School years are probably the most important years of a students' life.He learns almost everything in his school days.From cheating in the examinations,forging parents' signatures on leave letters,escaping homework....well, almost everything.But there are things they never learn there.IN fact something they never learn is the value of education.For most of us go to schools out of compulsion.At least,I did.The reason is obvious.Who likes to go with a overloaded bag to a place where you will be locked for six hours while the sun shines outside.
When i left my school,i felt liberated.Unlike most people i never feared losing my school friends in college.But this is not about all that,This is about a strange incident that i was witness to a few days back.
I was sitting on the grounds of my school,watching kids play the same ol' game of cricket.I guess somethings never change.Some of my teachers spotted me there and called me in.School had not yet started,and most of them had just arrived.I went in through the entrance that used to shelter me during rains.I had a brief conversation spent mostly trying to convince them of what my academic reality was.Just then the 'princy' arrived.Well,she is the new 'princy',back then she used to teach me science.She smiled and asked me to come in.I tried to escape,plead and excuse myself.But it isn't easy when you have been a former favorite.(Unbeleivable.Beleive It)
I was sitting in the principal's office,when a lady entered.She was leading a little girl by her hand.The girl might have been 5-6 years old.She was dressed neatly,a bag hanging behind her back and hair partitioned in two ponytails.She was the kind of girl you look at and say "cho chweet" to.She looked a little scared,perhaps apprehensive of the dominant chair in front of her.From the first moment they entered,I knew what it was.Admission.MY principal asked me to wait outside.I obliged.
There was a huge gap in the door,which was half opened,through which i watched the entire proceedings.Teh girl kept looking at her mother all the time.The mother meanwhile,was no less scared .Well, after all this was a question pertaining the future of both of them.The principal knew this and was trying to be affable.She started by speaking in hindi to the mother.Then switched to english to the child.After a gentle prod by her mother,the child replied in as good an english as you could expect from her.after a while,i assume hon.madam chose to grant the kid admission.She turned to the mother and expressed of the same in fluent english,probably a force of habit.As it turned out,the mother was illiterate.No wonder then that she blanked.It was then the moment came.
The helpless mother first looked at the madam,then at the kid.The madam did not grasp the situation so fast,as the kid did.She explained to her mother what was to be done.That moment has left and indelible mark on my heart for the last few days.
IN that fleeting moment,the little girl learnt the value of education.She might have not learnt it,if her teachers used the rod.Not even if her father;like mine; shrieked at her for years to come.She learnt the value of her education,the price of her literacy in that moment when her illiterate mother looked around helplessly to try and know what was to be done in order to get her little girl in school.I doubt that she will ever forget her mother's helpless moment.
I was never a bad student.But yet,i became one.Not because nobody told me the importance of education,but because everybody did.That little girl just reiterated to me what my teachers tried to drill in my head.Except she knew the value of education better.