Back to school

It’s that time of the year when you see kids trudge to school, more so with that heavy bag of books, made heavier because of their return from summer holidays. Heart goes out to them, as now-a-days, it’s different going to school, unlike how it was when we did. It was as much fun as summer holidays were. And to be in a coastal town like we did, adds to the fun – as if rains were waiting to welcome kids to their new academic year.

It’s different now – what with there being the current scenario of making a career for oneself. More so from the expectations of the parents and peers, comparisons with cousins, friends and neighbours, the kids tend to crouch. Kids’ day starts very early, and goes on till late in the evening, spread over school, extra classes and tuitions. Yes, just academics – there isn’t any time for anything else!

We often share vivid memories of our younger days with today’s younger generation – walking to school – yes we walked, even for lunch and back, playtime after school in the afternoon, before getting to our desks for the homework, retire earlier than kids do today, as there was no TV. No rushing in the morning, as schools start at a leisurely hour, and they weren’t far away. No, the homes were not far away. Or the towns weren’t so big! And crowded.

We see children eat their breakfast in school vans or scooters piggy-riding their parents. Why, even we see kids study on way to their exams!

They could chase just one interest – academia or extra-academia. No two interests run parallel, excepting in those rare cases, where the kid’s capability to balance more than one interest, also matters.

No doubt, television and other modern technological advancements have aided the students immensely, and the educational institutions, too. They’ve all made life easier for all concerned – parents, students and educators. At the same time, it has also taken certain abilities that older generations possessed, when intelligence, or practice for lesser-blessed, mattered.

Also, the options that are available today with respect to the areas of career development are numerous and wide. Even a stream like engineering has a number of flavours, each one having its own advantages in the broader perspective. And the reach is global, unlike earlier years, when going to a bigger town itself was a big deal.

In one way, everything seems so balanced that the toil is harder, but the fruits are more, various, and of course, sweeter! May be, all that makes trudging back to school fun even today.

But the beholder is from the bygone years, reminiscing brisk walks to and from school those days.

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