Sunday, June 28, 2015


I have an endless fascination with paleontology and history. If ever I was given a time machine and limited to one 'direction' in time to move towards, I would choose the past. From the creation of the Universe, the shifting face of the planet's crust, the evolution of life, the history of mankind- the birth and mutation of language, custom and thought... there is very little I would not want to witness. I'd just have to figure out the secret to immortality early on so that I last the stretch.

This whole lasting the stretch business, even without a time machine, is a bit of a pain. There was a guy I 'almost dated'. (I'm not going to explain that because the world of online dating is weird.) Anyway, at the time that we were talking, I was a couple of years shy of the 30 year mark and he was a bit beyond it. Once, I scoffed at some minor physical complaint he had, with the natural arrogance of youth (otherwise, I scornfully look down upon arrogance.) He said simply, "Wait till you hit 30." I scoffed again. We parted ways soon after but he remains etched in my memory. Why?

Because when I hit 30- BOOM! I threw my back out.  And I cursed his name. Maybe his family's too. It really hurt, ok? From then on, it's been a curse-athon. Creak. Grunt. Groan. Aaaaah. Dear Mother of God. That part can hurt?! And so on...

It really hits you when you traverse a little circle in your life. Like trekking up a Himalayan mountain. At 20, I was overtaking mountain goats. In the past 13 years however, things have changed. Let me take a moment to vent- Gravitational constant, my ass! Nothing constant in that area... By area, I meant gravity, not my...Hmm. What I mean is that physics is flawed. Gravity is obviously relative, which explains why the weight of one's thighs increases with altitude and number of potato chips consumed. Time is openly relative, not that it's candor really helps. When an acquaintance stopped me on the street yesterday and asked me how long it's been since I've been back, I said, "I don't know." She looked at me like I was flaky. I checked later and it'd only been three days, but it felt much longer. Funny how you can slip back into the gap you leave behind in a place, like you never left.

Which brings me to the latest update- my stint in Bangkok as a terrorizer of children is done. India needs me to continue the good work here, I figure. As a teacher, I've become a slightly better person. I no longer have violent thoughts that question the wisdom of inception. I've learnt to keep plodding on, even when I know that sometimes, the results aren't likely to manifest. That is the part of a teacher's life that I have most struggled with. That, and the desire to heave children through the door and hold them underwater in the hope that the shock will kick start dormant grey cells. Like I said, slightly better person.

I can hear a voice saying, "Poorni, you need help... the spiritual kind." I agree. That's why I invested in help. The ultimate help! That's right- Amar Chithra Katha's ultimate collection!

This beauty was waiting for me when I returned from Bangkok and I dived right in. Amar Chithra Katha is one of those timeless series that really brings stories alive, especially mythology. If I had my way, these books would be part of the curriculum. Imagine the discussions that would follow in the classroom! So how does it help me? I don't know. I don't really care. I have lots of books! With flying chariots and stuff! Time travel can wait.

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