State of mind

We have to study as much as possible, then only we will get a good job. Getting a good job is the most important thing in life. That was an extract from the conversation between two 9 year olds. I was in a boarding school, in Ranchi, age 9, when my class mate and friend, name Joshi, was lecturing me on the importance of studies. That is the only memory I have of Joshi.
A year, later, I travelled to cochin from Rourkela with à family friend, a teen ager. Generally the family used to travel together during our vacations. However, that year, I do not remember the reason, my father may not have got leave. Those days we had to travel in three different trains and it would take 3 days to reach Cochin. When we reached Madras ( now Chennai), our connecting train to Cochin had left and we had to stay a night in Madras. We went to the city and saw a movie called Junglee, a Shammi Kapoor starrer. Those days a movie would take at least 6 months to reach places like Rourkela. Here I am, beat my friends by six months to see a movie just released, the unbound excitement was tempting to return from there to brag.
However we got another train the next day after spending the night in the railway station and reached Ernakulum. My escort was to travel to Kottayam and wanted to get down to reach me home. I said no need , I know the bus to take and know my way. I got into a bus that was going the way to my destination. In the bus I asked someone how to reach my home and I gave my address. Half the bus came rushing to me, took me for a kid who has run away from home. A lot of investigation from the crowd. They could not believe a 10 year can travel this far, alone. A neighbour, in our village addresses are house names, reached me home. My relatives who had come to receive me the previous day at the station, spent a sleepless night, when they did not find me. With communication difficult, those days between two far off places, not knowing what happened, decided to wait for one day and hope for the best, before they could take any action or inform my parents. To cut it short. all ended, well, I was a super kid in the village, the 10 year old who made it alone this far. One more incident, bear with me , before I tell you why am I telling you these stories.
Another time during school days, I had opted to join the N.C.C, national cadet corps. We had a uniform, march pasts, drills, we thought of ourselves, as junior version of the Army. somebody said there is a chance of war with our neighbours. The attack will be from the west and east side of our country. And we were in the east. I said jokingly, I will go to south, the attack will not reach there. Ha, ha.
Someone in front turned around and slapped me on my face. Is that the way to talk, he thundered, you being an NCC cadet, you will run away. I was joking, I said. You should not joke, matter is serious. Your country should come first. The slapper was Chakravarthy. I thought of joining the army, a short lived inspiration.
My friends were from every religion, participated in all the Poojas, Eid, Christmases, biriyani, cakes and all. There were two major riots in the name of religion during my school days. This country had many riots, under every one who ruled, sometime or the other. It’s amusing to hear when one blames the other, these days
We were smart enough even at that age to understand, that a few handful with vested interest are doctoring these riots.
I remember an incident in my school. We were playing cricket and I was fielding right behind the batsman, my friend. I teased him by poking him from behind. He felt disturbed and swung his bat on to my face. My face was bleeding, my friends took me to the principal’s room for first aid. Before that somebody went and told the principal, that Anwar hit Menon with his bat. The principal applied some tincture and put a small plaster on the side of my head and asked the three of us, Anwar, the naughty complainant and me to stay back, rest leave the room. He asked Anwar, why did he hit me. Poor Anwar was shivering, when I intercepted. it was not deliberate, father, I was fielding very close to him and when he swung the bat, it hit me. The principal took his cane and asked the complainant to put out his hands and gave him two whacks. That is for sneaking on your friends, he said. All the three left the room, stunned.
All the above episodes happened between the age of 9 &14. Never did we feel, we were kids. It’s the parents, teachers and elders, who treated us like kids. We on our own, behaved with the same state of mind as of today. Whether we were wrong or right, we were discussing matters on equal terms in our age group. We all go through with the same kind of confidence irrespective of our age. In spite of our experience, we retard the growth of kids and kill their curiosity and creativity with our fear.
I am sure, all those reading this should look back at your life and recall some of your actions. Never mind the merit of the actions, remember the confidence and the state of the mind, it’s same as now.
The non acceptance of the child’s capability and maturity for that age, introduces them to say lies. I used to go for movies with my friends, matinee shows on Saturday, under the cover of playing cricket Match. The ticket rates were 50 paise to Re one, and the source were either steal, or savings from errand shopping.
We were not brave, we just dared.
When we grow up we acquire the same fear our parents had for us, forgetting the state of mind. With lot of control, we instill fear into them and make them perform below their capability.
We do not know how to, when we are asked to behave our age, arriving into that age for the first time with no experience.
Thanks for reading this far, not sure how you are going to connect these little incidences and going to make sense out of it. Would like your comments.

