There was an era, an era long gone when stars and ice creams were much more valuable than billions of dollars. Unimaginable? Well rewind your life around 15-17 years (if you are in your 20s) and you might remember that indeed stars and ice creams were priceless. They were the joy that money could never buy, they were the motivation to excel that no preacher can match, they were gifts that sophisticated electronics could never surpass. Yea those stars and ice creams that marked our copies of nursery and kindergarten classes. They were, in true sense a remarkable feat in instilling an unparalleled competitive spirit. A more humane and more compassionate one. All this might look stupid but then I have my right to speak up to my heart’s content. Wondering what was so remarkable about those senseless things from the past?
Think about it this way. They were a reflection of nature and the human instinct. They were the most subtle display of art, unique to the teacher. Each one different from the others, different kind of stars, varying numbers, Ice creams with different toppings, different shapes, hearts, smiley, suns and what not, making a unique permutation every time. Believe me they were far more beautiful than the monotonous, ugly and seeming dull number system that we graduated to.
We strived to get that work of art marked on our copies much more than we sweated to get a perfect 10. One more thing about these art works was that they were incomparable unlike those numbers or grades. We do realise that all human progress is a result of a tiny belief that each one of us carries in our hearts, a belief that there is still something left to conquer. While numbers defined what’s achievable example there is nothing beyond a 10/10 but ice creams and stars like real stars were unconquerable. There was always something that was left to achieve.
While getting a star on the notebook set a aflame a fire to get more the next time, getting a 10 only increased expectations from the people around.
Well this just one side of the story, the joy of achieving. There is another to it as well, the joy of giving. If you have a sharp memory, or if you find time just look into the face of a kindergarten teacher while she is scribing the art work on a notebook. It’s like she is putting her heart on that notebook. The endless joy with every movement of the pen, the multitude of ‘V’ in front of good and the exclamation marks that follow is a splendid sight. You’ll never see that expression on the face of someone who is dealing with those numbers. Why? That’s what people call growing up?
Creating hype about ‘real’ world and doing away with all the beautiful things in life? Well everything that marks a dot on the axis of time is real. The stars and the ice creams are very much real irrespective of your belief. For me the stars would remain beautiful, unconquerable and inspirational.