Piya Milan Chowk

‘Bhai, PMC mein milna theeke na?’ translates into Brother, meet me at the junction where lovers meet.

And where is this PMC? Well its at the center of my college. And its like the cerebrum of all activity. Its a roundabout before the Admin block which is where all the main college-streets lead to (in some way or the other). And that’s where friends were made, watchmen slept, meetings were held, people were eyed, Girls’ Hostel Buses were parked etcetera.

We were about five thousand students belonging to more than a dozen departments. And PMC was where we’d gather. There were other places – the BBC (Basketball court), the LTC (Lawn tennis court which was actually a chewed-out clay court), Coffee-shop (which is just a tiny stall which sold instant-coffee and junk food to meet varying collegiate needs), Back-Gate (which qualifies to be an adda) and the canteen (where the ground-floor was dedicated to those who actually ate and the first-floor mostly had people who had nowhere else to go and didn’t want to run into the faculty). Oh we did have a library but it wasn’t such a common meeting place unless and until you planned to study (or sleep) in the Annex.

I wonder why I’m writing about it today. Is it because half of the people I met there (definitely not as piyas) have drifted to faraway continents or are in the process to do so? Is it because I will never forget the day my Dad and I walked into the College (well, the never-ending infinity road starting from the main-gate directly leads you to …no reward for guessing…the PMC) and I had finally realised that my twelve years of education led me to this place. Ah, that kid then. Or maybe the pictures clicked there on various ethnic days will never be clicked again (or found – I’m sure I’ve lost most of them in miscellaneous drives), the mosquito-filled evenings we’ve spent waiting for the second bus to pick us up or the fountain that worked only once in a blue moon with its colorful lights. I’m sure most people graduated even without seeing it in all its glory due to its rare usage. Or perhaps I yearn to walk under the ever-spreading canopy of the Umbrella Thorn Trees (at least that’s what I called them and fooled my friends for four long years).

I’ll never meet Aryan in his baggy clothes waiting to meet us whenever he dropped by college. I’ll never see the cute-guys (like one out of five) play basket-ball in the court across the road. I’ll never walk by the juniors waiting for the bus with my troupe of cackling monkey-friends who were probably laughing at some seriously retard joke I must have cracked. I’ll never see Komi fly his balsa wood planes with his team there. I’ll never get to sit there with my friends as we’d see daylight turn to dusk as we’d wait for something else. I’ll never ask the auto-wallah to take a left from PMC to reach my departments, I’ll never run by it with arms-full of sheets with my classmates and I’ll probably never stand in a sari with my two best friends, Rhea and Mouli, clicking our last picture together before our final speeches on behalf of our departments. Ah PMC did hold a lot of meaning in its own way. I will never know why it was named so but I think I’ll never forget the happiness it brought on my face when my friends and I would decide to meet up there to hatch some new craziness after college.

Arrividerci SIT and its survivors.

 

 

Advertisements

I’m in Chennai

Enslaved by internet speed and storage-space in mobile phones and devices such. That’s what life has come to. Office got over a while ago but here I am waiting for In Which Annie Gives… to buffer. Yes, that’s what its come to.

So, I thought I’ll visit the space I’ve been meaning to but not getting time (mind frame, actually) to attend to. There’s 8 hours of office and two hours of travel along with 7 hours of sleep. To add to it I joined a short play with well-meaning friends some of whom are serious thespians and actors. I’m just learning, really – experiencing, rather. I was always drawn to the theatre- well, now I’ll really get to know if I make the cut or whether theatre makes the cut for me.

Well if you happen to be in Chennai (or live here) – come catch us live at 7pm  (be there on time because we perform first) – Alliance Francaise, Nungambakkam. Its made with love, really – the other kind, you know. It has a lot of laughter and goof-ups, bajjis and lemon tea behind this play being performed. For me, maybe because of the people I’ve been around with – architects and writers (of sorts) – the Process is always more meaningful than the end. Well that’s what I believe in, for now, because I haven’t really completed anything of importance. Perhaps if I ever get a project (writing, art, audio or whatever) done – I’ll tell you.

