A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)


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First Day, First Show

Disclaimer 1.: All titles on this blog are misleading. 😛 😀

Disclaimer 2. / Apology/ Dedication : To Oliver Goldsmith, for stealing his notions, from one of his verses, a personal favourite: The Village Schoolmaster. 🙂 (LINK)
To Gulshan Gev Bamboat too, who is the resident Limerick Queen, of the comments section 🙂  🙂 (LINK)

This one is in the limerick form, or pretends to be. A hatke one at that. Rather silly and all 🙂

Here goes…

*****

They gazed and gazed…

(As thoughts, in words expressed, From her stormy, passionate eyes, raced)

Held them awed…

(Or perhaps, jaw-droppingly bored? 😀 )

All two hours spent, they exit, English Class, first day, Class ten, looking tazed 😛

10 April, 2017

Day#10 of #NaPoWriMo, 2017; National Poetry Writing Month, 2017

 

 

 

 


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For Serenity

Serenity knocks.
She’s the Blue Moon visitor.
The one most folks miss.

She’s rare, that she is.
Rarer than that famed blue moon.
Long-awaited.
Certain. Predicted.
Predictable?
That’s a guess-
An uncertain one at that.

She waits, upon your door.
In those moments
When all’s dark.
No, not quite; more, Blue, like.

She waits, so quiet.
You never know.
And so, never
Invite her in.

You’re so far gone,
You know she
Wouldn’t visit-
So you don’t expect her.

She still knocks-
(Against all odds, whaddya know!)
In the dead of your night.
When your moon is blue.

But, by then, almost always,
You’re shut down-
And the sign is on,
Your door simply announces –

Closed.

She lingers
In the hope
You’ll hear that knock.

Knowing you need her;
Her clear and moonlit coolness.

Waiting,
For you to know-
That, that, about yourself.

And when you do-
Fling open wide, your door:

She’s pooled into the dew,
That lingers on your lashes.

That frame your empty eyes.

08 April, 2017

Day#8 of #NaPoWriMo, 2017, National Poetry Writing Month, 2017

 


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No Fairy Tales, Please

… I’m a non believer. I couldn’t ever stand those saccharine love syrup stories of Cindrella, Beauty or even Sleeping Beauty. If you ask me, they deserved every bit of suffering they got. Really! Why is it that the people who seem to “suffer” by accident of birth, circumstance or exploitation are the ones held up for sympathy and denouement of their situation? Why about that Stepmother, or The Queen, or That Beast… Rumplestilskin, the Witch… they’d worked pretty hard for what they wanted, and we’ve only been told that this is what they wanted.

Yes, I’ve railed against many a “bad” character in the Fairy Tales, and enjoyed their comeuppance too, as a child, but as I grew, a bit older, and found that there could be stories for them being that way, I guess I became a turncoat, much to the irritation of my genteel fable loving friends.

You know there was this guy in class, who’d eye his juniors, the pretty ones (girls!) and devise ways to get an intro’ or corner them for a chat. My friends were out and out hostile towards him, poor guy! He was one of those on-the-verge-nerd+needed-to-get-a-life kinda guy. Obviously, there wasn’t much affection going around for him. Neither did the giggling juniors stay for enough time to be strung up for victory 😀

It became my mission in life, by then, that dratted turncoat I had become, to defend him.

So what, I’d tell my friends, he’s pretty Ok, and he’s not chasing you people!

Exasperated, they’d just give me murderous looks and walk away. I knew I was soon going to have to join him, for these friends weren’t going to stand for much more of this from me! I decided to find out what made him tick. Putting on my best face, sincerely, I caught up with him on the corridor, during lunch break. Predictably, he was lounging on the corner of the eighth grade classes. I wondered, instantly, when a teacher would notice him, and summon him for an inquisition.

Hi, I said, what’s up?

Nothing, he said, brightening up.

Your sister’s in eighth? (Deliberately, that one!)

He gave me a strange look, but his ears turned a bit pink. A cousin, he said.

Ah! I wondered, I’ve seen you here quite regularly, so I thought it must be a brother or sister. (I hoped he’d understand why I asked him only for sister 😀 )

You know, I think she’s absent today, he said suddenly, as he made to leave.

Quickly I laid a hand on his forearm, apologetically, and explained why I was there. Just to help. And wanting to get to the bottom of it. I was astounded at my own temerity. I mean you don’t really tell people you’re watching them watching others! Sigh. I really needed to control my own thoughts and words!

The shock on his face cannot be described. Yeah, he was shocked alright. You mean, you’ve been errr… observing me? His dumbfoundedness at the thought of himself being an object for survey had a tinge of pleasure I thought. Hmmmm, he went, speculatively.

I got the message. You see, I realize how this being a very patriarchal society (my English teacher goes on and on endlessly about it!), a guy being told this would certainly get interested in the one who asked him. Escpecially if that person was a girl. Me.

I stood my ground and said yeah, I have. So what? I’m only trying to help. D’you know people kind of say things about you?

What’s that to you, he was even more astonished.

