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WHEN THE INERT COMES ALIVE

February 1, 2013



 

On an evening stroll, I happened to observe a postman trying to collect mail from one of the roadside mailboxes. I now waited out of curiosity to find out the number of letters that could fall into the mailbag. To my surprise I saw a single postcard being picked by the postman and slipped into the long bag. The postman left and my speculation on his feelings continued.

Out of the blue, I felt I heard a murmur from the post box, asking me about my thoughts. For a little while my thoughts flew down the memory lane....first, to the old song 'chitti ayi hai vatan se chitti ayi hai', then the role played by post boxes and postmen in many a real life and real life stories and finally the plight of post boxes which have withstood the test of time.

I felt that the post box muttered about how its good old days were and wanted someone to eavesdrop on; I instantly stood by its side as I waited for a friend to join me. The postbox continued burbling on its 'Pride' in the yesteryears, where it stood red and head high! It stood witness to people who turned insane waiting for a communique from their near and dear ones. "In this e-age, not many know me; would I be known to the generation next?"

I consoled it by saying that we have not ignored its tribe, as presently they have been prominent with various colors for easy segregation of mails. As far as the Javans thrive and the Indian villages survive, its clan will not vanish.

The T.V. shows, in the bygone years like the Tana-Bana and Surabhi (the shows on travel on the National channel), insisted on postcards only for the communication from their viewers - all to keep the postal service alive. I hope there are programs currently too that insist on using the postal service for messages.

In recent times, another incident kept me brooding on the conception of the inert coming alive.

It was a Saturday morning and I hurried to reach school, as usually it is on a Saturday we need to reach school an hour before the regular time.

As I started my vehicle and had covered almost half the distance to school, at a signal, my ‘Black Stallion’ (Black Aviator) refused to start after the signal turned green. I struggled for more than fifteen to twenty minutes to start it, but it wouldn't budge.

I had to call for help and yet, with many struggling with it, nothing happened. I started losing hope about reaching school on time. At one point, I just mentioned that I better leave the Aviator on the alleyway, all alone, and come back later with a mechanic to start it. At that juncture I just felt I needed to give it a final try and lo, it started!

I had never considered my vehicle as a vehicle but as my child all the while and had never ever thought that a day would come when I would say that I'd ditch it on the pathway for not starting.

It also proved to me that it is not a vehicle but someone very close to my heart. I should thank this handsome feller for having been such a loyal companion for the last four years and saving me from many anticipated falls.

We learn to attach life to many of the inert items we use on a day-to-day basis and make those a part of our life, the only way to show our gratitude for the services we avail from these lovely lifeless items.

There were times when the 2nd and 3rd generations were at school, the composition topics used to be: write an autobiography of a book, pen or pencil, so that the pupils develop an interest in narrative writing and also learn the art of imagination.

I would like to pass on a message to the student community, to 'use their sixth sense and look at things with a third eye'. They'll find that the inert also has life and experience what imagination can do with little things around them.

--- Copyright © 2012 Suvarna Sridhar
I, Suvarna Sridhar, am a teacher at Sri Vidya Mandir Education Society Malleshwaram.-BLR-3

This spurt of creativity was a true life experience and I would like to thank my student community as they are the ones who make me think.

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