"It is not enough to pass examinations; the real achievement is the development of the intelligence. Ravana was the master of the Earth - the British have extended their empire but they cannot be described as the masters of the Earth. Even the gods served Ravana, but what did Ravana come to? He was destroyed by his own pride! A man may commit any sin but he must never act egotistically. Ravana who could have gone to heaven was pushed down to hell!"
"You have passed only a grade but you have started putting on airs. Think that you have passed not through your own efforts but were lucky. However luck only favours you once; it cannot come your way always. You may occasionally strike the billet well in a game of tip-cat but that does not make you a good player - a good player is one who always scores well."
"Do not try to draw conclusions from my failure. When you reach my grade you will realize the enormity of the task - the complexities of algebra and geometry; when you have to memorize the names of kings and emperors of England - there were eight King Henry's; do you think it is easy to remember which incident occurred during the reign of which Henry? If you write Henry VIII in place of Henry VII, all you get is a big zero. There were several James, Williams and Charles. The head starts spinning when you try to recall what you had read. What was the need to suffix their names with Roman numerals? Had they asked me I would have suggested a million names for the kings. And geometry! If you write ACB in place of ABC, you lose all your marks. No one dares to ask these examiners as to what is the difference between ACB and ABC; the students are un-necessarily slayed for trivial reasons! The examiners want the students to learn by rote - they are expected to put on paper exactly what they have read in the books. This learning by rote has been described as education!"
"You are asked to write a four-page essay on "The Value of Time". Who does not know that time is very important; a person who values timeliness is respected in society and he does well in life. But how can you write four pages on such a subject? Where is the need to write four pages when you can describe the value of time in one sentence? This is a waste of time! This is also unfair on the students. Ironically, you are asked to write the essay in brief which should not be less than four pages! Their brief implies four pages! Else they would have made you write 100-200 pages! You are to run fast and, at the same time, you are asked to run slow! Isn't this conflicting?"
"You will have to face these ordeals when you reach my level, dear brother. You have scored good marks in the lower class and are floating in the air. Listen to me; I might have failed but I am older than you and have much more experience of life. Pay attention to what I say, else you will regret later in life."
It was nearing school time, otherwise the lecture would have continued much longer. I did not enjoy the food, it felt tasteless. If this was the treatment that was meted to me even after I had passed, probably I would have to pay with my life if I failed! The picture that elder brother drew of the education system, scared me. It was a wonder that I did not run away from school in fear! Yet, in spite of all these advices, my aversion for books remained the same. I never lost any opportunity to rush to the play-ground. I studied very little - only that much which allowed me to complete the homework. The confidence that I had gained evaporated and, once again, I fell back to my timid ways.