Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mrs.Mercy's merciless whacking!

  Yesterday, jobless on a lazy Saturday afternoon, I was browsing through my school’s community on Orkut and reading through a discussuion thread about the most notorious teachers. Every other person in that discussion happened to mention Mrs.Mercy’s name. Now Mrs.Mercy, contrary to what her name suggests, was one notorious teacher.Very few students actually managed to pass out of primary school without being whacked on the knuckles with her famous wooden scale. I giggled to myself, when ex-students of my school , nostalgically recalled Mrs.Mercy’s  torture sessions. Looking back now, I realize, that out of the 5 times ( Yes, 5 times in 12 years! ) that I got whacked in school, Mrs.Mercy’s wooden scale whack was my first ever punishment.
   I was quite a kid during my primary school days. The teacher’s pet kind. My homework was always done, my diary signed, my notes up-to-date and my shoes regularly polished. I must admit though, that all credit goes to my mom. I was a brat. It would be shameless to  claim that even a fraction of that good behavior was a result of my personal discipline :P . As used as I was, to being the teacher’s pet kid, it was a nightmare to turn up at school one day and realize that my Kannada homework was not done. By the time I realized it, it was already too late. I pictured Mrs.Mercy walking towards my classroom, strutting in the corridor with her wooden scale in hand.I felt a lump in my throat. Partly because of the fear of being a victim of Mrs.Mercy’s wrath and partly because, a whack on the buttock would mean a steady decline in the popularity chart in the classroom.

   Well, the inevitable did happen.Mrs.Mercy walked into the classroom, needless to mention, with her wooden scale in hand, and her eyes dancing with a wicked pleasure, scanning the classroom for any brat who happened to be out of her desk, or talking to her neighbor, so that she could sway her scale in the air and land it noisily on a set of unsuspecting  knuckles or on a pair of young buttocks. Luckily that day, there were no victims in the first 10 minutes.Later, once the class had settled down and the homework checking session had begun, muffled screams were heard as Mrs.Mercy walked around the class, inspecting every homework book and putting her weapon to full use on those who were not blessed enough to please her with their writing. Each time her scale rapped on a tiny set of knuckles, I cringed in imaginary pain, almost crying with the fear of the misery that was to hit me soon.
   My book was in her hand now. I was in tears already. I felt like my knees would give away any minute now, as I trembled and looked up at her pock-marked face, with her eyes wide open and her lips rolled up into a tight line, staring at my book in utter bewilderment.
“You? Eh, you? What stopped you from doing your homework? Answer me. “ And she rattled off a proverb in Kannada that when loosely translated, talks about a king’s horse morphing into a donkey.
I took offence. She was calling me a donkey now.
“Answer me. What were you doing at home? Washing clothes, doing the dishes, cooking?”
I stood speechless, staring at the dreaded wooden scale.
She caught me staring at it. And the next second, before I could even look back at her, I felt a deep, stinging pain on my calf and hot air flushing out of my ears. It had happened.
   I, the King’s horse was now a donkey. Getting rapped on my calf muscles. So this is how it felt. Getting beaten up at school. Standing up while the rest of the class is sitting down, being shouted at by your teacher, having your homework book marked in red ink, being the class idiot, falling down the popularity charts L I remember going to bed that night, ashamed of myself, unforgiving and bitter. I even remember praying to God for forgiveness and wisdom.
    That one whack had changed something in me. From that day onwards, I did not need mom’s supervision for doing my homework. I religiously scanned my diary for any missed assignment before going to sleep every night. The brat, the donkey, was now back on it’s way to being the King’s horse again.
And for the next 10 years at school, there was never an occasion when my homework was not done. The four times that I got whacked after this episode, was when some teachers in high school treated the whole class to a random “whack-on-the-knuckles” session for being noisy.
    There is something funny about spending your formative years in a Christian Convent. They have this weird way of making all your naughty deeds look like big sins. So, when you pass out of school, you are this God fearing, highly disciplined, well-behaved, “maa-da-laadli” types. Not that I am complaining :p But I do feel kinda left out when buddies from private public schools talk about their endless exploits.
I wish I had continued being a brat and skinned my knees ,pulled people’s hair, rolled in the mud, got whacked a million times, had wound marks to show off and had been remembered by my teachers for being a terror..That is so much fun than being labeled a “good girl” :p
    And it would give me so much more to write about, than Mrs.Mercy’s punishment…
Aah well, the uncool me...LOL

