Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Definition of Reluctance

'It was Monday morning. Swaminathan was reluctant to open his eyes.' The opening lines of one of my favourite books, RK Narayan's classic 'Swami and Friends'. Indeed, after the 'delicious freedom of Saturday and Sunday', I can hardly find myself capable of facing the world on Monday. All the cares that relegate themselves to oblivion over the weekend resurface with venomous vengeance. Life becomes a dreary, unending journey of buses and classrooms. Every Monday morning, pep talks to myself notwithstanding, I am a personification of reluctance. This, precisely, is my definition of reluctance- having to wake up early on Monday morning and get ready for another long week of meaningless tasks. The worst part is that the Monday blues begin on Sunday evening- so if, for some reason, the weekend is reduced to one measly Sunday, then it's like having no weekend at all. The world would be a much better place with the absence of Mondays; pity there are not enough philanthropists of my ilk to propagate the message.

Coming back to defining reluctance, I put the question to some of my classmates. The results: 'Coming to college' tops the list. Whoever said college was fun is, in our view, a blasphemer. (My little poll was conducted among students who have a pretty decent attendance percentage at college- does that clear the mystery a bit?) After that comes 'staying in college'. Maybe there is not much of a difference between coming to college and staying there, but the preparations in the morning are quite a pain, and then sitting through lectures is a bother too. Maybe, if I question working people, I'll just have to replace 'college' with 'work'.

Eating also features in the list of activities performed reluctantly. The food in question is regular home-made food. It does not include junk food. Also mentioned is the ever-popular nightmare, writing examinations. The grind and the last-minute 'revision' (most of the time we end up going through new chapters five minutes before the exam starts) are equally tiresome. Going to the lab in the afternoon is another sore point with students, especially when half the class is allowed to go home and the other half has to stay and puzzle itself over the conundrums of Computer Networks. This is one weekly ordeal when networking becomes extremely painful, even to the most zealous champions of social networking.

This is just a sample of how reluctance can be defined. Another day, perhaps, I shall attempt a definition of something more pleasant, but now, do feel free to add your own definition to the list.

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