I tried writing this very profound post about weddings, etc. Then I realized the subject has already become redundant, in a manner of speaking, in this blog, so that post was abandoned.
Now, I’m too ill to think straight. Now sounds like ‘dow’ when I say it. My eyelids are all puffy and I’m beginning to look Chinese – it isn’t like I’m some doe-eyed Indian type anyway. This mega event that I’ve christened ‘Shruthi’s Annual Mega Sinus Blowout’ happens once a year - when I get so ill I can barely stand straight for a few minutes at a time. The rest of the year, it’s just a mild or non-existent version of things. Unlike my friend P, I have it easy in the allergies and sinusitis department. There was a time, however, when things were different. A time when all I remember was being ill.
This was school. There were about 3,000 other students there. I was in a class of 50-odd kids. Sat right in front and had to answer ‘how do you write with your left hand?’ at least once a day. I also remember having to blow my nose a lot. When you’re in my kind of school, it’s not the best thing to be doing.
Primary school was about the worst time of my life. Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats how annoying it was. To begin with, I was younger than the entire lot – born in November 1984 in a class full of people who were born in 1983 or early 1984. Then there was the matter of how short my hair was. My mother’s reasons were very simple, if my hair was long, she’d have to oil it, wash it, keep it pretty-looking. Short hair meant less work for her and fewer lice, yes lice. Any average Indian child in the under-10 category has a lice phase – it’s not cool. The girls in my class all had thick, long braids and I was so jealous of them.
The most standout commentary of my life as a school student was – ‘look how fat she is’ and other vernacular and more insulting versions of it, ‘her hair’s so short, she’s a boy in disguise’ and other vernacular and more insulting versions of it, and the worst ever, ‘mookuchali’ or snot. That’s right, a lot of the kids in my class called me snot and they loved every sniggering minute of it. To add to my worries, I had this maths (in India we say maths not math, ok?) teacher (or to be more appropriate, maths miss), who enjoyed giving me nose-blowing techniques and would constantly send me out of the classroom to go and blow my nose because me and my snot bothered her. My snot was a fairly big talking point for a few people and no, I’m not exaggerating for the sympathy votes here, one of my friends’ mothers remembers me as the girl who always had a tissue to her nose!
It didn’t help much that this was not just a childhood thing. Most of my adolescence was also spent tissue pack in hand. It’s only recently, since I stopped going out so much – you know school, college, masters, travel by bus/train within the city, inhale all this lovely dust – that my nose has settled down a bit. Working in an air-conditioned office as its advantages, except when those bums spray room freshener a few centimeters from where I’m sitting, and my trouble starts all over again!