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“Notebooks”- Nayana Nair

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In school, exams used to end by March. We used to cry over this 24×7 studying. Praying for exams to get over somehow and determined not to touch even a book after exams. As soon as exams get over, our happiness is as if we/re being released from prison. Few holidays, then results are out. Some praises for toppers and lots of scolding to the ones who barely passed and the ones who couldn’t even pass.

But when all the drama is over…..time to study again.

New session, new class, new book, and new notebooks. A whole day spent on covering these new dear books of ours…which would soon become our enemies. But till that time, we gaze at them in wonder and delight. New books….the feel of their pages, their smell and opening up new notebooks in class…what a good feeling it is….

First few pages of each notebook, we write with the best possible writing….black for heading and blue for the rest, drawing margins here and there( with scales), not a drop of ink on textbook…ordered, neat, fresh clean start…….

But disorder is the law of nature I GUESS….few weeks gone and there we are….black pens and scale are long lost….leave neat handwriting…the biggest challenge is write something at all while dozing off in class…..and a set of blank pages at regular interval with PTOs written all over it….(the pages that we had left to complete our work…but sadly at last only had time to write PTOs before giving the copies for checking)….few flowers and fairies scribbled at every other corner….dialogues with our friends written on the last page of copy….lots of red marks ( most of them are question marks, obviously the teacher is as confused as we are..:) ) incomplete written all over our PTOs (applicable to only those teachers who are smart enough to encode the real meaning and purpose of our PTOs )….index…..its only meant to be filled by teacher…

And after getting 4-5 remarks, some of them lose all hope and leave note making altogether.

By the end of the year, we end up with a bundle of paper somehow held together by fate….loose sheets falling everywhere. And most of the time we wonder at our amazing talent of writing what even we can’t comprehend and staring at our sacred front few pages, even more surprised “I didn’t know I can write this neat…”. Wishing you could make a better note, wishing you had studied well and listened to something in class. While some desperate souls wander off in search of better notes to borrow, there are are a few who are not at least bothered, as studying or not doesn’t make much difference to the, they are just glad at the fun they had whole year.

At last we somehow make sense  of the nonsense writing, night before exam. That night in itself is magical, all the mysteries haunting us are revealed on this determining day. Enlightenment at last  🙂

Somehow we write our exams and the drama starts again.

Our lives are just like these notebooks of ours. How neat they are in begining and how shabby at last. We wonder at our innocence, our trusting nature. We wish to be that, what we have lost long back. The beginning was as ordered as it can be…the tags of being good child, good student, good friend…

But perfection is short lived like the neatness of our copies. With time we change, situations change. Coping with our lives gained more priority over these tags that we held. We become less innocent, cleverer, less trusting, more suspicious and more and more selfish. People changed us maybe, every time when someone scarred us, they wrote something on those clean sheets that they can’t ever take back, nor can we erase, it’s now a part of who we are. What we do, what they did, everything has led you to this point. His point where you look at your shabby copies with loose sheets falling everywhere, wondering “How on earth did I get into such a mess?”. And you wish to become what you once were…..a new blank copy.

But as we saw, however messy at this point life may seem, everything nonsense but in fact it will lead you to that determining day…when all the mysteries will be revealed, the day you’ll realize your purpose. Enlightenment at last.

Neat blank copies are what we like, but that’s not what they are meant for, they get their meaning their purpose on when written upon.

And we may not realize it now, but from this mess we’ll find our identity, we’ll find ourselves, our purpose. The purpose that only the shabby copies can fulfill. (Like passing exams)

I can’t help, but marvel at the similarity between our lives and everything that surrounds us. Confusing who is reflecting what. Or do we seek our meaning from the meaningless, or do our brains shape the truth to our own convenience. It seems that we are never born with a so called purpose. Maybe our purpose of life is what we are searching for all our lives and never quite realizing that in this journey we created one. We never quite know what it is until we look back. We create what we are, our circumstances have a huge role to play, what we had to choose from, and what we chose, what we chose to believe in spite of all odds. We end up with a meaning but only some realize it.

But then there are those, who are just glad, that they had a good life, the one they enjoyed, and nothing else matters.

I’m reminded of a song :

kaatrilE aadum kaagidham naan
nee dhaan ennai kadidham aakinaai
anbil thodangi anbil mudikkirEn
en kaalam varai ???

[I’m the paper that floats in the air
You made me into a letter
I start and end with love
Until my lifetime ???

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