Z is the last of the 26 English alphabet. It is not as important as A, B, C or D. But it does have its own duty and function in the language and without it, the language will be incomplete and may be crippled too. In our society everybody wants to be in the position of A. And the strangest thing is that those who are not genuinely qualified to be the first are being pushed to the first place by the same authorities who are supposed to promote talent.
Recently while searching for my school documents, I found two merit certificates from a school youth festival. One certificate says that I had secured first place in clay modelling and the other says that I had secured second place in watercolour painting. The second one reminded me of my earliest experience of being pushed back from my original place for the sake of a student who was the dear one of the teachers.
Originally my painting was given nine marks out of ten and the next highest mark was eight. The student who scored eight was the top scorer in studies. I was a ‘below average’ student, never scoring beyond 20 or 25 marks (out of 50) in any subject. When the drawing teacher told other teachers that I was first, the teachers who expected the class topper would be first, suggested I should be pushed back.
They reduced my marks to seven. I saw the painting weeks after I was given the certificate. The mark was written on the bottom left corner of the painting sheet and the overwriting was clearly visible. I was really humiliated, but didn’t complain. I didn’t even mention it to my father, a farmer. The teachers must have thought that a farmer’s son need not be placed first in a fine art competition.
I was and am not interested in places or positions. But usurping the position one genuinely deserves for the sake of the affluent who don’t deserve it is abominable and it is often perpetrated by the so-called educated people! They think farmers are inconsequential and their children need not be first in arts. They don’t know that they live only because the farmers produce the food grains they feed on.
They don’t know creative power is relatable to village life than to city life. They don’t know that artistic ability is an inborn talent and they can’t push it back by changing a nine to a seven. There was no ‘affluent’ student to compete in the clay modelling, and that might be the reason I was not pushed back from my position. As it is said in Shakepeare’s Twelfth Night: Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.
Sukumaran C V