Skip to main content

That’s me in the corner, losing my innocence

Plagiarism. It’s all around us. Business wars worth millions are fought between two sides claiming originality. A pretty young author sees her new found fame evaporate just as fast as it came. If one were to really reach deep into the recesses of one’s mind, one would chance upon various instances of plagiarism in our otherwise uneventful lives.

It all begins innocently. A chance glance at your neighbor’s answer sheet and you discover something amiss in your answer paper. Hastily corrected, you forgive yourself for this one time faux pas. The next exam, the glance ceases to be just a glance. You exercise your neck muscle a little more. Only to realize that students all around you seem to have something in their papers that mysteriously isn’t present in yours. And thus you begin a journey of ingenuity, lateral thinking and saving your face.

At the risk of not returning answer sheets the way you received them, copying is by far one of the greatest tools devised by mankind. The very art of copying, I believe, promotes creative thinking. You rejig answers so that the teacher doesn’t have a case to haul you up. Some have met worse fates by attempting to be re-create formulae and trigonometry. And were hauled up for different reasons. Mishaps occur in other forms too. What if the copier is awarded more marks? How does the good samritan fight for his rights? But what if the copier copies something wrong? Wouldn’t that qualify as injustice too? There are no easy answers to these deep questions.

I am reminded of exams when my neck was constantly subject to all directions to escape from my abject situation of answer poverty. Also, I am reminded of my wistful and wasted youth, many hours of which were spent in exam halls, looking for that elusive answer. It also brings to mind those bright individuals, who brightened up exam halls and have ostensibly gone on to do great things with their lives.

One wise person feigned illness and asked to be excused to the toilet every half hour or so. Once in the confines of the smelly loo, he realized he had smuggled his geography book, while the question paper in class was asking physics. Another ripped his writing pad in half to stuff notes. This one bright spark managed to smuggle in a 1000 page text book, only to waste half an hour or so for each question, trying to find the answer in the book. And one enterprising chap after having explored all the numerous avenues just wrote down the question paper and underlined everything neatly. Rumor mills were abound about half mark being awarded for underlining.

So please copy and paste this and send it to as many people as you know. And humor me with your tales of those wonder years.


Popular posts from this blog

When an Iyer met an Iyengar

If you see my parents, they look like the quintessential arranged marriage couple. After nearly 35 years together, they still take care not to touch each other while posing for a photograph and my mother’s smile dangles precariously between a smile and a grimace. But this image discolours the truth a tad.
Some 40 years back, they met at work, fell in love and got married. The talking point of the union being mom’s status as an iyengar and dad’s as an iyer. Simply put, the iyers and the iyengars are two castes of the Brahmin community, each, when given the chance, profess superiority to each other on all counts. If you listen closely, an Iyengar talking about an Iyer will say ‘Iyer a?’ in a condescending tone. And vice versa.
Mom tells me that when she told her dad about the marriage, he vowed to stand by her at any cost. Dad never told me what happened, but allow me to hazard a guess. His mother (my grandmother), threatened to go on a fast unto death. My dad threatened to go on a parall…

Unfair and unlovely

If time is money, the demonetization drive has ensured that many Indians are already very rich because they have suddenly been taught the virtue of patience.
A crossing near my house got to be very busy and a new signal was installed to help regulate the flow. Every single day, I see people break the signal from all sides without paying heed to their safety or anyone else’s. The people who break the signals glare at you for following the rules. You feel guilty for being patient.
The signal is red and people behind you are honking as if there was a reward for it. People shout the choicest of epithets at you for not moving and standing your ground. Either that or I need to go for an eye check up and see if I am colour blind. In another part of the world, orange maybe the new black but as far as I know, red is not the new green.
Stand in a queue at the railway station, in the petrol bunk, airport check-in counter ,or to pay a bill, and there will always be that one asshole who tries to…

Rasam rice

On some days, Bangalore weather becomes nostalgic. And for some time, everyone is permitted to live in the past. On one such June day, the sun wistfully playing hide and seek and the clouds emitting just enough raindrops for an instagram photo, the weather flirting with winter, the craving for rasam becomes telling.
Rasam. Rasam rice. Whichever, doesn’t matter.
First, use your fingers to make space in the middle of a heap of rice. Don’t protest when the dollop of ghee gleefully sinks into the rice. The rasam should scald, otherwise the ride isn’t worth it. The flesh on your fingers crawl when you dip them into the rasam, but trust me, keep with it. No good thing has been known to ever come easy. The impatient wait for a few seconds and an insignificant morsel is savoured. Gooseflesh ensues.
Slowly but steadily, bigger portions are savoured. to enhance the experience and attain nirvana, combine it with crisp papad and sandige.  Personal favourites include molagu rasam, thakkali rasam, jee…