Coffee Update #9

Ah, it’s been a long time since I’ve been here! Yes, I know I’ve been gone a long time, but welcome back to another Coffee Update; allow me to catch you up on all that’s been going on in my life.

So, pick from our assorted collection of coffees and teas, and sit back into the chair.


If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I wear a hat now. Yeah, I just made it sound like I went permanently blonde or I did laser surgery for body hair or something. No, it’s something less drastic than that, but still something that quite dramatically stands out when I walk past you. I’ve realised a hat gets so much attention when you’re walking in the street, although the fact that that attention quickly fades when people look down at my face is a different story altogether.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that you should try out something new. I’ve been going to the same hairdresser for much more than a year now, and recently I tried out this new place that opened up close to my house. I was extremely impressed by their work. Its pretty much an elite salon for the price of a mid-range one. I just hope it stays like that.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that my first year in degree college is over. I gave my finals about a month back. I feel good about these exams. Very good, in fact. There was a lot riding on them, and I put in a buttload of effort and time and I think I did well. We’ll soon find out!

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that on my birthday over a month back, I received this beautiful diary. Its elegant and robust at the same time. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. And I got this amazing shiny golden pen along with it! I’m rationing my usage of that pen since those things are expensive and I don’t want to run out of ink on that one within two months! But the diary, oh, the diary! I’ve been using it a lot. I’ve always been the guy who writes more easily on the computer, or phone, but this diary changed it completely. I’ve been writing a lot on physical paper now, when about two months back I found it uncomfortable. To the person who gifted that diary to me, I thank you 17 times over!

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I’ve been writing on my other accounts as well. I’ve been writing there a lot lately, and I’m surprised by the response I’ve been getting! I’ve been posting a lot on my Instagram account, which you can check out by scrolling to the bottom of this page. I’ve also been active on Facebook lately. You’ll find a Facebook icon in the top right section, right at the top of the blog page. Go check me out! Let me know what you think of that slightly different brand of writing I’ve got up on those two places!

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I’ve completed more than a year at the two year Yoga course I’ve talked about a lot here before as well. In retrospect, almost everything goes by faster than we thought it would, that’s just our flawed perception of time I guess, but again, this went by faster than I thought it would! I’m enjoying every bit of it, learning something new every day there. By far one of the best things I’ve spent my time doing.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that as a psychology student, I feel very good about the mental health awareness going around right now, if not a little impressed by the scale of efforts being taken by people. There’s been a lot of things that have coincided and have contributed to the overall cause of increasing awareness about this issue. There have been a lot of public incidents such as student suicides and whatnot, along with internet campaigns and outreach campaigns and even media has sparked off debates, such as with the recent TV show, “13 Reasons Why”. World Health Day also came smack dab in the middle of all this. While not all approaches to raising awareness may be considered ideal, just being able to spark off a dialogue about this issue is a good enough start. I also wrote something about the issue and published it on my Instagram on World Health Day. You guys can go check it out there, although I will also be publishing it here as a separate post.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you to put down that coffee and first go check out the YouTube channel called ‘Nerdwriter1’. It is absolutely fucking mindblowing. The guy who runs the channel, Evan Puschak, is a goddamn genius to, first of all, come up with the concepts he makes videos about, and second of all, actually make such fantastic videos about it. He earns a lot of extra respect from me because he is an editing god, so yeah. Go check him out. You know what, I’m going to just put one video of his down here. One that I found really good. That’ll get you to check him out.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I think life is an enigma. You keep scratching your head about which of the 1,00,000 will actually make the whole thing go, “Ting!” and then confetti pops out of nowhere and you get a chocolate cake handed to you by a guy in the best suit you’ve ever seen. That doesn’t happen. What does happen is that you get all that you need and the circumstances that shout out to you to notice it. Its up to you to look around and see that you have something great here, and if you step on the right tiles, you’ll make something greater from it, with time. I think I’m slowly learning to notice what I have and I know it’s all I need.


Aaaand that’s it on this edition of the Coffee Update! You are officially all caught up with my life.

Hope you enjoyed the coffee!

I’ll see you guys next time!

Adios muchachos!

On New Opportunities

They said (degree) college life will be fun.

They were right.

They said I’d learn a lot there.

