23 Oct

Curious about the title and the story? Skip to para 3 directly 😉

I am on a roller coaster ride, to a lot of my childhood and teenage memories. Applying to universities and writing SOPs has been taking me through a beautiful journey of my past. I am trying to figure out and filter the memories that are worthy of being read or are worth brownie points from people who are going to be responsible for considering my application.

Just because some of these will not feature in my application, does not make them trashy, does it? I thought, maybe I should just chronicle them. What if I suffer from some form of amnesia later in life and cannot remember them? What is going to make my day then? Or what if I build so many new awesome memories that the old ones start fading out? Not happening, IMO. That’s why, I think I will record a few of them here.

There is an old school friend “A” visiting the city soon, which is why this memory surfaced. Now this “A” wasn’t my bestie and was majorly a competitor in class. So this memory doesn’t go down as a particularly mushy one. And it doesn’t go down as a specifically cherished one either since … oh well, you will have to read on to find out why.

I was a bookworm.

Amongst my schoolbooks one could always find a novel or two in my bag.

I used to hide the novels inside my textbooks and read them. I have even woken up at 4 in the morning to finish some novels which were due at the library or had to be returned to a friend that day. But I digress. The point is, I was a bookworm way back in school. The kind of bookworm who was fond of novels and stories – a world of imagination, fiction, scientific knowledge woven into stories, mysteries and adventures.

Library hours, lunch breaks, recesses, free periods, teachers coming late to class. All this time would mostly go in reading. That time, I had this incurably bad habit. I would bite my nails while reading.

My friends would keep saying “Don’t. You won’t have any nails left anymore.”

My grandparents went to the extent of offering me their own nails to bite, just to make me see what a dirty habit it was. None of this worked. It was an unconscious habit and I wasn’t trying hard enough to give it up. Somebody did make me give it up though, and how.

One day “A” walked into class when the break was over. She stood next to me for a minute or two observing me. I was so engrossed in my book – reading fervently, turning pages and biting my nails that I did not notice her. Before I knew it, she gave me a resounding slap in front of the entire class. Believe it or not, my only reaction was a very confused “What?” I had no idea of what exactly had happened and why it had happened.

She said, “Stop biting your nails. It’s a not a good habit. It annoys me to no end to see you gnawing at your nails all the time. I hope this slap serves as a fitting lesson and you will give it up.”

She was the class monitor. Not that my school was Malory Towers or St. Claire’s, that I couldn’t have argued, sneaked or slapped her back. But we did hold up some of the values from there.

I was embarrassed. To be slapped in front of the entire class is humiliating. But that slap cured me of nail biting like nothing else had.

Off course this is not something that I am proud of. But in retrospect, I think she made a wonderful friend in her own way.


6 Responses to “Slapsgiving”

  1. latsthoughts October 23, 2013 at 7:33 PM #

    If the technique worked for you, I’m sure it’ll work for some other nail biters that I know…. Problem is, that I can’t slap them

    • Shivani October 23, 2013 at 9:13 PM #

      I know who you are talking about, so I cant even say try it out. Tell them to read this and threaten them of similar consequences 😛

  2. Jignesh Makwana October 23, 2013 at 7:55 PM #

    Wah what a slap, “thappad ki goonj abhi tak mere kaan mein baj rahi hai”. Initially I thought that I wont know the gender of ‘A’, and I thought that you intentionally referred so as to hide the identity of him/her, but in the later part of the blog it is known. Keep writing.

    • Shivani October 23, 2013 at 9:17 PM #

      Thanks Jignesh. I was in an all girl’s school at that time, and we were a batch of 60. Imagine the gossip that it provided to the other 58 who witnessed it.

      Thankfully most of my friends laughed at it instead of bitching about it and were happy that my habit was cured.. 🙂

  3. Vinitha Valsalan October 23, 2013 at 9:19 PM #

    All it took was a (public)slap! 😀
    It so happens that some people help us in ways that we don’t realise or really recognise. So, are you and ‘A’ still on talking terms? Catching up with her when she’s around in town?

    • Shivani October 23, 2013 at 9:39 PM #

      Public is the keyword here 😀

      Oh yes! we are. I am not the kind of person who holds grudges. I am a big believer in ‘forgive and forget’ (though I don’t forget a lot owing to my excellent memory). In fact I am looking forward to catching up with her. Maybe I will inbox her a link to this and give her a reminder 😉

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