Friday, February 18, 2005

i imagine him as a major in the British Army, in Simla or some other hill station, a Raj relic. with his hat covering an almost bald head, his short moustache and reserved and disinterested manner. He must be at least 70 years old; of course, not quite old to have been in Simla.
the class - at the college, not far from the Elephant - takes place every Friday. I am a newcomer; most of them have been coming for years. When he read the names on the list (we are all sitted on our back heels, it usually comes halfway through the class) he doesn't wait to hear the 'yes' to know they're there. I am almost the only non-British student, but I'm not the only one finding his 'quintessentially English understatement' amusing, the giggles make me suspect it is deliberately exaggerated; When we struggled to keep our feet in the air, he said once "now lower the feet to the ground, almost reluctantly".
Today, as we were doing rotation movements from a half-lotus position, he said - be careful, we don't want to cause any unnecessary - what's the word?
pain, someone suggested.
He pondered for a few seconds.
no, distress, he said finally. That's the word. We don't want to cause any unnecessary distress. Now if you're happy with this half-lotus position - or at the very least not terribly unhappy...
and so on.
very often, his classes are the only refuge from the chaos in my head.

No comments: