Monthly Archives: September 2012

Review of Kathryn Stockett’s The Help

My ratings: 4/5
Spectacularly poignant! A timeless saga of three women clandestinely plotting a risk. The story transported me to a time and era where sharp lines were drawn between white people and coloured people sharing homes and family members.

A sense of quiet rebellion flows through the book. The journey is subtly interrupted by a sense of hopelessness, a sense of despair, a sense of high anticipation, a sense of victory and renewal.

Kathryn Stockett takes us into the simple lives of the colored maids who become more than maids to the white children they raise. She beautifully strings together the emotional turmoil of the white ladies, their sense of insecurity, their mixed emotions towards their maids, and their crying need for social acceptance.

The book tugged at my heart strings, boiled my blood in anger, brewed angst and pain in me and touched such a deep chord that it has left behind a sublime aftertaste.

Advertisements

Read on…

Teachers’ Day

Teachers’ Day

 

September 5 is Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s birthday also celebrated as Teachers’ Day in India. On this occasion, let’s hold up our pince-nez and
scrutinise the noble profession…

Undoubtedly, school years were the best years of our lives. And, teachers occupied a huge chunk of this mind space. Some, for their endearing idiosyncrasies, and others for their stern preaching. Teachers were known to practise what they preached. So, we were in awe of them, and stored them indelibly in our minds. We were blessed.

Can’t say the same for GenNeXt.  Woody Allen’s barb sums it up: My education was dismal. I went to a series of schools for mentally disturbed teachers.”

Schools then had glorious reputations. Today notorious. As Lenny Bruce says, “I won’t say ours was a tough school. But we had our own coroner. We used to write essays like: What I’m going to be if I grow up.”

 

Many of us grew up with the philosophy that teaching is a work of the heart and that the teacher is the child’s third parent. But, today’s kids forget teachers like yesterday’s fashion fads.

 

Were teachers of the yesteryears made of different mettle? What did they bring to the class that stayed with us long after our school years?

 

The missing link is perhaps the wisdom of experience.

 

I recently overhead a teenager cheekily say, “The secret of teaching is to appear to have known all your life what you learned this afternoon.”

 

Teaching has become the next best thing to do after home-making. Every Rekha, Jaya and Sushma is turning to teaching.

 

Today, there are three good reasons to become a teacher: May, June and July!!

 

There goes the nobility of the profession!

 

News headlines scream out the horrendous atrocities inflicted on students by some perverted teachers. It’s almost like they’re saying, “I’m a teacher. How’s that for super power?”

 

There goes the humility of the profession!

 

As I pen off, I recall the sense of responsibility in the words of Christa McAuliffe, an American teacher from Concord, New Hampshire, and one of the seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, 1986.

 

“I touch the future. I teach.”