education: frequently avoided questions – part 3

The serious series ‘education: some questions and answers’ continues.

You can read the previous versions here, if you want to:

part 1:

part 2:

 —– begin, again —-

This Raju and his wife Ritu used to work for the same firm, more than a decade back; she was in my team, and then they got married, migrated to USA – then, remigrated (the chap got bumped?) back to India an year back or so; so Raju is forced to ‘search’ for his roots, ‘give back’ to India AND ‘contribute’ towards nation building… And I thought this young Ritu was a smart & vivacious girl, but the downhill movement must have started when she ‘fell’ headlong in love with this chap… Sometimes I feel, the hormones are really merciless, if not malicious –  what did the brain chemicals of Ritu see in this fat slob of a paunchyderm,. I used to wonder… But then, strange are the ways of love.


Once again it was business as usual with this Raju studbull – Indians don’t value time, roads are dirty, in ‘States’ there is no corruption, the new International Airport is so faaaaar away, Bangalore has become hotter, Real estate guys are cheats – etc etc…


He: <continuing his drivel> See, I followed American elections closely – I knew Obama would win, things are more open there you know – and look here, I don’t even know who the president of India is… <chuckles>


She: Ramjee, listen, we are looking for a good school in South Bangalore for our children and you know we stay in Jayanagar. Raju works on Bannerghatta Road, you see… We are not very happy with the school situation there, in that area…


Me: I understand your plight. The Inn is not free is it? Must have got booked well in advance. By the way, how old are your children? And, what exactly are you looking for?


She: 3 and 3, they are twins. I want to have a good education & solid basics for the children, I want them to be happy.


Me: It is slightly late for this school – but may be you can try Arunodoya – a good Montessori school in Koramangala – but I don’t think it had elementary environment then, a few years back – may be, you can check it out seriously? I have heard very good reports from knowledgeable people about the phenomenal lady and this school she runs…


She: No, we just want to put our children in some decent school once for all and forget about admissions etc till they reach their 10th std…


He: <removing his iPod headphones, momentarily> I want my home to be near my office.


Me: Um, oh… Ritu, may be you can try Prakriya GreenWisdom School on Sarjapura Road? But I don’t really know whether they take in kids this early. But you can always check it out… And then there is this GEAR school, you can find out more…


She: We checked Prakriya out, it is too far from here and our children are too small and I am not sure I can send them even by their school bus. And we don’t have a third vehicle for dropping and picking up children – because getting drivers for the cars is very difficult these days! They ask for raises all the time, you see – you can’t depend on them.


Me: But you can shift your home to somewhere on Sarjapura Road? May be even HSR layout or may be Kasavanahalli? You like the school, yeah?


He: But then, I would have to drive for a longer time to my office, that would be difficult, you know about Bangalore traffic.


Me: So Raju, what you are saying is, you like the school but you like your office more. And, you don’t want to disturb your dumb routine just for the sake of your children. Why then did you even go in for your children? Do you do some great and original work at the office? After all, you are a dumb seat warming manager straight from the Dilbert Cartoons, who happens to work for a dumber MNC, yeah? …


She: Ramjee, he is not like that, don’t get angry. He helps around in the kitchen. I mean, he reads his newspapers, does his emails, follows baseball and soccer matches, participates in conference-calls – in the morning, so that I am free to do the housework, cooking and attending to the twins; our family believes in sharing the responsibilities, you know. In the evening also he shares in the responsibilities of the household – he has his ‘drinks,’ watches TV, listens to Iron Maiden, checks his emails while having dinner, and I am completely free to take care of our lovely children and cook the dinner and to plan the next day. We are one happy family. Every week we go for shopping, multiplexes and visit commercial street and eat out. Raju even takes us out once an year to some exotic place! We love it. Last year we went to Pattaaya… He is soooo nice to us!


And, and… Raju does not beat me up even when he is totally drunk, unlike my father.


Me: Ritu, just a second please – I just want to verify whether you have a navel, can I?


She: <Horrified> Why? What Ramjee, I think I have one… <deer in the headlight, the works>


Me: I just was wondering whether you were from some other planet. May be you aliens do things differently there??


She: You are always joking Ramjee, we never know whether you are serious or being funny…


Me: You see Ritu, I feel you like the school and love the children. I suggest that you move to some place near that school on Sarjapura road or any other school anywhere else… See, you are an educated and a resourceful girl and can face life head on and be happy.


She: Ayyo Ramjee, but what will poor Raju do?


Me: Considering the way things are and you and your children are – I suggest that you look for a new husband. Life is full of choices, Ritu, for Godssake WAKE UP! I think Raju has already contributed what he could, to the family – I mean sperms.


He: <busy sending an SMS message on his cellphone and listening to his iPod music> I love my family. We are one great family, aren’t we, Ritu?


She: I never thought of it. What a new way of looking at life, you may not realize it Ramjee, I am constantly tired and frustrated… May be my expectation levels have been SO low! So darn low that, I can’t even recognize a normal person, even when I see one.


Me: Good that you are able to actually see things, Ritu, good luck! It is a magical world!


She: Okay Ramjee, how about you?


Me: ME? uh oh, NO dear, am already hubbily married, have kids and in any case I am only as young as your grandfather’s granduncle…Sorry. Besides, running a harem is not in my future plans. But I can introduce you to really nice guys, I promise…


He: <busy on cellphone> Chodo yaar, ab bolo – what is new on Forum mall multiplex this evening? Online booking kar sakthe?


She: Okay then, let me take leave of you – may be I should go to that Shubha Mudgal recital that I have been planning to go for more than a decade – but didn’t because of this guy. Bye…


Me: Bye, you don’t anymore want the second or the Nth car or what?


She: Yeah. I trust BMTC more – let me take a bus.


He: <checking his SMS message> Yippee! Newyork Yankees won the league – here come the Yankees! <Whistles the tune>


<She and I exchange dirty glances even as I bring a garrot…>  

—– x —–

So much for poking fun at this abominable category of  ‘you have marvelous children, but how on earth did YOU folks manage THAT?’ kind of parents.

It is amazing that, there are so many nice children, in spite of the best efforts of us parents.


This gives me hope. I would hate to admit it, but, I now think (after years of being a raving and ranting Atheist) that there is a possibility of the existence of God, after all. Or as Scott Peck would say, there could be no other explanation for this nice phenomenon but ‘divine grace.’


 From the next part, we will be serious

Next part: education a personal (and opinionated) taxonomy.


All parts of the series, uptil the current one are here: FAQs on ‘education’

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