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11 May 2017

Oh Father, Dear Father – Raj Kinger


Oh Father, Dear Father 

                                                   – Raj Kinger

1.       Why is the letter written?
‘Oh Father, Dear Father’ by Raj Kinger is a heart-wrenching letter addressed to a father by his son. The letter writer Rahul is the class topper in his school who slips to the second rank for losing a quarter marks. This letter is his anguished plea to his father who scolds him for losing his first rank. Rahul is against the India educational system which is characterized by rote learning without any practical exposure to the real world. He condemns the emphasis placed on examinations, marks and ranks.
2.       What is the father’s advice to the writer of the letter?
Rahul and his father are poles apart. Rahul’s father is a typical rigid-minded Indian parent who believes in high score. He leads a complicated and boring life. He earns well, believes in the importance of money and has a set of rules written for his son. He has a specific approach to life and cannot expect his son to go against his approach. He has an uncompromising attitude and has always taught his son to be moulded in the mould of his beliefs. He often asks his son to think twice before studying and before answering the papers. He scolds his son for losing his first rank.
Rahul, on the other hand, is intelligent but loves a simple and natural life. He is inspired by the life style of his grandparents. Rahul learns from his grandparents that peace of mind and happiness is the most important things in life. For Rahul, practical education matters more than theoretical examinations. In his opinion, high scores are of no use if one is unable to put his theoretical knowledge into practice. Real education is that which comes handy in our day-today life. For instance it should teach us how to protect our plants from pests, how to fix a fuse or how to make your own desk using your carpenter tools.
(Rahul’s argument against the education system in India is quite convincing. He is against the Indian educational system which is characterized by rote learning without any practical exposure to the real world. He condemns the emphasis placed on examinations, marks and ranks.)
3.      Write brief note on the relationship between the letter writer and his father?
Rahul and his father are poles apart. Rahul’s father is a typical rigid-minded Indian parent who believes in high score. He leads a complicated and boring life. He earns well, believes in the importance of money and has a set of rules written for his son. He has a specific approach to life and cannot expect his son to go against his approach. He has an uncompromising attitude and has always taught his son to be moulded in the mould of his beliefs. He often asks his son to think twice before studying and before answering the papers. He scolds his son for losing his first rank.
Rahul, on the other hand, is intelligent but loves a simple and natural life. He is inspired by the life style of his grandparents. Rahul learns from his grandparents that peace of mind and happiness is the most important things in life. For Rahul, practical education matters more than theoretical examinations. In his opinion, high scores are of no use if one is unable to put his theoretical knowledge into practice. Real education is that which comes handy in our day-today life. For instance it should teach us how to protect our plants from pests, how to fix a fuse or how to make your own desk using your carpenter tools.
(Rahul’s argument against the education system in India is quite convincing. He is against the Indian educational system which is characterized by rote learning without any practical exposure to the real world. He condemns the emphasis placed on examinations, marks and ranks.)
4.      What is the letter writer’s perception of literacy?
Rahul and his father are poles apart. Rahul’s father is a typical rigid-minded Indian parent who believes in high score. He leads a complicated and boring life. He earns well, believes in the importance of money and has a set of rules written for his son. He has a specific approach to life and cannot expect his son to go against his approach. He has an uncompromising attitude and has always taught his son to be moulded in the mould of his beliefs. He often asks his son to think twice before studying and before answering the papers. He scolds his son for losing his first rank.
Rahul, on the other hand, is intelligent but loves a simple and natural life. He is inspired by the life style of his grandparents. Rahul learns from his grandparents that peace of mind and happiness is the most important things in life. For Rahul, practical education matters more than theoretical examinations. In his opinion, high scores are of no use if one is unable to put his theoretical knowledge into practice. Real education is that which comes handy in our day-today life. For instance it should teach us how to protect our plants from pests, how to fix a fuse or how to make your own desk using your carpenter tools.
(Rahul’s argument against the education system in India is quite convincing. He is against the Indian educational system which is characterized by rote learning without any practical exposure to the real world. He condemns the emphasis placed on examinations, marks and ranks.)
5.      How does the letter writer critique the education system in India? Does he make a convincing argument? Why/ Why not?
Rahul and his father are poles apart. Rahul’s father is a typical rigid-minded Indian parent who believes in high score. He leads a complicated and boring life. He earns well, believes in the importance of money and has a set of rules written for his son. He has a specific approach to life and cannot expect his son to go against his approach. He has an uncompromising attitude and has always taught his son to be moulded in the mould of his beliefs. He often asks his son to think twice before studying and before answering the papers. He scolds his son for losing his first rank.
