I suck at lying. Now...I am no angel, just Untruth Challenged. "Face the music girl" said my dad when I was 5 years old and knee deep in trouble. I had gone and written all over my second brother’s untidy home work book with my crayons. I am talking Camlin crayons that is next to impossible to rub off. Now 8 year old boys are not exactly the big brotherly types. They are wont to regard anyone younger to them by a second as pests. They don’t go "ooh look she has drawn a Butterfly in my Maths Class Work book. Cho chweeeet" They are more likely to go "THWACK" followed by grounding for one week for hitting "poor little defenseless baby sister and I don’t want to hear what she did grrr"
My brother didn't need to hire the Scotland Yard to investigate the butterfly in his notebook. All he needed was Scotland yards best ladder as I was very good in climbing trees when I had drawn butterflies and houses in his books. Though I did not know why he was so mad, I knew that my drawing angered him for some reason. I had no clue about home work books and how mad teachers became when it had crayon scribbles all over it. Amongst the list of "Most Corny Excuses for not doing Homework” compiled by the teachers in my brother’s school, the most prominent were:
My sister tore my home work.
My sister wrote on the homework and I found out only this morning.
My sister took my home work book and she doesn't remember where she kept it.
I have a younger sister.
His teachers tut tutted when they saw me and patted my head gently muttering "Such an angel and that M makes out to be a devil tch tch!!"
When I was born, the writing was on the wall for my parents that the house walls were for writing and not for holding their home together and segregating rooms. And it took nine long years for them to finally retrieve the walls from my firm grip and scrape off the ten inch thick coating of crayon wax and restore its dignity and rightful duties. There was not an inch of space on our walls that didn’t have my drawings. When in the night, my parents lay exhausted in their bed, they would look up and thank god that I couldn't reach the ceiling. And then I guess they felt bad and counted their blessings because I never got punished for the same I remember.
Punishment is a big no no with my Dad. He is an engineer and like most engineers he tends to use his professional qualifications a tad too seriously. I mean he believes in STRATEGY!! Every problem in life had to be dealt with a pre approved strategy.
His first strategy was to buy me a blackboard. A very effective strategy it turned out to be too…for some time. I scribbled on the blackboard to my hearts content and when I couldn't scribble anymore as the thick layer of crayon wax prevented anymore writing, I wandered to the walls.
Strategy Number I was quickly reassessed and Strategy Number I Version 2 was released. Strategy Number I Version 2 was combing the house with a fine tooth comb for crayons and then throwing them all out and buying me chalk and a new blackboard. This strategy was also very effective...for sometime. I drew to my hearts content on the black board and then when the black board was full of avant garde art, I continued to the walls. My parents looked at each other and realized with a sinking feeling that buying a black board without a duster was not exactly the thing that got you a Nobel Prize for Foresightedness.
Strategy Number I Version 2 was rehashed and Strategy Number I Version 3 was released soon after. According to the specifications of this strategy a duster had to be bought post haste and it was done! This strategy worked fine for some time too and then my parents found a bug in this strategy too. A rather annoying bug that necessitated either one of them to come to my room and clean the blackboard about 567 times a day. You don’t expect a 5 year old, running on 6 to clean a giant black board do you duh! On retrospect that should have held onto Strategy Number I Version 3, because nothing is more effective in curbing a child than asking her to clean up after her. He /she soon learns that throwing mud on the floor is not fun and throwing water on the bed is also not fun nor writing on the wall. But my parents were not yet the hardened parents they are now, and we should excuse their inexperience and subsequent failures at the hands of a very experienced child.
We are err I am digressing peoples and if any of you are not snoring by now, let me tell you of Strategy Number I Version 4 that was rolled out by my parents soon after. My father as usual was the Project Manager and my mother, the Team Lead. It was decided by unanimous consent that they would ‘hire’ two techies to do their lowly jobs as part of Strategy Number I Version 4. Soon two techies were "hired" to do the code (“Clean her blackboard or else!!!”). Pleased with the success of Strategy Number I Version 4, my parents resumed their role as homemaker and breadwinner. All was well in the house after that for ....one day. The lowly techies like most techies got fed of the constant coding err dusting and one of them whose name starts with the alphabet M, devised a novel plan to get rid of the job. He – you wont believe this- introduced a bug in the code!! He secretly bought a box of crayons and gave it to me. Soon the techies were back to their life of doing what they usually do and Project Manager and Team Lead faced another failure.
And pssst they never found how I got the crayons and blamed the school for the free crayons we got in art class.
Blackboard was thrown off and my parents sat and scratched their head for a new strategy! My mother felt that next strategy should have a healthy amount of spanking for better implementation! My Dad was horrified and vehemently turned it down for Strategy Number I Version 5! Strategy Number I Version 5 involved painting about 5 feet of the wall from the ground in oil paint. Strategy Number I Version 5 was a huge success. Fed up of the wall refusing to accept crayon, pencil or water color markings, I retired to other activities. But then the artist in me was not satiated. The urge to scribble soon overcame me and one day my mother gasped and nearly fainted when she beheld her expensive sofa with multicolor balloons carefully drawn with red, green and blue crayons. The dining table too was decorated by art nouvelle and so were the cupboard doors and doors.
My mother had enough and read the riot act to her daughter and her daughter’s father. Henceforth, she declared, every scribbling on the wall and elsewhere had to be cleaned up by the artist and her father. Failing which she would take her sons and go to “her” fathers home! Faced with the possibility of scraping acres of walls, furniture, dogs, neighbors, relations, dhobi etc off wax crayons, the father formulated Strategy Number I Version 6. According to this strategy, the two lowly techies were re-recruited by the scruff of their collars and drafted to remove every piece of writing material in the house on a daily basis and keep it in the shoe box on the cupboard. Strategy Number I Version 6 was a resounding success.
By the time I was eight, the artist in me was deader than a dodo. The family heaved a sigh of relief till the tailor in me raised its head. But that is another story I will tell another day. But for one long year, people in the house had to endure their shorts, shirts and sarees being cut into shreds. Nothing very unusual you might think. But this happened when they were “wearing those pieces of clothing” you see. :p
Have a nice weeks folks!