The Curious Case of a Young Boy #BookBytes 29

Hola friends.

I’ve been re-reading the biography of Naseeruddin Shah, the actor. I have enjoyed watching his films and some of them have stayed with me even though I watched them decades ago – Sparsh and Masoom to name two off the top of my head.

In his autobiography he talks with a candour seldom seen in film actors. But this is not a review. Today I pick a piece where he talks about his childhood.

Never a good student, he failed twice in grade 9. Here’s what he had to say about his tryst with academics.

I excelled in English but that was all. Maths was totally beyond me as were Physics and Chemistry, and as for Trigonometry……! It’s kind of bemusing to wonder how come it never occurred to any of my teachers to investigate the curious case of this child who always got the highest marks in the class in English literature and composition, yet failed in grammar.

– Naseeruddin Shah, And Then One Day – A Memoir

How could teachers have missed this?

What’s more food for thought, is that even now, when much is said to have changed in the academic world, things remain pretty much the same. Even with less than 30 children in a class students suffer from lack of evaluation that goes beyond text book knowledge. Even now Maths and Science remain the badge of honour worn proudly only by ‘smart students’.

The only positive change, as I see, is that there are more options available beyond maths and science. That is heartening, however it will be decades before societal perceptions in India change.

Do you think the Indian education system has changed over the years?


If you stumble upon a quote, a line (or two) or even a passage from a book that leaps out at you demanding to be shared join in with #BookBytes.

Here’s what you have to do:

  • Share it on your blog and link back to this latest post.
  • Put in the logo (above) so it’s easy to spot.
  • Leave the link to your blogpost in the comments so I can drop by too.
  • Book Bytes goes live every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month. Join in?

The next edition of BookBytes goes live on July 7.

5 Replies to “The Curious Case of a Young Boy #BookBytes 29”

  1. It’s thought provoking. I haven’t read this book but there’s a hint of subtle humour (without actually being humorous) that I have noticed in his dialogue delivery.

    Teachers…It amazes me how some teachers are too focused in the syllabus. Their minds go in a straight line. I would say, ‘Teaching is an art, and not everyone is an artist.’
    I wish every student got a teacher like Ram Shankar Nikumbh. But yes, thankfully (as you say) there are so many options these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a topic thats topmost on my mind these days, OM. Looking at options for Ammu.. she is averse to Mathematics and I’m ok with that. But its not easy or straight forward to make the choice at this juncture as it impacts future avenues available to her.
    I’m glad of the many options available but yes, Science and Mathemetics is what seems to count the most 😐

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I agree. We’re at the same juncture here and opting for Maths and Science seems to be the easiest option. Everything else seems full of uncertainty.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A very informative and interesting book review. Maybe I’ll consider downloading on my kindle. Thanks for this. By the way I love the ‘obsessivemom’ name. It is so all pervading😊


Like it? Love it? Hate it? Say something.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: