Maths Magic

Excerpt: How much love and affection that you and amma have on me and I thought, I should stretch myself more, work hard and smart to do something different. (Reads: 109)


It was a very fresh morning in the month of December. Chennai could really feel the chill especially during the fourth week. I felt like spending some more time hiding inside my soft warm blanket and get up only when Sun shows his face. But my bad, I could hear the alarm bell from my table clock and it was 6:00AM. I reluctantly started getting up from my bed and my ears went along with a kid’s voice in a low tempo at a distance.  “The Taj Mahal is a tomb built in the 17th century.  Taj Mahal is a tomb built in the 17th century, by the Mughal king Shah Jahan”, The Taj Mahal is a tomb built in the 17th century….”

I got up and started walking to see who is this sweet little girl who has started studying sincerely so early in the morning. After a little bit of search, I could find this girl sitting on the broken stone type of seat outside a big apartment. It was located little away from town and th construction of this apartment was almost 50% done. I saw this cute little girl wearing a very simple sleeveless chimie, never bothered about the chill weather outside her house. Her only focus was on the subject she was reading. She should be around 8 years old and might be in 4th class.

Chella with little tense on her face calls – “Kuttieee, Kuttieema… come inside daa its time for you to take bath now, else you might be late to school” Kuttima responding to her Mom’s call, quickly packs her school bag and runs into the small guest house kind of hut which has been provided by builder for them to stay.

I could see a lean man, returning from temple. Should be between 35 to 38, entering the hut and asks “Chella…. Chellaa where is Kuttima, is she getting ready for the school”

“Yes Mama she is getting ready to get bath now, let me give her a bath and then prepare coffee for you. Ok where is the temple Prasadam Mama?” Mani answers – “I have kept them near Saami photo. You can have it once you take bath”.

Now Kuttima comes out of that small bath place, jumping, dancing and trying to throw that shower drops of water on her Dad’s face. Appa, I just finished my bath, now help me wearing the school dress. Mani helps Kuttima to wear her school dress and after Kuttima finishes her breakfast, Mani takes her on his cycle and drops her to the nearby Government school.

Once Mani is back from School, Chella joins him for her breakfast and now they are set to start their day by helping their maestri and follow his instructions to lift the bundle of all those red bricks that needs to be taken from ground floor to the 3rd floor of the same apartment. This was their assignment in the morning session. Post lunch they have been assigned to carry those cement bags from first floor to the second floor. Yes, you are right, they make their day-living by working as labourers in this apartment which is under construction.

During their lunch break Mani asks Chella “today Kuttima will get her marks for half-early exams right? Chella says, yes Mama you are right, I am little scared about her Maths mark. I don’t really understand…. if she can score such good marks in all other subjects, why can’t she get at-least pass mark in Maths? Manis says –“No Chella this time our Kuttima will score good marks in Maths too. She was really working hard this time; you see…. she will definitely get good marks”.

After completing their day job, they just entered their house and could find Kuttima sitting with her sad and long face. Her tears were lining up slowly on her little eyes and with sober voice Kuttima says “Amma, I failed in Mathis this time too” and she starts crying aloud. Chella & Mani tried convincing her. “No worries at all Kuttima, not a problem, just see your other marks, you have scored above 80 and those are really good marks, very good work Kuttima…” but it was quite difficult for them to convince this little girl.

After a while Kuttima calms down and starts taking the snacks provided by her Mom. Chella starts preparing dinner and Mani goes out to buy some groceries for next day’s breakfast & lunch.

It was about 10:00PM, where Kuttima has gone for a deep sleep. Chella says, Mama we need to do something to get at least a pass mark in Maths, else she is going to lose her confidence. See how she was crying today; I cannot see her crying like this next time Mama. Please do something… Mani – “yes Chella we need to do something soon, what about putting her for a daily tuition?” Chella utters – Oh! that may demand an additional money. As of today its even tight for us to pay her school fee. Mani – Hmmmhm…. Let’s see what best I can do tomorrow. Meanwhile can you please enquire about the tuition fee, that is generally charged in that centre in our next street? Sure Mama let me find out tomorrow.

Next day evening Mani enters the house with a little smile on is face and calls Chella and says, “Chella I got a job, its about 6 hours’ part-time and they said they would pay me about Rs. 2,000/- will that be good enough to pay the tuition fee?” Chella hesitantly answers, yes Mama they charge about Rs.1500/- per month and balance can be preserved for Kuttima’s snacks as she needs to put extra efforts. Now Chella with a little pain on her throat ask Mani… “Will you be able to manage Mama? It’s already a tough day job and apart from this you need to work late night on this new part-time job. I don’t think so you should take this job and spoil your health”

Mani says, not a problem at all Chella I can manage. It’s all for our Kuttima. Just imagine how happy she would be when she scores good marks in Maths! Chella agrees half heartedly on Mani’s thought. Mani continues to go for a part time security job along with this day Job, Kuttima starts going for her tuition, Chella continues her day job and takes care of Mani and Kuttima.