They were right.

They never said I’d learn so much so early! ‘Cause I have. I’ve learnt a lot. And very little has been from studying the subjects, ironically enough.

One opportunity I got at college was to take part in and volunteer to organise the fests that take place at college annually. I volunteered for two such fests, which took place during the past week.

I definitely learnt a lot just from working with so many people organizing something of this scale, but I think I was offered more to learn, because of the different experiences I had working with two different sets of people on two different things. The people I got to know, the things I got to be a part of; it was all worth the ‘trouble’.

One of the fests was organised by a department that I wasn’t connected with in any way because the curriculum I’ve chosen doesn’t include that subject. Had I not gone to that first meeting when they were calling out for volunteers, I would never have been part of this great event, and never would have gotten to know all of those wonderful people, just because I don’t share a subject with them.

Hmm. Funny how that could have worked out.

Now that I think of it, these fests were an awesome place to conduct a social experiment. I realise now that my perceptions of a lot of people changed over the course of the three to four months we spent planning for the fests. Some people to whom I was indifferent, I now really respect. Some who I really respected, I don’t as much, anymore.

I won’t say that this change in perception is solely because I got to know them better over time, because we all judge people and we have a perception in the first place because we’ve made a judgment of them. That isn’t always bad if you don’t consciously let that judgment get in the way of you interacting with them and working with them. I’ll admit there were a few incidents where I failed at doing that. I really did not like a few people I had to work with. There were moments where I consciously despised them and did not want to meet them at all. I ranted about them to my friends and parents. I got myself angry over them. I tired myself out over them. I’m just really fucking grateful to have my parents and friends around, because I would have been cribbing for much longer if they hadn’t listened patiently to my rants, and then given me a kick up the butt to get it together and do what I gotta do.

At the same time, there were so many more people who I’d love to spend more time with. There’s so many people who I have massive respect for and I always will. I had disagreements with a few people in the heat of the moment. I got pulled under the pressure a little and let go for a bit. I said some things to some people, and I shouldn’t have done that. I let them know of that, and I think my relationship with them is in a better place because of the past week.

The last week has been really good for me. I’ve done a lot of running around, both out on physical ground, but also up in my head. I’ve made a lot of new friends, and been a part of a few things at college, and had experiences I’ve never had before. Since the ‘first time’ only comes once, I guess I’ll never have those experiences again.

I wouldn’t like it to be any other way.

People are Good

A week ago, I was on my way home from college and I had to make a minor detour to grab a few medicines for my grandfather. It was a Saturday, and the shop hadn’t opened yet. The tailor in the adjacent shop told me I should wait for another fifteen to twenty minutes; the medicine store owner should be here any time now, he said. So I stood on the pavement outside the store and I waited.

I was just looking around, observing things (my phone was precariously low on battery). I noticed a few students from my college walk by, people who I’d seen at college but didn’t consciously remember doing so. They looked quite different from the last time I met them. One had a distinctly different hairstyle now. It was only 10:30 and people were already lining up at the liquor store that had not opened.

A bird almost pooped on me. I was lucky. For now.

Among all this, two connected incidents stuck out to me. Not that they were dramatic paradigm-shifters or eye opening or anything, but they stimulated a thought process to which I have kept returning over the last few months.

Continue reading “People are Good”

Not a Lot of Words

CHAOS

“Chaos. When you can’t wake up before 9 but college starts at 7. When you want Coke but get Pepsi. When there’s no Maggi. When you run out of [characters]”

BLISS

“The wife’s skull cracked open. Brains everywhere. He felt bliss.”


Continue reading “Not a Lot of Words”

Coffee Update #7

COFFEE UPDATE 7

Oh, its been way too long since I’ve written anything on the blog! Its good to be back.

So, welcome to a seventh edition of the Coffee Update. I felt it was a good time to do this since I’ve been off the blog for a long time now, and I thought I should say why, along with a few other things that have gone down in recent times in my life.

Settle down, grab a cuppa and join me at this Coffee Update.


