Sunday, May 5, 2013

Break


This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 39; the thirty-ninth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is "Break"
I do not know if there are very many words in the English language that have evoked so many different emotions in me in comparison to this word 'Break'. From childhood to now, it has been the source of a great many emotions - not all of them pleasant to recollect.

The earliest emotion that this word has evoked in me is fear. "Did you break this?" was a question that has often caused me to break out (there you go again, the word is simply too ubiquitous) into a cold sweat - not least because the answer, if true, had to be 'yes'. My earliest attempts at fiction were made then - "No Mom! It was the wind!" or "No Mom! It was my sister!" It was either the fact that I was too young to realize that fiction had to be believable or that it was an age when fantasy had not gained a strong enough foothold in the world. My Mom simply refused to contemplate the idea of a black wind from Mordor having swept that china jar of pickles off the larder or that my toddler sister had looked at it cross-eyed and caused it to fall by telekinesis. This lamentable lack of belief in fantasy is responsible for many a beating that I could have avoided in the days after Tolkien and Rowling. (And, by the way, I did not even look pregnant then but I loved pickles - don't ask me why)

When school started, that same word was a cause of immense joy. Imagine sitting around in class in a fugue with someone droning about some distant country and suddenly asking you to name its damned capital (I have a sneaking suspicion that countries have capitals merely to make life hell for school children. Very mean of them). Failure to answer could mean having to stand on a bench or kneel in front of the class - neither posture being conducive to getting that lovely nap which is so necessary for a good complexion. So, it is no wonder that the word 'lunch break' or any other such break evoked a sense of freedom and joy almost akin to ecstasy. (I am taking a bit of a liberty here. In my days, they used the word 'Interval' not break)

The entry to the workaday world was also preceded by this same word. "Please give me a break", was a plea to get a job. Now, the problem was that the answer used to be, "Are you a car or something?" thanks to the fact that 'break' and 'brake' sounded almost the same not to mention the fact that this Americanism had not yet caught on. That is the problem with being among the first few to be afflicted by the disease. People are unable to recognize the fact that you are infected by "Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever" or, in this case, "Virulent Americanization". Now, of course, you can hardly think of an alternative phrase to use under similar circumstances.

Where this usage of 'giving a break' was one of pathos for me, it was one of simmering anger for my friend. Blessed with a surname of "Kallingal" and a typist with a reverence for Word's powers to auto-correct, he invariably ended up signing letters as "Killingly", which was Word's auto-correct option for "Kallingal". People have accustomed themselves to 'faithfully', 'sincerely' and all that at the close of a letter but they seemed to draw a line at Killingly. This unnatural antipathy of the recipients of his letters caused him to get wild enough to take his typist to task and, when he had just about started to whistle before really letting off steam, someone intervened and said, "Give the poor guy a break". In his words, he was like a pressure cooker full of steam and about to let go when someone sat heavily on his head and refused the outlet.

I could probably go on and on and on about Break. I mean you break out in song, break out into dance, break out of melancholy and on and on. Why, people even wish you to break a leg when you get on stage. Now that you have had a lecture on 'Break', go take a break before someone else breaks the silence.
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Introduced By: The Fool, Participation Count: 11

56 comments:

  1. You have explained the versatilty of the word in such a humorous manner.

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  2. still rolling over laughing!! wondering if u left out heart "break" purposefully? a wonderful post!!

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    1. I did leave it out purposefully - does not do to make fun of heart-breaks :)

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  3. Brilliant,just what i needed to break the monotony of a hot summery day!

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  4. I really had a good break reading this :-)

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  5. Hehehe...you know when I read the first couple of lines, I thought, OMG!! Is Suresh writing a serious emotional post? From when did he start doing this? :P
    You did not even look pregnant and loved pickles...LOL...okay now, let me give you a break from this long comment :)

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    1. Serious I have been doing but emotional? :) Thanks for the kind words.

