The post where I cant think of an appropriate title..

Yeah, Yeah..I did a drama-queen number and said I was swamped and stuff. That I am. But  I am saddled with a bad bout of insomnia and was missing writing here ..Hell yeah, I am back to blogging addiction, i think 🙂 So had to post.
 
The chap and I are normally extremely impulsive people.We’ll just take off at 10:00 pm just like that and go see any filth that is on at the  theaters. Needless to say , we are maniac movie-watchers. Though I am not too much into oscar-type movies (give me a Govinda flick anyday) , I don’t really mind sleeping through a movie that the chap is excited about watching. I used to be one of those obsessive  foreign-language movie watchers in college.Sometimes we’ve watched 3rd grade horror flicks  back-to-back  into the wee hours of the morning with our weekend movie-marathon gang  just for the heck of it. But everything came to a standstill seven months back when we found that strange new things were going to happen to us. We suddenly found ourselves becoming something we weren’t before: we found ourselves becoming responsible and boring. And thats a scary feeling .I secretly miss the times I could drink myself silly without worrying about anything.
I tried watching Trainspotting a few weeks back , only to find myself extremely nauseated and depressed  fifteen minutes into the movie. I know I would have enjoyed seeing something like this before – I like edgy, crazy movies. Used to, rather. And now, all I can stomach is mush and animated movies. Sigh! I’ve been craving  Irish cream liquer and  raspberry vodka for the last few days. I know I am not supposed to crave such things,  but then one can’t really control such things , can they ? I was so grouchy and pissed off with the world  in general the other day when the sibling, the chap and assorted cousins decided to polish off a scotch bottle. I had to contend myself with a tall glass of milk and keep peeping in on the  drunkards on  the sly because I felt so bummed that I couldn’t  join in. And I am not even a scotch drinker!

I’ve heard mommy-friends crib about how sexless (as in unfeminine) they feel in the first few years of their mommy-hood and  have wondered how this was possible. How could one stop feeling feminine or stop caring about the mismatched set of clothes one was wearing , I would often wonder. Now I know what they mean and the fun has not even started…Though I don’t slather greasepaint all over my face before I head out normally , I count myself as one of those people who puts in some effort to look presentable. Its been a while since I made an effort to doll up and am  found in frumpy, behenji-type clothes most of the times.
I miss the old me and want her back !!!!
But then I feel like this every few years and am forever anxious to move into the next phase of life. Once I get into the new phase, I start missing the old one .Yeah, yeah – Grass is greener on the other side and all that jazz. Now that I am on the cusp of entering into another phase (which I’ve been looking forward to for the longest time) , I want to go back to  the old, irresponsible me. I  distinctly remember feeling like this before I got married and was about to lose my single status. Though secretly (sometimes) I  miss being single , I am happy that I am no longer in the dating-vating game. I am relieved that I don’t have to make one more  inane conversation  or flirt  desperately in a bid to find  the “one”. Oh , the joys of being married .Compounded many-fold when you get married to your best friend. You know the hubby will always be there for you and not wrinkle his nose if you decide to remain the most un-groomed person on earth.
When I was working full-time I constantly cribbed about work and how I wanted to quit, discover myself, travel the world and do arty-farty things. Now that I have all the time in the world,  and am doing some arty-farty things , I seriously want to get emotionally abused by a sadistic boss ,who would dump me with more mind-numbing work that I could ever imagine. Strange how I always want things that I no longer have ! You’ve felt like this before?
 
Ok enough serious stuff… 
I saw a movie in a theatre after ages…Tintin. Realized just how much I missed the chomping-on-popcorn-peering-at-the-screen routine. I go to a theatre for the experience and not just the movie. As voyeuristic as this might sound, I am a people-watcher and theatres are fertile ground for eavesdropping on conversations and generally having a good time at the cost of others. Yeah, judge me 🙂 
 
Anyway, I thought the movie was super fun and has been animated very well. What else to expect from the Spielberg stable?  I don’t think I was ever a major fan of the Tintin comics while growing up, but this movie has been made really well and kept me engrossed (till fatigue took over and I dozed off 15 minutes before the movie got over). Darn!  What I loved about the way the movie has been made is the attention to small details – like the near-perfect reflections on mirrors and things like that . The humour element (in the form of Haddock and the Thomson duo) made sure that there were chuckles throughout the movie. Cute! Go watch it if you already haven’t.
I would have preferred to watch the movie without the 3-D effect, though . I don’t know if its just us or other people find the 3-D viewing experience a little duh! My eyes started watering after a while and I had to keep slipping my 3-D glasses off , only to see frames of a Tintin-like person running across the screen. I seriously hope that the movie makers don’t take this 3-D trend so seriously and make normal animated movies too. Every second movie being released these days in in 3-D. I don’t care if I can’t feel the water splash on my face or feel the adrenaline rush of the protagonist being followed, I want to see a movie without a freaking headache. Is that too much to ask for? You like 3-D movies? Tell, tell…

Santa’s right here !!

