It is a worrisome trend, this one upmanship business thay a leading political party is indulging in. The recent developments, or should I say, undevelopments in Maharashtra have left many unduly stressed. And I am not referring to the politicians involved. It’s the common people who have been greatly disturbed by this see-saw of political wills.

However, the clear thinkers among the common people will have already read between the lines. Their deductions will not lead them to a happy conclusion. The Police (think JNU and Aarey) and the Governors (think government formations in Goa, Maharashtra) and most importantly, the until now impeccable upper echelons of tge Judiciary (you know what) all seem to be under an Imperius like curse.

The farmers and the students have already experienced the receiving end of the might is right policy. All this has left the viewer of this intense drama with frayed nerves. Only time will tell how many bow down to the power of the paper Gandhi.

To my School Teachers

I remember

Pereira teacher’s meticulousness
Jyoti teacher’s enunciation
Braganza teacher’s dry humour
Blanche Monteiro’s awesome sense of style
Lily teacher’s passion for Hindi
Xavier teacher’s quirks
Sr Maisie’s firm but just ways
Joey Sir’s musical genius
Dolly teacher’s strict exterior
Hiding a soft heart
Krishnan teacher’s strict teaching
Sr Joanna’s passion for English
Sr Carmeline’s skill in needlework
Irene teacher’s passion for her art
Mira Menon’s pronunciation of
Thirtai, Fortai, Fiftai, Sixtai
Stella miss and Josephine teacher
Gladys teacher and Leticia teacher
Jayshree teacher and Ophelia teacher
So many more even held
Our hands and wrote with us
Especially all our primary and pre primary teachers
God bless you forever!

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What’s in a name?

My name Ermelinda … It’s been the bane of my entire school life… Teachers habitually mispronounced it. Students did the same. Some nuns actually called me Esmeralda. Some Spanish fantasy of theirs, I guess. After some time I also accepted the mispronunciation…

This name miscalling hit the nadir when Siamwala teacher (now I don’t know if I’ve spelled her name right), our Biology teacher who loved me to bits (for what I never figured out), in Class 9A, while explaining Animal Kingdom and its Classification, suddenly decided to mention me lovingly alongside the Porifera and Arthropoda and Annelida… and uttered my name thus : Emelindina…

That was my “Earth, swallow me now” moment… I remember the class going pindrop and then, as genteel as a girls’ school would have it, the girls burst into a roar of laughter! I went pink or red… who knows… But I was mortified! The teacher must have sensed something was wrong because she hurried with the lesson. I don’t know if anyone teased me about this. My reputation did not allow for people to come and poke fun at me.

As for my name, it became bearable slowly and surely as the years went by…. By the time I was attending my post grad classes, many teachers called me by my full name (though a few did prefer Linda) and still do.

I wish I had been assertive as a kid but I am now. My name is Ermelinda Makkimane now and my surname has a different story attached!

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School time

A ride in the rain
On a borrowed scooter
A ride in the rain
With my little daughter.

I prepared for the ride:
Made her wear the bag in front
(So she shouldn’t get wet).
And sang for her on the way to school.

And yet she she cried
As she struggled with her teacher
To pull off her stunt
“Mamaaa!” she bawled.

I escaped and hid
Behind a pillar
Peeking to check
If my howling daughter
Had noted my exit.

It was hard to walk away
But that’s what I did
One rainy day.

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Driving or riding?

Does one drive a scooter or does one ride it?Here I am, newly moved to village Naroa in North Goa with my four kids and the kind of Goanese that I am receiving is interesting!

First week, one lady decided to fat shame me and I responded saying I was in my own league… Felt proud of myself!

Next week, took a class from my 16-year old son in scooter riding and now I’m doing two or three round trips from the ferry/Divar school…

Third, have moved into my place which is conveniently situated above mummy’s so a lot of borrowing (from my side) and lending (from her side) happening at the moment.

Fourth, there’s always a view of the sky, from wherever I look out… Huge swathes of scuttly cloud filled sky.
PS The neighbour has three huge pineapples growing in their backyard!

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