Friday, October 17, 2008

Meeting with an old nemesis - Sanskrit and Mrs M

Today as I was taking a walk around the township with mom I met an old nemesis of mine. I have decided that in future if I want to walk around in a place where I had once received my education I will either do it in the middle of the night when no one is around or wear a burkha. 

So amma and I were just sauntering with amma as usual giving me advice and self nodding my head sagely, looking at the ground in an attempt to look remorseful for being errr... Me (read lazy, sleepy, bored, lethargic, spend thrifty, anti marriage etc...) when suddenly a voice comes saying "Arey Revathi beta. Aap kab aaye?"

In slow motion I lift my head and whom do I see?? I see  Mrs. M** (name changed to protect I dunno what. not like she is going to read this blog but whatever). Now I had always been a decent student in school. never getting those obscenely high 99s and 100s and neither failing miserably in any subject except except for SANSKRIT. I never really understood Sanskrit in school (errr.. I don’t do it even now). I never really understood why we needed to study Sanskrit. Why??So that one day when I die and meet god I can talk in Sanskrit, impress him and convince him that he should send me to heaven instead of hell where I ideally should be for the kind of deeds I have done??? I mean what is the use of studying a bally language which I would never use .

Errr. mind you, not that I "use" the other subjects and languages I studied in school/college. That is a totally different thing but back then in class 8th I thought that in future the math and science which I studied then would help me conquer the world and help me earn the "big bucks" (gosh!!! big bucks it seems. lol. :D. big pennies is more like it!! :D). I hadn’t heard of anyone having Sanskrit as a subject in aptitude exams or Sanskrit as a "stream" in class 11th or anyone saying we have the Sanskrit Olympiad exam or Sanskrit coaching classes or doing a Bsc in Sanskrit or..... Anyway I am digressing. you get the drift dontchya?? I hated Sanskrit from the bottom of my heart and with the kind of marks I got in Sanskrit, I don’t think the language liked me anymore than Ratan Tata likes Mamta Banerjee.


in class 8th Sanskrit was introduced and it was obvious from day one that I wasn’t getting the "hang" of the subject. Mrs. M was a huge fat white Punjabi lady (I have had a fear of Punjabi ladies ever since) who had a booming voice and would go "lata, latah lathabhyaaaaaaam...hey lata, hey lata, hey lata" (Sanskrit purists desist from commenting on my Sanskrit. the lata conjugation is probably the only thing which I sorta remember from those miserable days). I never did understand why in the end of the lata conjugation we had to shout at lata and go "hey lata, ho lata, haaaye lata" or something like that. Exclamation it seems. BAH!!

so the first unit tests (or monthly tests or quarterly tests... I really don’t remember) and I errr..... euphemistically put did not make enough marks to make the merit list, in fact I did not make enough marks to even make the "pass" list. sighhhh!! cutting the crap.. I flunked. and if u r a self respecting conscientious 8th standard kid you will cry at having failed. I mean jeeez you don’t fail in 8th standard and especially not when your mother is a teacher in the same school, your Sanskrit teacher looks like she has 8th std kids for breakfast everyday and when u made a decent 80 (ok 75!!!) in all the other subjects. but sigh. fail I did and I continued to fare poorly the whole year and finally ended up switching to French in class 9th.


Now Mrs. M hated failures. I mean no teacher likes failures but she HATED them. and she would never miss a chance to humiliate me and my Sanskrit paper always looked like it had been written in red and corrected in blue. she would put a huge cross across my page, put a merciless and fat looking 0 in the left, write the correct conjugation in red and write "bekaar" (worst). I would be in tears every time I saw my paper. She was a great teacher or so people told me but I think teaching me Sanskrit was as herculean a task as asking Angelina Jolie to be not sexy (errr.. me being AJ and "not sexy" being Sanskrit!! :P). Needless to say I never thought very highly of Mrs. M and I think the vice versa was also true.

so today she met me in the park and did what she does best. humiliated me. she pulled my cheeks and went "Beta. ghar aaye ho? yaad hai na? hamesha Sanskrit mein fail hote the aap" (you have come home?? Remember you would always flunk Sanskrit in school) 

Me: (thinking) what the... lady I am on vacation. you don’t need to remind me how miserably I failed in ur papers and frankly u never did teach properly!! :-\


Me: (saying)heh heh. yaad hai ma'am. kaise bhool sakti hoon. (I remember. how can I forget?)


M: abhi bhi aise hi fail hote ho kya? (do u still fail like this) followed by a guffaw


Me: (thinking): lady now u have had it. eeeeyaarrghhhhhhhhhh (mentally bringing a karate chop on her head)


Me: (saying): heh heh. nahi ma'am. ab to bas pass ho jaate hain (no. I pass now)


M: ok beta. ab mai nikalti hoon. (turning to my mom). bada accha lagta hai jab old students milte hain. I feel young (feels nice to meet odl students. I feel young)


Me: (thinking). lady. no amount of Botox or retinol in this world can make u look young. and u may feel good meeting old students. I don’t repeat DONT feel great being reminded that I was a failure (sigh. I know I am being rude. she wasn’t a bad sort but..I dunno :))


Me: (saying); Thanks ma'am. bye!! 


sighhh!! moral of the story: never go for a walk in broad day light in a place where there is high probability of meeting old flames (:P) or teachers. and later I came to know that she was on a "karva chauth" vrath and hadn’t eaten anything from morning (praying for the long life of the husband). maybe she was hungry and she decided to eat my brain instead. sigh. they ought to have a rule for karva chauth. no eating anything and brains strictly prohibited till u see the moon!! :-\


P.S: is karva chauth a Punjab da festival or UP festival? I saw lotsa Punjabi aunties doing the karva chauth routine today (looking at the moon and looking at the husband). always thought it was a UP thing. hmmm



Anonymous said...

