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The french Revolution

I saw, I took, I cast you by,
I bent and broke your pride,
And a myriad suns have set and shone..
Since then upon the grave.

William Ernest.

It’s been two weeks almost, and yet the incident is clear in my head. It was a Sunday morning and I had gone for a free eye camp conducted in a school in Vasco. A non descript building, which shared it’s wall with the airport runway , so every time an air plane took off, it nearly scraped the paint of the roof of the school. But I doubt the school had been painted since it’s inception.
I sat at the teachers desk, as people trickled in. At some point during the day I opened the desk drawer out of curiosity and found sheaves of question papers. It was the 9 std history paper, on the French revolution. 20 questions ranging from ‘ What did the delegates at the first continental congress declare’, to ‘how did the mob revolt against the king on 14 july ,1789’. There were questions on the boston tea party, the glorious years of Louis XVI . I didn’t know a single answer, and it was hilarious just reading the questions.
A school, where the principal had just thanked the chief guest for donating 30 desks and chairs to the school, where you could hardly hear yourself over the drone of aeroplanes, there were children from the nearby slums, who came to school and answered exams on the French revolution.
It was irony at it’s best, and I looked up to share it with someone. But I doubted if my professor would appreciate the mockery of the eduction system that the paper represented.
So I slipped one of the question papers in my bag, as future reference to a blog.
But never got around to writing it, because it seemed so pointless. Yes what they teach us in schools is , the fine art of rote learning, yes the French revolution might mean nothing to the slum kids. Yes our education system needed a major facelift. But we all know this right? So why flog a dead horse? I threw the question paper in the bin.
Then today I saw 3 Idiots, the movie.I came back and took the question paper out of the dust bin , and I sit here writing this blog at 1:30 at night, sitting in my balcony (because the internet reception isn’t good in the room).
I am so proud of Indian cinema, and of Chetan Bhagat, to be able to make the bitter truth, into something more palatable for people.
Is there any solution to the problems.. nope not yet.. but I dare say that soon it will be dawn.


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