Saturday, March 19, 2016

पाठ पढ़ो और याद करो - Learning to be learned

Once upon a time, there was a teacher who decided to go to the market to buy some goods. He had four disciples who eagerly followed each and every word of their master. They tagged along with the teacher to the market. The teacher instructed that they would not stop on the way at all or else they would be late. The students said, 'Ji Ha...'.

They started sitting on a bullock cart. The teacher fell asleep. After some time, a group of naughty monkeys interrupted their passage. The cart swerved and the teacher's 'pagdi' fell from his head. One student thought that they should stop to get it but others refused since the master had instructed them not to stop, come what may. Hence, they kept going on. After a little while, the master felt the hot sun on his head and got up. In a rage, he asked, 'Where is my pagdi?' The students told them what had happened. 

'You fools. Turn around and get me my pagdi. And from now on, if anything falls from the cart, pick it up.'

'Ji Ha', said the disciples.

The master fell asleep again. After some time, the disciples, to their utter horror, discovered that the bullock had pooped. The students looked at each other and realized that their teacher had asked them to pick up anything that fell from the cart. So, they stopped, picked up the droppings and started again.

The master got up after sometime and smelled the dung. He was angry and asked what happened. 

'You said that we were supposed to pick up anything that fell from the cart'.

The teacher shook his head in rage.

'You fools. Throw it away and wash yourself.'

Then he wrote a list. 'Pick up these things only if they fall - Jar of rice, basket of fruits, pitcher of water'.

'Ji Ha', the disciples nodded.

The master fell asleep again. 

It so happened that there was a big pit ahead and the cart toppled throwing everything and everyone on the ground. The teacher fell into the pit. The goods were scattered everywhere. The students got up and checked the list. They picked up the basket but left the fruits, the empty pitcher and the jar of rice, leaving the rice on the ground. That was what the paper said.

The teacher cried for help. The students were confused. 'He said we are supoosed to pick up only that which is in the list and nothing else,' one said..

'Yes, he is testing us. We must score well.' Others agreed.

A woman was watching all this from a distance. She took the list and threw it to the teacher who then wrote his name on the paper and returned it to his dedicated students.

The students then helped the master out of the pitch.

'We will go back home now, you fools'. The teacher thundered.

'Ji Ha'. The disciples agreed and turned back.


The story in a very humorous manner tells us what happens when students are expected to follow certain styles of instruction without asking questions. Getting good scores is the end each one aspires for. Real learning is lost along the way. It is not necessary to have good scores and be an excellent knowledgeable person in life. Rote learning is shallow learning. It can get good scores but can in no way ascertain a good understanding too.

I wrote a poem on this, which I am sure all kids will love.

पाठ पढ़ो और याद करो 
अच्छे नंबर से परीक्षा पास करो 
जब मैं बोलूं तो उठ जाओ 
जब संकेत करूँ तो तुम बैठो 

प्रश्न पूछना मना यहाँ 
टीचर को गुस्सा आता है 
पर मम्मी कहती बिना प्रश्न 
सबक निरर्थक हो जाता है 

काश कभी ऐसा होता 
किताब के पन्नों से बाहर 
सम्राट अकबर ही आ जाते 
कुछ किस्से बीरबल के हमें सुना 
बुद्धि का पाठ सिखा जाते 

उत्तर तो हम सब रट लेंगे 
पर तर्क न जब तक आएगा 
जीवन में शिक्षा का उपयोग 
साकार नहीं हो पाएगा 

अंकों से नहीं खेलना हमें 
चलो बाहर हम चलते हैं 
एक हाथ में रहे किताब 
और एक हाथ में रहे कलम 
कुछ कक्षा में किया पठन 
कुछ स्वयं निरीक्षण करेंगे हम 

Image here


Written for IndiSpire Edition#109 #Education System


  1. सुनैना जी, आज की शिक्षा पद्धति का बहुत ही बढ़िया विश्लेषण किया है आपने। बधाई।

  2. सुनैना जी, आज की शिक्षा पद्धति का बहुत ही बढ़िया विश्लेषण किया है आपने। बधाई।

  3. Wonderful illustration Sunaina

  4. स्कूल युनिफॉर्म, कक्षाएं और अंकतालिकाएं ये सब कभी भी सुकून नहीं देते थे :) 3Idiots ka Rancho banna zyada sukun daita hai bajayai Chatur bannai kai.

  5. Kaash hamen bachpan mein ye shaandar lekh parhne ko mil jata toh kitni tasalli hoti apni nalaayak kartooton par:)
    And the poem..why only kids? even I loved it:):)

    1. I wish I had read it when I was little....and I am happy you liked the poem Amit ji.

  6. The modern education system somewhat works in this question should be asked, a mere process of rote... Wonderfully explained, Sunaina... :-)

  7. बहुत ही सुंदर और सार्थक पोस्ट। बहुत ही अच्छे ढंग से लिखी गई है।

  8. Beautifully summed up Sunaina...and I loved the poem. Nicely done:-)

  9. Thankfully, not all children are born obedient.

    1. Yes, thankfully...! Welcome here Purba.

  10. hahah superb post...blind follow...loved the poem too :)

  11. This is a wonderful work. I was hoping the end would be - don't follow anybody blindly, apply your brain too!

    But your point is pretty valid too!

  12. You have hit the nail on the head Sunaina. The perils of rote system of learning!

  13. उत्कृष्ट और अदभुत भावपूर्ण प्रस्तुति.