 

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Big Dave parading the FA Cup trophy around Wembley Stadium.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you how Manchester United won the Emirates FA Cup. Hell yes! Probably a few of you aren’t into football (soccer), but for me, as a Man Utd supporter, it was a hell of a moment. Amazing game, amazing players, amazing match-winning goal, amazing atmosphere. Amazing day. I totally freaked out when they blew the final whistle at the end of the game, because there were honestly a lot of minutes in the game when I thought we were going to lose. But we didn’t.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that my 12th Grade Board Exam results were declared a few days ago, and I secured 81.2%, which in all honesty is underwhelming for me. I did secure about 89% in the 10th Grade Board Exams, under a much tougher curriculum. You could say I had more time and outside help then, but its still not an excuse. I should have done better. Thankfully it isn’t going to have much of an impact on my immediate future academics, because I am guaranteed admission to senior college, at the same college I was for the last 2 years. It was a great thing that I did get 89% two years back, because only then did I manage to get into this college, which is according to me, in terms of academics, probably one of the top 3-5 colleges in the city. Now, I intend to major in psychology at the end of my 3-year course that will begin in a month, give or take, and a lot of people have told me that the psychology teaching faculty at the college is arguably the best in the city, so I am indeed very grateful.

Finally, if we were having coffee right now, I’d say I need to tell you why I have been away from the blog for a while now, and why that may happen again. No, I did not take another holiday. I am actually working on a sort of similar project as this blog, with a couple of friends. This project is actually much more elaborate than this blog. Two of my friends, Aditya Deshingkar and Rohan Marathe, and myself, are going to, in the near future [which is probably (hopefully) the next one month], create a YouTube channel, and a connected podcast channel on SoundCloud. We are currently setting the groundwork for both, which includes creating a set-up for the videos, making test footage, creating artwork for the channels and whatnot. Its a lot more work than I probably ever have put into a project, but its fun because its a project that I really want to put my hundred and three percent effort into. Since it involves putting in a lot of time and effort, it becomes difficult for me to set apart time for the blog as well, since I also have that two year long Yoga course that I talked about, and that takes roughly 4.5 hours of mine every Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and the gym takes about 1.5 hours about 5 days a week. I am assuming that once the channel and everything is up and running, and the basics templates and frameworks are in place, it would probably reduce some of our work.

So for those of you that would like to know, our YouTube channel is going to revolve around comic books and movies and TV shows based on comic books. This mainly means Marvel Comics and DC Comics, which includes iconic characters like Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Daredevil, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and many more. What we are going to do, is talk about one randomly selected character in each episode on the YouTube channel, and give the viewers some of the basic info about the characters in their on-screen version (which means, as they were portrayed in TV shows and movies). We will, of course refer to the comic book versions of the characters as well, as and when required. Each video will more or less be for five minutes.

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Grant Gustin portraying DC Comics’ pivotal superhero, Barry Allen A.K.A The Flash

The podcast is going to be a little different. For one, its going to be much longer; you can expect it to be anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes long. On the podcast, we shall be sticking more to the comic book version of the character we picked in the YouTube video, so this will give you a more deeper insight into the character as he or she originally was and is in the comics.

So if any of you are interested in stuff like this, then stay tuned I will sneak some info about this out to you once we have something up or anything of that sort.


Aaaaand that’s all I got for this Coffee Update, I hope it wasn’t too long that your coffee went cold.

Until next time.

JV out.

Makin’ it Right

There’s those few times when you’re really pumped for something. Like, completely excited. Sometimes its more of an amalgamation of excitement and nervousness, confidence, and the lack thereof, surety and doubt. In that kind of state of mind, there’s a million different thoughts shooting to and from every nook and cranny of your mind, some appearing from corners you may not have thought you had. Little paradox, I made up right there, eh? It does feel like that is the case, at least in those kinds of moments.

I had that kind of moment earlier today.

Some of you may know my Boards are going on. In fact, they just began today. I appeared for the English exam this morning. Now, a few hours before that, I was sitting on the couch at home, and revising a couple of questions from the chapters I had to study and I was going through some notes I had on my phone simultaneously. The chapter I was studying at that moment, had something to do with the education system in the country, and a question the textbook posed to us was whether we would change anything in the current education system of the country, if we had the power. It also asked to elaborate on what that would be, and why. Anybody who has had the littlest of experiences in the Indian education system has definitely considered a lot of changes that should be made to the same, and I admit I’m no different. It is evidently a flawed system. Of course, nothing’s perfect, but sometimes the flaws are just plain stupid and worse, unfair. So I went through the answer the textbook guide had, thought of whether I agreed with it (which I did), and thought up what I, personally, would write if such a question were to appear on the exam, before quickly moving on to the next chapter, like we usually do.

