Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Her 'illiterate' mother

It was a cool Sunday evening and I was sitting in my hall, when she came. She is the daughter of our colony’s press-wallah. She is mal-nutritioned and stick thin like her mother and the rest of the family who never skip a day no matter how kind or cruel the climate is to them (I feel they can much better feel the mood of the climate for they work everyday without any break under a tin shed clasped to a small tree).

Yup, coming to the actual thing, she came inside and saw me reading. I could see a twinkle in her eyes that comes only when she spots a book. She told me that her illiterate mother is very particular about her studies (she studies in a local govt school) and wants her to study to the highest level. She told me that her mother never ever discriminated between her sons and daughters and wants them to become educated and sophisticated and that she personally asks each sibling to explain what happened in the class, that she tells them not to throw garbage on roads and that to carry a book with them always to avoid any time waste. These thoughts look nice to hear but even nicer when they are come from an illiterate woman having half a dozen children.

Now in contrast, the ‘literate’ people who teach their kids attitude and arrogance, to treat public property like a dustbin, to use hook or crook to get things done, middle class mothers who start looking suitors right after their daughters’ graduation. And all those educated families preferring sons over daughters. Now the basic purpose of this post is what the meaning of education is – to be able to read and write or to be able to understand things and create a positive and open outlook? I feel that illiterate mother of six kids is far more educated then all the degree holders.

The English statesman and author George Savile (1633-1695) had said

“Education is what remains when we have forgotten all that we have been taught”.

How true!!


  1. Seriously... we literate people do not understand the importance of being literate when people who cannot afford even basic education are trying their best.. like the daughter of your press waala!

    it was worth reading!

  2. hii Abhi

    thanks for the wonderful comment :)
    jab kuch mai milta then only we know its importance...thanks a lotz :D

  3. v true... being educated nd being literate r 2 diff things.. education makes ur thinking broader...

  4. hii teddy

    I agree with u fully, ur point is very much clear and correct :)

    thanks a lot :)

  5. "Education is the manifestation of excellence already present in man" - Swami Vivekananda.
    It is such a great pity that the "educated" live in denial and ignorance. I think those people who are deprived of all the needs only realize the real importance of education and common sense!..

    The so-called educated " high class" must realize that they are lucky to have all the pleasures and learn to use them in the most appropriate way. Also we must learn to help the underprivileged to get into the mainstream.

    I hope that you are doing your bit to help the girl :)

    lovely post my dear!!


  6. hii rammy :)

    thanks dear, thanks a lot :)

    I fully agree with u :)

  7. Education and literacy are two different things. Sadly in India, these two are confused and used in place of the other.

    One need not go to a university to be educated. I totally agree with you when you say the illiterate women is far more educated than those 'educated' class

    Lovely post!

  8. we are educated but surely not literate...

    I quite admire the lady...kudos to her! i wonder why half of the population is still illiterate despite being highly qualified?

  9. hii sis

    yup! I was surprised and shocked at the same time when I was listening to her. surprised as the words were coming out of a poor child and shocked at the level of 'educated ' people.

  10. hii G3

    thanks yaar :)

    yup, we are educated but surely not literate...I fully agree :)

  11. that was shocking to me but hats off to her and you for such an eye opening to people

  12. hii shilpa

    thanks a lot :)

    yup!that was although shocking but a real eye opener

  13. thanx for sharing this. its precious. cheers.

  14. hiii jinx :D

    thanks a lot re :) loved ur comment

  15. Excellent post. Heartwarming story. Many people think that the only purpose of education is acquisition of knowledge. That is not the only purpose. Another purpose of education is to develop character. In that sense this “illiterate” mother is a better teacher than the “literate” school teachers.

  16. hii SG :)

    thanks a lotz for this thoughtful comment :)

    I agree with u in "Another purpose of education is to develop character"
    yup! there are soo many educated perverts roaming around...

  17. Hmm very true indeed!Literacy nowadays just means studying and gaining knowledge and we do not tend to realise the fact its not being a BARBARIAN ! Guess these things cease when we stop the blame game for everything on politicians and act like a literate!
    Really luvd yur post :)!

    H a R y

  18. hiii hary :)

    thanks a lot for loving the post :)

    yup! I agree, most of us are literate barbrians, education has turned us into white collered crooks...sad but this is the very reality.. :(

  19. A very wise thought. Education is not the degree one has after his names but the degree of Broadmindedness one has in life !

    Good post :)

  20. hii Prashant

    yup! thats what literacy is in the real sense :)

    thanks for liking the post :)