Randomly Amusing

I’ve been away for so long that it almost feels like I’m blogging for the first time.

As usual, work’s been eating up most of my time and even if I want to blog during the weekends, I can’t seem to find the inspiration to do so. Although, there’s been no lack of ideas!

Work’s been going fine. Yes, it’s still tiring and leaves me with less time for myself and a sore throat. But there are certain moments of clarity that make me realize how much I love [the major aspects of] what I’m doing.

Anyway, this is going to be a random blah-blah post, about nothing in particular.

On Thursday, I had my first Parent-Teacher meeting. As a teacher. Right when I stepped into school, all tensed about meeting the parents, I saw one of my favourite teachers. It felt great seeing her after so long. She was surprised to know I was working as a teacher.  So, the evening started off on a good note. The meeting went well. I was, literally, gushing about most of the students, trying not to blurt out anything stupid that would belie my serious demeanour. Well, I admit I did have some moments of silly comments. But, on the whole, it went far better than I expected (and feared).

Talking about students, there were a few interesting, amusing comments I heard in class, which I wanted to blog about.

* As part of the special programmes put up for the school’s 27th birthday, there was a skit by some senior students, focussing on the rape-issues happening in India. That day, while having a random conversation in Class 3, I asked them if they understood what the ‘moral’ behind the skit was. A lot of them raised hands, volunteering to answer. Some responses I got were:

“Save the Earth!” (We had an Earth Day celebration two weeks prior to it; so maybe the kid connected both, hence the response)

“We should all be friends, not enemies” (Close enough, in a way)

“Save the girls!” (The kid had no response when I asked “From what should the girls be saved?”)

I just smiled at their reactions. How do you make a 8-year-old understand the concept of rape and the need to stop it from happening? Perhaps, it’s better to keep their innocent minds untainted by the malice of the world. Atleast for now.

Another interesting incident was –

In a particular activity, the students had to rearrange some jumbled letters to form words and then fill up sentences using these words. One sentence was: ‘This is the ________ where Krishna lived. (Hint – a p l c e) [Answer is, obvioulsy, place]

A kid came to me, saying he didn’t know the answer. I told him it’s easy, to try once more and read the sentence out loud. His reply: “Ma’am, I’m Christian (Krishna being a Hindu god).” I smiled at his innocent comment. I explained that religion was not the context and told him how to do it. But I couldn’t forget his reply. It still makes me smile. It will take some time for them to realize it’s wrong to consider religion as a basis of difference.

So, with memories of such seemingly-small incidents, I go on from one day to the next. Let’s hope it won’t take very long for me to come up with the next post.

A World Where Safety is a Distant Dream

Winter has set in, very abruptly. One morning, when I woke up, it was unusually cold. Like, very perceptibly cold. And when the same happened the next day, it was supposed to mean that winter had arrived. Well, winter or not, there is no respite from the sweltering heat during the rest of the day!

Anyhow, I don’t intend to delve deeper into small talk. Getting straight to the point, all of a sudden, I feel like I’m being pelted with news/stories of brutalities. First, I was emotionally perturbed since I was reading Lucky. And then, there was the Connecticut

Victims of the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and Nancy Lanza and her son Adam

Victims of the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and Nancy Lanza and her son Adam

massacre last week. To say that I was shocked would be an understatement. While reading the news article, I felt confused, helpless and terrified. Not terrified by the incident, terrified by man. Has the world come to such a situation that any random person (mentally unstable or not) can just go around killing innocent people? Kinda makes you wonder how sane the person next to you is. Just in case they decide to pull out a gun and shoot you down (and NO, I am not joking…James Holmes & Adam Lanza should serve as enough evidence). [Another recent incident I found while googling]

On Sunday, I watched Talaash, a new Bollywood movie starring Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherjee and Kareena Kapoor. It is a mystery thriller, revolving around the red-light district in Mumbai. Apart from having an excellent script, acting, dialogues and cinematography, the movie was emotionally gripping for me. Even after nearly a week, it still hasn’t left my mind. It led me to think very deeply about sex workers and their lives. Like Kareena’s character mentions in the movie, they are not even counted as part of the population and nobody cares about what happens to them.

