Thursday, November 12, 2009
And so I said to myself all over again “I hate this place” and thought, case closed.
But just when frustration and fruitless anger reaches its peak comes one of those days.
A cold winter night with a crazy wind, the kind that brings out that streak of madness in the sanest of people. The hazy air is shot with the eerie glow of the streetlight and the trees outside swish in tune with a song in an unknown tongue. A night of spirits walking free and dancing their crazy way into you. They swirl in the thick fog, they rummage through the trees, they blur the hazy starlight and they envelope you, teasing you, waiting for that moment when you open yourself up to them and close your eyes and let them in. A cold night with scattered droplets of rain, that fresh, earthy smell of rain calls out to you to leave everything and just close your eyes and dissolve, dissolve into the mist. I could walk away now, leaving all these earthly trappings behind. I could walk away and disappear into the mist and no one would know. It's a magical night.
And then it comes over me again, how much I love these moments in this place, how much I love these little trysts I have with nature here, how much I love the familiarity of darkness and the song of the swishing trees as I drift into sleep, and no matter how much hypocrisy, unfairness, discomfort, malpractices or shackles this place has to dole out, this bit of home is out of their reach. It's mine, all mine.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Monday, December 15, 2008
Personally too, I must say I have seen happier days :) (ok now I know I sound like those ageing loyal servants who sit down with their supari and tell sad tales to the household children, but I'm sure fellow-sufferers understand). Hitting rock bottom leaves you with a sore backside and a bruised ego, not to mention a very heavy heart. And everytime I thought hopefully that "wait - the good part is that nothing can get worse than this, right?" I was quite surprised :)
But it's ok. We live. Someone told me that the good part about bad sems is that they get over :).
Through all the precious things lost (anyone seen my mind anywhere?) a sense of dealing with life hands-on emerges. You pray that through all the bad times you can keep your dignity and sense of humour, and if you manage to get pass marks there sometimes, it gives you a vague superman-ish feeling :) .
Oh well, there have been good times too, here and there, enlightening conversations, new paths in life suddenly paved with plausibility, Kodak moments and TORA moments (:D), deeper understanding of things and people, new viewpoints, old comforts - why just look at the bad?
Cheers to the sem that probably made us grow up faster than we ever have, often against our will. And look, we're alive!
Monday, October 27, 2008
“It’s when they’re around me that I miss them most”
People change. Equations change. Priorities change. And through it all, life goes on. Except when, during a window of four days, it just suddenly ceases to be one of those “faggy” things that are hastily shoved to the recesses of the mind and suddenly starts standing at every entrance to welcome you.
When you meet erstwhile close friends at food stalls and say a perfunctory hi before moving on with your plate. When you accidentally step into an awkward social moment, consisting of the very group you were sometimes defined by in the past. When you no longer have the same people to laugh with at the Jammaster’s wisecracks, to enjoy quizzes with a feeling of pleasurable tension, to go on quiet walks with under the fading early morning stars…
Oh well, you shrug, and get back to your pizza. Share a smile with those who understand.
And life goes on. It always does.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
When the day starts with you oversleeping and finishing your morning toilet at the approximate time you were supposed to be setting off for your PS station on a full stomach, you concede with a minor apology to your unquenchable optimism that the day could perhaps have room for improvement. You cling firmly on to your home grown farm fresh goodwill with the noob’s good faith through the traffic jams you’ve heard horror stories about. The empty corridors of B.W.Lions Superspeciality Eye Hospital and the odd mustachioed watchman (the “Lion” as we will christen him sometime during the course of the day) don’t look too inviting. And you’ve got your DAD with you. Remember Steve Martin in Father of the Bride? Remember laughing at his antics and secretly wondering when filmmakers would get more real and provide less run-of-the-mill gags? Yes, when doomsday prophecies are made with an absolutely nonchalant face that belies the nervous prostration that is all poised to leap out any second, you know art merely imitates life.
