Learn or unlearn?

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 21 Jun 2017 11:45:04



By biraj dixit



All vacations must come to an end. These wise words have never left my side and are as unsparing to me as they are to everybody else. As the vacation is fast coming to an end my air is filled with an uneasy calm. My daughter on the other hand is so excited for her next journey. A higher class, new books, new pencil box, new bag, new clothes, new shoes, new friends – she has so much to look forward to. The brilliance of her dream continues in broad daylight too. That is perhaps what is called child-like.

She is yet to get educated in ways of the world to differentiate between mundane and brilliant. So she keeps turning everything mundane into brilliant and keeps getting excited about it. But soon she, too, would be big enough to know the difference. She would learn newer words and would then try to fit them into her being – would acquire sentiments even before she can feel those. Growing-up and getting educated in ways of the world did that to us. So often we have been dragged in lands hitherto foreign and how quickly have we acquired their accent!

She, too, has gained words like ‘bore’, ‘mood’, ‘uncomfortable,’ and is now trying to use them. But the child in her is yet far away from feeling these. For, whenever she utters those, they still appear foreign and her little big accent acquired. After seconds of getting terribly ‘bored’, she could be found all engrossed in doing something with unbelievable zeal. Her ‘mood off’ is a ‘must-be-used’ word completing lacking substance.

‘Uncomfortable’, meanwhile, is that pompous word that immediately gains attention and, on most occasions, has nothing to do with any level of comfort. Wish someone had given me a not-be-used-by-date list along with words so that I could keep her away from words and bring them only when need be. But her expansive world does not include just me and has welcome visitors every day. Influences, like accent, keep seeping in without warning. She is growing up, getting educated in the ways of the world and it is not without some heartbreak that I watch her, only hoping that she carries her child-like enthusiasm along.

How I wish I could educate her immediately to unlearn ways of the world as and when she learns them! How I wish I could do it myself! Unlearn. Start all over again. To shed my language that is all about foreign, meaningless words and acquired accent. I do not know when I learnt the word ‘bored’ but now I feel it quite often and that too when there is a world full of exciting things. ‘Uncomfortable’ – I do not remember whether the feeling came to me first or the word. But, keeping my daughter’s example in mind when I look back, I feel I may have hurried myself into feeling a word rather than accommodate a word to a feeling. I still cannot say with authority whether one perfectly complements the other or is just a figment of my imagination.

Is that what education has done to the world? (Or should I say overdone) Have we been taught without feeling – words whose meaning are imagined more than understood, principles that are someone else’s, philosophies that can only be swallowed, education too hypothetical to my own world? Academics apart, schools, colleges notwithstanding, has educating oneself in the ways of the world taken toll on both education and the world?

Too much of a thought for a bored mind!
Tutored in the ways of the world I am dreading early mornings, dazed kitchens and race against time, while my daughter, yet to be educated in the ways of the world, is smiling away to glory, enjoying the feel of her new notebooks again and again. l