School Stories: A Frustrated Parent

frustrationDear Competition School,

First, I would like to congratulate you for being the most competitive school in this city. One often reads about you in the papers. One sees your banners and hoardings all over the city. You school bus service is the most efficient, your principal is the most dictatorial, and your teachers give the best notes. Your parent community is known for its ability to encourage their children to compete and achieve. The word “competition” is the first that your students learn, and as a result, they are eager even to be the first to finish urinating during the break.

In your thirst to race ahead, you have rendered useless a huge majority of your student population. You have driven their parents to desperation. You have utterly destroyed the beautiful relationship between parents and their children. You have made parents feel that their children are useless if they do not compete and fetch prizes. I hear this statement often in your campus: “He/she is ‘nowhere’ because he/she doesn’t participate in any competition.” You have reduced the value of a little human being to the number of prizes he/she wins. Since prizes are fewer than participants, the value of a majority of your students is zero.

When desperate parents meet your principal to discuss this issue, your principal talks about the importance of “training the students.” “You have to train your children,” she thunders in her dictatorial manner, her eyes burning fire. “Look at our Clever Ones. Do you think they are Clever from birth? They are Clever because their parents train them. Their parents send them to extra classes after school. Their parents see that they maintain proper study hours at home. Their parents spend time and money on them. You do the same. Train your child and we will see that he/she gets all the opportunities in school. Unless you take interest and train your child, you cannot blame us for ignoring him/her.”

Your principal has a knack of rendering frustrated parents speechless. If they try to argue, your principal says in her arrogant way: “Listen, we are Competition School. The focus here is on competition. If you do not like our policies, you may find a less competitive school.”

Your parent community may be the most competitive in the city, but there are a few who cannot agree with you. What exactly do you mean when you say “train your children”? Our children are not animals to be trained. They have a mind of their own. They have the right to make their own decisions. They are valuable human beings. I absolutely resent your policy of assigning them a value based on the number of competitions they win. Our children are valuable because they are our children, not because of their achievements or lack of achievements in your school. And you definitely don’t have the right to deny them opportunities, ignore them, refuse to teach them, and permit your Clever Ones to bully them just because they do not comply with your ideas of what Clever children should be like, especially as you accept the same amount of money as fees from all of us.

Tell me, Competition School, even if we decide to “train” our children so that they somehow fit into the suffocating competitive atmosphere you have created, how shall we do it? You keep our children in your school premises for nearly seven hours. We need another hour or two just to get them ready for school. The teaching that you do in the classrooms is insufficient; so we have to teach them at home or send them for tuitions. To make matters worse, you burden our children with homework, assignments, projects, tests, and competitions almost every day. You are fully aware that our children are too small to do all these things on their own. You know that your homework, assignments, projects, tests, and competitions are actually for us. We are working parents. We just cannot carry this burden, and we definitely do not have the heart to “train” our already burdened child. It is precisely for this reason that at least one of the parents of your Clever Ones is a stay at home. We suggest that you train yourselves to become better educators.

And of course, we will never forgive you for all those times you have stressed us so much that we yelled at our children and even hit them. You and you alone, Competition School, are responsible for all those tempestuous study sessions in hundreds of homes. Instead of making learning a joy, you have made it a pain in the ass not only for our children, but also for us.

Even as I write this, I know that you will not change your ways because your policies are attractive to a huge majority of your parent population. Even as I write this, I know I don’t have the courage to give you this letter personally. I am, therefore, going to drop this as an anonymous letter in your feedback box. I am afraid that you may harass my innocent child if I write my name on this letter.

A Frustrated Parent

The principal of Competition School read this letter with a sadistic gleam in her eyes. One could almost see the fire and smoke spilling out of her nostrils. In fact, she had lost count of the number of times she had read this letter. She read it whenever she felt bored and in need of some entertainment. As she reached the end of it, she let out a bark of laughter. She felt nothing but contempt for the parent community of Competition School. She knew she could control them and keep them in their place as long as she held their children in her iron grip.

She carelessly tossed the anonymous letter inside the drawer. She had already planned to wipe her ass with it as soon as the ink faded away and the words could no longer entertain.

Disclaimer: Above story is a work of fiction based on the real world we live in. If you see yourself or anyone you know in any of the characters, the writer is not responsible.

