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I am a confused soul, trying to find the meaning of life. And I feel, there is no better way to see things clearly than to write them down. So I write...oops..type ;)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Bird

image courtesy www.wikihow.com

Today, a very old friend of mine (Tabrej) landed at my place...and was I happy...You bet! Its always funny, meeting old friends (especially school friends from 4th std :) ) can suddenly turn you into a kid. You don't just sit around and chit chat with them, but you relive the good old school days. He reminded me of the paper stuff I was so good at during those days. I think I even taught my teacher a couple of things back then :)

Before we could think any further, off came the newspaper, a knife (we couldn't find scissors :P) and then we sat down to make a bird out of a newspaper. I was quickly rewinding my entire life right up to 4th std, when I use to teach making paper birds to so many of my friends. I could see the finished bird on the canvas of my mind. But the tricky part was to de-construct it. That's how we begin, don't we! But deconstructing the bird was proving to be more difficult than debugging some complex piece of code. Or should I say, I used to do lot more complex things back then ;) Education and later Work killed the genius in me :( While, I was still lost in the past, trying to dust off those pages of my life wherein lay the answer to my earnest pursuit, I could actually sense that childlike enthusiasm in me again, so reminiscent of those days, to recall the exact steps. I went over it again and again in my mind, to unfold the bird, one step at a time.

While I was pondering over the structure of the bird, I was transported back to those days and I could  recall the program on Doordarshan from where I learnt to make the bird in the first place. I think it was way back in 1990-91, when I was probably in 2nd std. I remember how frustrated I was, at not being able to make the bird on the first attempt. I thought I had missed it for ever. While trying to vent my anger in desperation, I had kicked and broken the glass of our center table in the drawing room. My leg was bleeding badly, but that was the least of my concerns. I wanted to make a bird and make it right then. It was like that nagging pain which would give you sleepless nights.

The bird still wouldn't unravel itself in the present day. I could go back only two steps, starting backwards from the finished bird, but had no clue how to proceed thereon. I was unable to figure out the steps leading up to that state. Just then, Tabrej opened YouTube and started checking for videos of making this paper bird. He started making his bird by following one of those videos. Its only while searching the videos that we came to know that this is a Japanese art called Origami, which involves folding a flat sheet of paper and turning it into something beautiful and meaningful. Meanwhile, I was still hell bent on doing it the way I always did it in my school days. I remember having this weird attitude towards problems. My whole life would be stuck on a problem until I found the answer. I would go over and over it, while sleeping, eating, taking bath and also while doing other important things ;). I so very miss that spark today :(.....or I can blame google for having taken the fun out of my life ;)

I had this square piece of newspaper placed in front of me. I tried to fold it in so many different ways, but could never bring it to the point from where I knew how to proceed further. Almost an hour had gone by, and I was still thinking. This was nothing, compared to the days I used to spend pondering over difficult problems. These would vary from mathematical problems to interpreting Shakespearean verses during the later part of my schooling. I always had the good fortune of having at least one friend who would be ready to take up the cause along with me :) Back then, we used to say..."If you can both prove and refute an idea at the same time, meant that you have really really understood the subject well". This was our way of playing tricks with ideas :)

Well, solving the bird problem was proving to be an almost insurmountable task. I was now probably experiencing the same kind of frustration which subconsciously challenged me all those years ago to give more than my best. However, I could now see the half made bird in front of Tabrej. I thought I could never get that far on my own. A sudden feeling of despair overwhelmed me and I realized, I was no more a kid and that spark to uncover the myriad mysteries had dosed off long ago. It was a pursuit in futility.

I turned my laptop around and went through the entire video. However, as I was making my bird (looking at the video), I realized, I had done it slightly differently back then. I started telling Tabrej, how it can be done in a much more elegant way. The clock started ticking backwards again :) and this time, it wasn't just ticking, it zoomed backwards!

