I love rains, especially when you’re living in a city like Mumbai where rains are a big respite after a spell of scorching summer. The first rains are always a special occasion because of petrichor. I love it!! The cool breeze, watching rains from the balcony with pleasant smell of mud, a hot coffee by the side and reading my favorite book, Nothing like it! I am a book lover too but past month or so, have been very hectic. My niece, who is one of the leading architects from the city, had suggested some modifications in our interiors. After lot of persuading, I managed to convince my husband Amol, for the planned changes. Last week was special, we did the interiors and our home decor is looking like a million bucks now. After setting up my home clean and organized with the help of my maid, I got sufficient time to relax for a while. And just then, when I sat on my cozy balcony chair with my favorite book and a cup of coffee, Mumbai received first rains of the season. It’s been a week now since it’s raining almost daily, looks like the season has caught up and monsoon is here to stay.
We live in Nava Bharat Housing Co Operative Society in D Block 7th Floor in Dombivli East. Basically I am a housewife, taking care of my family and managing household affairs. My husband is an Advertising Professional in a leading Ad agency setup in Jogeshwari, a western suburb in Mumbai. He is working in a senior executive role. His work requires him to travel often and stay in office at odd hours too. He says that it’s a challenging job because in a creative profession like his, one has to always think out of the box, come up with crazy ideas and thought process to create a product of compelling value to the client. I am pretty much impressed by his hard work and dedication towards his work apart from his loving and caring nature. We had a love marriage 21 years ago and it has been a great one, with lot of ups than downs. He trusts me completely in whatever I venture into and has been a great support system. In domestic affairs, he doesn’t heed much and gives me complete freedom in running it. For any additional support, he is always there for me. We have a sweet daughter Navya who is turning 17 this September. She is doing her 11th grade in Vidyaniketan College in Kalyan, one of the top colleges from the city. Navya is apple of our eye, our source of happiness. She completed her Class 10 with flying colors finishing 9th rank for the CBSE board. Being good academically throughout her schooling, she is as good as a sportswoman as one could be. She is the captain of Basketball team and has competed at state level for 2 consecutive years. And like her loving father, she is creative and pursuing painting as her hobby. She has successfully completed an international assignment too, connecting with like-minded people across the globe. Overall, she is an all-rounder. I take care of her studies when she is home and needs my help; for creative pursuits she connects with her dad.
Last week, Amol won a contract of a leading FMCG conglomerate and it was a great moment of joy and pride for us. But on the downside, he has been very busy since then to leave no stone unturned to restore the immense trust the client have bestowed in him and his team. So these days, he reaches home very late sometimes past midnight. Yesterday, Navya had basketball practice sessions after her classes and post-practice, she had to attend a birthday bash of her best friend Ramya, my namesake. So I was told she would be late and reach home by 9pm. I was out for shopping to get some traditional sarees for an upcoming family event and just when I reached home at 8 pm; it started raining cats and dogs. I called up Navya to enquire where she was, didn’t get a reply, thought she was busy enjoying the party, so texted her instead. And some time later, I got a reply from Navya that she would be home soon. Amol had back to back meetings yesterday and I was told he would be late. The rain was relentless as could be seen from the balcony and I got busy in setting up my wardrobe and getting the dinner ready. It was 9.30 pm now and with no signs of Navya, I called her again; this time I couldn’t connect her phone. It was getting late enough to be worried. I once again stepped into the balcony and looked down. Except for a drenched street dog that was lying down miserably near the gate, there was not a soul to be seen anywhere. Rain water had puddled under the lamp post. A breeze ruffled the mango tree in the courtyard and a few twigs fell down and broke. Thunder rumbled in the distance. Did I hear a soft knock at the door? I turned back.
It was Mrs. Srivastava who lived in the same block on 11th floor; she came to enquire about her son Rohan. Rohan was Navya’s friend, studying in the same college as her and had accompanied Navya to the birthday party. Mrs. Srivastava was worried too as her son who was supposed to be home by 9, had not returned. She came downstairs to check whether Navya was home. But when she realized that even Navya had not returned, their phones switched off and with relentless rain and thunderstorms, she became more anxious and worried. Even their other friends were unreachable on phone. To further enhance our predicament, even the news showing up on the TV in the background was talking only about the Mumbai rains, inherent water logging and traffic logjams. We had to do something, but were in dilemma. I was about to call Amol when someone ringed the doorbell again. When I opened, there was no one to be seen. But there was a beautiful bouquet of red roses placed with a birthday card on it. I could make out that it was in Navya’s handwriting. It read: Thanks for being here, for being you, I love you lots. Happiest of birthdays. XOXO. But why was it lying here? And who ringed the bell? I checked the whole corridor, checked the staircases, lift etc. but no one to be seen anywhere. And when I returned back to my flat, lights were switched off almost instantly. What was happening?? I got scared now.
