Tuesday, July 17, 2007

On an anniversary note

He was always like that. A terrific teacher. Words scented by woody cigarette smoke.

It was the day that college began. The worn corners of the old windows and the joy of balancing on narrow windowsills. Life on the edge.

Freshmen year. Most of them without a clue as to why they were there. That always happened to his class. Which I sometimes felt was a pity- he had so much to give and if you strip away the hollow of expectation, then everything becomes more than enough. Asking for more was what he always wanted. And that's why I was sent into his life.

His books which had innumerable strips of papers eagerly waiting to be pulled out and read. Scribbles of his thoughts and what he wanted say. There was so much I didn't understand. There was so much I understood.

So sitting by the windowsill, I heard the white finger of chalk squeal on the summer-dust-collected-board that had been wiped almost clean that morning. Scars always remain.

His handwriting was terrible. Achingly painful was the feeling as always, when I saw him address a crowd. As in response to his hope that this year would be different.

The words that stayed on my mind that year. And forever.

'Hitch your wagon to a star'.

And that's what he did. On a wagon that moved too fast and all that was left behind of him was a whiff of stardust.


Anonymous Anonymous said...



12:44 AM  
Blogger cOOL_aLIEN_fRM_mARS said...

you paint beautiful pictures :)

3:16 AM  
Anonymous one among the crowd said...

hi poornima,

vivid share. felt i was there. but sometime .... donno when....the wet chalk didn't squeal. but that is how the scar resisted all the persistent but silent ventures to look yonder....

simple and engaging....

4:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi dear...
ah...out of cycle..out of the cyclic mood...
guess there s a teacher like this everywhere...life's so familiar and simply so simple...

4:24 AM  
Blogger SNM said...

We are all on some wagon or the other. Some go slow, some go fast. Don't look at the ones that have overtaken yours or that are lagging behind. Just enjoy your trip with your co-travelers!

4:33 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

D: :)

Cool alien: :)

OAC: Were you? There I mean. I feel I ought to know you. I sometimes feel I almost do.

Anon: My own Mr.Chips.

SNM: Too early in the morn for all this alle? :)

5:57 AM  
Anonymous Aparna said...

Cute. Is there a grp devoted to him in Orkut? :-)

Commenting after a long time. But, I do visit your page regularly...just a lil lazy to sign in and comment u see.

Poornima, when can we expect lengthy posts? Short stories may be?

Could not resist typing: You, as always write beautifully. Keep it going :-)

2:39 PM  
Blogger SNM said...

Oh no; instead, its too late in the night!

2:47 PM  
Blogger ToOothlEss WOndeR! said...

beautiful, and quite intense!
first time here..

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you really remember him saying that? Or is this part imagination?

The cigarettes.. the classes.. and July.. am I putting things together correctly?


9:12 AM  
Blogger BaKfIrE said...

Nice one....though its quite difficult to see from the last bench(in my case) :)

9:47 AM  
Blogger Praveen said...

Hey remember me.. havent been here for ages.. great to see you still write and still as beautifully as i can remember.

the best sentence i liked here "he had so much to give and if you strip away the hollow of expectation, then everything becomes more than enough".. great stuff! :)

11:30 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Aparna: He died long before Orkut came in.

SNM: :)

Toothless wonder: Lovely blog you have out there!

Reva: Of course! 12 is not too young not to remember illaya? And yeah- you have the sequence of events right dear.

Bakfire: Windowsills are better, esp if you aren't part of the class and yet are.

Praveen: Of course I remember. How've you been?

9:34 PM  
Blogger Sudarshan. A. G. said...

He wasn't that old. A person who beat me a spine. Taught me humour. And I hear the last thing he did was take a class.

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Arun Pillai said...

Nice write-up. Bit hard for me to understand the context. Little clues like the post title and things like these -
>why I was sent into his life.

makes me feel- than a classroom story, it has to do more with your life, not sure though!

10:58 AM  
Blogger Preetha Nair said...

:) too good......

Isint it best to have someone who can "Give" when you "Ask" for it!!!

10:38 PM  
Blogger dharmabum said...

aiiiii. squealing chalk gives me goose bumps.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Suma Subramaniam said...

Hi Poornima ,
I have been following your blog for a while now. Your writing is very promising. Keep it going girl.

About this post, if only your professor were alive, I guess, he'd send you flowers for this wonderful piece of writing:)
Maybe you could pitch in more details like his name and what he taught, for it is unclear to me at certain places.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Alok said...

an hour well spent on ur page ....



5:57 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Sudarshan: There are always lessons to be learnt.

Arun: Ask no questions and I'll tell you no lies. :)

Preetha: Absolutely!

Balu: :)

Suma: He always knew how special he was to me. And no name calling! :)

Alok: Anytime. Ty.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Shim said...

12 long yrs! would have been a very happy person today had he been alive.


12:14 AM  

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