Sunday, April 27, 2008

NCERT books and nostalgia

I came across a news some days back that students of many classes, especially those in classes X and XII of CBSE schools were experiencing difficulties as many textbooks were not available in Kolkata markets though the new session has already begun from the first week of April in most of the schools. This news made me realize that nothing has changed from the time when I was a student. I became somewhat nostalgic while flipping through the pages of memory. I still vividly remember how excited I used to be on the day when results were scheduled to be declared as that meant to be in the possession of the book-list and pestering my parents to get me my new books at the earliest. The bookstall that sold books of NCERT and CBSE, close to my home, was Boipotro. It had a famous (and more notorious) cousin those days (perhaps even today, too) called Eureka. However, we preferred Boipotro, not only because the kakus (yes, that’s how we called those manning the store) were very well behaved, but also because they charged fair prices. Eureka, on the other hand, often pasted stickers over the printed prices, forcing people to pay more (people had to buy the books as this was mostly done for books that were scarce in the market). A few other things that I hated about this book stall was that it forced us to buy some guide books along with the text, not to mention some binded books (original copies were like paperbacks) for which we had to shell an extra amount. It so happened that when I was in class X, some books were not available in the market. However, thanks to my father’s contacts in Delhi, I was able to get the books right from the capital and my studies didn’t get hampered. This act of getting capital-copies of my textbooks was a feature even when I was in class XI. I thought that all those plights of students were over but the news made me realize that history repeats itself, only to the agony of students this time……

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