Well, not quite. Something must have stuck, since I found myself circling back to this topic a little while later when I’d put aside the books and was just sitting there thinking about how I’d be managing my time during the exam, because the English exams I’ve given in the 12th Grade so far have all been lengthy.

This, precisely, was one of those moments where I had a shit ton of different thoughts and muddled in all that was one thought that I somehow managed to hold on to. There’s gazillion different things floating around our minds and its not even surprising that we lose so many thoughts that could potentially be huge.

The thought I had was about that same question I read in my English book. It occurred to me how we always reminisce and say things like, “What I would give to go back to school/college. Ah, those days!” I realised that what we actually mean is to go back to the time when we were that young, with the kind of circumstances back then, not literally back to school or college. We generally mean to refer to friends and the experiences we had with them. We hardly ever want to come back to school or college, and especially not for the academic-side of it, because that’s just plain boring, no?

Well, yes, partly, but then that’s exactly what must change. The kind of change I want to see in the education system should make me want to go back to school or college to study again, but in the changed environment. It should make me go, “Oh, what I’d give to be able to study that way!” And although I won’t be able to do it and it may make me envy those that would be, I’d be able to deal with that fact because of the sense of pride I might then get, and the satisfaction in the fact that there’s at least somebody who is studying the right way, or at least a better way.


I know that that is a very vague answer to that question, but it still holds true in a way, doesn’t it?

Now, I hope I don’t come off as a complete dick in what I wrote up there. Like, some may think, what is a 17 year old suggesting changes to complete education systems; a 17 year old that’s barely through college himself. Just expressing a thought of mine.

Thank you very much for reading!

Before I sign off for today, I’ve got an Awesome Quotes post coming out tomorrow. I’ve scheduled it, and kept it on auto-publish so bar any glitches in the matrix, it should be out tomorrow, so do come back for that. In case you haven’t been here for a while, then I’ll have you know that the post coming out tomorrow is part two of a two part awesome quotes feature, and you can check out the first part by clicking here.

See you guys next time 🙂

 

Naked With Black Socks

(Or the tale of how stupid I can sometimes be)

Okay, picture this:

Stage in front of you. People in the audience expectantly looking at it (okay, those people who aren’t staring at their blue-light emitting smartphone screens). You standing by it, or behind some curtains or something, dreading the time you have to go up there. Your heart is pounding, you’re probably sweating more than usual, maybe trembling a little, maybe yawning more than usual as well. But you’re still trying to keep a smile on your face (that’s probably gone white by now).

See the picture?

That was somewhat the picture I was a part of today. I wasn’t the only one though, it was a lot of other students as well, during our Hindi examination, which was orally taken. Okay, maybe I exaggerated a bit up there, since the audience apart from our subject teacher, was comprised of fellow students who understood our predicament if we fumbled a little up on the stage.

So, we were supposed to give a small speech of sorts, on any subject under the sun (or beyond it, for that matter), in Hindi, ideally with perfect pronunciation, enunciation, and clarity. Beyond that, the examiner usually expects a little over-the-top, nerdy vocab if he’s to consider scoring the speaker anywhere near the 90% mark. You don’t use at least 4-5 big, long, royal-sounding words, then don’t expect a great score. Once that was done, he also asked each of us basic questions like where we lived and what our native place was, including questions from chapters from our textbooks.

Now I’d gone prepared with about a 2-minute long speech, I figured I’d improvise if he asked for more, but that hardly ever happens because they usually get what they want in a about 5-7 lines of speaking itself, and that’s exactly what happened. So that was all good.

Now, I don’t usually get flustered in the face of public speaking. At least not as much as most others. I’ve done it a lot all through school. In fact, I used to volunteer for such things. My dad’s profession involves him to do lots, and lots of public speaking. Hell, that’s what his job revolves around, so he’s told me a lot about it at times I’ve been scared to do it. However, when I had to go up to face the examiner’s questions, I was kinda nervous since he was going to ask us questions from chapters from the textbook, and I hadn’t really revised this a lot, going into the examination. Let’s just say I wasn’t confident about it.

