Thursday, December 21, 2006

What Orkut does

What Orkut does is to hand you a sharp pointed pencil, and you kneel down on all your fours, as you used to do with your friends during recess prodding at the dirt that had accumulated in between the wooden planks of the flooring, digging out the dirt with the pointed pencil until it yields you enough goodies: rusted needles that escaped frustrating needle work periods: broken pencil points: bits of erasers: half-rotten rubber bands. Priceless stuff.

And, it throws at you the basketball with which you had gone thud-thud-thud in the court, your love of the game blossoming only in early Summers when the mango trees along the court flaunts small green mangoes.Thud-thud-thud you would throw the ball at those tantalizing bunches until a nun came out of one of the dark convent rooms and stood there on the verandah, expressionless.

It can file you in single lines of blue pinafores,

white shirts and shiny shoes and ribbons (often

cut out of your partner’s neat bows and frantically

tied around your hair just as the assembly

bell went off) with the sun shining above and

the day stretching before you. A tiny bit of ribbon

– no pleases or thankyous- you had it then,

friendship in its rarest form.

Orkut also gives startling gifts. It first tickles you with the memory of that Hindi teacher with bad English grammar, and you giggle like you did that day with the entire class as the teacher wrote new words on the blackboard, giggling and shuffling feet until she turned back, red-faced, eyes glaring, ‘I turn the board and you laugh, why?' and the class bursts out, ha ha ha you go at the memory, and somewhere along your laughter sandpapers your throat as you see that the look on her face that day was not of anger, but of humiliation.

It also takes.
That huge pupil tree behind the nursery, that one with tiny cement benches built around it, Orkut can take that away.
hop-hop-hop
you went leaping from one bench to the other in circles around the tree-
hop-hop-hop
your most cherished memory from the days of red gingham uniforms
hop-hop-hop
None of your long-lost-and-now-found friends remember such a tree, and you stand there dumb, robbed off the next bench to go…

4 comments:

sapna said...

Thats so beautifully written Reshma! I loved that bit about the basketball. Them nuns were always so expressionless. How perfect!

Reshma said...

Sapna, you too..?:D

austere said...

wow.

Aisibi said...

Hey.. thats all of joseph's in a couple of sentences :). I had totally forgotten the joy of digging out the dirt from between wooden planks - I collected pencil points :). And then, playing family with your pencils in the box :)
You are a gift to nostalgia freaks like me :)