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Say Hello to the Engineer who wants to be a Lawyer :)

     After raising quite a few eyebrows and causing quite a stir in my friends’ circle, finally, no one gives me that weird look when I tell them I have enrolled for a full fledged, full time degree in Law. Why would someone who completed her Engineering two years back want to get a degree in law now, is something that most of the people I know  cant make sense of . If you ask me, neither can I give you a satisfying answer. It is one of those childhood dreams I cant seem to get rid of. Will I change my career and become a lawyer when I have my degree in hand? Or will my law degree certificate, become a part of the stack of other certificates in my cupboard? I don’t know! All that I know is that I cant wait to learn about the law of my land. I cant wait to rattle off IPC section codes . And I cant wait for the day when I can wear that black coat and white collar and pose for a photograph :p And I cant wait to finally feel the ecstasy of watching a lifelong dream come true.
     Whatever the end is, at least the intentions are good. I may not really make a switch and jump headlong in a new career stream, but at least, when I am old and withering, I will not look back at life and say “ I wish I had done that” J  And moreover, these 2  years in the IT industry has taught me a few lessons. I am sure I cannot stick around here for long. For me, there is so much more to life, than a 10x10 cubicle, an action-packed day, endless calls on the VOIP and a day that runs well beyond 10 hours at office. Maybe, the day I feel I have had enough of this, I will just walk out and hit the High Court instead! :p
       I must admit, it is a nice feeling to read about the laws that run my country, to be an informed citizen who knows the pros and cons of our judicial system. While it does make me proud to be a part of a nation that has one of the best written rules of Constitution, the irony of it’s associated action, hits me hard.
      A terrorist guns down people at Victoria Terminus. He is caught live on camera. Millions across the world, watch his hatred-filled face and his rifle wielding picture flashing across televisions and newspapers. A few hundred people  give up their  lives fighting him back. They finally manage to capture him alive, at the cost of the lives and dreams of dedicated policemen. He is alive and kicking. Videos of him gunning down people are all over the internet. And yet, all this is not proof enough to get him the punishment he deserves. Endless visits to the court continue. News about the court proceedings have moved on from the front page to some neglected corner on the fifth page of newspapers. Yet, there is no progress whatsoever. One year later, we are still at the spot where we began.Today, Kasab is nothing less than a celebrity, thanks to the endless coverage he received. Most of it, concentrating on the man, than on the cause.
      What do we blame this on? Our Indian Judiciary? Corrupt politicians? The media? Ourselves? Citizens who don’t care what’s happening in the courts as long as we are happy at our homes? Opinions will differ. Each one starts blaming the other. And finally, what started as a discussion on the present sorry state of our Judicial System will end up as a fist war..Over region, religion and differing opinions.
      Yet, in spite of all this, I still feel hopeful that someday, justice will be made. While I sit and crib of this unresolved issue, I feel this strong urge to not lose sight of  the million others that were actually, successfully resolved. It gives me hope, that all is not lost yet.
       I have been a dreamer all my life. And when I dream, I dream big and I dream  positive. Something in me tells me,  that this degree in law is going to make a difference somewhere. Maybe not right now. Maybe not today. Maybe not in the next 5 years. But someday, somewhere, this will help me. It may not change nations,( LOL, I warned you I dream big :p.),but it most certainly will change my life. For the better J
        If nothing else, this post has given me enough motivation to get back to studying the “ Indian Penal Code”. My exams begin on January 1st. Wish me luck! :D
        I will end it with two lines from Tagore. Two lines that just wont leave my mind.
“ Where the mind is without fear, and the head is held high,
Into that heaven of Freedom my father, let my country awake!”