Damn, the internet is slow. I’m still here. The office is almost empty.

Well, I hope to see you at the play should you drop by – do say hi. And, I miss my leisurely days, really. And I long  to go back to my hostel-mates and do the things we used to do. I miss my single-bed and the best room-mate, ever who loves cats, books and strangeness alike. We could exist parallel-y, peacefully and interact at a comfortable wavelength without any awkwardness and in these times, that a real miracle, you know. If you happen to read this : I miss you Gurangutan and all our erratic, crazy and lovely times. Making videos, playing with Peter, walking walking walking, eating together, watching favorite movies. You will be my best friend forever – without definition. I hope we stay in touch like our mothers and their best friend in college did. I hope to come there and meet your cats and little brother – go with you to all the places you mentioned. Someday. I have another set of special friends apart from my classmates – the Chicchar Gang. No, I will not translate. Its best left like that. They hailed from Meghalaya, Ranchi and Jamshedpur. And they were my closest friends by the end. I can’t even start telling you our stories. Because, well, not all of them are mine to tell.

Ah, well, Dad inquired why I’m still in office. And its getting dark outside. I must leave now and leave you with patchwork-memories.

 

Coca Cola Kid

large4

You meet someone for the first time.

Filled with words that you think to be wisdom.

You hear with utmost curiosity.

You make notes and click mind-images.

 

You’re bubbling with excitement

waiting to froth all over the place

with appreciation (and flattery?)

but you’re sitting cross-legged.

 

Weeks turn into months.

And by now all your friends and neighbours

know of the person’s glory.

It tops Sunday-night-dinner-discussion.

 

As all pumped up things fizzle out

so did your bottle of coca-cola.

And now its nothing but flat sweetness.

The novelty wore off.

 

Now the person is just someone

who used to make a lot of sense.

And now you don’t even care

to attend gyaan-sessions.

 

You’re just working by yourself.

A warm bottle of flat coke.

Wondering where your judgement

drove off the hair-pin bend.

 

Masters you’ll meet many

But who eventually quenches your

intellectual and artistic thirst

is who’ll keep your fizz alive.

Khwaaish

image

The other day I was banging my head against the wall wondering what my dream really is? Is there like, one major dream and then sub-dreams or what?
And I read this from an old blog post, today.

I think I want to intern at various design places…no matter what they design, do theatre, video-log, do a TLC show where I show people places they need to get going to. Visit all the places we stayed in when I was a kid.

Maybe this is a clue. Maybe I should believe in the Universe or listen to the people who love me and step-up my professional game.
Well let’s see. Let’s get done with Thesis, first.

Arrivederci

Who.

This is the part of my life where I start understanding who I am. Who I want to become .But there is no saying who I’ll become.

image

Its not easy to figure it out in a day, months or now that I come to think of it, years, maybe. Every week I discover something new about myself; the people around me, the potential I have and how it affects the others. Every action reverberates. It brings something new to our life. Like, just last week – though short – I’ve lived through a journey on a brook (were I a little paper boat this sentence would have made much more sense than it does, right now). If you know me then you’d probably have heard the word Thesis at least ten times a day on an average basis. The poor parents, close friends, roommate and partner go through much worse. All they hear about is : Thesis. So much so that my Dad doesn’t discuss anything else, he is attuned to my nature- keeping track of my progress and encouraging me in whatever way he can including the occasional hearing to remind me a theater play or a movie should not be my focus and that I should start focusing on also getting an internship. Parents are farsighted. That’s probably why I’m in a college and getting to write this post, right now. The point being – when you start becoming more vulnerable (and this is purely by choice – a shade of mindfulness, maybe?) to the things happening around you and there is no saying whether its good or bad – you realize how real things can actually get. Your interaction with people is not based on the that moment or even the moment before. Our entire life affects every action we take. Over the years the way you think, react to things, accept criticism or pain, respond to threat, appreciate another or learn something – have all evolved. You’re not the same person you were two years ago (in my case, a month ago). When you look back at the things you said last weekend after the jury went bad and you were all red-faced and puffy-eyed – would make you laugh at our childishness (nudge, nudge, that’s me).