Beta.. yeh bhi apne Mrs M se poochna tha!!!! Now that ur brain has gone pls spare ours!

Revathi said...

Ah!!! the usual Anon comment. :)

@Mr. I-want-to-leave-a-nasty-comment-but-ooooh-am-a-l'il-scaredy-cat-and-wont-leave-my-name-anon

i have 2 words for u. BUZZ OFF!!! and dude/gal there is no way i could eat ur brain. i cant eat something which doesnt exist!! :-\

Anonymous said...

Arre wah Revs...tune bhi Sanskrit liya?? Only common thing between us is the phaadna...Sanskrit ko maine phada, aur Usne tujhe!! :P
Karva chauth is guess is commonly observed by North Indian women and has nothing to do with being a state-wise thingy!! Aur tu Jaya Bachchan hey kya UP UP bolne ke liye? :P
And for the outburst in the above comment...he's some jobless pappu as old as Mrs M...could be Mr. M too :P

Arun said...

ah one for the revs classics !!!
hehe totally on the money !
call me yer partner in grime wrt sanskrit ! flunked 4 straight years until the boards came and I (thanks to a cool tutor) managed to get 96 and my teacher threw a fit :p !
and that shud be ramaha ramau ramaaah ! ;)

Balaji Srinivasan said...

he he.. you flunked sanskrit!! that too in eight class itself..muah ha ha ha ha!!! :D :D

A rollicking post as usual. :)

Anonymous said...

anon = maya

Anonymous said...

also i severely condemn putting a Mr. salutation to your scathing reply. Stop being biased at men. You know me and a few other men. Tell me is there a match in women species for us?

- A

Revathi said...

oye chup. i m sure tu bhi sanskrit mein ande hi laya tha!! :P
adn KC is a common north indian thingy is it?? hmmm. tu toh bohot smart hai yaar!! :P
Thanks for visiting man!! :)

Thanks a lot. and 96!! OBSCENE!! :P

heh. yeah. not something to boast about buut sach ko kitni daer chuppa sakti hoon!! :P
Thanks a lot!!

i am soooooooooo sorry!!

u dawg!!! i m not biased. though men are jerks, i did say dude/gal in the above comment. sigh!! from now on i am gonna religiously ignore all anon commentors. yaaru ne theriya maatengaradhu!! :|

>>Jass<< said...

Looks like you are having fun :P

Solitaire said...

Gosh!!! She seems crazy to me.

Revathi said...

yep. thanks! :)

errrr. u talkin' abt me or Mrs.M?? lol. Thanks for visiting Solitaire!! :)

R@hul said...

Oh yeah!
Mrs **L madam... How can anyone forget her. She was scary alright. Scary in a If-I'm-pleased-I'll-hug-you-till-you-die sorta way....!!

But, rivetti(sic), be fair to your readers yaar. Most of our classmates esp her prodigal son(Mr. Vikas Pandey) used to score in the 90s. "Naach na aave... angan teda...huh?"(tch, tch..)

PS: About your obsession with Karva Chauth, I have a question. I know your 'answer' but not your 'response'.. so I'm gonna ask.

Would you (in this life or the next) ever subject yourself to the KC wrath(sic)?

Revathi said...

eeeeeeeeeeeks!! her name had exactly three letters . i gave the first one, u gave the last one and it doesnt take eisntein to figure out that the second letter is a vowel!! :P
and i agree with the hug part. rofl!! :D
and bull shit!! except for her prodigal son and daughter (namita) all of us made sad marks in Sanskrit. i dont remember u making a decent score ever!! :P

and the last part of ur comment. ahhh!! quite interesting. not in this life or the next or all the 46985 lives after that would i EVER fast for my (bleaaaaah) better half. not eating and starving just to compare mr.bleahhhh with the moon and as if thats not enough u have to be fed by mr.bleahhh to break ur fast!! can it get ewwwww-er than that?? :P

Thanks for visiting!! :)

preeti said...

You messed up sanskrit, I messed up with Hindi grammar :( amma had to come to meet Behenji Dinesh every saturday and had to bear her rantings of a hopeless, hindiless gyanless Preeti :)And revs every other hindi movie has this Karwa chouth thingy . Its common for all north indians. We also do it with a different name called Kaaradiyaa nombu( not too sure abt this bit of info,sources untrustworthy :)) tcha tcha.. poor knowledge :)

Sanjeev said...

beg to differ on this one though.. felt sanksrit was a really beautiful language when I did it in school.. my sanskrit professor was a scholar and he absolutely rocked.. sad that it is in a state of neglection these days.. just that once you understand its nuances,you can appreciate the meaning of all the slokas and manthras ( for those who practice them).Anyway i too never went to that extent but stopped with the "shabdhas" :D
Every language has 2 sides.. one the communucation aspect and the other is its aesthetics.. so it all boils down to how we view it..
BTW one language which gives me nightmares is hindi.. i have been desperate to learn atlease to understand conversations but it just seems elusive..

Revathi said...

Finally someone who likes sanskrit commenting on my post. am actually glad to see someone talk so passionately about sanskrit!! :)
Thanks for visiting man!!
and hindi yeah. spoken hindi has never been a probelm for me but written hindi always gave me the heebie jeebies!! :)

Aishwarya said...

ROFLing Revs! :D
Some people just know how to make a pleasant stroll miserable! Sigh!