Sitting between boxes in the shadow of a dusty light, she came across something that made her smile. A Xerox of one of her answer scripts.

” You are not going anywhere till you work out all those problems. Just look at this answer sheet of yours! It is so red!”, ordered her mother.

“Please?”, she begged, making cute faces at her mother.

Her mother paused before firmly answering, “No.”

It was a Sunday, her no-work-all-play day. But there she sat, inside, while it drizzled outside. The ‘world of numbers’  her teacher would say. The only numbers she liked were ones she could count on her fingers and toes. She stared at her textbook, almost hoping the numbers would solve themselves; and then at the list of questions under a seemingly polite order : Solve.

Aren’t we supposed to solve our problems by ourselves? The subject is so cruel that her answer script lay injured on the battlefield. The textbook was such a sadist that it forced kids to solve its problems step by step, even though it miraculously had all the answers on the last page – that too without the steps. If it can solve all those examples, why not these too?

Whooossshh.

A cold breeze through the window delivered rain drops on her face, and she snapped out of  her head.

“Ok fine, fine. I’ll finish this off and come.” she muttered.

The drizzle disappeared, and it rained when Amaya stepped out to play.

*Illustrated by NM

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