Wednesday, October 25, 2006

For auld lang syne

I'm back after an AMAZING weekend.This has been, undoubtedly, one of the best weekends in the recent past. The thing is, we had a small reunion of schoolmates. It was GREAT fun ! I was meeting most of 'em after a gap of 2-3 years; that was the best part. Most, infact, NONE of 'em have changed drastically, in looks or spirits !!
Nikhil KD is STILL the clown, mouthing funny one-liners and jokes; count on him to give all of us a good laugh.Gopi is also essentially the same; ek dum bindaas, "who-the-hell-cares" attitude. Keerthi is also the fun-filled gal I knew; ever-caring and TOTALLY herself. And so on and so forth. I could go on and on. But in short, that meeting transported me to the erstwhile part of my life which was latent.

All at once, I wished with all my heart that I could go back and be part of 12 Science,at Hari Sri, once more.If I could just relive those days. Oh boy ! how I wish...The saddest part is when everyone leaves. Somehow it feels as if a part of me is gone. And God alone knows if I'll ever meet them again. Sounds pessimistic...well maybe. But the fact is that most of them are placed in plush jobs and good companies. Excepting, of course, some jobless people, like me ! We will all move on with our lives. Things are going to be different. We will all have to assume responsibilities.

Well, as they say, "Do not cry because it is over, smile because it happened".
Of course, the internet is turning out to be a BIG boon. You may laugh off sites like Orkut, etc. But believe me, it helps to remain in touch with people. As also emails, chatting, SMSs. So that way, it is better. And we could meet up like this, once in a while. Meeting face-to-face has it's charms; heck, it's better !!!!

So that's it. You could say that I'm "school-sick" (like "home-sick" or something !).
Miss those days...

Let me end with a song appropriate for the occasion:

Verse One
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld Lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne !

Verse Two
And there's a hand my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o thine
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne

Chorus (repeat)
For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld Lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne !

Should old acquaintances be forgotten
and never remembered
Should old acquaintance be forgotten
For old long ago

For old long ago, my dear
For old long ago
We will take a cup of kindness yet
For old long ago

And there is a hand my trust friend
And give me a hand of yours
And we will take of a good drink/toast
For old long ago

For old long ago, my dear
For old long ago
We will take a cup of kindness yet
For old long ago

Though for the day:" Make new friends and keep the is silver, the other gold."

Friday, October 13, 2006

My everyday bus journey

Ok,so you are intrigued... Why should I write about such a mundane thing as a bus journey?

I started commuting by bus regularly only after I joined college. My school was a stone's throw from my house. Hence I used to walk to school. Otherwise I occasionally went by bus, but autorikshaws mostly for other purposes. Also since we owned a car, mom used pick us up or drop us off. But that was till I joined college. After that I had to travel by bus. And then I realised there is more to this. One has to be a 'regular' bus traveller to get the 'joys' of travelling by bus. What I say further pertains to the travelling I've done in my locality (Thrissur). I don't know what travelling out of this State is like. So here goes a brief (and hopefully) enlightening account of my daily bus journey.

There are peak times in a day (obviously) ; mostly in the mornings, when students are trying to reach their institutions , and when employees are scurrying to reach office. And believe me when I say that that is one heck of a time to travel by bus !! Buses come screeching down, packed with people. They compete among themselves to reach each bus-stop and grab the most number of commuters. They come at you as if they will strike you.

Then you board the bus. the 'interesting' part begins. Morning travel has a disadvantage- people bath and come! You ask me- how is that bad?? When you are at the receiving end of all the water dripping down from women's hair, you will know !!! That is one thing I just cannot fathom. I guess women have no time (or maybe patience?) to dry their hair. Then as I stand in the packed bus, I also get the "opportunity" to identify soap/shampoo brands- How?????
I happen to be a wee bit taller than the average Malayali woman. Consequentially, my head (in effect, my nose) is above most women's head. That is when I am subjected to the' smell' (for lack of better words!) emanating from their heads !! It's mostly a sickening mixture of oil and the soap/shampoo (whatever !). The least said, the better !
And then, the usual prodding, pushing and what not as the impatient travellers try to board and leave the bus. You get stamped once in awhile. Also, men 'accidentally' (intentionally, rather) brush past you.

Another issue is being a student. Here, we are given concession for travelling, much to the discontent of bus owners, who obviously resent it ! Hence, we students are greatly loathed, and the bus conductors try making it difficult for us in every way possible. They bark at us, prevent us from sitting in seats (if they are vacant) ; their logic being that those who pay full amount 'deserve' it.
There have been incidents in Kerala, where buses intentionally took off before the students boarded them, causing injuries to many. Some even shower abuses. Needless to say, I've become more 'thick-skinned' (as they say) !! But not all of them are so mean. There are bus conductors who do not bother us much. But nevertheless, conditions have to improve.

Driving by the bus-drivers is another issue. They go at such alarming speed and drive so carelessly, one fears for one's life. There have been moments when I've thought that the bus is taking us straight to Heaven! They obviously have to be on time, but they are mostly reckless. Hence, we are left swaying from one end to the other, praying we get out of it alive !!!

So that pretty much sums up my experience in buses.

Till next time.........adios !
Thought for the day: "If you can't see the bright side of life, polish the dull side."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

English vs. Malayalam

Let me begin with what got me writing on this topic.

At college, as part of our Communication Aids and Methods course, we were asked to do a public speech. The catch was... it was to be in MALAYALAM ! Now, the funniest part was most of us had problems doing that ! Surprising? Well, I do not think so. It is strange , isn't it?? Your 'mother tongue' is an alien to you and the 'supposed' foreign language ( I hate calling English that !!) is what you prefer.

And before I get into more of this, let me tell you one thing. I am not among the many people who are "proud" of the fact that they don't know Malayalam well, and say so haughtily. I was born and educated till my 4th in Dubai. Obviously, I missed out on the basics of Malayalam and had to learn from scratch over here. Needless to say, it was never my cup of tea. But I did quite well till high school, after which my main language was Hindi. But of course I speak Malayalam very well !
I always wished and desired that I could talk (as in for a PUBLIC SPEECH) and write in Malayalam & English with consummate ease. Like, perhaps, Kamala Das (a.k.a Kamala Suraiyya !). In fact, I believe that it is a great loss. I thus, have lost out on great writers and poets , and of course, their works. And I have , frankly, not been motivated to pick up and read a Malayalam book. Primarily because I feel that my understanding of the intricacies of the language is inadequate.

But the fact I'm trying to highlight is this : We must try to promote our mother-tongue as far as possible. What is happening is that most schools are working hard on improving the English of students. Fair enough. But it should never be at the expense of the mother-tongue. The Kannada-English row in Karnataka is ample proof of 'language politics' (that is of course, another issue in itself. Let's not detour !)
Coming back, parents, teachers and the umpteen number of "Spoken English" classes stress on, perhaps, getting a British, American or whatever diction ! But fail to realise that students hardly mouth their own language properly !

Basically, what I suggest is that there should be a fine balance in the education policies regarding languages... let's give equal preference to both the mother tongue and English. That way, no one misses out on the best of both worlds !

As for my speech, it went quite well...I escaped with minor bruises.

Apo shari. Pinne kaanam ! ha !

Thoughts for the day : "The limits of my language means the limits of my world."

"Language is the dress of thought."


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