Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fooling or Schooling?

A close family friend paid me a visit with my prospective student, her 18month grandson.The child shouted 'Dadi' and gleefully jumped into my lap.I was struck with this dreadful feeling of 'deja vu', as my memory went into an auto rewind mode and played a sequence from over two decades back..I recalled that my younger son had made a similar leap of faith into the outstretched arms of a 'Nani', who was a dear friend of my mother as also the owner of the school in which my son had to be enrolled for a few months as a stop gap arrangement .What followed thereafter was the biggest sham in primary education I have ever witnessed!
From day one,my five year old strutted around the school as if he owned it.Whenever he found the discipline of the classroom stifling, the education being imparted dreary , he would walk out of the class into the Directors office and be treated to a copious amount of Coke and chips! He was often the solitary student in the playground , during school hours see-sawing with 'Nana'(The directors husband !!)..
One day I was informed that his class teacher Mrs Mukherjee (Most irreverently referred to as Mrs Muchadjee ) wanted to see me.I entered the office to be confronted by a lady with a very prominent follicular growth on her upper lip.."Good morning Mrs Mukherjee", I quipped chirpily.I realized my faux paux , when i saw the teacher looking extremely perplexed as she was meeting me for the first time !! As soon as I introduced myself , she went apoplectic.She told me that considering Hindi was my mother tongue my son looked upon it as a foreign language and while the other children were learning grammar he was still struggling with his alphabet.Adequately chastised , i tried in vain to work on on my sons Hindi.I held his semester report card with dread and reeled  with shock as I saw 95% marks in Hindi !!(Apparently the class teacher had been instructed to mark him only on what he knew and written !!)Till date the mystery of the remaining 5% eludes me..
At the school sports day I had to go through the ignominy of my son leading the march past as a head boy of the primary section!He was the only one looking Left , away from the grandstand as he had been instructed to turn his eyes towards the Chief Guest ,who happened to be my mother..His Nani !!When I saw him standing on the victory stand receiving a prize for having stood 6th in the spoon and marble race I completely lost my marbles !!
I fretted and fumed for the next few months , hopelessly helpless as the doting nanis made sure he continued to fool his way through school..


  1. It is not just kids who are pampered this way.... There are quite a few adults too who lead such pampered lives without realising the harm it is causing them.....

  2. Thank you Shubhra...you really have mastered the art of converting seemingly ordinary events into such an interesting read knitting them together perfectly...a delightful reading and precisely worded...