Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ah the distance

My blog looks like a ghost of my former self. I hardly recognise it anymore. For a person who *loves* writing and swears by it, I'm hardly following my passion. Or thats what I called it.

The parent is being transferred to Vatakara for three years. Kerala yet again. (Last time it was Thiruvananthapuram). Atleast he had his sister and uncle for company and more importantly, for food. Kerala being Kerala with all the strikes and bandhs cannot be depended upon for hotels to be open at all times. And Vatakara being a coastal place reeks of fish. Appa being vegetarian is feeling orey helpless. Cha I shall really miss him. 

We've never had the usual father-daughter relationship. It's more like a father-son relationship. But rest assured, I have always been able to discuss any topic with him, and I mean any!

Now whom will I discuss politics, cricket and food with? Fight with 24x7? From whom shall I grab the remote and hide it? Who will address me with silly nicknames and wake me up early in the morning? (make that try to wake me up) Who will irritate me with his antics? And give me valuable advice on how to eat mangoes (I, on the other hand, teach him how and when to eat oats).

I now feel guilty that I haven't spent enough time with him. Also now that I'll go back to pursuing my studies, hence putting me in a different city, I'll have less chances of interacting with him (when he does come to Chennai). Sure, we have phones and we can talk and all that (I'm really bad at phone calls, really. Barring a few I can't talk to most) but nothing beats talking in person and shouting at the top of our voices. 

Come back soon, appa.

(A website informs me that Vatakara is the land of Kalarippayattu. This is the land where warriors like Thacholi Othenan once lived. Hmm maybe appa can come back well versed in Kalarippayattu and kick-ass. Hiyeaaa! Oh wait, that's karate no?)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An infinite loop

There is this profound silence in my head and all around me when I think. Which is always. Lost in thoughts is a phrase you can associate me with. I think so much that I end up being unrelated to the world I am supposed to be in. I hear fuzzy noises of people speaking, images blur before my eyes and everything in motion is suspended. I have favourite places to think. Leading the list is my white-tiled bathroom. Most jobless Saturday afternoons were spent there, thinking. And I end up forgetting what I was thinking about. Almost always.

I think faster than I write. It's extremely hazardous. Precious quotes and topics have been lost this way. Before I can pen down a few sentences, my mind is racing with the next set. My memory fails me. I struggle hard to remember them, but in vain. 

Even when I read a book, watch a movie, listen to music, write, cook, eat, or do everything at the same time; I'm thinking. Random thoughts, vague ones. Unrelated stuff. 

Thoughts become imagination sometimes. Okay, most of the times. More often than not I find myself day-dreaming. I wish I could be paid to do that. No, really! I have built stories in my head. Stories that have a beginning but no ending. Ones that start off pensively, that end up nowhere. Like this post.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mind games...

Memories have become a thing of the past. Every time I smell freshly grounded coffee, I'm reminded of my home. When I see cloudy days and the smell of rain hitting the muddy floor, special classes at school at 8 in the morning. The smell of strawberry essence reminds me of days in Mumbai where every meal would be vada pav and ice cream (and strawberry/raspberry would be available always!). Bright Saturday mornings remind me of my white-tiled bathroom (this, I have No clue why). Watching cricket takes me back to the days where I'd be the umpire to a game of street cricket and arguing with the children who used to go: "Akka give out akka pleeeeeeaaseeeeeeee" against "Akka you are fair to their team wonly akka, what akka?" 

When I go to my cousin's house I'm reminded of playing games such as 'tree-to-tree,' cricket, treasure hunt, hide and seek etc. Tree-to-tree in particular used to be the most popular one. My cousin's house compound is really huge with a lot of trees pretty close to each other. A catcher would be chosen and the rest are a group. The catcher points to one tree where the group would huddle and he'd point out to another tree which we have to touch in the form of a long chain. Usually the gap between the two trees have to be quite long, so that when a gap falls in the chain. Which means the chain is split into two. Therefore the first group runs, followed by the second group. While doing so the catcher catches a person or a group thereby making them out. This continues till everyone is out. And the game starts again. I seriously LOVE this game!

There was this time when my friend and I (sometimes joined by both our sisters), we go up to our terrace (hers or mine) and throw water bombs at unassuming people walking on our street and immediately duck, before they can spot us! I know, it sounds a bit mean but hey we were really young and we loved to see people get wet, get angry and look up to see no one at all and just walk by shaking their heads. There was this one person who tracked us and came to our terrace. We got scared and climbed up another ladder and hid in the water tank for some time. After 15 minutes or so we slowly climbed down, only to see him waiting for us. He severely reprimanded us and then left. I think we stopped after that, we started feeling sorry for the pedestrians I guess.

Van games used to be somewhat similar too! Only we used to throw paper and/or chalk at other vehicles. The riders used to yell at us and complain to the van driver who would yell at us on his part but that didn't exactly stop us!  

There was this library in my locality which my dad joined as soon as shifted. I found a friend and we started borrowing books almost everyday (during the holidays it used to be morning and evening!). Some books we never used to return and claimed that we did not borrow and that they made a wrong entry. We still have most of the books. They recently shut down and my friend and I still think it's because of us that they went into a loss and that they shut down. And every time we see the owner we run and hide, even now. 

I miss those days. I still secretly wish I could throw water bombs at innocent people. I just might.

Friday, January 21, 2011

There is something headily enticing about independence.

Now this blog title has been doing the rounds on my FB status, Twitter and Gtalk and finally arriving here. But of late this has been in my head. I do have the freedom to do things I want, but I always think twice (or more) before I do it. And there are constraints in the form of money, parents, job timings and all that. While its fun to be one kind of independent with a job, the money that comes with and the said freedom; I want a complete and total independence-the sort where you live alone and fend for yourself completely. Though it sounds a tad early, I'd like it all the same. I've got cousins and friends telling me that it's tough to live alone, the things you have to do for yourself, which gets irritating after a point. You start feeling homesick and miss home-cooked food terribly. You miss the familiar surroundings and sights. You miss everything and everyone. And the fact that you have to clean up after yourself. Yes, there are shortcomings, I agree. But look what independence has to offer, in a slightly different angle.

