Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Whose Call Was It During the High School Days?

I changed mid-school when I finished class VI. My mom wanted me to get enrolled in the very best school at that time. It was her insistence that made me take up the entrance exams for Class VII. That meant I was buried in the books for a long time post-final year Class VI exams. 

I still remember there was only one seat for Class VII and 22 of hopeful kids sat for the exams. I had done well but it was only during the Maths examination that I felt I had a good chance of sneaking in. I think I answered the questions all correctly. My mom was so nervous with the results that she sent dad and me to the school. I got in though I don't even think dad was hopeful of it.

The new school offered me an environment that was different from where I had come from. Not only I had friends coming from affluent families but the teachers were also different. I received a cold reception and used to be called names-hunchback was the favorite one of lot. I did feel embarrassed but I had a belief that one day all this would change. 

I have a friend Arindam Chatterjee also affectionately known to us as Mickey who used to be a constant companion to me. Mickey used to stay near my aunty's house, which meant us spending a lot of time together. Cricket, Tennis and you name it. I owe Mickey a lot especially for being there. We are still friends now that he has got his own kid to look after.

But this piece is not about friends nor about my school. It is about a perception that brilliant academic students are unfaltering epistles of goodness and excellence.  I don't understand how by scoring a 80% a boy or a girl could be nominated for an elocution or a quiz or a dance. It seems ridiculous now to consider why our teachers never took pains to realize that there is a talent in everyone.

I remember during a commentary competition (and I spoke about this when I was anchoring for programs) I had beat this so-called-studious boy, but because he was an excellent student, he got the nod. I was dismayed and you have to understand the word biasness was new to me. Years later I met the same teacher and she told me that she was proud of my achievements. But I could not appreciate it because when I needed it the most,she was not there.

Life goes on and maybe one day I'll have a kid to drop in to the school and attend parents-teachers meetings. But hopefully by that time they would realize that there is a talent in everyone and it is not the academic marks but the character and diligence that will shine and will keep on shining.   

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