Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Eating habit makes a man: Sounds Funny!

It is obvious that habits die hard and childhood habits can have a lasting and changing effect (some bad of course!) in people in their later years of life. Some good habits may come handy while others may bring about ones weakness. My story of a similar habit that changed my life is seriously humorous but I also learnt a few things along the way. Here is how…
Biscuits are my weakness and my choice of snacks is bit annoying. When kids of my age were fond of chocolates and candies I was after the crispy and crunchy biscuits. To this day, I love biscuits and would have it in stock any time of the year. From available brands of biscuits like Krackjack, Marie, Glucose-D and Coconut back then, I used to melt at the sight of one satisfying bite of Parle-G. The good old days had money value so high that for two Ngultrums, one could get a pack of refreshing (Parle-G) biscuit.  Now the same would cost you ten. Spending a penny on something like that would cost my dinner and some slaps back then, because the money that I used to spend would be stolen from the home altar (Choeshum).  Those days biscuits were a delicacy during tea time and for me it was rare. Every time I got hold of my mother’s fingers and walked with her to the market, I would frustratingly insist on some Parle-G. There were some instances where my plea was accepted but I was mostly denied.
My envy was too strong for others like me whom I saw with Parle –G that I was in love with. I would end up quarrelling with other kids if they didn’t spare me one. This weakness of mine gave boys an added advantage over me to let me do all sorts of mean things for a pack of my favorite biscuits in return. In high school, for want of such packets of biscuits, I would affectionately take their love filled messages to grown up girls, positive or negative reply from girls was not my problem as long as I get my reward for the job done. Sometimes I would get those biscuits for passing on messages but this time it would be the other way round, from girls to boys. I used to be bribed for trivial things like copying notes, drawing diagrams for science, home works and so on. It kept my adrenalin up when I ate one and I would be active in the class. These bribing incidences and I doing things because of the reward gave way to a whole new change in me and making me active even after high school, but this time there were no Parle-G(s) of course!
As a school going kid, I was never taught to be participatory especially in the classes but the magic of those biscuits did. Gradually I managed to be active even without those biscuits which were almost my life blood once. I have the habit of interacting actively in the class with peers and teachers and I have no problems outside the class either. Even in crowd I can fairly adjust and mingle around people. This very habit made me confident during gatherings and while speaking in public. Hesitation has a minimum place in me and I don’t like to be silent and reserved. I was good with my studies. I am talkative, energetic, prompt, jolly and mostly anxious. I am always with the question why? This nature gave an insight into my life and to begin new things with considerable energy and enthusiasm.
On many instances, I was told that I talk too much and my class mates in college even told me to get rid of this habit. This was too late for a person like me, I thought. To make matters worse, a trainee girl in my class told me, “No one likes talkative boys! You will end up having no girlfriends! Talkative girls, people love them!”  While I was listening to her suggestions, deep in my mind, I was thinking that she was cruelly jealous of me and grudgingly envied my character particularly because she was a miserable soul with English presentations and very pathetic when it came to public speaking. Her choices of words were even more pathetic. This was my personal observation in three years that we spent training ourselves to be teachers. We were closing in for the graduation and within weeks we would be tagged ‘teachers’ of Bhutan teaching in various places. This remark of hers made me think of her, wondering what is that she is going to teach when she herself has problem understanding basic things. For a teacher, to be talkative and to be active is a tool that helps learning in children and for oneself. I had wonderful opportunities to attend classes lectured by Mr. Thakur S. Powdyel[1] and I truly thought these lines by him suites her remark on me, “Our nation is at stake! The foundations of this institute must be shaking”. It was declared when a trainee failed miserably in front of the class with a presentation in poetry module. A year later I heard she was teaching in one of the middle secondary school. Great, still!
I would take this incident of mine as an advantage of eating habit and yes the cruel people will always make a part of this world because they are the critics of life, without such people nobody would learn. If I fall victim to such criticisms I take it as the next lesson that I will remember for the rest of my life rather than confronting over what just happened.
This trait of my habit is undeniably because of the magic biscuits that I still continue to eat and whenever I see small kids with packs of biscuits, it reminds me of the good old days that I once lived. Therefore, it is my belief – ‘eating habit makes a man’.

[1] His Excellency the present education minister

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