Nature’s boudoir was in full bloom with the sun trying to break through the clouds. Beautiful women, attired in their fineries, were making a beeline for the hills. I found myself moon-struck in the bevy of sizzling beauties. I am not referring to any fashion show, rather a parent-teacher meeting organised at The Lawrence School, Sanawar, about seven years ago.
I can vividly recall even today when I was driving uphill for attending the PTM there for the first time. My wife had prescribed a specific dress code for me for the occasion. She too had, in the words of Elsa, “...dressed up like all other women in the world, to look annoying to them”.
While we were negotiating through the whistling pines, Shailja kept spraying her public-school wisdom onto me, presumably having realised that I still continued to be a raw product of Bawal, my native hamlet. She stuffed me with various dos and don’ts lest I should commit a faux pas. I was tutored to maintain an eye contact with the teachers and lean in while making a point. I kept nodding as an ardent pupil of Marcel Achard who had professed, “Women like silent men. They think that they’re listening.”
On reaching there we found the venue pulsating with glamour. Men’s eyes were roving to capture the best while the fair sex was casting a spell with its seducing catwalk. Their “faces” appeared like Oscar Wilde’s “work of fiction” whereas the faces of students were smeared in stress following their scrutiny in the presence of their parents and siblings. No wonder the students eschew the PTMs only because these are followed by a break while the parents view them as an opportunity to break their monotony.
A woman whom we met recalled how her daughter was robbed of her peace by her classmate. The mother who was already reeling under emotional avalanche on losing her spouse in an accident became edgy. She decided to confront the stalker in the presence of his father in the ensuing PTM. But, behold, she had bigger surprise in store. The father, a widower, was himself looking for yet another oasis in his arid life. Like son, like father. He also started wooing the woman. Soon thereafter they married.
Eventually, the youth too followed suit after five years of courtship. Interestingly, the mother became her own daughter’s mother-in-law and the father also became his own son’s father-in-law, courtesy PTMs.
Though both our daughter and son finished their residential schooling three years ago, the intrinsic charm of PTMs in Sanawar still continues to mesmerise us both. Even now, we are impulsively driven to join the PTMs there and feel young at heart with the never-ageing women.