It’s true there’s very keen competition in today’s world, no matter which area one looks at. This sense of competition begins very early in life as school children are goaded by parents and teachers alike to perform even better.

While it’s a battle for tiny-tots to get admission in a “good” school, it’s worse when they try to enter the college of their choice. The job hunt that follows is another story.

All this competitive pressure, psychologists point out, leads to several problems, including suicidal tendencies. But this still does not prevent parents from insisting that their children top not just in academics but extra-curricular activities as well. Often such intense pressure can derail even bright students and turn them away from studies.

A recent incident that she witnessed in the Metro left a colleague quite perturbed as she wondered whatever happened to a child’s world. The colleague was on her way to office from an assignment in the afternoon when a young lady with her son of around 10 years of age got into the Metro train.

The lady was visibly agitated as she kept a constant lecture at the boy, who quietly sat with his head down. Soon her voice went up, drawing the attention of the other co-passengers. It became clear that the child had spoilt his examination and had written wrong answers.

As the other passengers felt sorry for the child, they were shocked when the lady lost control and gave a couple of resounding slaps to the hapless boy. An elderly gentleman sitting across could not take it anymore and he intervened, telling her doing badly in a school examination was not the end of the world.

The lady politely but firmly told him off, while stating that he would not understand how important it was to do well in today’s competitive world. Maybe true, but what about her son’s childhood, one could only wonder.