Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Bad Wednesday...


 Posted by Hello

I must have been five. A little older or a little younger. But definitely around there…

Sr. Tessie was my class teacher… yes, five I was. School was fun. I learnt a strange language called English. I learnt to say a lot of meaningless things and perfectly.

“Jack and Jill went up the hill…”
Who Jack? Who Jill? And as if I care!

Afternoons we slept. Sr. Tessie sang songs- which kept me awake… but I slept when she stopped singing.

With a child’s unerring instinct I knew Sr. Tessie knew Malayalam. I spoke not a word of English to her. She coaxed, she threatened, she called my poor parents… She prayed!

But slowly the magic of the language crept in. a whole new world of fairies and elves, of dark witches and cruel step mothers, of giants and dwarves… I went with Cinderella to the ball… I slept through years with Sleeping beauty… I cried my heart out with the ugly duckling…

Rhymes were easy. They never meant anything at all to me… but I liked to repeat them.

Riding on the tank of daddy’s Enfield by the beach every morning on the way to school, I would spurt every rhyme I knew… once all the rhymes were done and if I was still perched on the bullet- I would begin on commercials… and sing all the ones I knew…

“Solidare for sports… Solidare for Sunday movies…
We know what we want, we want Solidare…”

And then…

“Get the best out of life…
Get the best keep in touch…
Get the latest Dyanora…
Keep in touch…”

If I reached school before my daily quota of rhymes and commercials were over, I wouldn’t get down. I would sit there on the black tank of daddy’s bike and sing until I sang it all. Daddy would patiently wait for the whole show to be over, and then lift me down once the mouth was closed.

I would then walk in through the gate, turn around and wave. First at daddy. Then to all the parents who came to drop their children… I would wave till they caught my eye and wave back… or I would wave till the watchman at school carried me still waving and kicking, inside to Sr. Tessie…

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child born on the Sabbath Day,
Is fair and wise and good and gay. “

That was the rhyme we were taught that day. And we had homework. To go home and find out which day each of us were born…

I had a sinking feeling… Even the school bell didn’t cheer me up. Seeing daddy didn’t. a ride on the bike didn’t. I didn’t sing.

We stopped at the beach. Brown, warm peanuts wrapped in newspaper cones.

We sat on a bench facing the sea… I looked at my tiny legs and wondered how long they will have to grow before they can touch the ground… the way Daddy’s were now.

But then I wouldn’t be able to swing my legs as well, would I?

Swing left… swing right… swing left…swing right…

So busy was I swinging my feet, that I almost forgot…

“Which day was I born Acha?” (Acha-daddy); I broke the silence.

Daddy’s brow creased. I knew he didn’t know the answer.

I peeled off the brown skin of the peanuts…they were a little brown inside…I quickly put the whole lot of them into my mouth…

Daddy said; “We’ll look it up. Or we’ll ask Amma”

Going home, that was the first thing I did. Asked Amma. She knew everything. I was born at 9.55 AM, on the 1st of October. My zodiac. My sun sign. My moon sign. And all the other signs that exist… not the day I was born…

I didn’t do my homework that day. Never before did I feel so bad about not doing my homework.

I knew it though… I was sure I was born on a Wednesday… I don’t remember much… I hardly remember things. But that day is so clear… I was waiting for either of my parents- who knew all the answers or at least pretended to- to prove me wrong… I knew they wouldn’t though…

I walked into daddy’s room. That’s the room where he had his blue typewriter; his law books, a painted picture of grandpa, where he hid his cigarettes…

A whole lot of books were on the ground. I could smell dust in the air. Though Amma tried her level best to keep the house spic and span- she met her Nemesis in daddy’s room. The shelves were too high to be dusted standing on the tip of her toes. The shelves were too high to be dusted standing on a chair. The shelves were too high for her to find out that’s where daddy stored his cigarettes…

Daddy was looking for something. I sat down beside him on the floor. Daddy looked at me and smiled. I smiled back. Daddy was nice.

