Competitive Mothers of the Metro

'How many tuitions does your son attend?' asked a mother of my classmate-to-be while I was inside giving an admission test to get into one of the venerable schools in the city, that all the other institutions apparently bowed down to. The question was aimed at my mom who, with a mild hint of amusement had replied 'He's never really been much keen on any tuition.' To her surprise, the reply was met by suppressed laughter and scornful smiles and conspicuous sarcasm from everyone.
'My son has been training for this admission test for the last 2 years!' replied the other woman, in all the hubris as a mother. The others sitting there spoke up, almost synchronized, about the span of time their wards had prepared under a number of teachers and ex-school teachers from the same school, 'One year!' 'Two years!' 'Three years!'
In the end, while most of them got in, many didn’t. And surprisingly, I ended being among the former, only to discover that the school was a medieval patriarchy unwilling to change with time.
14 years later, I met my sister’s friend who, at that time, was enjoying the livelihood of being a successful tutor to a couple of twelve-year olds. She tells me of this particular kid, who was naturally tensed before her half-yearly exams. Having made a few mistakes here and there, she kept up with her tutor anyway. Her mother in contrast, was howling from the kitchen 'Beta, 10 more minutes beta! Ask her questions, revise her answers and give her a test!' while it was already an hour of overtime.
The mothers of the metro have their own competition, their own vendetta, waging their own personal wars against the other mothers - their colleagues in the office or in their husbands' office or sometimes even their own sisters. They’ll neither let their sons and daughters play games, nor let them read storybooks. It'll be an hour of falling behind, and its cumulative effects could apparently destroy the balance of the universe.
All through the week, tutors come and go. While on some special days, a mid-level tutor arrives, the one who has been to the IITs, to revise only the lessons taught by another high-level tutor who apparently knows nothing about the existence of this parallel universe of tutors!
It’s clear that the mothers of the metro have not heard of the idiom 'All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy!' In my city, they might just tell you that there are no ‘Jacks', but a number of unpronounceable Bengali names who are blessed with mothers, unmovable in their resolve to achieve for their children nothing short of a well-heeled establishment.

5 comments:

  1. Ahhh..!!! loved it..!! Well, I think its a common syndrome amongst all the Bengali mothers, who right from the time their kids gain some sense push them into this never ending rat race of life.Sad,kids today are undoubtedly way more smarter than we were at that age but what the heck they are missing on the most precious moments of childhood.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Recently saw the movie "Icche"(2011)... ought to be a wake-up call for all such ambitious mothers...

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Lucifer's angel: Our childhood has been very different than that of the kids these days.. they have competition from class 4th! Me thinks half of them won't even be able to spell 'competition' the right way! (and to add to that, I think the schools won't even stop to correct it for them..) its not just the mom, its the whole system that needs changing.. again..

    @Ayan: couldn't see the movie, but read the synopsis somewhere.. we need such movies in the mainstream more frequently nowadays.. I think the movie 'Chalo Paltai' is also a good movie, though very loosely based on this matter.. ironically (and I thank heavens for this!) my dad asked me to watch the movie.. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Couldn't see the movie, but read the synopsis somewhere.. we need such movies in the mainstream more frequently nowadays.. I think the movie 'Chalo Paltai' is also a good movie, though very loosely based on this matter.. ironically (and I thank heavens for this!) my dad asked me to watch the movie.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Our childhood has been very different than that of the kids these days.. they have competition from class 4th! Me thinks half of them won't even be able to spell 'competition' the right way! (and to add to that, I think the schools won't even stop to correct it for them..) its not just the mom, its the whole system that needs changing.. again.

    ReplyDelete