Sunday, November 29, 2009

To be or not to be!

 I have always wondered why I am not such a big fan of social networking sites. I do have my account set up in a couple of them, but I was never totally into it. Atleast not enough to catch up with buddies of my age, who spend almost half of their online lives in social networking websites.Everywhere you see, there is this need to tell people what you are up to. My friend tweets almost every other minute, right from “ Oh, I just broke the nail of my index finger on my left hand” to “ Ewww, the guy who sits next to me  wore yellow pants to work today”. In a way, it’s nice to click on a link and find out what your friends are upto, but sometimes,  I do wish I could go back in time to those days, when you had to call a friend on her landline phone to find out if she would be able to make it to the party in the evening. Aaah, the old school me…I am sooo not cool, I know :P
   Everyone seems to know what’s happening in our lives. So when you actually meet a friend in person, there is so little to catch up on. I have been in situations where, while I scratched my head and wondered what to talk about next, my friend duly pulled out her pink mobile from her green handbag and tweeted “ Catching up with Pavi over coffee..wowie!” While my name gets hyperlinked on her page, people click on it to be led away to a dead Twitter account that was last updated when Akbar’s wife delivered Humayun. When I come online on GTalk the next time,  a well wisher pings me “ Hey, what’s up with you? Is everything ok?! How come you don’t tweet at all? Work eh?”.
   And even before I can ping him a reply, another friend’s giggling display pic pops up in the corner of screen and she goes “ Heyy, put up that pic of yours on Facebook da,the one we took last Friday”. And I feel  like Queen Victoria, as outdated and as damn old –fashioned as her. But what the heck! I can choose what I want to do, cant I ? I stick my neck out with as much pride as I can gather and retort back with a little gyaan about how I do not need to flaunt my pics online. “ I will mail them to people who might wanna see them” I say. My female friends rolls her eyes and goes offline, and the male well wisher gives me some more gyaan about how it is important to have a distinct online persona these days. The conversation ends with me pinging “ Hey listen, dinner time, I gtg”.
   After all this ranting, I must admit, you do feel like an outcast when you don’t “belong” to the group that breathes online. So I consciously make a mental decision and decide to stay as active as I can and try and “belong” to “the” group.But old habits die hard. And the vicious cycle continues. J
 Yesterday, while walking back from the parlor after getting my hair trimmed, one famous aunty of our locality happened to pass my way and stopped for a small chat. Among other things, she quickly noticed my freshly trimmed hair and cooed  “ No plans of growing your hair? What will you do for your wedding?”. I faked the most decent smile that I could and replied “ He he he..Now that you mention it, I must think about it”. Luckily, something else of more importance than my hair crossed her mind, and in the next 5 minutes, she filled me in with the latest gossip from our area, starting off from who got married recently, to whose dog pooped in  whose compound. Needless to say, I was least bothered about what she had to say. Two reasons there.
One : I don’t give a heck about who is doing what, as long as it does not involve me.
 Two : I knew I would be discussed next with whoever happened to bump into her after me.
     My mind immediately hit a tangent as I bid her a very well deserved good bye and walked off to my gate. The aunty had no Orkut account, she was the kind who would think Facebook is a book about beauty tips, and the only “Twitter” she knew of was the one she heard in the morning from the branches of the roadside Gulmohar tree. Yet, Yet, my friends, she is as updated about the entire area ( a good 3 km radius) as any other Facebook fanatic is about the people on his friends list. It all boils down to her social networking skills. And she “tweets” every time she bumps into an unsuspecting victim on the road. :p
    So I had my answer. This need to keep talking about ourselves,  is not new at all!! It comes to us naturally. Only the platform we do it on keeps changing with the times. “Social Networking” is the new term for what our mothers did at Kitty Parties. It’s the present day form of the “Leaning over the compound wall” conversations that our aunties had. The nagging sessions our grannies had on the temple steps, the impromptu debates that our grandpas had on the park benches, well, that’s exactly what we do online now!!
  Finally, like father, like son  makes sense. And to think, I was almost blaming my generation! Phew… Aunty if you are reading this “ Namaste..Saadar pranam..Sat Sri Akaal”. :D
Buddies, here I come..To “belong”! :P Bring it on ;)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Reality TV..Really?!

