I do not know why I am reminded of Mrs. Framjee. I cannot stop thinking of her. Mrs. Framjee was the matron who was responsible for the class 4 locker room. She was the first face we saw in the morning as she walked into the dormitory with her high-pitched — “ Boys Wake up !”
Mrs. Framjee was stern. I cannot remember many moments when I saw her with a smile. She would stiffly stand by a wooden table in the locker room, watching over us, her arms folded. She has short hair. She was mid-aged. She would not let us converse while we were in the locker room. She would frequently remind us to hurry up. Remind us to put our shoes in the Dhobi box.
I am thinking about her because I am trying to remember kind things that she did. And it stuck me that I cannot remember many. The closest gesture of warmth from her was a hug that she gave me before a school break, but that is because my parents were close. No, I am being honest, I do not mean to demean.
She was responsible for doling out pocket money every week. And she would hold back if any of us forgot to for example keep our slippers in the Dhobi box. If she suspected misconduct, she would not allow us to take our cricket bats and bay-blades out on Sundays, the only day we got to use them. And what a weird relationship we had with her. She wasn’t our sounding board, even though as 8 year old’s, she was the closest we came motherly love for months.
I am thinking about her because maybe, I am trying to imagine myself in her shoes and motivate a similar stoic demeanor. But I cannot. I have a different reference of how adults are supposed to be. And I did not think she was weird back then. But now, I don’t know another human who would act like her. Maybe she was just so used to seeing kids come and go year after year that she got jaded. It was just a job to her, and she saw no incentives in bringing her human to it. Her small punishments were a result of years of mounted frustration of handling small mischievous kids. I don’t know.
But I am thinking of Mrs.Framjee and the weird recollections that remains of her in my memory.