This had to be done... There aren't enough cynics around

Poetic Justice

There was a time in school when I would listen to “Poongatrile Un Swasathail” from Uyire before leaving for an exam and firmly believed that my performance would be undone if I did not follow up with “Santhosha Kaneere” after getting home from the  3 hour long memory test. That was a blissful experience (listening, not the vomiting part). I was so into the former song that in one of my exams, I translated it into English for poetry writing. Apparently, without the melody, the lyrics did not strike a chord with the teacher, who never the less lauded my ‘attempt’ and gave the 'perfect score'. This ‘inspiration’ was fuelled when a girl did a Nadia C in language-something that pissed me for some reason. It might come as a surprise to my friends, but back then, I was not quite the chivalric dude I am now.

But my new found avatar as a poet was fraught with inexplicable complications. I was asked to pen a poem for an Assembly skit by my class… While I sincerely hoped I could somehow recycle Satrangi Re, I was not sure that even the tune deaf would miss the alluring 7 stages of Love. And there was still a distinct possibility that the ‘Super Conservative School’ (I can hear sniggers from the current crop of SBOAians) would expel me. So after countless hours, I did the unspeakable-came up with an original. The theme was pollution-too bad. But it was not as bad as the poem I had penned. God, it was awful. Sadly, my teacher thought otherwise. Maybe Gulzar in English sounded like this and the stupidity of words was offset by the richness of imagination-just like every Shankar movie.

So long story short, I was supposed to recite it in front of 200 students. Just as I was gearing for embarrassment, possibly an ironic retribution for stealing a poor old girl’s metaphorical trophy with a plagiarized poem, a bacterial intervention saved me. Sore throat ensured that I would not recite the crap I had written. The downside though, was that a buddy of mine would take the fall instead. And what a fall indeed… 

“If there is no solution to pollution
The world would go into collision….”

I shut my eyes and ears tightly in embarrassment. Luckily, the audience stunned by the stupidity of the content, thought that the juvenile nature was an intentional parody. They laughed with it, not realizing they should be laughing at it. Although red with embarrassment, my friend went on and finished

“Something bad-something worse-something-tion
Something poor-something horrible-something-tion
Thank you”

The applause was breath taking. I truly hoped it would take away my breath (literally). And that was when I truly realized how the masses are fooled by media and only this time I was, for a change, the media rather than the mass. That was also the last time I pulled a dirty trick on unsuspecting poor guys. My friend, who had gotten over the embarrassment thingy, was now the poet of our class-a role that suited that perennial romantic.

Just before I entered med school, I had a chance meeting with Fate. He wanted something from me for getting me into med school (lucky for him he has not paid me a visit since then, should we meet now… I’ll seal his fate- me and all the docs with whom he made God-knows-what-deals). He wanted me to stop penning poems. Why? I wondered, was my gibberish going to alter the divine balance? Would they inspire a revolt? None of my explanations seemed plausible. He declined to give me an answer. I made the deal, reluctantly and as he was about to leave I asked:

“What if I meet the perfect girl in College? How can I woo her without a poem?”

He laughed and left.

Years down the line, I now realize that he never came to see me again was because he probably died laughing at my first question...

Perfect girl?

Odds are you might as well find a perfect poem, by me.