Monday, September 07, 2009

Be The Change You Want (Children's Fantasy)

Apple 1: I say! When is your birthday?
Apple 2: Well, I think when mom visited the doc two weeks ago, he said it was 5th September
Apple 1: But that was day before yesterday!
Apple 2: Yea, I know, but I have decided not to be born at all!
Apple 1: What! Why?
Apple 2: There’s nothing much to look forward to….
Apple 1: Light! That’s what we can look forward to Apple 2
Apple 2: Nah! Aren’t you tired of huge lights intruding into your space at the doc’s cabin? Searching you; looking at every corner of your body?
Apple 1: Yea, it’s not really nice. In fact, I can hear them say look! Look! Here it is. Your baby is just fine. Bah!
Apple 2: Exactly! Once you are out they will probe into your life further. There’s no space to breathe….In any case, when is your birthday?
Apple 1: In a week I guess. But I am now thinking. Perhaps I should join you too.

The dates had gone. The births did not happen. Parents and doctors lost no time to intrude further. Mom1 and Mom 2 were driven to the OT and the anesthetist called. But when the moms were administered their dose, the anesthesia failed. They could not operate on the mothers-to-be. The babies remained inside.

Apple 1: Now we don’t have to worry Apple 2, we can just live here as long as life is running in our veins.
Apple 2: You are right! We are now safe from the world outside.
Apple 1: Last night I heard my mom complain that she feels like a sitting duck. She can’t move this way or that. A moment of happiness has turned into moments of burden.
Apple 2: I do syspathise. But Apple 1, someone has to bear the cross. For centuries we have.
Apple 1: I agree. Day after day, new life has entered the world hoping for a beautiful experience…
Apple 2: (with a down turned mouth) ….and nothing happened! In fact the moment we were born, rules were burdened on us. Did anyone ask us about what we wanted? What we thought about what they think is good for us? No! So Apple 1, don’t worry about what your mom said last night. There was never a new idea which was not born out of the failure of the last one. This idea not to be born but go through the entire life in our mother’s womb is a revolutionary one Apple 1.
Apple 1: Let’s imagine Apple 2 what the world will be for us…

And thus the world began a new world with only two inhabitants. Apple 1 and Apple 2. It was called BDaChangeUwan.

(Five years later)…..

Apple 1: Apple 2, are you hungry?
Apple 2: No! I am not but what about you?
Apple 1: All I have to do is think of food and it appears before me. Here, have a sandwich.
Apple 1 & 2 munched at a sandwich filled with tuna fish.
Apple 1: Why do we not eat a chicken lollipop too?
Apple 2: Sure! But where will we dump the bone.
Apple 1: We don’t have waste bins here Apple 2, because there are no wastes
Apple 2: I can’t chew a bone Apple 1
Apple 1: You don’t have to. There are no bones in Chicken fantasy lollipop
Apple 2: That’s right. In our world all we have to do is think and we can have whatever we want.
Apple 1: Do you know what happened at the school yesterday?
Apple 2: School? What school?
Apple 1: Mamma took me to school yesterday
Apple 2: Ha! Ha! Ha! And what happened there?
Apple 1: You know it was fun for all! Ha! Ha! Ha! The Head Master, Mr Pumpkinhead, came into his room and called for Mamma. When she entered, he helped her onto a chair. Then she began to speak. “You see, sir, “ she began, its been six years since I have been pregnant. The Head Master tried to hide his surprise. My Mamma continued – “ If I had had the baby in time, then h/she would have been six years today. I used to dream of sending him to your school. In fact I had even made my husband visit the school, even before it was born to get the Admission form. But alas! Even now, the child is not born.”

The startled Head Master shuffled on his seat “Never give up, Mrs Worldlifarce, life is all about the dreams you don’t give up! Maybe some day, it will emerge….”

”No way!” I had screeched from inside her stomach and can you believe it Apple 2, the Head Master heard it and stood up like a rod –

“What did you say?” he asked threateningly to my mother, “I don’t like cheeky girls who speak up to authority!”

My mom was shell shocked to say the least. “I said nothing Sir!” she pleaded

“You did!” he persisted “You had the cheek to be rude to me. “ I am the Head Master of this school…..!!!”


“Now, you may please leave my room”.

“Thanks you Pumpkinhead, I always knew you were one!”I said once again from inside the womb

But this time, the Head Master said nothing. He became as red as a tomato, as my mom left the room wiping her eyes with her kerchief.

Apple 1: Ha! Ha! Ha! What a joke that was! What’s the point of going to school? And all we have to do to learn any subject taught in school, is just think of the pictures it can bring up in our minds and we know the answers to it. Like 2 little ducklings make a man’s nose. Or one stick standing on the left of a duckling makes twelve. 2 twelve make a duckling and a man’s nose, sit side by side.

Apple 2: Math actually is fun and picturesque. I know the number lock on my Mom’s mobile because it is shaped like the lane in which our house stands – L. 1 – 7-9!! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Apple 1: I love the school we are going to. Everything is only pictures and colours. We don’t have to think beyond what is already available to us. It’s all there. Wonder why they make such a fuss about learning.

Apple 2: That’s because those who are teaching need to learn a thing or two!

Apple 1: Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Besides, good living is so simple. All we have to do is commune with all that is around us, the trees, birds, rivers and seas. When we walk in the woods, why do whole trees not fall upon us Apple 2? Because they live in peaceful co-existence with us. And when we live close to the forest why do we always have to cut trees to accommodate ourselves?

Apple 2: We took a good decision to stay away from the light outside. We live a far more enlightened life inside Apple 2.

Rationale for the above fantasy: It was not long ago that Pink Floyd wrote in indelible ink the words – The Wall – in the minds of zillions of people around the world, a song that would stand the test of time. Not only were the words revolutionary but the content of the song seemed to have remained the same over the times and even today we are dabbling with the same theme – “Hey teacher! Leave them kids alone! All in all, it’s another brick in the wall”.

Education that does not count the child’s needs in h/her voice is just another brick in the wall. Pedagogy has been decided. Child psychologists has concluded that a, b, c are what a child needs to be a worthy citizen of a nation and the fate of the child is set. We are constantly looking for the homogenous society where there are no differences. The uniqueness of the child is covered up by the need to fashion it in the light of what we can see and deal with in our lives. New schools, new names, new curriculum – everything is a stop gap measure because; a new idea is being born out of a dead one. There is no quantum leap in time, nothing so revolutionary that it can make planners sit up and think.

Perhaps planners need to go back to school – this time of a different kind. A school where they will speak less and observe more. A school, full of kids of different ages, from 1 – 14, where teaching becomes only a way to learn to deal with different aspects of life, more than wanting to capture the moon and name stars after one’s parents.

Planners need to open their ears, eyes and senses and block their throats for once.

Another Brick in the Wall - Pink Floyd


Mridula said...

It is a little tough to relate to it when I myself teach! But I do love the song 'another brick in the wall.'

Julia Dutta said...

I suppose the words would be hard hitting for all teachers. But hey! Thanks for reading :)))

zoya gautam said...

.. " Perhaps planners need to go back to school " ..

many thanks for writing this & remembering floyd ..( & ofcourse ur warm cmnt ) ..

Julia Dutta said...

Hi Zoya,

Lovely to see you here. Glad you liked my little "punches"- ha! ha!