She taught me how to light a match stick.

My days in the chemistry lab were dark and obnoxious. I had to start my first day in the lab spurting acid on the  eye of my best friend .

The thought that the stroke of my matchstick would put the tiny room in flames  and the idea of holding fire for some seconds on a tiny twig  was eating my brave nature.

I was nervous.  It gave me nightmares to even think of lighting the match stick.

I never overcame it.

The days sped and I lived. So  did  my fear.

Every day in the chemistry lab she would ask me to light the fire. My eyebrows would twitch and my eyes  would plead.

Please don’t give me this heinous task.

She would read my eyes  and insist I do it. Halfheartedly , I would light the fire and heave a sigh when I see that the room didn’t explode.

She ‘d occasionally pull out my ear  when I was too lazy to do my homework.

All the afternoon calls she’d made to see if I was embracing my afternoon siesta instead of pouring myself over textbooks and all those times she caught us in the corridor and sprang chemistry questions on us, all that and more, makes me smile every time I think about her.

I’ll always remember the love she had for us.

The hunter and the dog

You might have probably been thrown off by the title or not.Short story short, this is not a short story or a fable by Aesop.

Am I being a bit presumptuous?

The hunter and the dog aka Orion and Cansa major , finally came into the view of my brains and eyes,of course?

Is that a dog? Is that a head? Is that a what in the heavens not? So goes my head in all of my star gazing sessions. Ani would point at some bright speck in the sky and claim it to be Jupiter. My head would whirl and I’d have no idea how she knew. How do you know a planet from a star? How do you know it’s Jupiter and not Venus? So goes my list of questions. My inability to make out farther than Orion’s belt has thinned into air this december.

It’s the season to be jolly, la la la la lalala…. 

I was back home in kerala where the skies are clear, the water green and the soil rich. The starry sky lit up in all its glory and I summoned up the courage to go up the terrace in the dark with my kid brother.It was dark and I could hear the faint murmour of the seas, the light house lights went sweeping about the sky and straight up lying down, the stars themselves looked down upon me and my eyes met them. The belt, the shoulders, the legs and the arrow and Betelguese shining orange at me. Jupiter shone down and Sirius, the brightest smiled. Orion and Cansa major, I could see.Ecstatic, I pointed em all out to Sam and he was thrilled and right at that moment, a shooting star sped along Orion’s belt making it the best night among many nights.

Planets don’t twinkle, stars do. Planets are way brighter than stars. Get a diagram of the constellation and look up Orion,you will know how easy it is. The position of the constellations changes with time and you can tell time by their positions and that is how the ancients knew to tell time. Sailors told time by knowing the positions of the constellations and now, I know.😊  Venus is the bright evening star visible from 6:45 to 8 something. Jupiter appears from 8 to 10 something. And now, you know too 😊.

From some damn stupid essay that I read in ug that there is beauty in ignorance, that there is some magic to not knowing the names of all the flowers out there and when spring comes you learn it all anew and forget, I thought ignorance was bliss. But I was wrong, atleast in my case, there is a beauty in knowing, when I look up at the starry sky and my heart sings that I know two of those stars by name and I know where they are, my heart sings in joy for He hung up each of the stars and called them each by name and I know two of  them up in the sky 😀. There is a beauty in knowing.There is beauty in wisdom. This is treasure and digging it up is pleasure.

I flew back to sharjah today and before the descent, when we were up in the sky, I saw Jupiter shining in all its glory on the starred city. A thousand lights glimmered in the sea and I sunk in the pleasure of knowing.

So, I guess this is a lesson learnt and this post short of an Aesop’s fable, after all.

Moral of the story: Don’t feign ignorance, dig up treasure aka knowledge.

Sleeping is an art form.Practice makes perfect and I have trained myself to sleep like a log.The different skills that I have gathered while mastering this skill is beyond exemplary.

(INSPIRATION for this post: my lil sis who is supposedly studying but sleeping with her book open right now.)

  1. Sleep talking: Yes, I do this. I talk aloud what I say to people in my dreams. I cry, I wail and I shout for my mommy like a little girl in my sleep. Whenever I miss her, I cry for her in my sleep.I scold my annoying sister when asleep for all the annoying pranks she pulls on me in my dreams. I pray in my sleep. I ramble out definitions and formulas and speak some strange language according to listeners. I was on the bus, headimg back home , it was a 14 hour journey, i fell asleep to wake up at midnight shouting “Amachi” loudly. (That’s what I call my grandmother). Apparently,sleep talking is the less hazardous skill I have harnessed and with that let’s move on to the most dangerous of them all, ‘sleeping like a log’
  2. Sleeping like a log : aka sleeping like the dead. I am not the only one that has this set of skills, in fact my entire family shares this set of skills. We once slept through an earthquake and had no idea of what happened the night before. The next morning when the watch man informed us of what had trespassed the night before, we were shocked. Apparently all the inmates in all the ten floors had felt the tremors and ran off to safety save one family. I once fell asleep on the bus, a deep sleep it was and walk up an hour later and had no idea where I was or why I was on the bus for a few minutes. I kind of travelled with only just the bus fare, which is very very stupid. If I had missed my stop, I could have got down only at some far away stop which might have been atleast an hour away.I might have got stranded there with no money to get back home and the juice in my phone running out.
  3. Sleeping positions:  You  might already be familiar ,like any layman, with sleeping on ur back,on your stomach and your sides.  I however, can sleep standing. Yes, you read right, standing. It was at a youth camp, we had to wake up at an unearthly hour and go about till 11 at night and then we stayed up late talkin into the night. Two days later, it was night and i was at the worship section,standing ,closing my eyes devotedly in prayer and dozing off. I was seeing a road and cars and then i open my eyes and see the band playing. T’was a rough night.Anyway, that was the night when my skill went up a level high. Since then, i frequently sleep on the buses while standing. Someone should knock some sense into me.
  4. Sleeping anywhere,everywhere: On the bus, in the bed, on a chair, standing , sitting and lying down, at home , at school , during seminars, conferences and symposia, learning quantum mechanics, drowsing and dozing off to every damn lecture, I can sleep anywhere, everywhere no matter what strange time it is.