This story dates back to 1984 when i was in third standard. The subjects like history, geography & science were just introduced in that year. Being from a conservative marathi background found it very difficult to cope up with the high standards of english education in St. Xaviers, which happened to be one of the top schools then.
The teachers devoutly taught their subjects and we innocently tried to gulp whatever we learnt, whether we understood or not was a question altogether different. I vividly remember that it was our first unit test and i had very hard time writing geography paper. The question asked was why does the moon appears bigger to us than other heavenly bodies. I knew the answer, but due to limited grab of English, i wrote the answer somewhat like this “The moon appears bigger because it is closer to our house”, what i actually meant to say was the moon is closer to earth. I could attempt only four questions in that exam and scored as many marks. That entire academic year i was nicknamed “four questions” by my fellow students.
The geography teacher came with answer sheets after some days and read my answer before the classroom and yelled at me and asked whether the moon was over my terrace. The entire classroom erupted in laughter and i felt like a headless chicken. That was perhaps the only time that i failed in what i attempted.
26 years passed since this incident, it remained as fresh as it was on that day, may be because it was my first failure, may be i felt humiliated that day like never before.
26 years later when i was teaching Geography to my 3rd standard kid, i taught him this very lesson and suddenly in a gush of feelings i relived all the events that unfolded then.. Time flies so quickly, in a breath 26 years passed and from a tiny tot i became a man.. a father…
I taught this lesson to my kid with utmost interest and after some time when i asked him the same question to test him, innocently he gave me the exactly same answer… “because….. moon near our house…”..
Wow… what a delight it was to find a little vijay sitting in front of me, i did not scold him, i prodded him and corrected him..
History repeats itself it is quoted, but in my case, geography repeated itself… after 26 years though.