So give it time. Let things sink in, be processed until you’re sure about how you feel before expressing it outside. You’ll be surprised how a little thinking before speaking can help in the long run. After my rather unexpectedly weird jury I took a time off the maddening heat of the thesis. I spent time with friends, read good things and waited for the answers to come to me. And come they did : in a newspaper article, that too, believe it or not and by next week it may actually turn into something life-changing. Open to these new experiences. Anyway, lots of following up to do and a test tomorrow. I’m going to try writing more here so that I can get to a clearer thought-process.

Also I’d like to thank you all for the support : all your comments and remarks mean a lot. Keep them coming. Which blogger doesn’t love comments? So just feel free to share things with me- always receptive. Hope you had a great weekend. Waiting to actually hear from you and learn something so yes, write to me.

Arrividerci.

This Life

IMG_20151020_150015310.jpg

Take a step. No, wait. Think about it. Twice, thrice – repercussions. This will haunt you forever. You can’t rewind life.  The past always makes an appearance in the future. Phew.

Thorathi varattum. Paakalam.

The truth is, time is running out. The other day when we were just chilling in a friend’s room watching Modern Family and Hailey went about saying she is twenty-one I realised I’m going to turn the same age in a month. Adulthood is getting more real by the passing hour. And soon I’ll have  a job and vacations will be unpaid-leave and not something the college lets you have so you can come back afresh for a new semester.

And I’m not restricting myself to the code-books of appropriate living anymore. I’ve done everything right up until now when it comes to getting into college, deciding on a career, being a nice person. So now I want to live a little more.No, don’t worry, I’m not going off to Himachal on a horse. I mean to say, I always hold myself back everywhere, thinking too much. Worrying about this and that. And yesterday was an important day and I realized that I lost some really important things and people because I gave into the pressures of life and apprehension. And now I can’t undo any of it. So why should I follow rules that are breaking me? 

I rewound to Goa. Sushi, Hrishi, Priyo and I were chilling together after walking the entire evening along DB Marg as out Professor explained the urban heritage of Panjim. We saw many spots we wanted to stand a little longer. But we couldn’t so as soon as our teachers left us Scot-free we decided to retrace our path and walk back to the hotel. And on the way we just walked, laughed and thought of nothing. Just did what we wanted. I remember happily singing and walking with them on a bridge where they were burning something for a ritual while some others were fishing with their own private fishing rods. I had never seen those things before in my life and I was giggling merrily in my state of bliss. 

I want more carefree moments like that. I want to be an independent person who makes memories. And takes risks and uses opportunities without thinking a million times. I know when to draw lines; when to say no and when to sleep instead of dancing. 

I will write when I get ideas. Scribble. Dance on the road. Meet that guy I missed last time before he went off to the States. Read more, more and more. Debate. Involve myself in political debates. Put my head into things I’m not so aware about. Make mistakes. Get corrected. Get looked down upon. Be judged. Cry about it. Wake up stronger. Laugh about it with friends. Learn more. Write more. Explore my interests. Hate on ex-girlfriends who still have a power over these nice boys. Have food with both hands. Not brush my hair before classes. Wear BATA sandles to everywhere I go. Eat cold pizza right off the fridge. Throw things. Lose stuff. Let it go. Create art. Talk to new people. Create more original work. Listen to good music. Have my own opinions. Express them. Evolve. And just be happy. Learn to hug right. And not get awkward when cute guys talk to me. Be proud of the movies and music I like and not try to be someone I’m not. Instagram whatever the shit I want to. Tweet remind my first love indirectly that he’s missing out on the priciest chic in the town. Haha. Prank people. Meet my Blogger friends. Laugh with them. Love them and their many stories and personalities.

Spend more quality time with the parents and the sister whom I’m missing out on, majorly. Take them out to dinners and show them places. Cook burnt dinners for them, decorate the house for festivals with them. Catch up on everything our life made us miss out on. See my sister become something great. Be there when y parents begin cribbing like Piku’s. Read my poetry to them even if its for an estranged boyfriend. Haha.

