Feb 19, 2012

The Reality of Reality

For many humans in the world today, being a cynic seems like a respectable enough occupation. It is all but a farce that never seems to get real. I can't even look at myself in the mirror today and say that I'm not at all a cynic because I honestly have my doubts. The only thing that saves me is remembering that I have gone through days when it all seemed too real to let go of.

I studied in Calcutta till I was 13. Towards the end of class 8, I decided I want to go to a boarding school for some odd reason. The two options were Woodstock School (Mussoorie) which my father had attended or Rishi Valley School (Andhra Pradesh) because a lot of my cousins had gone there and only spoke wonderful things about the place. I ended up seeing the latter during a winter holiday to Bangalore. The moment I stepped into the 300 acre premise, I knew I was home.

It was just a matter of time before the faces of strangers in my class became the familiar faces I was walking to the dining hall for meals with, before the compulsory long runs during morning P.T became a reason to wake up every morning, before the sunsets inspired me to pick up a pen and jot down whatever words came to my mind at those moments that you knew changed you though you weren't sure how. It was the beginning of the rebirth of the person I was, buried down by societal norms that I had to comply with because I was in a place that was not Rishi Valley. The school did have its own set of rules I had to oblige by but I did so gladly.

It was a world away from the real world because the nearest city was Bangalore, which was more than 3 hours away. And yet, it was as real as my perception of reality could be.

My economics teacher, whom we all fondly called Rajan (that was his last name), was one of the best teachers I have ever had in my entire education. He just knew how to make you listen to him going on about the intricacies of world economics and the South East Asian financial crisis of the 90s and the philosophies of John Maynard Keynes...Plus, he had quite a good sense of humor, which made the classes thoroughly enjoyable.

It was the time before Sports Day when everyone was practicing for the events of the big day. I was doing my rounds around the field in preparation for the 5 km run I intended to participate in. Suddenly, I felt a tap on my head and I turned around to see a panting Rajan join me. He too, at the age of 50-something, decided to take part in the run. And thus began our wonderful friendship. Even on the main day, I cheered him on and motivated him to complete the run since he'd already started it. Yes, we both managed to complete the run in decent time though frankly, the only thing I remember after that is chugging glasses after glasses of nimbu paani to regain composure. That day, it struck me that he was not an aging man accomplishing something. Nor was he just my teacher or a fellow sportsman. He was a human being, as is everyone else around us.

We build walls around ourselves and don't communicate in an open manner with people because they're not of the same age or gender or race as us. Society has made us narrow-minded and judge ourselves for wanting to listen to the stories of people it deems unfit for us to know. Instead, if we just take each new day as a day we want to explore something new and grab the chance to go on an adventure, life would just make so much sense. As I write this, the reality of the situation so many of us have been designed to run away from is beginning to sink in. Such a pity.

This is my entry for the Kissan 100% Real Blogger IndiBlogger contest


Anonymous said...

Amazing is the word!

banti said...

-Good piece of information.

S. Susan Deborah said...

Hmmmmmm. I could relate a lot with this post. I was there in RV as well. Perhaps I should write a post on how it is to be a teacher in RV.

Joy always,