The alarm clock daily rings at 5.45 A.M. I usually set the alarm fifteen minutes early to wake up by 6 A.M. positively. At times, seeing this damn thing shout out on time irritates me. All days aren’t the same. Some days are overly motivating and few days are clumsy and laid off. But there is no rescue from reality i.e, tuitions from 6.30 A.M.
This story of mine hails back from the college days before I had a job. Burdened with a degree at hand and no job designation to feel proud of, precisely- an unemployed. When nothingness took to its core and financial aid to my needs became my first concern. I used to feel shy to ask money from my parents; not that they would not provide if asked but it somehow use to make me uneasy. So the only way out was these home tuitions.
I say this through my experience, when a good for nothing fellow (as the society puts it), wants something to call his own with no investment towards it, it is these tuitions that comes as a handy option. I was looking for some financial backup and also to put my parents at relief from some expenses vested on me. Such tough is life. None the less, an add on to my discomfort was my shy nature. I could not ask the fees at the end of the month from my batches on time waiting for the guardians to realize I had already served a month. As a result, even if I had a strength of 15-20 students on average the ones who paid me on time were a negligible number among them. So I used to manage with the little amount from family and the perks I had from the obedient students I mentioned beforehand. Seeing the outcome almost negative, I decided on going door to door to teach instead. Another horrid experience, I say. Every household wanted to know what shall I charge even before knowing what or how I shall teach? Very disturbing was this question thrown at me back and forth. It used to leave me bitter. The idea was to charge what the other teachers in the area would ask for.
In one of the households, where the father works in a private firm and was the sole earner of the family when asked me about the fee charges I told him the market rate. (which other teachers of the area were charging). Without any retaliation to it, he just smiled and agreed to it. In a different household where both the parents worked in the government sector, even there I put forward the market rate. To which the student’s mother replied, “Amrit, the student next door is taught by a teacher who also charges the same. You can charge with little adjustments here and there.” With a smile on my face and pain on my chest, I replied,” okay, Aunty no problem.”
While I was returning home on my cycle that evening, I kept thinking “they earn in office chambers does that mean they are more valued?” whatever.
A different phase of my daily routine had started. From one home to the other and from that to another. Waiting in anticipation day in and day out to when will the month come to an end. It did come. Handing over the money Aunty said, “put a little effort into his mathematics. He isn’t doing good.” I replied with a smile again, ”yes Aunty.” pondering upon her words I thought, I guess it is all my responsibility. Again in a different household it would be like,” sir he doesn’t study at all when he is home, please look after it.” “Okay.” I would reply.
By the end of a few months I felt as if with a little amount of money at my hand, they(guardians) have traded my brains so far. Even if I gave them the promised time and effort from my end throughout the year, these parents would have made me sit in the examination hall; if at all there had been a facility as such. “sir, tomorrow is his exam. I know you don’t come on weekends but if you could just visit for sometime in the morning hours, it would have been great.” Again with that blunt smile on my face and a lot of turmoil on my mind I replied,” okay.”
Whatever be it, they pay me. All responsibilities hail on the tutor. If the tutor leaves ten minutes before his daily time, they do stare at the wall clock and me wearing the mule. The kid would spend the entire day on cricket matches, cartoon channels mobile games, social media, and whatnot on earth but the parents are least bothered about it. But if the tutor leaves a minute early they have all the questions rested and revised on the tip of the tongue. They pay for us. We don’t have desires, enjoyments, either problems .we cant have emergencies, neither day nor nights, no personal lives. They pay for us. We are their earned slaves. They earn an income so they have the right to say,” sir you did not show up yesterday and so he was sitting in the family gathering, watching television and played around the entire evening.” I couldn’t say a word to counter that. But yes, my heart drowned a little more than usual and felt pain yet again. Responsibilities are the only mine. Not theirs. They pay me. I am their slave.
This is the outlook of society towards an unemployed. I felt the difference in teaching in batch and person by now. I sure used to fail at getting my fees on time back in those days but I was valued and taught on my terms, on the other hand even if I went to every household to teach, get my money on time yet I was merely paid, slave. This very vicious cycle of monetary individual belonging is the cause of family riots these days. There is no doubt in saying unemployed means useless. The society sees him as a useless being with no purpose in life trying to make his ends meet. An unemployed tuition teacher should not have a voice of his own, neither can he suggest on positive attitude towards studying, he should have no personal commitments. The tutor who does not fall prey to seasonal changes and runs door to door only to fulfill his responsibilities towards his family, to find nothing but disregard and doubtful stares on prospects of his own. His, this life is lead on a single moto of ‘you are paid and so you should sacrifice everything that needs or wants your attention’. An unemployed tuition teacher. One who has to serve every bit of brain nutrition at the minimum rates. Having the same abilities when a government teacher charges doubles, he is respected and recognized; the same does not follow for an unemployed, hardworking boy at a young age.
But this is not where my story ends.
I now work as a government employee posted at an official ranking. No, this story of mine wasn’t about boasting on my present status rather to tell you about my learning process till this date.
Now, do I fit the so-called “social norm” of a respected individual is for you to decide? Thank you.