Mrs. Martha Holloway

click here Mrs Martha Holloway, the Principal of St. Margaret’s Secondary School, when we moved to Farrer Road in 1960, had a heart of gold, she hid under a tough exterior. Wasting no time, she, brusquely settled us in our new classrooms, threatened us with dire consequences, if we sullied the name or fame of the school and swept out. She taught the senior classes and knew all of us personally. She never forgot a name.

How To Get Cytotec Prescription in Green Bay Wisconsin Mrs Holloway, was the one who sent us out into the world, after we finished our Senior Cambridge Exams in 1962. The afternoon, that I went in to pick up my results, I spent, almost an hour in her room, seated across the desk from her.

enter site Well done, Anne….She always called me Anne, the first of my many names.
You have done very well and I am very proud of you… she smiled, as she scanned my results.
What are you going to do, Anne? I could not believe my ears .Here was someone wanting to know what I wanted to do. At home, I was told what to do. My mother wanted me to become a doctor. Aptitude and career counselling, never existed in her vocabulary, either in English or in Malayalam. I had to do medicine and that was it. Final.  My Dad never opposed her, once her mind was set, as it would have been quite futile. He would have been ended up talking to a wall. A picture less blank wall.

conto prova opzioni digitali Why can’t I be a lawyer?…. I whined, when I finished the Perry Mason series.
The thought, of brushing aside the Defence’s evidence, as ‘irrelevant, immaterial  and consequential”  was quite intoxicating. 

Lawyers have to tell lies to save their clients, Susie… they both said in a tired voice.
You know how you get caught every time you lie….they said with a knowing look.

go site I am the world’s worst liar and my nose gets longer than Pinnochio’s, as I fumble and fluster, with every lie I spin in a vain attempt, to support the first lie. Eventually, with remarkably predictability, every feeble lie would collapse, as a pack of cards. Caught, I would stand there foolish and humiliated wishing that the floor would open up and swallow me up. If I had to lie to save people, they would all swing, for the lack of my skills at lying. Perhaps the black coat was not for me after all. Why can’t I do journalism?.…. I said, whining afresh on a new pitch.
I may end up being rich and famous…. I said, brightening at the thought of book stores displaying my books and my pen running dry from signing autographs. You must have a steady income ….they said….After our time, what will happen to you?…. They could be drama queens, when they set their minds to it.
Emotional blackmail always worked with me.

rencontres internationales ubifrance You must be independent …

Career options for the girls in the early 60s, were fairly limited, as theirs was a well protected world without email or computers and a sky, where only men flew aeroplanes.
Go be a doctor, Go be a teacher, Go be a nurse…Diaspora parents told their kids. We were expected to make career choices, wearing gender as a restrictive collar around our necks.

My Mum’s monotone had only one refrain…Go be a doctor…Go be a doctor…Go be a doctor…Go….With this repetitive scenario, at home as a backdrop, I looked up hopefully, when Mrs. Holloway asked me what I wanted to do.

Maybe I will ask Mrs. Holloway to talk my Mum and Dad, I thought.
Surely they will never be able to say no to her .

I could not imagine anyone saying No to her and it certainly would not hurt to have her in my corner.
What a good idea to get Mrs. Holloway to intercede for me, I thought, as I presented my opening remarks, I explained that my Mum and Dad wanted me to do Medicine, whereas I wanted to be a lawyer. I did not tell her about my court room fantasies, a la Perry Mason style, where I saw myself in a black coat ,dismissing evidence as irrelevant, immaterial and inconsequential.

She picked up the phone and tried talking my Mum and Dad out of medicine as an option for me. It did not make a dent anywhere and fell on deaf ears. What was worse, she did a mental flip, turned 360 degrees and ended up on their side.

Et tu Brute  I screamed mentally in disbelief.

She even told me that she wished that she had done medicine.
It’s a noble profession, Anne, she pronounced.
You will be better off in the white coat
Forget about the black, she said.

Utterly defeated and exhausted I left her room. I had played my last stallion, lost the battle and was trundled off to the HSC Premed class in St. Andrew’s School and the rest is history.

I lost touch with Mrs. Holloway, till I visited her in hospital many years later. She was fighting the Big C and battling for her life, when I looked down at her, through the tears in my eyes.
This was not the iron lady, who had struck terror at my very soul, during all my escapades in school.

What happened here? I asked myself as I leaned forward, to hear what she was saying.
How are you doing? she asked me in a faint whisper. Fine….I gulped amazed that she remembered, that I was dragged screaming into medicine
She reached out and took hold of my hand.
I am so happy that you did medicine, she said
Study hard and help people like me,  she smiled.
Now come and kiss me goodbye and go, she said perfunctorily, as she dismissed me. She could have been in her office behind her desk at that moment, not lying helplessly on her back on a hospital bed.

Kiss Mrs Holloway? I thought to myself incredulously,
That would be like kissing God.

I bent down and kissed her goodbye and left a wonderful human being who had shaped my life in an indelible way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.