Open House Day: When Teachers Turn Into Monsters


Open House Day: When Teachers Turn Into Monsters

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

Mgrandmother once told me that if my eye started twitching, then something wrong was destined to happen. Even though I waved it off as superstitious mumbo-jumbo, my eye has always twitched around the time of ICSE & HSC results. Not because I thought I would fail (I knew that), but because getting your results inevitably leads to Open House Day, the worst day of a student’s entire year.

A glum-faced student is usually seated on the couch while his parents are teaming up with the teacher to loudly highlight his wasted potential. It’s that time of the year when the chickens come home to roost, as the teachers snitch on the students to their parents. Typically held over the weekend, this dreaded occasion goes by many names: D-Day, Dard-e-Diwas, Yellallympics, or, as Terminator fans would say, Judgement Day. Students hate it, but teachers love it. To them, it is a golden opportunity to get back at the kids who’ve been giving them a throbbing headache all year long.

The classroom is where childhoods are ruined. The scenery is deceptively innocuous, belying the metaphorical bloodbath that will soon follow. The walls are covered with an array of decorations like the class family tree, science projects, student paintings, and a star chart: All of this is set up by the teacher’s pet who showed up an hour prior to gain extra brownie points. Meanwhile, the class teacher preps for a glorious day of cutting down her nemeses to size by honing her sarcasm.

On Open House Day, parents do not follow a queue system – instead, they follow a “kyun?” system in which they simply yell “Main kyun ruku?!” The parents are probably in such a hurry to meet the teacher since nobody enjoys getting an earful on the weekend. Everyone wishes they were elsewhere, except the toppers. Whenever their parents are around, the teachers shower them with praise, saying things like “Your child is so well behaved in class,” and “He actively participates during lectures!”.

As for the rest of us, well, their parents aren’t lucky enough to get the complimentary treatment. Upon their arrival, the teacher simply frowns while saying things which result in an exchange of dejected expressions between the parents and their offspring.

The whole point of Open House Day is to find an answer for the ultimate parental question: “Iss subject mein kam marks kyun aaye?”

The whole point of Open House Day is to find an answer for the ultimate parental question: “Iss subject mein kam marks kyun aaye?” It’s a riddle that has never really been solved. On Open House Day, students can’t seem to remember which subject they messed up or the number of questions they left unanswered. They spend the entirety of the day hoping their teachers have mercy and don’t expose them to their parents’ wrath, which will end with revoked PlayStation and Netflix privileges, and the scariest six words a student can hear: “Abse sirf padhai par dhyan rahega.”

In simpler words, Open House Day marks the end of a student’s joyous life. Toward the end, the class teacher smiles at the parents and leaves them with a line of assurance. Something that falls along the lines of “Don’t worry, he’s in Std 10 now. He will start taking things more seriously. I’m certain.”

And with that, the parents leave with their children hoping that things get better next year. The child will invariably get a recap of the Open House once they reach home, perhaps served with a side of being smacked on the head. A day that’s just like a fun fair… organised by the Maths teacher. Everyone discusses numbers and no one has fun.