“The best thing in life is…”
This wasn't an essay or a debate topic for Harry and the school he was supposed to go to was somewhere five miles down the town. Such intellectual discussions happened there, so people believed but not him. He hardly knew anything about what happened in that place. His father always insisted on going because he thought it was worth more than anything, no matter what his son had to go through to get there. They taught what hundred minus eight is, how cells divide and children are born, when wars were fought, why elections happen, where North Pole on the globe is and things like that in that place, so he was told. But the boy that Harry was, such questions never excited him. He was more into the mountains and the waters, roads and the forests, birds and the cattle, trees and the blooms. Somehow he thought he had more learning to do from them, which he did.
Harry used to leave his house everyday taking the name of school. His mother packed a box of lunch for him. He would walk to the left of the forked road, while all his friends choose the other way. He knew the principal’s letter would reach his home some day soon, he did not care. He would walk till his ankles ached. When he would reach his favourite spot he would sit on the plains and observe each little thing around him. The silence of the lake, the hills standing tall, the wild flowers contrasting the green, the clouds sailing directionless, the rabbits that nibbled nothing but grass, the crows that flew together over his head when he opened his lunch box, he admired them all. Everything was in a perfect balance, like someone up there was teaching him what he yearned to know. This was his kind of schooling.
On a not so fine day as Harry feared, the letter reached his home. And sadly his life from then on has changed. His mother packs a nicer lunch and his father insists more. He drops and picks him up from school. In the evenings he teaches what hundred minus eight is, how cells divide and children are born, when wars were fought, why elections happen, where North Pole on the globe is, again and again. But only Harry knows what the best thing in life is, for he has already learnt it.