Day-12: Raakhii celebration along with dropout batch. Priti, Reshma, Pooja, Poonam, Mahesh, etc hate these dropout kids who mostly live in the lower half of Patil Estate. Class difference, you see! They absolutely did not like these kids coming into their classroom that day. So much so that they got up to leave. I suddenly became stern and told them to stop whatever they were doing because it was WRONG. Did not say anything specific as the dropout batch kids were standing in a corner of the same classroom.
Then came the celebrations. All made a HUGE chaos while tying raakhiis to everyone possible and stuffing me and Shrikant with soft sugar-coated pedhaas... I hardly managed to keep just enough raakhiis with me so that I could tie those to all the boys in the class. Girls were snatching the raakhiis from my hand from all directions!
Time for class now. Dropout batch junta left the classroom. Even they wanted to get away as soon as possible.
Told the kids to close their eyes and think of someone from those present inside the classroom. Once this is done, they were supposed to think of 3 questions in such a way that they should be able to know most about the person of their choice.
Wanted to achieve 2 things- To know who comes first to whose mind, and to understand what it means know a person...
All chose their classmates only. Pooja was the most popular choice; chosen by two of them. Shaam chose me! :') And what questions!! And what answers!! 2-3 of them did ask seemingly stupid questions, though... And they were immediately questioned "Did you really understand anything about xyz through these 3 questions???" They themselves evaluated and reached the conclusion.
Let me reproduce some of the conversations-
Priti to Mahesh: What would you like to be in life? If you start earning a salary, would you give money to your mother? How would you feel if you get a prize in a game of football? (I accept that I never ever expected this from Priti!!)
Mahesh: I would like to be an automobile designer! Meaning, I'd take old cars and make them look like new ones. It's a great profession! I'll earn a lot! (His uncle does something of this sort...)
Of course I'd give money to mom!! Suppose I earn 500 rupees a day. I'll only need 50 rupees a day for food and some fun. Rest 450 to mom!
What's there to feel if I get a prize?? Huh?? It's only for that particular moment. Nothing after that. So I'll feel nothing!
Pooja to Akshay: Which subjects do you like? Why? (I don't remeber the 3rd question. See! This is what happens when one doesn't note down things in time... I have lost a treasure forever!)
Akshay: I like Science and Maths.
Why??? Well, because... Well yes, Science make one understand the surrounding in a better way. And if you know Math, people cannot deceive you. That is, suppose you go at a shop and ask for 3kg sugar and if the shopkeeper puts only 2.7kg on the weighing machine, you wouldn't understand the difference if you don't know some Maths.
Mahesh: (Screams out loud) Pooja's dad owns a shop!! Pooja's dad owns a shop!!
(:D :D :D)
(But here, everyone immediately agreed that Pooja's dad sells things honestly...)
Akshay to Pooja: How is it that you scored 83% in the last exam???
Pooja: What do you mean how??????!!! I studied hard and I got it!
Tushar (I guess) to Pooja: What would you like to be when you grow up? Do you like helping people? Why?
Pooja: I'd like to be a doctor and help the poor. (!!! The class difference, you see! The upper half of Patil Estate, where Pooja lives, is relatively well off.) You know, Didii, some people are really poor and they cannot afford to pay for the treatment. I'd love to work for them.
I like helping people, of course!
What do you mean by "Why??" !! I like it! That's it!
Irfan: Didii, it's very simple, if we help someone today, that someone will help us tomorrow. That's why!
Sham to me: Tell me, Didii, how to reach your home from here?
Swati: Wait wait! I'll tell you!! (And she actually pointed out the way! Almost correctly! These kids have been to my place once, but I never thought she'd be able to reproduce the route to such an extent!)
Sham: OK then, next question. Tell me the names of your friends.
Me: Sham, Irfan, Tushar, Mahesh, Akshay, Swati, Priti, Pooja, Poonam, ...
Sham: Enough enough! Next question- What exactly do you do at work?? (This guy had asked this to me earlier, and I had dodged the question then, fearing that I wouldn't be able to explain it all to a 12yr old... He's so keen on knowing all the technical stuff. So here it is, and I have to face it!)
Me: Well, it's a long answer. All of you will have to have patience and listen carefully. Now let us suppose that somebody has some problem; and then we'll ---
Sham: Wait!! Why suppose?!! I'll tell you. Suppose I built a big huge building and then realised that my hammer remained down under. And now I want that very hammer back, not a replacement. Now. Tell me. What would you and your company do??
Me: Well yeah! Listen! At my company, we'd first think of various ways to recover the hammer.
Sham: Like bringing down the whole structure, reaching the hammer from underground pathways, blasting some portion of the building, etc. Next. Tell me.
Me: Right. Then what I'd do is, I'd make a scientifically correct replica of the building and all the ways to recover the hammer, in a computer. This is a tough task! I'll have to use lots of Maths, Physics, Material Science, etc and feed the computer with lots of instructions, you see! So that, at the click of a button on the keyboard, I'd be able to actually perform all the options inside a computer, and will be able to see on the screen, the effects of each of the option. Thus, without actually doing anything to the building, I'll be able to decide which is the best option! Then my company will tell you the best option and you'll pay us in return! :')
Sham: I see! I have one more question- Do you HAVE time to come here or you TAKE TIME OUT to come here?
Me: (!!!! No words!!! I dodged this one!)
Myself, Shrikant and his roommate returned home in a state of intellectual surprise...