could a smile just erase all the past memories? I couldn’t locate my own feelings. But all of a sudden revenged seemed so insignificant…the pleasure of seeing a look of hurt meant nothing. Teachers are teachers, after all, I philosophised .The teacher in me had conquered the student.

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