Sunday, August 28, 2005

Apne ko Cricket khelne ka hai!

I finally made my debut at the 'Teach-Me' programme held by the guys at RSS at IITB.

I could possibly never imagine how difficult it might be to try teaching 'hindi' to a a 12 year old student of 8th class!
As a consolation, I was supposed to go by the text book. What do you teach in language anyway? The questions are more of fact based.. a rather simpler form of our Reading comprehension lessons at CAT classes. I actually laughed at myself.. when I made 'Amit' read the first para, and then turned a few pages to look at the questions. I told him he could answer the first question on the basis of the first para itself!

Then I reminded myself.. the purpose is not just to answer the questions.. but also get the lesson.. and know the personality that 'Maharishi Shahu Maharaj' was. So somehow tried to explain to him the things mentioned in the chapter.. which included the origins of casteism.... the transition from work oriented to birth oriented caste, the sacrosanct distinction etc!

Mind this, all of this in regular day to day hindi!

I knew myself well enough to guess that I won't stick to hindi lessons for too long. I checked his reading skills and pronunciations and tried to chamkaofy that he needs to work on that a lot. Then I got into how he'd introduce himself when he can't even speak four lines clearly.. (Basics of communication skills ) and eventually.. my talk (as i expected it ) drifted to asking him what he wanted do in life! did he feel like studying or he absolutely hated it. Did he think all the elders were nuts to force him to study even when he didn't like it?

An initial shock for me, but in retrospect (after I read -The Week finds Sachin to be the most popular youth icon) it was kinda normal that he wanted to play cricket!

12 years old, 8th class, lives in Phulenagar, has to go everyday to fetch water from Hanuman nagar. And he wants to be a CRICKETER!

I made several attempts at chamkaofying him the importance of securing a source of income first and then thinking about other things.. but i doubt that i made any sense to him.. it was probably a great challenge to get to his level ! I felt stupid at talking about the thousands of aspirants for cricket.. and how only a handful could make it.. how jack and check played a role ( I was honestly feeling guilty while telling this kid.. that industry too in order to be rewarded has to be 'recommended'. ) Where did he expect to get his 'roti' till he made it to the team? Did he know how much the bats and other paraphernalia cost...........................

(Another pang of guilt.. trying to talk a kid out of his dreams)

I failed completely at my self proclaimed capability of putting myself in the other person's shoes and give him the right advice! What can you tell this kid when he says, ' Aaj kal saare cricketer paise ke liye khelte hain, desh ke liye koi nahin khelta.. main desh ke liye khelunga'

Time was probably not enough, and neither was my preparation to handle him.

Lessons time over, play time!

And there I was, dressed in my Provogue cotra trousers and a formal shirt.. jogging in a train with a dozen odd kids and the other RSS guys. One game had me jumping like crazy from one foot to another.. another one made me play a horse!

Picture this!
I have a 10-11 year old.. (at least 40 kgs!) clinging on to my neck.. and with his legs around my waist.. and I'm supposed to run around! I'm the horse amidst a lot of other horses.. and my rider... the Knight is supposed to unmount his counterparts (other kids riding their own 'horses')
The horses and knights that survive till the end win! In other cases... it was the tiny knights that got tired.. but in my case, the horse was close to falling dead! Much to save the honor of my horsey lineage, I stayed on till they called the game off.

After this one, and a few games later.. I was more exhausted physically than I would've been in the whole of past one year!

The watch said I should move! And so said a few bbies and left!

The panting stopped gradually, the heat beat normalized too.. but the mind hadn't stopped wondering yet!

Would I have any new ways to counsel Amit, when I meet him the next time?

What do you tell a twelve year old who wants to be a cricketer?


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