As a kid, I had quite the reputation of being Miss Goody Shoes. 🙂 While I dont really think i strived towards it, I dont really remember doing much to correct the impression either. Oh I have to tell you that I wasnt really good – its not that I didnt ‘think’ anything bad; I just was terribly bad at executing things.
I guess this is as good a time to slay the demon of Miss Goody Shoes.
I have always been a voracious reader, and my parents have always indulged me. It was always okay if stayed up late reading, or if I came late for dinner, or got late in the library. It helped of course that I was not only good at studies, I also liked studying (ewww, I know its gross, but I didnt particularly get a chance to slap myself as a kid). However, there was a unfortunate phase in my literature loving years – a phase I am extremely proud of. The Mills and Boon phase. From Amar Chitra Kathas, to Enid Blytons, to Dickens, to Maugham to the Russian classics – my reading was all very respectable like me. So it was quite surprising when my dad found that he had to pay for an increasing stash of M&Bs from the library. He didnt say a word – my dad finds it difficult to talk about anything which is connected to boys and romance 🙂 Anway, he was relieved when I was in the tenth standard, and he could legally put a restriction on the amount of books I could read – ALL the books. He didnt have to specifically mention the M&Bs.
At this point, I have to tell you I had a bad attack of M&Bs, much more damaging than any viral attack or measles or mumps or whatever. I was bad, very bad. No you dont understand. I was horrendous. I used to take like 10 books from the library at one strech, and read like two a day; three if I could manage to eat a really long dinner. And it wasnt even a short spell – it went on and on and on. Btw, if anyone needs any information on M&Bs – authors, styles, themes, anything – just ask me – am da man; I can write a whole thesis if required. But I digress again. My dad had enough – it had to stop – he restricted all books till I finished my board exams. I was not really devastated. There is where the bad part girl comes in.
That year was really hectic; in addition to the pressure of the board exams, I had Bharat Natyam classes, computer classes, and ‘eat as much as you can’ classes. Well, the last one was really dinner time. Anyway, the whole day was crammed with activies, and I barely got enough time to breathe. At this time, my dad decided that I should wake up at five every morning to study. As cruel as it sounds to all of you out there, it really wasnt; those were the days when I could wake up before eight thirty without throwing abuse at the Gods above. Note again – this is where bad girl kicks in. My poor dad would wake me up at 4.45..cuddle up with me till 5, nicely seat me on my reading table with tea, and then go into the kitchen to help my mother. And what would I do? I would open my thick text book, open it to page 77, take out a new M&B from my stash, place it strategically between the book, hold the book very straight, and read it with as much concentration as my chemistry text book deserved. You think its sane to wake up at five in the morning and read a M&B? What can I say? Thankfully, someone told my dad that sleep is extremely essential for Board Exams, and he decided that it was enough that I woke up at 7. Really, what can I say? I WAS a sidey, corny, cheap teenanger. I just never gained enough credit for it because I also was one of the school toppers in the Board exams. Some people never get recognition for their true worth.
Why do I remember all this now?
Yesterday was a hectic day at work.I had logged in from home and was working till 11pm. While my work was intense, there were frequent breaks when I had to wait for other people to complete their part and send it to me. During those breaks, I was reading a M&B (I still read them *defiant pose*) and my dad walks in with a cup of tea. I could swear it was almost exactly the same feeling as 15 years back. This time I was working on a laptop and had nowhere to hide the book. I quickly shut the book and almost thew it on the bed and concentrated on the laptop with fierce concentration. My dad just kept the tea on the table and walked away.
It almost took me a minute before I realised that I wasnt fifteen anymore, and it wasnt my board exams, and I was actually MUCH past the age of reading M&Bs, and even if that was true, I could read them without hiding. It was a weird feeling. In the years between fifteen and thirty, I did go on to do a lot more justice to the bad girl tag I wanted, but I hadnt thought that being caught with an M&B at the age of thirty by my dad, would actually get me embarrassed. It did. Its a sobering thought that at the grand old age of thirty, I really have to work on the Ms Goody Shoes attitude. Seriously. Really quite a lot to think about. And of course quite a lot to work on – as you see, this is not the day we will slay the demon of Miss Goody Shoes.