Your index finger is stuck in your nostril. Knickers are loose, falling off. You bend down, Shoes are undone. Clumsy, in your own world. Your friends tease you for being late always. That girl sitting across gives you a quick look.
Yes, I’m talking about school.
India is a country that churns out more mathematicians and programmers than the entire population of many countries. Here we are brought up in believing a greater force. Although I have noticed a warming trend of alternative education these days, but essentially India is a mass production company that produces computer programmers. I am one of its products.
This mass production has somehow fuelled our economy, it’s fine now, chugging along. Relentlessly. We are all but a democratic republic of equal rights, marred by this ridiculous policy of quota.
[The Scene] The quintessential Urban Indian School.
Grades 1 to 7, if you are in a modestly above average school, time somehow flies with episodes of cartoons, inky hands, and un-submitted home-works. The real fun is just beginning. The Zenith of schooling, I’d say is the 8th grade, because it’s such a subtle yet prolific jump from a pre adolescent, innocent, nose goo, loose knickers part of your life to something profound. Something invisible comes and hits you. Hits you hard in your head — responsibility.
Some of us accept it and take the road that is taken, some of us don’t, we challenge civilization, we challenge the way of life, we take the road not taken. The former becomes an engineer, doctor, businessman and the typical. The latter becomes a world traveler, a blogger, a photographer, a musician and the untypical.
I have a tryst with the latter.
I’m a computer engineer by profession, I’m a product of a society that was ruled by looters and rapists. I’m a denizen of a country that has been plundered of its exotic cultures. I don’t understand our system.
Geography classes were always fascinating.
That feeling when the teacher draws out a map of the world from underneath the blackboard. You look out of the window, and you think to yourself, I want to see what’s out there. I want to meet the world that isn’t a part of this mechanical engine fuelled by greed. I want to be one with the world.
Those stories about the bushmen of Africa, and those about German soldiers in France. ( ‘The Last lesson’ – Class 12, CBSE ). The poems of Robert frost. They make you think, don’t they?
Schooling is what you are.
Enjoy the Geography class. Chances are, you’ll never be having one again.