Well, for one, what you’re trying to do must have a reason. I’m going to take up anthropology later, after school, and I’m starting my research now. Let’s put it that way, shall we? And boss, you’re creeping out a lot of people too! Why don’t you start making friends where there’d be people you could relate to?

He grinned. I wondered how many people actually would have spoken to him at all, him being who he was, and seen to be doing what others perceived him to be. Self awareness is a powerful too. (My English teacher again! She does make sense sometimes!)

I’m sure I’ve been someway responsible (I’m pretty high on self esteem – pun intended! Wouldn’t my teacher love to read that? ) because gradually, the stalker of Class eight became a good friend.

I stretched my arms above my head, my neck too, up and back, my legs out in front… joints creaking ominously from the time spent hunched over the table. Warm hands ran down and up my arms, reaching down then to cup my face, and drop a kiss, from the top, on my forehead. Done for today? One more chapter, I said. You know, I’m at the Class eight corner, just now.

Devil, he said, pulling me up. Let’s graduate from there, to your anthropology classes. Thank me for taking you up on your offer.

My proposal you mean. He rolled his eyes. You certainly are my Prince Charming, he said, quite clearly. Shall we now ride away into the sunset? Or the night? 

6 February, 2016, to 7 February, 2016

Day#6 of #RamblingsInFebruary – getting more nonsensical these days.

february ramblings

Serendipity, it would appear (and it is only now that I discover it, 😀 ) I wrote this (LINK) on 7 February last year. Day 7 there, and titled, wait for it… “Fairy Tale” Honest to goodness that is a revelation! 😀


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Serendipity

Apparently this is one of the most difficult words in English to explain. So, what does it mean? How ’bout we try and figure it out? That is if you haven’t figured it out yet. Errrmmm… you go. I understand. You don’t have the time, and you’d rather be told, so that you can go on to that other bit of reading you had to do; (or watch that episode of the serendipitous Once Upon a Time, which, incidentally I’m watching, yes, FINALLY. S01E04 done. Yeah. I got a wayyy to go, and don’t you dare tell me the story, most of which I already know, being that die-hard romantic. Serendipity. I tell ya. I had to watch it, and now is the time 🙂 ) Sigh. There I go again. So, no spoonfeeding, hence we try to unravel it 😀 What better than a wee story?

It was Aashna’s comment on Day#2’s story (LINK) that made me want to use it. The gleeful way she jumped at me, tugged at me and implored, in askance, that she be given space. Serendipity. Not Aashna 😀 (One of these days, I’ll probably be begging her on her space 🙂 )

Therefore, a new fable.

Serendipity

It wasn’t the first time Mishika noticed that whenever she happened to go to the Library, he was there, either just before her, or maybe a little while after. But then there were others too, and she couldn’t be sure. Now you, dear reader, must probably wonder why Mishika should notice only him? Ha! Indeed. Something there is that warms your heart, does it not, when you think that?

But Mishika wasn’t the sort to moon. She noticed a lot of things. The way that burnished leaf hung for days on the badam tree, late January, and how a multitude of butterflies of different colours came by the gulmohar trees, sometime in February. The distant pigeon, seeming aimless in their sudden flight, circling, to yet again come back to their perch just between the roof and the netting of the Auditorium. There was a keenness in the way she even looked at you.

Others looked through you sometimes, but not her. I had always noticed that about her. She saw. She noticed. She did not simply hear, but listened. And, that, he noticed too. That charmer, the sportsy, artsy, n’er-do’well rakish mop of deliberately ruffled hair shouted in wild abandon at who he was, a devil-may-care cuteness in the bland practised wickedness of his “look”. A bad boy indeed, was the assessment, many a time from many a teacher, whose misfortune it was to engage him in serious study. He gave elaborately devious answers, laced with subtle sarcasm, that quite went above many a teacher’s head.

I watched, sometimes in sheer joy, as some of them got their comeuppance, them “teachers”. There are times, you know, when some of them do get on their high horse, and their *&@*#$@ in a twist, when what they say isn’t implicitly “obeyed”! For Chrissakes, these are kids, I want to tell them, not soldiers on the field! But who’s to listen, and who’s to fight for them? Duh.

You know what they say about how good girls love bad boys? Cliché, perhaps, but then there was something to it. Mishika, dreamer, listener, charming, piquant girl, came up to me, all of a sudden, one day to talk. I’m easy to talk too, you know. As much as I love to talk, and watch, I do love to listen to those stories. And believe you me, everyone who comes, of their own volition to talk to you has stories within stories, that have wheels within wheels. We’d been on easy terms, she and I, but never had any confidences sprung between us.

Is it okay if I talk to you? She asked one day.

Uh uh. Sure, come sit by me.

It’s something I feel only you can understand, that’s why I wanted to give it a try, She said.

Okay, I said. What’s bothering you? Or should I ask who?

Oh no no no no no… she laughed, and then held that grin, that suppressed a guffaw. I imagined her mocking my earnestness- my inquisitive tone 😀 It isn’t me. It’s him.

Oh. Who?

You know, our in-house wannabe rake. That RDJ look-alike. Raksh. God! He even has the same letter for his first name! I’m positive he’s going to change his name to Raksh Stark one of these days! Giggling, that.

