A prayer to an almost martyred child


Dear Child,

It is a lovely morning out there, with parakeets screaming and kites swirling in the light blue sky, and I have a long day ahead that I am looking forward to waste by watching colourful murder of white-cloth cricket. In short, all is right in the God’s world, other than the fact that He is heating it up a bit too much.

Though I had started my day with a happy note, I am now sad, really sad as I just saw your photo printed on a newspaper page along with some of your friends proclaiming that a coaching class has ensured that you deserve to join some of the finest academies of India. 

As these institutes were once built to ensure that India remained a part of the greatest human tradition, i.e. pushing the envelope of knowledge through human ingenuity and creativity, and not for zombies who have suffered brute-force training, I am deeply disturbed.

As you are young, I am ready accept that you lacked mens rea for building the guillotines of brain-destruction that crack open doors of academies because I know that it is done by us, the parents of India with the help of institutions of excellence.

The fact that an entrance test expected to find most creative and talented human brains can be cracked with the help of a rote-based system is an absolute proof that these  exams have failed to serve their purpose, and yet, as the academies have remained silent, it is clear that no one is really bothered about what is happening to you. 

For me, a page full of photos of young kids like you from a coaching class is not a celebration of human talent but a grim reminder that our institutes, especially those aimed at excellence have failed the nation in designing exams to find the kids they are created for.

So, my dear child, you are not at any fault and hence I have a request for you to consider. 

Please don’t read me as someone who is critical about your ability to be creative or talented. The fact that you have aced a competition of this scale, you possess a highly intelligent brain that can do anything it wishes.

My only worry is that as we the parents have enrolled you for a rat race, the apathetic institutions expected to prevent it have failed to counter the “cracking” of entrance tests and forces of commerce have grabbed the opportunity with both hands, your brain has now gone through a training full of rote and repetition that is completely counterproductive to your future learning.

But, don’t give up hope though, as thankfully, there is a massive change in learning sphere whereby knowledge is flowing freely over the internet. The educational grind that we have put you through is no longer having monopoly over learning, so there is still a good chance for you to salvage your brain.

The world around you is changing fast, and wall-bounded academies are dinosaurs on the verge of extinction. You are the future and you have a tool available to shape is as you wish. 

Please note that this opportunity was not available to the generation before you, so the onus is on you to make a break. The change is unlikely to come from the system as it is too dumb to realise what going to hit you in near future, especially with the arrival of artificial intelligence. 

For you venturing into a world where machines can learn, salvaging your creativity is a survival need, so go out and save yourself. 




I am happy to admit that I have managed surviving till now with minimum effort as all my intellect has be used to avoid doing anything meaningful. As I needed to while all the free time I generated in course of being lazy, science has been my favorite muse that I have enjoyed company of. As an effort to kill time (in a way, to get even with it) one fine day I decided to write a science column, more for my personal amusement than to attract readers. After getting educated about the attention span of modern readers from my editor, it became more like a challenge to tackle esoteric subjects in 600 words that I have managed to remain interested in for more than a year now. I do not want to add my worldly profile here as these are ideas that need to be considered only on the merits they carry and not as an opinion of a certain human being.

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