Tuesday, July 17, 2012

No More Pencils!

School year has begun in full swing with homework and project work being doled out every other day. So Abhay’s school bag is now loaded with all his textbooks, his student diary, a homework book and his pencil box and gone are those days when all he carried was a dairy and a homework book – Ah! The travails of a STD 1 student! So just before he goes to school each day, I try to make sure he has everything in place, but for all my efforts, Abhay simply couldn’t care less! Every day my unrelenting five year old comes home with a missing pencil or eraser or pencil sharpener and has no clue as to how could he lost a brand new pencil that I had placed in his box just that morning! In other words, the kids these days are a pampered lot and have everything offered to them on a platter……so they hardly value them! Abhay for instance does not experience even an iota of guilt for having been careless and instead feels entitled to a new pencil, as a matter of right! I know…it’s just a pencil…..but there is no harm in inculcating these values early…..as tomorrow, it will be more than just a pencil!

In attempt to teach my son to respect and value his belongings, I read to him “For want of a pencil” a story by Rajalaxmi K Iyer that appeared on last week’s “Young World” a weekly children’s supplement of “The Hindu”. The author goes back in time to her school days when she lived in a joint family controlled by her paternal grandmother. The little girl was excited to be in class IV which meant that she would have to start writing in a notebook. The only hitch was that she didn’t possess a pencil yet. When she voiced her concern to her mother, her mother assured her that she will be provided with whatever was needed to start Class IV. As the school reopening date was nearing, the little girl was expecting her parents to buy her a new pencil but instead she was asked to manage with an old pencil that was only one inch long! So she hatched a plan and threw out her old pencil in the hope that her parents would have no other choice but to buy a new pencil. But she was wrong as her strict grandma rummaged through her uncle’s old stationery to unearth yet another inch-long pencil as a punishment for the girl’s carelessness. As her quarterly exams were approaching, the school teacher required all students to bring good pencils and erasers which was promptly conveyed to her parents. Finally, as her mother empathized with her and persuaded her father to buy her a new pencil. Just as she excitedly stretched her hand towards the brand new violet colored pencil, her grandma snatched it away from her only to cut the pencil into two and sharpens only one half of the pencil, as her grandma felt that the girl might careless once again, while her father watched helplessly! So all little Rajalaxmi wanted was a new pencil, while that was one thing she had eluded her! But finally, she gets her wish and her father buys her a new pencil, behind her grandma’s back! So …the next time your little one loses a pencil or a crayon in school……tell him/her about the story of the one-inch pencil! J


  1. Good storey for young careless children
    who need to learn to take care of their belongings and value them as important.

  2. What a beautiful story, Divya. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Thanks appa!
    @ My pleasure...Pooja. I love some of these stories featured in the children's supplements!:-)