Category Archives: The Race

The colt

Today the colt had been brought to a bigger pasture. The owner hadn’t brought it here earlier. The colt was silent and wondered about the reason. There were other colts there too. From time to time each would steal a glance at its owner. None knew it was there for the race.

Then the owner told the colt to perform. It dug in its heel. These were things the colt usually did easily. In the presence of so many people and the new environment the colt didn’t. The cajoling and the threats didn’t make the colt perform.

The owner berated it on the way back. It had let the owner down. How would the owner now walk with the head held high? What would other people say?

Neither the colt nor the owner realised this was the beginning of a life of races.

The colts are little children in the age group of 3+. The owners are the parents. The race is for admission to a ‘good’ school. It happens every year. With no clear and ever changing admission guidelines the parents run the rounds of the schools. They seek the the ‘best’ education for their children. Many school agree to admit the child for a sum euphemistically called a ‘dontation.’

This is the first race. Others would follow. Perform in sports. Perform in arts. Perform in class X board exams. Beat others in Class XII exams. Make the list in the engineering or medical entrance exams. Get an MBA. Clear the civil services entrance. Get a high paying job. Move up the ladder. A bigger car, a house in a posh location, the list is endless.

The Race Horse

The results of the race were announced.  Joy, despondency, excitement and anger followed. Some jockeys were happy, some were sad, and some were satisfied with the performance of their steed. A few jockeys cursed their horses angrily.

The competition had been intense. It was known in advance that the horses were being put through special programmes to train for this race. The programmes were conducted by specialised centres which charged high fees. They offered weekly programmes, weekend programmes, day programmes and evening programmes so that all the jockeys could bring their horses in.

In addition, the jockeys had arranged special coaches who provided services at the doorstep. The demand for the services of these coaches was very high. Many coaches had to work overtime till late in the night to cater to the requests they received. They were paid highly for their services.

A horse had little choice in the matter. Willy-nilly it had to through it all. The jockeys were determined to win. The widespread belief was that the horse that won the race would lead a great life thereafter. Money, fame and power would all flow to that horse. A few jockeys never mentioned the race in the presence of their horses. They were afraid it would cause stress to the horses. Nevertheless, the horses sensed the apprehension of the jockeys. A horse could never gallop freely in the open fields.

The jockeys are the parents and the horses are the children who prepare for competitive exams.