Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Teacher's Best

This is yet another fun filled experience of my school days. It happened when I was in ninth grade (back in 1999). I was good in science, especially in physics. And I always scored well in science tests. That impressed my science teacher. She was fond of me for this very reason. She used to overlook all the small mistakes I did, saying "That's OK Amit, but it's not going to happen again, right?" and I used to respond back to her with my sweetest smile.

One day during her class, it was nearly lunch time and she was teaching about Newton's laws. I was partly bored and more hungry. I was eagerly watching the wall clock. It was few minutes left for lunch break when suddenly she said "I'll extend this session for 15 minutes more. I've got to finish what Newton says here" Despite the bad joke, the whole class erupted with chorus "Oh!". "Tut tut! Be quiet!" she said, in an angry tone which made the class go silent. I was sitting in the last desk and my close friend was in front of me. A minute later, I bent down slowly, made sure she wasn't watching me and then "Time is up!" I snapped. I was relieved to observe that no one saw me.

She looked up to see who it was and she continued her lesson. Then she stepped down the podium, started walking slowly, towards my desk holding a fat book in her hands. Without actually listening to her, I started pretending to be more attentive. Then instantly she lifted the fat book with her hands and swung it down with great force and  BAM! The hit came like the one from a sledgehammer on my friend's head who was busy taking notes of the lesson. "Time is up, huh? You think you're too smart enough to escape my eyes and ears?", she shouted. I laughed silently. My friend couldn't control his anger. He turned red with fury. Now, who wouldn't get angry if one gets a hit on the head? He stood up immediately and roared "That wasn't me! It's him!", pointing his finger at me. I looked up to face her feeling ashamed. Unable to accept this fact, feeling very sorry for that guy and equally disappointed with my behavior, she said "Meet me after lunch!" in a controlled tone. Feeling disgusted, I nodded.

After lunch, I went to her staff room. I was very apprehensive about the consequences. She sat behind a desk busy looking into some papers. She looked very calm and was glad to see me. When I sought permission to enter "May I come in ma'am?", she began "Ahh Amit, there you are, my best student! Come on in, take a seat. I am really surprised with your unexpected behavior today. How could you do that especially in my class? I am feeling embarrassed and very bad that I hit that poor kid. You think he'll be fine? Promise me you won't do that again. If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask me, alright?" I was completely taken aback by this unanticipated turn of events. I was wondering something really bad will happen to me. I said "I am sorry teacher. I couldn't help it because I was very hungry. It won't happen again and don't worry about that guy, I'll take care of him. He is my friend", with my sweet smile :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Why Poetry?

I don't know how to put it, but I suppose this post will serve somebody who is looking forward to write poems. I can't believe I have already written more than ten till now. I was having this discussion with my friend and he told me to write a post about it. When I look back, the day I got inspired by poetry of my co-worker, I decided I am going to start mine. So the first thing I got is - Inspiration.

Initially it was a bit of a struggle for me to find out what my poetry is going to be. Then I had to find out the right words which give life to the idea behind it. Here is the first shot. The idea, for me, must be thought provoking. My mind has to become so restless that I will have to let it out somehow. So I pen it down as quickly as I could with whatever words strike my head at that moment. Let the write up have errors, it will eventually be corrected and tuned properly. Remember - Thought provoking.

Now here comes the main reason of writing poetry. If you read my poems or any other verses, one thing you will observe is they are very abstract. It doesn't point to a particular person or a thing. But, it still somehow manages to touch your heart because the feelings expressed in those lines are genuine. That's the beauty of it!  The best thing about feelings in a poetry is,  it can about real life experiences or imaginary. If the feelings are real, writing poetry is easy, all you got to do is construct sentences with poetic words to make it sound nice. But avoid making it too personal; don't let readers guess you are emotionally attached to the poem. The good part of expressing sad experiences is, no reader is ever going to hurt you by asking you about it :) Because my poem is just too vague for the reader to deduce anything. Beep beep - Reality!

My mind is also good in imagination. It catches hold of a person and starts to imagine what's going on in that mind. Imagination is by itself entirely fictitious. But, there will be one reader on earth with which he could relate his thoughts/experiences with lines of my poem. It may be a real life event for him. For instance, I saw a couple romancing in a park. I did not go to them and ask: "What are your feelings for each other in this place?" If I did, I would have got slapped from both of them for being nosy. Their romance ignited my thoughts and I came up with this. And guess what, most readers loved it! There are other poems by me which are sad and sick, but completely fictitious. The challenge here is to come up with lines and build a realistic context around unrealistic idea. It may be some poor guy's reality, who knows? So, no one is holding me back to write a poem which is pure imagination. Buzz word - Imagination.

The human brain is highly volatile. It wanders here and there in no time. So, maintain focus on the subject rather than drifting away to some place. It happens to me very often. Control the flow of your thoughts.  Otherwise, the poem loses its essence and confuses its reader. It creates an impression that I am not sticking to the point.

I don't write poems for the audience or for my readers. I write them for myself. I have to be happy and proud of my work. It doesn't matter whether others like it or not. That's what poetry is all about. Feeling happy for oneself. If you are trying to impress others, you are just ruining it because you never know what's on people's minds. Having said that, here is a word of caution: even if your vocabulary is world class and keeping in mind a reader with fairly good knowledge of English, avoid using words which require dictionary to be kept beside your poem before reading it.

Finally when the skeleton of my verse is looking good, its time to arrange the words and lines properly in a desired order. It must look like a short story with head and tail. Now this task is going to take some effort. In order to make it sound good, you will have to replace words with more appropriate ones which precisely suit the vibe surrounding the idea of the poem. You may also have to move the lines or stanzas up or down to connect your story nicely. Once I believe that everything is set, I read it over and over again at few times until I certify: "Yes! This is it! It is now breathing life!" It requires few finishing touches like a sculptor working out delicate details on his masterpiece. Phew! Cool, its ready to be published.