Ting Tong! Ting Tong!
The door bell rang. Ahhh…how could I forget that it’s the first of the month and I should have either kept the front door locked from outside or I should have pulled the MCB down for the door bell switch.
The milkman, the newspaper guy, the sweeper…there’s a long queue of people waiting out there to pounce upon me for their rightful money. I mustered all my courage and opened the door just ensuring that I don’t let the queue fall upon me. Perfect timing and one upon the other they all fell right inside the door as if performing a Surya Namaskar. I pulled out my wallet and gave away my hard-earned money, so that they too could feel content that they have received their hard-earned money. The last one left was the milkman and I was short of Rs.2 for him. I dug through my wallet, the piggy banks, the sofa cushions, but alas, I couldn’t find a Rs.2 coin. That’s when the milkman requested for a glass of water. I ran up to the fridge to pick up a bottle thinking he would let go off the Rs. 2 in lieu of the glass of cold water. Ola and there I saw a Rs.2 coin inside the fridge. (Yes, yes, you can find anything and everything inside my fridge. I can guarantee that. And the hubby will tell you how many times we have found the missing kids, when they were new-borns, from inside the fridge. Err yeh thoda too much ho gaya!) 😛
Since this was the coin which was going to set me free for the rest of the month, I looked at it with gratitude and clicked an instant impression of it in my mind before it left my abode. The year printed was 1994.
What was I doing in 1994?
I had a long vacation from April till July after my 10th standard CBSE board exams. The only time that I loved everything that I dislike as of today from cooking, baking, knitting, washing, mopping and so on the list goes. And yes, for the first time ever Mom didn’t have to ask me to do anything at all. Everything was done with utmost precision and Mom was one happy and content lady for those few months. The only interesting thing for me then was the 2 hour computer classes in the evening where I was happy to have learnt an easy way to do computations in Excel and was happily engaging with the most beautiful teacher ever. Mind you she was and is till date the most beautiful female I have ever seen. You can imagine how it would have been for the boys in my batch. Additional reason for the unusual interest in the subject was that since all the brainy boys were dumbstruck with her beauty and were unable to comprehend anything but her, I was proclaimed the most intelligent student of the batch. 😉 I was one of the only two girls in the batch. Honestly, it was fun learning how to write programs in VB to add or subtract two numbers or chart out the even series from a range of numbers. That was my first ever interaction with term ‘programming’, which later went on to be my real love.
One such afternoon, I was waiting eagerly for my Mom and sis to come back from school. They were surprised to see me waiting for them so eagerly. As soon as they reached, I made them gobble up food at the speed of light as we were to be picked up by one of our family friends for a Madhuri movie. Yes, the biggest Bollywood blockbuster ever, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. Now honestly, I am no big fan of any Bollywood actor or actress, but the way some of my friends at school behaved made me wonder if I was normal or not. So to prove to myself and to the world that I was absolutely normal and not the odd one out, I started cutting pics of Madhuri and collected them underneath my mattress, on my wardrobe doors, inside my scrapbook….annoying Mom to the best extent possible. I hope you can understand the feeling when you do something that you’re not good at or are comfortable doing. It was exactly that. At the theatre I was with this good friend of mine who was another big Madhuri fan and would go, Ooohhhh, Aaaahhh, at the mere sight of Madhuri. So the copy cat that I had become, I tried imitating her, but I failed miserably. Imagine me with a stone face, uttering Ooooohhhh, Aaaahhh. Yeah, it was that bad. It was only after I spoke about this stupid imitating act of mine with Mom that the whole thing ended. Thank God for Moms!
But then that’s when I realized, beauty actually lies in the eyes of the beholder. To me beauty was Renuka Shahane, whom I had been admiring since the days of Surabhi, the TV series, back in 1993. Trust me I have never missed any of the episodes for the content and for Renuka and Sidharth Kak. Now that I knew what beauty and impression were for me, life lived was much easier. The first thing I did was to tear away some of the Madhuri pics that were crushed under my snores every night. Then I thought why not share it with the one and only big time fan I know of Madhuri, my friend Suji. She’ll kill me when she reads that I tore away some of the pics. But Suji you sure did make me wonder if I am one of those abnormal species. 😛
After all this realization, reality struck as my board exam results were out in May. I was in Kerala at the time and Mom was getting the marks from the school officials through an STD call. No computer cafes available easily back then. But I ensure you that I was not from the age of the primitive, prehistoric and preliterate society. The look on Mom’s face and her changing expressions are still captured inside the small store room inside my brain. However hard I try, some episodes are not easily erasable. Alt + F4 and Ctrl+Alt+Del doesn’t work all the time. L I was sure I have either flunked or would have managed to just escape. And once the call ended, what do I see…I had scored an 84.3% in best of four. Yes, my ‘favourite’ subject History brought down my percentile as I scored only 66 marks in Social Sciences courtesy History. Why blame history when the actual culprit was someone else. No. Not me. It was Dr.Shankar Dayal Sharma. There was a rumour just two days before the Social Sciences exam that Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, the then President of India, had expired. Everyone said that it’ll be declared a holiday and I’ll not have to give the Social Sciences paper as it’ll get postponed. My love for the subject and the rumor combined together to make me confident enough to avoid studying. Thus the bowlful of marks I got. Hota hai, hota hai, life mein aisa bhi hota hai….But trust me, I was cool and happy and I guess my Dad was too. (See I comfortably chose to ignore the second paragraph of Dad’s letter which always started off with ‘I am really disappointed with you performance…Selective listening or selective reading was imbibed in me by birth. 😀 ) What I wish to say is if my daughter had brought that much marks after all that Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma did to her overall percentile, I would have bought her an Audi. No. I really mean it. After all, it was Dr. Sharma’s mistake and not hers.
I hope none of you inform about this post to my Mom or to my daughters. Otherwise, the bill for the Audi will be processed through your Credit Cards.
Anu and Love, if you are reading this, I must tell you that you have a very creative mom and you how creative she can get if you ever try and give her an excuse like Dr. Sharma. But I am sure the kind of Dad you have, he will ensure that the rumour is reality so that his daughters can escape their mother’s wrath. 😉
This post is part of the WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts program where the aim is to post at least once a day based on the prompts that they have provided. Today’s prompt is, “Buffalo nickel: Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?”