Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Stupid kids

It was in Bangalore Times this morning that I read the following story and it made me very angry:-
Show me the money

What the hell?? You have to pay kids to study and do well in academics these days? Where the hell were these idiotic ideas when we were studying and growing up?

Ideally, you would think, the attitude to adopt with respect to a kid's education, as it was with many of us, is:- do well or die starving. It is in the child's own interest that he/she build up knowledge(of any sort, not necessarily technical. You can nurture your interests in writing or archaeology or music, not mathematics or the sciences alone). Because you must know something in order to survive in this modern society. If you don't want to do that, if you want to adopt the stance that people need to pay you in order for you to do well for yourself, well, go drown, stupid kid.

I agree scholarships are a good idea and things like a cash prize for the top three scorers in the class or school or something will encourage competitiveness and perhaps even drive some students to do well. But what about some of the other guys? What if some kids, as the vast majority are wont to do, say fuck it, let's go out and play and do nothing to further our education even in crunch situations, even if our parents work hard to put us through school and sacrifice a lot for our benefit? Cash incentives won't help these kids. But there is hope yet. There's nothing a good, healthy fear of death in penury can't cure.

My parents worked hard for a living and to put me through school. We weren't rich by any stretch of imagination. We were lower middle class people and couldn't afford to pay the exorbitant fees some of the better schools charged. Despite this, when we shifted to Bangalore from Hosur, they paid the then princely(for us) sum of 6000 bucks as donation to enrol me in the PTA school, certainly not the greatest educational institution for a young boy in his formative years. 'Six thousand for that school??' you may well ask. Yes, as parents looking for their ward to do well, this was not at all an ideal investment. It was an absolute waste. That I had the greatest time of my life there and also met my oldest living friend is a different matter.

The point is, after that, I was aware that we couldn't pay the kind of fees required for me to get into Bishop Cotton's and Baldwin's and Kumaran's(pronounced Coom-runs) and shit. My parents would have paid if I had expressed a strong desire to get into those schools, but it would have brought a slight economic hardship upon the family. I'm not blowing my own trumpet here but I didn't want my parents to pay so much for my pretentious wants or whatever. They had already done a hell of a lot for me. They never let me feel that we weren't the richest people in the world. My father travelled(and still travels) to Hosur everyday from Bangalore after we shifted here in '93. In fact, the dawning of the realization that I wouldn't have much of a future in Hosur and/or Tamil Nadu(with the rampant reservation policies) was what led them to leave the idyllic life in Hosur shift here in the first place. We had a hell of a life there. I'd go to school at about 9 in the morning and return by 4. My father would go to office at 7:30 and return by 5. Every Saturday(this later became 'any day which caught our fancy'), we would go and watch a movie in Srinivasa, Venkateswara, Balaji or one of the other numerous theatres in Hosur named after the Lord of Tirupati. We'd buy fried items from a bakery near the theatre(there was always one) and go in and have the time of our lives. It would more often than not be a Chiranjeevi movie. We were crazy about his movies. Hosur had a sizeable Telugu population and every true-blue Chiranjeevi fan would be there, eating chakli(they call it murukku in Tamil, if you didn't know), nippat and other things. If not Chiranjeevi, we would throng the Rajni movie halls. My father commanded sufficient respect on account of the company he worked for(and still does):- Ashok Leyland. In fact, for one movie, when we couldn't get seats in the movie hall, the projectionist drew up a sofa in the box beside the projector and made us sit there and watch, because 'Saar Ashok Leyland, illaiya?' We led the ideal small town lives. Content and happy. We didn't have any debilitating concerns or worries.

That was the driving force behind what little(in retrospect insufficient) effort I put into my studies then:- my parents giving all this up and moving to the big city for my sake. I was not aware of all this then, of course. Hey come on, I was eight! I remember being woken up on May 31st, 1993, at 6:30 in the morning and my father saying, "Wake up. We have to leave now. First day in new school."

Wait wait, let's get into the nostalgia trip later. The point is, my parents did so much for me and I tried, with my child's intelligence and logic, to repay their love and affection in the only way I knew and could:- by costing them less to maintain. That was why I went to Vijaya high school and National college, Jayanagar. That's why I refused to go for a payment seat in my engineering. By this time, we were far more affluent than we were in Hosur. But still, I didn't want to bleed them economically. My mother blames this as the reason I didn't do better in 2nd PUC. Perhaps if I had attended tuitions or whatever for physics and mathematics as well, instead of just chemistry, I'd have done better. But I haven't done too badly for myself despite that. So that's ok. I win.

Anyway, enough making myself sound like a hero of sorts("aww you cared so much"). If you have to pay kids money to make them do well, if scholarships are the only way even affluent kids will study, you shouldn't do it. The truly needy, the poor, can be given money, without objection. But if reasonably rich kids also want monetary incentives in order to do well, they know where to shove that suggestion.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I won't say Aw and insult your intelligence.

