Almost 100

104351668_d68d7f6a0c.jpgDuring school, most of us have been in a position where we were, unfortunately, stuck with the toppers of the class. Etched carefully in the mind are the days when the mathematics papers would be shown. For all of us who developed a Math phobia from the 5th grade, where they started teaching us ‘cost price-selling price’, a meager 60-65 in the subject was beyond satisfactory.

On the other hand, your friends, the toppers, with their heads bent; use to pretend like they have a headache, when actually they were trying to fight back the tears. Why, you would ask? Because of the fear of being laughed at after reaching home, also the only one in the family to get a 99 on 100 in Maths. Ever. What a shame, you would say. The real shame, according to me, is being born in an overly competitive family. The question is, what if the boy/girl has an aptitude for subjects for the less conventional streams, like humanities? Will she never be able to realize it just because her family will not let her take up anything, but the science stream?

Many times we hear of parents pursuing their childhood dream through their children. The parents get so absorbed into achieving the success they never could, as children, that they forget about the space and choices that is mandatory for every child. What happens to a child that doesn’t get to choose throughout his/her life? What happens to their inconsistent sense of self? Or what if they never get to realize their hidden creative abilities? They are left with no sense of individuality and once they are exposed to the ‘big bad world’, no longer being children, their self-esteem collapses, leaving a sense of emptiness within them. Imagine Shakespeare not being himself, but just ordinary old William or Gandhi being just Mohandas?

As a child, we are given the power to choose, at various stages, and with each choice we grow. It either leaves a mark of success within us, or we learn from our mistakes and move on, trying not to repeat the blunder again. What happens when somebody else makes those choices for you? You end up living like a puppet, and condition yourself to break into tears for loosing a tennis or cricket match, or for not winning a musical/ dance competition or not achieving one mark. It is really worth it?

Swetha Ramakrishnan

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