One of the signs to show that you are an Indian kid is having lots of arguments with your mother. And I always rank first in that index, nationalistic in some way. From the number of tea spoons of sugar in my glass of milk to who is better- SRK or Sallu Bhai, we have brought the neighbours and family to our doorsteps. Their objective to calm us down is appreciated but did we actually? No, we shouted at them and continued.We also have heated discussions on my exam performance in 10th grade and lower/higher grades if the mood is right. The father in these situations would silently go to WhatsApp and play the most forwarded video of all time and acts like he is in that video.
Mrs Rekha Ravi doesn’t usually interfere in what I am doing and has given me some freedom. But she does take the role of the tag I have assigned to her quite seriously. I call her ‘Mothership’. This term stuck because whenever she decides to help me. She actually meant it. Initially assuming it was a joke, it came to a rude shock when she denied me the permission to participate in a model making competition. I wasn’t as artistic then as well, the main reason I wanted to take part in it was to be next to the girl I liked. Being interested in it, I even went ahead and got materials for my model- the amazing baking soda volcano.
But the mothership had other plans, saw that there was something called a quiz. She said “It’s similar to KBC where Amitabh Bachchan comes”. This was the only moment when my excitement peaked and enquired do I get money? She bent down to look right in my eye, smiled and said no.
Galieo Science Club at NSN school was a confluence of sorts. The cool kids and the nerdy kids meet and discuss, they do look odd at the events but then even it out by the way they handle the crowd and volunteer. The questions was read out in high pitch and irregular frequencies, People came in causing disruptions. Data was processed, signals of remembrance was detected. Heart beats became louder while I finally understood what perspiration meant.
In normal classroom scenario, I would have studied science just because of the daily homework’s and Amma checking the school diary on tests. But that day, I realised the sweat and hunger for victory was real. The competitors and the concept of competition was real. And the taste I got after gaining knowledge and winning it was more addictive than Aruna Soup sold at the corner of the school.
I walked out and saw the girl walking proudly with the model. She narrowly missed the first place as the other student spewed more ‘lava’ as compared to her. I smiled back and stayed calm for a minute and then showed-off that to everyone I knew on this ‘life-changing’ victory. Hopefully, that’s the last time I indulge in such behaviour. But at the point no one would have stopped me celebrating my victory and ending up drinking two cups of tomato soup with lots of croutons.
Often when AM puts in the most complicated questions which actually has the simplest answers, I am left wondering what would have happened if I didn’t agree with her then. Would I have been more associated/ disassociated with quizzing. Now, whenever I reach home late after a quiz or any other competitions, it would be with a mildly dejected face. Amma would initially be the original volcano spewing anger on my late arrival which later changes to baking soda volcano lava. But I know that she is secretly proud of me doing such things and on herself for pushing me too. Of course she won’t show this in public, after all she’s an Indian mom.