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Getting old

When does a person gets old? At 60? At 80? How do you define ‘old’?

For me, you grow old when you start showing the symptoms of old age – mental or physical. Mental symptoms like cynicism, forgetfulness, etc. Physical symptoms like body aches, arthritis, stooping backs, white hair etc.

No matter what image or parameter you conjure for deciding when you call a person old, you’ll recall someone so-called young
you’ve seen with the same symptom.


I assumed knee problems happen only when you’re old. Very old. I’ve been diagnosed with a Grade 3 tear in my left knee. Most probably I tore my knee muscle during some of my dance session a yr n a half ago n because I neglected the pain that appeared occasionally, I’ve now reached the point where I’ve no alternative but to go under the needle. Get the torn flesh-piece out so that the body is able to regenerate the flesh. And unless I do that I may not be able to bend my knee completely. Ever.

Ladies and Gentlemen! I’ve grown old even before I turn 30.

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Testing Times

Well, when the world starts going topsy-turvy, it does become a roller-coaster. Tarun is travelling to US for 2 weeks, and it is admission time for Anay. I knew that since 2 weeks so I was mentally prepared that it would be a challenge time. What I wasn’t prepared was that my health will also go for a toss, at the same time.

As fate would have it, I was diagnosed with a cartilege-rupture in my knee, right on the day Tarun was scheduled to flight. Add to it, some tests that show increasing numbers, further showcasing my unhealthy lifestyle. It was a day that God clearly sent me the message – Buckle up or you’re getting old. Soon.

So, here I am. Trying to mend my ways. A Tea/coffee -addict, gone sober for 4 days, so far. I really had doubts whether I would be able to do that, but the harshness of reality has put things straight for me.

Well, enough of the sorrow-story. Then, there’s the school admission. So, all these schools have found a new way of making money. All the major schools (most of them), have a second branch opening up in Gr. Noida, expressway area. And, these are not just another branch. They are ‘International’. So, while we have DPS Noida, we have DPS International, Gr. Noida. We had Amity International School, Noida. Now, we have ‘Amity Global School’, Gr. Noida. And, the list goes on for Somerville, Sriram etc.
Now, I’m in a fix. Do I want to put my child in the ‘Noida’ or the ‘Gr.Noida’. Since I’m open to the area where he goes, I’m concerned about what are the differences. And the sites don’t highlight the difference much. Many of them are offering IB curriculum. They have the ‘British Council International School Award’ posted on their sites. But, that is on most schools these days. Another hogwash. There’s ‘Cambridge Accreditation’, ‘British Council’, and what not. I wonder what the naive parents can do to stand up against all that. What am I supposed to understand from it, or make of any of it. Was I supposed to know already of what these accreditation mean, or which one is better and tougher to get? I did know of IB (in my defense) and I thought I was a progressive, keeping abreast with the latest trends – parent. Bah! What did I know!

I really wish I could have visited these schools, taken a look at the students and the culture in these schools. Do they just mean ‘pricey-kids-are-sent-here’ or do they really create some open-minded-kids.

Okay. I think I have understood. I’ll not go for any of this hogwash. I just want concept-based education, and environment/surrounding based learning for my child. At least in the formative years. Not much emphasis on the homework or rote-learning. So, I’ll go for the original choice. So far the list is Lotus Valley, Mayoor, and Sriram Millenium (latest addition). I’ll fill up forms for the regular names, but just to make sure he gets a seat somewhere, if my top-choices are not available.

Clarity and Peace. Writing always helps me.


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The school misery continues

Dear Diary,

The forms for admissions have already started to come in. You feel sick to see the business it all is. The schools in Noida start the process in August for the session to begin in July next year. Can you guess why? People who clear up their lists, have to fill in the fee early to block the seat. The schools which have the admissions later, which are usually the traditional, well-established schools, do it a little later. And, then parents are forced to take a choice. If they can afford it, they forfeit the amount submitted for the admission, or they are left with no choice but to send their ward to this school, when the child could actually be better placed in some better school.
I was baffled to hear the admission form’s fee. The first school to take out its form is DPS Indirapuram. Can you think of the fee? My usual expectation was somewhere exorbitant – Rs 1000-1500. The actual fees is Rs 3000/- That’s showing the school is pricey, right from the word ‘Go’.

And, it is disheartening to see myself being led into all this just because it’s the norm. As I try to teach Anay shapes, which he’s still not comfortable with, I see how wasteful all this pushing is. He was not comfortable in identifying colors previously. With time, he learnt it. Of course, there was some effort involved, but no pushing whatsoever. Now, as the time for interviews is approaching, I don’t have the luxury of finding out some new technique or app or something to explain the difference between a square and a rectangle. He particularly has an issue in identifying a triangle. So, I can see myself pushing him to it. Trying to repeat it every day so that he remembers. Isn’t that rote-learning? And, why? Just because I know it is crucial for interviews. Is that pushing required? If he doesn’t learn in a week, he will learn in a month. Maybe 3 months! Big deal? But, I can see myself panicking there. I know I have to make him learn. I know I’ll push. I am, already.

The school has not even started and I can already sense myself joining the rat race. Once the schools begin, and I see his peers, his peers’parents doing all sort of things to make their child excel, would I be able to control the urge to push? I really want to give my son some free time of exploration and idle-ness before putting him into the grill. I think the kids who had a free childhood perform better in the later race they face in career, than those who have worked hard throughout.

At the end of it all, I see how important it is to have faith in the education system. We have ridiculed and found flaws in our education system so often, and repeatedly, that today, as a parent, it is difficult to follow it. I’m spending a fortune in getting my child ‘this’ education and I will be working hard to NOT let him fall into it too much. How can that work? If this is the way it is going to be, I should let it all happen, have faith in it, and work with the flow, to carve out the best in my child. I HAVE to believe in the education system and use it to aid my child’s growth. But believing in something that you’ve actually found flaws in, is a difficult feat. This is the major reason I never used to ridicule my teachers in my student life. When you ridicule, you can never learn or accept from that person. You have to keep him/her above you to let him teach you.
To let the education system help me, I have to let it be above me. Is it something I should do? Is there an alternative that I have?
I don’t know.

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People have started calling me a ‘Travel-buff’. I took quite frequent travel-trips last year and a major one this year. And I’m aching to go somewhere. Just because it was an international trip doesn’t mean I don’t need another for the complete year.

They don’t realize ‘Travel-buff’ is the latest term for ‘escapists’. We people love escaping from the thing called Life.