the origins of the hive
a personal story.
Grade XII, age 16-ish. An unfinished painting on my easel, and a comment from my accounts teacher are probably what sowed the first seeds of The Hive. The tutor had been scandalized to see me indulging in artistic projects just before my Board exams. I took his passing rebuke rather meditatively, for his stance towards education, like that of many others of the time, was in direct conflict with my ideologies.
I could never fathom why fine arts, music, or sports were thought of as “extra-curricular.” Why were reading a book under a shaded tree or admiring constellations in the night skies not part of “formal/informal/any kind of education” at all? Wasn’t playing board games a way of understanding math? Wasn’t a multi-sensorial expedition in an unfamiliar terrain an induction to geography – superior to learning from a two-dimensional, amorphous map? Must we learn history through rote
memorization of seemingly inconsequential events in time than through the brightly-illustrated comics of Amar Chitra Katha? Or must we learn history at all? Why not knot-tying, signaling, fire fighting, or anger management?
I could go on, but Albert Einstein has summed up better, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything learnt in school.” To me, something seemed fundamentally wrong with our education system. What did it prepare us for? Healthier living? Humane existence? Sustainable future? Savvier consumption? Prudential finances? Clever crisis management? Were these ever the goals of "education"?
I have a huge peeve for wasting half my life learning speculative economic theories and antiquated accounting approaches (thanks to the British education system) than mastering woodworking (often denounced as a blue-collared job), or the Ayurvedic medicine system (fashionably rubbished as ‘unscientific’ compared to western medicine). Twenty-odd years after my schooling, I’m glad that the outlook towards education is changing – albeit, slowly. Frustratingly, a change in our societal mindset is even slower.
This is not a personal vendetta against present-day education, or a digression from what The Hive is about, but a deep-running undercurrent of the holy grail that has led to origins of The Hive: “Refinement/definement (and we could certainly coin such a word!) of modern-day learning.”
So what is The Hive’s objective?
While The Hive is not exactly a school (even better since it is not governed by any Board, except by its own), the prime objective isn’t too different – enrichment of the self. Learning can happen in a myriad ways, and the quest of The Hive is to create programmes, projects, communities that add value to one’s life. Leisurely exploration of arts, hands-on skill-building programmes, or the little hacks of life that promote better survival in today’s times – are all a part of The Hive’s endeavours.
Recreating a dream
I am fortunate to be able to pursue these exploits from the very place that is the genesis of my dream – my childhood home. The Hive is the place where I spent the better part of my growing up years. It is here that I read books on a swing, composed poems, pursued Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi, created rangolis, played games with family, and even made a few failed attempts at acquiring my mother’s musical talents. This is the place of unmistakable positive vibes, not just for me whose childhood memories linger in every nook and corner, but for the hub’s visitors too, who have invariably perceived the energy.
I look forward to infecting fellow dreamers with the spirit that defines The Hive! Welcome one, welcome all!
- Kruti Shah
Founder, Dream Maker