After a month there comes pre-annual exams for Kuttima and she has been putting good efforts on Maths by following whatever tuition teacher has advised. Both Chella and Mani were confident that Kuttima cannot go wrong this time. After few days, the exam dates have been announced. Now Kuttima finishes all her exams with full efforts and gave a hope to her parents that she has done her best this time.

Yes, now the day has arrived when Kuttima was supposed to bring her marks and share it with her parents. As today was a special day for Mani, he takes a break from his daily security job and was eagerly waiting for Kuttima’s Maths result.

It was about 5:00PM, when Kuttima returned home from school with his father. Chella rushed to her and asked “Kuttima…, Kuttima how was your marks in Maths? Hopefully good right? “ Kuttima could not control and started crying heavily and said I could not make it Amma. I have failed this time too. This was a big shock to Chella and Mani. They could not digest as there was a big expectation, but they never wanted to hurt or discourage Kuttima. Chella said, “not a problem at all Kuttima we shall make it next time, you have put all your efforts, we shall see what best can be done next time. Now change your uniform, come and have your favourite Semiya Payasum, which I made specially for my Kuttima.”

That night, both Chella and Mani were very upset and could not sleep. Mani says, “I don’t know what to do. I am not worried about Kuttima getting failed in Maths, but most worried when she feels hurted”. Chella started shedding her tears and had no words to say… Even Kuttima did not get early sleep that night and were listening to her parents talk and she too was totally upset thinking about her parents and her incapability to get at-least pass mark in Maths.

Days passed by and Kuttima was ready for her annual exams to come in the month of March. Chella and Mani did not force Kuttima to take any extra efforts. Kuttima continued to go to tuition and prepare for her annual exams. It was second Monday of the month when Kuttima’s final exams started and she prepared as usual for all her exams and completed successfully. Chella and Mani did not have much hope that Kuttima will clear her Maths exams and go to the next class.

In those days, the annual exam results used to reach through Post and marks where supposed to be printed on the letter against each subject. Today was the day when postman was supposed to deliver Kuttima’s exam results. All three of them where eagerly waiting for the postman to come and finally the post man arrived with Kuttima’s result.

Chella calls with excitement on her face – “Kuttima.. Kuttima come… Mama please come fast… Kuttima’s results have reached. Mani walks towards Chella reluctantly and Kuttima holding fear in her little heart.

Chella now opens the post cover and her eyes were first searching for the word “Maths” and she gets very much surprised with a shock and suddenly sits down on the ground. Mani now pulls down the letter from Chella and finds that it was printed as “100/100” against Maths… This was an unbelievable scene to Mani. Kuttima was jumping out of joy by shouting…. hey… hey 100, 100, 100. Chella and Mani could not control shedding tears out of happiness.

Mani with big curiosity on his face asks Kuttima – “Kuttima how did this happen? This is really a pleasant surprise and miracle for us. How did you do this?

Kuttima explains with her low and sweet voice – “Appa I heard you telling Amma, that you were not worried about me getting failed in Maths, but you were worried about me feeling for my failure and getting discouraged. This made me think how much love and affection that you have on me and I thought, I should stretch myself more, work hard and smart to do something different. So I need to think about an activity that would make my Maths portions easier and have more fun with these sums.

I did make up my mind to practice each Maths sum at least 10 times with different digits and numbers. While I was practicing, I really enjoyed doing this. Whenever I was clear on each sum, I would start this so called “10 Times practice” and when I am not clear on any one of these sums, I would clear my doubts with School and Tuition Teachers. They were both kind enough to me to answer my stupid questions with patience. All these days I never asked them any questions out of fear and just followed whatever they taught me. Which made me to think Maths subject as a nightmare. Now this new practice gave me a kind of encouragement, fun and confidence that I would definitely get good marks and make my Amma Appa happy and feel proud about me. And this practice of mine worked out very well and that’s how you saw this result”

Chella and Mani hugged Kuttima tight and poured a bunch of sweet kisses on her lovely cheeks. The whole family was very happy and joyful from then.

This incident made them to realize that nothing is impossible in this world, if we can be little creative and put proactive efforts to achieve our goal which has a real purpose.

moral of this story:
Creative & Proactive efforts with Purpose can never fail…


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About the Author

Subeer Kumar

I am a budding short story writer from Chennai, India.

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