For some reason yesterday, this simple activity made me travel 15 years back, when I was in school, and it used to be such a great thrill every year at the start of the school term to sit and write the names on new books that we used to get and what a thrill it used to be. That was the time to discard the old torn books (I have never been that organized kind of guy and my books by the end of the year were most often or not in atleast two parts), and fashion the new ones.
I remember one such incident, I think I was in class five or something. And as every year we used to get the list of the books to buy, along with our report card for the next year. This time around, I had decided take money from parents and go and buy the books for myself, instead of waiting for parents to take off the time of their busy schedule to get them. Parents generally never hurried to get the books early, mostly they went just about a day before the school was supposed to be reopened.
So this time around, I struggled hard and got money from parents and got the books for myself very much earlier then the school was supposed to start. And I spent rest of the vacation writing my name on the books slowly, after painfully selecting the pen that I wanted to use, and then trying to look for interesting pictured newspapers which I could use to cover the books, and so on. Finally the day came when my school started, and to my surprise I found that the some of the books that I had got were incorrect. To my horror I had got the books which were not supposed to be of my syllabus, of some different grade. In the evening when I told this to my parents, they were upset, and we immediately went to the bookshop, but since I had put my name on the books with all kinds of pens, shopkeeper would not exchange it for the new books. My father had to buy another set of books for me, and he requested the shopkeeper to keep the "wrong books" and try to sell them even at half price to get some money back.
I dont remember my parents being very angry with me or something neither do I remember getting any punishment, just the instruction that from here on we were supposed to write names on our books with pencil and not with pens. I dont even remember if my father got any money for those "wrong books", but I am sure that he made have made endless trips to the shop to check if the books were sold.
I even remember that every year we used to get this number of notebooks that we need for the year. Starting for english classwork, to english homework, to english composition to english grammar, different notebooks for different things. We used to need about 20 such notebooks, and then father used to sit and analyze and ask me to use the same notebook for composition and grammar and do the partition in middle and so on. In our school they used to allow partition in the middle of notebook, if the subject belonged to same teacher. So parents used to patiently sit and look at teachers and subjects and try to optimize the number of notebooks and reduce them to 15 or something, which I was never keen on, but convicing me with various kinds of reasons.
When I think about it right now, I understand how much struggle it was for parents to save money for the start of year, for our books, notebooks, uniforms etc. Probably that was the most difficult times. And sometimes as kids, we were so adamant to make life difficult for them. But they just went through all that, never making us realize the struggle they had to go through day in and day out.
I owe so much to my parents for what and where I am today.