Stay calm, North! 

Characteristically people from the south are different from those up north. I don’t know why but it’s true. Food habits could perhaps have something to do with it. Those from the south eat less of foods that lead to aggression and anger. But I’m not sure that’s entirely a valid argument. 

——-

Last week we were travelling from Madras to Madurai. The flight we were on also had the super famous and sought after movie director Mani Ratnam travelling with his wife and actor Suhasini Ratnam. Now if it was Delhi one would have seen staff from the airline hovering around, loaders carrying their bags, a special coach to take them to the aircraft etc, what happened in Madras was so nice so see. 

The couple checked in, picked up their bags, cleared security, and stood in the same coach that was taking everyone else to the aircraft. No tamasha, no pomp and show. 

——

I went saree shopping when I was in Madras, after having shopped I walked out of the shop with one small bag in my hand. The staff appointed by the shop came running to carry the bag and put it into the car for me. I politely refused saying I was fully capable of carrying it to the car myself. The man smiled and bowed down and said his job was to ensure that customers left the shop happy. 

I’m mentioning this because I rarely see this trait in the shops in Delhi. It shouldn’t matter if I bought stuff for ₹1,000 or ₹1,00,000/-. But in Delhi it would. If I spent a large chunk of money then I’m sure the owners/those managing the shop would go all out to please me. That’s not the story here. Each customer for them is important. I’m offered a cup of kaapi immaterial of the amount of money I end up spending in the shop. 

—–

So much for the north to learn from the south in this aspect. Stay calm, North! 

Sharing is caring, really? 

Here comes a confession – I do not like sharing my help. What does that mean you wonder. A couple of days ago my cook came and told me she was asked by a neighbour/friend to work at their house too. I wasn’t happy but didn’t say anything just yet. 

I mulled over it for two whole days, chewed my husband’s brains until he said, “if it is bothering you so much, I’d suggest you tell the cook you are not okay with the arrangement.” Since this was just the advice I wanted, two days later I broached the subject with the cook. 

“If you want to work there please do, but that won’t work for me,” I told her. All the while hoping she’d say she wanted to continue working in our household and would give that new job up. Thankfully she said just that. My logic behind not wanting to share help amongst friends is all the chatter that travels from one house to the other.

Inadvertently ‘news’ from one house always trickles into the other and I completely detest that. I like talking and sharing with friends but at the same time I also love the privacy I have within my home and would hate to see that be disturbed. 

  
For the same reason I am also very guarded about my doctors. Some doctors have a habit of getting all chatty and saying, “oh, your friend was here yesterday.” I really don’t want to know and for sure not from the doctor. 

Ungenerous you may call me, but I do have my reasons in place, don’t I? 

To Sir, with love! 

I will never ever forget some incidents. One of which revolves around Mathematics and a teacher whom I came to vehemently detest, and continue to. 

I was and am terrible at math, it scares me and I’m often flustered when too many numbers are thrown at me. Class 10 pre-boards happened and all parents were asked to come to school to collect the test papers and meet with the teachers to discuss the problem areas their child was facing. After the math paper I remember telling myself that I had done well enough to clear the paper. 

On the day of the paper distribution my parents walked o to the classroom and the math teacher, a young cocky IIT grad, looked at my father and said, “sir, your daughter has achieved an unachievable feat.” I was very happy to hear this. I thought by some miracle I had scored more than just the pass percentage. I could see from the corner of my eye that my father also was smiling. “Oh, is it. Mathematics isn’t her strong point though. But I am happy with what you are telling us,” said my father. 

“Sir,” began the math teacher menacingly. “Your daughter has truly achieved an unachievable feat. She has secured 13 out of 100. The lowest mark in class and perhaps in all the four sections combined,” he said. 

  
If only he could see what his words were doing to me. More than humiliation, those words left me feeling so small and incapable as a person that I remember spending a great deal of time and energy in believing that I was useless. 

Thankfully for me my parents didn’t make a mountain out of the situation, they were upset, most certainly. But instead of playing the blame game, they channelised all energies in helping me be better at the subject. I managed to score 64% in that paper in the boards. Looking back it all seems like such a terrible dream. 

While I can forget the paper and the marks and everything else, I will never ever forget that teachers  face and his words. They stung and it hurt real bad. 

So please teachers, educators, parents, don’t be harsh on your kids. Think of what you want to say to them, you’ll be surprised at how much they retain and remember. 

P.S.- Mr. Ravi Shankar, if you still are in the profession of teaching I do hope you are sensitive and apply some heart in dealing with students. If not, I know for sure where I am not sending my kids. 

Amma can run!

What an apt song is playing as I sit down to write this piece. “IF NO ONE IS WILLING TO STAND BY YOU, THEN WALK ALONE.”

So, I completed my maiden 5 km run today.

What I realised while running was how mentally draining it is to run, forget the physical strain. I say mental strain because if you run with your own rhythm and pace, you will have ample time on hand by yourself on the road. The mind usually wanders to places it shouldn’t when left unrestrained.

Today, as I was running, just after crossing the 3 km mark I wanted to turn around and call it a day but decided to push a little more and finish what I signed up for. The 2 km stretch made me think about so many things that honestly I didn’t even think I remembered. Running as a sport, in my opinion, if taken on seriously and in its true spirit can be deeply meditative.

There was a point in the run when all I was telling myself was, “DO or DIE,” not like I really wanted to drop dead but saying it to myself helped. Imagine saying it in a HULK like voice, over and over and over again.

What I truly enjoyed about the run today was the time that it gave me to myself, to reflect, and to push myself to finish. Also, all the photographs we clicked post the run, what fun they were. I now totally and wholeheartedly get all the euphoria and medal biting pictures I see on Facebook post runs.

collage 1.png

Will I do this again? Hell, yeah 🙂

Note to self: Attempt a 10k by the end of the year, and convert 1 non-runner into a runner.