Thursday, March 27, 2008

Total Time Pass

My exam results were declared a few days earlier, and considering I'm still alive and kicking, you can safely assume they weren't that bad. Actually, they weren't bad at all.

So now, I have one full week of lazy holidays till the new session begins. Funny, but just when we're all excited to enter our new class, the creepy teachers give us these free tickets for some vacation to Timbuktu. But when we're dying to revise our syllabus before the exams, a holiday becomes a faraway fantasy. It's almost like offering a free air conditioned room in the winters.

In these hols, my timetable usually consists of munching Lays chips, sleeping for 10 hours, watching TV, gulping down bottles of Coca Cola, feasting on tikki burgers, french fries and ice cream. No wonder people say I've robbed a McDonald's outlet. But it's not as if I eat cuz I want to eat. I just eat to pass time. And cuz it gives me an excuse to sleep, and digest whatever I've wolfed down.

Recently, mum commented I was transforming into some human Garfield. She joked I was some sleeping beauty, who wants to be caged in a castle. (To give you a clear picture of what followed, I would advise you to watch episode 35091 of any of Ekta Kapoor's drama-filled saas-bahu soaps; but just replace the tearful bahu with a sweet, innocent looking kiddo of 13.) At the end of the argument, mum won. Obviously. It's like a nerd trying to defeat Mike Tyson at his own game. So mum dragged me off to go walking, the first step to weight loss, with her.

Walking at eight in the night with crickets adding to the background score might sound pleasant. Very pleasant. But wait. It's also the time the angry office goers return home racing in their Honda City's, and televisions are set at full volume, so much so that poor pedestrians in the middle of the streets can hear Rakhi Sawant's comments on losing Nach Baliye and Dhoni underplaying his recent victory on CNN IBN. Eight in the night is also the time when the vegetable and fruit vendors arrive with their loaded carts, and aunties are burdened with the task of deciding what curry they would prepare for dinner that night. So a peaceful road adorned with flickering streetlights eventually turns into the most happening place in the colony, and walking, the best sport in the world (not that I know many). As we walked, I chatted a lot with mum too, filling her on the latest news from school, and that Kareena Kapoor was actually lighter than me.

Apart from walking, I caught up on some reading too. Well, I'm not the one who crosses the road with her nose buried in a hard bound book and causes a traffic jam, but on the other hand, I don't need an inauguration ceremony when I'm entering a bookstore too. I just read whatever I can find, mostly judging a book by its cover illustrations and other components of the jacket. A good book, for me, refers to anything that can entertain me while nothing's good on MTV. I just read Chetan Bhagat's books-'One night at the Call Centre' and 'Five Point Someone'- and found the latter incredibly boring. I also read 'Interpreter of Maladies', which happily accompanies mum these days to work in her giant office bag , and decided that a short story wasn't my cup of tea.

Well, I've updated you about my activities in the past week, and am eagerly looking forward to my first day in class 9. But now, I gotta go. The pizza (with extra cheese) delivery man just arrived.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


I've always been one of those kids who hide in their mum's dupatta whenever the doorbell rings on Holi, when enthusiastic kids half my height wait eagerly to test their new pichkaris, with me as guinea pig.

I've never been able to understand the purpose behind discolouring beautiful people and transforming them into cartoon characters. Well, my experiences with Holi have always been bad. If not bad bad, they've been humiliating for me, and humourous for most others. And how can I forget that fateful Holi three years ago, a few days before I entered class 6th....

I was merrily hopping to the market, after making sure the coast was clear and not a single pichkari with world destroying capabilities was within the radius of 10 metres. But how was I to know there was an evil plan being hatched on the roof? The next moment, I stood drenched in the red and watery contents of a huge balti, with evil laughs resounding in my ears....

The same day, our over-enthusiastic neighbour dabbed a suspicious-looking blue powder all over my face. Although it washed off, it left me itching all day long, and the skin around my right eye turned an ugly blue-black. I tell you, never trust your neighbour. Especially on Holi.

So when I attended my first day of class 6th, not only were my arms and legs dyed red, I had a huge black patch around my eye. One kid actually had the cheek to ask whether I had gone boxing with my ferocious SST teacher, and she had boxed my eye or something...

Naturally, I'd come to dread Holi, and became a patient of Holiphobia. I migrated from behind the curtains and started hiding under the bed. I would hate the sound of Amitabh Bacchan stretching his vocal chords on Rang Barse. I would wear brand new clothes and think this would sensitize people not to spoil the attire of a poor ol' soul. I was even honoured with the distinction of being the one and only Delhite who hated Holi. (Sheesh, atleast I was honoured with something!)

But this Holi, fate had other plans. I was to be pushed out of the house by my mum and told not to return until every toenail looked colourful. My mum, the same mum, who had once guarded me against all Holi players, said this to me. Dad added fuel to the fire, saying he'd call an ambulance in advance, lest I came back with my mouth filled with toxic colours or something. I felt betrayed. And hurt.

But not wanting to argue, I proceeded cautiously down the road with a packet of herbal colours. I had oiled my hair nicely, so much so my mum could have cooked aloo paranthas with the oil dripping from it. I met my friends from school at the gate, who seemed to have bathed in a rainbow, and hesitantly offered my cheek for a dab of colour. I checked if they too used herbal colours, and constantly reminded them to stop reaching for my eyes, as colours can actually make a person blind. As time passed, I became used to balloons suddenly exploding in my hair and powder going into my mouth and eyes. (Don't worry, nothing happened. I can still see the monitor and the keyboard.) And I hate to admit this, but I soon began to enjoy myself and became a part of all the craziness....

You wouldn't believe this, but I was totally drenched and hardly recognizable. Even my teeth were reddish in colour. I bet I resembled those maths teachers at school, who dabbed lipstick in a hurry during the recess, and came to class with red lipstick sticking to their teeth. When I reached home, my mum screamed and called my dad, claiming there was a hooligan at the door. It took an entire 10 minutes to persuade her that it was me, her lovable daughter, to gain an entry into the house. Then began the rigorous task of removing the colours in the washroom. I scrubbed myself with a pumice stone, till the time my skin threatened to peel off. But I came out with no significant improvement, and reminiscent of that 'fateful' Holi three years ago....

I would love to show you guys my picture and make you understand the severity of my problem, but I don't want an increase in the number of heart patients in our already over-burdened hospitals.

I was later told by my dear friend that the colours she used were 20% stronger and long lasting, to retain the after effects of Holi for a long time. To add to my troubles, my exam results are to be declared the day after tomorrow, and I don't want nasty teachers laughing and scolding me simultaneously. Worse, what if they start giving me cosmetic tips in front of the entire class? Or what if the kindergarden kids start laughing at me?
Oh no, oh no....God, I know Holi goes on for days in heaven, but pleaseeee, step down to earth and HELP ME OUT!

in great trauma,