Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Nash My Teeth and Hope For A Dry Answer Sheet.

There are times when life socks me in the solar plexus and expects me to handle it. Like now, when I have exams coming up and feel supremely unprepared. To top it all, our school honchos have suddenly come up with a brainwave to ensure that all students submit copperplate answer scripts of impossible neatness – they've made it mandatory to use fountain pens.

Up, up my soul! This inaction is abominable.
Perhaps it is the result of disturbances abdominable.

-Ogden Nash, Spring Comes To Murray Hill.

Only, this isn't inaction. It's a positive death sentence. What beats me is how we’re supposed to submit neat answer scripts when none of us can afford a Mont Blanc, and the old-timers stocked in my stationary shop have very leaky bladders. I’ve already managed to Jackson Pollock my hand, and I’m still worrying about how I’m going to finish my answer script, when writing with a ball pen just gives us a minute to check our papers before the final bell rings. And my first exam is Hindi. And this is the BOARD YEAR (I always visualize it like that – big capitals flying all around, with ominous music playing in the background), and each and every exam will matter. AND I know I can’t take a risk with my first terminal papers because the colleges I want to go to will take them into account, but try telling that to my school management. Education is a futile thing.

As you can see, I have taken to reading Nash compulsively to cheer myself up. And that doesn’t help either, because I don’t think my Hindi teacher will appreciate it if I cough up a quirky essay in place of a shuddh sanskaar/ mera desh concoction. I don't suppose it matters, Hindi was always a sea of bewilderment for me. Especially with the soul-searching poems that the CBSE textbooks always seem to have. The things you have to do to have a Career.

Introspective Reflection
I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance
Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

What a genius. And people wax lyrical about Sylvia Plath.

5 kindred spirits have swallowed my rambling:

new age scheherazade said...

that IS sad. fountain pens leak. they also blot.the nibs also break just when you're drawing a complicated last-minute flowchart. it's high time you hung up your teacher by the ankles. ritwika, in my math tuition has started using them there as well, and it is SAD to watch her struggling.
and ogden nash. love him. that one, about how you have to work so you earn enough so you don't have to work...wow. and sylvia plath, bell jar or not, was a pseudo. what crappy similies? a fish, indeed. right backatcha, woman.

Full stop. said...

Maybe the school administration thinks fountain pens will encourage genteel and sophisticated behaviour among our nation's young women.

speedpost said...

i just lost two of my fingers at 11 30 whilecompleting my bengali paper... will the school compensate for that. in addition to that i have a fluorescent green pen that makes aishwarya rai look beautiful...
i may have used it at one point of time but then i discovered the joy of a linc glycer

Priyanka Kumar said...

@newage: fish, indeed. of all the things you can compare a woman with, a fish.

@full stop: i believe a group of girls decided to violently jerk their pens all down the corridors. is vengeance a part of this sophistication?

@speedpost: oh, don't fuss. you have science and can write four word sentences. i have history and political science. therefore, i get to whine.

Fountain Pen User said...

Hmm... Fountain pens leak, blot and the nibs break? There's an awful lot of people using these things who would probably disagree with you. See http://www.fountainpennetwork.com for feedback from people who actually use them. Or look up all the multitudes of sketch blogs kept by people who draw with fountain pens. I happen to use fountain pens for both drawing and writing.