WEEK ZERO- Back To School- Learning Anew


Application -a learning experience

My empty nest has been making me feel broody. As if my plate is not full enough, I have been looking for a college course that will take me back to the classroom, something that will give my neurons a zingggg….. after years of just tinkering with facta medicine or rather facta anaesthesiologica (is there such a word?)

By sattva,-freedigitalfotos.net



I have zeroed in on one close to my place of work. And, it is a three year law course.

Classes from Seven AM to ten thirty AM. This means that I could perhaps dash back and forth from my class to work. Sounds workable or is it?




“How are you gonna manage these “dashes”? And, what about your work? Are you planning to shut shop?” This from the family Nostradamus, my son.

Typical, I think, reading between the lines and knowing that he is worrying about his pocket money and whether/how a broke mom figures in his plans!!!!

“Son, never fear, I plan to filch your notes. (he is also a law student). And, maybe you can tutor me during your chutti (holidays).” I twist the knife. “ You know, get back for all the torture in your school years?”

He rolls his eyes, tutoring mom obviously not a priority for him.


After many years, I have butterflies in my tummy for reasons academic. Suppose they refuse to give me admission. My twenty five (read ancient)year old marks are hardly going to make the cut in this generation of centpercent marks!!!!

I enter the college campus and suddenly feel this energy zapping around. I am so out of place, due to the fact that the average age here is half of mine.

Great, so far! I get the form and work my way through the list of documents they need.

By Stuart Miles-freedigitalfotos.net


Oops, they need scanning and uploading and other stuff. For a university form, compulsory, mandatory and all that. Our home scanner and printer is down…Kaput…dead…irreparably so. Meanwhile, there is a family crisis and a week goes by without any progress.

The submission date is perilously close. I enlist the help of a sweet kid, C, my son’s friend, who helps me with the scanning. BUT, I am clear that I need to take this further on my own. Ekla Chalo Re!!!!So, I spend two hours filling the form……painstakingly peering through my glasses at a font clearly meant for (ahem!) younger eyes.


But I goof up. The photo is not uploaded propahly. Time is running out and so is my patience. So now I go in search of an expert- a cyber cafe. I locate one. A darkly lit seedy looking one at the back of a shop which doubles as travel agency. The back has cubicles, a ‘register’ for some barely checked check-in and an airconditioner that has seen better days and therefore retired. Even at nine in the morning there are surfers who are staring at the screen glassy eyed, longingly looking at the sign which says “no Porn!!!” perhaps hoping that staring at it long enough will make it disappear.

The young kid who mans this interesting place barely looks at me. I need his expertise. So I wait. He looks at my document. Logs on, goes to the site in a jiffy. Working some magical thingy that I can only admire. Then tinkers with the keys. Twenty minutes later…. He is done, yet not. His expertise fails against the Jhol that I have committed. Helpless, disgusted, irate are the adjectives that come to mind as I watch the expressions that rapidly flit across his face.

“Tumhara application hai kya?”(is it your application) I say yes.


He expels a loud breath. “Why did YOU attempt this? Nothing can be done. At least not by me.” Rude, loud, the other surfers shake out of their reverie and look at the ignorant interloper-ME

Cowed, I mumble a sorry and stumble out, almost in tears. So much for independence and neuronal zinging, I say to myself. Defeated

before I started!!!!


By David Castillo Dominici, freedigitalfotos.net

Image-David Castillio Dominici-freedigitalfotos.net



After some thought and mental nail-biting, I call up the university helpline. A perky female voice. Sympathetic. She listens. Then tells me what to do. The orders are clear. In a word-REAPPLY

Come morning, I find another cybercafé, anxious to avoid my young critic-cum-detractor. I slink in. This time, the scenario is different. The guy manning it is helpful and sympathetic. My printout is done and I am out in thirty minutes.

Feeling triumphant, I submit my application in time.

Ahhhh……I have already relearnt a lesson- an important one -the importance of not putting down someone. Sympathy at the right time and all that.


Next- Nail biting wait for the Merit list to be put up AND waiting in the admission queue.



2 thoughts on “WEEK ZERO- Back To School- Learning Anew

  1. Well done ujwala. As per our biological clock not only the no of oocytes dwindle after 40, so does our brain cells. Three cheers for the effort and determination. Sangz

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