So, he says, “NEXT,” and that means I’m supposed to go up. I walk up to his desk, sign on the sheet we were all supposed to sign on (which denoted our presence for the examination), and waited.

He began with the easy ones like my name and where I lived. But here’s where it got interesting. He asked me where I studied.

And I said…

“At home, at my desk.”

Yeah, I actually said that. Not even kidding right now.

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I did realise that I was supposed to answer with the name of the college I studied at and said it too, but, well…

So, yeah. That happened.

In my defense, I do actually study more at my home than I ever have at college, because there hardly ever are lectures to attend/interesting enough to attend.

Interesting thing though, I was worried about how I’d do at the questions he asked me from the textbook chapters and not about the rest, but I did really well at those questions and instead messed up at the basic stuff. Its all good though, I did really well at everything else in the examination and there were people who goofed up more exponentially than I did and I take solace in that fact.


 

So, have you ever had this kind of experience? Did you screw up publicly like this, and have despised yourself for doing that, ever since? Let me know, so we can laugh at each other’s momentary lapse in, well, intelligence.

Until next time, folks.

Post inspired by the following daily prompt – Naked with Black Socks

 

What a Wonderful Year

(This post is not strictly a yearly review, but that is the first part of it. Its basically a post where I’m summing up a lot of stuff I’ve wanted to say since I last wrote.)

People don’t usually do a yearly review 11 days into the New Year. Unless I’m the person in question, of course, since that’s what I’m doing right now. ‘sigh’

Last year was wonderful. In totality, of course. There were times when I puked my stomach out cause #foodpoisoning. So yeah, that wasn’t particularly great. But I did get 3,741 views on my blog last year, more than 4 times what I got in 2014, so yay for that. I won’t go into the details of the views as I did for 2014 since that tends to get boring, so all I’m going to say is that I aim to better that tally in 2016. 177 views in these 11 days isn’t a bad start, I reckon. We’ll see how it goes.

I can now say I haven’t posted on my blog since last year. I’ll tell you why.

My preliminary examinations for Standard XII are going on right now. I took the Hindi examination about two hours ago. For those of you that aren’t aware of it, basically the prelims are like a drill for the real thing, the Board Exams, which begin on the 18th of February for me and run till the 21st of March. The paper pattern and portion for both is identical so if you are completely prepared for the Prelims you get a rough idea of how you’ll do in the Boards. Of course, nobody is ever completely prepared, but man is nothing if not hopeful, right?

For now, I’ve got Psychology up next in the prelims on Wednesday the 13th, so wish me luck.

I’m working on a couple of fiction pieces as well on the side. I wrote a preview to one here, and I came up with the other one just a couple of days back. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to get any of that published before my Boards conclude (on the 21st of March, 2016) because that’s realistically the earliest I’ll get to properly work on it. I may draw up a rough plot or something of that sort before that so you could expect a preview or a prologue to be up before my Boards conclude, but I wouldn’t be too sure of that.

I intend to not go anonymous for the next two months buried under textbooks the way I was for the past month. I’ll keep posting something.

In other news, my gym membership ended so I now have nothing much to do between 3 and 5 every afternoon so I now have to use that time to study. Depressing, I know. And there’s no point renewing right now because I have prelims during that time and I will hardly have time to go there for one month during my Boards. It was good the membership ended before my prelims began though.

Star Wars came out and I still haven’t watched it. Yay. Bloody exams. I’m definitely going when my prelims, end. I’ve been trying to avoid spoilers for that for too damn long. Some idiot gave away what I believe to be the mother of all spoilers, don’t worry I won’t say it, in case any of you guys haven’t watched it yet either, but if that was a true spoiler then I now hate that person for the rest of my life. Not even kidding right now. There’s also ones like Creed and Bridge of Spies which I haven’t watched yet.

On that front though, 2016 is going to be arguably the best year yet. Okay, not arguably, unequivocally the best yet. All these come out/have come out this year:

And there’s a shitload more. Guess I’m going to the cinema a lot this year. Suits, The Flash and Arrow all resume their seasons in the last week of January as well so its definitely a packed year on the entertainment front.


