My Nightmare of Horrible Indian Education System — Divya Sharma
WARNING: This post will make you want to beat something or someone into pulp. Also, I am a figment of your imagination. Proceed to highlight words for no particular reason whatsoever.
Those who say life seems so easy when you’re a child have clearly never had the misfortune of undergoing the trials of tribulations of navigating this joke of an education system we have over here.
As I sit here shivering; maybe it’s the North Indian winter or my first day of spiraling back into caffeine addiction, at 1:20 AM on another dreadful Wednesday; trying to figure out how to explain the concept of transcripts to the brain-dead vermin that sit at my University’s office, I had an epiphany.
No, I didn’t. I was just trying to complete the sentence I started with an ‘As I’ and used revolting semicolons. I am going to royally screw up the tenses in this post, aren’t I? Should it be had or have? What is life. Excuse my delirium, I am the result of brilliant humans who weren’t smart/rich/lucky/together enough to raise me where I could have blossomed to my greatest potential. Why fret now, right? Okay, let’s get to it then.
I need transcripts and a graduation certificate to move forward with my application to study in US.
You: Well then Divya, why don’t you just go and get it?
Me: Thank you, why didn’t I think of this before!
Narrator: And everyone lived happily ever after. The end.
Today is not the day we get into the can of stinky worms that is my experience as a child in schools. I can write an entire book on it. Titled, ‘What the frigging heck is going’. My sincere apologies if you have OCD. No, no one is getting “on”. No “an” either. Haw.
No no, my child. Don’t cry just yet. Mommy has more mind numbing stories of her days at University. Let me get my 7th cup of cheap bitter instant coffee. I’m filthy rich enough to be able to afford milk and sugar. It’s 01:56 AM now. The day has just begun.
You would think after everything I’ve seen, I would have been a stone cold jaded little seventeen year old.
To my curious little ones: I’m twenty two as we figuratively speak. About to turn twenty three in less than three months. Fuck off Tom Riddle. Okay. 6th May 1994. I need a B-1 visa and a new 4k video recording drone from you. But if you truly love me you know how much I appreciate Amazon gift cards more than anything else. Don’t pretend to know people by giving them anything other than Amazon gift cards.
Get into the story already, this b*tch goes on too many tangents. Why did you censor B word and not the F word? Literally nobody cares but you, Divya. I hate myself more than you do for typing about myself in third person. Or was that second person? I AM DISSOLVING INTO THE ABYSS PLEASE SEND HELP.
I was a bushy eyed and bright rainbow tailed teen, elated to have finally gotten rid of the leeches from down under. My high-school peers (with one exception) and the teachers who may have tried to kill me.
When I wrote my first lost work-of-art on my BS (Business Studies) teacher’s funny way of speaking and gait. Summarizing all the horrible things my peers would say about him into a beautiful chuckle-inducing poem. There was a man hunt, a gang of teachers ready to beat me up to make an example.
I had already witnessed them taking a 12 year old girl to every classroom and beating her up while she was endlessly crying for stealing something. No, I ain’t making this up. Welcome to this lovely world child, where a big ass male teacher can beat you up in front of the entire school. I wrote the poem in a snake’s notebook which was discovered by the Librarian. Thankfully, the day it came to light, I was on a leave and my best friend called me up to tell me to not show my face for the next two months unless I wish to get beaten up.
After three months of cooling down, my muse came up to me and said, “ I always knew you were a quiet little one with greater talents.” Not those exact words but something along the lines.
I still remember telling people how psyched I was to have a fresh start at college. Hint: Mildly. The feeling vanished quickly as soon as I stepped foot in the hallowed halls of pigeon poo. The architecture wasn’t that bad. But the vibe certainly was.
Hideous “boys” with filth flowing out of their mouths, annoyingly overzealous to see females in the vicinity. Yes, those poor things aren’t privy to the concept of blinking. As a woman in India, I have no right to b*tch about eye or marital rape.
Giggling “girls” with intellectual maturity of a squirrel. Two girls were taken aback by my outlandish gesture of sticking my right arm out to greet them. I quickly switched to my obnoxious girl persona I need to communicate with certain kind. The only valuable thing my father ever taught me was; if you can speak their language you can conquer their world.
What I had to learn the hard way was that it is one thing to be fluent in a language and another to master it to the T. A true master knows it takes more than a mere lifetime to become one.