After 3 whole days of bad weather,non stop rains and cold, the sun’s back!! and so are my spirits..So,the other day the boy and I were trying in vain to cross a traffic signal.. 10 minutes waiting at the crossroads and still cars were speeding by..Abruptly,an SUV pulls up right next to us..And i think,man we are going to get mugged!..instinctively, i clutch my bag a little tighter..Unexpectedly,a sprightly teen gets out of the car,hands over*this balloon that you see above* to the boy and tells him..

“Would you like to give this to your girlfriend?”.

We are shocked and manage to mumble our thanks before the cute girl dashes off into her car with such a wide smile that the dark,cold night suddenly seems warm and fuzzy.. Firstly,she called me someone’s girlfriend,how cool is that(makes me sound younger ) !!.. and Secondly,we were random people and she made us smile with that simple act of hers…How many of us take the time out to make random people smile !!
By the time we managed to cross the signal(after another 5 minutes),we were still grinning,thanks to the balloon girl(i personally think she was Santa claus!!).

Later that evening,we plan to haul ourselves to a grocery store.. there is no public transport whatsoever here and we didn’t have a car,so cabs were the only way to get to our store..And,finding a cab here is more difficult that finding the spirit of Shakespeare or keats..Somehow, we manage to get a cab and get to the store..Shopped till my limbs creaked and said they could take no more.. The wallet also seemed to agree with them. So,we decided to head back home and called for a cab..the cab guy said ” will be there in 15 minutes ,mister”.. So, waited and waited and waited ..in the cold,wintry night.Till the cows came home.Just that there were no cows in the vicinity.

Half hour passed. Another half hour was threatening to pass as well.After several futile calls to the cab company and some more wasted time,a cab pulls up and we pile into it,thankful that it finally arrived.As the driver fumbled with the address,we sit and knit our brows and frown looking at the taxi meter..Suddenly, a huge guy comes up and says that we got his cab..Unceremoniously,we get dumped on the pavement.. I let out a string of expletives and curse our luck.

As we are cursing more, a white sedan pulls up.

The guy driving the car gets out,says that he had watched us getting kicked out of the cab and says he’ll drop us home,as it was pretty late.. We were too overwhelmed by the offer!!..Of course,we said yes and got a comfortable ride back home.

Does Santa Visit someone twice in a day ?and it is not even Christmas time ;-P!

Muchos gracias,lil place.

I am someone with the Footloose-gene. I actually think its fun to pack all my bags every few years,leave a place and start all over again.There is almost a finality in doing something like that. New set of friends,new places to explore and all. And,what gets left behind fades anyway with time and age.But,every once in a while you stumble upon a circumstance in life which you had no clue you would stumble into in the first place.You meet new people who are amazingly at your wavelength(which is not often!).You fall in love with that place, which is not spectacular or special otherwise.It’s just another place.What makes it so much more special is that you realize you might NEVER-EVER set your eyes on this place in your entire waking-walking life.Ditto for the people you found here.You want to shutter-bug (I know that’s a wrong usage of the word;I just felt like it described what I feel most appropriately) away the whole day,visit those secret little places that amused you and hope that your brain remembers the visual-aural assault 20 years from now,when you look back at the adventures and foils of your lost-youth.

You realize the most fitting farewell to this place is not to cry and feel this feeling of finality, but to hope that you would be back again someday,to renew your vow of love for the place.And, enjoy it the way you did years ago when you fell in love with it in the first place.Odds are that you might feel nothing.Odds are that you might still find that spark.All this applies to not just a physical space-a city or a town(as is the case with me right now),it might just be a phase of life you are at(which surprisingly is also the case ;-)).Maybe, I fell in love with the place only because of the stage of life I am currently in.Whatever it is ,it is love and you can’t explain it scientifically.

