That’s where I remember this from. There used to be chart papers cello-taped on the walls of our school corridor; from insistent teachers and reluctant students. I’d say bad calligraphy, but I’ll make do with untrained artists. My design curiosity began somewhere there I suppose, when I saw the mix of gothic, serif and sans-serif – but could never articulate what was really wrong about the “font” on those posters that, I now believe, were Macaulay-oriented brainwashing instruments, designed for ensuring loyalty to the socialist-military-industrial complex that would absorb us.
“No Pain, No Gain”
“Winners never quit and quitters never win”
“Rather fail with honour than succeed by fraud”
Imagine seeing these and similar messages every weekday for 12 years. It’s torture, but there is no way, you will ever feel the pain. At least not for a while. Suddenly you aren’t a student in that school anymore. Life beckons, with its own posters of lure. You are attracted, but the school posters don’t go away.Nothing prepares you for the life that you will ‘actually’ experience. You have to make your own meaning; decipher the advertisement billboards like those badly designed posters in your school’s corridor.
There wasn’t a poster on the corridor that declared:
“When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. [Link]”
And I wonder why. I wouldn’t have taken so long to understand that the world outside was less romantic about values. See, we all got beat up, clobbered and finally when we stood up, we appreciated romance. Romance is a wonderful thing, but it didn’t apply everywhere in this world. It was confined to the small place in your head and to the person who could share it with you.
“I used to complain I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet”
Our library had that. It wasn’t a poster created by a student who was imposed upon by an insistent teacher, it was print poster with a man walking on crutches and all. It was possibly a standard poster in all Central Schools. We were supposed to give thanks for the fortune of being able to use our legs and feet. I wondered, much later in life, how it made two of my classmates feel. One had polio in his leg, the other in his hand.
Honesty, however, is the best policy.
It may not be easy or simple, but it saves you on memory, this policy. Because if you have to lie, you have to remember what you lied about and how. Which, takes up memory.
I write, because it is cathartic. I have no delusions of becoming a famous bestselling author – though, I’ll admit, I had those delusions once, when I was writing a love story.
My best friend, recently, has often commented offline about how the ‘quality’ of my posts is deteriorating. That’s a strong word, she’ll say – and deny that she ever used that word. Well, she is right. She used a word that was in the vicinity of depressing; but, she did not use that word. She was using the emotion.
Honesty, however, is the best policy.
I’d like my blog to reflect that. I’d like to be honest about how I feel rather than entertain you (my reader) with wonderful writing (which, by now, you have experienced, is wonder-less, if anything). There, is no “wonderful” writing, come to think of it. There’s, really popular writing and then, there’s the rest of it.
And, while I have strayed in recent times, this blog will no more feature popular or likeable writing. I have discovered, I cannot do it. At least as I think, it is supposed to be.
Me: Good things happened today.
She: I am glad.
Me: It is a relief.
She: It is not ‘relief’ – it’s your instant response to a previous difficult time. It’s a way of reminding you what’s important. Listen and learn what this story is all about. This is not the end of difficult times. Abstract these and apply them later. Difficult times will come again. Even if you don’t deserve them.
Because, “Honesty is the Best Policy”
And hereafter, I’ll be honest about what I write here. How you — my reader — deals with that honesty, I leave it up to you. Not all will be good, not all will be bad; but, it will be true.
Sounds like a manifesto, doesn’t it?