Something funny happened yesterday.
After class when we’re preparing to go home, or lounge about the campus, or scout for food, 2 seniors enter the room. They put up 2 poems on the notice board. Apparently, we’re required to critically appreciate any one of them and submit it to the H.O.D by 4 pm. (Which is in about 2 hours.) And apparently, based on our critical appreciation, we get assigned tutors.
We take a look at the poems. They are positively OUTRAGEOUS.
Snippets of conversation float around the classroom-
‘Arre, how cool!’
‘What the fuck? No it’s not.’
‘This one’s longer, but it’s easier.’
‘It’s interesting that they don’t assign us tutors based on our entrance ranks’ (This from me.)
‘Achha, these poems are STRANGE. Do you think they’re nonsense verse?’
‘This is GRAMMATICALLY wrong!’ (This from me too. I wonder why I perform this uninvited self-flagellation on my blog. Call it honesty. Or catharsis. Or whatever.)’
Anyway, I write out half my critical appreciation, wanting to get over with it as soon as possible. Less than halfway through, I realize that some have not only finished but also found out that no one’s taking up the writings. So I temporarily abandon it. Good thing I did, ‘cos I discovered soon after that it was a hoax.
I maintain that my half-review was subtly snide, and the person behind the gag would have known that I’d seen through the poem. However, my formal presentation has earned it various labels. Which basically all fall under the omni-encompassing roof of chomuness. Oof, I tell you. Nothing but a petulant, martyr-like, long drawn OOOF.
But why does this make me happy instead of desperate to redeem my image? Because I have a feeling that college is going to teach me a few things- to sift out the genuine from the pseudo, for one. To be less judgemental, for another. I was talking to a few people, and they surprised me. If eyes are the window to the soul, they’re definitely not the window to the brain. And to judge people’s intelligence by their faces is downright naive. This other thing I might pick up over the next few months is to laugh or shrug off some stuff, instead of taking everything seriously. After 14 years of schooled passion and solemnity, a shake-up is required.
But speaking of school, those old days were crazy in their own way. All the Half Blood Prince talk reminds me of my Harry Potter Phase. Pottermania, as it was officially called. I used to think Rowling was a witch, writing the Harry Potter series to prepare us for a sudden, dramatic breakthrough from the world of magic. I used to think that a protruding, incongruent patch of bark on our banyan tree was the entry to wizardom. In my defense, that patch of bark was shaped like a cave.
Schooldays were singing jaali songs for Teachers’ Day. Which involved replacing ‘I asked my love to take a walk’ with ‘I asked my friend to take a walk’
Schooldays were writing sequels to sitcoms, and drawing glam cartoon versions of ourselves.
Schooldays were people willing to degrade themselves to any point, for the sake of accompanying a ‘baast fraand’ to the sickroom.
And the best part- no one was alone in her stupidity. What comfort to be sure, but I still wouldn’t go back for anything.