Love Story – IV

Trina Talukdar

My father had been a chronic smoker for 29 years- 7 years of dating my mother and another 22 years of marriage. In these 29 years my mother had tried everything from tears to emotional blackmail to banging her head against the wall (there are 8 stitches on her head to show for it) to make him quit smoking. No amount of “dibbi”s or death threats had worked. And he claimed to love my mother very much.

Late one night (or was it early morning? It wasn’t light out yet.) D mumbled to me on the phone that he was quitting smoking. I was the insomniac, keeping him awake night after night with my existentialist discourses on the phone (I had just discovered Camus in my A-Level literature class). I should’ve known he was in love with me then. Who, otherwise, gives up the comfortable numbness of sleep to listen to the Myth of Sisyphus?

But I needed to hear it, and so I asked him why he wanted to quit smoking? Why he had started attending more classes at college? Why he wiped out his porn collection, which he claimed he forgot to back up when he was formatting his hard drive?

A tech-geek, his mother-board wasn’t compatible with exploring human emotions and answering my questions, so he would shrug and mumble a, “Dunno.”

And although this wasn’t near enough, with this “Dunno” I went off to visit my parents across state borders for 10 days. My mother and my evening Darjeeling tea sipping ritual was webbed with stories of Jahan and Nob. And Ma interrupted one of these story-telling sessions abruptly with, “You are falling for D.” Thankfully I didn’t choke on my tea or it would be an assertion of her claim. Leaving D carefully on the sidelines of my stories so my mother wouldn’t notice had been too conspicuous a move to go unnoticed by my mother.

When I got back to the city, I was accosted by a CD (still no DVDs in the country. This almost seems like a historic “love story.”) “You asked me why I wanted to quit smoking. It’s on the first track,” he rambled, staring at his sneakers kicking a twig on the sidewalk, and rushed off.

I had asked him why and this was his answer:

“I’ve found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is you.”

For 3 months afterwards I would listen to “The Reason”  in Sociology class, hiding my earplugs under my hair, and smile (I would like to say ‘blush’, but i’m too dark to blush), and smile, it was the ring tone on my phone, it was my alarm tone, it played when my computer started up and when it went to sleep, and I listened to it every night before I went to sleep.

For 3 years afterwards our friends played it with dedications to us on juke boxes, and D sang it for me when I was sad, and when he was sorry, on the phone, in person, in Karaoke bars.

And 3 years later, it played in a bar I was shooting margaritas in, and I walked out. And although no one ever told me, I know that in some dark night club, late at night, intoxicated, in an unknown city, if they played “The Reason”, he wouldn’t continue dancing with the skinny chick grinding with him. He would walk out too.

ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS OF SECONDARY
AND SENIOR SECONDARY STUDENTS
Rajinder Kaur
Manpreet Kaur
The present study gathered data through survey method. Survey of 600 secondary and senior secondary
school students in the city centre and villages of Patiala district found that rural students and students
studying in government schools were still not aware of the various threats of environment and natural
calamities and most of the Government rural schools did not possess basic literature related to
Environment (in regional language). The paper suggested environmental awareness campaigns like
competitions, vanmahotsavs, tree plantation, celebration of world environmental day etc. be carried out in
these areas.
INTRODUCTION
Polluted environment endangers the human race by threatening its survival on planet earth.
Boundaries of any nation can not limit these environmental problems to a particular country and
region, but its impact is global one. This large scale environmental degradation has caused a
global concern about the conservation and protection of the earth’s environment. Hence, efforts
are being made for inculcating environmental consciousness or awareness among the masses. It is
education which can make the human being conscious and knowledgeable about environment and
environmental problems. Moreover, awareness is essential for the action. The main purpose of
environmental education in schools is to acquaint and sensitize the young minds to the
environmental problems and concerns, to inculcate in them healthy personal and social attitude
and behaviour towards environment. Thus, students must have awareness about environment and
the problems associated with it so that they can play their role very effectively. Hence, it is
necessary to know how far the school students are aware about environment and environmental
problems.
OBJECTIVE
To study the environmental awareness level of students.
HYPOTHESES
There will be no significant differences in environmental awareness between secondary and
senior secondary students, boys and girls in government, semi-government and private schools.
METHOD
Present study was conducted on 600 students selected from different schools situated in rural and
urban vicinity of Patiala district. Stratified random sampling technique was used to collect the
sample. The tool used in the present investigation was the environmental awareness scale (EAS)
developed by Haseen Taj. This tool measures the extent and degree of awareness of students
about environmental degradation and its protection. The statistical measures used in the present
study are Mean, SD and t-test (significance level).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
Level of Environmental Awareness Among Secondary and Senior Secondary Students
There were 117 items in the EAS and each item was given a credit of ‘1’ point and a ‘zero’ for
wrong answer. The observed means score of the entire sample of secondary and senior secondary
students was 88.16 which is quite high. The secondary (M=88.62) and senior secondary (M=87.5)
students of Patiala district have more awareness regarding the environment. The reason behind it
is that Patiala is considered to be the educational hub having all kinds of educational institutions
like a university, engineering colleges, medical and dental colleges, various arts and science
colleges and numerous schools.
Variation in Environmental Awareness between Secondary and Senior Secondary School
Students
Mean (M) score of environmental awareness of secondary school students was 88.62 and that of
senior secondary school students was 87.58. Standard deviation (SD) score of secondary school
students was 11.90 and that of senior secondary students was 11.95. Critical Ratio score (t-value)
was 0.08 which was significant at 0.05 level of significance. Therefore, the hypothesis no. 1 that
there might be no significant difference in environmental awareness of secondary and senior
secondary school students was accepted. As it is concluded that both secondary and senior
secondary students have almost equal environmental awareness shown by non significant value
(t=0.08). The main reason for non-significant differences in environmental awareness between
secondary and senior secondary students is that these days environmental education is being
taught as a compulsory subject in all schools throughout the India, after an order by the
honourable Supreme Court was passed in this regard in the year 2005. The main aim of this order
was to educate the people of India about the various environmental issues affecting our planet
earth. As the students at both the levels have studied environmental education in school so no
significant difference in environmental awareness exists between them.
Variation in Environmental Awareness Gender wise
Mean (M) environmental awareness score of boys was 87.89 and that of girls was 88.43.Standard
deviation (SD) score for boys was 12.25 and that for girls was 10.19 and the t-value was 0.428.
Therefore, the hypothesis that no significance difference exist between male and female school
students environmental awareness was retained at 0.05 level. It is concluded that gender is not a
factor for affecting environmental awareness of school students. The main reason for almost
equal environmental awareness of boys (M=87.89) and girls (M=88.43) is that they are studying
together in the same teaching learning environment in the schools.
Difference in Environmental Awareness between Students of private and Government
schools
Mean (M) environmental awareness score of students of private schools was 96.22 and that of
students of Government schools was 78.78. Standard deviation (SD) scores of students of private
schools was 9.57 and that of Government school students was 8.303. t-value was 14.53.
Therefore, the hypothesis that there might be significant differences in environmental awareness
of students of private schools and government schools was retained at 0.01 level. These findings
reveal that students of private schools have more environmental awareness than government
school students. The main reason for higher environmental awareness among students of private
schools (96.22) than government school students (78.78) may be the family background and
educational qualification of parents. Parents of students studying in private schools are graduates
and are having well to do and affluent family background. Such parents are mainly concerned
with inculcating environmental awareness in their children as they are aware of the dangers and
consequences of environmental degradation at global level. On the other hand, students staying in
Government schools come from poor families and have less educated or illiterate parents. Their
main priority is to fulfill the needs of their family members. They are not aware of environmental
issues so they can’t pass on these awareness measures to their children so the students of
government schools do not get the learning environment in their homes because of which they
score less than students of private schools.
Difference in Environmental Awareness between Students of Semi-government and
Government Schools
Mean (M) environment awareness score for semi-government school students was 87.45 and that
for Government School students was 78.78. Standard deviation (SD) scores for Semi-government
School students was 9.036 and for government school students was 8.303. t-value was 7.41.
Therefore, the hypothesis that there might be significant difference in environmental awareness
between students of semi-government and government schools was retained at 0.01 level. These
findings reveal that students of semi-government schools (87.45) have more environmental
awareness than government school (78.78) students. The main reason for this difference is that
the students in semi-government school have better educational environment than those in
government schools. The teachers in semi-government schools make more efforts to provide
better education and environmental awareness to their students than the teachers of the
government schools who make little efforts in this regard.
Difference in Environmental Awareness in Students of Rural and Urban Areas (Rural
Urban Variation)
Mean (M) environmental awareness score of students in rural areas was 80.17 and that in urban
areas was 95.43. Standard deviation (SD) score of school students in rural areas was 8.14 and that
in urban areas was 9.17. t-value was 16.23. Therefore, the hypothesis that significant differences
exist in environmental awareness of school students of rural and urban areas is retained at 0.01
level. Therefore, it is concluded that environmental awareness of urban areas school students is
much higher than that of rural areas. The main reason for such differences is that school students
in urban areas have more facilities in terms of education, entertainment, competitions etc. than
students in rural areas. Urban areas school students have an easy access to internet which
provides them information about various factors which are responsible for degrading the
environment in different parts of the World. Their parents are educated and they got good
learning environments at home, which increase their knowledge concerning environment. Various
programmes like Van Mahautsav, World Environment Day, No Tobacco Day etc. helps in
creating awareness about environment among school students. Whereas, rural school students do
not have such facilities. Their home environments are also where they do not get any awareness
about the environment. They are not aware about the various threats to the environment. They
mostly study in government schools where very little efforts are made to provide them
environmental awareness.
Difference in Environmental Awareness between Students Studying in Punjabi and English
Medium Schools
Mean score of environmental awareness of Punjabi Medium students was 78.78 whereas the
mean score of English medium students was 96.92. Standard deviation of Punjabi medium
students was 8.303 whereas the standard deviation of English medium students was 9.576. The tvalue
comes out to be 14.53. Therefore, the hypothesis that there might be significant differences
in environmental awareness of students studying in Punjabi and English medium is retained at
0.01 level. The main reason of this difference is that most of English medium schools and
students are in Urban areas and Punjabi medium schools are in rural areas. Students studying in
English medium have more environmental awareness because most of the literature on
environmental issues is available in English medium. On the other hand Punjabi medium students
have limited access to world environmental problems and environmental awareness because they
never leave their homes to know about the rest of the world and very limited literature is available
in Punjabi medium related to environmental awareness.
CONCLUSION
All these findings urges us and the government to make efforts to provide the necessary
infrastructure in the form of internet facilities, proper classrooms, library facilities, environment
related books in Punjabi medium for the students studying in different schools run by the
different types of school managements and specially in the government run schools.