As much as I’d like to, I don’t speak dimwit with an over inflated ego happy to waste life in the metaphorical cage. I cannot hide my contempt for the blissfully blind who are unable to feel the constant suffering of the spirit in these dark times.
They are still my favorite characters to play though. There are times I go deep into my method acting and feel the few ounces of happiness that continue to elude me.
It took me an entire month to come to the realization that nobody gives a flying fish about your attendance or punctuality. My first few days of classes were spent being baffled at my Physics teacher’s lectures in shudh Hindi.
I enrolled into one of the best colleges in my town, which considering my “town” (technically a tier 2 city) doesn’t mean much. She was just being compassionate for the rich illiterates who CNT SPIK ENGLISH GOODLY sitting at the back of the class. The other teachers were text-to-voice robots who only knew what was written in the textbooks in front of their eyes.
I was incarcerated as a felon for asking questions.
Sitting like a duck and not asking a million questions goes against every bone of my curious little skeleton cage. Teachers changed, so did the students. The com-padres I had made dropped out. I don’t know or care to know what happened to them afterwards. But, I know you care a lot about the hyphen you just saw. Die.
Why didn’t I leave as well? Why did I ever enroll in the first place? Great question, something I continue to ask myself. I’ll say one word. Fear.
Of leaving my mom (I am her mother in spirit, it took me a while to be able to leave my baby alone amongst the vultures. This painful fear knows no bounds. Only a mother will be able to comprehend what I am saying.) Another being painfully aware of my incurable handicap whilst standing on the wrong red dot.
After three years of mind blowing panic attacks and a jolly good ride on the hysterical melancholy train, I became the mistress of paradoxes. (Inside joke between me and me.)
All of us private college kids that were affiliated with the barbarian university had to go into the jungle to give the exams. The cherry on top? University professors who graded us would never let any kid that’s not directly studying at the university campus get more than an average grade. It doesn’t matter how brilliant you are or what you wrote on the sheets.
If you are not from India and are still feeling a bit perplexed by the above paragraph, this is how it goes.
- Your city has one big goverment university.
- Most of the private colleges in the city are affiliated with that university
- Essentially all exams are held at the University campus and our papers are graded by the teachers who teach at the University campus. Which is a joke since those “teachers” never show up to “teach” at the class.
The only way to not get an average score was to find the right people willing to take the bribe from you. I obviously didn’t go that route. Perhaps the reason why I am suffering now. Need I remind you, I was slowly figuring out how the system worked while I was being played by it. I played my game and with a little luck I found a way to coast through the tsunami.
I made it out alive. Yay. All’s well that ends well. Right? No.
I remember spending an entire month making rounds at that godforsaken college and university campus to get the documents they felt like giving to us. A friend’s crazy connected dad went apeshit over the sloths in the office and they finally gave us the half of the puzzle.
Turns out they have a tradition to not give out the final graduation certificate until after 3–4 years you have graduated. A friend of mine is yet to receive the marksheet of one of the semesters due to a glitch in their system. You cannot blame those hardworking moths for being simply too busy to print out a fucking piece of paper.
They have a visual impairment of perceiving adults in their twenties as toddlers who won’t suck on your nipples until you yell at them. Beyond this, the way we are spoken to and treated is inexplicable. They want to get rid of us and we want nothing more than to forget this nightmare ever happened.
Don’t fucking tell me to go to the police. Don’t even get me started on the police. I will make a last attempt to get them to print the transcript I will have to make on their letterhead and get my graduation certificate. I have no idea if or when I will get it. I found a semi-shady website that helps people get their transcripts for a fee. But sadly they do not cover my city or University in their list of people they can butt heads with.
I will figure a way out of this, like I always do. I was feeling quite motivated to play with words. Writers are twisted little cunts. The sun is about to rise any minute and I think this piece will suffice.
Ow yes, the bushy eyed reference. My unibrow will always haunt me. After two years of being laughed at and dare I say, discriminated against for the way I look, I took the plunge. It’s a shallow world and I am a shallow girl, sir. Hearts that are heavy tend to drown way deep in the middle.
I look like this now. Playing the game has benefited me quite well so I must not complain. Mustn't I?
For as long as I breathe, the voice inside my head shall always scream, “ I need to get the fuck out of this hellhole. Away from these vermin.” — Divya.
Yours truly for eternity,
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