After twenty minutes when there’s still only the Lion for company you begin to doubt whether you’re at the right place at the right time. Well doubt wouldn’t be the word for the slow cold certainty sneaking in, especially with the scary look of having expected it all that pervades dad’s face. You panic. But panic in front of dad after you’ve convinced yourself that you’ve convinced him that you’re a mature twenty-year-old capable of handling yourself for two months in a strange city, is defeat with a capital D, that too at the very outset. So you try to find out the details you should have stepped into town armed with. The name of your PS instructor, for example. Your PS mate’s contact number would come a close second. You try to get that from another friend, whose wingie this ps mate of yours happens to be. The unwanted permutation of 2 and 8 in the number in the process of information transfer kinda yields unsatisfactory results when you try to call. Stumped, and your balance doing the too-fast-for-comfort disappearing act on roaming, you call up your wingie-in- Pilani and roomie- in- town. You don’t really know why, except that she’s one of those lucky people blessed with the faculty of always having answers, even if not always the correct ones. It’s very reassuring to hear answers, any answers at times. She tells you of this place – BITS PDC - where she has been asked to report to instead of her station, and you take prompt action by calling her PS instructor. Communication is a funny thing because somewhere in the course of it- we won’t get into tangly details – you find yourself heading for that same place – BITS Professional Development Centre, Bangalore (after you recover from the shock of the Villager’s New Clothes – I mean dude Professional Development Centre??) about an enthusiastic judo kick away from the Guest House where you’ve been putting up. You go there, talk to a chap who assures you your station’s been canceled. Of course, you can’t really hide the sudden clutch of cold fingers around your heart.
“Canceled?” you croak, trying to tone the volume so that dad doesn’t hear. Fat chance. Anyway a few long-distance calls and minor scoldings later you find yourself making your way back to the hospital – your ps station – where apparently your ps instructor and four ps mates have been waiting for you for quite sometime. You wonder how you could have missed them for the half-hour that you spent in the morning. When you see the jeans-clad, floaters-shod ME-ite assigned, you recognize the guy you saw on your frenzied run out and for a brief moment wondered whether he was a Goa ps mate of yours.
There, your four ps mates are waiting in a neat line outside the chamber of the administrator, so you didn’t miss anything after all. After quick apologies and exchange of pleasantries and phone numbers, and of course the wait for Godot, you are ushered into the boardroom and thus begins your PS-1.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Another academic year done… another skin to step out of, another new set of clothes to try and fit into – and by the time the tucking in and the letting down and the smoothening of the pleats is done, it’s time to discard them again. Oh well, that’s life. But the last day of the academic year always evokes bittersweet feelings in me. I look around at the room which bit by bit I have made into an extension of myself, a familiar cocoon, a corner that’s mine and I realize suddenly that I have to tear apart my little world with my bare hands and reduce it to the bare walled blank slate that it was before I made it my own. Down come the posters from the walls (how we named each of the three koalas in it and came up with lame funds to justify the totally random nomenclature), the curtains from the windows (the extensive search my roomie and I conducted to find the perfect weave and pattern!) the timetables from the cupboard doors, the chargers from the plug points and the bags from the loft. The underbelly of the bed is swept out in one clean sweep exposing errant toffee wrappers, a cobwebby shoe collection, not to mention prohibited electrical gadgets stowed away hastily after news of the warden’s coming did the rounds. The always-overflowing laundry bag is emptied out and folded up – it’s neat flat folds giving no indication of the beer barrel it normally resembles. Trophies and bottles of deo no longer dot the ventilator, the trunk no longer doubles up as a couch with the blankets and cushions. The books have been packed, the sheets have been folded, the mattresses stowed away, the pile of clothes in neat suitcases. I sit amid an array of discarded papers and labeled bags. Bits and pieces of my life in the past year untidily summarized. The tree outside swishes in the midnight breeze as it will continue to in the very same place. It might have got the better deal after all.
(p.s. Then again, there is much to be said for single rooms :) )