What happened to him now? Got into trouble with the Math teacher? He’s always needling her!

Well, not exactly. You see, we had group work the previous period. We’re in the same group, you know that, and I didn’t get back to my place because he began to sell me the idea of reading JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Boy! That guy knows how to tell a story, I tell you!

Okay. But what’s the errr… problem?

Well, he got asked by the Math teacher to report in the Staff Room where he was asked what was going on between me and him.

And…?

He simply guffawed, I believe, and said nothing. That laugh was the problem!

And…?

And nothing. You know, something’s going to happen between us. He isn’t the only storyteller around. Beaming, she left, just as suddenly as she came.

I wanted to call her back and give her a thumbs up. I resisted. After all, I was that nerdy guy in the class, one without the extreme feelings. Or so everyone thought. I just wished she would some day say she wanted to be part of my story too.

I still wish. Why?

I believe in serendipity. There is a world of meaning there, most of it built on hope.

****

Day#4 of #RamblingsInFebruary

february ramblings

4 February, 2016

This is Chapter ONE

Chapter TWO (LINK)

Chapter THREE (LINK)

(Thank you Aashna 😀 )


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Testing Times

This blog was published here, after a long wait 🙂 I had sent it to The Hindu for its Open Page article, and it was finally published in print, and online, in the Kochi Edition, this day, 8 March, 2015 🙂 You can read it online here:

http://m.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/those-archetypes-in-the-examination-halls/article6969740.ece/

*does a jig* 🙂 March seems to be a good month 🙂 Last year, 1 March was when a letter to the Editor got published, in the same newspaper,[LINK] and now this! This article also has a cartoon with it, done by Surendra 🙂

********************************************************************************

Helen Keller referred to examinations as bugbears. She spoke of the utter disarray of her thoughts, humorously, in her autobiography, in a way that unfailingly appeals to students in my class when we come to that chapter. The collective empathy is tangible for she has spoken of a universal condition in these testing times.

In my twenty years of being part of the system that administers these tests, quite apart from the times I have had to take them at various points in life, there have been some interesting observations, while in an examination hall, and the “types” of learners who do attempt to make it through those tests.

There are the “toilers”, the ones for the long road, the inveterate readers, the pros in the hall, never faltering, rarely lost, chewing nails, or eyes darting nervously. They know where they’re headed. So do the others who look on enviously.

Then  “sweat’ers”, quite different from the toilers, though one might think these go together. These poor souls are usually discovered with sweaty hands, and brows, nervous tics, repeatedly rubbing their palms on their uniform, over their knees. More often than not, great works of art are inked in, in the process of completing the paper too!

One must not forget the “writers”- on a mission, it would seem, to persist, persevere and not stop writing, till the last bell has rung. These examinees are, most often, quite unaware of their surroundings, the consternation on fellow-examinees’ faces, deflecting daggers sent from evil looks their way, with ease. It is quite another thing, that any examiner who marks such papers finds little of value, pertaining to the questions asked!

The gazers, I and II form the bulk of the exam hall populace. On close observation, you find the first kind, suddenly stop writing, look hard at their papers, whip their heads about, fix their gaze on a particular point far away in space, zone out. With equal suddenness they get back to writing. The pattern is random, but fairly, disturbingly frequent. The second kind on the other hand are the dextrous sort. I wonder if they are classical dancers in disguise, sometimes! It beats me how they are able to achieve full surveillance of the hall, and their neighbour’s papers even while the examiner’s eyes are trained on them!

The fidgeters are next – the noisiest in class, without doubt. Randomly (deliberately? ) their pencil boxes take a dive, scatter themselves, after which they bend to retrieve the items, during which time, their question paper would fly off the desk; double scramble in order to grab that, while the answer sheet now flies off. In the meantime, the others on the same bench are assisting, with the result that even their things get scattered. By this time the examiner also joins in the melee, to restore order, which is then achieved, to the background music of a gentle buzz, a hum and muted laughter.

An inevitable part of the group are the ‘teacher-locators’- a highly evolved species of the examinee pool. Their mission is to be able to locate the position of the teacher/examiner at any given point, basically to facilitate exchange of information between two examinees without being noticed! The way one can spot them, in the random sweeping glance one makes, is to note the pairs of eyes that immediately shift away.

The most creative, I have personally found, the boldest too are the “paper-pushers”- quite unlike their government counterparts, these enlist the help of other examinees, to push their papers or have others’ papers pushed towards them. How they manage to do this in the presence of the examiner on duty is what confounds. Fortunately, such souls are usually noticed, identified, and appropriate counselling given to ensure it does not happen again. That it doesn’t, most times is a sign that innocence and doing the right thing are still valued!

Whoever said that an examiner’s duty is unvarying, needs to simply look around for such samples to engage themselves and infuse some liveliness into what is seen as a duty bordering on boredom.

6 February, 2015

Examination duty and time on hand and no better work to do those three hours, gives rise to such diatribes 😀
Day#26 of #RamblingsInFebruary 🙂

february ramblings