A+, A-Rated

So I gave a Chemistry paper today.

I know. I overuse the word, don’t I?

“Chemistry” is one of the first words in my suggestions bar.

But such is life… chemistry papers have been overusing me!

But I did give a paper today, and I’m here and alive.

But the interesting thing is what I noticed today. We had two sets of papers, just like we will in the finals.
Set A and Set B.
We were asked to indicate our question paper’s set next to the subject blank.
So it looked like this:

“Subject: Chemistry (A)”

Now, if you ask me, that looks more like a movie name with the rating indicated in brackets.

So chemistry would be an A-rated movie.
And sitting there with interlocking benzenes on my desk, I thought to myself, how true is that?

I mean, it’s got everything, it’s got figures, it’s got “mild character(istic) violence” (have you been in a chemistry lab? Dropped a reactive metal in acid?), it has action, some foul language (picture: trying to talk after a mouthful of hydrogen sulphide. Rotten eggs. Ever accidentally swallowed concentrated hydrochloric acid?), it’s got nudity (ask a horrified chemistry lab teacher after half her batch left their lab coats at home); it’s a perfect fit. Lock and key. Like an enzyme- and I got carried away. Apologies.

So I chuckled a little about it, and then got to work. And got screwed, but made it out from inky hell alive.

Fun day, huh. But in the end, when the massive reactions get you down, it’s the small things that keep you going. And that’s what this was all about.


Recognition came soon enough; soon enough being a few hundred metres from where they stood to the parking lot.
She waved both arms wildly, a wide, childish smile spread across her face.
“Hi mum, hi dad!”
Her voice shot two octaves above normal, above her normal, he observed quietly.

It was holiday time, and yet, to him it seemed that for her, it was quite the opposite.
It seemed to him that her time here was really her vacation, a year long escape from the knowledge of who she was.
Not that it bothered her, this knowledge. She was comfortable with both sides of herself.
She had admitted as much to him during one of their conversations. It seemed wherever she went, part of her faded away into non-existence, another facade she had no more use for, except it wasn’t really a facade; more like a new part of her discovered, and welcomed into her self-realisation.
A new part of her to be discarded like the shedding of skin, the changing of the seasons.
The chameleon moved on.

And still, there was part of her that never really fell into disuse, a constant ruse she employed, a constant ruse that employed her, was more apt to say.

There was warmth in slipping back into the old skin, he could see.
She lost years, not that there was much there to lose.
Being a college student in the second year didn’t really get you decreed you much older than a child.
So the institution had changed. How much difference really distinguished a nineteen year old from one seventeen?
As lucidly as that question could be answered, no doubt there were days when she noticeably slipped, tripped, fell back into that sixteen year old skin, and, learning her terminology, he too could identify when he slipped.

So the second skin was never far from reach. And despite all the maturity that living alone, together with a hundred others alone, brought, one break was enough to rob them of all the progress.
It was true of them all, he reflected, as he watched her with her family.

Her year long vacation had ended, skins exchanged, she was now back at work, just as the Christmas break set in. Intriguing and amusing, yet how was it anything but a different interpretation of how he, and perhaps everyone within these campus walls felt? The return to familiarity, to a sort of routine reserved for the holidays ensnared them all, left them all feeling the same way, as he had no doubt he would hear when their vacation began again, complete with majors and projects to take care of.

So he looked at her again and sighed, then smiled.
It was time to invoke the chameleon again. He slipped a hand into his pocket and took out a cellphone.
And slipped into a skin last used six months ago.

Survey #32

Here’s a little mini-survey to keep you folks satiated while the bigger one comes along.

(What am I saying, I’m a science student!!)

(Mini = 1 day long survey)


Q: What do you think of yourself parenting?

Saahil: When you want to enjoy without protection and end up paying the price for eighteen years.
Tough job, though.

Anandita: Don’t be a parent. It’s a torture to kids.
And the biggest torture to yourself!

Pranav: Something which is fun.

Aayushi: It’s a trap.
[comment from a fellow surveyee: “Best momma ever.”]

Akanksha: I want a small army of children.

Mahima: Can’t wait to roast them on our family chats.

Deepan: Introducing thy kids to the Beatles.

Aditya: I think it’s a beautiful thing. It can also be described as a long term investment in life with huge midterm losses.

Aditi: It’s the biggest excuse to enjoy torturing kids and contradict everything.

Arjun: Sounds like a fun thing which I’ll happily do, as long as someone else is paying the bill.

Lamha: Never wanna be one. I’d punch the shit outta them.

Manasi: I’m gonna be a miserable failure at it. The only thing I’m responsible enough to parent is a plant.

[Dear alarmed readers, you must bear in mind that most of my surveyed demographic was, what, 17 years old. The future of the human race is in… hands that are safe enough to drop a nuclear bomb in after the Earth’s been wiped clean.]

Aaliya: I’ll just adopt 23 dogs. No kids. Nuisances.

[Your surveyor’s a kid, by the way.]

Manvika: It’s one of the toughest jobs and there is no correct way to do it.

Khushi: So much love.

Satvik: Sherlock, Moriarty and Eurus.

Punyam: Parenting is fun.

Mahwash: I’d be a sassy and funny mom (self proclaimed). Either way, Charul will be their godmother.
Also, unlimited pizza.

Anshul: I’d be a strict but chill parent. Like I would whoop my son/daughter’s ass if s/he doesn’t propose to his/her girl/guy with a great proposal written by me.
Or I’d whoop his/her ass if they don’t go on a great fancy date.

Anushree: I’d be a pretty cool parent, especially a pet parent.

Shivani: I’d be a pretty badass parent. And embarrass my kids.

Siddharth: Utter disaster. But overall, I’d be a pretty damn cool parent.

Shania: Out of this fucking world. Best parent ever.

Rishabh: Don’t wish to be a parent.

Abirami: Probably better than mine.

Vyshnavi: Never gonna be one.