Television these days is an overdrive of emotions. At one end of the spectrum, you have these contestants from god-forsaken reality shows crying their hearts out for public sympathy. Wherever you see , there is this guy weeping like an infant, this girl throwing up a tantrum, wiping her nose, crying her eyes red and acting like she has just been deported out of her country. Relax you idiot! It’s a stupid reality show for God’s sake. Three days down the line, people will not even give you a second look. Now that you have messed up your makeup, even that loser sitting in Armenia , who thought you were hot, will begin to doubt his own judgement. Ok, now that you look like a panda, with those dark circles around your eyes, could you please be kind enough to find a bamboo shoot to chew on and get out of this place?! Phew!

Just when you thought you had had enough tears, there is a commercial break and you see this mommy dear worrying about sending her daughter for cricket training fearing that the dust will spoil her long lustrous hair. The next minute she gets her solution in the form of a one rupee sachet of some shampoo that has been around for ages. In the next frame, you see a smiling mommy and daughter lathering up their heads, with a wonderful smile on their faces. Woah! Do they look happy or what?! If only being happy were that easy! And what’s so funny about shampooing your hair ladies? Is the shampoo ticklish or something?! You make it look like Lord Buddha wasted all his years under the tree, meditating, and trying to find out what happiness was all about. You make the shampoo bottle look like that elusive source of unbound joy that we all look out for! :-|
Ok, your daughter hits a six in the next scene and you want us to believe that the shampoo was responsible for her success? Wait a minute! Did I miss out the scene where you fed the shampoo to your daughter? No wonder!

Now that solves the Indian Cricket Team ka problem. Lather up their heads I say!
I first saw your ad when I was in my diapers. Back then, you showed a row of 6 close-up faces, the first one being the darkest and the other five, exponentially lighter and fairer than the previous ones. Mommies, aunts,grannies,teenagers, school kids, everyone fell for you. Yes, yes, Miss Fair & Lovely, we are talking about you! I graduated from diapers to dungarees and still saw you standing in the place of honour at the dressing table of every Indian woman. Now, if your promises were to be true, poor Saakamma, the maid at my granny’s place, would have glowed with such brilliance that she would need no bulbs at her home! I see her now, after years and years of rubbing you religiously into her skin, and I see no change whatsoever! You made it look like no dark Indian girl would ever find a husband without your help, and that every dark Indian girl would end up as a spinster, living with her cat and crying into her pillow every night, hoping against hope that she would someday look like the moon and find the man of her dreams. Even to this day, your disgusting advertisements carry the same message. Time to fire your advertising agent I tell you! And time to move your cream from the human market to the cat’s department. Because, after all these years, I am sure only black cats, with a brain the size of a peanut will believe in your product. And the next time I see your Ravan-like arrangement of 6 heads, I hope to see 6 scrawny cat faces :-|

Every deodorant ad for men is incomplete without a girl in hotpants. The Zatak ad where the guy passes by and the water from the swimming pool evaporates because of his “hot” body and his “Hmmmm….Hot!” choice of deo, is disgusting. The next time I want to pump water out of my water sump, I know what to do. I am gonna ask my milkman to use Zatak and walk around the sump :p I need to thank you people..Seriously! And one request. Give the girls something to eat please! Lest they end up looking like the scrawny cats that Fair&lovely is going to hire soon :p
Nah.Stupid ads do not bother me much. I don’t give a rat’s ass to any of them! Other than inspiring me to write a stinker post about them, there is very little harm that an idiotic ad can do for me. But they do make me yawn and cringe. And each time they pop up on the TV screen, I get time to take a break to rush to the kitchen and refill my popcorn dabba. This blog will not stop reality dudettes from crying, it will it not help in putting up Fair&Lovely in the cat’s market , nor will it stop the anorexic, head-ache inducing models in Zatak from drooling over a beefy, ugly male model. While they pretend to survive on ice cubes, swimming their hearts out in an empty swimming pool, let me go get a coffee for myself. I have an headache already :-

Yaaaawwwn….Where’s the coffee in my coffee mug?! Is it the cat or the Zatak guy?! Am I lost or what!

