Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Surviving LKG Admissions

I heard rumors about parents camping overnight just to hitch that golden ticket—the LKG admission form. I thought those were jokes until we had to camp out at night for my son's LKG admission form.

A chilly night, sleeping bags, and a campsite those are the mental images that pop up when I think of trekking. But today, here we are camping outside the school gate, navigating the wild terrain of kindergarten admission.

It was 5 AM, and we queued up in a line longer than the first-day, first-show ticket queue for a Rajinikanth blockbuster. Please forgive for comparing a valued education with that of a movie star – but, hey, kindergarten admission waits for no one, not even Thalaiva! 

The admission counter swung open its doors promptly at 9 AM, and we were sorted into neat rows by classes—LKG, UKG and so on. As there were limited availability of application forms, our early rise proved fruitful in swiftly navigating through the initial hurdle of acquiring that document. With the prized application form secured, it was time to gear up for the next level of this academic game.

Now, we braced for the first hurdle—shortlisting. The school invested an entire month meticulously reviewing and shortlisting the submitted application forms. Guess what? We cracked the code, and the school hit us with the silver ticket – an interview scheduled for Nov 21. 

Interview Day:

As parents, we naively assumed the preschool interview would be a breeze—just the basics, you know, like name, age, and maybe a casual "hello" and "goodbye." But we never thought would've thought that getting into preschool would be as intense as a job interview for a CEO position. 

While other parents were arming their toddlers with flashcards and rehearsing the ABCs, we took the laid-back approach. "Let my little one perform from the heart," we thought. Oh, how innocent we were.

But then we decided and prepped our little prodigies with the crucial life questions: "What's your name?" "What is your mom name?" "What is your dad name?" and for some extra credit, "What's your grandparents' names?" Genius, right?

The day arrived, and we were the first ones to reach the school at 1:00, even though the interview was scheduled at 1:30. They let us inside first. Our kiddo walked into the interview like a mini rockstar, and the teacher started with the first three questions, confidently answering them. We were mentally high-fiving each other, feeling like the we cracked the preschool prep. But then came the twist: the teacher pulled out a sheet with questions and marks and said, "Let's get into the interview."

Wait what—no, a question paper! Fifty marks worth of questions, if you can believe it. Ten for math (yes, math for LKG!), ten for colors, ten for speaking(Generic questions), ten for moral values, and ten for shapes. 

Then they handed my kid a bunch of crayons and said, "Go Hethvick!" The task was simple: the teacher called out a color, and my little artist had to pick that color and paint it inside a designated box labeled with the color name. They threw ten colors at him, and my boy nailed every single one.

Then, the interview took a cosmic turn. They asked him, "What comes in the morning? What comes in the evening? And if the moon shows up, what's do you do?" Seriously, who knew LKG admissions would require a strategy for lunar encounters?

Surprisingly, my little one responded to all the questions. It was only later that I realized this was an ICSE admission interview, and that's why they asked most of the questions with a twist.

But lo and behold, my son aced every question thrown his way. That's when it dawned on us—the incredible power of his observations. Even when the questions took a twist, my kiddo didn't miss a beat—answering them with ease and leaving us in awe of his adaptability.

But the twists didn't stop coming. Next up was a challenge to identify numbers from 1 to 10 on a mysterious scale. They'd call out a number, and my son had to pinpoint it amidst a tight cluster of numerals. Then, just when we thought it couldn't get more interesting, they threw in shapes like circles and rectangles, asking him to showcase his shape-spotting prowess. It was like a mini-game show, and my little contestant was stealing the spotlight! 

Finally, when the marathon concluded, the teacher spun around and aimed the spotlight on us, launching a barrage of questions. "What's your purpose? How will you teach your kids when you're both working?" It felt like we were on a reality show, and the prize was our kid's admission. Once the inquisition was over, the teacher gracefully transitioned into explaining the fee structure and admission process, as if we had just survived a quirky game show episode. 

That's when the wave of confidence hit us like a kindergarten success tsunami! But, alas, for the final result we had to endure an additional month of anticipation. It's not just about academic prowess; there are bonus points for being a Christian, having a preference for teachers in the family, alumni connections, and the list goes on. Fingers crossed we ace these criteria too; it's like navigating a maze of admission intricacies! 

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Expiry Date of Women's Dreams

Dreams are the threads weaving our aspirations and desires. For women, these dreams often carry the weight of societal expectations, family obligations, and the influence of traditional norms. Despite our dreams, we sometimes feel steered by the hands of our spouses, in-laws, or our own families, subtly dictating the course of our aspirations.

Once, there lived a woman who had a little dreams. Her journey wasn’t straightforward but a struggled maze. Witnessing her struggles, the universe presented her with two choices: one leading her towards pursuing her dreams and other an immedidate growth. The chance that universe offered to pursue her aspirations, was a path strewn with challenges, uncertainties and demanding unwavering determination. 

Regrettably, her family proved to be unsupportive, each engrossed in their own pursuits, casting shadows on her chosen path. Torn between the secure conventional route and her dreams, she felt shattered under the weight of expectations.

In that vulnerable moment, a realization struck her—she alone held the reins to her dreams. However, the societal whispers and judgmental fingers held the power, influencing her subconsciously.

Amidst the chaos, seeking solace in a place of worship—a temple, she clutched two chits, one bearing her dreams and the other promising immediate growth through the conventional path. Seeking divine guidance, her heart brimmed with anticipation as she drew a chit.

The divine message suggested the familiar conventional path, promising immediate growth. Yet, in that moment, a silent but potent realization echoed within.

She felt disheartened by the choice presented by the divine forces, as it also appeared unsupportive of her aspirations. Had even one person, perhaps her life partner, offered support saying, "Pursue your dreams, I am here for you," she would have fearlessly embraced her aspirations.

Finally, a small chit emerged as the architect of her destiny.