Au Revoir.Till then,don’t change.Stay the same.

PS: I realize i sound like a crazy-loopy-mushy-looney bin.That’s four strikes against me,but heck a woman’s gotta do what she gotta do!.And where else can she do it other than at her blog;-) !

The crabby watchman

I scowl at the crabby watchman.I can see him growling at me,like a tiger.A wounded tiger.The hubby complains that the “Crabby Watchman” has an attitude problem.I agree and crib some more.”The crabby watchman” seems ancient.Skin wrinkled,he hobbled around.It seemed like he had contempt for everyone,the whole universe.Never a smile.Never a kind word.

Yet,we notice that he doesn’t speak much.Hubby says he probably doesn’t understand what we say.I let out a bouquet of expletives in honour of “The crabby watchman”.We also notice that he has the most”dead” eyes we have seen on a human being.We call him weird.Weird,for having eyes like a stagnant cesspool.

I ask him for a favour.”The crabby watchman”barks at me and waves concepts of “I am not your servant,empty your own trash” at me.I run to hubby to crib.He agrees, without me telling him that “The crabby watchman is a pain”.I smile,knowing that the hubby empathizes with me.

We sit in the car and wait for the gate to open.”The crabby watchman” doesn’t show any signs of opening the gate.We cuss again.We discuss the duties of a watchman.And,finally open our gate ourselves.

8:30 PM.Our “Crabby Watchman” retires.He has had a long day.Weighed down by physical labour of gates not being opened and trash not being emptied.His “nest” is made up of bales of discarded clothing.We can hear his soft snores when we return at 2:00AM from a movie.He is visibly disturbed at the ruckus we create.He pulls up his bedsheet and snoozes again.We cuss again.

The next morning,”The crabby watchman” wakes me at 6:00 AM to give me the Electricity card.Do i detect a snigger when i fumble with my words?.I cuss and complain.Old men, i say.

Pongal.”The crabby watchman” says to us “Don’t you give any money for pongal ?”.Hubby sighs,cusses and pulls out a 50 rupee note.We don’t like the guy or his audacity.We don’t want to give him any baksish.”the crabby watchman” frowns his thanks.

A day passes.A week passes.A month passes.We barely notice that “The crabby watchman” is no longer “not” opening gates for us.We notice a new watchman.Hubby wants to know where the Old crabby man was.

The watchman tells us -He is gone.Dead.Heart attack.He has been gone for more than a month.

We didn’t know.

Hubby feels bad.I feel bad.We knew he was unhappy.We should have been nice to him.Unexpectedly,i feel a lone tear trickling down my cheek.

We were busy with our lives.Hubby says.

We were indifferent and selfish.I say.

We promise to be nice to each other.To people we love.To people we dont know.To people who are mean to us.They cant help what they are,he says.Life is so weird ,i say.He nods.

“The crabby watchman” has affected us.Visibly.

What can be done now?.Help me pack my bag.The Hubby says.

I move on to help him pack.I have moved on.

70 years of life.

All we give him are a dozen scowls,a bunch of expletives,10 minutes of our mind space and a lone tear.Didn’t he deserve better?.

Doesn’t any human being deserve better ?.Unexpectedly again,while i am typing this,another tear falls on my laptop.

I didn’t do enough.Never again.Never again would a life go unappreciated.I tell myself.

Rest in peace,Dear Crabby Watchman.I realize that i don’t know his name.Even now.We are sorry.And we mean it.I say.

These are the nicest words i have shared with him.ever.

I move on..To my buring upma.

Half time, now ..

Been in weird doldrums for a while
Dont really know why
Going to be off for a bit – someplace far far away
In no-man’s land
Just my feelings and me
Know not what i am gonna do
Maybe contemplate, maybe galavant around
Need to figure out some stuff
Strange happenings, alien feelings and negative vibes

Living a half life, smiling half a smile
life sure is stranger than fiction
Different shades of people and human emotions
The river is shallow and navigatable but the ocean is deep and dark
Dont know which is more dangerous
Do i plunge into the darkness or stay safe at the river ?

Bedazzle needs to get back her spunk and life
She will return when she has answers to questions
At the other end of the tunnel when she has found what she wants to find
Its half time now
She is back in hibernation ..
and Time out for now

Alvida ..Stay safe and beautiful

A random Walk down my lane


This post is done without any rhyme or reason … just felt like posting ..

