Showing posts with label Memories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Memories. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Box of Chocolates

When I was a kid I used to be excited about my birthday. It was a nice feeling to wear new clothes and carry a box full of chocolates to give it to my classmates.

All of us used to bring a limited number of chocolates to class. It was equal to the number of students in the class and approximately fifty chocolates for teachers and support staff. Very often some five chocolates would be left after distributing them to everybody. I used to silently give an extra chocolate to my best buddies. It felt good to receive an extra one from them on their special day as well. It was a deal :D

During evenings I used to go to my friends’ house in the neighborhood and give chocolates to them and their siblings. This was a regular thing in my area. This practice has almost become extinct these days.

There was another memorable event connected to this. One of my teachers lived in the next lane. I still remember how I refused to go her place because she had scolded me in some class. Finally I had to obey mom's orders and go to her home to give chocolates.

I don’t remember what dishes mom made during my birthdays. But there used to be either Payasam or Jamoon (for sure ) at home. Those were the sweet days of innocence. The childish attention seeking tendency withered and came to a nil as time passed.

I saw the tradition of GPL or gaand pe laath ( birthday bumps ) for the first time in college ( at NITK ). It appeared to be  scary in the beginning. Soon I realised that is was fun to kick their ass. It was also heartening to see people buy cakes and celebrate everybody’s birthday at 12 in the morning. I escaped my quota of GPL as my birthday was during vacations.

At college I used to relate birthdays to the Pink Floyd song “Time”. Time was flying away like an arrow and I was floating like an aimless plastic cover on the roadside. Those lyrics had a profound impact on me. Birthdays became a measure of what I had achieved in the year that had passed. This birthday I got my ID card at my new workplace and a Parker pen . Of course it was the result of past year's travails. This sounds like a good start. Hopefully I’ll be in a better place next year.

Whenever I think about that box of chocolates, I am always reminded of Tom Hank’s dialogue in Forrest Gump

My momma always said, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Farewell

The classroom had been converted into a nostalgic party room. The tables and chairs were conveniently set aside against the colourfull walls. The books and pens were replaced with plates and spoons. The teachers stood back and smiled at their kids. It must’ve been a proud sight. They had spent countless hours with them. They knew that it was their “contribution” to society. All of them huddled into one inseparable family.

The blackboard was now converted into a mere background. They put on a big smile for the camera while cutting the cake. The good looking smiling faces were in the front. The class clown decided to stuff his classmate's mouth with the cake, much to the joy of the rest of the group

Two indifferent and arrogant kids were standing at the back, leaning against the board, searching for a reason to feel happy and trying hard to look normal. It was difficult to dig down the magazine of feelings and pull out an appropriate mask to wear. It was not easy to say that 10 years of schooling had taken us too far away from having an independent opinion about the world. Now that all were too confused and lost, the only alternative was to smile and accept a shiny well-laid path to “success.”
The bunch of kids who were a year away from a similar fate were the ones hosting the farewell party. A familiar face requested the two idiots to come to the front in vain.

The juggernaut was then led to the open stage where more things were about to happen. Humorous plays, a Bharatanatyam performance, a poem about the outgoing batch of pupils and other ingredients of entertainment were put across in an organised way. The female individuals of all age groups made sure that they were in their best outfits/appearances. There were smiles all around. The whole place was drowning in unfounded gratitude. The seemingly unstoppable era of entertainment was destined to end in a peak.

The two bastards who decorated the last row threw their backs on the ground and watched the countless stars. It was their ultimate source of excitement. Swift orders from the top rung made sure that these two buggers fell back in line again. Bollywood music and dance was the essential spice of the evening. It was now "perfect".
Rasgulla, ice-cream, tasty north- Indian dishes were finished in a hurry. It was 10.30 pm. The kids had to reach home. It was all over.

For the two bastards it was just the beginning. The final journey back home was the only meaningful one.

Attempts to unravel the meaning of all the journeys we had made to this place in one final journey were not made. In fact it was not advisable. The conversations were brimming with memories. It had to be extended and pulled as hard as possible to extract a fine farewell conversation. The souvenirs had to be treasured. The photos framed and hung in an elegant showcase. Yes, the purpose of it all had to be erased, stamped and buried.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Last Club Interview

I was a second semester student at National Institute of Technology Karnataka just an year and a half ago. I would've almost forgotten about this if I had postponed the birth of this post. Yeah I'm talking about the club recruitment s at NITK( National Institute of Technology Karnataka)'s elusive clubs. There a dozen clubs at my college I guess (Robotics, Chess, CSI, IEEE, Music, Films, etc). One of them turns out to be the stargazing club (better known as the SGC). As many of you have already guessed this post would never have been written if I had made it to the club. But I consider you as a wise person if you've realised that I had an experience too.

