The Slate


The beginning of a new year in school was something I looked forward to.

Leave the old imperfections behind and start a new quest towards perfection. Torn notebooks, lost textbooks, unfinished assignments, silly classmates, demanding teachers and scarier mathematics, none of these would matter in the new year.

New books, new subjects, new teachers, and at times, new classmates as well. A fresh start. At least that’s what I believed.

But the older I grew, the more difficult it became to get a clean slate. I have come to believe that life gives you just one slate. And even though you believed you had new slates every year of your life, it’s just that the chalk was lighter, and it was easier to erase. As you go through life, new lines appear, most of which cannot be erased. You write over the slate over and over again – a hundred, thousand, or a million times.

Sometimes the lines complement each other. The new lines working in harmony with the underlying lines, completing the picture forming something meaningful, or beautiful, or perhaps both.

But sometimes, the lines fight against each other, creating a mismatched random scratch, and creating something that looks terribly ugly. Or is it?

Maybe the random lines are just an incomplete picture. All that is needed is a little patience – it will be completed in due course. Perhaps there are hidden patterns in what seems random. All that is required is closer examination.

Perhaps the lines will all eventually cover the whole slate. Turning black to absolute white. A wholesomeness, completeness or utter transformation. Or perhaps a new white slate to start afresh …

What do you think? Do you have a slate? How many? What does your slate look like?

What if?


Have you ever had those moments, when everything is absolutely crystal clear? When every haze of your life is cleared and you can see yourself, your opinions, your life even, in a way that only someone absolutely sure of herself can see? Someone whose self-assured demeanour you have admired, and perhaps even envied at some point of time in your life. What if that someone is now you?