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Dictionary of Misinterpretations

Feier Illustration (Detail): © Priya Kuriyan

No doubt, there are many evident faults in the Indian educational system. But that is not our topic. Our comic artist and chronic doodler Priya Kuriyan takes a tongue-in-cheek look at some flaws in the school system in India. By using fictional dictionary definitions to suit the context of the subject matter in a series of vignettes, she gives the reader a glimpse into the anxieties that plague the parents of Indian schoolchildren: the devaluation of the arts in education, the innate need for schoolchildren to please authority of any kind, the exasperations of the Indian teacher, and the sometimes tragicomic events that are so much a part of Indian school life.

Priya Kuriyan

Ambition, Noun

A strong desire for their kids to achieve something.  
“Congratulations! So, have you decided which coaching class you’ll be sending the kid to? Medicine or Engineering?” “Congratulations! So, have you decided which coaching class you’ll be sending the kid to? Medicine or Engineering?” | Illustration: © Priya Kuriyan

Celebration, Noun

A special social event, such as the Annual School Day, when you celebrate something and get a chance to confidently goof up on stage because behind that hideous make-up, no one could guess who you really are.
(Banner) NSS Public School Day | (Small bubble) Ooopss… (Banner) NSS Public School Day | (Small bubble) Ooopss… | Illustration: © Priya Kuriyan

Tuition, Noun

Extra teaching or instruction take outside of school, mostly due to peer pressure that ist supposed to miraculously change the graph of your downward spiraling  grades.
“Don’t worry, ma’am, he was finding this maths tuition teacher difficult to understand. Sow, now I’ve enrolled him for a second tuition to help him cope with the first.” | (Notice Board) Parent Teacher Meet | Mathematics Rohan Sharma: What is 52  3/2 | (sheet on board) notice “Don’t worry, ma’am, he was finding this maths tuition teacher difficult to understand. Sow, now I’ve enrolled him for a second tuition to help him cope with the first.” | (Notice Board) Parent Teacher Meet | Mathematics Rohan Sharma: What is 52 3/2 | (sheet on board) notice | Illustration: © Priya Kuriyan

Assumption, Noun

A thing that is accepeted as true o ras certain to happen, without proof.
“I thought I’ll get him there before things get worse. Can you imagine!? He says he wants to do a graduation in history!” “I thought I’ll get him there before things get worse. Can you imagine!? He says he wants to do a graduation in history!” | Illustration: © Priya Kuriyan
 

Desperation, Noun

A state of despair, typically one which results in rash or extrem behaviour especially during examinations.
Write five lines aobut Satyajit Ray | * only the greatest filmmaker that ever lived | Scribble, scribble! | 1. Satyajit Ray is a ray that passes through the atmosphere.  2. | Someone give the boy some marks, already! Write five lines aobut Satyajit Ray | * only the greatest filmmaker that ever lived | Scribble, scribble! | 1. Satyajit Ray is a ray that passes through the atmosphere. 2. | Someone give the boy some marks, already! | Illustration: © Priya Kuriyan

Detention, Noun

The punishment of being kept in school afterhours. Which is not so common as „Standing outside the classroom with your hands in the air!“
“Heyyy! Long Time.” –  “Yeah!” – “What did you do this time?” – “Got caught reading a comic. You?” – “Just chatting.” – “Saw the match yesterday?” | Class X-c, Class XI-A “Heyyy! Long Time.” – “Yeah!” – “What did you do this time?” – “Got caught reading a comic. You?” – “Just chatting.” – “Saw the match yesterday?” | Class X-c, Class XI-A | Illustration: © Priya Kurian

Explosion, Noun

A sudden outburst of something such as emotion, especially anger. COMMON CLASSROOM EXPLOSIONS
QUIET! Is this a classroom or a fishmarket? | Forgot your homework? Do you ever forget to eat? | Out! Stand outside with your hands up in the air! | I want pin drop silence! | No talking! I have eyes at the back of my head!! QUIET! Is this a classroom or a fishmarket? | Forgot your homework? Do you ever forget to eat? | Out! Stand outside with your hands up in the air! | I want pin drop silence! | No talking! I have eyes at the back of my head!! | Illustration: © Priya Kuriyan

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