There was this huge crowd gathered in the MSH (Main Seminar Hall) that evening. All of them were chit-chatting about random stuff. The boys wanted to see the girls.. And the girls wanted to be seen. And it was just another excuse to come out of the rooms in a cool outfit and find some purpose for still hanging around in NITK campus. I don't remember who was sitting beside me. Neither did I care about who sat behind me. My mind was filled with school memories coupled with vague sounds about club recruitment process.

 I considered myself a novice as far as Astronomy was concerned.
I thought, "Hey I can get into this stuff. Let me try."
Stargazing was not totally new to me. We had star gazing nights at our school during winter.
 We would stay up all night and watch the movement of various constellations (like Gemini, Orion's Belt,etc)  as the night passed. We tried hard not to sleep and wandered in the campus packed in monkey caps and full-sleeved woollen sweaters. I loved that stuff thoroughly. Surprisingly the resource person was the guy whom I used to teach Sanskrit in the Sanskrit classes (I’ve Forgotten the name of that course). I was his favourite guy during star gazing nights. All such memories started to flood my mind and that distracted me from checking out the girls in MSH. Suddenly I recalled that I was in NITK. The standards must be much higher, I thought. So you may now understand why I called myself a novice.

There was a recruitment test and I kind of passed. There was an interview. I went there on time with my friend (as if it was a job interview). I had read up some Wikipedia articles though I frequently veered off to Facebook. After thirty minutes of waiting I was called in. I was a baccha (or a kid). I had never realised that 30 minutes late was not an exception but a standard at NITK. They asked me about my interests, some cool questions about astronomy. They enquired whether I had read Stephen Hawking (my reply was no). They also asked whether I had a blog.
I didn't even know what a blog was!
"Sorry, come again", was my reply.
Somehow I had convinced them that I had some interest in SGC and astronomy. I googled the word "blog" as soon as I returned to my room that day!

Then came the second and final round of interview. I did some more reading for that. I was fidgeting while I was standing outside the interview room. There were five people sitting. Two of them were girls. They didn't look as friendly as the seniors I had met in first round. Their questions were like bouncers, in-swingers, reverse swing deliveries, doosras, teesras, googlies and finally I was clean bowled ( the center stump of my pride was pulled out of the ground ). I threw a stone at the moon as I walked back to my room. I knew so less.

That summer (during vacations), I read Carl Sagn's "Cosmos" ; Hawking's "A brief History of Time" , Feynman's "QED:A Strange Theory of  Light and Matter ."I started this blog (Just to know what a blog is). I did a lot of writing .Finally I felt, that single bad evening did so much good to me. Of course that was the last club interview I ever attended at NITK.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Olympic Hair Dressers

One might wonder if I'm talking about the Hair Dressers a Olympic games. Sorry to disappoint you, I am talking about a well known saloon in Tumkur. What could have been the story behind its nomenclature? Why not Sree Siddaganga Hair Saloon? ( Haha ) Were these guys sports lovers? Was it a random name? The thought still bothers me. 

I was trying to count the images that were in front of me.
Snap Snap Snap

I could listen to the sound of the scissors, but I was curious. I could count up to 53 but, everything appeared somewhat unclear after that. I was sure that there were more. Just as I was wondering as to how this shit was possible, somebody pushed my head downwards. I rebelled moments later to catch a glimpse of the mirror image of the TV program. I was a restless guy waiting to get out. Ten minutes later the guy removed the cloth draped on me and declared my freedom.

I jumped out of the seat, walked to the counter, stood on my toes and pushed two ten rupee notes on the table. I could barely see the photo of the proprietor's snap with the famous actress Soundarya. A couple of years later that brilliant actress died while campaigning for a constitutionally legitimate criminal agency a.k.a political party. How sad.
That was ten years ago. I was a kid , and my hair style was decided by my mom and explained to he hair dresser without my consent. I was one of those innocent kids who didn't understand why people felt slightly ashamed to open the femina  magazines and peek in the world of hot chicks. ( I found it hard to figure out the reason for their presence, though I've seen better stuff later in life). I settled for the magazines with bikes and cars at that time ( a healthy habit that  I have retained ).

Now things have changed. I understand that two mirrors when held parallel to each other can produce infinite images and I will never finish my count. The hair dresser charges forty bucks for the same decent hair cut. He calls me sir (I'm seriously unhappy with that) instead of Mari (Kid). My brother is more popular than me among the staff of Olympic Hair Dressers simply because he opts for spikes rather than formals. The owner's son has taken up the reins of this saloon. The experienced hands have moved to their new AC saloon. Newbies have replaced them in the common man's section. They're not bad either.

I have come to realise that cutting the hairs of a nearly bald rich man is one of the greatest challenges to a barber. It takes a lot of skill, but you can make a lot of money through tips ( dunno what they call it in saloons ) if you satisfy these customers. I hope that I can tip these guys after I get my job and maybe check out the AC section sometime.

I can't go there as often as I used to go , because I'm studying in Suratkal right now. I am reminded of this saloon filled with infinite images, childhood memories, nice and friendly barbers whenever I  go for a hair cut in NITK.That's a compliment that any saloon would love to get.