Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dear Procrastination, I will deal with you later...

For today’s man-in-his-late-twenties, procrastination is not a negative virtue earned through constant effort (or the lack of it), but a habit. As for me, I postponed reading my Moral Science lessons in Std. VII, at school. The lag so cultivated still persists. For, this article was supposed to be written a month back.

Every deadline has a penultimate day, and so does the penultimate. Hence, the last two days would suffice for any task to be done, from ore to metal. Or so I thought, since the above postponed lessons. The results? We go through the life-changing ones below.

Postponed adhesive: Being part of a joint family then, mother and aunt and grandfather and dad were busy decking me up for a youth festival fancy dress event. “Lord Ganesha” was the chosen theme. A fancy dress all well-planned turned into a catastrophe-in-execution, all because of the delayed application of a couple of drops of glue that could hold together the mask of the Lord against my face. First-hand proof that the Almighty wouldn’t help in identity-masking, quite literally, in this case. The consequence here being that I went on stage, heard a couple of threads snap at either end, and realized that Ganesha had given up. Hoots and more followed; no hurls, thankfully. The adhesive was cursed for not drying in time, despite having given it TEN SOLID MINUTES and all the ambient air during my journey from home to school (this was the pre quick-adhesive era).

Duh, the name: Filling the application forms for those (fiercely) competitive entrance exams (to attempt becoming a Bachelor first and a Master then, of some art/science) was never done on time. Being the owner of a 42-letter-long name (45 with spaces counted, says MS Word!), it required an ounce more than just consistency to get it right every time. Seven forms were spread across the table, with six of them having only 30 boxes each for the name. The instruction booklet was quick to checkmate, saying “All initials are to be expanded. Failing to do so will result in immediate disqualification of candidature.” Praying to the above Ganesha, I pleaded for his support, for this time, the allegation quite wasn’t identity masking. Rather, it was identity revelation in its fullest.

Some wise man once quoted, though so beautifully, that “the problem with hurry is that it takes longer”. Two days prior to the forms’ “reaching the administrative office by 5pm on the 31st”, my name-on-the-form went as horizontal as it could, and then did a crossword-like-vertical, slithering down the right margin of each application form. Divinely armed I was with eight weapons and more, including the vintage “Wilkinson Sword” blade, an ink-eraser, its pencil counterpart, the whitener liquid, its diluter, the black variants of the pencil and the pen, and a blue version of the latter. All application forms, in totality, showed names that were written, erased, over-written, whitened, scratched (forgot the Wilkinson, did you?!) and written again, in multi-colour. For the icing, there was always the covering letter – “profusely apologising” for having let Wilkinson’s Sword pierce through the paper, cellophane holding together either part of my first name. “Yours faithfully” was always preceded by a plea to “overlook the inadvertent error and consider the application for processing.”

The study and the sport: Studies was of paramount importance at school, more so after that highly qualified uncle dropped in home for tea. The house would always quote his having studied in moonlit and street-lit lights, and then point fingers at me, saying: “but look at you, in spite of all comforts…” Yeah, you know it better!

Hence, the sport in me was postponed. The study however, got its due only after a game of sport, and hence was delayed further.

Reading: I own the largest number of bookmarks ever. One within each book, all placed in the first ten pages.

Philosophy: The Gita still stands bookmarked at “Arjuna’s grief”.

Writing: I often write articles on humour, like I just now did. But, I always ensure that I complet...