Thursday, November 21, 2013

You, me and our leave


Like a loaf of bread, it comes with an expiry. ‘Cos it leaves you famished even after consuming it all.
Like a meandering river, it comes with its serendipity. ‘Cos you stumble upon long-lost interests.
Like an elaborate ritual, it comes with its perils. ‘Cos you ask, ‘why the hell did I avail it’.
Like a warm massage, it comes with its pain. ‘Cos you feel guilty of whiling away time.
Like a conceived labour, it comes after much anticipation. ‘Cos mid-way you feel like returning.
Like good sex it comes with its own exhaustion. ‘Cos it leaves you tired but wanting more.

Break the routine NOW.... Sands of time knows no leave!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Why is the doctor like this? Sridevi is to blame!

Ever since a bewildered Sridevi decoded ‘judgemental’ in English Vinglish, I’m wary of the word. My daughter tags all my compliments with it, prefixes all my remarks with it and even splutters them in my umms and aahs. 

So much so I scream, ‘Learn to respect another’s opinion,’ and I am reminded that I am opinionated. As Well. 

I could do with a basket to collect the rest as well!

Well, I love to be neither at all times, but since I love my individuality, I love to exercise a wee bit of both sometimes. But again because I’m conscious of my personality at all times, I love to be one of the two at times and, therefore, I love to be dumb and pretend to be numb when I cannot.

Now, the reason I’m writing this is because I can’t help being numb any more these days. How can I, when I’m lifted off my feet and laid on a slippery dhroni, chin down, my wobbly tummy squeezed like a jelly with two iron-strong palms that first pour hot concoctions [which I cannot pronounce nor know the spelling to express] over my naked back and then rub it into my skin to lubricate my spine.

[Does the spine stiffen standing upright against As Wells. Need to check with the doc!]

Anyways, here’s why I’m writing this post…“How can a doctor, a DOCTOR, of all people be so regressive!”

Okay, so getting to the point…. I still need to beat around one last bush. Ever since I gave a series of medical entrance exams two decades ago and flunked each one worse than the previous attempt, I’ve had this thing about doctors.

Years later, when I landed in Dubai and saw them in sparkling white coats and butter-like gloves gliding on shining-leather chairs inside more sparkling cubicles that smell at all times of air fresheners, my THING for the breed only awed stronger.

So, when my doc heard me speak to the husband, and asked me astonished forgetting to pull up his jaw in place, “You call yourhusband by his name!” I had to look away and fiddle with my phone to construct a modest reply and control my nerves.

“Won’t I forget who the world is referring to when they address me, if I stop calling him by his name, doc?” I cracked.

“Are you always like this only?” asked the simpleton doc unable to hide his shock now.

“Nothing absolutely like this, but something similar.” I replied leaving the doc to decipher the rest. He didn’t get too far analyzing the statement, I learnt, when he commented: “You are a happy woman.”
Well, the reason I’m sharing this here is because the THING I had about doctors was they were a progressive lot. You know, like their science and knowledge and reason and patience and status and even those chips on their shoulders…

It’s only recently, while lying on that slippery dhroni, swearing through my sticky nostrils unable to find anyone to blame for my THING about doctors that I thought of Sridevi.

What the heck! [This is not me saying. It's my girl's fav line these days] 

Monday, November 4, 2013

A math teacher who assesses students on looks

Last week, I was at the Open House – a tête-à-tête with my child’s teachers. It’s not a parent-teacher meeting where you discuss your ward in detail, rather a breezy hello-so-how-is-my-child-ok-listen-this-is-how-she-is-next-please kind of greeting and signing off that should not take more than 5 minutes. The time was highlighted in bold on a huge board in the auditorium where the teachers were seated to meet thousands of parents. 

Her class teacher was a gem. I was buoyed. Floating, I perched at other teachers’ tables, who made me more light by every word they said.

But when it came to the Math teacher, we had to wait about 40minutes. The husband was irked. Just so as to distract him, I said, “I feel so proud. Everyone has nice things to say about our lil one…”

“So what did you expect? She’s my daughter!” He arrogantly spelt out. So I left him alone to get more restless. 

And I returned to doing what I love the most in crowded places – studying people around without them noticing I was dissecting them. There were men and women of all sizes and sorts around me, that I was spoilt for stares.

At last, the wide-eyed, beaming teacher welcomed us…

“Good morning Sir. Good morning madam.”

“Morning ma’am. How are you? We are Diya’s parents?” I pleasantly greeted the lady before me with curly hair and full-round lips parted above a double-chin.

“Ahh…let me guess. Whom does she look like…ahh...I think she’s gone on you Sir.” She laughed leaning back at her great discovery.

“What do you think?” she asked me. 

“This is a query I gave up pondering a decade ago, ma’am. Now I wonder why she even behaves like him.” I answered honestly. 
My girl striking a pose for her dad!
“Yeah. She’s a peaceful child. Like him.”

[Whooat! In the first 2 minutes of meeting she deduces a trait in him the world seems to scream into my face… I quickly assured myself that it was a result of only me communicating. So I immediately decided to remain quiet…peaceful, I mean]

As if on cue, she said, “You speak very well ma’am.”

I gave her a smile. One of my plastic ones reserved for such occasions. 

“So tell me. How is she?” the teacher asked after her personal observations.

[That’s what we are here to know…I wanted to say loud and clear, for I was by now a wee bit unsettled].

“Math is her favourite subject,” I replied. Again honestly. 

“Yes, She is good. No issues with her.” Short, crisp assessment as if she remembered of the time allotted for each parent only when asked about the child’s performance. 

“Anything else, you want to know,” she queried. 

“Does she participate in class activities,” I asked, to which she feigned deaf and replied, “You may please sign here [the attendance sheet]. 

I said, “ I have a concern. You've mentioned in her assessment card that she does not submit work on time. [I had taken a print-out along, as proof]

She was lost and red. The smile vanished. She looked ahead and after a few seconds of silence, called a student, standing in queue behind us.

“Did Diya give her book this time?”

The baffled youngster took a few moments to answer. “Yes ma’am”.

“But she didn’t give the last two times?”

The confused looking youngster took another few moments and replied. “Yes. No ma’am.”
A relieved-looking teacher turned to me, “Her name has come up frequently on late submissions list…”

“Thank you, ma’am.” I got up.

I confronted her class teacher with the proof and expressed my concern about the Math teacher's allegation.

‘She’s new. Just joined this term. I don’t know who has entered this remark. If it’s the previous teacher. But, it’s unlike Diya. Possibly there’s a confusion…” the class teacher reasoned, astonished.

PS: The Math teacher, I guess, was buying time by making personal comments trying to figure out who the student could be. 

Read here...An earlier school incident a couple of years ago