HEXED MARBLES AND DOOMED SATURDAYS
When a child is below 5 years, he/she receives maximum love and affection from all members of the family. Then comes the age group of 5-10 years, in this age group the child is punished even for the mistakes of his/her younger siblings. When we entered Boys School, life was fun in Class VI. For our mistakes, our seniors were punished. The same tradition was followed when we reached Class VII – we were punished because of Class VI Chicks. It became a routine affair for us, ‘Move-In’ after dinner or ‘Meet me’ in Dormitory. So we sat together and pondered upon the reasons why we were punished daily, and that too for very small issues. Someone said that it was marbles that were unlucky for us. Everyone decided unanimously that we are not going to pick marbles at any cost. Sometimes it happened that we were told to ‘Move-In’ after dinner, and we started asking each other if anyone had marbles. If found, we used to make that person throw the marbles, and soon we heard the news, no more ‘Move-In.’ It may seem weird, but my classmates will agree that it really happened with us. And the marbles were always picked up by those boys of our class who were morons and they were lost in their own different world.
So whenever we were informed about the punishment, the first thing we did was that we checked if anyone had any marbles with him. And if we spotted someone picking marbles, we created so much panic as if it wasn’t a marble but a bomb. It really was a bomb for us.
We were cautious with marbles, but next was bloody ‘Saturday’ which was very cruel on us. Someone suggested that we should wear something black on Saturdays to dispose off misfortune. And we started following that. It was either a black thread, a black t-shirt or even black undergarments. Now I realise how childish that thought was, as we used to wear black shoes! But black shoes weren’t so strong to face off Saturday’s misfortune. Gradually, that phase also passed, and hexed marbles & doomed Saturdays never returned when we passed Class VII. How childish were we? Putting blame on a marble and a Saturday. It may be termed co-incidence, but it really happened, which made us believe. Although I don’t believe in superstition, but still, I couldn’t come to the conclusion that why it happened. May be marbles didn’t want to be caged and they wanted freedom. So whenever we tried to take their freedom, they used their supernatural power to take our freedom. But, what about Saturdays? I am still clueless why Saturdays weren’t happy with us, or was it that they had some old enmity with every class VII? I hope Saturdays must have ended that generational enmity and have now befriended our younger brothers of Class VII.
Excerpts from my book ‘Life around an acorn’.
– Modassir Mushtaque
This piece was shared by Modassir Mushtaque (School Vice Captain, Patel House Captain & School Cricket Captain, Session 2009-10) on April 21, 2018.