Rahul, on the other hand, is intelligent but loves a simple and natural life. He is inspired by the life style of his grandparents. Rahul learns from his grandparents that peace of mind and happiness is the most important things in life. For Rahul, practical education matters more than theoretical examinations. In his opinion, high scores are of no use if one is unable to put his theoretical knowledge into practice. Real education is that which comes handy in our day-today life. For instance it should teach us how to protect our plants from pests, how to fix a fuse or how to make your own desk using your carpenter tools.
Rahul’s argument against the education system in India is quite convincing. He is against the Indian educational system which is characterized by rote learning without any practical exposure to the real world. He condemns the emphasis placed on examinations, marks and ranks.
6.       How did the letter writer’s teacher react to his asking her a question?
Rahul has an unpleasant experience with his Biology teacher. When his Rose plant is attacked by pests, Rahul seeks advice of his teacher to save his plant. But the teacher gets irritated as she thinks it a question out of their syllabus and asks him to approach a gardener for advice. The teacher serves as a warning to all those teachers who do not show any interest or reverence towards their profession and mould the students into mere mechanical objects.
7.      What kind of childhood does the letter writer wish he had?
Rahul loved the peaceful and happy childhood of his grandparents. Rahul’s grandfather used to speak of a carefree and beautiful childhood, of the days when he spent plucking mangoes and guavas from their jameen, of picnics on the banks of the river where men cooked mouth-watering food and of playing marbles and gilli danda. During his grandfather’s childhood, studies were only secondary for our survival. The major subject in their education was living and experiencing.
Rahul had always found his grandfather in the right place. He was a man who believed in simplicity in sharp contrast to Rahul’s father. Rahul asks his father whether his grandfather was a liar in order to remind him that his grandfather’s life was the one worth living and not any failure. Seventy years He refers to the 70 years age of his grandfather and questions his father if the world has turned upside down during this period. It was during these 70 years that his grandfather had acquired a load of experience which Rahul considers ideal. 
8.      What approach did the letter writer’s grandfather have towards studies?
Rahul loved the peaceful and happy childhood of his grandparents. Rahul’s grandfather used to speak of a carefree and beautiful childhood, of the days when he spent plucking mangoes and guavas from their jameen, of picnics on the banks of the river where men cooked mouth-watering food and of playing marbles and gilli danda. During his grandfather’s childhood, studies were only secondary for our survival. The major subject in their education was living and experiencing.
Rahul had always found his grandfather in the right place. He was a man who believed in simplicity in sharp contrast to Rahul’s father. Rahul asks his father whether his grandfather was a liar in order to remind him that his grandfather’s life was the one worth living and not any failure. Seventy years He refers to the 70 years age of his grandfather and questions his father if the world has turned upside down during this period. It was during these 70 years that his grandfather had acquired a load of experience which Rahul considers ideal. 
9.      Describe the letter writer’s grandparents and their outlooks towards studies and life.
Rahul loved the peaceful and happy childhood of his grandparents. Rahul’s grandfather used to speak of a carefree and beautiful childhood, of the days when he spent plucking mangoes and guavas from their jameen, of picnics on the banks of the river where men cooked mouth-watering food and of playing marbles and gilli danda. During his grandfather’s childhood, studies were only secondary for our survival. The major subject in their education was living and experiencing.
Rahul had always found his grandfather in the right place. He was a man who believed in simplicity in sharp contrast to Rahul’s father. Rahul asks his father whether his grandfather was a liar in order to remind him that his grandfather’s life was the one worth living and not any failure. Seventy years He refers to the 70 years age of his grandfather and questions his father if the world has turned upside down during this period. It was during these 70 years that his grandfather had acquired a load of experience which Rahul considers ideal. 
10.   Why is the letter writer’s grandmother wise?
Rahul’s grandmother was semi-literate while his mother was highly qualified. Yet his grandmother lived a happy and contended life and was very wise. She took delight in cooking, gardening and reading the Gita. Rahul’s mother, on the other hand, was always tensed and nervous. Rahul questions his father whether literacy has become a harbinger of restlessness, fear and frustration. 
11.   How did the letter writer lose his first rank?
Rahul expresses a fear that his rigid schooling will deprive him of the joy of learning. He tells his father that the over emphasis on his studies has taken away all his enjoyment from his childhood. He says that education does not seem to make people happy. 
Rahul condemns our educational system and explains the reason for losing his first rank. It was due to his disagreement with his teacher regarding an answer in English Grammar. Although the teacher was wrong, he was adamant that he was correct. Rahul criticizes such an education system which curbs independent thinking and encourages blind adherence to whatever the teacher teaches.
12.   What does the letter writer fear?
Rahul expresses a fear that his rigid schooling will deprive him of the joy of learning. He tells his father that the over emphasis on his studies has taken away all his enjoyment from his childhood. He says that education does not seem to make people happy. 

Rahul condemns our educational system and explains the reason for losing his first rank. It was due to his disagreement with his teacher regarding an answer in English Grammar. Although the teacher was wrong, he was adamant that he was correct. Rahul criticizes such an education system which curbs independent thinking and encourages blind adherence to whatever the teacher teaches.


Oh Father, Dear Father – Raj Kinger

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