‘Do you smoke, do you drink, do you eat non-vegetarian food?’ If your answer is in the positive, you are up there as a high risk candidate for cardio-vascular surgery. But, dear reader, this is not anything so worrying for you. These are questions now being asked of hapless parents trying to get their children into nursery school in places like Delhi. So if you think that you can have a drop too much as the New Year kicks in, forget it. You have to stay away from any spirits, whether high or low. In the Yuletide, we cannot but remember that in our time, all you needed to get into a nursery was, had your forgotten? just nursery rhymes. So an examiner might even ask you to recite those long-forgotten ditties like ‘Hickory-dickory dock/the mouse ran up the clock/the clock struck one/the mouse ran down/hickory dickory dock.’ Or perhaps imagine that Little Red Riding Hood took only organic victuals to her grandmother? But to move on, it is not enough to be conversant with all this. You have to be terribly abstemious.
So what can we recommend for all those who are trying to put their children into the right school this season? For a start, forget that lovely rum punch, so beloved of Christmas, don’t even think of the Christmas pudding soaked in unmentionable alcoholic items, and heavens above, the raising of the toast to ‘Auld acquaintance be forgot…’ You have to stick to the straight and narrow.
So the time has come for not just you but your family to start a healthy lifestyle. All the better to see you through the best of nursery schools. And who knows, a better life if you keep it up.