Back to School (BH: D304)

June 4, 2012

330,000 young ones made their way to first day of first standard today in Kerala. Yet another school year begins. I wish they would all become first class students. Luckily, the monsoons have been delayed for a couple of days from full fledged onslaught. But lack of rain wasn't much relief from the horrendous traffic situation. 

For some reason, all the major schools in the city are either located right on the main road or in rather narrow inroads where it is nearly impossible for two vehicles to pass each other. Nobody made it to time for any appointment this morning. First hand experience for me in front of a nursery at Jawahar Nagar. Particularly bad since parents will the largest vehicles in the city send their kids to school there.

At the lower primary school near Nemom, band music greets the young ones. Government school fees stand at free to Rs. 16 compared to Rs 16,000 and upwards in private schools. No questions asked about which products eventually form guiding policies for the whole nation.

I have also been in back to school mode in the past few days. But it is a school that is being created as we go along. It is a priceless experience getting into planning, laying down and implementing long term vision for a new engineering college that aspires to be a university eventually.

Since the freshmen (and women) of this college currently wear uniforms, the 'back to school' feeling is rather strong. It is an all-consuming, totally enjoyable gig! Oh and I get a spectacular view of the green carpet of tree tops that covers the plains around the southern tip of the Western Ghats.

My little nephew had his back to home experience from the hospital. For the whole weekend, I got to observe firsthand tonnes of stuff learnt from latest evolution and anthropology books. My brother-in-law loves it when folks tell him that the baby looks just like him. The baby for his part apparently behaves just as his dad did in his first few days on the planet, with two fingers of the left hand in the mouth and the index finger of the right in his ear. 

He assumes a deeply thoughtful expression when he craps. Do babies come ready for MBA these days?!

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