What’s in a Picture?


I am in the “feeling senti” wala zone now, this very moment.

I should tell you something weird. I always feel that I am never ‘the me’ living this life; it’s someone else leading this life, my body hosting her and I am a mute spectator to her being and ‘living’.

The very spot from where I clicked this picture reminds me of a lot of things. I remember ‘her’ running to classes, making it just in time for the 8:45 class, managing to hold a cup of coffee in one hand and finishing the last bite off the butter jam sandwich from the other hand. I see her cursing the wet grass, the slippery tiles, the ‘early’ morning classes and the no-nonsense deadline of 8:45 AM.

I remember her running to and away from the photocopy place, getting the visa docs sorted. I remember her nervousness and her self-reminder that if she can pull off the visa process, it would be an achievement in itself. Then followed reminders to pull off the student exchange program, the Bell’s Palsy, the placement periods.

I remember her attending the company presentation supposed to be held at 3 PM that happened at 7 PM. I remember her frantically making a call to the internship manager to try one last time to ask the HR about the PPO, for she was confident that she would crack the ‘company’ that night and it would be her only last chance of not being associated with that brand.

And the reunion time when she took all her time to take in the feeling of the ‘campus’ like she never did before. Oh, how she was anxious about the reunion too!

How she attached weights to each of those events, how she wanted to reward herself for every achievement (and she never actually rewarded herself for any achievement :P), and how seemingly overwhelming they made her feel!

What may seem to follow might be about what life lessons this place taught me or what should be the key takeaways from this philosophical piece. Please! I never would even bother to look for explicit lessons or lecture about “Things to Learn from the Pikchar!”.

May be, for me, lessons have never been explicit. If learnt, they were implicitly done, quietly imbibed into my wisdom of doing things. An alarm doesn’t go off when I try to do same wrong things such that I am reminded of my past mistake and consciously correct my way of doing, thus applying lessons. May be this mechanism of learning lessons work like feedback, albeit without any dramatic juxtaposition. The next time I am expected to do something without committing the old mistake is something that naturally comes and there’s no conscious feeling of lessons proudly creeping into conscious and making me redo things.

Anyway, coming back, this post or the picture associated is not about lessons or inspirations. It is a reminder of her past- beautiful, complicated, never-again. Just like me, it’s a mute spectator of her evolution, and her past becoming my past. Nothing more, nothing less. Just that.

Dear mom


You are sound asleep now. I am hardly able to shut my eyes. My friends think I am living the dream of many; how do I tell them that the same is your nightmare? Ironic it is, but since when irony has never defined our relationship?

As much independent as I would love to be, there’s always a part of me which is used to your checking on me. Something that I once dreaded is something that I miss at times, too! How much ever smart I think I am, I am almost always stumped by your smartness. You beat me hands down there- only thing is I never acknowledged it for the fear of a bruised ego.

Coming to think of it, I now realise how foolish it is to be with you like this- like I am championing the art of outsmarting people so that my complexes are muffled. If there’s anyone who knows what a dumb person I am then it must be you for you came before me and you raised me. I am your child and it’s very hard to fool a mother.

I don’t want to hide things from you. Someday you will come to know about all of it; I hope that will not be the day where you decide to disown me.

P.S. This letter turned weird, taking a deep dark twist towards the end which is not intended. Glad that I didn’t get emotional but I’m kind of surprised with the tone of the letter. I hope my mum never gets to read this *evil grin*

 

Footprints’18


It’s funny how something that excited me for a month is going to come to an end. A trip down the memory lane, as cliche as it could get, reminds me yet again that experiences are never complete. Never. The yearning for more time at a place will only postpone the feeling of misery but it never goes away. That’s my takeaway this time.

I am trying to let go of this place- a place that still feels very familiar, very close, very real yet surreal now. My place, my walk, my mind- things that are mine yet not mine. There’s no structure to this flow of thoughts. The best I can do is let them do their job- just flow. And let go of them after they are tired of flowing.

How wonderful it feels- to be at a place which both owns and disowns me! Which never budges from my memory but still cannot succeed in reminding me of my significant moment here. How strange it is that the best phase of my life went without a significant high nor a tremendous blow and low!

Is this memory tripping even my thing? When done consciously- never! It just happens when I am not present in the present, catching me off the guard. Still, something that I never regret. But with this trip, I want to stop feeling miserable for having to leave this place and may be never come back anytime soon.

Strange indeed that how much ever solace and peace this place has to offer to me, an annual visit still ought not to be filled with these solitary moments. It sucks. May be that’s why I should stop feeling miserable at least now. The safety and freedom I feel here is a once in a lifetime experience and may be I should come to terms with reality now. That this is the only once in a lifetime experience and that yearning for it and trying to relive it only takes the fun away from the experience.

