the daunting clock

The clock on my cluttered desk reads five past seven. The birds are chirping, the clouds are parting, the sun is bright and shining. I’m sitting on a comfortable chair, but I’m not quite comfortable under the accusing stare of my textbook’s dull and tedious font. As on most days, I’m using the pencil in between my thumb and my index as an instrument  to create a poor excuse for a melody, and yet, one that is just enough to distract me from the erudite stare that has seemingly transformed into a textual frown.

The clock on my cluttered desk reads nineteen past seven. My field of view has made the timetable for my examinations its protagonist. My eyes however, refuse to oblige and remain unfocused. My traveling mind lures the unexcited, blank pair of brown orbs to a land that’s more inviting: one that involves simple appreciation, free of any forceful memorisation; one that is more desirable, more tempting. To get there, I need to get past now.

The clock on my cluttered desk reads fifty-five past seven. It’s been seven minutes since I mustered up the will-power to tweak the focus of my eyes and concentrate on the dormant print before me. The modern legal profession in India has colonial roots, emerging with the advent of the Mayor’s Courts in Madras and Calcutta in 1726. I hum the tune of the song that casually greets my mind; I mumble the lyrics and I tap my feet. I hear the faint conversation between my parents sitting outside. I wonder what my sister is doing – if she’s studying well at university. University. Similar to a flashing red light, in my mind, my eyes revert to where they’re meant to be looking. The reformation of legal education in India undertaken since the late 1980s at the initiative of the BCL, the University Grants Commission, and various state governments has led to the establishment of various national law schools in India in the last two decades.

The clock on my cluttered desk reads forty past eight. I’m on page three. I’m looking at the microscopic stitches of my light green shirt. I’m hearing the fluttering of the loose sheets of paper near by. I’m smelling my mother’s presence after she has freshly bathed. The small Ganesha beside my table calendar looks interrogative, almost as if asking me ‘a penny for your thoughts, young girl?’ I frown in shame.

The clock on my cluttered desk reads twenty-five past nine. My face is slightly wet after washing it. The water bottle near me is nearly empty. Giving effect to the Chamier Committee recommendations, the Central Legislature enacted the Indian Bar Councils Act, 1926. I sigh deeply. The clock on my cluttered desk reads five to ten. It’s almost time for breakfast. The Act was to provide for the constitution and incorporation of Bar Councils, to confer powers and impose duties on the Bar Councils and to – I hear the distracted voice of my mother, calling me for breakfast. I reply that I’ll eat after a while; the guilt has been feeding on meThe clock on my cluttered desk reads fifteen past ten. I desperately try to squeeze in a few more sentences. In order to be eligible for enrolment, an advocate must be: a citizen of India, at least 21 years of age and – I feel the buzz of my phone. It’s irrelevant; unimportant, but the fleeting moment of concentration is lost. The clock on my cluttered desk reads thirty-five past ten. I comfort myself: ‘I’ll try again after breakfast’.

The clock on my cluttered desk reads forty-three past eleven. The owls are hooting, the sky is pitch dark, the sun is nowhere to be seen.

(ps: here’s a funny thing – there’s actually no clock on my desk; i almost always check my phone for the time)

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eighteen

How is it that I’m already eighteen? Each year as I turn a year older, I don’t feel any different. I suppose it’s because the “growing up” part is a gradual process; it takes place throughout the year only to result in no major difference on one’s birth day. I’d like to think that I have led a pretty comfortable life up until now – I didn’t have to adjust to the new infant in the house since I was the second child; I’ve never had to move or abruptly leave the city; I have an excellent relationship with everyone in my social and familial circle. Let’s brush over my intense fear of conflict which stems from this one particular incident that happened when I was younger, because apart from that, I think I have had it quite easy. After all, the drama and misunderstandings amidst my circle of friends in the lower grades is hardly anything to fuss over about now. I suppose I’ve realised that growth doesn’t necessarily has to happen from the bottom.

What I have also realised is how utterly fortunate I am: I have got parents who tell me ‘you are the best gift in our lives’ and who go out of the way to ensure I’ve got a smile on my face. I’ve got a confidant in my sister, who’s far away and yet closest to my heart. I’ve got such brilliant friends – ones who search for that one book I’ve been meaning to read for ages, ones who give me a piece of themselves in aromatic sand and hand made stars which instantly makes me sigh in happiness, ones who write me poems that warm my heart and make my eyes glisten with tears, ones who write me letters, ones who remember me even though they’re miles apart – I am so grateful. In a world so uncertain and quite honestly terrifying, my own, small world is brimming with love, care, affection and so much support that’s got me where I am today.

When I was returning home with my parents tonight and we were greeted with traffic and soft music on the radio, I fully understood how much I want to make each of these people proud. I want to be one of the reasons for their happiness and their joy, just as they have been mine.

Aware