“You’ve lost weight!” said an Auntie from my block, her hands carrying bag-loads of vegetables. I was actually just setting off for walking around my apartment complex in the hope of losing weight! “Oh! Really?!” I almost gasp in disbelief. “So did you finish the vegetable shopping?” she asked. “Is it Thursday today?” I ask. Tuesdays and Thursdays fresh vegetables are carted to our neighbourhood store. “It’s a Tuesday!” Now it’s Auntie’s turn to gasp. “How can a lady, apparently in her senses, take a Tuesday for a Thursday?” I know that’s what she is thinking of me now. “It’s assessment-and-exam time Auntie. My son doesn’t take any tension, so I take it. And hence the goof up.” I smile, abashed, and leave the place hastily. Auntie smiles indulgingly and knowingly and proceeds on her way.
- The parks sport a deserted look. The slides are gathering dust and the cycles are not zipping around …….
- Cries of “That’s a sixer, dude!” and “Goal!” don’t wake up the infants and grandpas now like they do at other times of the year.
- Lunch menu is repeated for dinner and leftovers of dinner appear in next day’s lunch box……
- Had one really understood all these concepts in the child’s numerous books during one’s childhood? Or had they been crammed? Why does everything seem so new, so different now? Ah! So is this what they mean by ageing? Oh! There have been sweeping changes in the curriculum over the years that one was unaware of all the while!
- and many, many more sights and thoughts and other little things that belong to this time of the year particularly……
Shhhhh! It’s assessment time for some! It’s exam time for the others! It’s India! Here everything can wait but NOT preparations for the assessments and exams. Tomorrow’s engineers and doctors and lawyers and managers and educators are getting ready for life, to shine in India and the international scene too. Is this why Obama has been exhorting the Americans to focus more on education? The secrets of the long-known success of deserving Asians are out today, thanks to Amy Chua and Dr. Sue Kim Abboud. I just hope amidst all this our children
- don’t throw away the books out of the windows as soon as the exams are over
- don’t lose the inherent love for learning
- don’t feel frustrated enough and highly overworked by the time they turn parents to decide to let their children have it too easy and forget to inspire them with high-power words like “diligence”, “effort”, “perspiration”
- and many, many more…….
Of course, stay-at-home moms like me with children who have decided to be the happy-go-lucky type, with no dread for exams and grades, benefit a lot from these assessments and exams. Just as we put on weight, munching on snacks and buttered toasts for the rest of the year, we lose the extra kilos now magically, thanks to the hard work of motivating the child to study with “just for a month, baby” while preparing cups of Bournvita and the tension the exam-season brings in. A few niggling thoughts keep pricking me though…..