Careers happen. Degrees come and stay in folders and walls. Pay for the niceties in life. But these moments make us who we are – make us sleep with a smile or a tear on your face. Make us human. And I want to live them all. To the best of my potential. I want the heart to burst with joy and be able to cry when I want to. Live the entire spectrum of emotions.

Not run behind the right people but Make it Right for those whoa re actually with me. And make merry. Cherish every last cookie in the jar.

To a life lived with love. Meet me soon, I don’t want to miss out on any of you. I want to know your stories, share mine, see places with everyone who knows me and write about our adventures. Laugh. Cry when you leave and hang pictures on my wall. Let nostalgia keep me awake and dreams put me to sleep. While I live now.

Thank you for reading this far. I hope you realize what you want of life, too, if you haven’t already.

Sunday Serve

CMeIOrwUwAA77U_
The Classmates. L-R: Myself, Jois, Hrishi and Priyo

This officially marks that its been two weeks since Joining Date. The rooms are set, more or less and we’re getting used to the week’s grind of Design, Urban Planning, Landscape and Interior design plus the electives. Some major work this semester because we are in the final semesters of Collegiate education. Next year is all practical-real-time work . There are other things like laundry and maintenance that also need your attention unless you like living like Shrek, that is. Entertainment comes in diluted forms of watching movies (Malayalam being my Choice of The Month) or just talking to friends sitting on stairs. Whatsapp consumes far too much time than I can spare. Hostel lunch during the weekends suck but the rare weekday lunch of ladies fingers and potatoes and the Friday idli-vada-sambhar comfort us enough to let the issue go. 

Just last Sunday we were all celebrating my classmate’s birthday in CCD and then we drove up to DD Hills which was a blissful experience. We sat there on huge boulders until the sun set, the clouds rolled by drizzling on us and the stars came up. We had tea in a stall while driving down; dinner at a famous restaurant in Khyatsandra before getting dropped at the Hostel almost at Curfew hour. I can’t believe its been a week, since that.

I simply don’t understand how Sunday rushed by. I remember waking up at around 5AM, thanks to mosquitoes (someone left the door open the previous evening) and replying to some message. I thought I’ll just sleep a little bit more and suddenly its 8:41AM and we rush for breakfast.

I spoke to The Parents and read a few blog posts by friends listening to Teena Marie…and suddenly my classmate enters and she’s like, ‘Let’s go for lunch.’ Its 12:27. Though yes, I got to read some great blogs. Today I focused on Ex-army and Fauji wives’ tales : Aditi Mathur and Vikram Karve Sir. And of course, Farooq-Sreesha-Shyvish and my other Indiblogger mates’ blogs. I honestly wish I read more. Arundhati Roy is staring at me from my table, ‘You use my cover as background for new ear-rings for Instagram but you can’t read a dozen pages a day from me!’

The iPod is charged so say hello to songs from the yester-years of my life. I can’t get over The Science of Sleep’s haunting background score.

I mean, are you KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW? We get one day to recoop and even that goes by so quick. I’m already worried about pending assignments and submissions. Saavu addikeraanga pa! I just pat myself for being alive. Oh and did I tell you, I still have a bit of laundry left and there’s oil in my hair that needs washing off? Oh and we have some NASA work to tend to, too. Oh and did I tell you I was writing poetry until 2AM. What is up with me?

Hoping we get things done on time. I’ve still not watched Irrfan Khan’s AIB video that’s making the rounds.

ANYWAY. Hope you had a great week. And will have a nice one, too. Send some love. I could really do with oodles of it.

Chocolate Day?

image

Hellogiggles sent me a Happy World Chocolate Day email at around 2:38 AM so I’m not sure whether it was/ is still going on in my side of the planet. Anyway, Mum baked the yummiest chocolate cake ever in the morning before we woke up (because she kept promising she’ll bake it since the past few days) And that was breakfast was Rhea because she had 2 pieces while I allowed myself one. Because I had oats waiting and a cup of green tea. See, I’m eating healthy! At least for breakfast.

