A set of hot, spicy Ambodes sold on the footpath made way to my home, courtesy dad, packed in a piece of paper. Although there was nothing to take away from the Ambodes themselves, the piece of paper was far more interesting.
It seemed to belong to a teenaged gal’s diary dated Jan 25-28 1988. The handwriting was beautiful and legible although the grammar was as expected from any teenaged student. The 2 pages were more engrossing than anything I had ever read recently.
It talked of the previous day’s test, current day’s exam and the next day’s apprehension. It spoke of a girl’s fluttering feelings for her boyfriend in the class who hadn’t mysteriously come to school.
It spoke of the Republic Day celebrations and the associated march-past and exercise drills. It spoke of her embarrassing monthly problem and the dreaded white skirt. It spoke of how she was trying to see her boyfriend desperately in the huge group of boys.
When the space for the current day got over, she spilled over the next day’s section and negotiated by writing in a smaller font. The Republic Day holiday section came as a relief for there was nothing much to write. But a one-liner as to how well she studied for the next day.
It then talks about how well she had done her test, but yet depending on her fate for teacher giving good marks. It confesses about her talking bad about her friend’s boyfriend. And the retaliated outburst from her friend to her own boyfriend stating ‘he will get blood cancer, lung cancer, TB, etc’ which makes her worry because her own boyfriend is not in school today too.
It spoke about how she hadn’t spoken to one of her friends for the last 2 weeks and suddenly spoke to her today because it was her birthday. And how nice she felt when her birthday gift was appreciated by all. Followed by the treat to which the birthday gal’s boyfriend didn’t come.
It spoke about how she suddenly felt the closeness with the birthday gal friend. It observed the subtleness as to how the birthday gal’s boyfriend suddenly was sitting far away in the classroom from her and was flirting with ‘that beautiful fatso,’ how desperately the birthday gal was trying to attract attention, laughing at his jokes, etc, and yet the guy kept looking at the fatso.
And there it ended. Just 4 days in 2 pages with so much spice, and the whole gamut of teenage emotions, written in that beautiful school language, shifting from one topic to another, from one friend to another, in back-to-back sentences, complete from being studious, to fearing teenaged embarrassment, to secret pleasure of having a boyfriend, to making opinions about other girls’ boyfriends! Reminded me a little of The Diary of Anne Frank.
But there was one other observation in this single sheet of paper. Wherever she has spoken of her boyfriend and used the words “He”, she has smudged it to a “She” so as to give the impression that she was talking about just another girl, just in case someone happened to read her diary. But this sham is so amateurish that the smudging is done in a completely different pen and also, in a single sentence, some of the “He”s are not even smudged! But this innocent cover-up and mistake added even more charm to the whole thing.
Its a fascinating thought that something like this happened in 1988 and I came to read about it almost 20 years later, of someone whom I do not, nor will I ever know. Although the names of the friends, boyfriends are mentioned, the diary owner's name isnt mentioned anywhere, unlike Anne Frank's.
Overall, an enthralling read, and brought back memories of ‘those good old days’ of both being in school, and writing diaries!