This article has been submitted by Kruthika N S for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think this article is a good read, ‘Like’ this article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘comments’ section below.
I was elated.
The only thing I could think about was how my first day at NUJS would be.
Thoughts about the future hovered above my head which had slightly increased in size after the twenty-eighth of May. It was sweet bliss; or as I was soon to find out, sweet ignorance.
That’s probably life’s method: She presents what seems to be a miracle on gleaming silver plate, and just as one reaches for it, eyes full of yearning, she inclines it to an angle from which all one can see is one’s own reflection.
I saw mine. And now I feel disgusted.
Sure, I was now part of a premier law school. Sure, my parents were proud. I mean, I had beat most of the twenty five thousand people who had taken the CLAT for crying out loud!
But what about the ones who didn’t? And more importantly, couldn’t?
Okay, let’s just rewind a little bit…. Back to when I was happy, or should I say ignorant? So yes, I would be leaving for Kolkata in a few weeks. So being like any other girl, the first thing that came to my mind was…. shopping of course! But little did I know that the day had more than jeans and shoes in store for me.
Eight hours of walking. From store to store. Mall to mall. I shamelessly asked my parents for just more pair of shoes until we made the last stop at a not so great looking store to buy another pair of flip flops, in case of an emergency.
So after calling it a day, I stood in line to pay the bill. A little girl stood in front of me, no more than eight, with a pair of black shoes, undoubtedly for school. Her hair was unkempt, and clothes old and ragged. I wasn’t very concerned and glanced at my feet to see how my latest pair of flip flops suited me to only realize that the girl in front of me wore none. I suddenly became fascinated by her and looked up to see her speaking to a man who wore the uniform of a Bangalore auto-rickshaw driver. He was certainly her father.
“Daddy, buy that pair of socks!” she squealed in fluent Kannada.
“The teacher said it is mandatory to wear white socks. I’ve already been punished twice for not having them on”.
It was soon their turn to pay the bill and I noticed the man anxiously rummage through a worn out wallet that comprised more cigarettes than notes. Apparently the girl had noticed too.
“Buy the socks only if you have enough money…” she coaxed as he paid for the shoes mostly in tens and loose change.
“Do you have enough?”
The answer was a helpless shake of the head.
* * *
It has been at least three days after that incident and I still feel strangely guilty whenever I get reminded of that little girl. Her tact, intelligence and strength both awes as well as frustrates me. How many children like her will, and have already missed out on taking exams like the CLAT? Has my competition only been limited to those whose families can afford to buy them anything?
Her father’s ignorance of bookish knowledge and my ignorance of the society have forced her to live in a world of no socks…..while I live in a world of emergency flip flops.
Which goddamn idiot said that ignorance is bliss?