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  6. Well, Suresh, that was a quite a break in the morning monotony! You have walked us through many shades of that word 'break', each hilarious than the other. I loved the first one though:

    "My Mom simply refused to contemplate the idea of a black wind from Mordor having swept that china jar of pickles off the larder or that my toddler sister had looked at it cross-eyed and caused it to fall by telekinesis."

    An absolute beauty!

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    1. Thanks Uma! This is the first time, is it, when one particular line has found enough favor with you to be quoted? :) A red letter day for me.

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  7. I was wondering...whether it was intended to lighten our spirits or it was something to gain knowledge from...though am aware...one can very well get a knowledge from a script which causes stomach ache for excessive laughing...and i thought yes...being primarily a relationship blogger...the most evident break for my articles would be 'Break Up'

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    1. This was only to lighten up your spirits :) you are, of course, free to gain any knowledge that you find here :)

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  8. hahaha, an awesome post, Suresh! i am not going to reveal what word's autocorrect does to my surname. even though i do look like a ghost, i refused to accept this subtle variation of my surname and decided to disable autocorrect option.

    all the best for the contest! looks like you are going to win one more contest :)

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    1. Thanks Debs! The contest is only a prompt-provider for me - readers like you are the main prizes :)

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  9. what a zabardasht breaking morning post! :) :)still recovering from the laughing fits! :D

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    1. Thanks Rajrupa! So, sometimes, I actually make people laugh? Hitherto I had thought that the most I managed was a mild tickle :)

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  10. I must marvel at your capability to write so well with just one word - Break ! Loved it. Btw, this too is similar between us !!!.. for more information, whenever you find time, do read something I had written some time back called 'The incident of the Jam Bottle' :)

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    1. Thanks Ash! So I go for pickles and you go for jams, huh? :)

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  11. The chain of glittering posts like this one by you remains unbreakable!
    The one terrible Break that I suffered from during my growing up years was Breakdance! Everyone around me seemed to know it to various levels of expertise (well, I guess we can call it that politely)
    Even I made some futile efforts to master it.
    In hindsight, I am just glad that I didn't break any skull and bones on account of that mania!

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    1. Kind of you to say so, Rickie! Thank God I did not need to try any dance moves - I might have left behind a squadron of people with squashed feet and broken bones :)

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  12. Breaking into giggles - what a post!

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    1. Thanks Ritu! Glad to know I made you giggle :)

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  13. Hey... This was a welcome break!!!
    Loved it...

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  14. This was really delightful! And these days we hear that the couple is on a break. I mean have they broken up or are they together? Oh, they are taking a break from each other! At such times, yes one wishes to break one's head on the wall.

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  15. That's one delightful post I have read recently. Thanks for the smiles :)

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  16. taking a break and reading your post....:)

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  17. Your friend Kallingal was the most unfortunate of mortals. Such a typical case of a man being penalized by the petty prejudices of men. I mean, what's wrong with Killingly? Nice, wholesome word. And if you look at it in a certain way, quite complimentary..!

    Dagny

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    1. That's the way the typist probably saw it :)

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  18. I really like sentences that go this way - I will break your neck!
    There are so many underlying emotions in this one line and the word 'break' adds to the punch. It doesn't matter if the person who said the lines are capable of doing the act or not, but it does send some ghastly images to the brain.
    Your post has started a chain of thoughts at a breakneck speed.

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    1. Start breaking necks and you will need to break out of prison, Amit :)

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  19. Interesting read and to think we face so many breaks in our lives!! Except breaking a neck all other types are tolerable!! :)

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    1. There may be objections to heart-breaks as well :)

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  20. brilliant writing,nice take on the subject

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  21. what an innovative way of going about the subject!Loved the subtle humour :D

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  22. I am smiling - as I always do after reading your post :-)

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  23. Wow! This was great stuff, Suresh. Awesome indeed. The first part about your inventing stories reminded me of one from my own early childhood that my mother loved to narrate.

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    1. Thanks TF! All of us are likely to have narrated a lot of fiction at that age :)

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  24. nice post sir... like the pickel part.. as i have to use that reason often whn i break a glass...:)

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