By | May 29, 2014

dust-on-the-book“Gone are the days when “hurting’ meant hurting knees and NOT heart!
Gone are the days when saying “See You” meant seeing your classmates tomorrow morning
and NOT waiting for the entire life to get their one glimpse!”

Appositely, I do remember my good old school days. But when I look back I identify certain eccentricities which seem to raise questions.

I’ m sure most of us had relaxing time while preparing for our Literature exam and in contrast, a terrific time while preparing for History exam.
In the former, we did not find anything that we needed to “study” per se. And contrary to that, found enormous things to “mug up” in the latter.
I was no different.

And in the later years, interestingly, the Mughals seemed engaging. Shakespearean ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ got our attention.
And this makes me ponder, why this anti-pattern?  Why the same facts which we read now, stated as historical facts engage us? Why reading has become such an important part of our lives now?

We never thought English needs any “attention”. The science subjects were the “serious” ones.
The revolt of 1857, names of the people who started it, the place where it originated were the “answers” to the questions asked in the exam. To us the details of the revolt were mere “points” to be mentioned in our history paper.
We all knew, even at that age, how to write a letter, a paragraph. Apart from the format of a formal/informal letter, nothing else needed much attention. Rest as we assumed was the content.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. —George Santayana. “
I could not have put it  better than him. And maybe this was the reason we were made to study. But they forgot, History is not meant to be studied. It is read. Over and again. It carries the essence of the situations that, in some way or the other, has shaped our present.

Literally translated, the word literature means “acquaintance with letters”.
Those who do read often would agree,”In the succinctness lies the beauty”!
The style of writing-  sarcasm, criticism, satire are attibutes of beauty as an author. Undoubtedly, we were least aware of any genres such as these when we were asked to write literary paragraphs in school.

We read it as a customary thing to pass our respective exams reasonably and inculcate a decent percentage. I guess most of us never got the answer to why do we require to read history or literature, at all!  At least for the people aiming to be doctors, engineers it would do no value addition. And so our interest was proportionate to the benefit.
And as we grew up we came to understand that Hitler was not just the chapter of our text books but a real human being. Who, like most of us did laugh and cry.

Today we are free to choose. There are no answers to cram, exams to pass. No where you need to “use” this “information”.
We do it out of “Interest”. We cannot learn to be creative.
And without freedom, one’s creativity cannot bloom.

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