A Page From My Diary, 1985.

5th December 1985

Dear Diary,

You won’t believe what happened in school today. I made a total fool of myself and was the laughing stock for the day. But I don’t mind, I learnt two things today. Let me tell you what happened.

Sarah Ma’am had come to class to teach us the ‘Kannitverstan’ story by a German author from our Supplementary Reader. She told us that the story is set in Holland and asked, “What are the citizens of Holland called?” There was silence in class, thinking that we have not understood the question, she asked in a different manner. She said, “Children! You know that the people of India are called Indians, from America are called Americans, the citizens of USSR are called Russians. Likewise, what are the people of Holland called?”

I understood what Ma’am was getting at. I raised my hand confidently to be the only pupil in class to answer. When Ma’am asked me, I stood up and said, “Hollandians”.

Ma’am looked at me for a second and burst out laughing. Knowing Sarah Ma’am, I didn’t take offense. She came up to me, took me closer and said, “No child! The citizens of Holland are called Dutch since the country is called Netherlands officially. But yes the people of the Holland province are also called Hollanders, the way people from Punjab are Punjabis and those from Bengal are called Bengalis.” Hearing this the whole class started laughing at me.

You know I enjoy having a good laugh and don’t mind being the butt of a joke but I felt bad today. Not because my classmates laughed but because they made fun of me, even though they themselves didn’t know the answer. I’ve learned two lessons from this. One the people of Holland are Dutch or Hollanders. Two, it’s okay to be made a fool rather than stay ignorant. If I had not answered, Ma’am would have told that they were called Dutch, but I might not have come to know about the Hollanders part.

From today I’ve decided that I’ll be okay with making mistakes because that is how I’ll learn.

A true episode from the diary of my life 😀

3 Comments Add yours

  1. tanujadarkar says:

    thanks a lot ma’am for telling us that it is OK to make mistakes in life.
    it is nicely written

    Liked by 1 person

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