What Runs Me These Days!

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Every man needs fuel. These days, I take Coffee for fuel; black coffee. It keeps me running when I’m multi-tasking. At the risk of sounding like I’m whining, most people around me are oblivious of the fact that I’m doing more than two things at a time. I am part of a team of Research Scholars working their arses off for running a National Seminar on Translation Studies. I am also at the same time, working for bringing out a e-journal for our Translation group – WiTS (We in Translation Studies!). Besides this, I have to work for my Doctoral Committee, that’s on the 29th of April!!! Above all this, my chapters and the re-writing and editing of them looms large on me.

(Okay! Enough whining. Stop being a crybaby!)

So, my kettle is working as hard me, these days, ready to provide Coffee at any short notice. My muse blesses me when Coffee stimulates my brain and when I’m pissed off (which seems to be rather easy, these days!) I watch 20 mins of House of Cards! Because of lack of time, I take three days to finish an episode of House of Cards. I don’t see my friends these days. I find it difficult to find time to talk to my parents and nobody seems to be respecting the minimum privacy that I, as human being, am entitled to.

And, at the right time, one of my friends decided to transform himself completely into an asshole and started gossiping around! I knew sooner or later he was going to come out and say that ‘Hey, I’m an asshole and I’m proud of it!’ but I never thought he’d time it perfectly when I was in a puddle of mushy things. It is natural for you to get a bit puzzled when someone, who has been a complete failure in everything he did, start lecturing you about moral principles. My initial thought was to use my brand new basebat on his testicles but a mutual friend told me that he may have none. I’m planning to use it on his knuckles and knees, instead! I mean, why do people have to talk about others at all? Why can’t they just mind their own business and make their lives interesting? Sad! Such people shouldn’t have been born at all.

(Enough! Assholes exist! Deal with it… or go to sleep!)

So, our dreams are gonna come true this Monday; the inauguration of the National Seminar and our e-journal Kalpana. All of you are free to visit our webpage here.  Wish me luck, amigos, because I’m in need of it.

And, have this one extra cup of Coffee. It is being made by the best Coffee maker in the world. Coffee from Golden Hands. DSC_1134

- Manu

In to the Woods

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You left your shadow in the woods
For me to follow.
I followed it the whole evening,
Crunching the dead leaves
Under my feet
and
watching the length of the shadow
increasing.
When the last light faded.
You disappeared.
Leaving me with the shadows of
Long dead trees and
my Memories.
Everything assumed gigantic forms
and swallowed me.
I heard you say,
“I had that for you.”

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Look What He Has Done…

It is not so easy to wake up in the middle of the night and realize that you haven’t written anything in your beloved blog for almost two weeks. The first question that pops in to your mind is, ‘Is everything alright with me?’

Work can get to one in many ways, people. I guess that’s what is happening to me. My ‘Other self’ is busy with ‘Other Stuff’; organizing a seminar and running around for the benefit of a group. Me, on the other hand works towards amassing papers after papers of ‘written stuff’, which in future will be considered for a thesis, if at all it makes sense to my supervisor.

So, it IS the middle of the night and I just woke up. I see that the room’s interior has changed considerably. Most of the old cloths that I had kept from throwing away has been thrown off, mercilessly. The number of books on the table has diminished considerably with those that I have read removed to nowhere.

(Well, I just found what I needed!)

It doesn’t end here. The number of beer bottles in the room have gone down too. That’s terrible isn’t it? What has the ‘Other Guy’ been doing to the room that is equally meant for me too? Moreover, he hasn’t even listened to my favorite Rolling Stones in more than a week. Ain’t he terrible? Thankfully, the Scotch Whiskey is untouched.
To amaze me after all this, there’s a brand new Nikon D3200 inside my cupboard! WTF! I don’t even know how to use it. The Users Manual was a mixture of Greek, Latin and Spanish! Like I needed a Users’ Manual for anything.

(So, again, to remind you all, I am up in the middle of the night…. listening to my Favorite Rolling Stones… going through the material the Other Guy has written. Well, some of it is pretty difficult to understand. He should know better than to write things that might look like a page out of some arsehole’s diary. Its all whining about what happened to this country in the last 40 years! And, why they happened… Too much politics to deal with, for a layman like me.

Anyway, dogs are barking outside. They seemed to have sensed my presence.

Signing off…
- The Other Guy!

Exam Woes

S.S.L.C Exams (Grade 10) are a big deal in India. The final year of school. Kids, teachers and parents (along with school management) go through a nerve-wrecking period once the portions are covered. Psychologists, psychiatrists and private tutors thrive during this tumultuous times. Parents run around for collecting study materials without even spending a minute to think if the poor child can swallow the information these products offer. Some say that a student’s entire life is depended upon how much marks s/he can score on these exams. In most cases, parents are the decision-makers. They decide what a student should do after the results are announced. Often s/he is send to some course that the parents are interested in. This humble writer belongs to a privileged group in which no such pressure was exerted.
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I was an average student who had problems with learning. Letters often escaped me. Even though my parents are quite educated (a PhD, three MA’s and decades of teaching experience between the both of them!) they failed to figure out my issues on time. I had to get my head checked to find out that I was dyslexic and by that time I no longer had to go through any excruciating experience of schooling. As I have always maintained, the institution that I spend the last years of my schooling was a madhouse run by moralistic nincompoops who believed in ridiculing and bullying students. None of them helped students but on the other hand, rather enjoyed making stories about them. Very few amongst them knew the art of teaching and even amongst that few this art died when they entered menopause. There were a couple of hags who came just to gossip. After this stretch in this madhouse of a school, when I was sent to another school for attending Higher Secondary, I was relieved beyond limits. I felt wanted, there. My History teacher loved me for my accuracy and ability to remember dates in a chronological order. My Political Science teacher valued my opinions and my Sociology teacher often cracked jokes on the strange values and ideas I possessed. Economics was the only tough nut in the whole course but I came out of it unscathed by the help of a friend of my Uncle’s, towards the exam period.

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Whatever I have said above is to make the point that the Indian educational system is not at all good for the students. Competition is not the solution. To those who argue that there is a world out there in which you need to fight to survive, let me ask you one single question…

‘What will the world do with so many doctors, engineers and scientists?’

My own cousin is writing the SSLC exams that are starting today. He is a bright boy of 14, who writes poems and screenplays. I was 14 when he was born and I have seen him grow up right under my eyes. Just like me, he also had his own problems which hampered his studies a bit but my parents started coaching him recently, even though it was a bit late. He called me yesterday night to seek my blessings (not that I am a warlock or something!) and I gave him my best wishes. I also told him to be cool and that the world does not end with an exam result. I just wanted to give the boy some courage and I hope he got it. I do not want a sweet boy like him to fizzle out because of an imperfect academic system.

I was a bit upset with this in the morning and it resulted in an argument with my Mom (who is a school teacher). I told her that schools are the most depressing institutions in the state and teachers should be renamed as ‘torturers.’ I did not wait for her reply.

- Manu