Thursday, March 29, 2018

When the tiny fingers are taught to write

Pre-school wasn't easy for me and I have vague memories of disdain for my pre-school teachers whose only job, as it appeared to me was to ask us to sit in our places, make no noise and echo the sounds of the alphabets in unison that were chanted out by the stern looking teachers. Off course their task was not easy, but for God's sake, how do you expect us the little spirited souls to sit in one place and do nothing. Just days ago we would wander under the sun, free and happy unaware of the societal burdens of expectations, success and comparisons. But that phase got over and so did my tears of resistance and we were chess-boarded into a rat race of marks, results and perceived notion of success. I knew I was an unhappy toddler in school not willing to learn and still not willing to make friends. After all my friends were my fictitious characters in my mind who would talk to me the way I wanted them to.Eventually I was promoted to a new school where I made peace with my inner conflicts and decided to give in to the frames of curriculum and school pressure but I never quite excelled at it and was a misfit all throughout. As adulthood swept over the years of innocence, motherhood followed with restlessness and undying love and concern. When I first held the quivering little one in my hands and felt his determined heartbeat behind the incessant wailing, I decided that my child would live free and nothing should ever tell him that he needs to jump into the race for success. Little did I realise that those tiny fingers that held me with firmness each time I fed him my milk would soon be led to the gates of a school that was more than willing to make him a square peg in a square hole. I could almost feel his heartbeat as we dressed him up in his uniform and equipped him with books. He wasn't sure what he was about to embark on, but the moment I let go of his tiny fingers to get inside the brightly colored yet a small room, his muscles became tensed and I felt the same tug of war inside his heart as I had experienced three decades back. Nothing changed, except for the fact that this time I was the one who was pushing him to get in and the last time I was pushed in to a new world. The little one screamed and clutched on to me like his life depended on it. His doleful eyes look at me questioningly and he wasn't sure what led me take this step. Uprooted him from his happy mirthful days and unquestioning self we were about to dictate his free will to cater to the demands of the society. As he struggles to write his alphabets with each passing day, I try to instill in him the interest to water theplants, find pleasures in the little things of life and question the strict norms that break and mutilate our individuality to fit into the struggles of every man who fails to learn that material acquisition is not the only road to happiness


  1. Lots of love to the little hands and Aahir

  2. Wow. So sensibly and beautifully written.

  3. My worry is as mom we feel the grief ... but is the problem with the concept ‘pre-school’ or the existing practice in pre-school?