Then, yesterday was an amazingly lazy day until Rhea came back and we zoomed off in the scooty (with the helmet, mind you) and went to four different super markets to hunt for things that they each sell separately. And finally we ended up almost finishing my holiday budget (which is a tiny yet good sum) in ONE go. I’m praying for a reimbursement. Let’s see (I’ve even kept the bills safely).

My loooong stack of books look at me from across the living room with those shreks-puss-in-boots’ eyes. And I have like two weeks of vacation in which I have planned a lot. So.

Urban Tree is organising a Blogger’s Meet on the eleventh of this month and I got an invite yesterday. I’m hoping bloggers turn up because otherwise I’d be a tad bit disappointed (unless they give me one of the five blogging awards). I’m going to miss my blogging buddies Sarabjeet, Sreesha and Farooq (all of whom you can find on my twitter list) amongst other blogger pals I’ve made via IndiBlogger .

The maids in our house are a little um I don’t have a word. One uses the radio like she owns this place. On full volume that too even if I’m on the phone. I understand they like it and I’m grateful for her affection but. Just but.

I just put a full stop after but. Grammar Nazis burn. I used to belong to that clan until I realised I’m not proficient enough to judge anyone else.

What else?
Excited about HOARDING up college supplies.Taking my scooty to college town this semester on the STRICT CONDITION that I entertain 0 pillion riders. Unless it’s a medical emergency, of course. It’s gonna be tough saying no. But I’m that sour grape when I need to be. We basically live along a Highway in Tumkur so my folks don’t want me to take responsibility of that kind. Let’s see.

I’m ending too many statements with “Let’s see” . This cannot be too good.

Ramadan season is on and all my buddies keep posting lovely Sehri-Iftar pictures and I just want to go to Hyderabad for all its worth.

I’m yet to watch Sweeney Todd. And Im going to watch Papanasam (Tamil movie) starring Uzhaganayagan Kamal Hassan soon which is a remake of a malayam movie Drishyam starring Lalettan.Its a very nice story and I urge you all to watch it (with subtitles if you don’t understand the southern tongues).

I hope you’ve been having a great summer (or whatever season’s on in your part of the country) because I have haha!

Oh oh and Catch Modern Family on Star World especially if you miss Kiddo Manny and Luke because they are airing Season 1 where they’re so adorable.

Lots of love
S

image
Nomnom

Nobody’s Left Out.

Sometimes, I feel like shutting the entire system down and hiding inside the blanket. Scrolling down the Facebook Homepage where feeds from all over the world await to amaze you. People announcing promotions and new jobs (some finally achieving dreams you once had); getting married to college (and in some cases school-sweethearts) while you cluck at their haste thinking, ‘Hey! How can you decide on life partners without seeing the world?,’. Unfortunately, we are judging them, unknowingly. What do we know about them? Maybe they’ve seen more of the world than we can imagine? And what’s wrong if they believe in their bond? Sometimes we make our worldly mind get the better of us.

Back to Feeds, the most interesting of them all are the Holidaying-Partying-Chilling pictures in exotic destinations. While some have sweet (and wealthy) parents; benefactors and some, have earned it. Its really nice (yeah, yeah )seeing the world from their perspective until you reach a concentrated-syrup point where you can’t take anymore and despair at your not having the time/resources and company to visit those places. Fret no, your time shall come. Or at least that’s what I say to myself to hold onto the one half of my sanity I’ve kept loose. One half is padlocked in a safety cell, away from human contact. Because sometimes this world is too much for me and I can’t lose it all at one go, now, can I? I know I’m on the path to a more peaceful life but it takes time and I’d like to be a little careful.

Then comes the New Ventures. Do you remember the scene in Interstellar where the Grandpa and Coop are sitting the night before he leaves for the Cosmos? Grandpa says that when he was young, something was invented or discovered everyday and all the 6 billion people wanted it. And kaboom. Live within your means is a phrase limited only to BPL families? Can’t we follow suit? Sustainability is not : using earthenware and recycling paper (once in a blue moon).

