I am what I am!
A statement like that’s the only way I can establish that if you need to like me, you just need to do it without getting judgmental or advisory Just assume that I’m a composed, sophisticated and so-full-of-attitude person. Because, sophistication does not come to me naturally. But I am trying my best
I have (rather had) a habit of keeping a daily diary. And now that I’ve given it up (gave up after marriage…lest the husband gets to know the ‘real’ me ), I miss going back on years and reading about those days of stupidity. So, I thought, what better place than my blog to keep my secrets stupid…uh oh…keep my stupidities a secret, i meant!
Anyways, here goes my favourite ones (Long-post-ahead Alert!!)
I was like 3 or 4, I used to spend the entire day in the company (or the lack of it) of my grandmother. She used to make me nap alongside her for 3 hours compulsorily (to keep me away from mischief while she slept). One day, devoid of any sleep, I was pressing her ruby locket into my arm and making impressions when she looked at me lovingly and said, “When I die, this locket will be yours.” I nodded my head and continued with the impressions; then suddenly, I woke her up from sleep and said, “marakkalle ammumma...” (Please don’t forget, Grandma). And she didn’t! It wasn’t forgotten like one for those “innocent comments” kids make. Sigh!
I was probably labelled dangerous to be left alone with Grandma any more. She feared for her life, I suppose. It was decided I was to attend kindergarten
On my first day at Kindergarten, I was screaming away at full-throttle at the prospect of getting abandoned by my mom…that the teacher there made me sit on her lap to pacify me and make me feel safe. I decided that was going to be my seat everyday (and it definitely helped that she was quite plump; such comfortable seating, I say!). The next day onwards, I’d walk in, keep my bag and lunch pack on the desk allocated for me, and go climb on to her lap. It was like our family kindergarten: all my elder cousins, and my brother, had been to the same one; so, I did enjoy a level of freedom and partiality there Anyways, like most women, she also loved to gossip…and she did that religiously with the ayah there, discussing every parent that comes to drop off their kids. She once told the ayah that my mom literally throws me in and rushes off (in her defense, my poor mom had a punching system for attendance at her office and couldn’t afford to be late even by a minute!). I promptly went home and told my mom that…and she stayed a lil longer the next day to explain herself. I never retrieved my ‘comfortable’ seat after that! Sigh!
I suppose she kept tabs on me forever after that. “Teachers” were my greatest enemies ever since And especially so, if they taught either Hindi or Malayalam!
I was double promoted and put into UKG almost a month after I joined LKG. Guess she wanted me out of there asap! And then I joined an ICSE school. Since my dad had a transferable job, he decided that I should opt for Hindi as my second language, since he was sure his next transfer would be to some place in the north. And I was put into the Hindi gang there. Being an ICSE school, we had only two languages to learn. English, of course, was compulsory. And my optional was Hindi, and not Malayalam. By the time I reached my 3rd grade, Dad got his transfer to the “north”; only, it was to North Kerala, and not North India!! We packed off to Guruvayur. I was put into a CBSE school: and voila! two languages became three. English, Hindi and Malayalam. All compulsory. Damn! I was in big trouble. Our Malayalam teacher turned out to be a Sanskrit professor as well; in fact, that was her primary subject. So, one can imagine her depth of knowledge of the Malayalam language as well. I immediately got into her black list Mom became my self-proclaimed Malayalam tutor and started teaching me the alphabets. While the rest of the class raced each other in reading page-long lessons, I was trying to write “a aa e ee u uu” without mistakes Soon, it was time for the mid-term exams. I blinked. I knew the answer to just one question! I was elated too: at least, I won’t take home a zero! The question was to list two synonyms of Bhoomi (earth). I knew the answers — Kshoni and Paaru. But alas, Mom had taught me the older script, while the school was teaching the new script; in all that tension of getting spanked by the teacher again, I muddled up everything and wrote the answers in my own script. Apparently, I was destined to take home a zero! After paper valuation, my answer was read in front of the entire class. “Priya’s synonyms for Bhoomi are Keshani (gossip/jealousy) and Paara (backstabbing and the like, born out of jealousy or anger). Was a small school, and I became infamous! Sigh!
Anyways, after scraping through high school without much trouble, I got into a mad gang of friends in the 11th and 12th grades. We had an ever-irate classmate whom we all loved to fool. Once, during a free hour, we were all having fun when I saw this girl remove her shoes and stretch her toes. I slowly pulled one from under the bench and threw it out the window. Bad timing; for our Physics teacher walked by just then, looking for me! She marched in and ordered me out of the class (this had become an everyday affair, o there was no embarrassment). She’d been on her way to penalise me for writing a friend’s fair record (I loved Physics and was always more than willing to be where Physics was ; and yes, he told me I had the best handwriting in school ). Anyway, she started screaming at me for being irresponsible, indisciplined and all that. And to top it all she had seen a 11th grader throw a fellow ‘studious’ 11th graders shoe out the window! And while the screaming went on, I stood there, head bent as much as it would bend, laughing my guts out and almost succeeding in keeping her unaware…till she almost went down on her knees to see my face. Though she did smile, she had a super report to give my parents! Sigh!
