Tuesday, 19 May 2015

90 Days of Freedom

Forced Confinement: Preparing for exams
There is a palpable sense of excitement in the Land of Lilliputians. 

“The freedom!” I can see the words written over their faces as the Lilliputians slog around their books to somehow weather the slings and arrows of exams.

“Summer holidays. We will have 90 days!” Omar’s eyes shine with the possibilities of unlimited freedom and that too for 90 days.

“What do you plan to do?” I ask, some of the excitement rubbing in on me.

“I will get hold of the TV remote and will keep it in my pocket 24/7. I will sleep with a remote in my hand and will immediately turn on the TV when I wake up.” Omar has dark plans up his sleeve to make up for the ‘externally’ imposed deprivation.

Now I am curious. What plans the others have?

Saif’s plans, predictably so, revolve around cricket.  “I will play, play and play,” he enthuses and circles his arm in the gesture of throwing a ball.

Zainab is the literary type and intends to read every book by Percy Jackson.

Roshan has ambitious plans. “I will write a book of 500 hundred pages. And I am not telling anyone what it will be about; somebody might steal the idea.”

Mobby is the philosophical sort, or maybe he is a practitioner of Zen. “I will think about it when holidays start,” he says calmly, sage like.

Freedom for the Lilliputians isn't just about freedom from the constraints of school; it is more about with being able to do what they want to do.

I wonder if this type of freedom is the prerogative of childhood. With time, wouldn't they, imperceptibly & unconsciously, internalize limitations imposed by society, norms, and the dictates of bread and butter?


And how much we adults will contribute in teaching them to bow under the pressures of conformity?