Archive for November, 2007

The White Carpet

Friends who have been a while in East/Mid West USA, keep telling that you better keep your excitement over seeing snow snubbed, as it is the only constant from December to March/April/May…

but, you cannot not be excited to see snow for the first time…

Madison, saw the first snow of the season yesterday, and I walked in the snow, and had a tiny snow fight too….

…but I woke up to the most beautiful sight….

…The white carpet of snow everywhere!

The ground was glittering with the snow, in the brilliant sunshine, white everywhere and sparkling. The sky, however, as though, it wanted to have nothing to do with the fury of the snow storm the previous evening, or like the small innocent kid, who behaves unexpectedly nicely, and flashes a large smile, thinking it will hide away his guilt, was flushed Blue.

It being Thanksgiving holidays, there was a eerie silence on the roads, hardly any one walking, hardly any car speeding past you, and nature was left to herself.

I soaked in the sight when the bus moved, adjacent to the snow carpet. On the right, I saw Lake Mendota, deep pure blue, with her cold icy waves hitting the James Madison Park, draped white. (Unfortunately, the words do not paint the picture I saw).

The scenery got even better near the Capitol. Few trees still had their leaves, turned golden, yellow and brown, the full Fall livery. Snow hung to the bare branches of the trees that had lost all its leaves. And, in the slight wind that was blowing, yellow and brown and gold leaves were falling onto the white ground below.

Later in the day, the sun was finally able to melt a little of the snow, and the earth was slightly visible, as I walked along the rail tracks to my office/lab. The snow covered only the wooden piers between the tracks and hung slightly onto the tracks themselves, but inbetween the two woden piers, there was hardly any snow. So, generally, I jump from wooden pier to the next while walking along the tracks, but today, I did the opposite. And as I walked past the coal factory, I could just see the snow melting from the heaps of coal that lay on the ground. White slowly dissolving to black…

Yup! the first experience of snow is indeed really beautiful. So what, if I get bored of the white in 5-6 months, I will enjoy the beauty that it is, at least for this first time…..

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Childrens and Teachers Days

Procrastination is an habit with me. So, instead of trying to figure out why the solution of n components behaves the way it does ( all so that, I pass a stupid exam), I will take another dive back into the sea of memories of all the good and happy and free days of school.

School memories always keep floating around, but the inspiration to pen this down (or rather type it out) came when I saw someone wish everyone a happy children’s day, a couple of days ago, courtesy Google chat.

So, the status message, took me memory-diving

As with most of us, Children’s day had been both special and a misfit for me, at different points in life. Acting adult in 9th and 10th, the children’s day was definitely a misfit, but then a few years later in college, and now in Grad school, I certainly will not mind being a kid, and enjoy my ‘special day’.

As a kid, Children’s day was a favourite. I could do lots of stupid and naughty things, and as amma would start scolding, I could say, but “amma, it is children’s day today, you cannot scold me’. And she would not. Bliss!
I could wear colour dress to school and see teachers perform dance and skit for us. I could go to school and not study. How great is that!!!

So the wish now, is to be a kid again 🙂

As is with memories, date, time, space are not at all a constraint. Having a great time in school also reminds me of Teacher’s day. The days leading to it were also fun. Mostly, 4th September was given off for us, to prepare for Teachers day. And, most of the day was spent in decorating the class, school, and practicing songs and jokes and making cards for our teachers. As I said, School without studies, the awesomest thing ever.

One particular memory that springs up, is probably the teachers day when I was in 4th or 5th. We never did much of decoration back then, and all the songs and dance were impromptu. So, the thing to do, when the day was give off, was run around the school, playing pakda-pakdi. In the midst of such running excercise, as is common when I run, I collided and fell. Unfortunately, a sharp shard of some construction material went right through my calf, and I was bleeding profusely. There and then, I became a king, who returned from a victorious war, for a stupid impromptu skit that we put up in class for our teacher later in the afternoon. The reason that I remember this so vividly, is precisely because, whatever the story was that we had for our play, (involving something to do with Alladin), we twisted it and turned it with all our imagination to fit a king who has just come back from a war.

Another lasting memory was the Discotheque which we recreated in class for Teachers day. This was in class- 10, and there were unofficial competitions going on for which class gets the better decoration. I was not involved in the decorations (the reason for which, I will write later), but the memories remain strong. The decorations of 10-B were by far the best ever, and the lasting memory was of our teachers taking a jig to the beats of Chaiyya-Chaiyya, in the revolving lights of our disco.

10th Standard students also get to organize the School celebrations (separate from the class celebrations). The schedule was, in the morning, the students assemble, celebrate Teachers day, then there was snacks for the teachers and the select 10th standard students, and then the teachers go and participate in individual class celebrations (which may or may not have food).

So the key, the cool thing to do, was to get into the select gang of 10th standard students who have the ‘eat-food’ license. School Captains, House captains and other ‘culturally’ inclined students (the ones who dance, sing, act, paint etc) and their friends easily get to go into that group. I, obviously, was in the set that comprised of students who were any but those. But because I hung around this ‘influential’ group all the time, even though they quite clearly made me feel unwanted, I was drafted into the organizing committee. I was in-charge of School Decorations. But I hardly cared about that. I was a part of the select group who have access to the food, and who can take swigs at the Pepsi, and make others jealous.

I did a reasonable job of decorating the school, by bossing around juniors. I also took part (which was a surprise to everyone) in a program that some one made up called National Integration, by dressing up as a Tam-Bram, and speaking some dialogs.

Finally, though, I was accepted into the ‘influential group’, the gang of cool dudes in the school, with whom, I had the first taste of beer, and spent the next week scared that amma would somehow find out about it. The coolness of the cool gang vaporized soon, but what has remained with me, is the longing to participate, in whatever capacity I can, in events organized in College, and those experiences in React, 8th Mile, Placements in IIT and RVCE, has taught me a lot, and are in some ways a part of my character/ personality.

The first steps were in School, the role of the king, the story (unmentioned) here, of trying hard to be in the organizing group and contributing for the farewell function, but not being given the opportunity. The ‘sabak’ of realizing that only a few students in my class decide and do stuff. Trying hard to get into that group. Being ridiculed for a long time (both by people in that group, and other general members of the DOSA (department of spectators and admirers). Of finally getting to contribute to an event. The fun of doing it. The feel of success, when the work is appreciated. First time is always sweet 🙂

PS: I have screwed the exam. I started to write this before the test. Finished it now. But I did not study in between. I guess, I know why I screwed it up 🙂

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