I was not surprised, but mildly amused at the number of democratic nations and not so democratic nations leaders that flew halfway across the world in their special jets to garner a moment’s video opportunity, and speak about terrorism, climate change and very subtly the threat of China to the modern democratic world which anyway is becoming as intolerant in a very genteel way as China itself. In a nutshell, take Pangaa at the UNGA! But then tolerance is a bad word. It means compromise, a suppression rather than a giving up of beliefs that are inimical to harmony and must not be tolerated beyond a point!
I was amused because, despite the availability of a number of virtual options for optics, they decided they must compound the negative effect on the ozone layer and add to their frequent flyer miles which had taken a beating in the last two years – it was the virus that took over the traveling – without changing the climate, and in fact controlling it on the ground too through its lockdowns and limited gatherings. But it was time to get those toys back in the air and flying – can’t have them rusting away now can you – too much of money invested. The price of fuel too was of no consequence. All you have to do to cover up the extra burden is add a cess to the pool, and you will have a cesspool!
You thought that was the icing on the cake? Maybe, but what took the cake and walked out with it – and left you with the icing – is the 6 lakhs (cost to the Company) Blue tooth chappals complete with micro earpieces made especially for cheating at exams! And, who were they offered to? Teachers who were taking their teachers’ eligibility exam for any one of the 31,000 government teacher posts in Rajasthan! And the media reports that some even bought them to use. The Government even resorted to suspending SMS and mobile internet for the duration of the exams, much like when there is a riot or a security situation on hand, and still lost out. No wonder, we Indians head most of the tech giants in the world except Apple. We like our apple whole, not half bitten!
It’s the new cheat sheet, a word which had forgotten its traditional moorings and is now used to describe short notes made for quick reference, but has thankfully returned to its heritage, albeit in a more modern avatar. How can we get a job without cheating? Especially when the consequences of not getting a job – that too a government job – are immense and hang over your head like the sword of Damocles? It’s mighty sharp too, and currently, for many if not most, it hangs right above the tallest hair on your head. And if bald, well it’s that much closer!
So, is it ok to cheat and win when times are tough and likely to get tougher? That’s a million-dollar question – for which the answer can be found in your earpiece that is connected to your conscience. You may sleep easier, but what if there is nothing to sleep on? That is the dilemma, that Emma faced with her dill day in and day out as she studied for the exam, and believed she would fail because she feared her memory. It was so bad, that she didn’t remember where she had kept the notes she wrote as the tutor dictated them at the coaching center the previous day. Then along came a chance at sure success. Money was no object when it could easily be made up afterward – how she was not sure, but she would find a way – coaching, like she was being coached for success was a good idea perhaps. So, beg, borrow, or steal, he/she would find a way to ensure she succeeded – and she almost did, but there were connectivity issues!
Somebody said there is a larger issue here, not just the attempt to cheat. Cheating is ok and expected as everyone wants to get ahead of the game, at least in the immediate future. But teachers? Is it not a case of the pot calling the kettle black? Come on, let’s not be discriminatory; they have the same issues or non-issues that all of us have – All they have extra is a teacher’s day once a year when most of their students sit around Teachers (bottle of)! All they are looking for is a chance to Teach us. And we should give it to them – when they conduct the exams, they will be very strict – they will know the loopholes in the soles!
But how do you get through exams without cheating? That’s what we hope our teachers will teach us. We are learning all the wrong methods, but not from the teachers, but from the media. So, is the media at fault then? for giving us options? with out of the slipper thinking? or is it the system itself at fault? A system that says that a government job is secure for life, no matter how you perform… (why should it?) and its pay is often more than the private sector at the same level. As you go up the ladder though, the relationship becomes inverse and brings with it the desire to shift tracks. Sometimes co-existence in the teaching fraternity in the same college becomes difficult as some get double the salaries as a “govt vacancy” appointee as compared to a “Management Vacancy” appointee! But co-exist they must as existence itself is at stake. Else be burnt at the stake!
In the end, though, you can’t really draw up a cheat sheet for life – it is a life that cheats you regularly and that’s why maybe new cheat sheets emerge from time to time – to help you stay ahead of any game it plays or new rules it sets for you. New cheat sheets will emerge with time for this reason alone – but don’t keep watching this space until next week same day same time! Then keep your blue tooth earpiece on!
This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.
Image by Okta_Aderama_Putra