Not Intrusted

Everyone knows that no one really studies before July after you've completed tenth (doesn't apply to science people). But the school can't let us stay at home for WHOLE three months, can it? So this is what my school does- makes us reach school at SEVEN A.M. in the morning. Yes. Seven. Because its too hot at 7: 45. It lets us off at 1. Because its too hot at 2. This would've made sense, just a TINY, TINY bit if we had something to do in school.
For example, yesterday
First Block - Played Pictionary.
Second Block- Made up plans for tomorrow's trip but then dumped them all.
Third Block- Roamed around in school.



Its like this everyday. Anyway, coming back to my post topic,

We have workshops every single day. Career Counselling. People from different organisations come everyday to make us aware of all the options we have before we make a decision. Mostly, we are told about the unconventional, lesser known careers, which is rather fun. Like yesterday, we had a guy telling us about animation. Did you know that the entire Avatar was shot in an airport hangar?!! Wait, I'm going a little off the point now.
So we have very different people coming up and talking to us. People in my school don't accept anyone new easily. They poke fun and mock them, unless they judge them cool enough to listen.

There came some people who spoke a little differently. With an accent, or weird pronunciations. Face it, nobody's perfect. There was this one guy who kept pronouncing interesting as 'intrusting' and kept saying 'You needs'. So maybe its a little funny. Once. Twice. Then you've had enough with the mockery.
This is one thing I don't get- if people speak in a different way, why does the rest of the world have such a huge problem with it? Is it the reluctance to accept someone unusual?
My dad always says, if the content in your speech is good enough, if there is power in your words, then it doesn't really matter how you say it. People want to listen to you.

Last year, we had this teacher who broke up words, like she'd say, "Consti...." Pause. "Tution." "Legis...." pause. "Lation". When she started to teach us, many people inserted a 'pation' after the consti, before she could get to tution. But then everyone started to realize, she was a really, really good teacher. The best in her subject. Soon everyone forgot about the consti, and listened to her eagerly.
New Kid started making fun of the 'intrusting' guy and I told him to get over it.
"Come on, Srishti," said New Kid. "Don't be such a Mother India."
That doesn't even make sense. How does not making fun of somebody make you a mother India? Its not even called being nice...its just plain, common, courtesy.
And the New Kid is a published author.
Go figure. :|

We were taken to an old age home today. It was nice, but I certainly can't say moving. Everyone treated them like they were time bombs, who could explode any time and start crying and narrating their life story. They looked happy enough. A girl in my class started crying. Really. She did. :|

One important point one uncle there raised was, why don't we have religious studies as a subject? Not centered on one particular religion, but a basic, common understanding of all religions. After all, religion is an integral part of any society, its important that we know about it.

He's telling us about his childhood days. :)

He's telling us a joke. Everyone was laughing crazily when he finished, but I didn't get it. Something' really, really wrong with me.

I also had to stand up and tell them how cool it was to be there! I used some really good Hindi words. :D

Also, I really, really like Regina Spektor. That woman is a genius. I love her music. Its all about Lady GaGa and Mariah Carey these days....Regina Spektor trumps all of them. Here is one of her coolest songs-

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Can I get some fire?

So on Saturday night, I was at the New Friends colony market. Its a really good market actually, with loads of good restaurants without the snobby air of it.

I was with this other person (henceforth referred to as 'Uncle') and this another person (henceforth referred to as 'Ann').
We were waiting for our juice and I looked around aimlessly. There were food stalls and magazine vendors, as I checked out their titles.
Then Uncle pointed to us, a group of three girls. Look at them, he said. They're smoking, his voice more patronizing than usual.
I resisted the urge to say "So?"
Ann looked mostly unconcerned.
Uncle looked at them, disdain clearly visible on his face.
"Do y'know, smoking is prohibited in public places?", he told us in a matter-of-factly tone.
And then I realized something-
He wouldn't have given them a second glance, if instead of those girls, there were a bunch of guys standing there and smoking.

Which they do all the time. But does anyone bat an eyelid? No.

He still had an expression of distaste on his face, as if he'd swallowed a particularly juicy fly, and I half-expected him to go over there, snatch the cigarettes out of their hands, stump them beneath his feet and yell, "Batameez!"
I didn't want to say anything or I'd be chastised for Not Knowing Anything and Speaking Without Thinking.