 

BONUS! BONUS! BONUS!

So, after I’d already published this, I got a suggestion that I should have made this post a little longer and maybe written something along the lines of a list of noteworthy stuff I did in 2015. So I came back to edit the post, and therefore, here’s,

THE HIGHS AND THE LOWS OF 2015
(in no particular order)

  1. I watched The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and was left slightly disappointed.
  2. I obtained 75% in my 11th Grade final exams, which isn’t something to exactly write home about, but it is if you think about it since I’m in the Arts stream, and it is even greater considering the amount of time I spent in the 11th, not studying.
  3. Jai Vyas Writes completed a year of existence.
  4. I turned 17.
  5. I joined the gym
  6. But did not manage to reach the goals I set for myself initially (of gaining 10 kilos in 8 months). Maybe I’m just a hard gainer or maybe my goals were unrealistic or maybe I didn’t go to the gym enough or maybe its all of that and maybe even more. I’ll figure it out.
  7. I got hooked on to House of Cards.
  8. I made some great friends in college.
  9. I learned that I’m not photogenic. At all.
  10. I said goodbye to Maggi and then a few months later, welcomed it back with open arms and clean bowls.
  11. I ate eggs for just the second time in my life and puked for a day. Its all good, though.
  12. I finally opened up relatively publicly about the fact that I’m a cancer survivor.
  13. I took part in some amazing writing courses online that taught me a lot about blogging, writing, and myself.
  14. I made a lot of new friends on WordPress and encountered some mind-blowing coincidences while doing so.
  15. I joined Quora, and within six months, became a most viewed writer in multiple categories. #sorryforbrag
  16. I went to see my first live football match in the Indian Super League.
  17. I got rid of my braces.
  18. I had bad days. Lots.
  19. I started listening to blues music and a lot of old-timey music. RIP David Bowie.
  20. I read Mein Kampf. I may not respect that dude for the shit he did, but some of his ideals were understandable, in the very least.
  21. I attended the Times Litfest (Literary Festival) where I attended several talks, intellectual debates, music shows, etc. of several intellectuals, celebrities, etc.
  22. I saw a play called The Jury, at NCPA, Mumbai’s best place to watch a play. Probably one of India’s best for sure. It was probably only the second time I’ve been there. To be honest, I did get free tickets, so…
  23. I experienced an Equal Streets campaign where for a certain number of weeks in the year, a stretch of street was shut down for vehicles and was opened up to the public to use as they like. We used it to cycle, play football and stuff. It was a nice experience. I look forward to it returning.
  24. I painted tiles with my sister.
  25. I realised my laptop is slowly dying.
  26. I went on a photography spree in South Mumbai one day. We clicked photos of the Gateway of India, the local railways, kids playing cricket in Oval Maidan, and a lot of other stuff. You can check it out here.
  27. I started playing Football Manager.
  28. I feel I’ve become more open as a person. My personality has been moulded by the people I’ve met and the situations I’ve been through. If you would have seen me in mid 2014 you would have seen the quintessential reserved nerd. I’m still that guy, but I’m more.
  29. I failed in Math once in the 11th Grade. It wasn’t as bad as I’d thought. I did drop Math in the 12th and took up Philosophy instead, though.
  30. The same night I saw The Jury, I ate some life-changing kheema pav. My mom and dad may not completely approve initially, but they’ll come around.

There’s obviously a lot more, but I think I’ll save some for my autobiography. It shall be called ‘Tall Tales of a Short Guy’. You can expect it to come out in the spring of probably-never-going-to-happen.


 

I hope all of you had a rip-roaring 2015, and believe that we’ll all have an amazing 2016 as well!

“Listen.

I wish I could tell you it gets better. But, it doesn’t get better.

You get better.

— Joan Rivers

See you guys next time! 🙂

A Rare Breed

During the latter stages of school and for most of college, complaining how bad your teachers are, is pretty commonplace among student circles. At least that’s the way it is here. And its no different with my friends, and friends of friends, and the friends-so-distant-you-don’t-even-know-they’re-the-least-bit-related, and the people I overhear complaining about the teachers. But occasionally, that too if you’re lucky, there comes a teacher who you just cannot nitpick about. And its not just the teaching part that she’s so good at, but also the being-a-likeable-human-being part. Remember how I said ‘if you’re lucky’?

