A Stolen Childhood

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 AMNov (Friends, Media, Musings, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

They walked into the office when we were closing the office for that day. The father and the son looked extremely happy. More than the son it was the father. Son had scored good (very good, in fact) in his class 12 board exams. The father wanted us to carry a news item on his son scoring good marks and being one of the district toppers.

I made the son and the father sit and began with my interview. I asked him what his marks were. “In Sanskrit…” he began, only to be cut by his father who interrupted saying “Say the marks of Maths first.” Telling all his marks the son sat silent. The father broke the silence. “Tell him that you had scored 100 in maths even in class 10 and 11,” he said. The son just nodded his head with a smile.

The happiness of the father was more than that of the son. With just the marks and the information about him scoring 100 constinuously for three years was not enough to make a story. So i asked him what other activities was he involved in. His silence was intensified even the more with the vanishing of the smile on his face. This vacuum was again broken by his father who proudly said “He was completely focusing on studies Sir with no distraction.” I saw the son who still had that look on his face. I asked him if he was involved in any sports. He said “Chess” and his father again interrupted to say “That was all in High School. Once he came to college he was completely focused.”

I felt sad for the happiness of the father and the son. Getting good marks and being topper is good. But at the cost of what? The childhood? The son had nothing more to say about himself other than his marks. The father was extremely proud of his son not being a part of any other activity other than studies. He could see only what his son had gained but not what his son had lost.

Once i had told Smitha Maam, how i wished that i had done some constructive work during my childhood other than having wasted it in things like roaming around, stealing mangoes, playing pranks etc etc. Smitha maam then told me “You can do constructive things now too. But you cant do those things now.” And i felt glad that i had made the best use of childhood.

Today i dont have marks to boast about but i have plenty of interesting stories from my childhood.

18 May 2009

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