I had erased the horrendous memories of my association with slam books,a thing that is fast becoming an integral part of school culture now.I thought it would die with me until I visited my cousin this winter who was attending the last week of his classes at school.One fateful night he took out 3-4 pink lined glossy paged notebooks and I knew it was going to be a long night.I did not want to be involved but then I was consulted on a few questions and scary memories came flooding back.
I remember filling up the first ones I got properly.By properly I mean writing N.A in most of the questions.That was the neutral approach.Suddenly the entire idea of writing you most embarrassing moments,happiest times,favourite actor,actress,colour,car,singer,dancer,cricketer...ad infinitum..seemed so grossly insane.I failed to figure why suddenly this urge of getting all this information was there when most of the people who gave me those things had evidently never ever talked to me for more than 5 minutes.The worst part was the 'lines for me' section.I was clueless as to what to write for a person I hardly know.All this took a toll on me and I decided to fight back.
After my resolve 'my saddest moment' became the 'moment I was handed over the slam book' and 'happiest moment' became 'the moment I complete it'.I added on some misleading definitions of 'love','life' and 'friendship' and my revenge was complete.The number of these books I got reduced drastically the next time the season came and I was a happy man.
But as most evil things,these also changed form.The new form,a plain diary,was even more intriguing.I got two blank pages,with my name written on top,to fill in whatever I wanted.I asked the girl what she wanted,an essay on her? She told me to write whatever came to my mind.I flipped back pages to see how others had handled the situation and I could have died laughing.There were songs,sometimes in those glitter pens,there were free psychoanalyses,definitions of love,relationships or just tips on handling the world ahead.I knew I wasn't cut out for this kind of insight so I chose a different path...
My cousin came to know of the path I had chosen for I made him go that way too.He took a book which had a pink Barbie on it's cover and inbuilt lock and key system to open it.It had blank pages inside and my cousin's name written on one of those pages.He did not know what to do.I did.Back in school I had made a questionnaire of my own to get back on all those people who had agonised me with theirs.I took inspiration from that and the 2 pages he filled ran something like this:
I am tired of answering the same questions in all the slam books I get.So I choose yours to make the world aware of my favourites that have never got a mention up until now but nevertheless are valued equally by me.Here is my list,which by no means is exhaustive,but then I have only 2 pages assigned to me so I have to compromise:
Favourite left handed spin bowler
Favourite non-toxic gas
Favourite non extinct flightless bird
Moment when I felt like poking my fingers into my eyes and squirming my brain
Favourite actress in a supporting role:foreign movie
Favourite low alcoholic cough syrup
You get the idea right? I stopped when I realised that I was in college now.Nevertheless I had a guilty but contented sleep.I had trained the next generation of avengers.
The people who used to write sugar syrupy things have grown up now.They are asking questions like 'asl plz' or 'are you a virgin' in obscure chatrooms with conversion rate that is a real number in some cases.They have grown up to write scraps in Orkut like 'Wanna do friendship' or even 'How you doin''.I have no idea what has become of people who handed over those books in the first place.Maybe they are out there falling in love,or hoping that a prince of their dreams will log on into Yahoo Messenger someday and buzz them with a ID that has just the right adjectives preceding their names.
People who chose to fight back and extract revenge from the slam books are yet to grow up.The entire world thinks so.
Footnote:The entire plan lost it's relevance when the owner of the slam book thought it was very funny and different from whatever she had ever come across.I figured out it's better to go with things like other people do.