This is that time of the year we loved, the two days when we were asked not to study!. Just imagine, mothers, pleading with kids to stop reading…! Well, that happened just once a year and it is during Navarathri, when we keep our books for pooja.
We four, would cover our books, the textbooks we found most difficult to comprehend, in an old newspaper and write our names prominently outside (the thought of not getting the book back was frightening) and then walk to our temple.
The walk was a joyous, carefree one. We contemplated on what to do the next day. We avoided reading huge posters and feigned horror (we imagined the Gods would punish us if we broke the custom) when we did. The jokes were fresh and the laughter uninhibited. We hummed songs and almost danced our way to the temples, where the final act of handing over the books to our Gods took place. Once that was done we breathed even more freely, revelling in the fact that the Gods would take all our issues under his folds and solve towering History and Science problems and with that conviction we enjoyed our redemption from books.
We had also come to the conclusion that the 2nd day was the shortest day of the year. How the day flew past! It was difficult too since we couln't read anything (and the no TV at home too and even if we could watch it Pukalacaut, there was just DD1)...and we invariably broke that rule, imagine how can you not read the paper, atleast the headlines!
No books, no angry looks from our mother or insulting jabs at our irresponsible lazing around. .
And the next day morning, the same ritual walk to the temple, this time the treads were heavier and the looks a wee bit sad. After scrambling for the packet of books from the heap that had collected, we walked back home and opened our books and studied intensely, and loudly, as if making up for the hours we had lost and also in the hopes that the books coming back from the Gods sanctuary would give us extra memorising powers.
Do you remember, M,S and R?