Wednesday, January 30, 2008

drifting

The first time I heard about plate tectonics, I was 10 and visiting London, marvelling at my proximity to the queen, the abundance of escalators and the Natural History Museum.

This was when the only Indian at Madame Tussaud’s was a very wooden, wax Gandhi and google was either a number I wouldn’t want to count up to or a devious cricket ball, both badly misspelled.

I had then only vaguely heard of Pangaea, but with the museum’s interactive touch screens in front of me, it now seemed to make perfect sense. There even was a timeline with estimations of what future landmass distribution would look like. I was sure that if I only closed my eyes, I could feel England inching towards the rest of Europe. After all, according to the map, 50 years down the line when I was more grown-up than I could possibly imagine, Arabia would be drifting in a sea it could now more rightfully call its own, the Atlantic Ocean would have overtaken the Pacific becoming the new reigning World’s Largest Water Body champion and Australia would be much quicker to get to.

And if entire continents were changing shape, I didn’t dare imagine what countries or even cities would be going through.

I thought about it for a bit and came to the conclusion that tectonics (despite its deceivingly modern sounding name that at first made me think, like ‘fantabulous’, had its origins in two distinct words – technical electronics, perhaps), had been around for quite a while. Besides, even if there was some danger, it was up to the adults to figure out what to do next.

It was only later, with a mixture of disappointment, relief and quite a bit embarrassment, I realized that in my screen touching frenzy I had skipped a word between 50 and years. ‘Million’ was never my favourite number anyway.

Of course, by then in my mind the continental drift had given away to more pressing concerns - namely buying batteries for my walkman. Backstreet’s Back was just out on tape.

7 comments:

wholrsofjazz said...

Somehow listening to "Spies" while reading your latest post triggered a wierd emotional response in me.
Write bedtime stories,woman!!!
That aside,very well done.I will recommend your blog to people with reading lists.

veda said...

Thank you, whorlsofjazz.
I did try my hand at a bed time story of sorts once - about a mosquito. It sucked.

Anonymous said...

My favourite *muah muah*

Travis said said...

I love your writing screw anonymous, I liked it i wish i could write like that keep it up and remeber just have fun, keep it up.

kama said...

hey!
i liked it. i liked the voice of the child who's speaking in that piece. that was really well-done! it's 'tchoooo cute' types!!
and yeah, what sucked? the mosquito or the bed-time story??!

veda said...

Thank you Travis!
*muah* to you too anonymous.
And as to which one sucked, that's up to you to decide, Kama. :)

Anu said...

i relate very much with your story especially skipping while reading a paragraph, then getting a completely different idea, getting very excited, but also very confused.
then i notice that i didnt skip and hop while reading, i was skipping words..