I discovered last evening ,shockingly, that i have started greying..i suddenly remembered assorted commercials of hair-dyes on tv and shuddered at the unfairness of life .. God, spare me !!!

i know this comment will be jeered on by general junta and many wisecracks will follow..but then a girl has to do what she has to do .. 😉

i was shocked (ok , a lil !!) when i discovered my 3rd white hair .. i always assumed that white hair would happen to other people, not me and hoped that i belonged to a slightly superior gene pool , that would somehow mutate the grey-hair-inducing gene..well, fact of the matter is that maybe the mutation decided to wait for a few more generations before happening and i am stuck with 3 evil white/grey strands that evily remind me of my age…Ah!! vanity ..

On a totally different note, i sent a very stupid mail to a good friend and only after sending the offensive thing did i realise that it was a tad idiotic to have done it …sometimes, my own stupidity takes my breath away..wish life had one of those undo buttons..

On a totally different note again(i am tiring u all , aren’t i ?) , i discovered that i am the worst dressed person in Chennai ..who goes to the Citi centre in old(almost tattered is more like it) jean,worn out kurta and flip-flops? well i did .. and yeah the award for the worst dressed shopper went to me ..whatever happened to shopping in comfort? .. how do u expect to shop in stilettos and designer jeans,people ?

I am looking forward to next week .. lets see what it has in store .. definitely not more greys, i hope ..

Life is beautiful…

I unexpectedly started watching this cute movie called Ru-ba-ru yesterday and quite liked it.. It’s got Randeep Hooda(isn’t he hawt !!!)and Sahana Goswami(mmm…what a babe!!) in it.I thought it would one of those saccharine sweet love stories that would make me weep.. weep , i did .. for totally different reasons.. no spoilers here .. it’s a lovely movie about how one shud live in “now” and not the future ..How,if you need to say “i love you to someone” you shudnt postpone it.. and Do it now !!!

I thought i shud do Nautankey’s tag , while on the subject.. The list is actually amazing.. hat’s off to whoever has come up with it ..I don’t know whether i am living my life to the fullest now .. all that i know is that i don’t want to go way with any regrets…I am not modest and must say that i have had an eventful life..not perfect and filled with a lot of incidents i possibly could’nt share with my grand children .. but, i have no complaints.It’s been Fun, till now.. honest!!. Without further ado,let me get on with the tag… the highlighted entries are stuff i have already done/experienced…

01. Bought everyone inthe bar a drink
02. Swam with dolphins– not exactly swim ..jumped with them into the water..
03. Climbed a mountain -A million times..
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula – I’ll never do this !!
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree– while climbing .. was quite a tom boy as a kid !
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game– cric matches again !!
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower- Meteors also wash up?
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope-My neighbour used to have a telescope at home and used to let us watch the stars.
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment– happens a lot with me
27. Had a food fight -happens a lot again !!;-)
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster – hate roller coasters!!
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and didn’t care who was looking – Time after time..
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day -Fake american accent with an American friend
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment -Having that feeling now 😉
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk – Used to be the official puke-mopper at hostel 😉
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country– a lebanese guy in Dubai on my worst new year’s eve ever !!
44. Watched whales– National geographic !!
45. Stolen a sign– not a sign ,but have flicked bookmarks from a store in Chennai , when i was little.
46. Backpacked in Europe- sigh.. someday !!
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing– Last week
49. Taken a midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love – was in love for couple of months and carried a flame for almost 2 years 😉
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them -Many times
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theatre

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business -Will do , someday !!
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken-
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight- wat’s D&D??
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on a television news program as an “expert”
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on Stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten Shark – Baby shark, what they call sura puttu
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over– Do it all the time .. i am a vagabond
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking with the windows open
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a TV game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol – At Marina beach
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for 30 hours in a 48 hour period
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. States
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language – its spooky !!
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you -n school
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair – Red !!
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head – when i was lil !!
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

miles to go before i go …

So what’s plan B?

Sometimes all you can do is keep wondering where life is taking you ..Nothing comes out of despair and panic ..Planning has never worked for me.Neither has worrying about things not happening.

PointA to Point B to Point C .. all looks nice on paper .. but seldom happens in reality. Infact, in my case , it never happens that way. and i have to program myself to like Point A to point Z, neverthless.

