How good were you at geography in school? If I may say so myself, I was pretty good. Definitely much better at geogo than at maths. I liked the subject, understood it and to a good degree enjoyed it. Maps were an important part of the subject. To me, they were the fun part. I enjoyed reading them, locating places, charting the course of famous rivers, quizzing classmates on national capitals. By the time I reached high school, the very same maps that were fun, became a challenge. The teacher changed and we got the sweetest, softest looking, strictest teacher possible. Obsessive about maps, she was oddly chilled out about everything else. If you marked a city even 1/10th of a millimeter away from the exact place that it should have been, she’d mark it wrong and mercilessly deduct one whole mark. With that sort of marking, I consistently got terrible marks for my maps. We all did. But it wasn’t all bleak and hopeless. In the dark, hopeless tunnel of map-perfection, once in a while a few rays of hope shined through. Like the one time, I was finally able to overcome the map-monster and scored a whooping 3 /4 in the map in a class test. The 3/ 4 written in bold red on the left side of the map had me jumping for joy. Who had ever got 3 out of 4 in a map question? That had to be the highest score she ever gave any student. Unbelievably, I was making history here. I revelled in that thought for 10 seconds. A careful scrutiny of the map revealed another truth. There were tiny red cross marks all over the map. Corrections made by her. My score truly was unbelievable. It was ¾ th of a mark. Not 3/ 4.
Long after I stopped studying the subject, I kept an atlas at home. I’d flip through a few pages whenever time permitted. Maps never failed to engross me. Despite the many hours spent flipping through the atlas, there are loads of places in the world, I am unfamiliar with. Take for example Saint Kitts and Nevis. Sounds like a really cool place, but I haven’t a clue where it is. What’s more interesting than my lack of knowledge, is the fact that I get visitors from this place!! Not just from Saint Kitts and Nevis, but from lots of other exotic sounding places- Czech Republic, Algeria, Moldova, Poland, Spain and Turkey. Places, I am sure, I will never be able to visit. Not in this lifetime at least. While receiving visitors from all these places thrills me, it also piques my curiosity. It’s the kind of curiosity any blogger suffers from. Who are you? Why do you read me? If you read me and like what you read, why don’t you drop me a comment some time? I’d love to hear from you. Its not that I don’t appreciate silent readers, its just that I’d like to know who are. So if you don’t mind, would you de-lurk please?