I was a little confused; as far as i had seen, he was a man with modern views.
Then why this prejudice?

This question is not directed at him, but to all people in general who have a problem with ONLY girls smoking in public. Or smoking at all (or anything else, for that matter).

Is this how its supposed to be, then? Even though smoking in public places is banned, when guys do it, thats alright, but when girls do it, its not? Is that it? Now smoking is a guy's domain? Isn't that sexist?

In this day and age, when we pride ourselves on having a female President, when the gap between girls and guys is fast getting bridged, where does a prejudice of this sort fit?

Merely allocating a third of seats in the Legislature to women isn't gonna do the trick. Sexual prejudice is deep-seated, and needs to be combated in our everyday lives. The very mindset of people has to change. Handing out political power doesn't necessarily mean change. Its little things like these that matter.
Now I'm no smoker, nor do I think that its a very good habit. I mostly dodge the fumes, as I know that passive smoking is equally harmful. But I don't believe in this kinda prejudice.

In 10th, in Political Science, we had a chapter- Gender, Caste and Religion. It taught how discrimination takes place in each of these three.
We study about it so much, we make notes, we get marks and sometimes even straight A's. But when it comes to practical application, we fail miserably. Then we go back to our rigid, old-age, dead beliefs (not implying that these are ALWAYS bad), wholly convinced we are right.
Theory is BASED on practical application. If after reading about all kinds of biases, being explained how they are wrong in a thoughtful, logical way, we still cannot apply it in our lives, then its safe to consider our entire year absolutely wasted.

On a completely different note, I'M GOING TO CAMP!!!
Youreka, thank you, thank you, thank you for existing! 11th June, I board the train for Chakrata, or Room on the Roof. My major will be watercraft. I shall learn all about rafting, reading water currents, paddling and all that. I haven't yet decided on my minor.
Maybe I'll be awesome at my major. Maybe that one week will be the best week of my life. Maybe I'll meet the love of my life.
Who knows? Anything can happen.



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I'll miss you, Ma'am

Dedicated to Brinda Ma'am, the awesomest teacher ever.

So we were a mixed section. I am, or rather was, in tenth D. Here, there were nine students with French as second language and 30 students with Hindi as second language. French and Hindi classes were at the same time, so needless to say, we were thrown out of the class, since we were the minority.
Our fun started with this. Going out and looking for an empty class wastes a lot more time than waiting for the teacher to come in the class.
Ma'am, we always went in the opposite direction so you'd find us later and we'd study lesser.
We always pretended that we didn't know the class we were supposed to be in even though you told us to be there the previous day.

We knew how you loved to talk, so if we weren't in the mood to study any particular day, we thought of topics in which we could engage you. Wines, cheese, Paris, other teachers, your students, interior designing, your travels, Michael Jackson...we knew how to make you talk. And we loved you for it. And yet again, when we had spent the entire class talking about all this stuff, and the bell would ring, you'd say "Don't make me talk tomorrow, children".
And we would smile sincerely but still do that the next day.

I never got my Get Ready to class, and you still forgave me. My French notebook was an assortment of doodles, lyrics of songs, quotes, everything but French.
You always said that you'd call my parents but you never did.

Its funny, but we actually looked forward to French. Not because we could sit back and relax and just chat. But because we could do that AND study, both at the same time.
Because you became our best friend, Ma'am. Because we never could get enough of you, no matter what. Because you gave us hundreds of thousands of assignments and made us do them while consulting us about your perfume. Because we could call teachers by their names in front of you.

We love you, Ma'am. You ask us if other children mimic you and we can honestly answer yes. Then you'd laugh and tell us to show you. And we did.
You shared with us all your experience, some even personal, and told us all you could.
We came to your house to study, just before the French board, and couldn't help gasping at your beautiful house, which you had mentioned so many times before. I still remember sitting at your beautiful terrace, talking about everything.

Yes, Ma'am. You're the best, Ma'am.

All my love,

P.S. I never ate the chips of those sixth class students. Neither did I leave that note. Swear, ma'am.

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