I was able to improvise on a couple of steps shown in the video that would make the process of making the bird much more precise. I was thrilled at this discovery :) My memory, quite often the object of ridicule wasn't all that bad after all :) It was already 2.30 at night by the time we finished our first bird. And then to emboss it on our minds, we made one more without the aid of the video, while simultaneously trying to improve upon the process.

My friends have now gone back to bed, but I still sit back and reminisce about those days :)

Next on my agenda is the Frog......remember making it????

And I am surely going to teach my 30 odd kids this weekend, how to make a bird :) I am so very looking forward to it :))

tc and goodnight :)


  1. Hey, very pleasant to share your experience and of course your blog.
    I must you, you are maturing as a very good writer, needless to say about your mature thinking reflected in this blog.
    Do share your experience with your kids.
    And of course, I'm encouraged as well to keep up my odd writing. :)

  2. @Ramya...Thanks madam :) Truely appreciate your words!

    And there is no greater joy than to see someone start writing again :)

  3. Hey Mayur,
    U have a very interesting blog here. I do remember you as one of the coy lot from our class but never knew, rather imagined you could be so much into thoughtful writing.
    Good work :)

  4. Mayur ...
    Thats a great account ... The interesting part about reading your blogs is your art of making simple real life incidents very very enjoyable to the reader.... Please continue the same...

  5. Try try and try till you succeed!! This seems to have been your mantra throughout your life... Its a very good habit to try out things till you get them right! I agree that this is the way you learn and explore new things... As soon as I started reading the blog I wanted to suggest that you can teach the kids. Good to know that you have already decided to teach them! Good one.. keep writing!!

  6. @Shilpa..Hey Shilpa...its wonderful to see you again...Thanks a lot for dropping by :) and I think most people had the same view about me in our class ;)

    I m glad you liked my blog :) and thanks for all the appreciation...keep coming back!

  7. @AJD....Joyaaa!!! thanks man!!! Glad to know you find my posts enjoyable :)
    and the allure of simplicity can never be underestimated!
    Joyyyy Enjoyyy!!! ;)

  8. @Tulsi madam...I too am concerned about our kids :P
    and yes...trying and trying...i used to...till i was a kid...now trying to be a kid again...so that i can start trying again ...huh..complicated ;)

  9. H'lo Mayur,

    Let me start with my favorite part:

    ->I used to do lot more complex things back then ;) Education and later Work killed the genius in me :( While I was still lost in the past, trying to dust off those pages of my life wherein lay the answer to my earnest pursuit,I could actually sense that childlike enthusiasm in me again, so reminiscent of those days, to recall the exact steps - beautifully penned :)

    It's nice to know that the child in you is still alive! I got nostalgic reading this! I was also into Origami but I was more into that needle thread stuff with which we could make velvet flowers! I had a booklet with instructions and it was so much fun doing those things!

    Kicked the table? Oh that Scorpion anger! Why am I not surprised? :)

    Ah! Do put up the pic of the frog you are going to make :)

    30 odd children? NGO of some sort? Have a nice time :)

  10. Hello Raksha madam...wow! u too were into origami...u should try it once again :)
    and weren't we all a lot more creative during our school days...we had the liberty to try and fail, back then. today we r independent, but constrained by our own imagination.
    The scorpion part...i better not comment on it ;) ...and yes, i teach in a school over the weekends...2nd std :)
    thanks for the detailed feedback. i truly appreciate that!

  11. Your comment on Silpa Garg's photo attracted me here and I find some good writing and simple joys.:)
    Origami and Ikebana are both interesting forms of art, they actually spell out the brilliant Japanese minds.

  12. @The Holy Lama...Welcome to my blog world :)
    I am glad that you liked my writing...Thanks a ton for the appreciation!

    Do keep coming back :)

  13. I'm back SIR! ;) Better late than never! Totally agree with you...The whole outlook on life changes as we grow up and how!

    May be one of these days I should try my hand at Origami! :)

    Good to know you're taking an initiative to teach the kids. I'm happy to be associated with someone who is humane and selfless and not lost in crowd.

    Kudos & Cheers! :)