Saturday, August 19, 2006

My Kind of Day

This was published in Femina(September 8-22, 1983). The editor then was Vimla Patil. The column itself was called "My kind of day" and there would be doctors, lecturers, women entrepreneurs and the like featured in it. I thought, "Why not a day in the life of an ordinary college girl?" and dashed this off. Going through this article now brings back memories----


My day begins very properly at 6 a.m. ----as a good student’s should. Only, I don’t begin it. I rise up from my dreamless sleep, prise open an eye with my fingers and look at the clock, (which, being an electronic digital affair, keeps me guessing whether it is 5:19 or 6:10 ---the numerals look similar). At this point, the open eye indignantly closes, refusing to do more work than its partner, and I am only awakened around 7:15 by mummy’s nth and final call for those wishing to get ready at a reasonable rate----meaning something not resembling fast motion scenes in films.
I drag myself out of bed (getting out of quicksand is easier) and begin the process of getting ready. That involves last-minute ironing for everybody, since I am the official dhobi of the house, and listening to dad’s sermons about on doing such things the night before. Giving a helping hand in the kitchen and having at least two minor squabbles with kid sister, together take 45 minutes or so, and then there is the inevitable clash at the bath. This in spite of carefully thought out plans, which would compete with army exercise strategy any day. Well, somebody has to beat a retreat and it is usually my sister, who is only too glad to postpone a bath (indefinitely!)
Then I beat a path to the breakfast table and hurriedly pack a lunch box, surreptitiously slipping in such items I cannot manage right then, but which mother insists I consume. Fortunately, mummy’s new job has divested her of the eagle eye which she used to have.
After that, it’s off to the bus stop to squeeze into a bus crammed to bursting point. I normally switch buses midway. So at the halfway stop, I wait for the college special bus and in the process bump into friends. While we discuss the latest in everything, the bus arrives and we get in, choose seats, and continue. Twenty minutes later, I am in college, with 10 minutes to spare before classes start. This time is spent either in the library, or just climbing the flights of stairs to the top floor at a leisurely pace. Then it is slog-slog-slog concentrating on a lecture, taking notes or facing a surprise test. The end of each class results in hustle-bustle, gathering up books and rushing to the next class to bag good seats (front row or back, depending on the mood.) Unexpectedly, we get a free period. I make the most of it: doing a bit of everything in a short hour---library work, completing half-done assignments, plus invariably, chatter.
Lunch time. I have to contend with the items I could not manage at breakfast and thought I could at lunch. Then off to the canteen and from there to any vacant room to direct a play for my class. There is a college cabinet meeting to attend, after which I go and watch my friends at their dance practice.
Afternoon classes are waded through and then we wait for the college special bus to turn up. This being one of those days, it doesn’t, and we go to the regular bus stop in the hope of catching an ordinary bus. No luck. Each bus driver baulks at the sight of so many college girls, who will surely all swarm into his bus, impeding progress. So each driver promptly steps on the accelerator leaving us high and dry. Finally, thanks to obliging car-owners and kind bus drivers, we manage to make it to the station to go our separate ways. An interminable wait for my one-and-only (bus) which will speed me (not exactly) on my way home, and finally I’m actually home, ravenous and tired. After a snack and a wash, I curl up with a book, dead to the world until dinner time. Dinner time is time for arguments and anecdotes. The last stages of the meal are superfast for us (my sister and I) because the last one up has to clear the table.
After dinner, I do my class assignments (there is never any dearth of them), swotting for a test, writing something for a magazine (college or otherwise); designing a churidar kameez or anything else I feel like. I finally retire when it is quite late and only after daddy and mummy have jointly threatened not to wake me up in time for the next day.
As someone said: Every day, I do two things I dislike---- getting up and going to bed!


Blogger krish said...

Hi Lak, been some time since I came to your space - this new blog was news to me. So, do you still hate those two things?

7:52 AM   
Blogger LAK said...

You bet! Some things remain constant, even as we get older!

4:29 AM   

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