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Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Kids & Education

Education of children is of utmost importance to us. It is one of the main reasons we decided to move into a different lifestyle. Both Rekha and I feel that they haven’t lost anything because we pulled them out of the schooling system. I am certain that I’ve saved them from the system, which is designed to instill fear. When we moved to Barkheda, we were happy to find a school here. Though we didn’t send them to the school to study, they played with the children after school.
Then one day, we were faced with an opportunity to take on the responsibility of the school. We gave it a thought and came to a conclusion that we should run a school, where we can send our children as well. We gave a deep thought to the why, what and how of education. We spoke to a few people, looked at a few methods. Finally, we figured out that it has to be residential learning space, which doesn’t separate living from learning. Since learning is round the clock, it doesn’t make sense to carve a school time. Learning is not just about academics, but also about physical well being, personal hygiene, a routine, habits, ability to learn and much more. Academics has to be a part, but needs only as much time and mind share as required.  It dawned on us that basically, we’d like to raise a few more children. That way, we’d benefit the children and also, it will be fantastic for our own kids.
The current school has 30 children. We would have liked to start with not more than 10 children; that too, if there is at least one family / couple residing here. We gave an introductory talk to the present teachers and asked them if they’d like to stay here. We didn’t hear from them for a few days and figured out that they wouldn’t like to come out of their comfort zone.
This school was started a year back with a view that when more families stay here, a school will be required. As we review the decision today, two insights appear. One, it is quite unlikely that many families will stay here very soon. Two, it is unlikely that someone who re-orients his lifestyle so dramatically will be aligned with the schooling system of the mainstream. It may therefore be prudent to sequence a school for residents after the residents actually stay here and also express their need for a school.
So, what happens to our plan of raising a few more children? Well, we keep ourselves open and awake to an opportunity, without trying to force pace. As for this school, the consensus appears to be to discontinue the existing school. We are completely in favour of this decision, though it may appear a little harsh.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Dil, Dosti, etc.

Our relationship with family, friends, relatives and people at large has undergone a major change in the context of our new life. This change was one of the striking experience during our vacation and after. Most people don’t seem to be able to relate us and vice versa. College friends, who once were a part of my being, everyday, were in touch every now and then, while I was in the city, aren’t interested in meeting me now and I don’t feel any pinch. Office colleagues are almost total strangers; I didn’t feel like and therefore did not visit my office, though I stayed there for over a month, not even spoke to anyone on phone! Relatives seem to be getting acquainted afresh, not excited, but inquisitive, curious. No one is rude, no one seems to be avoiding me, but just seems a little guarded and I’ve become quite indifferent. A large vacuum has thus been created and sometimes I feel very lonely. Immediate family, parents, siblings have filled part of the vacuum by being more interactive than in the past. However, their concern for our safety, our children’s future, our future brings in a lot of fear in the interactions. We’re probably searching for an audience for the excitement and happiness in our new life. It’s a strange feeling. I can’t complain. I’m not sad, but there’s still something amiss in my relationships.