Year 1940: Father to son – “ do you know? We went to school only after working for 2 hours in the farm. We ate left over food for breakfast and walked 10 miles however inclement the weather. We learnt multiplication tables before we turned eight. Evenings would be cool even in peak summer and having worked so hard we’d doze off under the baniyan tree after studying for a while. There was no electricity and we used kerosene lamps to study.
Year 1970: Son to grandson – “do you know we walked 2 miles to the nearest bus stop and took the available public transport to school. Five of us sisters and brothers would sit in the courtyard under a common light and do our home work. My mother would make us fetch rice from the ration shop and my sisters would help in the kitchen. We could study in peace only after doing the allotted chores. Tuitions were unheard of and we worked on our own. We used old news papers to fan ourselves in summer.
Year 2000: Grandson to great grandson – We went to school by auto-rickshaw It was only when he failed to turn up that my dad would drop us off at the school gate. My parents took it on themselves to help us with our studies and it was only in higher classes that we dared to ask for tuitions in a subject or two. The study room doubled up for the guest room and most of the time we studied in the bed room or dining space. The only room with a ceiling fan was used by my father to receive friends.
Year 2030: Great great grandson to his friend – “Can you believe this. My father actually went to school to study. So what if he drove a two wheeler from the age of twelve. Online classes and video conferences with experts were unheard of. My great grandfather had to learn multiplication tables by heart and used his fingers for adding up. My father had a calculator with the most primitive features and it was as good as not having one. And people had to actually clear all papers for a pass certificate. To counter this they took tuitions in almost every subject right from Grade 1. Attendance was a must and there was no flexibility in the choice of subject, school timing and timetable. They wore uniforms to school like army men and on top of it carried books to school since online versions were not available and not all children had access to computer education. What a loss of man hours. There was no central AC and it was a rare facility to have an AC in the mmaster bed room. People actually switched off lights manually and locked cars and doors with their hands. I feel really sorry for them. Even if they had been given the facility they could not have put it to use!