Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It was the sandstorm that wrecked it- the cable operator’s dish, that is. A whole uncharted weekend lay ahead sans cable TV. How could I combat eighteen hours of wakefulness each day for two days on the trot?

Being an early bird has its distinct disadvantages on holidays. While the whole family rested in the arms of Morpheus, my body clock woke me up at five thirty and made it impossible to toss and turn past five forty five. The TV set sat there mocking me as a silent observer revelling in its power to upset the rhythm of my holidays.

The morning cuppa and newspaper were history by six thirty. Getting hold of a Sidney Sheldon, I dragged a chair by the front window and flopped in it trying to overcome the ennui by flipping open the thriller.

Soon the wide road running in front of my house captured my attention. Groups and lone figures of morning walkers were sweating their way back to their homes with the morning sun already prodding them on with glimpses of what it would do to them by noontime. Soon a steady stream of school children started pouring in the street, some of them bending under the load of their satchels, other getting a little respite by placing the load of their education on their laps while their rickshaw puller half rose into the air pushing a pedal down, his rickshaw carrying about ten of the tiny-tots, throwing all government directives to the wind.

Soon the raucous burst of a school bus horn scattered the pedestrians and other road users, spilling them towards the sidewalks but alas! Most of the residents of the `posh’ colonies of Lucknow specialise in illegally barricading the sidewalks into `personal’ lawns. The children scurried towards these barriers in a bid to get away from the path of the bus hurtling down the road, but fortunately the road is quite wide and the bus passes with an arrogant hoot of horn and normalcy is restored.

That the assembly time of the neighbourhood school was drawing close became apparent as a steady procession of four and two wheelers rushed past. Today on Saturday, the children are wearing white uniform instead of the regular greys. Saturdays are ostensibly marked out for extra-curricular activities and sports, but their bulging bags full of dreary text-books and home-work note-books spill the beans.

It is almost dusk now. The remnant of the day is folding up as the stars come out for their daily darshan. The whole day has passed off without the benumbing effects of the tube. The make-believe world of the screen has made me a bit more circumspect. I have not been a witness to scenes of dismembered limbs in the attacks of retribution in the Gaza strip or Sri Lanka, nor have I been disturbed by the upward movement of the spiraling inflation curve. The jingle lines of the ads did not pressurize me into buying unrequired debris…I was at peace with myself…

3 comments:

Varuna Bhanrale said...

This is what I felt after reading the article:
Meticulous observation of such things which rarely, if ever, attract the attention of people as these are very much a routine for them. The scene of the students hurrying off to school has been brought to life by the skill with which the words have been woven together. There's no want of subtle humour either, and the ease with which the words have been played with is admirable.
This article,also restates the reality (which at times is bitter)-Rules are made, just to be trampled over by people who in the first place had demanded them, and that, so much is said & discussed but nothing actually done to relieve the young shoulders of the heavy bags that are filled with printed pages good enough to make children literate but not good enough to give them knowledge.

RAMACHANDRAN said...

My Dear Robin,
The Astute observation & proficiency in the 'Choice of words',leaves me agape.
The fact of the matter is the SORDID STATE OF AFFAIRS or The Political Scenario is Sacrosanct to say the least !Bereft of any accountability,qualification & responsibility. There seems to be an acute shortage of ideas...But there always is a light at the end of a tunnel ! After every dark night, there comes a New Dawn !

Cheers Dude !!!

Punkhuri said...

dear sir,
sorry i cant write heavy stuff for comments like the ones that you have received before. but i really wanted to appreciate your article n tell you that this one is one of the very selected pieces that keep me glued to the words till the end. i comletely adore the way that you write n i really hope that one day i will be able to express myself atleast 0.1% like you do. you are an inspiration...seriously....

keep on addin new stuff,
ill keep track,
punkhuri.