a quaint tale of two Indias

Yesterday was result day for children across Delhi: the rich and the poor alike. Every parent or guardian went to the school to get the dreaded school report.

Now were your child or mine to stand first in class there would be whoops of joy, hugs, smiles galore and a pat on the back from the teacher not to mention the gifts and treats that would ensue. And one would expect this to be true for all children who stood first.

But that is sadly not the case. Little Rahul, a class V student of the local municipal school and a regular pwhy kid stood first in his class. His simple parents went to school to get his report and instead of being greeted by smiles and kudos for the child, they were admonished by the teacher who said he did not believe that Rahul could top his class. The almost frightened father worn by years of being berated for being poor and deprived simply mumbled that if the teacher felt so he could cut some marks off the child's report. But the mother could not bare the injustice being meted to her child butted in and said he attended tuition at project why and that is why he had fared well. The teacher grudgingly accepted the situation.

When I heard the story my blood boiled as it often does in such cases. I almost felt like marching to the school and placing a few home truths but past experience has shown that this is not the way to go as the teachers then take it out on the poor kid. So a glass of water it was and a bit of furious pacing to calm me down.

I simply promised myself to seek Rahul and give him a big hug and a small treat.