November 8, 2016
Weekends are generally supposed to be spent in leisure. The satisfaction that a jobless weekend gives is said to be unmatched. But all happy weekends are not plain and uneventful. Some are made of action and drama, swift movement and sudden brakes, awakenings and falls… often quite literally! This was one such weekend.It all started with a theatre workshop held at the college where I work. The purpose of the workshop was to extract the creative talents of the students and to inspire them to rise beyond their inhibitions. I was looking forward to it for it was something I too needed, to an extent. As the person responsible for organising the workshop, on the one hand I was busy coordinating with the students, while on the other, I was planning shuttling between home and hostel, all on the day before the workshop.The next day, a Saturday, began with my usual chores. After a lot of running about the city for various works, I finally reached on time for the workshop, which was to be conducted by a renowned dancer and theatre artist, from one of the famous theatrical families. She was a young and pleasant woman and we would lovingly call her ‘chechi’ (a term we Malayalis use to address our elder sisters). I was glad to see that chechi chose to conduct the workshop under the open sky, rather than the Seminar hall we had arranged for the purpose. Her demeanour was friendly and animated, inspiring us to break out of our shells. Though not a student myself, I was invited to participate in the workshop alongside the students. I readily agreed as this kind of an opportunity rarely knocks at my door. After a few warm up exercises, we turned to more intense character depictions. Chechi observed each participant in detail and formed a programme for the next day that would help each person in their area of weakness. The second day of the workshop concentrated on dialogue rendering, voice modulation and areas of weakness particular to each student. Though I enjoyed the exercises from the first day more than those from the second, I believe that the second day was more helpful for everyone, both in terms of career as well as character building.I guess it was the effect of having learnt something new that caused the energy drain by Sunday evening. But laziness gave way to excitement at the prospect of an opportunity to practice riding my bike! It is not every day that I have a friend with me, ready to help me practice! Overjoyed and excited, I proceeded to ride my bike. Uncertainty and ecstasy took their turns dominating my mind, as I mounted my childhood favourite CT100. I was reluctant to let my feet off the ground at first, having very little practice riding a scooter and even less so of a bicycle. Determined, I started off on my first ride. Having practiced only on scooters, I found the positions of brakes and gears utterly confusing. Surprisingly enough, apart from the initial trouble, I seemed to be handing the bike well and could cover a long (long for me, a first-timer) distance. Was it the over-confidence given by the smooth beginning, or my friend’s comment (that the day would mark my first fall) lingering in my mind, I experienced a slight imbalance and landed on one knee with the bike lying on its side. Nevertheless, I got up and continued with the practice till I was completely drained.It was a memorable weekend, on the whole, and I couldn’t help but write about it. That is why I call it ‘a weekend well spent’. I dedicate this post to Gayathri chechi, my students and my friend Ashwin, for gifting me this wonderful weekend!