My First Post! Yaaay! :D

Well, I have finally done it. After procrastinating for more than a year, I have finally found the time and the good sense to begin an external blog. Blogging is not new to me. I have been a regular blogger on Infyblogs for more than 2 years now. But blogging on the public domain is new to me. However ,since I only write about stuff that crosses my mind and lingers there long enough to make me wanna write about it, I guess I haven’t lost much in beginning late. J
You know, this terrible habit of procrastinating is such a disease! It helps that I am not a journalist. I can only imagine what kind of stale news I would be reporting if I were one! In the utterly funny software industry, there is not much scope for procrastination. There are many reasons why. But the biggest one being the fact that even before you can “think” about procrastinating something, your boss will jump on your neck and make sure you are well aware of the deadlines K I really wanna find this guy who coined the term “deadline”. Some vision he had, I tell you! To be able to coin a term that also tells you the consequences of missing it. “ DEAD” line..LOL
Well..Moving on. There are many things I have been pushing off. And the best part is that, I know exactly what needs to be done, but I can never get myself to do it. Here’s a top 5 list of outstanding tasks that need immediate attention( according to my well wishers), but have been pushed off to be taken care of at a later point of time. If the list sounds very girly, don’t blame me! Its expected…Duh! I am a girl :P
Here it is
1. 1) Getting my eyebrows done:
Remember Kroor Singh from Chandrakanta, the old serial that used to be aired on DD1? Well, I wait until my eyebrows begin to look like his, before I go get them trimmed K I began to look like him some two weeks back, yet I am not “inspired” enough to be able to get out of the house and hit the parlor.
2. 2) Learn Driving:
Yes dear, I don’t blame you for calling me a loser. Call me whatever you want, but the fact remains that I cannot drive! Earlier trials at the task have been majorly disastrous, in spite of being a driving student for a few days :P Forget breaking traffic rules and paying fines, I am scared I am actually kill a few unsuspecting victims if I ever sit behind the wheel again. Again, being chauffeured around is fun. Maybe, applying for a driver’s job somewhere is the only way I can get myself to join a driving school. It’s a question of my bread and butter Sir! Hello!
3. 3) Get over the fear of ghosts:
If you have read the first 2 points and still think I am not a loser, here’s reason why you should consider me one. I am terrified of ghosts! It’s more like the fear of the unknown I guess. I have never seen one and I am sure I will never see one either. But well, it continues to haunt me. They say the only way of getting over fear is by facing it. What are the chances of me facing a ghost? Err…less than zero. So bam! There you go. It’s here to stay. A top contender for a lifetime on “ Pavithra’s to-do list” K
4. 4) Join the gym and kick some ass :
I am sure I will find company here.Not many of us can really get ourselves to hit the gym and trim up. Again, I will call it “ not enough inspiration”. If flaunting a “family pack” instead of a “six pack” not get you into the gym, nothing else will. Well, in my defence, let me just say that dancing to Mika Singh songs in the bedroom is “exercise”..You cant deny! It makes you sweat, it makes you feel miserable and it wastes your time. Is’nt that what the gym does too? :P LOL. If you are some major muscle guy/girl who hits the gym everyday, genuinely, I am sorry you had to read this.
5. 5) Getting Married:
If you have lasted this long, and still intend to read point 5, I must salute you first and say a BIG thank you for having the patience to put up with this silly school girl ranting. Well, yeah, point 5 is getting married! Certainly not my idea, trust me! But if my mother happens to read this blog and does not find this point in the “top 5 “ list, I will have to face some music and listen to some gyaan about “settling down in life” all over again.So, there you go. I have saved myself some trouble ;)

Hmmm, that officially brings us to the end of the first post on my external blog.Thanks for reading. Keep coming back for more non sense. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday! J

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