Einstein, yeh kya kar daala?

While browsing through Facebook. .. I came across a man staring at me with a huge smile on his no- nonsense kinda face. He said: My son has improved dramatically in Science and Math. I am relieved. It obviously is an advertisement for online tuitions.
But what caught me is Math and Science.

In my teaching career, I have come across enough number of parents who openly say to me, “This is English, all this is okay. Ma’am, show me Math and Science marks.” (PS: I am an English teacher)
I share this with many, and they ask me how I react. Well, I do not. Because each of these parents or children at some point of their lives will need something more than Math and Science.

I thought the 90’s was over. But frankly I feel it will never get over for Indians. Well.. we are the global leaders who are running board meetings now.  The new face of the global market. Are we?

This post is in no way saying that these subjects are detrimental. Oh my… how can I say such a thing?I am an Indian parent! But may I please take the liberty of saying they are err… over-hyped.

I was in for a pleasant surprise on my recent trip to Thekaddy. There was an in house shop run by a Kashmiri, and I happened to like quite a few things in his shop. While making the payment, he asked me about our family. There was a casual Hmmmm when I told him that M was in the IT field. He smiled and said, “Everyone is into IT nowadays. What about you ma’am?” I said, “I teach English”, and handed over my card for billing. He stopped packing and looked at me. “You are a teacher? An English teacher?” I nodded with a smile. He didn’t say anything for a few seconds. After a while, he kept his hands on his heart and spoke. “Oh my God. Aap teacher hain. Woh bhi English ki. Mein kya bolu?” I was a little surprised. “Have you even been to Kashmir, madam?” He asked. I said, “No.”
He lowered his eyes and said, “It is a beautiful place. I am also a student. I study Political Science. But because of the conditions there, I am unable to write my exams. I want to become a teacher. I have chosen political science to understand how our country is run. Only we can bring a change. IT field main tho sab log jaate hain. But I did not choose it because I want to study something ‘more’. I will become a teacher like you. But of political Science.”

I was humbled that moment. Before leaving, he sad, “I am very lucky to have met an English teacher.” All I could manage was smile.

The next day when we visited a tea estate en route Alleppey, the lady who walked us around impressed me with her smartness. Even though she was an Oriya, she had learnt decent Malayalam to communicate with her staff. (Malayalam is one of the toughest languages to learn). She asked my husband what we did in Bangalore. He told about himself and then about me. As soon as she heard that I am a teacher, she asked me what I teach. “English”, I said. “Oh really! You teach English?” Before leaving I said to her, “You are quite smart. I really liked you.” She quipped,”No, It’s been my pleasure to meet an English teacher. Language touches heart.” I said, “Yes, absolutely it does.”

Sitting in the car, I couldn’t stop wondering about these two individuals. For me, they had glamoured a subject other than Math and Science.

A few of my friends tell me that because my kids are still young, I talk like this. When they reach Grade 8 or 9, I would also be quite keen that they take up Math and Science. I don’t have an answer to this. I will cross this bridge when I reach there. But I also remind myself that I am a 90’s product of a family where no one had studied anything else other than Science and Math, (barring my aunt) and guess what? I DID NOT take up Science or Math after my 10th grade even after scoring above 95% in both the subjects in my 10th board exams. I do not know whether you can imagine the hell I went through and made my family go through too, having to convince them that I do not like either of the subjects. So I still have a hope that I would do just fine if my kids take up something beyond these subjects.

Someday I will blog about that day when it actually happens. 🙂

Oops! The ‘S’ word….!

Last Friday, it was a usual late evening. N had gone off to sleep. A was preparing for his Spell Bee competition ( he was on his Nth work sheet, refusing to stop!) and better half was eating dosas while I was preparing more for me.

I was my quirky self that evening. Maybe coz I could not stop raving about the fact that I was off for another round of clothes shopping the next day. (March has been officially declared the SHOPPING MONTH, my wardrobe is looking ooh-la-la.)

Disclaimer: When I am quirky, I forget the basic rules for what words to choose and which way to behave. (I am a good girl otherwise.)


So anyway, as I was saying, I had springs underneath my feet for no particular reason. I had the strangest desire to wear my hair in different styles, and lo! I came across a particularly fun way of clipping my hair. And out came from my mouth, “Hey Manu, isn’t this looking sexy?”

The dosa dropped from M’s mouth and then followed the jaw.

A stopped writing suddenly and with an open mouth looked at me. (A gentle reminder: He is 7 yrs old)

That’s when I realised….OOOPS!

Lately, our son has been getting exposed to new words in his vocabulary (read adult words), thanks to the big boys and girls who share the park with the little ones, and ofcourse dear old TV. Thankfully, he knows they are not so nice words.

Now you see, M and I do use ‘oh-now-that’s-a-bad-word’ words, but are very careful about using them in our private conversations and not in front of the kids. But that day, I had a bad excuse. I was being impulsive…my bad!

Then came the thunderbolt. .

“Did you just use the ‘S’ word?” A asked with the most aghast look on his face.

I have always seen actors having the dumbstruck look on their faces and constant stammering and inability to speak on TV, when cuaght off-guard, and used to always wonder that how does that even happen in real life. Idiots!

But apparently, it does.

I heard …’ummm…haaa….ummm…aaaa….ummmm’ coming from my mouth. Better half kept stuffing dosas on his mouth.

The second thunderbolt.

“How could you use the ‘S’ word, Amma?!”

I wanted to disappear into thin air. Finally, I was able to gather my marbles and managed to say, “I am sorry, Ani. I will keep in mind that I am not supposed to use the ‘S’ word.”

I strongly believe that it is always better to speak the truth in front of a child rather than beating around the bush. They are not as dumb as we think they are.

Thankfully it worked. A shrugged his shoulders and got back to his sheets. Better half finally finished off his date with dosas and got up to wash his hands. While I went back to eat my dinner, and sincerely hoping that I have not scarred my son for life. Ya, ok…now that just might have been a little too dramatic.

So much for a moment of quirkiness. Mothers are not entritled for that, I say!