Knowledge is Great

So what do you want to become when you grow up?

The boy did not take a moment to reflect. Pat came the reply, “I want to become a wizard, grandpa.

The elderly gentleman looked confused. “You mean a Math wizard like Ramanujam? I did not know you were so interested in Math.

No, he is not, Pa. See his report card and you will know. The desire to become a wizard is this latest Harry Potter craze among today’s children.” Rama hardly lifted her head from the computer.

Natrajan nodded his head. “Ah! Chip of the old block, eh? Your dad wanted to be Sherlock Holmes when he was your age.

Neeraj’s ears perked up, “Really? How was dad like as a kid?

Now! Now! Now! A conspiracy against me behind my back, eh?” A spare bespectacled man in his early thirties walked in to the house.

Grandpa was telling me about how you were as a kid.

I am sure it definitely would not have been anything flattering. Pa was always a critical dad. Not that I am complaining.

Well, my son, you were so given to wild flights of fantasy. Someone had to keep you grounded. Do you remember even during your college days, you seriously believed you would become a psychohistorian?

Shankar gave a sigh. “Only a few years into my job, the sad reality of life drove home.

Better late than never. Now you have a promising career, a loving family, a good standard of living – everything a man can ask for.

I know. But at what price? I am not sure if I wish my life for Neeraj. I hope at least he can live his dreams.

What dreams? Of becoming a wizard?” Rama was clearly tuned it to the conversation though she seemed to focusing intensely on the computer screen.

Never miss a chance to land in your punches, eh? I am serious. I want Neeraj to find his true vocation. I don’t want to push him to become one more sheep in the engineering and MBA herd.

Well, we had to struggle to even give you an education. Engineering was what maximized your chances of finding employment. We could not afford to spend our hard earned money to let you pursue a vocation that can’t earn you your daily bread.” Natraj’s face had turned red.

I am not blaming you, Pa. Your situation was different. Ours is different. You had to sacrifice even your basic necessities while I had to only sacrifice my dreams. Thanks to our sacrifices, Neeraj does not have to sacrifice anything.” There was a strong emphasis on 'our'.

He says his true vocation is to become a wizard. How will you help him with that?

See, Pa – you can’t take what he says at face value. If you see his interests show him to be highly imaginative and will probably be happy in a creative profession.

So what kind of course will help him in such a vocation? I for one know no such course.

Why do we have to limit our horizon to what is available in India? I will send him abroad – maybe to UK for higher studies in the field of his choice.

That is where Hogwarts is located, dad.” Neeraj was looking excited.

True, son! Not only Hogwarts. All of Enid Blyton’s stories and Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories are set here. UK is the place to study for those looking into get into literary field.

So you will spend your hard earned money to send your son to UK to a do a Masters in English literature? And what will he do after that?

Actually there are some interesting options I came across when I was researching something for my freelance writing assignment. For instance the University of Cambridge offers a Master of Studies in Creative writing. It looked like an interesting course. It deals not just with novel writing but the art of writing in all its many forms and guises. The website says students will also learn the art of the short story, flash fiction, writing for children, as well as poetry, literary non-fiction, criticism, reviews, and travel writing in the first year of study

Natarajan was now glaring at Rama, giving her an ‘Et tu, Brute’ look.

Well, I meant there are options. Not that I endorse Shankar’s crazy ideas. We still have plenty of time to think about Neeraj's future. He is still in his primary school.

I am eleven already. That is when children get their letters from Hogwarts.

Till you get your letter or your father puts you into a college in UK, you have to go to the local school only. And as long as you are going there, you need to complete your homework. Now enough of talk! Go into your room and get cracking on your homework.”

Everyone knew the dialogue was over the moment the fat lady sang. Shankar doubted if Rama would appreciate the reference though. Also though she was putting on a bit of weight lately, she was not really fat as such.

This post is an entry for a bloggers contest organized by British Council. You can check out more about the initiative this is part of here. And this would be the link to the course mentioned in the post.


jaish_vats said...

Hogwarts definitely is a fun school tf. Wish it were real

Arvind Passey said...

Univ of Cambridge! Hope your wish gets fulfilled some day! :)

Arvind Passey

indu chhibber said...

Ha,i love the authority the fat lady has.
Good luck Karthik!

Diwakar Narayan said...

Lovely.. I would have loved to do that Creative Writing course if only I could!

Suresh Chandrasekaran said...

Well - let that kid live our dreams, TF :P

The Fool said...

True, Jaish.

The Fool said...

Thanks, Mr. Passey. After all, isn't life about hope?

The Fool said...

Thanks Indu.

The Fool said...

Maybe one day wishes may come true.

The Fool said...

Indeed, Suresh. Of course, you are anyways living your dreams.

Rachna said...

I think all kids would love to go to Hogwarts :). Indeed, let us see how life's reality clashes with their dreams. Good luck for the contest.

Purba said...

I think we should all let our kids learn from their mistakes and not ours. Too bad, most Indian parents are so paranoid.

Ashwini C N said...

I'm still waiting for my letter from Hogwarts as I'm convinced I can do some magic ;-). It's not important just telling children that they can follow their dreams. They should be made aware of the possible career options that can come up. And Univ of Cambridge. Wow. That's interesting :-)

The Fool said...

Yeah, indeed, Rachna. Guess all children want to.

I guess I have to say the same how life's reality clashes with his dreams. As far as I am concerned, it is yet to sink in that I am a parent.

The Fool said...

True. After all previous generation 's learning from mistakes may not even be relevant in current generation.

The Fool said...

If really people were getting letters from Hogwarts it would be fun. That is true. Not sure how I will behave as a parent when my time comes.

Red Handed said...

Such an adorable post. The elders fighting over what is best for the kid while the kid awaits his letter from Hogwarts. I am sooo liking the Dad!

The Fool said...

Thanks a lot, Red Handed.

Anonymous said...

This is interesting :)

Canary said...

Hogwarts eh? He's a real champ!
All the best for the contest :)

Saket said...

A really magical post! or is it a magically real post?
Career planning (by parents) starts too early for kids now-a-days.

The Fool said...

Thanks, universalrover

The Fool said...

Thanks Canary.

The Fool said...

Thanks Saket. True.

asteria's canvass said...

Once i land in UK, Ill definitely look up for this masters in creative writing, judging by the utter lack of creative in my writing, you have written an age old harsh truth of our primitive education culture, if only you are a dotor or an engineer with MBA , you worth the society.

asteria's canvass said...

Their ought to be an edi button here.. :p

The Fool said...

Think it should be a good course, Asteria.

umashankar said...

As usual, you never fail to turn the pebbles on the road to gold. Would you believe it, by the time I had read Hardy, Shakespeare, Dickens, Brontë sisters, Thackeray, Lawrence and Arthur C Doyle, I was virtually living in England while my body walked the Indian earth. Wish you all the best, Karthik!

The Fool said...

Thanks Umashankar. Yeah - to us the world in the books seem more real than our real world.

Post a Comment

Kind words of appreciation/feedback

For whom the bell tolls

A book of faces