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Archive for July 12th, 2010

Circa 1996

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The girl stood in line with her 11th standard biology practical notebook in her hand. It was one of those loose leaf ones where you attach one lined paper and another blank paper to the file as you progress with your practical. Rather a waste of page, she thought!!

But then, hadn’t  the “Vriksh-Mitra” people , who had visited their school the previous week, insisted on saving paper? They had painted such a gory picture about the future in the absence of trees, that it struck her conciousness deep within. No more wastage, she wove. And did her small bit for the environment. Even the practical notebook she held in her hand, was testimony to her contribution. She had wedged a blank sheet (blank on both the sides) between two lined sheets. And where the lined sheets had text, the blank paper had her drawings on both the sides.

When her turn came, she extended her notebook to the teacher, who took a quick look at the first practical and said grimly,”Do it again” .

 “But why ma’am”?, she dared to enquire.

“Because I say so!! And because you should have used two different blank papers for the practicals”.

“But Ma’am….”

But the teacher wasn’t listening. She had already crossed out the first drawing with her red pen. And before the girl could react, the teacher,with another flick of her wrist, slashed the other practical too. The girl was too stunned to react. The teacher looked at her sternly and told her that she had just one day to finish the practical and submit it again. Else the entire term’s practicals would be slashed out.

The girl meekly took her notebook and walked back to her seat, unable to decipher the reason behind the teacher’s destruction. She was totally shocked at the fact that not only had the teacher wasted her precious pages , she had also slashed out the drawings which the girl had taken hour’s of trouble drawing.

Without much ado, as soon as the practicals were over, the girl marched over to the staff room and asked for her class teacher. She told the class teacher that she wanted to opt for the computer science subject instead of biology. It was the last day of finalizing the subjects for the boards and the class teacher asked the girl if she was sure about her decision. The girl said yes. She knew she couldn’t take two years of the biology teacher’s rude behavior. This wasn’t the first time the teacher had behaved rudely in a short period of two weeks. but the girl never had to face the teacher’s ire, until now.

Post recess, the students trooped back to the classroom , where the biology teacher came in with their test results. She carried the bunch of notebooks in her hand and by her appearance, it was quite clear that her mood was blacker than it was that morning. The class waited with baited breath for the results , which they knew, weren’t any good. The teacher pulled the first notebook from the pile and asked out loud, “Whose is it?”.

Sheeesh, thought the girl. This must be my worst day ever!!

She got up quietly and walked up to the teacher’s desk. The teacher practically flung the notebook at her. The girl walked back meekly to her desk, but not before she heard these words, “She has the highest score in this test”.

What??

Come again??

Did she just say that I was the highest scrorer??

Well, apparently, the teacher was no more pleased with this piece of news as was apparent from her face. But the girl was delirious with giddy delight. She had beat the second highest student by 10 marks and well, that gave her quite a head-start in the overall scores.

But wait. There was no point in shouting from the rooftops yet. The girl had an agonizing wait till the end of the day when she finally got a chance to rush up to the staff room and ask for her class teacher. The girl asked if the final list of students opting for the Computer Science course had been dispatched to Delhi yet.

“Yes”, said the class teacher,” The courier was sent during lunch break”.

Shock and dismay were written large on the girl’s face. She wasn’t sure what to do next. She knew she loved biology as a subject. She knew that she hadn’t even put in an iota of effort preparing for the test. Her knowledge stemmed from years of absorbing the encyclopedias her father bought her. Drawing the RNA and DNA structures were child’s play. Then why had she opted out? To save herself from the biology teacher? And how would it have helped her anyway?!!

Too confused, the girl went home and narrated the incident to her parents. Her parents didn’t think that her decision was unwise. Like her father pointed out, computer science was an upcoming field and ti was time to get into something new. Accept the new challenge as it comes your way, was what he said. And so she let go of any guilt and tried to immerse herself into the new subject.

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Today

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Somewhere, deep within her, lingered a shred of regret. Of knowing that though she likes what she does, it comes nowhere close to enjoying what she does. Her job is what she does to bring in the bread and butter, but yet, there is a hollowness. She knows she would have done exceedingly good in the field of medicine. She kept herself up to date on all the latest discoveries in the field of medicine. She gobbled news excerpts on different kinds of treatments like they were snacks. Over the years, she found friends and colleagues consulting her for minor ailments. Not because she was prescribing them medicines, but usually, she could diagnose the problem efficiently and then direct them to the right doctor/hospital/clinic. And each time someone confides in her, she realizes how satisfying it is to help people . And then rue the fact that she is stuck in a job where helping out people comes second. You got to help the systems first!!

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This is my story.

About taking a decision in the heat of the moment and living to regret it every minute of my life. I did try my best to swap the subjects in 12th standard, but it wasn’t meant to be. I wasn’t allowed.  And I could curse and kick myself over it till the cows went home. I do feel like venting angst against callous teachers who don’t know any better how their words/actions could bear consequences on their students. But its too late now. I have only myself to blame. I gave up a subject I LOVED because I couldn’t tolerate the high-handed teacher! If only I had the patience and perseverance to ignore her manner and continue with my studies, I would now be doing something that I forever wish I was doing!! Help people.

I made a rash decision and I’ll have to live with it.

It’s not easy , though 😦

So tell me folks, have you made any such rash decisions in your life which you regret to this date? How do you overcome this shroud of depression? How do you swap out of it into reality and learn to accept (and respect) it?

If any of you have already written any posts on similar lines, do send me the URL (you may send in your experience as a comment too 🙂 ).

I would like to read and know that I’m not the only one suffering from such bouts of depression.

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