You travel to new places. A LOT. Meet new people, have new adventures, take lots of pictures, eat different varieties of food (okay not so much if you're a vegetarian, but hey it was worth a shot!) and do other fun things! Yes, you also have to pay the rent, buy groceries, cook for yourself, clean up and be responsible all over - but isn't that fun in a way too? To do everything by yourself and gain insights into the world at large. (sounds like a sermon now) But seriously its time I went independent. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My dinner guest list

Okay as I retweeted Kals Nats post on list of authors she'd love to have dinner with, she asked me to do one too. I'm kindly obliging her :) 

In no order:

Enid Blyton: I know it sounds childish, but most of my childhood was consumed by reading this wonderful author. And as clich├ęd as it sounds, I did imagine all of those midnight feasts (minus the meat of course!) complete with tins of pineapple slices. I'd read them all again.

William Dalrymple: I've read two of his books - The Last Mughal (partly) and Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India (read review here) and I've been impressed. His flair for the language, style and narrative style have me hooked. I'm self-confessed fan, Mr Dalrymple :) And the fact that he is both a historian and a travel writer only adds to the list of attributes!

J K Rowling: No it's not the norm to add her name to the list. Rowling is indeed one of my favourites. Writing about magic is quite a tough job and it obviously requires much imagination. To make us imagine the sequences requires even more imagination. (Okay so you get the drift). Here's tipping my (imaginary) wand to you!

John Grisham: I think I've read almost all his books and they're pretty interesting (hey they keep me occupied!). He made me like law-based books, I owe him that much. My favourites are The Rain Maker and The Partner.

Ruskin Bond: My list can never be complete without Bond. I can visualize school memories of running to the library and borrowing his books, reading them, returning them and borrowing them for a second time. I've always wanted to meet and talk to him. I'm secretly happy that he lives in India!

Agatha Christie: I’m running the risk of my list sounding more and more un-elitist. Christie is one of those authors I’d read anytime, anywhere. This also evokes school memories where I’d ask my friends to borrow some so that I can read more than one at a time. I still ask my sister to borrow some books from school to keep the tradition going. Murder on the Orient Express is my all-time favourite book.
At this point you may argue saying that Arthur Conan Doyle writes better detective stories and that Sherlock Holmes is a better detective than Hercule Poirot, but I beg to differ. Poirot is an utter delight with his bald head, oiled moustache and prim and proper shoes! Especially his ‘tap those grey cells Hastings’ dialogue! Holmes’ fans can turn their noses up at me, Poirot wins hands down!

Ramachandra Guha: I like everything about this guy! The fact that he doesn’t restrict himself to one genre and explores various others is a blessing. His articles/columns are equally interesting to read. I’d say it’s a must to read his work! Him being cute is an added bonus! Again, I’d love to converse with him.

The list doesn’t end here though, there are various others I’d like to add but that’d just make it bulky.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

God put a smile upon your face

I've heard of people saying that they have their days. And their rough patches. 

My rough patches seem to last a long time. I feel invisible all the time. I listen, yes. I just want to be listened to. For a change I wanna talk too, you know! 

Also why don't people stick to a routine in certain things. I mean why do they have to confuse and confound. What joy do they derive? It throws off my mood, my balance. 

Only Coldplay is keeping me company during my time of invisibility. Maybe Chris Martin knows something about me. Hmmm.

Title inspiration: God put a smile upon your face (Coldplay)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Towenty-ten and beyond - I

First things first. 2010 was not what I expected it to be. Not one bit. There's still 4 more days I left though and anything can happen.

At the beginning of the year I was in college, doing my undergrad and blissfully charged through it, unaware of what the year had in store for me. And believe me I never thought I'd be where I am today. Not that I'm complaining.

College was one hell of a ride. With so many twists and turns (yes, I might sound a bit melodramatic, but its all true) I wanted to get over with it. Looking back, it did have it moments and so did I. College taught so much about life and people, their behaviour, character and the changes. I've always been a change-embracing person (so much so that I look forward to them), adjusting and adapting to it. So college was just another lesson in life (sniff). There might be a whole lot of people I'm not going to see or keep in touch with, but I'll always remember them!

Post April, after exams, came the hard part: What to do next? Study, work or take a break? (The third option would've never happened, but its nice to list the choices no?) So after much persuasion from parents and also the lure of travelling, I signed up for universities in UK. Got through one of them and was looking forward. Went on a whirlwind shopping spree and got all ready. But the news about how UK isn't stable and all that came through, from friends, family and well-wishers. So half-heartedly I had to postpone the trip and chose my last option: a job.

When this confusion happened, I also applied for jobs simultaneously. So N and I (both of us applied) got a call from Kingfisher's lifestyle magazine and they asked us to take a test before the interview process. After writing a really easy test, they asked us to fly to Bangalore for a selection-interview-process. (This coincidentally became my first visit to Bangalore! and more visits ensued of course). We did end up going by train of course.
Once we reached there and got settled and all (at cousin's beautiful place in Bannerghatta Road, which has become our all-time option whenever we visit Bangalore) we went straight to the interview. Results were announced immediately. We were given an option to take the job within a week (and find a place to stay as well, madness only). We said yes at first and happily shopped around Bangalore for the two days we were there. Then we started missing Chennai and wanted to get back as soon as we could. Which we did. And after much call-dodging and all that we refused what-could-have-been-our-first-job.

To be continued....