But she was a real sport the day I rushed in late for my 12th Boards final practical exam! I rushed into the dark coolness of the huge school building from a scorching sun, which made my eyes watery; and the running made me pant. When she hissed at me for my late arrival, all I could manage to say was, “Teacher, my grandmother…” and she just assumed my grandmother must’ve passed away! She immediately made amends, apologised (!!!) and directed me to my seat. When the external invigilator called me over to question my knowledge of the project I’d submitted, she interrupted her and told her, “Her grandmother…psst…psst…psst.” And, to my surprise, am excused from the Q&A session. AND. I passed the exam with a 29 on 30!
Anyway, that marked the end of my tryst with the sciences. I was, any day, better off with Arts and the languages.
I gave up my love of Physics (my extraordinary talent in Mathematics made sure I never fared well in Physics) and chose to graduate in Literature. The college I did my graduation in, was set a little off from the main road: which meant all of us had half a kilometre to walk to and from the bus stop to college. Every evening, there would be about 100-150 girls (it was a women’s college) crowding at the highway bus stop Which meant, there’d be a good share of guys too On a certain day, a group of us girls were waiting for the bus, chatting animatedly when I noticed a guy giving our gang repeated looks and occasional smiles. And so, I told the rest of the gang “There’s a guy yonder, sending looks this way…he’s even smiling, as if we’re basking in his attention. Vrithikettavan. Vaainokki. Mazhuvan!” And then, one among the group became highly interested in the word “mazhuvan“, the meaning of which I started explaining most happily. I told her it means anything in the range of ‘geek’, ‘useless’, ‘nerd’, ‘drip’, ‘bore’… And then, she wanted to know how I could make out so much about him. Like a wise ass, I told her, “It’s quite evident…look at his hairstyle…his stupid dressing…n that ready-made smile…and just about everything. Ivaneyokke kettunnavalde kashtakaalam (pity the girl who’ll marry him). I’d love to warn her!” “Yes. You just did,” she said, and walked off in his direction! Turned out he’d come to pick her up and was waiting for the rest of us to leave. Sigh!
Jesus! I wished I could sink through the ground then! That was the LAST time I made any comment about random people!
In spite of years of such incidents, I wonder why I took up Advertising and Public Relations for my PG! Hehe…any brand which’d trust their name in my hands would be doing so at their own risk OK! Am kidding. Am actually quite good at my work!
Anyways, it was an autonomous college that focused on MBA and PGDM courses. I think the PR&Ad course was only because they liked the extra income We were a small group of 15 Malayalees in a college that hyped on MBA and PGDM, which had a high North-Indian population. And, we were the trouble makers ; least popular of all batches They hated us, we hated them. Once, there was a National-level seminar held for the sake of the PGDMs, and since the professors didn’t trust us to behave ourselves if left alone, we were (like a punishment), asked to attend it too. And the moment the seminar got over, we sprang up from our seats and rushed out, making fun of the ‘panna’ PGDMs. I lead the rushing out, got my heel caught under the carpet and feel headlong onto the portico—in front of the entire college. I could hear gasps and murmurs. But all I could think of was the way I fell, and how hilarious it might have been to see. And, lying right there, I burst out laughing in front of some 200 odd students. Well, that was the only time some good came out of my ‘situations’. Our gang was not perceived as ‘stuck-up’ anymore!
The icing on the cream cake was after my engagement. Suraj and I had created chaos in both families by falling in love: a Christian and a Hindu. After much refusal, esp. from his family, we’d gotten everyone to agree. Finally, the dates were fixed, and cards were printed. There was a formality of the bride’s parents “inviting” the bridegroom’s parents. We were on our way back to Trivandrum from Guruvayur, and dropped in at his place in Kochi. According to Hindu traditions, the bride does NOT step into the groom’s house before marriage! I was only too happy to stay back in the car. But his dad was a sport and welcomed me also in, saying, “We Christians don’t have such beliefs. Come on in.” I give a shy smile (pretending to be the polite daughter-in-law of their dreams), remove my shoe and (as is considered auspicious) keep my right foot on the first step. Boom! The transformer nearby burns off with a terrifying boom and vibrations, causing a bike to fall off its stand against the neighbour’s gate and crash. And obviously, the power goes off! Just like in the movies His dad managed to hold on to that smile, and (a little falteringly this time) repeats, “Come right in.” How I managed to sit through 20 minutes without bursting out laughing, I alone know! Damn, what an impression that must’ve made. Sigh!
The consequences…and my learnings:
- I hate gold (and valuable jewellery) and did NOT inherit my grandmother’s locket even after she passed away 9 months back.
- I’ve realised that gossiping (and even being a mute audience to it) does one no good; and try and abstain from it as much as is possible.
- I have learnt to read and write Malayalam, in whichever script and font size it may be!
- I do not throw shoes out the window anymore (but I still haven’t learnt to control my urge to laugh when I’m being scolded!)
- I’ve never, since, started any sentence with “my grandmother”, esp right after running!
- I do not make comments about random people anymore.
- I do not wear heels anymore.
- I swear never to step into the bridegroom’s house before my wedding, anymore. [I lead a very happily married life, and have proved that such incidents do not spell disasters (for marriages)!]