The Perfect Egg

img_0450I am not the perfect mother. So far, I have never been able to cook the perfect egg for you. In fact, we have had countless egg-related fights.

Today, wonder of wonders, I finally succeeded in cooking the perfect egg. Save the date—21 January, 2017. I actually fried an egg and you ate it without complaining. So I decided to celebrate it by creating a blog post.

 

Just look at all those egg fights we have had over the years.

*****

Me: Shall I boil an egg for you?

You: No!

Me: Why not? What’s wrong with eggs? We all eat eggs here. Why shouldn’t you?

You: You eat if you want. I won’t!

Me: Seriously, you should have got a Hitler mother. I am too mild for you.

*****

You (walking into the kitchen): What are you doing?

Me: It’s actually none of your business.

You: Are you frying an egg?

Me (sighing): Yes

You: How are you going to crack it open?

Me: The way I usually do. Now get out of my way!

You: Don’t break it open with a knife like that. Make a small hole at the narrower end.

Me: I wish you would leave me alone when I am cooking.

You (raising your voice): NO! Don’t use the knife. Just make a small hole. I want the whole egg shell with just a small hole in it. I want to make a happy face.

Me (cursing myself for teaching you to make happy faces with egg shells): Here is your egg shell, you little brat! Now get out of the kitchen.

You (leaving the kitchen): And I don’t want fried eggs for breakfast today.

*****

You: What is this?

Me: What does it look like to you? Don’t they teach you anything in school?

You: I don’t want the yolk. I will eat only the white.hatching-chick-illustration

Me: What’s your problem, baby? What has the yolk done to you?

You: There is a baby in the egg yolk and I don’t want to hurt it by eating it.

Me (surprised witless): WHAT? A baby in the egg yolk?! Who told you that?

You: I know.

Me (feeling helpless): So why is there no baby in the white?

You: It’s only in the yolk. That’s why I am not eating it.

*****

You: What are you doing?

Me: I am frying eggs.

You: I won’t eat it. I wanted it poached.

*****

You: What are you doing?

Me: I am poaching eggs.

You: I won’t eat it. I wanted it fried.

*****

You: What are you doing?

Me: I am boiling eggs.

You: You are boiling eggs? But that’s so boring! I like only fried eggs and poached eggs.

*****

You: Are you frying the egg?

Me: Yes.

You: See that you don’t put the yolk in it.

Me (losing my temper): What do you mean you don’t want me to put the yolk in it? Why don’t you go and tell the chickens all over the world to lay eggs without yolks? Listen, I cannot remove the yolk. So you might as well shut up and eat whatever is put on your plate.

You: If you put the yolk in it, I won’t eat it.

Me: Don’t!

You: Ok then, don’t fry any egg for me!

*****

Me: Here is your fried egg! I have carefully removed the yolk from it and fried only the white. So shut up and eat it.

You: But this part of it looks yellow.

Me: (speechless)

You: I will give this yellow looking part to Nanna and eat only the white.

*****

You: Mamma, I want fried eggs.

Me: I have decided not to cook eggs anymore.

You: But why? I want fried eggs.

Me: Listen, you can have fried eggs provided you eat whatever I put on your plate. And don’t stand here when I am frying it.

You (staying right there): Mamma, be very careful while flipping it over. I don’t want the yolk to break and spread all over the white.

Me: Get out of my way! I can’t guarantee all that. So you will eat the yolk today?

You: Yes, but don’t break it. And it should be fried a little bit on the outside and raw on the inside.

*****

Me: Why aren’t you eating your egg?

You: It is all fried. I don’t like all fried eggs. I like the yolk to be just a little raw.

*****

January 21, 2017 (The Great Day)

You: What are you doing?

Me: I am frying an egg.

You: For whom?

Me: It’s for you. And you are shutting up and eating it.

You: Mamma, don’t break the yolk.

My hands shook slightly when I broke the egg on the hot pan. Fortunately, the yolk did not break. Since I am an atheist, I could not thank god. But I sure thanked my lucky stars.

You: Now Mamma, don’t flip it at all. Don’t flip it!

I carefully placed the half-fried egg, sunny side up on a plate and handed it to you. Peace reigned over the house for nearly five minutes as you ate your breakfast. And you actually ate it with your mouth shut. You ate the yolk as well as the white. I mean, you really ate the yolk as well as the white.

20151121_201320

I did not even dare to speak for fear of breaking the magic in the moment.