Saturday, May 22, 2010

11th class: A rewind

NB: This post was written two days ago

Today is the first day of my summer vacation. And no, I'm not feeling euphoric, joyful or excited. I think I'm feeling a bit lost.

I officially started in 11th class after the last board exam on the 31st of march. On one of the earlier exam days, I had made a trip to school to check out the list put up in front of our Principal's office. The list showed us the sections we would have in 11th class, based on results from the pre-boards (Science students were in A and B, commerce and humanities in C and D). As I ran a finger down the list, I'll admit I was a bit disappointed. Not only was I practically alone in taking Humanities (barring my friends Nil and Remya, I didn't know anyone taking Humanities), but my class had many kids to whom I'd hardly ever spoken. And to spend two years with them all...somehow I didn't feel confident at all. I had already known that most of my former class was taking Science and wouldn't be with me this time, but somehow seeing it in paper seemed to set an official seal on the fact.

My first week was not very cheery. As a Humanities student, I was constantly subject to the funny looks and questions that go with making an unconventional choice. "Ummm, so why have you taken Humanities?", " Why the hell didn't you take Science?!", "You'll have it easier than us", "Enjoy if", "Dry stuff, why didn't you go for science?" , rolled eyes, confused looks with an "Oh, but I'll take science" on the side. I was fairly prepared for that, but I wasn't ready for the wave of self doubt that was to follow.

When I was a kid, in irritation with everyone around me telling me the benefits and popularity of the Science stream, I proclaimed that I would choose Humanities just to prove them all wrong. But there's a great difference between something you say as a kid and what you spend months on end deciding on. I had no intention of making my choice hastily or with incomplete information. I had done my research, but I found it difficult to choose because I liked all my subjects and was reluctant to give up one to pursue the other. And even after fixing my mind on one choice, I couldn't help thinking, rethinking, questioning and doubting that I was making the biggest mistake of my life (Yeah, I was getting a bit melodramatic with worry). Eventually of course, I decided that no matter how much I liked Science, I wouldn't score in it so there was no point. And I'd always enjoyed Humanities subjects. The way forward seemed clear, but a load of kids questioning your choice doesn't make the thing any easier.

My classmates and teachers were my redeeming points for the first few weeks (Check out my friend Remya's article here). I didn't get the Maths teacher I wanted to avoid so I was glad of that. And my Political Science and Geography ones were the same from last year so I was pretty happy. On the other hand, my English teacher was the one whom I'd felt blessed to be rid off the last year(Guess shadows come back to haunt you). Lastly, I had two economics teachers who were as different as possible. The lady was hot tempered and seemed to determined to trip us up with our limited knowledge. The other one (our principal) seemed confused but self satisfied and bored me to sleep with his every class.

As for my classmates, like I said, I hardly knew most of them. So I was pretty nervous that first day. I could almost feel them thinking, "Here's another padaku (studious)" (But then again, I was probably being paranoid) I didn't even know the names of many of them. Luckily, I found I was being a lot more communicative (I have no idea why) so I soon found out all their names at least.

I was still pretty sad the first week. Emotions ranged from self doubt to missing my former class. 11th felt like a huge step, a total change. One of the things that kept up my spirits at this time was regularly meeting with my old classmates. Hearing them complain about their teachers, timetables, classrooms and classmates had quite a calming effect and helped me not feel too isolated.

The next couple weeks were pretty unique. Slowly, I learned to adjust to the new surroundings and feel more comfortable. I learned to establish fresh connections while retaining my old ones. I was finally doing all the things I'd planned for 11th class. Reading new books, listening to new and old songs, blogging, chatting in school, calling friends on the telephone, watching new movies all helped me calm down and go with the flow.

The last few weeks were pretty exciting. I'd made many new friends in my class. Studies were getting more and more interesting. And there were loads of funny incidents in class too. The latest one was this: In geography class, someone decided to ask why tsunamis don't hit a particular area. On cross examination (I think our teacher decided to test how much he knew first), he said that they were caused by water pollution. On further questioning, he revealed that water pollution was caused by global warming. And this having only the faintest idea what global warming was. 20 mins of scolding and lecturing by our teacher and a week's worth of laughs. Priceless :)

We also had two competitions in school: Solo singing, and On-the-spot solo dancing. Originally, I wasn't going to participate in either of them. But on the mornings themselves, I impulsively decided otherwise. In the music competition, I was the last performer and I didn't have a background track. When I started out, my hands were shaking pretty badly. So badly in fact, that my whole mike was shaking, making a very annoying tik tik tik sound. The other mike was malfunctioning, so I sang my song, constantly thinking, "Damn. I sound like crap". In the dance competition, I picked up a song I didn't even remember. I have no idea what I did, but I was pretty sure I'd embarrassed myself permanently. Later, everyone I met complimented me for both (but it's only now I'm believing them; I was quite convinced to the contrary). Bless them.

