The ABC – anew

Mihika Mirchandani


A is for Alphabet, a kindergartener’s introduction to the English language.
B for Beginning, because that’s what you’re told this is.
C for Chalk, the creator of scribbles that befuddle young minds.
D for Dictation, because you need to outdo Microsoft spell check.
E for “Essential Education”, the way to keep you occupied till you’re old enough for ‘life’.
F for Fact, F for fiction – memorize the former, save the latter only for essays.
G for Genius – not you – it’s the kid who sleeps through lessons, has secret tuitions and tops the class.
H for Homework, because 8 hours a day is not enough learning.
I for Inquisitive, the teacher’s definition of her least favourite student.
J for Jokes, a subject every student would pass with flying colours, if only there were an exam for it.
K is for Kool, ‘kause korrect spelling is kliche.
L is for “Listen” – an instruction most children are engulfed by.
M is for Magic – fast disappearing from within most classrooms.
N is for Nature: not a subject at school.
O for Outstanding – what every teacher says you have to be. Who stands out, if everyone’s outstanding?
P for Parents, whom every child is secretly or admittedly trying to please.
Q is for Questions: Why must I go to school? Can I drop math and study art instead?
R is for Rote: Read, remember, and regurgitate.
S for Silence. The most desirable trait in a “good student”. Teachers, however, may chatter away.
T for Technology: Tamagotchi, television, and now tablets (not the ones you swallow).
U for Understand. Who cares if you don’t?
V for Volume. Teacher gets full marks for sound, notes, and irrelevant matter.
W for Wonder: A luxury you have little time for.
X for Xylophone. Remember the word you memorized in kindergarten? Ever seen one, or played one?
Y for Yearning, replaced by yawning and yapping while the thirst for knowledge remains unsatiated.
Z for Zip Zap Zoom as you navigate the maze of education.
12 years invested and you are none the wiser.

The author is a mass media graduate who believes in the power of words. A stubborn idealist, she dreams of the day when schools will actually equip young minds to deal with the ‘real world’. She can be reached at

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