And, just when I was slowly getting over it and falling back into the routine, I hear of this gang-rape that happened in Delhi. A 23-year

Follow the image link to read another moving post

Follow the image link to read another moving post

old girl was gang-raped in a moving bus in India’s capital city, brutally tortured, stripped and thrown out of the bus, along with the male friend who had been with her. The doctors testify that they have never seen such brutality on a victim of sexual assault. The girl has undergone a few surgeries, doctors hope she will recover but then, even if she does, she won’t be able to lead a normal life. Thanks to a bunch of demons who were too blind to see the suffering they were inflicting on another human being.

When I read about this incident, more than hurt or anger, I felt mentally weak and numb. Like I was weary, fed up, irritated at the government, people, everyone for letting it happen over and over again. I hadn’t known much of the gruesome details but happened to come across this FB post. I’m disgusted, appalled and numbed by shock. I try to create the situation in my head but, whatever I do, I cannot understand how a man could do something so destructive, let alone the thought of 5 others supporting and joining him.

I don’t know much about the girl. I don’t even know her name. But, like me, she was a young girl, who had dreams and aspirations for her life ahead…all of it shattered within hours. I can imagine the pain and torment she must have gone through, even though my imagination would be nowhere near what she actually endured. Come another controversy, and we might forget this girl, she will recede in our memories as the victim of the Delhi gang-rape. But I hope she pulls through, lives (in the true sense of the word), and does it with a strength that will put her rapists to shame. I hope she fulfills all those dreams that seem broken now, and retrieves the happiness that seems lost to her now.

I’m not vain enough to think that my blog post or FB update or heated discussions can actually make a big impact. But whatever impact it may create, I need to react. And this is my way of reacting, raising my voice against such atrocities and supporting the girl.

Hoping for a safer, better, brighter future ahead…[sounds too cliché? I haven’t completed the sentence]…for every girl in the country! 🙂

Intensely Lucky

While some books are a breezy read, there are some that move your mind…perhaps with a slight shudder or a tremor, or it may have the effect of a rough jolt on your mind. The book I’m reading right now falls in the latter category.

Since I moved to this new place in October, my mornings start with a cup of coffee and some time of peaceful reading, sitting out in the balcony area, while the neighbourhood wakes up around me. When I opened Lucky by Alice Sebold, one morning, recently, I never thought I’d have to rethink about the phrase used earlier: peaceful reading. 

LuckyLucky is not an easy read, not the kind of book you can breeze through. It tugs at your heart, firmly clutches on to your thoughts in a way very few books will. If I had to describe it in one word, I would certainly use ‘intense’. On the morning I started reading it, right after the first couple of pages or so, I was disturbed, pained and moved. Like, by those few pages, something had changed in my world.

Lucky is a memoir by Alice Sebold, author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed The Lovely Bones. If you have read The Lovely Bones, you will know how powerful Sebold’s writing is. It is bold, open and distinct. No tough words or phrases, nothing complex. She does not use subtle synonyms to describe a situation; she says it as it is, plain, straightforward. Lucky recounts her experience of beingalice sebold raped when she was in her freshman year at college and goes on to describe how it changed the rest of her life. The book was all the more disturbing for me because of the fact that it’s not merely a story; it details exactly what a young girl went through, for real.

Sebold has portrayed the emotions and situations so intensely that I couldn’t help but feel the 19-year-old Alice was a part of me. I could feel her pain and confusion, the joys of friendship, the problems in her family… Her writing is intense, it pulls you into the book, implores you to try and feel what Alice must have gone through. I had loved Sebold’s writing style after reading The Lovely Bones. And it’s no different this time.

Lucky is a powerful book; a raw, intense read. It has moved me, touched me…and, like The lovely-bonesLovely Bones, I know this is one book that will fail to leave my mind. Highly recommended. And, if you haven’t read The Lovely Bones, that is yet again another highly recommended book.

Some lines I really loved, from the book.

“I live in a world where two truths coexist: where both hell and hope lie in the palm of my hand”

“Since then I’ve always thought that under rape in the dictionary it should tell the truth. It is not just forcible intercourse; rape means to inhabit and destroy everything.”