Twenty years ago
Madhavi stood in line, patiently awaiting the arrival of her idol, the music sensation Arun Swamy. To say that she was crazy about his voice was an understatement. She followed his life by the minute, and had nearly five big books with newspaper clips and photographs of him. Her room was plastered with his photos, she had every single audio track he had ever sung. Her family members rolled their eyes and tried to shake her out of this adulation, but she was a true and loyal fan. She had seen him from a distance a couple of times, when she had badgered her parents to be taken to Arun’s live concerts.
Life had taken its own course, she had finished her post graduation in Mathematics and listened to her inner voice to take up teaching. Marriage and children had happened. Arun was still there in her life, but now as a soft background track, that surfaced now and then, kindling all those sweet memories.
She had moved away from mainstream teaching to private tutoring. She was a fantastic teacher and soon came into the radar of the rich and famous, as the private tutor of choice for their children. She was picked up in the best cars, and travelled to the homes of the movers and shakers of society, coaching their children to take on the business empire of their parents.
Her fame spread, and one day she received a call from Arun Swamy’s office, saying that his wife wanted to talk to her.
Madhavi’s heart thudded with a teenage-like excitement. His wife told Madhavi that their son was getting consistently bad grades in Math and that he was taking his A Levels soon, and that they had heard about Madhavi…and could she help?
Madhavi was happy to oblige. Schedules and dates were agreed upon. Classes started at the Arun Swamy residence, but sadly for Madhavi there was no sign of her idol. He was never there at the times she visited. She smiled to herself at the irony of the situation.
Life went on in the same vein. The A Level exams got over. The private classes with Arun’s son were done. Madhavi got busy with other new classes.
Late in August that year, when Madhavi had just sat down to have her 4 pm coffee, the door bell chimed. When she opened the door, her idol stood before her, with his wife and son.
She was rendered speechless. She barely managed to splutter a welcome.
They had come with a bouquet and a gift. Then, for the first time she heard his melodious voice address her thus.
“Thank you for what you have done for our son. My wife tells me that but for you, our son may have failed his A Levels. A child’s Guru is the most important person in one’s life. We are deeply grateful”, he said.
They stayed back to have coffee, and left her with a heart bursting with happiness.