Success is such a nebulous term.I still havent figured out the real meaning of this million dollar word.In the last 7 odd years of my life , my career has always taken the front seat. Now, i realise i have lost a lot ,running behind something so elusive , that all i have now is this empty , hollow feeling in my gut. 7 years and what next ?.

I am as clueless as i was when i started this journey.This time around , though i
have started believing in destiny more than ever and not fighting it with every fibre of my being…It’s frustrating. It’s scary.This passivity is freaking me out.

.. All i can do is go with the flow and hold on to myself.

Life is definately a roller coaster.One minute you are revelling in the dizzying heights life takes you to and the next minute you plummet to the nadirs of darkness with fear gripping every fragment of your soul.I guess, i will have to enjoy the adrenaline rush,now that i can’t help feeling the way i am.

and yeah , there is no plan B..

The Spy who Tagged me ..

I was a Tag-virgin, figuratively speaking, until I got tagged by Vimal. Must say it’s been great fun..

What do you do when..

—You see a man making a pass (trying to woo / flirt / impress) on a woman you like?

A woman I like …!!!! .. Well, for starters I am not built that way. If it’s a man I like then, I will probably go “the Julia Roberts way” (a la My Best friend’s wedding) .. It’s WAR and may the best scheming lady win…

–Some one you like, is not attracted to you?

No Big deal… There are bigger, colourful, richer, better looking fishes in the ocean once I look out of the well… Definitely not Armageddon for me if the guy i like doesnt like me back …

–You are attracted to someone, but both of you are in two different cities?

Too practical to pursue long distance relationships…Been there- Done that – It’s not hunky-dory all the time … Only for the brave hearts and I don’t think I am one..

–You are reading a book, and your best friend wants to borrow it and can’t wait for you to finish reading, ‘coz he/she has been looking for it for all their life?

Well my best friend will have to keep looking for the book for another day then..Sky’s not going to collapse on his/her head in a day cos he/she disnt read the book that night.And life’s like that.. You always don’t get what you want ASAP, do you ? Even if you think God’s your best friend…

–You help plan his / her career, and then, they go on to achieve it, leaving you behind, alone.

Arghhh… not again.. I’ve been taking some some black magic classes.. Maybe someday it will work..

-– What do you do when you have something to tell but no one around to listen ?

Actually honestly i cant beat Vimal’s answer… Inimitable.. Maybe, write a book, email myself or call 0007-23456789 (That’s number of “Call Me” – 5.99$ per hour for a personal conversation with a personal friend)

My additions

–What will you do in your last hour on earth after which you are going to get back to planet Zorro (You are a Zorroain on earth collecting specimens of earthlings, of course)

–Who do you want to be like – Calvin, Hobbes, Brad Pitt, Mr Bean, Alice (from Alice in Wonderland), Phoebe Buffet, Salman Rushdie or Chandler? And Why?
And my rules… None.. Anyone who wants to answer these 2 questions are more than welcome to do so..

Since I can’t think of anyone else to Tag as of now and also cos Vimal is desperately trying to find people to tag Aparna.. I am doing the honors..

Aparna, You are the sole Tagee (I hope that word exists).

” The one who created this tag is smart but not as smart as the one who tagged me”