I was sweating and shivering with fright and when I tried to switch on the lights, I heard someone was waiting for me eagerly. I could sense that somehow. And once I managed to switch on the lights, I could hear familiar voice of Navya and Amol singing Happy Birthday to me, well supported by whole lot of people singing in unison. The birthday crew included my nephew, my sister, apartment acquaintances, friends from the gym, family friends, Amol’s colleagues, some of Navya’s friends, all led by Mrs. Srivastava holding a delicious cake. Navya came forward and hugged me tightly, wishing me a happy birthday just few minutes before I turned 50. She jokingly said- Mom, I told you I would be late as I was to attend birthday bash of my friend Ramya, I was just doing that, albeit planning it and moreover you’re my best friend too. Amol, who was busy all these days, I didn’t knew he was busy today planning and scheming this surprise for me. If I were his client, I would be mighty impressed by his ideas and the surprise element and sign the contract on dotted lines very happily. He hugged me and presented me a gorgeous dress and a diamond necklace which was exquisite. OMG!! What a stunner it was!! I was delighted by his gesture. And Mrs. Srivastava turned out to be a natural actor, didn’t give me a hint of what was coming. Apparently, Amol and Neha had invited all the guests without my cognizance and were plotting a plan all this while in the community hall beside our flat and it turned to be a huge surprise to me. I went in to change to my birthday dress along with the necklace. And when I was back, I was awed again; the living room was decorated with flowers, balloons, birthday craft bunting, lights and lanterns. Navya, had specially prepared a beautiful cone shaped birthday hat and a sash with Birthday Girl written on it. I felt like a pampered child again. And every guest had a birthday prop put on- someone had a headwear, wigs, feather boas, mustaches and beards, party ties, hair bands, funky eye glasses, face masks, wand, headband and wings. It looked like a well thought out plan and I was very much overwhelmed. Then, it was time to cut the cake and everyone started singing happy birthday for me. Amol had ordered my favorite food from the nearby restaurant and everyone set out for the birthday bash dinner. All this while, my nephew captured all the proceedings of the event, those precious moments of shock, surprise, happiness and bliss on his GoPro camera and we looked at it again and again and had a good laugh over it.
Never ever I had dreamt of such a surprise. I was overjoyed for this lovely gesture by everyone for turning up, making my 50th birthday a memorable and a special event. This was the story I made up, when I was getting bored on a long distance train journey
I was in 9th grade, an above average student,loved Mathematics and Cricket. If Math was fun, Social Studies was more fun because of my favourite and sabka favourite teacher. I loved history, found geography and economics interesting and hated civics from the bottom of my heart. I was fortunate to have Sri Sri Sri… Sir as my Social Science Studies(SST) teacher for 2 years(Let’s call him just Sir as I don’t want to take names. My school friends know exactly whom I am talking about).In short,it was an epic encounter. Ours was a silver jubilee batch(25th batch) and our History Sir had served the school as much as the history of our school lasted.He was a gold medalist and didn’t show off an inch when he was teaching us 😛 (My school friends will better understand what does this exactly means).
Now onto epic encounters we had with him.
-I write a lot of fictional stuff these days and I was first introduced to fiction by Sir.While teaching us about life in Thar Desert or for that matter in India Pakistan border, Sir used to start like this-When I went to India Pakistan Border….. and we used to laugh abruptly which would make him shout.Even though he said a plain lie,he would convince us by his stories and we used to lol and rofl. Once he told he went to South Africa. Everyone shouted ho ho ho… Then he quickly changed his statement that his friend had visited SA.
-He wore spectacles and to maintain it,he had to clean it daily in the class. To save time, he used to clean his nose too. He had a very unique way to clean his nose and mouth with the same handkerchief- Yuck!! Another lol moment..
-Ours being a Christian school,we had lot of fathers,sisters and brothers. One such father was our English teacher who was our Principal too. When he used to roam around verandah and if he passed by our class and if SST was going on, Sir would sense that much before anyone else and stretch the words in his speech whatever he was saying and make it look more convincing. On first instance we didn’t get the reason for this change in his accent but later we realized it.(Talk of Impression? We learned a lesson here)
-When he was teaching, suddenly if he found anything interesting outside the window,he used to stare it for so long that everybody in the class would look towards the window and then knowing that we were also staring,he used to shout ‘Don’t fool around’ (his punch dialogue) and we used to laugh.
