Persepolis

Persepolis is a brilliant illustrated autobiography by Marjane Satrapi.

Deep in its message yet wonderfully depicted through illustration, this is a must read. The author captures her childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution in a most endearing style. I am a fan of Marjane Satrapi & would highly recommend this book, which is sheer talent with a story.

Persepolis has also been adapted into a film but nothing like getting hold of the book!

iMAGE

This is about the importance of image as a child.

It was my earliest encounter with this low-down enemy.

Of all things superflous…this perhaps tops it.

The need to impress one’s peers as a child.

*    *    *    *     *
We had an Ambassador car. Mighty fine it was.

Dad would drop me to school in this car. Every now & then.

I was all of 8 years when this encounter with the enemy of ‘image’ happened.

*    *    *    *     *

Dad drove me to school in his car.

So far so good.

His attire? Yes, what did he plan to wear for the drive?

This is where we had a minor disagreement.

A verbal scuffle of sorts between Father & Daughter.

He planned to drive me to school wearing a L-U-N-G-I !!!

For God’s sake!

Of all the darndest experiences of an 8 year old this was the most trying.

I told him “Wear trousers, my friends will see.”

He did not give in.

His position as Father allowed him to get away with stuff like this.

*    *    *    *     *
Another matter altogether that –
~ He was going to drop me opposite my school gate
~ ~ He was not going to get out of the car
~ ~ ~ None of my friends would have been able to see his clothes to begin with to pass judgement

*    *    *    *     *

Still. Such things rankle at 8.

The image enemy lurketh & rears its ugly head every now & then.

As an adult it’s easier to slay it.

 *    *    *    *     *

An Early Lesson in Humility

One of my favourite memories of childhood…with a lesson for life!

I started cycling to school from Standard IV.

Until then I would often go “dubs” with my elder brother on his bicycle. With this mode of transport, more often than not my back would hurt  so I’d get off mid-way & walk the rest of the way.

Other times my Dad would drop me to school by car.

I certainly preferred the latter.

*  *  *  *  *

Day 1 of cycling to school.

It was now time for the return home from school.

I got on to my cycle. Pride got on to me.

“Tut Tut…not grammatically correct” I hear the English purists say, but what the heck… 🙂

I could not help but think of my friends who had to catch the bus back home.

Here I was in a more elevated position with a bicycle, according to my esteemed 9 year old view point.

*  *  *  *  *

Swaggering style. Over confidence.

One hand on the left handlebar, right hand waving at those mere mortals – schoolmates of mine at the bus stop.

I focused a bit much on the passing them, looking at them, waving at them…in short impressing them.

C-R-A-S-H

*  *  *  *  *

My cycle rammed into a man just ahead carrying a baby. Beside him the wife.

Funny position for him to have landed himself.

Baby in hand, legs astride a school girl’s cycle.

Humbling for me. Humblifying x 100. Humblification.

All this in front of my schoolmates.

The very ones I wanted to impress with this my superior mode of transport.

It was not over.

*  *  *  *  *

A swift  t-h-w-a-c-k  on my back.

Zestily delivered by the wife of the man carrying the baby.

I said sorry.

She snarled at me in Tamil  “Yenna, s-a-a-a-r-y?” (“What, sorry?”)

This too in front of my schoolmates.

Hell hath no fury as a woman whose husband carrying her baby has been hit into. Accidentally notwithstanding.

*  *  *  *  *

The soberest ride back home. Of whatever distance was left.

Pride comes before a fall.

Apparently it’s true.

*  *  *  *  *