He finally found what he was looking for… a little black book.
“What’s that?”, I asked.

“A diary”

“Milk?” me.

Acha smiled and said; “This you cannot eat. No- I don’t mean as in a dare” (because I think he remembered how I eaten a whole page of the newspaper as part of a dare…)
“You shouldnt eat this...This is a book where people write what happens in their lives, generally. Your Amma uses it to write….maths”.

Trust Amma to do something as boring as that! I waited to see what daddy was going to do with it. Daddy was interesting.

He sat down on his favorite chair. I clambered up and sat on his knee.

I put my head on his chest. I could hear the thump-thump of his heart. I liked hearing it. I already felt better…

“You were born on a Wednesday”.

I felt sick. “Wednesday?”

Acha pointed to the black book, which had told him that I was born on a Wednesday.

“Wednesday's child is full of woe”, I said in a small voice.

Putting it down as one of the innumerable rhymes I chanted, daddy lifted me and put me down. Giving me a friendly pat, he said, “Run along. I have a little to read…”

I ran out…

I don’t like Wednesdays… Wednesday's child is full of woe.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear..now i would seriously like to know the reason for your bad wednesday was because you did not find any incentive in going to office or was tat really u didnt like the day u were born..u knw wat i mean..do u?.

4:39 AM  
Blogger Zealous Zygote said...

Hey, first of all it was a nice post. Nice photo of a little girl lost in thoughts(Was she also wondering which day she was born!?). Good one. It fitted the post perfectly.

And ladies arent supposed to reveal their age, isnt it? But, I took the trouble to find out which year it was when Oct 1 was a Wednesday and I guess my finding is right. And you also made me look into which day I was born: was a Sunday and believe me, I am completely opposite of everything thats said for a Sunday's child: I am not fair. I am not wise. I am not good and gay either.So stop worrying about being Wednesday's child. These rhymes dont mean much.

Well if you really believe in stuff like these, then hear these as well:I remember a saying in Tamil as well. It would go like this if am right."Pon Kadachallum Budhan Kadaikkadhu". I hope you understand that.We people beieve Wednesday is so auspicious. And if you are a Hindu, you would know 'Budhan' among the Navagrahas is supposed to be a very good planet who's supposed to bring knowledge into ur life(if am right!).

I thought it was a bad day yesterday at work and thats why your post title was 'Bad Wednesday'. :)

9:50 PM  
Blogger June-An said...

Dear Wednesday's Child... you make the world a better place... if any of you need a testimonial for that, contact me. :)

10:57 PM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Anonymous: Incentive to go to office? Yeah- ask them to pay me more!

Zy: Lady and me? 1-10-1980.

Fadia: Tell me the same after you know me better... I'll buy it then....

11:28 PM  
Blogger June-An said...

Start saving your money my lovely brain teaser.. :)

12:26 AM  
Blogger Kraz Arkin said...

You said you would be back...and you werent. :) Just saw ur comment on my advetures of dennis article. Kep writing - nice place you have here.

3:47 AM  
Blogger Welcome to Our World said...

Dear Poornima,
I'm so glad you write and that you write so well! I had totally forgotten that rhyme. I wonder what my baby will be! :)
Take care......
An old friend

2:35 PM  
Blogger sparsh said...

I loved this post. how did you remember all those ads? I loved them so much...and the enfield bullet. Some things never came back...Sigh...love ya.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how I wish I could animate your words to cherish them forever?! Perhaps they would best be animated in my mind! ;o)

2:58 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Poornima P said...

I was born on a tuesday!
Grace??? Never seen that in me! :)

11:13 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

PP: Maybe in the years to come? ;)

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also a wednesday child...

Priya

3:40 AM  
Blogger Pushkal said...

I am Thursday Child.... I think you were very talkative during your school days and also u have a very good memory power... But do u believe in all these sort of things??
But when i was reading each line it made me 2 remember my school days[Good old Memories] but anyway it was really a good post as it refreshed my mind and enjoyed it a lot.

8:19 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home