Ode to my Teachers

I saw Mona Lisa Smile a while ago and have been thinking about some teachers I’ve had the fortune of coming across in my own life . I know I am a tad late, as teachers day is gone, but I really think I need to blog about them.. just to relive those wonderful and not so wonderful memories of school and college.
Warning: Fairly longish, sappy post.. Sniff Sniff.. Read only if you are relatively jobless..
Bakshi Mam : I met Bakshi mam when I was just stepping into my tumultous adolescence. My father had taken an assignment in Baroda and we had to shift lock, stock and barrel from Chennai. I had to leave my beloved Chennai, where I had spent most of my childhood till then. Then, there was also the language factor. I could manage broken conversations in hindi , but reproducing Surdas , kabir’s dohas and writing 200 words on the Kabuliwalas of the world on my own was something I was not prepared for. Bakshi Mam happened to be my hindi teacher. Third or the fourth day into the academedic year(I was in 9th then) , she realized that I was very diffident about my Hindi and what she did for me that day , will be ever etched on my memory. She made me read out a passage in front of the entire class. When I couldn’t get the pronunciation of “jhopadpatti” right, she made me repeat it 4-5 times till I got it right. Humiliation and shame flooded my senses.I reddened looking at all the jeering faces of my classmates. Later after the class , she called me to the staff room and told me that I was very bright for someone who had never studied hindi as a 2nd language.She started helping me with course work and gradually I started picking up things quite well . I actually scored decently on my boards the next year. Definitely more than what I expected…
My take away: A lot of good comes from experiencing shame and mortification. Like the Phoenix…that rose from it’s own ashes, Bakshi mam made me rise from my own tears and feelings of insecurity.
Vasumati Mam: I was back in Chennai for my 12th again as my dad got transferred again. Vasumati mam taught chemistry. I was not particularly not fond of her as she had weird mannerisms. And Vasumati mam never smiled ..Ever !!. I wasn’t too great in Chemistry either as I had slacked off quite a bit in the 11th. I was totally under prepared when I got back to Chennai, where the kids are so focused about their acads. Everybody wants to get into the IITs here. My first mid terms gave me the shock I was dreading all along .. I had just scraped chemistry scoring 27.5 on 75. Vasumati mam , however , had failed me. I went to her with righteous indignation at being failed even though technically I hadn’t. It was the first time I had failed in any subject .. period.
This is what she told me “ If I pass you now , You’ll take it for granted . If I fail you however, you will always remember this failure. Take it in your stride”. I’ve never failed any exam after that ( We’ll have to ,of course, ignore my CFA level II which I failed a few months back.. But then, I wasn’t prepared and was caught between messy job shifts.. So that doesn’t count ;-))

Vinata Sai Mam: Fast forward College … Vinata mam taught English Literature.She was one heck of a lady. When I started college , I wasn’t too happy. I wasn’t happy about the college, my course offered me little intellectual stimulation and found most of my classmates more content in mugging up things rather than trying to learn anything new. I felt trapped between people I couldn’t relate to. Predominantly, I was bored. I used to do very well in my literature classes. But due to my high boredom and fickleness levels , I started dozing off a lot in class, even if the lectures were interesting. One day Vinata mam showed me an ad of a quiz competition (she was the culturals staff coordinator) which was to take place in another college and asked me if I would be interested. I had never quizzed before and was very skeptical about it. She had also picked up girls from other departments and we assembled one afternoon to get to know each other. We hit it off and started a De-facto Quiz club. And suddenly college was so much fun. I was hardly around in college as I was busy attending more quizzes, actually all kinds of competitions- Dumb charades, Jam, collages, creative writing …anything actually … And most importantly I met a lot of likeminded people who later became some of my good friends. I met Vinata mam a few years back at annual quiz fest organized by a bookchain in chennai and she was there with another bunch of starry eyed students. I don’t quiz any longer. But I suspect , she is there every year , religiously supporting her team.
Thanks vinata mam.. You made my College bearable 😉

Kediyoor Sir: Fast forward again to Post graduation. It was the final semester and placements were abysmally bad that year. Kediyoor was our PGP coordinator. I had taken a course on Advertising and the final review exams were about to happen. During one weekend during final review exams, I had some friends over and wasn’t staying in the hostel( Not allowed as per our institute policy.. hope my Dad is not reading this ).
The exam was initially scheduled for Sunday 11:00 and the last class I attended was on Friday. I had informed my roomie and a few college friends that I wouldn’t be in till Sunday evening , but they had no idea where we were staying . Just my luck – the exam got preponed by an hour and I had no clue as I hadn’t bothered to stop by the insti earlier nor had I checked up with my roomie.I didn’t have a cell phone those days. So , an hour into the exam I walked into the exam room to horrendously find people already writing the exam. I freaked out !!. My invigilator took me to Kediyoor. Miraculously, he made me write the exam, even though I was allowed only an hour and half. I was actually surprised that I got a A- later. Kediyoor called me after the exam and asked me what was really bothering me . He apparently assumed that I was in depression as I wasn’t placed yet. He put me on to another lady lecturer who started counseling me every week, treating me like a whacked out psycho .. This ode goes to Kediyoor to have taken so much interest in my future to have allowed me to write the exam and also give me extra 30 minutes to finish my exam If he hadn’t allowed me to write the exam , I would have had to repeat the year due to my carelessness… I shudder to think of the consequences.. .I can never forgive him for putting me on to that counseling lady.. Ugh!!
Also thanx to my roomie , Soda for checking out every hotel in town for me, when someone told her that I hadn’t made it to the insti in time for the exam. What fun times..
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Ps : No names have been changed as gratitude doesn’t need be camoflagued ;-).