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Friday, November 17, 2006

For the Record

My daughter, Ragni, wanted to go to college. I really thought it was an awful idea. But she's there and will - if all goes the way the wheels of Academia turn - graduate in 6 months or so

I hate schools, colleges, Education - an ideology, often diametrically opposite to Learning (which I worship). But, then, what does one expect from anything that has been institutionalized or turned into a System. Yes, I hate Systems, too. (Time for some of you to switch to reading another blog, maybe.)

So, it is only natural that I get asked, often by genuinely interested people, but more often at a panel discussion or debate, by someone trying to win his lost arguments through rhetoric and mockery, "So, why did you send your daughter to college? (Snicker!)"

I admit there was a conflict and I could not solve it easily. To have not let her go would have been dictatorial. And although I am sure I have behaved that way on occasion (although far less than by Ragni's reckoning), those occasions have dwindled with her growing up. After all, she was almost 18 when she was making that choice and would soon be legally an adult in many countries. Too, it was not essential for her to accept my view of things just as it was essential for me to acknowledge that she had a right to her views and a right to act upon them.

Since her choice of colleges lay outside Pakistan, I felt that the independence, the varieties of experience she would have, and the exposure to some amazing people on the visiting academics category would offset, partly, the evils of the system. And Pakistan, with its increasingly stifling society, seemed no place for any young person to grow up - much less a girl.

The compromise I reached with her was that she could go, provided she got aid or scholarship. I would not be a paying party to such a venture. That's how she ended up at Hampshire College, a radical liberal arts space that, at least, tries to do away with some of the more rigid aspects of institutions.

But I hope that when it comes to her life as a parent she will excercise better judgement ;-) for her own children.

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Blogger mAn[S]o0r said...

thats the best example of putting 'learning' to use that i've ever heard.

good show! let her be her own person and one day she will realize your ideology!

wishin ur daughter the best in life!

"seemed no place for a young person to grow up" -- our society doesnt even let people grow up :S unless its overnight :S

17 November, 2006 12:24

Blogger Sidhusaaheb said...

When I went to college as an under-graduate at the DAV College for Boys at Chandigarh, from where I graduated in 1997, I used to open the text-books only in the last two months of the academic session (which included the month over which the exams extended).

For the rest of the year, it was attending the minimum number of classes that would fulfil the attendance requirements, spending long hours at the well-stocked college library, watching cricket matches on television in the common room (which had the atmosphere of a mini-stadium, with rows of chairs at the back stacked atop tables), watching cricket matches live at the college grounds and some of the best amateur talent in the region performing (plays, folk dances, etc.) at the college auditorium during cultural festivals, besides the odd quiz or the 'press conference' contest (wherein each contestant had to act as a famous personality (decided upon through a draw of lots) and then answer questions thrown at him/her by the audience and judges, in turn), among other pursuits that filled my time at college.

I would not have wanted to miss any of that!

17 November, 2006 19:56

Blogger the olive ream said...

ZAK, you're certainly one of a kind. I'm pretty sure Ragni is too. Love the way your mind works.

20 November, 2006 01:03

Anonymous rayhan said...

@the olive ream: And judging by your hilarious post at you are obviously two of a kind! I absolutely must get my other self to read it!

25 November, 2006 04:37

Blogger Zakintosh said...

i was just going through some comments by rayhan (sadly no longer with us) and realized that he was referring to an olive ream post that has, since, moved to

13 May, 2007 16:43


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