A Secret Memoir…
The topic ‘Memoir Madness’ sent P careening down the memory lane. It was fairly a long time ago that P had first attempted writing memoirs. It had been while he was studying in a boarding school. The school insisted that all the kids kept a school diary. P had only reached the country from overseas a month ago and had joined the school as a new student. He had never been exposed to the concept of school diaries before. P still remembered the book with the midnight blue cover that he was given. No sooner had he received the book than he had written down what he really felt about some of the classes and teachers. He had shown this to his peers and his new friends then told him that school diaries would be routinely checked by the teachers to see whether the students were indeed writing down reminders and tasks for home work. P had been flabbergasted. He then had taken a lot of effort to convince the warden that his diary was lost somehow and that he needed a replacement. He had finally succeeded and had ended up with two look-alike books…..
P had been pretty amused and thrilled with what he had written down in his first diary and felt he needed to continue writing his thoughts, poems and his inner feelings. He particularly enjoyed waxing sometimes lyrical and sometimes satirical about the food at the boarding school, the home works he was given and the classes and teachers he liked and disliked. This was maintained as his secret diary while he used the second book for the purpose for which it was really meant and was submitted to the warden routinely every Friday morning.
Weeks had gone by before the day that would always be engraved in his memory dawned. P remembered it had been particularly chilly that fateful morning and he had not felt like leaving the warmth of his bed and blankets. He got up late and was in a rush to go to his classes after a hurried breakfast. While he was picking up his bowl of corn flakes in the dining hall, he saw that his room mates who had already finished theirs were walking out with their diaries in their hands. P realised it was a Friday morning and he had forgotten to bring his diary down. He asked his friends if they could do the favour of grabbing the book from his room and submitting it to the hostel warden along with theirs while he finished his breakfast.
The day’s classes had gone well for P but he was glad to reach his room in the afternoon. He was feeling a bit sleepy, probably because of all the poetry writing he did at night.
As he was climbing the stairs, he had come across the warden who seemed to have a glint in his eyes. P remembered wondering whether his friends had not bothered to pay heed to his request in the morning. He had scurried to his room. His roommate had reached there earlier and was unpacking his schoolbag. P had gone to his study table and was putting the books down when he saw his diary there.
“I knew it!’ he had exploded. “ You did not hand in my diary today, did you?”
His puzzled friend had then assured him that his diary was indeed handed over. He said that he had known exactly where P kept it as he had seen P put it under his pillow the previous night and so had not wasted any time locating it and taking it to the warden!
P now remembered how he then had taken the real school diary and had walked on jelly legs to see the warden who still had the glint in his eyes. “Well, well, well! It looks like we have a budding poet here with us!” That had been his only comment!
P remembered with fondness how the warden, his lips quivering, trying to stifle mirth, had then taken his school diary and had handed back to him his secret memoir.