My ambition of mine, tears well up in

My mother thinks I should be a researcher in some science lab in some American University. My father wants me to be an IAS. My English teacher wants me to be a media genius. My Hindi teacher feels that I should as a scholar revive the glory of Hindi in India. My Mathematics teacher wants me to ensure that I complete my M Sc in Mathematics and apply for professorship.

My Biology teacher wants me to be a Gene Researcher. Confused? I always thought I would be a professional guitarist and beat-boxer. I mentioned this to my dad when I was in Class 8 and got severely reprimanded. I mentioned this ambition to my dad as a Class 11 student this morning and got scolded again.

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When I mention this flowery ambition of mine, tears well up in my mother’s eyes. My parents believe that being a 9-5 clerk is better than struggling as an unfed guitarist in some sleazy city hotel. It hurts me when they disrespect the music that I have so sincerely worshipped. I wonder why I have been getting so many certificates of appreciation for my performance as a guitarist.

If you do not respect music as a profession, why encourage it in the first place? Then you tell me that this is the immature claptrap of a Class 11 student who knows nothing about life! I say fine, I do what you tell me. Then you tell me, as a Class 11 student, you should take your own decisions. I am sure you did not mean to contradict yourself!

My life is currently defined by tuitions. I have tuitions for each subject and my parents have ensured that I have two tuitions for Mathematics and two for Physics. I leave for school at seven in the morning and get back home at eight in the evening after finishing my school and tuitions. My parents encourage me to be absent in the school at times so that I can do my tuitions properly.

My teachers scream at me for being irregular and some of them are generous enough to tell me that I need tuitions when they are not patient enough while giving a second explanation to my problems. I am good in sports, particularly cricket and kickboxing but my abilities are not respected in the school or at home. For them, academic excellence is the beginning and the end.

I do not think the world really wants me to be myself. I was recently late for school because I was caught up in a traffic jam. The Principal made me, along with six others, hold our ears in the open assembly, and stand for about ten minutes. I do not want to go into the debate of whether Class 11 or 12 students should be treated like this. I would have felt as embarrassed and humiliated even if I were a primary student. I do not think Class 11 or 12 students need any special treatment. Just treat us with dignity.