Sunday, September 7, 2014


Teacher was very fond of parrots.  They keep repeating A, B, C... And when they grow up they repeat s = ut + ½ at2 or sin2 Ɵ+ cos2 Ɵ = 1.  When they grow up more they keep repeating “Yes, sir; Yes, madam.”  That’s why Teacher decided to take over the caged parrot from his cousin who was leaving the village to settle down in one of the posh apartments in Delhi.   The cousin had just won the Lok Sabha bye-election. Teacher was not characteristically ignorant and so he knew that keeping birds in cages was against the law.  Love does not follow laws, however.

Teacher was very upset when Parrot spoke.  It did not speak the formulas.  Instead it uttered expletives. 

Teacher decided to teach Parrot.  “A, B, C...” Parrot said, “AAP, BJP, Congress...”  As if that were not enough, Parrot added some expletive to each word it uttered.

Teacher presented the problem to Counsellor.  Every school must have a counsellor, according to CBSE, so that students learn formulas right and become doctors and engineers.  Otherwise they may become politicians.

“A serious problem, sir,” agreed Counsellor.  “Let us try behavioural therapy.  Deny Parrot food until he repeats A, B, C, and give Parrot Shahi Paneer when he repeats A, B, C.”

It worked.  Parrot learnt to repeat A, B, C.  But the problem was after getting Shahi Paneer Parrot would utter expletives more vigorously than it ever did.

“Try cognitive therapy,” counselled Counsellor.  Since Parrot was brought up by Politician, its attitudes must be reformed.  Cognitive therapy changes attitudes.  Explain to Parrot why its attitudes are wrong and which attitudes are right and how wrong attitudes distort perception and wrong perception distorts truth.

“Truth is you are a terrorist,” said Parrot when Teacher explained attitudes, perception and truth.  “I’ll get you killed in a fake encounter.”  And the usual expletives followed.

“Parrot knows the supreme formulas,” concluded Counsellor.  No therapy required.

Teacher fulminated against the formulas outside the syllabus.  He grabbed Parrot, walked into the kitchen, opened the freezer of the fridge and said, “Traditional therapy for you.”

1, 2, 3 ... Teacher counted the seconds.  He knew the formula of how much time a parrot of a particular body mass could stay inside a freezer under its normal temperature and pressure given the velocity and acceleration of the parrot’s wing flapping in a given volume of space.

“I’m sorry,” said Parrot when Teacher liberated it from the freezer.  “I won’t repeat my mistakes.  But tell me, what did the chicken do?”

[Note: Not an original story of mine.  Adapted from one I read somewhere some time.]


  1. that was Satire-e-Khas! loved it. Coming to counselors my school counselor was so good that he rid me of Anxiety Neurosis and taught me self counseling. I was so inspired that I took Psychology as my second majors. But again I was laughing on reading the ending

    1. A couple of my old students reminded me of this story which in the original version has a military officer in the person of the teacher here.

      Glad you liked it.

  2. Ah... a light as well as a very deep read :)

    1. I've always felt life is just like that: light and deep at the same time.

  3. in the beginning I felt you were talking about my daughter as she is literal parrot. Not the ABC kinds but whatever her teacher says is right. She is currently in the mode where her teachers know the most and are placed even above God. In between I started enjoying the post and the counselling techniques used. Totally freaked out and loved the ending. There are tears in my eyes now and my jaws are hurting from laughing out so loud.

    1. Athena, as I'm completing almost three decades of teaching I've seen all kind of students. In fact, there's one class that's the opposite of what you've mentioned: a class that thinks they know better than all teachers. It's one such student who provoked me to write this.

  4. That's a new angle, I always felt teachers knew more than us.


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