Friday, August 31, 2007

Monday in School...

This is the story I wrote for the short story contest in office today.. and coincidently it happens to be the first story I have penned in my life :-)

Little Neha never liked Mondays. She wondered why God had made a day thats not liked by just about anybody she has met in life.Mondays always seemed longer than any other day. Not just longer, they felt depressingly darker somehow.Mondays usually had you writing exams, submitting homeworks and sometimes, PTA meetings too!And as if all those were not enough to hate mondays, the Bangalore Traffic Jams, as daddy says!

And today was not just-another-monday, Neha knew. Her mom was back with her this weekend after a long span of 6 months in the US. Neha had pleaded her to take her along when her when her mom said she was to go onsite for 6 months. "In which country is onsite in mommy?" ,Neha had asked her, in between her sobs.. and mommy had laughed and taken her in her arms and said "No dear, onsite is not a place... Am going to work for a while in US for my company and that is called onsite".

She was so happy to have her mom back soon! Her grandma and grandpa had come from Chennai on Saturday and they had gone to pick her Mom from the airport on Sunday morning.

It had been a hectic weekend for little Neha. She had planned lot of surprises for her mom. Saturday was spent with Dad and Neha going around shopping for groceries, something that Neha used to love doing with her mom before she left. She would carefully pick up packets from the shelves and take a good look at whatever is written at the back, imitating her mom,
though she rarely understood anything.. but it made her feel like mommy and she loved the feeling! After taking care to pick up few packets of chikkis for her mom, she returned home and collected all her toys scattered around and put them neatly into her box.

Neha hardly slept on Saturday night thinking about all the things she planned to do once her mom is back home. She woke up her grandma time and again to ask if it was morning. She didn't remember when she slept, but was already awake and looking at the hands of the clock when grandma came to wake her up in the morning.

On Sunday she was ready even before her dad! And she stood next to the car and screamed "Daddy, come soon..we are going to be late!!" While she waited, she shouted in glee at the newspaper boy "My mama is coming today!!", and then at guy who supplied milk, at the watchman , at the uncle next door...!!

And when mom landed, Neha was running helter-skelter! She ran into her arms and hugged her mom, not speaking a word! Ah, mom's smell is so special! She was too happy to even speak!!

Back at home, the existence of dad,grandma and grandpa was completely ignored by little Neha and she was always with her mom. She did everything she had missed doing in the past 6 months.. she sang to her mom all the new songs she had learnt, mom made Neha her favourite cookies, they went out and had ice creams and then her mom read to her in the night and was at her bed side till she slept.. It was a perfect day!

Monday morning it is... Neha felt like crying out loud.. "Its not fair, I don't want to go to schoolll!!" but mom wouldn't listen. It had been raining heavily since the night before and it was quite cold.Neha remembered she had not done any of the school works in the weekend and her Dad had also completely forgotten about checking her school diary amidst all the weekend rush.

"Mommy, I have not done my English homework and the teacher is going to beat me.. You won't believe it, she beats really hard..I don't want to go...". Mom was not budging at all. She gave another pleading look at grandma knowing her heart would melt. "Let her stay at home Padma, after all she is a small kid". Neha nodded her head and with an even more sad face, she looked up at her mom again to see the response. Hmm.. no way! With a sunken heart she packed her bags and left to school in the rain.

In the bus,as she watched people on the roads with umbrellas, she thought of all the good times spent yesterday and then about her English teacher who is going to beat her soon. Neha never liked her English teacher, but yes, she hated Mondays more.

In the English class, ma'am walked in. Neha was scared to even wish her. She was the famous terror in her school.The kids never liked her because she never hesitated in beating them! Neha's throat was going dry. Teacher began looking into the notebooks of the children in the first bench.. one after the other..Neha was in the 3rd bench. As her turn was fast approaching, Neha was sweating though it was cold and damp outside.

She could hear the teacher getting angry at Rahul for having made a lot of mistakes. Tina was beaten and she began crying. Arun was sent out of the class because he didn't do his. She even said she wants to meet his parents.Peter, who sat next to Neha was fumbling with the pages when ma'am asked him his notebook. "GET OUT OF MY CLASS" she screamed and the whole class froze in silence. Peter was inconsolable.

Neha thought she would burst from within, the tension was mounting so high!

"Excuse me,ma'am. There is a message from the principal to all students" , Rajan uncle, the peon in the office was at the door. Ma'am took the paper from his hand and read out aloud to the class "On account of heavy rain in the city, considering the safety of students and members of staff, all classes have been suspended. Everybody is requested to leave the school premises and board the school buses rightaway and go home."

"Children,please go and board the school bus and return home... there are no classes today".. For a moment, Neha's face turned expressionless. Then all of a sudden she got up and screamed.."Yeeeeaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.." in joy!!

Soon enough the whole class was jumping with joy!! The teacher was also looking at the little ones and joining in thier celebrations... Everything had changed in a split second!!! Neha looked out through the glass panes as the rains lashed outside and whispered to herself
"thankyou rain!! Mondays are not so bad " and gigggled to herself.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

"Pls take an Orkut Photo for me...! "

Thanks to orkut, we have few new words to add to the dictionary. A friend of mine has made a remark on the word "scraps" but more than anything, I think its the word "orkut Photo" thats catching up fast in people's lingo..

Lets try examining what type of word it is..
Of course,its more of an adjective to the word photo.. "Da,pls take an orkut photo of mine .." which means it should be good enough to be put as a profile picture in orkut. As a matter of fact, in order to call a photo "orkut photo" ,it should satisfy the following criteria -

1) Even if I look like a mirror-cracking material in real, in an orkut photo I should like the hero/heroine right out of a sugar-coated-lovey-dovey H(B)ollywood movie.

2)The background should be perfect.. Preferably looking very similar to European countryside or New York skyline. If they can't be met, its alright,pls refer to point no : 4 for a solution.

3)There should be a touch of professional charm in the photography .. you know,something like showing you in a silhoutte with a tiny ray of sun peeping out beneath!

4) For guyz, you get extra points if the photo is taken to show a jazzy car/bike along..and for girls, its any photo where they are decked up like the ladies in kyon ki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi or for that matter, any other K-serials of Ekta Kapoor ...

5) For a handful of people, this kind of photo is taken in such tricky a way that you-will-know-its-me-but-you-can't-see-my-face... like creatively wearing a mask, taking the photo in such a way that only a portion of your face is seen (and the pose looks so natural sometimes!) These people fall in those category where they are strictly forbidden to put their photo in orkut after their worried parents/spouses read about orkut crimes (now, that will soon be another new word !) in newspapers.

6) Orkut photo also happens to be updated very frequently, like ones resume !

A recent trend in orkut photo culture is that people tend to have a "status message" along with their names where they mention if their album has been updated today or not! And then there is a swarm of activity in their scrap books "you look choooo cute yaar" blah-blah...
If you are going on a holiday, few pics are shot mandatorily just to make them candidates for orkut photos and after 5 rounds of heavy rigorous screening which is capable of scaring even our historic Abhimanyu , one of them gets to be "The chosen one". And what follows is another couple of rounds of editing contrast,lighting,removing red-eye blah-blah until the expected degree of "glamourism" is achieved!
All said and done, it would have taken half of your day...and with a satisfied smile you upload your "orkut foto", only to realise that your best friend whom you located recently is still looking at the glamorous "orkut foto" and wondering who you are!Here you are,listing down in his public scrapbook all those moments in your life that were too embarassing for words just to help your weak-memoried friend map the ugly-duckling in school to the glam-doll in the "orkut foto" ! Sigh! :-) But life goes on...

Happy Orkut Photography!