In this last week, I began observing all the changes that had taken place. I've made plenty of new friends, the new students have settled in, I'm doing well with my teachers, I enjoy my subjects, I now feel more comfortable in my choice and I'm able to pursue many of my extra curricular pursuits. Looking back, I'm glad I gave myself time. Time to adjust, to accept and to enjoy. And now abruptly it's all over. A whole summer away from school.

Summer holidays are here.

Lost, bewildered, confused....what now???!!!

A whole summer of reading, writing, singing, listening, talking, studying and a chance to make the most of it that I can. A fresh blank page for me to write on. What more can I ask for?

Will there be memories worth treasuring?

P.S. Recent information says that the results for the tenth class CBSE board will be released in a few days. All I can say is, "Eeeeeeeeeeep!" 

Monday, May 17, 2010


Today my blog received its first two awards:

So first of all....

Thanks Thousif!

Do drop by his post here to see the other winners at the Raza Awards :) Some pretty amazing blogs. I'm not going to be vain enough to repeat his words of praise, but either way, I was thrilled........

I'm also taking this opportunity to list another award I'd received. Thousif's awards are the first I've received since I started this blog, but I got another one before that. Here it is:


Thanks Nil!

To both Thousif and Nil, a million thanks. You guys are both seriously inspirational and your motivation (especially yours Nil ;) ) was(is) really valuable. Appreciation from you really makes my day. I love you guys and your blogs are awesome! You and all the others who've commented on my blog have really helped me keep writing and enjoy it   :)
So now to continue the chain, I'm passing on the best follower award to:

Vivarjitha!!!   Thanks for following my blog with such enthusiasm. Keep writing!

BTW, Have lots of posts planned and will start putting them up soon. And until then, to all my readers, thank you!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Achieving the impossible...

Many days ago, I read this story in the newspaper. This was a fictional story in a motivation article. A boy in school fell asleep in his maths class. When he woke up at the end of the class, he saw two problems written on the board. Thinking that they were for homework, he copied them down before going home. At home, he put his full efforts into solving the problems. They were hard, but he laboured throughout the night and managed to solve one. In the maths class, he showed it to his teacher. He was afraid he would be punished for not finishing his homework but as it turned out, his teacher was astonished. This was because the problem solved by the boy was actually (or should I say, was supposed to be) impossible. The moral of the story, of course, was that determination can achieve anything.

This got me thinking. It's all very well for the boy who fell asleep in class, but what about us? What if we were awake in that class and had heard the teacher say the problem was impossible? How would we solve the problem then?

In our lives, no matter what age we are, we all sometimes face problems that we think are impossible. Whether it's learning a new skill, solving a particular problem, changing ourselves (or others) for the better etc. We usually start by thinking that it will be difficult, but if we find we can't succeed after putting in some efforts, it might become easy for us to give up. We could decide that the task is impossible, or at least, impossible for us, and give it up. Or even if we do continue, it'll be with a sort of defeated attitude. If we wouldn't feel confident of our skills, it'll be easy to feel demoralised. So what do we do when we get into the mindset of "this is impossible!" ? What do we do if we've stayed awake in class and "know" a problem is impossible? Unless we have are super-powerful at forgetting things and are also determined to finish the task, it's likely to be hard for us. Now I'm in no way qualified to be a lifestyle coach or motivational guru, but if you're interested, here are my views:

1. Analyse - There's no way you're going to solve a problem if you're ignorant. Make sure you've gathered some information about your challenge; whether you actually LIKE what you're trying to do, whether you have the faintest clue of what to expect, whether you really want to commit yourself to try hard and so on.

2. Be rational - It's not likely you'll have to solve an impossible problem. If you've already analysed, you should have a fair idea of whether you want or have to do. Even if you have to solve something "impossible", try to be rational and not hysterical.

3. Be determined - If you really want to do something, most tasks should be easier than you think because half the battle is won. Self motivation is exactly what'll keep you going.

4. Forgive - Yourself, the situation, others, whoever you have to for your peace of mind. Relax.

5. Remember - You've done new stuff before, right? In fact, lots of the stuff you take for granted now was probably new to you at some point. As for a personal example, when a new session starts in school, I go through my books to see what I'll be studying the year. It looks really intimidating at first, but by the end of the year it feels like the back of my hand. You'll have different problems no doubt, but don't make the mistake of focusing only on the mistake you've made. Let the successes you've had do their job and buoy you up when you need it!

In the end, don't give up without giving your best ;)

Image :

Monday, May 3, 2010

55 fiction

55 fiction is a contemporary form of fiction in which the author must limit himself or herself to 55 words. Here's my first attempt. Do tell me what you think!


I opened my eyes blearily.
Bright light, noise, movements, screaming...Where was I?
Where had I come from?
Colours and shapes, jumbled up…
Shoved and pushed, I wanted to return to the warm, comfortable darkness. Oh, what was my crime?

And then I heard a voice,

"Get up sleepyhead. It's time for school"