You did well. What are you bitchin' about?

And fuck you for the Kumarans thing. We were wannabe coolios. Can you blame us?

Don't people study to show off anymore?

Anonymous said...

Malaveeka said the above.

Sandeep said...

I also gourment. I also Baby Mona High School.

Yeah, bang on, on the Coom-run thing.

Sandeep said...

Not to mention it was Shri Kumaran's Children's home.

Harish said...

Yes, PTA school days were, in retrospect, the best we could have had in terms of having more fun than kids in other schools did. Let alone having to do homework and such other trivial things, we actually spent more time on the cricket-field than inside the classroom. But then, in academics, we did as well as if not better than the Coom-Runs kids with their exorbitantly expensive education .

Thanks Ma'a!

"neen exam alli chennag marks togonDre, ninage car koDistini, bike koDistini' antella incentives yaavatto offer maaDlilla namagella. On the other hand, we had the disincentive of 'facing the music' from our parents if we didn't do well. And probably, I feel, that's the way it should be.
Well said, kanayya! Very valid points you have made.

Kavitha said...

Very well written....Monetory incentives will not help any student to be responsible enough. Its for their own good that they study man, they are not doing anyone a favor to be compensated like that...a prize, a scholorship for a work well done is a good thing, but doesn't this "monetory" thing sound like a bribe????

Kavitha said...

BTW, you write very well...Can I link you in my blog?

Sneha Divakar said...

what the hell?... Coom-runs antella nam school ge awmana madtira...
u can try to be as good a Kumarans (or coom... whatever u want to say) but u cant be Kumaran-ite... ha hah

Along came Polly! said...

Point Sharma.

But why are you getting your knickers in a knot?

Me thought you were over and done with schooling...

Bring up your kids as you wish.

Simple!

Harish said...

"u can try to be as good a Kumarans (or coom... whatever u want to say) but u cant be Kumaran-ite... ha hah"

Coom-Runs alli English ashtu sariyaagi heLkoTTilla ansatte. Paapa.

Maatig heLde.

Arjun Sharma said...

[Anonymous]I'm not bitchin. Read properly. Stoopid.

You people do pronounce it 'Coom-runs.' Come on.

[Anonymous]I'll bet she did, MP.

[Sandeep]And also Rubiya convent, right?

Houdu, aa hesralli school nadsdre hogakke manassu baralla. Yaako ond thara.

[Harish]Olle disincentives-u.

Bull, we did well in academics! We did nothing in academics. We bought those stupid question banks that SRK printed out and forced us to buy(here, Adnan Kaderbhai Raja proved a clever and resourceful man), kept them somewhere and somehow scraped through. That we scored enough to get into the Vijaya high schools and the NCJs, with their 'merit sections,' is just a testament to our natural, flamboyant brilliance.

Henge?

[Kavitha]Yeah, bribe them to do well for their own good? Bollocks, like they say in 'A clockwork orange.'

Link away, link away, no permission-girmission required.

[Sneha]I didn't understand at all what it was you said. Perhaps this is the hallmark of a Kumaranite(is this a new, fast-moving, virulent form of heavenly body?)?

[Su]He he, 'knickers in a knot,' I like.

I am done with schooling. I just think this is very stupid, that's all.

Yes, my kids will be fine, upstanding citizens of the country, much like me.

Thank you.

[Harish]He he, houdu, not their strongest point, as you have rightly surmised.

Neev heli, ivre. Samajakke hedrbedi.

Anonymous said...

You were always stoopid, darling asncj2002. Anonymous was me. That's why I said Malaveeka said above. Plus I scrapped you saying I commented as anon because I had problems logging on. Blaming pur Amul.

anyway, Kumarans was also gourment school-like only. Compared to Josephs and Cottons. which were crap, also.

I hate Kumarans and all its mind numbing so called 'middle' class philosophy.

Coomarans/ites, die!

Mals

malaveeka said...

What if your kids want to go to pretentious schools?

I wanted to make a joke about 'upstanding' but I wont.

Sandeep said...

Yo, leave Joseph's outta this shit, alrite?

Preethi Vallam said...

Your dad works in Ashok Leyland??? Even my dad has worked there for a long time! Whats his name? :)

Sneha Divakar said...

"u can try to be as good a Kumarans but u cant be Kumaran-ite".. is just like u say "many men become engineers, but engineering becomes some men"...
parvagilla bidi.. ivella artha aagakke Kumarans nalli odirbeku...

Suprita said...

I think cute looking Proffs who favor bright/hard working students is the best incentive. It always worked with me.

Spunky Monkey said...

National College, Jayanagar.
Been there, seen that.
Ayyayyo.