Published by:

rajmenon

Grateful for the love and respect received so far. Inspire, motivate and enable anybody to achieve their limitless limits-that is my goal for the rest of my life. Worked in MECON, Mphasis, Cofounder KelpHR, kelphr.com

Categories Uncategorized10 Comments

10 thoughts on “State of mind”

  1. Ha ha..I could relate some of these amazing moments with mine…
    you really made me smile over again…thanks for sharing sir….

  2. Hi Raj
    Your recollections kindles nostalgia of my own boyhood times. I remember every incident and there are plenty of them, very interesting and of varied nature. I will pen them for re-living those wonderful times.

  3. Rajendran,

    For some reason I continue to face difficulties posting comments on your blog articles. First, WordPress now requires you to login (Google sign in is also allowed) so that your identity is established. I suppose this is to prevent comments from anonymous or fake persons being posted. Next, I had difficulties in the past with my WordPress login itself. I finally managed to tame it last time and now I am able to login without trouble. As I recall the last time (on the blogpost I did not like) my comments appeared on your site immediately. Not this time. Hopefully, it will eventually. Meanwhile I am sending you my comments by email as well.

    Rajendran, we are back to quintessential Rajendran whom we have read with relist through his blogposts. This one has also come out fine. Your selection of topics varied as they are is also good. In the present case you are giving an advice to parents (that is any of us who have grown from being a young person to an adult and a parent. While many a shades exist in parenting (and also being a teacher), those at both ends – a disciplinarian and a friend of their kids are two extremes that are more prevalent. The former does more hard than good only to result in a kink in behavior that could have been avoided.

    Your analysis of few rotten eggs among the society causing riots (and it applies to any conflagration) is on the spot. Your school father was mature enough to know this as well and corrected the errant so that a repeat will not take place.

    Your story of travel from Rourkela to Ernakulam is also interesting. Innumerable parents go through daily anxiety (thinking of all kinds of difficulty their ward may be in) when the son or daughter does not return home when expected (or if he or she is living away then when they do not hear from them for a long time). Back when only means of communication was letters (phones being very expensive then). And such anxiety lasts even when children have grown into adult and beyond.

    As for children (and specially when they are under 10) speaking about what they will be when they grow up, the answers to say the least can be very interesting. Some want to be a police, some railway engine driver and so on from their awe of dashing and of authority those roles seem to posses. In just about majority of cases, the future aspiration invariable changes (sometimes through one or more intermediate role models) by the time one has to make a hard decision either by self or by one’s parents. With an engineer and biologist in our family we wanted our daughter to pursue a career in fine arts (she is good at painting) and if she did our family would have a good balance of abilities. Alas, she did very well in maths and her friends went into engineering and she was swayed away from being an artist.

    Talk among school friends reasoning that ‘one has to get a job when one becomes an adult and a getting a job requires education and hence one needs to study hard’ is a new one and I found it a relatively mature mind at that age. Most middle class families and their children see the future in terms of jobs. They do not have a luxury of dreaming their children to be artists (and these days even a teacher because of low pay and lower esteem). I wonder if the children from rich or super rich families have such a mindset.
    Dr. SHARAD WAGHLE

  4. Ashok Roychoudhury
    31-12-2018,
    Hai Raj,
    Good to go through your narrative, there were lot of similarities in our behavior at that age. No worry only play & have fun.

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