ANYWAY, point being : everyone is starting something of their own regardless of whether they can sustain that venture or not. I know I’m being pessimistic BUT it’s that little creature in me that’s watching movies instead of learning how to use Photoshop that feeds such thoughts in my head.

We humans, we know it all. What makes us, what breaks us. And yet, we falter and blame it on our nature. Being jealous (I’m stating it plainly) is okay. But are we doing something to reach there? Not everyone has people who can give them a lift every now and then. But we can reach there ON OUR OWN. It just takes effort, repeated effort and determination to get there. Ans we can do it. I see all these people clearing CAT and entering dream B-Schools/ clearing IAS entrances and be who they want to be.

BUT WHAT IF YOU’RE STILL CONFUSED AND DON’T WANT TO ENTER THE WRONG FIELD AND REGRET AFTER A DECADE?

There goes the alarm. I don’t mind giving it my best shot as long as I know that’s what I want. But what if I’m unsure? Some people just KNOW what they want from life. They work and achieve it. What about the people who are still figuring it out? The dreamers who still are glued to The Science of Sleep and Amelie. Who rant on social media (like this) but spend the rest of the day playing SIMS? You’ll call it lazy. And I accept it. But you know what it really  is?

FEAR. Fear of choosing the wrong path again. You’ve made that mistake before and you’re living by it. And you want no more of it. So you’re just waiting for that right hour (which may or may not come) or inspiration (which is always on its way). But you’re certain that when that moment arrives, you’ll be ready to do whatever it takes to realise your dreams. You have an abstract idea but its not enough to fuel your engines. So you’re soul searching. Sometimes inside, sometimes out. Through smoke, through spirit , through travel, through words and voids.

And one day you’ll arrive at it. And you’ll know happiness.

Realists find all this delusional. But ask yourself. Are you getting everything you want from life? 

No aptitude session/ counselling can get you the answer. Even if there is something you love. The society (we just love this blame-game) will have a hundred opinions about it. The Auntys, the elder cousins and even, the kids. And its easy to say that you don’t care. But the people you care for, care about them. And you can’t help it. Life is not about severing ties, now? And I know ignoring is the option but its not easy if you’re trying to be humble as well.

Bills and expectations make us force us to do whatever we can to satiate them. But that does not mean we forget the fire. Light it. Keep it going even when you’re stumbling into the wrong path. It will show you your way out of the maze when time comes. Wait for it. And know that you can do it. Just stay strong. I’m trying my best here. As a dreamer, while I can.

Share your views. Help one another. 

So while the others be awesome and share it with you. Just try to be as happy and accepting as you can. Your time will come 🙂

Love Always,

S

Immerse.

If I could immerse myself in something right now…in these times when you are tired but you have pushed yourself so hard to do something that you cannot sleep. But your mind isn’t settling into the task that you set out to do, either.

These are moments I had words that could take me somewhere. On a trip. Escapism at its best. The future can wait while I dream with my eyes open.

I really don’t see what a few guilt-free trips of escapism can do to harm anyone. Sometimes it just rejuvenates. It reminds us that we are still in control. Warms our hearts, ignites our bones.

If you’re feeling out of place or sometimes, misplaced … lose yourself into something you can claim control of anytime… but it kindles the fire of hope in you. We have to face it, good or bad. Might as well do it with renewed energy. Hope is life. If words can turn the pages in your life, allow them to. Immerse yourself. Embrace the story. The nature of its occurrence hardly matters.

For me, its books. It words and conversations with people who make me think, smile and listen. Its moments sitting under the shade of a tree watching kids play. Talking to my parents and letting the steam off…bite bits of their wisdom (whether or not I can digest it, later) or crack family jokes with my sister. Sounds very gharelu. It’s called Homesickness.

For you it could be re-visiting your childhood with old photographs, swimming in the pond behind your house (if you’re one of those lucky few), meeting people who buzz you, long walks away from any immediate concern, a cup of tea under the streetlights at midnight, a long drive with strangers to Nandi Hills (I’ve covered that base, I ca say proudly. Though now we are friends) etc.

Just jump out that window. Don’t hold back. Rejuvenate before you wilt away.

Love always.

S