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"Love Story – IV" by @bongbuzz

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  1. The sudden transition from daddy to devdas threw me off a bit. I ended up wondering for a moment why your dad would wipe out the porn collection on his computer… heck why would he have one in the first place!!! Sorry but this is what happens when you do not write oftener and longer posts! LOL…

    PS: No disrespect intended, but fine by me if you wanna fight! ;)

  2. Hey Pranab,
    Sorry, my fault for being unclear. This is the 4th in a series of posts. It all adds up to one story. If you read the ones before this you’ll realise the D is not my Dad. The reason I’m writing shorter posts is because in the past I’ve gotten feedback from people on this site that long posts are too cumbersome to read. So I thought I’d divide he story up into parts. As for more often, I’m trying to post with 2 day gaps. Will try posting everyday :)
    Trina

    1. I know. Now.

      Initially I thought it was I.V. (as in intravenous). I had forgotten that you were doing a saas bahu saga thingy where they climax and then get out (innuendo intended!).

      As for long posts, I believe I am a little old school on that. I love nothing more than reading and curling up with a good book is my idea of a good time. it comes right after curling up with a beautiful babe.

      :P

      Anyways. You write tremendously well. Wish I could do that. Let me hazard a guess. You aren’t a doctor or med student, right?

  3. Just came across this while randomly clicking links on my Facebook wall. I always hated ‘The Reason’, but will definitely listen to it in a different light (sound?) the next time I hear it. Great stuff!

  4. @ Pranab: IV…lol! Only a doctor! And no, I’m not one. Although watching House made me fantasize about being one. But it was too late by then. I’d already graduated with LIterature, Political Science and Sociology and was doing my Masters in Social Work, specialising in Medical and Psychiatry (that’s the closest I come to being a doctor)!

  5. it’s ok. i’m not paranoid schizo about people finding out my email id.
    @Pranab: I work for an org called Kranti, we rehabilitate underaged trafficked girls, working out of Mumbai. (www.samhita.org/ngos/kranti) check that out until our own website’s up in a few days.

    1. Trina, that’s nice. Wow.

      Got your consolidated story and sent you a nasty reply already!

      Again, no offence intended, but somehow my brain keeps reading diptish as dipshit… sorry mate. my bad. :(

  6. ech-geek, his mother-board wasn’t compatible with exploring human emotions and answering my questions, so he would shrug and mumble a, “Dunno.”

    man all this is so true.. if only all girls understood(and at the right time that a “dunno” meant so much from our end… shit