toilet-1033443_1280“The School” was a very reputed school in the city. The school had a good number of students studying there. It gave equal importance to academics and sports. The school management updated its rules and regulations regularly for the welfare of students. They found that a few students of the school used the restrooms frequently. Due to this reason, the classes were disturbed. Soon, a circular was sent by the school that no student was allowed to use the restroom during the class period unless it was absolutely necessary. The circular was read out in every class and the rule was strictly followed, even though winter had started and the climate was cold.

Riya was a 9-year-old girl. She loved dancing and reading. She was a shy and reserved person. She needed the Motivation to try new things. She wanted to go the restroom, that day. She used it in her short break. She had the urge to use it again. She adjusted for one class. She couldn’t adjust more. She went to the teacher, Vidya, for permission. Riya asked hesitantly,

” Ma’am, May I use the restroom please?”

“Wait for another 20 minutes, the class would be over, then you can go on the break”, the teacher replied.

She looked at the teacher with pleading eyes. The teacher was busy with the lesson and didn’t look at her.

She sat in her seat and she couldn’t last for more 5 minutes and her bladder burst. She had wet her dress in the classroom. Riya was numb with shock. She couldn’t understand how to hide it. The boys behind her bench saw it and started laughing. Soon, Sheetal, the chatterbox of the class, shouted to the teacher, “Mam, Riya did it in the class”.  The teacher kept quiet for a moment and summoned a woman helper in the school to clean it. She permitted Riya to go to the restroom. Riya’s dress was wet, here and there. Riya felt that she would feel better had the earth swallowed her.  She went to the restroom and came back. The helper met her in the corridor and scolded her, “You are 9 years old? Can’t you hold it for some more time?” she entered the class hesitantly. Many of the students were giggling and a few of them gave her sympathetic looks. Both killed Riya from inside. She went and sat in her class. The teacher hushed the class. Riya controlled her tears. She was not ready for another burst. She hoped, she could control her tears.

The teacher asked, “Riya, would you like to sit somewhere till your dress dries up? She nodded silently, her head hung in shame. She couldn’t forgive herself for her own mistake. The class was over and then she followed her teacher to the staff room.

Thank God, the staff room was empty and Riya sat in the corner. Vidya thought for few seconds. She started speaking with a composed voice,” Riya, I am really sorry for not understanding your urgent need to use the restroom.Whatever has happened, has happened. You are not responsible for this. Not everyone can hold their bladder, all the times. There is nothing delicate about you in this. Do you think it is difficult for me to guess what you are feeling right now? No dear, I have gone through the same thing in my 6th standard. It is my mistake that after going through a similar situation, I couldn’t guess your urgent need”. Riya stared at her teacher in silence.

The teacher continued, “Don’t think I am telling this to make you feel better. The truth is I faced the same situation. I didn’t inform my parents.My teacher asked me to go home and I lied at home that I was sick so the teachers sent me home. Yes, I was ridiculed for many days. I was called the “susu girl”. It hurt badly. I had learned to accept the names for no mistake of mine. I did that because I didn’t know how to handle this. Riya, you have the choice to go home now. I don’t want you to use the option. I don’t want you to feel inferior or bad for no mistake of yours. Be brave my dear. You need to face many things in life. Accept the fact. Stop sympathizing with yourself. It will not help you. My Riya is a brave girl. I want you to go to your class after your dress dries up. I want you to keep your head straight and walk in. Many people don’t dare to speak about a person who has high regard for themselves.

Riya started weeping, “How will I face others, mam?” Vidya smiled, “what is there to face others? You did nothing wrong. Just go to the class. Smile confidently. Nobody will enquire you. If they did, say yes I couldn’t hold. If people speak at your back, Don’t care. Remember, people who speak at your back, don’t really care about you or your reasons. The people who care about you, enquire and they are with you.

Every day is a new day, with new experiences. Every day you are born new. So, learn and embrace all your experiences. If you don’t react, then everyone forgets these things in a short time.

Once her dress was dry, Riya left for her class. She was hesitant initially but went ahead with her brave decision. Vidya knew Riya would take her time, but she would come out of this sooner. It took years for Vidya to come to terms with what happened in her life. She would have to see that Riya will not take a long time.

P.s. This is a true story. I would like to thank the numerous teachers like Vidya, who take care of kid’s emotions and become their pillars of strength. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my teachers who taught me many things about life. We have many people who shower their love on us, like our parents, siblings as we are integrated into their lives by fate. Teachers are the people who are in our lives for the profession they chose. Respect teachers and seek their blessings.