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Humour | Board games

What’s this year taught me? Another question. Like I don’t have enough in my term paper already. So... hmmm… lemme think — don’t watch me while I’m thinking — go away!

Games. Totally what I’ve learnt. Duh, not video games — you sound like my mum. Enter Mum. Extends neck like giraffe to peer into my screen. ‘Playing?Again?’ No, of course not! I show her a word document on my screen. The cursor has stayed on the same line for the last three days, ha! She doesn’t realise that a click of her heel outside my door leads to a click of the mouse and a click of a game window disappearing. Mums are cute, no? ‘Do you know how bad it is for your (insert any body part: eyes/ back/ intestines/ nostrils/ brain) — you are ruining your health.’ Whatevva… my nostrils… my problem. Go away!

Anyway, much as I love gaming my mum, that’s not what I meant. So I’ve learnt ball games in lockdown — by being the ball. My life is so kicked around. First, zigzag like soccer — perhaps online class for a month, or not, or three or forever. For a bit, I was a cricket ball on a sixer — a flash of hope, of sailing through the blue sky. Then a few months of Me, the Basketball. Bouncing between Yays and NoWays. We get to go to school? Yay! And now that we’re suitably exhilarated (see how I’ve been studying my vocab, Mum?) — tada! Wave 2 — sorry, loser, go get locked up again.

Right now, it’s underwater diving. Who waits longest, breath held, without going Boom! Will months of studying end anywhere? In Board exams? Will the state or the states decide? (Civics teacher, proud of me?) Not until we’ve been jabbed. Just not safe! The wave 2 is hitting kids. And they say wave 3 (get out the surfboards!) is on its way. Hold the exams? Or hold back? Online, maybe? Shorten them? Cancel them? Or postpone deciding about them (agaiiiin?) And they say teens can’t make up their minds.

Look at this video, guys! Wise old adults (who did their own studying in peace a few light years ago) are discussing what’s best for us. Who is missing? Us! No one asks us. And all the while, we’re wobbling on that diving board on a plane flying higher, wondering when to jump, knowing the chute may not open.

There’s the click. Mum on the prowl. She goes, ‘They’re saying on the parent WhatsApp group that…’ Then she says, on cue, ‘What — you’re playing again?’ And I say — for once — truthfully — ‘Yeah, Mum. Wanna join?’ And she squeezes in near me, and we play this stupidly awesome game where zombies keep popping out from nowhere and we gotta whack them down. And she gets that it’s the most honest and closest thing to what we’re all going through now. We play. And it’s less basketball now, and more piano.

Where Jane De Suza, author of Flyaway Boy, pokes her nose into our perfect lives.


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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 1:16:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/teenager-lockdown-exams-humour-board-games/article34665334.ece

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