– For whole of 9th/10th grade,no one read SST from standard book. We had a standard guide book- Diamond Guide!! I can picture that right away. Even though we didn’t read anything it would be difficult to pass in other subjects but not with SST. Here a below average student could also score well provided you wrote stories well. In our school days, Kaho Na Pyar Hai was a massive hit and everyone had seen it multiple times. So here was the funda everyone applied without copying in the exam. Read the question multiple times, Stretch your mind to understand it and write something about it in first two lines by trying to be relevant, save some of the stuff in last two lines and sandwich Kaho Na Pyar Hai or any other movie story in between first and last two lines. Believe me it would work like a charm, Every Time. (You know, we were innovative with our stories, a serious relevant topic would suddenly turn romantic,some coherent stories would make a good film :P)
-Sometimes if we were lucky we would get the questions before the exams too. Sir used to set question paper in the class. We had a monitor who had to write name of the students who were talking in the class wen Sir was resting on his desk. When Sir used to set the paper from diamond guide, monitor used to go beside the desk and secretly note down the page number pretending he is monitoring the class. Others had only one job, to turn the pages and quickly note down the questions.Everyone had personal copy of diamond guide and when monitor used to signal us the page number we used to mark the questions.We turned the pages of the guide in sync with that of Sir’s as we believed a guru and shishya should be on same page while conversing 😛
– If you forgot homework of other subjects, SST was the class to be. On one such class,someone had borrowed my Math notes and was completing his homework in SST class. Someone complained this to Sir upon which he got angry and took only my notes to the staff room. I went behind him to get it. He knew we used to make fun of him so he told me to say sorry to every teacher present in the staff room. My math teacher saved me by borrowing my notes from his hand and handing it to me.(Yeah,you guessed it right-We had great grasping power. Could do SST and Math simultaneously :P)
-If anyone was made to read a new lesson aloud in front of class it was understood that the lesson was taught.(Yeah u read it right.We were fast learners :P)
-He had some favorites (read bakras) in the class who were made scapegoats more often. If class sounded like a fish market(along with bakras :P) he used to shout taking that fav. student’s name. One day, that student was absent in the class but our Sir didn’t fail to shout his name when the class was loud 😛 That’s called making noise in the class, making your presence felt even though you are absent…
– He had a habit of removing his footwear when he was seated on his desk. Guys from first bench would stretch their leg to get his footwear and pass it on till last bench and the next scene when he gets up from his slumber was never to be missed 😛
– In SSLC, he was our class teacher. We had a ball as the day started with his period. One fine day, he said open page number 40 from the text book. Everyone shouted page 45 Sirrrrrr……. to which he got very angry and hit the person sitting on the first bench 😛
-If he remembered by any chance, he used to suddenly announce in the class to complete all Q&A from SST in our ‘to be made’ notebook. We used to avoid it and on last resort used to complete all Q&A with answers not more than 2 lines.(You know, we were smart)
PS: NOM to any person involved. It’s just my version of the story. It’s not that we always made fun,we did study during our boards seriously. Learning should be fun and that was my biggest learning.
Thank You SIR!!
Keep Smiling 🙂
Prologue: Dedicated to all my school/college friends.
There is one such person who always comes first in class.
There is one such person who everyone falls for.
There is one such person who is a bookworm.
There is one such person who is good in all sports.
There is one such person who is filthy rich and has many girlfriends/boyfriends.
There is one such person who makes you wonder how he/she can attract opposite sex even though he/she looks dumb.
There is one such person who is miser at highest level you could ever imagine.
There is one such person who comes late to school/college every time.
There is one such person who is always a back bencher.
There is one such person who is always a first bencher.
There is one such person who is a body builder.
There is one such person who looks like a fashion model.
There is one such person who is a chatterbox.
There is one such person who is always seen in a library.
There is one such person who cannot be seen in a library.
There is one such person who is every teacher’s favorite.
There is one such person who has a very good memory.
There is one such person who is victim of everyone’s leg pulling.
There is one such person who has a singer’s voice.
There is one such person with dancing shoes.
There is one such person with smelling socks.
There is one such person seen always with headphones blaring.
There is one such person who does everything except studies.
There is one such person who does not do anything except studies.
There is one such person who is seen with a particular person always.
There is one such person who is always speeding on his/her bike.
There is one such person who is always involved in an accident.
There is one such person with a cute smile.
There is one such person who has a crush on his teacher.
There is one such person who always lies.
There is one such person who is in love with someone-one way.
There is one such person who is in love with someone-mutual but without parent’s approval.
There is one such person who mugs up just about everything.
There is one such person who cannot be seen in jeans.
There is one such person who has latest bike in the town.
There is one such person who is regular to classes.
There is one such person who always overreacts.
There is one such person who imitates others.
There is one such person who always prefers unlimited food.
There is one such person who looks like someone else in class.
There is one such person who you don’t like to be with.
There is one such person who always deals with double meaning.
There is one such person who always gets punished by a teacher.
There is one such person who is always smiling.
There is one such person who is weight conscious.
There is one such person who is artistic.
There is one such person who is always on phone.
There is one such person who gets drunk often.
There is one such person who does not have a nick name.
There is one such person who always hogs the limelight.
There is one such person who always completes homework by referring other’s notes.
There is one such person who does Physics on a History class.
There is one such person who always copies during exams.
There is one such person who has a neat handwriting.
And there is one such person i.e. me who can write all such nonsense.
P.S: If you have survived till here, would love to hear your feedback.