Children At Play

While I was in School, our teachers invented a brand new game to keep the building and surroundings clean. We were made to sweep and the best players were rewarded-Allowed to keep doing the same even after School hours. The worst players-How could we find them? By public polls, of course & caned they were. Soon we realized, the elected ones are more often than not the ones who swept the most. We chuckled.Work has to be done-There is much to be done. Brooms are to be made-For the devils out there in the heaven, the scoundrel who dumped his wife for prestige-prestige in the eyes of the slaves he exploited, the neurotic who ran after countless girls without any sense of purpose & the fool crusaded for the sins of his fellow beings. Self-proclaimed brokers of the devils soon entered the scene. And worse, some of us acted as devils themselves. We have now, more devils in our school than in the heavens!Some of us weren’t all that sure of the devils existence. We asked “Where did all those brooms go?” Aristocrats of birth replied “Believers, you have nothing at stake. If you’re wrong, you are not at the loss and if you are right, you have the whole world to gain.”A boy smiled and said “Come on, Come over here. Over the steps of this School, it would be fine. You see those kids, don’t you? Their parents once studied here, made brooms for brokers of the devils. Look at their faces, their body language, the way they speak.No, you just look at them, look into their eyes. Want to turn your face, don’t you? Now you see what centuries of exploitation have done, what the brokers have done, what this belief has done unto them. Ask the ones who have lost their loved ones in this fanatism.Ask the girls to whom suicide is being sold as a virtue. If you have any sympathy towards them, you can’t feel any towards the believers. If you say, you do, you won’t be taking your next breath!”
Soon some of us, sweepers got replaced by broom makers and brokers of devil by brokers of the School.A bunch of guys who haven’t ever seen a broom other than in the books they’ve read started to whine in the name of sweepers.”‘ Natural Superiors’ are being kicked out kids with ability, ones with an amazing head on their shoulders. Starving kids are being taken out of their idyllic surroundings and given work and food. Few die out of starvation now. Exploitation! It’s against all rules and laws!” One bearded guy who took the pretension of a game analyst found the cure all. A School once put his idea in practice and as we all know,it failed-BIG TIME!. No, it is not that we have lost hope in it. We are inventing sophisticated version and am packing it nicely that no one would laugh at us.

See, the sweeper kids, victims of the ‘aristocrats of birth’ are now asking for compensation-more brooms. Now we scream “Don’t punish us for our forgoer’s inequity.” We see the ‘Aristocrats of the School’ shedding crocodile tears, setting new rules for them. Then we realized, the more brooms we give, the poorer they get and more we hate them, for brooms aren’t reaching the ones intended to.All the brooms on earth put together isn’t going to do much to their mindset, after all. Our perceptions aren’t muddled enough not to see the folly here. But, we are too intelligent that we can’t see houses of the aristocrats of the school being filled with brooms. You know why? We have learn’t when to be smart now. We anticipate being the Aristocrat one day; we find some way to profit. We yearn for unearned benefits.Come on, now. Don’t kid yourself. It’s their turn, now-that of aristocrats of the School.

Analysts are being hired to extrapolate the progress made using scientific computers. Anyone with half a brain knew, a ruler would do if the way kids behave can be predicted. Unfortunately no one could do it.Yet,all the teachers voted for it too.What a game it was! Our school looks like a garbage bin now. Never mind! That’s not the issue. That’s not the issue at all! We realized now, that no child wants to sweep. One asked “shouldn’t we re-write the rules, reverse the laws of punishments and rewards? Pat came the reply “What is the working model of it? Where has it been put into practice? Our school has become too dirty to reverse the laws of rewards and punishments.”

We got to know that the game is being played in all other schools and the excuses were essentially the same.Either the school was too dirty, or it was too clean to reverse the laws.I saw one boy’s leg being broken and the teachers aiming at the other one. I screamed “NOOO”. They retorted.” You impractical fool! Who will listen to you when we have been doing this from times immemorial? Instead of suggesting a fair way to break this, you are fighting against our very principles. You aren’t doing anything constructive and now have the cheek to come here and preach?” I could’ve asked “What is there to be done?” I didn’t. When monsters talk, all we can do is keep moving and that was what I did.

A five year old boy asked a question which generations of analysts failed to ask in so explicit a manner: “Ma’am, when the broom makers have less incentives to make, the sweepers get punished for their work, and kids compete to fill the School with dirt, how are we going to reach our supposed goals?” The moment he finished the question, we saw her shutting his mouth and dragging him out of the class. Roll No: 36 became a permanent absentee then onwards. A School bag, water bottle, Tiffin box and that is all there is. All the rest is darkness.
One boy spent all his time inventing a vacuum cleaner which cleaned the building faster than the mightiest broom. Children screamed “Anti Trust! What infernal impudence makes you do this to us? Let’s take the blood out of this boy.” Lawyers were hired by the school authorities to make a cause against the unfair competition this boy put forth. Finally, the verdict came. An old woman looked straight into his face, pointed her fingers and said “Street Sweeper.”

My 3 year old child rolls out in laughter at their stupidity when I get all misty eyed and reach for those rose tinted glasses. Yet, all the Professors, Economists, Consultants and Statesmen swear by this game. Each and every day they come up with new statistics on how progress in being made, strategize to make it more efficient. Sorry, the game is being played. The game is being played in each and ever part of the world-In varying degrees of rewards and punishments. Ah,Ah. We have coined a funny name for it-You see what I mean?

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