Interviews make me sweaty and nervous, even when I am actually sitting on the safer side of the table. I imagine and re-imagine the plight in my head till I blank out. Obviously, I had been ninja training T for the school interviews. I got edgier as the day came closer, pressing for sharper pronunciations and milder etiquette. And till the very last moment, T toyed with my nerves, nonchalantly addressing me with ‘Oye’ instead of ‘Good Morning’ and flippantly refusing to mouth a single rhyme with a dismissive “Mujhe nahi pata” (I don’t know). I compensated by roting 54 rhymes myself and reading up Economist, ready to showcase my above average ability to guide and nourish my ward at varied levels of intellectual prowess.
What unfolded within the hallowed portals of multiple reputed institutions this morning was such a disappointing anti-climax! The buildings were all smiles and sunshine – absolutely nothing like the dark, grim isolation chamber I had imagined in my head. The interviewers were young, vibrant and eager to put the child, or in our case, me, at ease. They explained their pedagogy patiently and gave us pleasant tours of their fabulous facilities. They even joked about the weather! The more I tried to goad them towards testing T’s extraordinary readiness for school, the lesser inclined they seemed to grill her.
Such a shame, especially because T put on her charming best. She said “Good Morning”s and “Thank you”s with flourish. She broke into songs and flipped books with deep (feigned) interest. I am sure she would have chanted all kinds of nursery rhymes on the slightest provocation. I swear I saw a little smirk on her face on our way back, as if pulling a massive April Fool’s prank on me.
If you are wondering what the catch was, it came in the form of printed sheets. If this is what nursery education costs, I am confident that I would have to sell internal organs for middle school. So, to anyone who is stressing about school interviews, your stress starts where the successful interview ends, my dear friend!