The English Teacher

Many times we fall into the vicious circle of monotony of life engaging ourselves into morose frivolity. The circle has exits in form of tangents but we fail to notice them. Past few months were tough and I couldn’t squeeze out time to read anything new except few blogs. I have civilizations and its discontents’ digital edition but Mr. Freud loves to write in encrypted language. It takes time to read and understand each and every sentence and I am sure that my 20 min subway ride to office doesn’t offer solace to read and reflect. But there is a one author who always hits the bull’s eye for me. None other than R K Narayan. What a wonderful writer! Whatever he writes seems so real that I can actually see it happening in front of my eyes.I am a slow reader and I sometimes unsettle when people finish tomes in couple of days.If I am enjoying a text then I read sentences and get lost in the thoughts, paint the picture and relate whatever was said to my own life’s experiences.

Today, I tried to break the circle by picking up The English Teacher by R K Narayan. Written in the pre-independence era in India, the book generates such vivid GIF files of the time that I am unable to put it down. I already skipped breakfast and lunch but bookhe pet bhajan na hove gopala( Not possible to pray empty stomach).

What amazes me is that human brain functions approximately the same as a function of age irrespective of the era we are talking about. The main character of the book has all those problems which a present day 27-28 year old might face. The same procrastination , the same apathetic panorama has been transcended and passed on from one generation to other like the Olympic baton.

Few months ago, Thanks to accurate timings of subway, I got late for an appointment and while coming back in ‘anachronistic vintage’  R train I found a small diary on the steel seat. The diary had cuttings from old newspapers and from other diaries as it seemed to me. It was a mosaic of diaries of other people- people who lived between 100 to 125 years ago in NY, mainly Manhattan. People had noted down their daily lives, observations etc in beautiful cursive that would be legible for calligraphy. Comparing to today the world was primitive at least in terms of technology, science but human emotions are in time warp. Agony, anger, love, ambition have always been there and were reflected in the diary events of the numerous people from that scribing venture. I time traveled that day. At my stop I submitted the diary to the Bermuda triangle (lost and found dept.) of MTA. Hope it has reached its owner by now.

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