Thursday, July 23, 2009


I'd thought I've grown out of those out-of-body experiences. You know, those experiences that leave you so mortified you feel disconnected from your body and like you're in a dream watching yourself being stupid from a hazy, far-off distance.

But I had another one today at work. This academic session, the powers that be finally threw out the outdated chalk and blackboards that rack up so much dust and put up pristine new whiteboards. As thrilled as we were at first with the tech progress, we quickly realised that writing on the slippery boards with felt markers isn't as easy as with the old chalk sticks and rough blackboards. Especially in letters large enough for everyone in a big room to read. And especially in anything resembling our usual handwriting.

My boo-boo today was taking in to class what I thought was my usual, black, whiteboard marker. So on a beautiful, sparkling, white-as-the-driven-snow board, I wrote out in large, crooked letters Hamlet as a Revenge tragedy/play. I did wonder at the time why the pen tip seemed so much finer than other days but it was only when I tried to rub it off that I realised I'd just accidentally used a permanent marker. Ack.

I went hot and cold all over but quickly composed myself and went on as if blissfully unaware of my gaffe. Class over, I wondered worriedly if my unslightly script would remain on the wall forever and what other teachers would think while always having to carefully navigate whatever it was they had to write around my permanent snafu. I wondered if I'd have to pay up for an expensive new board and if the one I'd damaged would be stored away somewhere, always bearing my ignominious bungle upon it.

As it turned out, I went to the office to report my blooper and the office staff assured me that someone else had done the same thing a couple of weeks earlier and they had effectively erased it all with a rag and white correcting fluid. Phew. If only all our slip-ups could be as easily wiped out.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Childhood Vignettes

Been meaning to post these old pictures but only after I'd touched them up a bit. Well, they required a bit more touching up than I'm equipped for so I've finally decided to just put them up and put out of your misery all you poor folks who have been dropping in here hoping to see something new hehe.

I just love this picture. In the wake of the Mizo insurgency, the family fled to Shillong and settled there. At least, us children settled there with Mum's parents while Mum and Dad stayed on in Aizawl since Dad was in govt service. It wasn't often they could come visit, especially Dad, so family get-togethers were rare and pretty joyous occasions.

My grandfather was one of the kindest men that ever lived. His name was Zalawra and he helped start up the Mizo Presbyterian Sunday School. We used to have a picture of him and a little me going off to church together on a lovely sunday morning but ack, despite frenetic hunts for it I just can't find it. Grandfather was the strong, silent, hardworking, bookworm type and one treasured memory I have of him is a beautiful, gold-coloured little pen that came with the tiny little diary he had (they made tiny diaries in the old days) and I loved the pen so much that he eventually gave it to me. That was when I couldn't even properly write anything yet. He was run over one evening in Shillong on his way home from church by a speeding car whose driver was never known.

My youngest sister wasn't born yet here. She came as something as an afterthought. Which reminds me we used to have a lot of pictures of her as a baby, even on the lawns of Roberts ' Hospital in Shillong where she was born so I must go look for those to scan. Childhood memories disappear so quickly without pictures, and the pictures themselves fade, mildew, get misplaced or eventually just lose all significance for the living.