pablic main thi naa...

Children sometimes say the most astonishing things. Many times it takes you a while to decipher the words as they often assume that you know what they are thinking and deliver the rest in what can best the best riddle..

Kiran and I were riding in the three wheeler when she suddenly said: Pamika -read shamika my daughter - pablic main thi naa.. which can be translated as: Shamika was in public, wasn't she? Then as she saw my bemused face she added: School, kaun se school main thi.. which school was she in?
I mumbled : French school and pat came the next sentence: who pablic hai na.

That is when the penny dropped and I could say Eureka!

What little Kiran mean was asking was whether Shamika studied in a public school as compared to a government school. To her there were just two kinds of schools: the public ones like the one she went to, and the to municipal or government ones.

Her parents and her favourite aunt had gone to the later. But the whole family decided to make a huge effort and get her admitted in a public school to give her the best start possible. Her admission has its own share of drama that she witnessed as nothing can be hidden in the tiny homes. Kiran processed the information in her own way and then came up with her perplexing query as she reviewed every one she knew.

The above incident can lead to many debates but what stays in my mind is the vulnerability of a child 's mind as it handles information it receives. What one must not forget is that such maters remained ingrained for a long time.