Monday, June 2, 2014

Coming from a land that is steeped in emotion and aesthetics, it is not surprising to note that that every other commoner in India knows the navarasa or the nine Rasas of arts. Unlike the Occidentals we are not ashamed at the almost reflexive display of emotions. These little moments sum up the meaning of our stay in this world. Sometimes even the most mundane of activities is made interesting because of these rasas that are innate in each one of us.

We do not have to go too far in search of such artistic forms. One of the most unexciting activities as far as a person who is into the academic vocation is concerned, is to supervise students who are taking an examination. This is when an academician assumes the role of a cop and wears the robes of a judge ready to sentence anyone who puts a toe out of the line. The past history of the academician himself is never a matter of consideration and is most comfortably forgotten. So he goes about performing his moral duties- identifying the boy or girl taking the exam,scanning his pockets,purses,wallets or whatsoever for any suspicious 'bits' of evidence against them. Once this check point is crossed the stage is almost set for  what I started off with.

The Rasas. There is no better place than an exam hall to find all the nine rasas flashing across the faces of those taking an examination.

1. Hasya- the mirthful. He is the one who has a joyous countenance from the moment he steps into the hall. The cheer continues even after he receives the question paper and finds that it does not have one question he had so sincerely NOT prepared. He happily looks around the hall and feels lucky if his pen moves till the last line of a page.
2.Bhayanaka- the fearful or rather one who is full of fear. This can be spotted in both the sexes characteristically. They can be seen with beads of perspiration adorning their foreheads and hands that tremble to such a great extent that you are left with nothing but a deep sense of pity for them. The printed material gives them the jitters. Sadly the long days and nights of strenuous preparation does not often come to their aid because of their shaky confidence.

3.Bhibhatsya-the disgusted. From the allotted place to the paper issued to the question paper and to the guy sitting next to him everything disgusts him. Not to mention the ultra sharp glances he throws at the cop cum judge.

4. Shringara- the lover. Ah and this is the most interesting of the lot, the hopeless Romeo. He is there in every exam hall. His eyes twinkle with a false passion and these eyes go everywhere. His gaze can leave you squirming in discomfort. Yet he is completely harmless for all you have to escape from is his x-ray scrutiny.

5. Shantha- the serene. They are the most composed of them all. Confidence radiates from them and every question seems to have been framed keeping them solely in mind. Even time does not seem to trouble them.

6. Adhbhutha- the wonderstruck. Well the very rasa says it all. What we see is the sudden rise and fall of their eyebrows as their eye balls move from the left to the right across the question print. And in very rare cases the same look of surprise flashes across their faces on seeing what they have penned down themselves!

7. Karuna- the grief stricken. This group has the why-was-I -even-born look etched across their faces. To them the world seems to turn topsy turvy the moment their hands come in contact with the question paper. They can be seen chewing their nails or  pens or collar tips or god knows what else in addition to continuously breaking those hapless knuckles.

8. Roudra- the furious. You might wonder how this finds a place here. Though a rarity they are the ones who stare at their own words so intensely that you might think that the words might catch fire at the very instant. Their eyes are merely inches away from the paper and their veins pop out at their temples and wrists. We can almost feel them throbbing with determined ferocity.

9. Veera- the heroic. These are the triumphant ones who walk out of the halls with the sheer happiness of having done away with one more of those tiring tests.

Well now you know how a really prosaic activity can become extremely amusing with characters that catch our attention with a varied exhibit of emotions! After all life is all about such little amusements and the simple joy we draw from them!!


  1. Ha ha. Shringara! Sometimes you can't help it you know. Spare the poor guy. Inspiring writing Radhu. Keep writing.

  2. A truly delightful read!!! I am still in splits over shringara and roudhra...Great work Radhika :-)

    1. Thanks Pranaya :) Am sure you could relate to it too :P

  3. Ma'am! Thanx for making me experience Hasya & Adhbutha on reading ds! ;) Totally wonder struck I am on reading ds piece of aesthetic 'pendown'! Such a perfect eyeing invigilator u r! :D