And now, reproduced herebelow is a ‘good’ essay that someone wrote as homework for my class about ten years ago.
I see the world through their eyes
I have the bad habit of rising late, and someone usually has to shake me awake in the mornings. One of my parents does the job, reminding me every time of all my faults and follies, which make me grumble as I brush my teeth. But by the time I leave for school, relations have sweetened up again.
I have mixed feelings about the way my parents treat me. The most common is anger – but strangely enough, it only serves to make the bonds stronger. I still cannot dream of taking a step in this world without holding on to the fingers of those who taught me to walk. It is through their eyes that I still see the world. My parents are the very staff and prop of my life.
I am fortunate to have parents like my father and mother. I wouldn’t exchange them for anybody else. Their influences on me are equally strong: if daddy taught me the consonants of life, mummy taught me the vowels. But I do take sides in their quarrels sometimes – generally only to have some fun, or get one of them to do my bidding.
It is not as if I always think positively of my parents: far from it. There are things about them that I strongly dislike. Why do they always have to be austere about trivial things like buying me a chocolate, for instance? And in matters such as this, it is my mother who invariably takes the tougher line and yells at me. Father is milder, but sometimes he has to make a token show of anger to stay in mummy’s good books. Thank God he cools down almost at once!
I think my parents worry too much about me. Granted, at times they have good reason, but often they get worked up needlessly. They insist on supervising my homework, as if I were still a child. What does it matter if I sometimes want to take time off studies to read a comic book? Also, they take the privileged position to decide everything for me. I feel like stuffing my ears with cotton wool when they launch upon one of their pet sermons about how to be a ‘good girl’. I am sure they are just repeating the moral lessons that their parents preached to them, and I’m sure in their own time they were not much better children than I am – at least, if all that my grandparents tell me about their childhood mischiefs are true! Why do parents always think that they know best about everything?
I have devised ways to get around them, too, and amazingly, they often work. When I know that my mother wants me to buy the red dress and I want the blue one, I just demand the red dress, and instantly, my mother changes her mind – I must have the blue dress, and that’s final! I wear an annoyed look, but give in with secret relief. We are not such simple creatures as our poor parents think.
Yet for all that I respect and obey my parents in all the really important things. They have made certain decisions easier for me. I cannot summarize my feelings about my parents – seeing that they fluctuate at least five times a day – but I can definitely say that I love them with all my heart, and I shall
er leave the path they have shown me with so much time and patience and care. nev
The best that can be said for it is that it is not as unspeakably wretched as the one I posted first in this series (I did have to iron it out quite a bit before it was presentable as it reads here, though: unlike in the best ones of yesteryear, there were faulty use of idioms and inappropriate and misspelt words aplenty). But – especially when read just after the previous one (‘Memory’) – I am sure no one can disagree with me that it is bland, shallow, narrow in scope and not very memorable (besides evincing a remarkable degree of helpless and unself-conscious dependence on parents – certainly not healthy for a teenager, as any psychologist will tell you, no matter how common a type it has become in urban middle-class India today. Incidentally, the writer is a fully-qualified doctor now). Remember, this is the best that kids today can write, and only one in several hundred essays that I mark is of this quality. Also note that this level of mental ability gets most of them into engineering college, not excluding the IITs (I needn’t even mention, I suppose, those who can only make it to hotel management and BPOs…). Such people are routinely referred to as ‘talents’ in the media these days, too: and by God, you should see the size of their egos, now that they have visited Umrica once or twice and bought a car…
I am sure that, with this gigantic talent pool,
will soon produce a dazzling treasure-house of new scientific inventions, literary wonders, brilliant musical compositions, amazing works of art, ground-breaking philosophical paradigms and every other kind of creative outpouring that together make a nation great. Aren’t we on the threshold of a golden age? I think the last time it happened was when the likes of Nagarjuna, Kalidasa, Aryabhatta, Susruta, Shankaracharya, the great early geniuses of Nalanda and enlightened monarchs like Chandragupta Vikramaditya and Harshavardhana were alive and active! India