19 December, 2008

A saga of broken resolutions; perhaps incorrigibility too

If there’s one resolution I make every year and faithfully break it too, it is that of keeping a diary. Call it lack of motivation or not trying hard enough, but for over half a dozen years now, I’ve been looking at cultivating the habit, but all in vain.

Thinking it was a good way of keeping record of the things I do and maintaining a daily account of how life was treating me, I got myself to begin writing. However, I soon realised that while some days were so eventful, there were others that were nothing out of the ordinary. As such, sometimes there was so much to write about and so little space and sometimes I was left with almost nothing to pen down. To do justice to those run-of- the-mill days, I often decided not to write at all. This resulted in vacant pages, which most often proved to be a discouragement to me when I wanted to resume writing. So I wouldn’t write for days (it often extended to months), when one day I would make up my mind to fix up the broken resolution and begin writing again. Then I don’t know what gets into me, but the whole thing repeats itself.

One year I decided to go for a diary without dates on them, so that I could write whenever I felt like writing. I suddenly felt like a free bird. When I had plenty to put down on paper, I would write to my heart’s content without having to worry about the limited space I had for each day. On other days that were far from interesting, I didn’t have to write at all. In a way, this new state no affairs suited me well. In due course, however, the absolute freedom spoiled me and established a world of chaos and anarchy as far as diary writing was concerned.

Yet another time, I took an oath of friendship and decided to make my diary my best pal. I was glad to have somebody to confide in. It’s true my new buddy turned out to be a good listener but there was this fear of invasion of my privacy. There was no ruling out the possibility of some nosey parker reading what I did not want to share with anybody else. And my diary would be able to do nothing about it. I began to tire of this one-way friendship and decided to break off.

The habit of making resolutions doesn’t wear off, so the following year, I came up with this brilliant idea of using a secret code. I had one code for every letter of the English alphabet. But in a few days, I began to get confused with which sign stood for what. Going over the previous pages and trying to figure out, was just as wearisome as deciphering scriptures of some age-old day. Soon I was tired and there was one more last day.

Last year, I brought home the importance of diary writing and the good it could do to my writing in general: transform my thoughts into words, refine my language and build my vocabulary. Then one day I was so spaced-out, that the right expression refused to flow out of me and I developed a complex that made me close that book and bury it among the things I used no more.

When this year dawned and I renewed my resolution, I made it clear to myself that I wasn’t going to coax myself into doing something that was imposed on me (the imposer being myself and not adhering to the rule was like deceiving myself). So here I was with my next decision: to just take it easy and give myself a chance to test my will power and fortify it. But alas, it all crashed down this time too.

Every year it is a different story and the same broken resolution. What am I to do now? Do I take to the saying `If at once you don’t succeed, try, try, try again (only here the case is not `once’) or should I just console myself saying it is better to have tried and failed, than not having tried at all?

07 September, 2008

From the pages of memory*

To mamma’s finger I held tight
Fighting tears with all my might
My cream and brown uniform wear
Telling me that I belonged there.

The milk and bread and potato stew,
The smiling nannies and buddies new,
The cosy beds and counterpanes chrome.
All seemed to say, `Feel at home.’

Our friendly teachers made classes fun
They taught us to count right from one,
Songs and rhymes and many a fairytale,
And of course the manners so essential.

There were lessons we learnt at play
With pots and pans and modeling clay
On the swing, jungle gym, and merry-go-round
From quarrels and accidents on the playground.

Teenage transformed us to mischievous beasts
Full of pranks, gossips and midnight feasts,
Breaking rules almost everyday,
Punishments too came our way

The years like wind flew past
And time, its wicked spell cast
Like every good thing that must come to an end
Those carefree school days, away they went.

*a melange of memories of my school life at Cliffs School and Nazareth Convent High School.

31 August, 2008

Gone is my childhood

`Georgie Porgie pudding and pie
Kissed the girls and made them cry….’
Once upon a time this was the song that amused me most.

Gone are those days when teddy bears were my best friends, playing `mommy’ and `ma’am’ (teacher) were my biggest achievements and lollipops – the yummiest things in the world. Cotton candies were good too but I never got to taste those big fluffy white ones in the sky.

Oh those dreadful colds I frequently caught! How I hated them because they were the monsters who were responsible for my being tucked in bed when all I wanted to do was play. `Play’ reminds me of many a time I was injured on the knees and elbows. The blood that flowed out of there always made me howl and cry. Mamma’s kisses were the only tranquillizers that worked.

Back then, you know what worried me the most? The thought of a tree growing out of my mouth every time I swallowed one of those orange seeds. There were silly adults who actually told me that that was quite possible.

My older brother had his share of fun every time he asked me the spelling of `banana.’ Well, it wasn’t really tough provided someone stopped me from saying too many `NAs.’(I would go on: b-a-n-a-n-a-n-a… Well, I didn’t quite know if the `NA’ had to be said two or three times to complete the spelling of the word.)

That was so many years ago. There are many enchanting memories too. Snow White was the prettiest girl I could imagine and Cinderella, the luckiest ever. However the wicked wolf that killed Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother often haunted my dreams and made me scream at night. And `Sleeping Beauty’ had to be read out to me to put me to sleep again.

Looking back, I realise that I have left behind that fairytale land. Pixies, gnomes and dwarfs are almost forgotten. Those volumes of `Goldilocks’ and `Beauty and the Beast' are covered with dust and even `Little Mermaid’ and `Puss in Boots.’

`This old man’ and `I’m a little Teapot' have become ancient numbers. I have given up trying to count the stars. My dolls have become senile and weak. One of Sony’s legs has been amputated, Lucy is bedridden and Willie, probably resting in peace...
... Gone are those days. Gone is my childhood. :(