નિબંધ લખવાની ઝંઝટ – Writing an essay in the primary school

The English version is jus below the Gujarati version

હું જ્યારે નાનો હતો – નાનો એટલે ખૂબ નાનો!, કદાચ બીજી ત્રીજી ચોપડીમાં, ત્યારે સર ( શિક્ષક) કે બેન (શિક્ષિકા) નિબંધ લખવા કહે એટલે કોણ જાણે કેમ મારા મોતિયા મરી જાય. પૂછશો નહિ કેમ પણ મને લખલખું આવી જાય.એક તો પથ્થરની પાટીમાં લખવાનું, ભૂંસતા રહેવાનું અને પછી મોટીબેન વાંચે, ચેક કરે અને મોઢું મચકોડે!
‘તને નિબંધ લખતા કે’દાડે આવડશે?. લાવ જોઉં ‘
જેવી પાટી એ લે એટલે મારો બેડો પાર!
સમજ્યા નહિ? એ સુધારતી જાય અને પૂરો નિબંધ લખી નાખે!
હવે બીજે દિવસે સ્કુલ જવાના સમયે અનરાધાર વરસાદડ તૂટી પડે.
હવે? આ પાટી માં તૈયાર નિબંધ કેવી રીતે વરસાદ ની વાછટ થી બચાવી ને કલાસ માં લઇ જવો? હવે મારો ‘બેડો’ પાર કોણ કરે?
‘હે ભગવાન આજે આટલો વરસાદ છે તો પ્રિન્સિપાલ સાહેબ રજા આપી દે તો કેવી મઝા?’
બા કહે ‘ચાલ જા હવે, વરસાદ ધીમો પડી ગયો.’
કચવાતે મને હું રેઇનકોટ પહેરું અને પેલી પાટીને જેમ તેમ રેઇનકોટની અંદર ખોસું, ટોપી પહેરું અને નીકળી પડું, ધીમા ઝરમર વરસાદમાં.
કલાસમાં બેન ખુશ! બધાને મારી પાટી બતાવતી જાય અને કહેતાં જાય , ‘જુઓ ડોબાઓ જુઓ, નિબંધ કેમ લખાય એ આનું નામ!
હવે તમે જ કહો કે આ કટોકરીની ક્ષણે મારે પ્રામાણિક થવાનું કાંઈ કામ?
ઈશ્વર ની માયા બધી ! હું તો નિમિત્ત માત્ર!

હવે પછીના નિબંધ નો વિષય કદાચ ‘પ્રમાણિકતા ‘ હશે

——————x——————x ————–

Remember the writing slates that people of my 70+ generation used in the primary school? It consisted of a piece of slate made of stone, typically 7 X 10 inches rectangular encased in a wooden frame. A slate pencil, made from a softer and lighter coloured stone such as shale or chalk, that we used to write on the slate board.  The problem with such slate was that the homework done so meticulously on the slate would get smudged or even disappear by the time the teacher grabbed it for rating the homework.

Anyway, in the second or third standard of my Gujarati medium school that is what we used. I hated writing essays on such subjects as ‘The Cow’ or ‘The Train’.  Why would the teacher bother to make us write on such silly subjects? Didn’t she know about the cow? Or the train that ferried her from her suburb to the Matunga station across the school?

Going home with the load of writing ‘that’ essay was too heavy for my little mind. I scribbled whatever best I could come up with, ‘A cow is a domestic animal. It has four legs, a tail and…’

But why? 

It was mandatory for my homework to pass through the check point of my Akka or Motiben (elder sister) 

‘Have you done your home work baba?’ she would holler from deep inside the balcony.

‘Yes, I did’

‘That essay as well?’, she knew about my tremendous dislike for essays.

‘Yes, I did’

‘Brilliant, let me see what you have written’

‘Is this rubbish you call your essay? My God, when will you ever learn?’ 

As she took the slate from me, my mind would start singing like a lark, for she would not just edit it; she would rewrite the entire essay!

She did precisely that and pushed the slate back to me.

Next morning, a heavy downpour greeted everyone! How the hell am I going to protect the homework in the heavy rain? I hoped the principal of the school would declare an emergency holiday.

‘The rain has subsided now, get ready to go to school’, my Baa (mother) was made of sterner stuff, you know.

Gingerly, I put on the rain coat and the cap and carefully shoving the slate with the erudite essay on it deep inside the raincoat, emerged out in the drizzle. Careful baba!

In the class room, the teacher’s joy knew no bounds. She lifted up my slate to the children in the class and shouted, ‘Look all you stupid students. What an essay? This is called an essay, understand? See how well Rajen has written this essay. You guys will never learn….’

God is great after all. I had no reason to intervene and clarify – let the secret remain a secret. It was time to relish being the cynosure of all eyes. 

The next probable topic of the essay was ‘Honesty’!


7 thoughts on “નિબંધ લખવાની ઝંઝટ – Writing an essay in the primary school

  1. Very good Childhood exprience,,,, I felt that it was my expience u mention it, anyway very nice

    1. Yes, it’s all about sharing our experience that are common so that we can re-live them. The same feelings happen when I play old Hindi Film songs

  2. Rajendra, we were in the same class in School.
    …and, to think that all these years, I carried the wrong impression of you?? 🙂 🙂 🙂
    (But then, those experiences must’ve inspired you to become a Writer that you have!)

  3. Hahaha u reminded me of my childhood. In my time we had a wooden thick slate on which.we used to apply thin coat of fuller’s eath (multani mitti) then dry it and after it is dried well we would write on it with wooden pencil poured in black ink. And before writing we would also draw horizontal straight lines with normal pencil so that whatever we write with black ink looks straight & neat.

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