In school I was never interested in Literature, even though the irony being that my grandfather, Pannalal Patel, is a very well know novelist in gujarati language. I had concluded that as I was weak in Languages, I assumed literature was equally pain in the ass for me and I never even tried to create an interest in it. I do regret that now as now I feel and agree with my mom, who used to tell me, that all subjects are equally important.
Born into an extremely well to do family, it has it’s own minuses. One is not to be motivated to do much in life. Being the elder of the two daughters, the only responsibility I felt that I had, was to take care of my father’s fiances when I have to. Thus dad suggested that I should do Charatered Accountancy. In my teens I was absolutely aimless. I was just interested in mischief, bunking classes, sleeping and day dreaming in classes. Since I did not know anything else I decided to do chartered accountancy when I went to college. That’s it ! I was fixed on it. I would not even listen to other options. Thus I made a game plan. I only focused on those subjects, that where important later on. Thus, in the initial years, I focused only on Maths. Then as other subjects like stats, Eco, business administration, accounts came along,they were important to me. I was so full of nonsense then that I thought I was too cool to just master only these subjects that I need to become a Chartered Accountant. Little did my over smart self knew that I was a creative person and that I was not made for this. As languages was not important, I started hating them. Thus it was an effort to study them. Marks were not easy for me to score as I was not interested in them. According to my plan I just wanted to pass in them. Thus I would strategically study them and I would only do the essay, composition , figure of speeches, grammar and make sure I get 40% marks ( 35% were passing ). I would leave the chapters and so I never made any connection to literature. In fact I would mock the characters or the poems and make fun of them. I would change the sentences and make them sound funny.
I remember this one time our English marks where given out in class. I got dot 35%. I was jumping in the coredoor outside my class room and shouting, “hurray hurray !” My English teacher, Miss Silvie, came out and asked me what the noise was about? I told her, “ma’am, I passed. Yeah ! ” My teacher got so annoyed. She gave me a long lecture telling me that this is shameful and I should not be so aimless in my life, and that I had huge potential if I made use of it. That day when my ma’am was giving me a lecture, all I could think of was “pass, pass pass, no more studying English till the next exams. ” Today I feel my teacher was so right. In the past few years I always wanted to start reading literature. The push came when someone told me ” I can’t believe people read self help books, it’s someone else’s prospective, instead read literature as there is so much to learn from it and one can interpret on your own and learn.” I suddenly realised all I have other than cooking books on my book shelf, are self help books, I need to start reading literature.
So my first step had already stared as I was reading my grand father’s novel and his autobiography. Next I went and got Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore. I got this book for another project that I am doing but I got so absorbed in this book of peoms. They are so deep but I guess since I have the interest and inclination, I understand them. Wow !! I realised there is so much to learn from literature and so many life lessons.. Now I have decided how much ever time I get I will read literature.I guess I am growing up 🙂
I am sharing this beautiful poem by Rabindranath Tagore from Gitanjali. I so believe in what he says, it applies even today:
” the child who is decked with princes robes and who has jewelled chains round his neck loses all pleasure in his play; his dress hampers him at every step. In fear that it may be frayed, or stained with dust he keeps himself from the world, and is afraid even to move. Mother it is no gain, thy bondage of finery, if it keeps one shut off from the healthful dust of the earth, if it rob one of the right of entrance to the great fair of common human life.” – Rabindranath Tagore
I so agree with this completely. I am glad that we raise our son the most natural way. I am glad that he plays, makes a mess, enjoys it and thus he is a happy child. I am sharing along with this, some images of my son enjoying in the sand and making a mess. He loves playing outside in the garden, in the sand, or water. I love seeing him smile when he happily plays. I feel he learns so much in his free play.
Letting the children make a mess is not easy cause there is a lot of extra work of cleaning and changing but if I look at the big picture, they are so happy and plus they learn so much so the extra work doesn’t matter 🙂