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!”

Related Posts with Thumbnails