What would you like to have?

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As always I was one of the last few passengers to board the flight. I was travelling with very light cabin baggage and soon found myself in front of my preferred aisle seat. The other two seats on the right were occupied by two ladies, most likely in their early thirties. As I got settled I overheard the ladies speaking to each other in a language that was incidentally my mother tongue. We exchanged smiles and just when I was about to greet them the inquisitive self within me stopped me from using my mother tongue and what came out was in English. I did not want them to know that my mother tongue was the same as theirs. I have gathered so many interesting stories in the past, while travelling, by making my co-passengers ignore my presence.

The stories kept on coming while the air hostesses kept performing their regular chores. A few minutes into the air I overheard one of the ladies talking about her son who is 9 years old and according to her has done poorly (I would have been proud of my child if she had obtained that percentage) in his class 4 mathematics paper. This lead to further issues related to their child’s education and eventually to the carrier options available to them. The discussions were getting lengthier and my ears were virtually shutting down and I found myself thinking about the issue.

Thoughts kept on coming. So many things. Most of them were questions. Some relevant, some little relevant – Is marks obtained in a subject so important that it could be the topic of a discussion so lengthy? Does it really reflect the actual knowledge of the subject? Are marks obtained the only criteria to judge a child? Do these marks decide our success in the future life? Is expecting good marks in literature, when someone is not interested in literature, not like judging a fish with its ability to climb a tree? I would definitely not do this with my child. Why so many parents are concerned about the marks? May be they are expecting their child to be in a carrier that needs good marks to get admission. But, will good marks obtained during school guarantee a similar score in future professional entrance exams? Or is gathering good knowledge now more important? I know so many instances in real life where people doing poorly in their academics went on to become successful in their respective fields and even legends sometimes. What is the role of parents in deciding the carrier of a child? Is money earned the only criteria to judge success in life? Shouldn’t we enquire about the subject the child is interested in? Should this not be the utmost important criterion when choosing his/her future carrier?

Thoughts were getting deeper and all of a sudden I gathered senses with the air hostess asking “Would you have a veg or non-veg meal, Sir?” I asked for a non-veg meal.

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