Well, here’s what happened. I switched subjects this year (I’m in the 12th Grade, or the second year of Junior College), from Mathematics to Philosophy. I had taken Math in the 11th owing to some general advice of a school teacher and also an administrative misdirection by a college official, and Math didn’t work out for me. In the meantime I had also decided that I wanted to pursue Psychology as a career (still working out the details, doing some research). Since I didn’t want to continue with Math, the obvious choice was Philosophy as opposed to the third option of History, since not only is Philosophy an immensely interesting subject to me, personally, but it is also a good subject to have a background in if you want to pursue Psychology.

Now, the procedure for switching subjects like this was no doubt a lengthy one. I started inquiring about it towards the end of my 11th and the process dragged on all through my pre-12th vacations and well into the second month of 12th until any official announcement came from the college. So right until it got wrapped up, from my point of view I had a very realistic chance of 50-50 of having Philosophy as a subject to study. When it did get wrapped up, it was a relief like no other I’ve felt in recent times. But that’s not the point of this post.

The teacher I’ve got for Philosophy is, in short, pretty much awesome. There’s different kinds of awesome when it comes to teachers, and it depends on what kind of student you are. If you’re the kind that likes the subject to be stimulating, something that makes you think, genuinely be drawn to the subject in a natural, progressive way, then awesome would mean a teacher that explains the subject very well, makes lectures not seem like lectures, makes them interactive, doesn’t stick to the text, and does not give you everything on a silver platter. That’s the kind of teacher I’ve got. Not only that, but she also takes interest in every student, she knows a lot of our names, and comes off to me as a very pragmatic but passionate person.

About a week or so back I had to go pay a small amount of money to the college as administrative fees for carrying out the whole subject change process. But the time they’d allotted for us to pay the money fell smack in between our Philosophy lecture of the day so I missed about half an hour of it. I thought I’d still go and try to explain why I was late. When I got there, to my surprise, the classroom was completely empty and our teacher was sitting by the table on the podium, reading something. She was still expecting people to turn up, because as soon as I walked in she asked me if I knew where the others were. These kind of things happen sometimes, everybody decides to bunk the lecture on the same day, knowingly or otherwise is something I won’t comment on ;).

Anyhoo, since I was there, she asked me whether my subject change process had come to a close so I could finally concentrate on Philosophy, and I told her that it was done now that I had paid the money. She looked genuinely relieved, and for a second, almost as much as I was. I’m usually a talkative person if I feel comfortable in the company I am and such teachers usually are that way, so we talked about this and that for a few minutes. Naturally, as a teacher she asked me what my plans were, academically, after I passed the 12th Grade. I told her I was pretty dead set on Psychology but was still considering the exact options I had in that field and had it narrowed down to Counselling, Sports and Criminal Psychology. She expressed surprise at the fact that I was so sure ‘so early’. The fact that I have a blog also came up. She was even more surprised, in a good way. During her lecture a couple of days back she had told us she was quite into fiction, especially the Agatha Christie kind, so there was more surprise for store in her when I told her I had started the blog primarily for the purpose of fiction, the Agatha Christie kind. She told me she was very impressed, and that made me feel really good. Like I was on the right track, more or less. The fact that I was from a reputed school and a reputed education Board, and had done well there, made her even more impressed. Then I realised I may have set the bar too high for my own sake because she told me she expected me to score at least a 95% in my 12th Board exam. sigh

Guess I’ll just have to get down to the books now.

See on the other side, folks!

Normal Conversation

Friend: So, what are you reading these days?

Me: Textbooks. I’ve been reading textbooks.

Friend: Your exams are a month away. Guy like you would top them even if you started a week before they begin.

Me: Sure.

Friend: LOL, seriously though, I’m sure you’re reading something good. Back to Grisham for good or still lingering on Baldacci?

Me: Yeah, there’s this real awesome book I know. You’d love it. Its the best work in crime fiction so far.

Friend: Best? Is it new?

Me: Very.

Friend: So that’s probably why I haven’t heard of such a book. What’s the name?

Me: I haven’t decided yet.

Me: (smirks)

Friend: (rolls eyes)