You might describe our daughter Dolly as the quintessential Leo: Proud, a tad lazy, but also practical, bossy and big-hearted. As a child, she loved books but hated her studies. Hallmarks of genius, I reckoned, and so my wife Jenny and I, unlike most parents today, never pushed her to study hard and join the rat race.
Yet she sailed through one class after another. Only when she entered Class 10 did we face a major difficulty: Science. Ill help her with biology and chemistry, said Jenny, who has a PhD in Microbiology. But Physics?
Me, Papa, a police officer with his Mcom degree, was clearly unfit for the task. So, reluctantly, we employed a tutor. But his teaching methods were too exam-oriented to keep Dollys interest alive. He just gives too much homework, Papa, Dolly would complain ruefully. Hearing that, I decided to take a long, hard look at her physics textbook myself. To my surprise, heat, light, magnetism and electricity were not only comprehensible but also interesting. Hey, I told myself, I can handle this!
It wasnt easy though, but it helped that Dolly liked my teaching methods. Together, we used the Internet, guidebooks and loads of patience to understand theories and formulae. I also encouraged her to ask me questions, and all this got her more deeply interested. So, long before the year ended, we fixed an achievable 80 percent target that could get Dolly admitted to the science stream.
I was at work when the class 10 Board exam results were announced. Dolly got a decent overall 77 percent, but with science scores below our target. I was so disturbed that I didnt try consoling her on the phone. On my way home, I carefully chose words to comfort her. Now I too, had to face reality. Howd she ever get to study science the way Id convinced her she could?
I reached home a bundle of nerves. But to my great surprise, I found her happy and relaxed. And it was she who spoke before I could spill out my carefully chosen words.
Hey, its okay, Papa, Dolly said. You tried your best.
Ive decided to take up commerce, she added, so that you can continue to teach me.
What a fine daughter! Dolly is now in class 12 commerce. And me? Ive, made the switch too, from physics to commerce.