Monday, April 10, 2006

The Vancouver Diaries - II

The Interregnum

The initial excitement of going to a "foreign country" wore off. We had 3 months before we left for Canada. We moved to Chennai from Madurai (we used to move every 3 years! So no big deal..:)). We were put up in Indira Nagar (near the water tank). My brother was thrust into Hindu High School for the 3 month period. As for me, I got admitted to Sankara School (I think). There was a lot of bureaucractic red-tape about joining Grade 11 for just 3 months. I forgot what the hullabaloo was about. My parents ended up figuring that I might as well just join Grade 11 in Vancouver directly instead of going through innumerable hassles here. So it was Computer Point , Adyar for me for the next 2 months or so.

I had just finished my Grade 10 and I had excellent results. I'd had ideas of preparing for IIT, BITS etc... Now all my careful plans were getting upset and I was not in a regular "school setting". TVS Lakshmi, Madurai informed me that I had a couple of prizes waiting for me for Class X performance. I was getting royal treatment and was offered whatever group I wanted to get into! I was ranked school third in total marks scored and I had another prize for "Outstanding performance" or some such thing. I couldn't go to Madurai to receive them because my dad was busy with visa/passport business and my mother was busy getting the household ready to leave. Because I wasn't there, the guy who was ranked four got promoted to school third and he was going to get my prize. That chafed me immensely. After all, what's the point of working hard and scoring if you don't get to enjoy the pampering and prizes after that?! Why bother studying at all? Here, in Chennai, I was nothing. None even knew me. It annoyed me even more that my parents didn't think it was an issue worthy of discussion at all! What's the big deal? It is just a prize, right? To say that I was frustrated was the least of it!

What with bored housewives and retired old men who wanted to wet their feet with technology being my classmates at Computer Point, I really wasn't too excited to go to classes. Besides, the instructor was pretty boring and I was learning Lotus 1-2-3. I wondered long and hard about the role of Lotus 1-2-3 and how I was ever going to use it in my life. I really wasn't enlightened. So I just resigned myself to the boring routine. I was becoming fidgety. I missed my friends back in Madurai. I'd studied at Asan Memorial, Egmore before moving to Madurai 3 years back. I'd lost touch with those friends too. What with no e-mail, IM or cheap long distance calling, losing touch was easy back then! So, there I was in Chennai with no company and nothing to keep me occupied full time.

Of course, there were exciting moments in between. Once, a pot-bellied policeman showed up at our door for passport verification. I was excited at seeing a real policeman at our doorstep. I peeped from behind my mom's saree at the policeman and his huge moustache. He asked a couple of questions and left. We went shopping for clothing, suitcases and other things. The logistics for a family of four to go abroad are just too complex! My father used to be very busy all the time. My mother used to be busy packing/disposing household items. My brother was enjoying his brief stint at his school. He used to be roguishly happy about not having to study for his quarterly exams while his classmates were slogging at it. His cockiness stemmed from the fact that we'd leave on September 13 and his exams were a couple of days after that! So he used to go around with an unholy, impish grin on his face whenever anyone mentioned "exams"! :)

On top of all this, to complete my cup of happiness, I ended up with jaundice in August....

[The diary will continue to write itself...]


Prabhu said...

You should have known Computer Point is a place where retired people go to. Dont you remember the singaravelan thaatha character who uses technology (lotus1-2-3) and develops kushboo's childhood photo to the teen aged one?

Anyways, nicely written and interregnum na enna? :(

Kay said...

Your diary is writing itself very good.
waiting on more...

dinesh said...

Ha ! The little prizes...Parents forget that that's all we live for...those little moments of recognition. Those moments that show us that we're good at what we do..that we belong and more in our world of little boys and girls ! We'd do well to keep that in mind when we have kids.

Subha said...

"interregnum" was originally used to describe the period between the reign of two kings..:) inter-reign, I guess, became interregnum (Latin probably)..:)

Computer Point pathi avlo ellam theriyaadhu!Therinja poi serndhiruppena? :)

Subha said...

I wonder if those little things don't matter that much when you've lived through 45 years of life! :) I think parents see through eyes that've lived out ups and downs of 45 years..Kids are fresh, young and have a new outlook on life. Perhaps it is this disconnect? Or maybe my parents thought I'd do well to handle such things in life and not be whiny? I don't know..parenting always seems to be a curious mix of the intentional and unintentional! :) Not sure if I made much sense.

dinesh said...


You did make sense. I concur with what you say.

But at this point in time, we're right in between the two. Our little memories of how our parents didn't let us do something we so badly wanted are still with us. Also, the days when we become parents are not far away. So, if we can connect the two, and try not to look through the eyes of people that have gone through so many ups and downs ( at least not on every instance) we'd have done well !