Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Saturday, April 5, 2008

First things first.

Ever since the beginning of this month, I have been forced to endure one hapless catastrophe after another. I have an important test coming up and my otherwise valiant immune system, which normally wipes out even the memory of every bacterium and virus that presents itself before it, decided to chicken out this time. Just for a change. But, determined as I am, I had decided to open my book and load the contents onto my brain by 11 am. I don’t know why it should be, but I woke up this morning, looked at my watch and screamed “NINE O’ WHAT?!!!” and cursed everything I knew. Then I fell asleep again and got up at eleven.

As I hastily squeezed some paste onto my toothbrush, I fanned my burning determination by allowing myself to extend the deadline to 2 pm. But first things first. A good breakfast was what I needed to prepare myself for all the concentrated effort. Studying for an important test is not something to be taken lightly. I sat down to eat with an easy mind and ate until I went uneasy in my stomach. “ I say, I don’t think much of this breakfast, do you?” I asked my mom. I thought it very unkind of her, but the look she gave me made me ill. Half-hoping, half-afraid, I asked her if she could give me a glass of milk. When she agreed to do so, upon my face there shone a great radiance of deep joy.

Holding the glass of milk, I wormed my way along to the study. The overstrain upon my brain induced by all the planning, had produced a general depression throughout the system. I felt that the absence of the necessity for thought, would restore the mental equilibrium. So I sat for a couple of hours and thought about nothing. That came rather easily to me. Nothing can damp my ardour when I set my heart onto something. When I finally looked up and cast a curious glance at my watch, to my intense surprise, it was 1:30 already! 2 o’ clock was the extended deadline and I was beginning to feel strongly on the subject; but I soon realized that one makes these extraordinary plans in moments of excitement, but of course, when one comes to think of it, one sees how absurdly out of proportion they are with reality. So, at 2 o’ clock, I tried to look as if I didn’t know it. That came rather easily to me.

At 2:30, I opened my book and read the name of the chapter aloud “The 6 essentials of software testing”. How simple! I could read all about it in half an hour! I felt like a jungle creature advancing upon its prey. If half an hour was all that it would take, what was the need to hurry? Truth compelled me to support this train of thought. I’d get back to it in half a jiffy! And now we come to something that is quite beyond me… I absolutely and positively have no recollection of falling asleep – a refreshing sleep which lasted till the coming of the evening cup of coffee.

The recent lapse of time had rendered all of my schemes null and void. It was 6 o’ clock, but I still believed that the great brain would find a formula. At the risk of sounding immodest, I admit that I am a girl who succumbs not, to her own avoidance tactics. The final plan – I’d quietly sip my coffee and then get back to the books with vengeance. And I did it without a murmur. I mean, I sipped my coffee without a murmur. Only after brooding for what seemed like eternity, I decided to set the little grey cells in operation without further delay.

It’s a curious fact, but what seemed easy a couple of hours ago, now seemed rather cryptic. I was annoyed at my slowness of comprehension. For some reason, which I am unable to explain, I turned the pages to the end of the chapter – to the References. Just to get a laugh out of the names. All the violent laughing forced me to admit that this book was certainly value for money. Thanks to parents who name their kids ‘Collins and Lazier’, ‘Pringle and Longnecker’ and ‘Weihrich and Koontz’. The laughter had taken its toll and at 11, I was finally able to switch off the lights and fall into a refreshing slumber which lasted till the coming of the morning cup of tea.
It’s extraordinary, but was it true that a girl like me, with a razor-keen intelligence, had allowed herself to while away time like that?! Yes. I thought it probable. I still had four hours left. But too many thoughts had me all fuzzy in the brain. So I got down to writing all of them down. A great weight has been lifted off my mind! So if you’ll excuse me now, I have to go make the final effort of a dying rooster. First things first.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. The most miserable day in the year for single people who helplessly watch the rest of the world having the time of their life! I belonged to the former category this year. So in the listlessness of despair, I decided to recall all of those instances in life when i had denied bestowing affection on the unfortunate souls who had made brave attempts at unbaring theirs.One of those several instances struck me as rather amusing but it must have been the cause of much heartache for he other person around whose feelings the story revolves.
It all happened three years ago. It was the last day of exams. The paper was pretty okay and I remember walking towards the exit along with a couple of friends when I heard my name being called out by a rather hesitant voice.I turned around to find the boy who I thought, always seemed to initiate weird conversations which usually ended with abrupt and uneasy exit speeches. But what was that?! Had he undergone a complete makeover?! The formal attire was now replaced by a rather funky shirt with designs and patterns which seemed rather inappropriate for the present generation, teamed up with an equally funky pair of jeans. But he still hadn't made significant strides in the fitness department!
For the first few seconds, he did nothing more than shuffle his feet as I looked on enquiringly.I figured the uneasiness had something to do with the pants.Its difficult to find a perfect fit!
"So....How were your exams?", he stuttered.
"Well...I goofed up in a couple of them but today's paper was pretty good", I replied impatiently.
"So what do you think about me,Priyanka?" was the question he thought appropriate to ask next. I was progressing in the general direction of mental fog. This was all rather mystic. I had seldom met a young man with such a gift for asking inconvenient questions. It seemed like a year for perhaps two seconds. I was scarcely in a frame of mind to sing hymns in the praise of the person who had his eyes fixed on me with overflowing anticipation. After giving the matter much thought, I could only say
"You're a pretty nice guy..." His face fell at this.
"You're a very nice guy..." His face grew more cheerul.
"What else do you think about me?", was the next 'appropriate' question to ask.A foolish question, perhaps, but a man's brain is never at its nimblest on these occassions. A part of me wanted to catch him by the shoulders and shake him violently saying "Will you stop drivelling?!" But better sense prevailed and I again gave the matter much thought and I framed the answer with the following well-chosen words.
"Nothing else.That's all".
"Priyanka,I love you...", came next.My mind was racing. A series of images flashed in my mind in succession...the shuffling of feet, the abrupt and uneasy exit speeches, the weird conversations, the shuffling of feet...did I already mention that? My thoughts were in a swirl. For some reason which has escaped my recollection, I thought it appropriate to ask
"So, you're taking the college bus?"
For a small bunch of moments after that, I found myself wondering why there was a bewildered look on thr poor boy's face?!I had asked a perfectly normal question...
"Priyanka,I want your answer..."This accounted for the seeming enigma regarding the bewilderment easily enough. Well, the answer was a big no but I couldn't say that! I imagined that he would be as sick as mud. He hadn't waited until the last day of college to hear that!No that would be too harsh!
"Oh?Well,its a...How shall I put it?..." I was desperately groping for words.
"Do you love me?", came the next question as I stood staring in disbelief. The boy must've summoned every iota of courage he had in him.After all, he was speaking up after a year of supressing his emotions!It took me a couple of crushing minutes to react. The answer, I felt, was in the negative.He had but a pretty obese chance.It did not strike me as even a remote possibility.Finally, the part of the brain that often aids in the artful formation of a tissue of lies, began to gain control. I drew in breath for the delivery of the nasty blow...
"Well..I'm sorry but I'm not single", I said as I watched his face contort, twitch and quiver involuntarily.Rather touching.
"Oh...okay...I have to go now", he uttered before dashing off at three miles per hour.With his departure, I remember there was a marked improvement in the atmosphere.Today, he must be counting me among the most disgraceful people he's met in a respectable world.
I sighed as I recalled this incident.Gazing morosely out of the window into the night I wondered if it would be wise to ever disclose your love for someone.Sometimes such feelings are the strongest when left within our hearts...