I don’t regret this trip. Not at all. But as much as I thought I will be experiencing everything alone, it isn’t that good a feeling. I now realise how important a group of good friends, how much ever small, is to enjoy an experience, how much ever small it is. So may be, now is the time for me to build those new friendships at my place- anywhere I go- anywhere my footprints are!

Flashes from the Past


One of the most significant happenings of my life is the student exchange program for which I had an opportunity to study in a French university.  Although it was in France that my namesake residential address lay, it was Europe as a whole where I spent most of my productive days.

And truth be told, I was fascinated with Europe as a region even before this opportunity knocked my door! So, a visit reaffirmed my fascination and has only increased the longing after my return. Worse off, there are flashes from this past of my life.

I don’t know if I should complain or just sit back and relive the memories. But either way, the longing intensifies so much that I made a vow to go back to all those unvisited (and visited) places just for the heck of cooling my longing.

For once, I have this feeling that this was the best time of my life and others follow the suit 😛 I knew I would be proud about this journey and the phase even before I embarked on it. And the twists it had only elevated the whole phase. Sadly, I am yet to celebrate my trip completion (which includes the hurdles of arranging for visa all by myself).

My mom sarcastically says that how much Europe gave me in experiences, it took away more than that from me- my smile (long story short- an occurrence of high intensity  Bell’s Palsy during the last days of the trip made half side of my face go expressionless and motionless for about 4 months. The recovery is happening slowly but steadily). Reclaiming the smile was the most difficult yet the best part of this process. I hope the dimple is on its way 😛

Coming back to this loss and profit equation, as much as I was frustrated with the recovery process (so much that I was dreaming that I was back to having my normal face), I once never regretted this trip.  Never.

I know that someday my smile (and my dimple too, hopefully) will be like those in olden days. But no one can take away the experience from me. I went through so many things that I am surprised I wasn’t deterred by any shortcoming or embarrassment!  And not to forget, the wonderful people I met there who made my travel and stay easy- a huge, heartfelt thanks to all of them. Never ever did I feel threatened. And thanks to their connectivity, I now know that we have a long way to reach their standards , being totally aware of the challenges in achieving this feat.

So, the flashes from the past don’t bother me anymore for they remind me of my strength and leave me with a smile. But who would understand what I am going through when I tell them vaguely of these flashes? A written record compensates for a passive listener and also helps me introspect.

Till next time! 😊

Longing due to nostalgia


I clearly remember how I disliked my exchange term in France at one point of time so much so that I wrote down an essay about what exactly I felt at that time. But now, looking back, I feel it wasn’t worthy of dislike and that I would love to go back to that place. Probably this is what is wrong with human pyschology- remembering only the good things and comfortably ignoring the bad things.

2017 ka interview :P


1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?

Well, been to Europe, Mumbai, Bhutan!!! Subtly approached guys 😛 Dated one, broke up immediately 😀 So, quite a roller coaster!

2. Did you keep your new years resolutions, and will you make more for next?

Don’t remember making any resolutions. Let’s leave resolutions to those who follow them 😀

3. What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Nov 18- Diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy; still reeling under its effects

4. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Travelling to 9 countries ( 1 Asian + 8 European) and managing to keep myself sane amidst all the struggles to keep up with the journeys

5. What was your biggest failure?

No personal satisfaction out of internship; could’ve fared far better

6. Did you suffer illness?

Bell’s Palsy 😦

7. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Not that I can think of right away

8. Where did most of your money go?

Travel, food, medical expenses

9. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

My first date 😀

10. What song will always remind you of 2017?

Shape of You, Arjun Reddy album

11. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

Happier 🙂

12. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Work out, eat more healthy, reminding myself of my self-worth

13. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Overthinking

14. Did you fall in love in 2017?

Nope.

15. What/Who was your greatest musical discovery?

Radhan, Anirudh, Haricharan

16. What did you want and get?

An exciting internship phase and December thrills 😉

17. What did you want and not get?

Speedy recovery

18. What was/were your favorite film/s of this year?

 

Arjun Reddy

19. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was 24 years old; hung out with friends

20. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

A job in hand and a relationship that could help me grow

21. What kept you sane?

Mom!

22. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.

 

Never take your winter clothing off to pose for pictures in cold! Can give you facial paralysis 😛

Kidding. Date only when you are ready for the kind you promised and promise only those which you can keep and not what you think you can keep. Understand the difference.

23. Which new places did you visit in 2017?

Pachmarhi, Mumbai, Alibaug, Thimphu, Paro, Clermont-Ferrand, Paris, Montpellier, Geneva, Lucerne, Zurich, Reykjavik, Keflavik, Dresden, Berlin, Prague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Brussels, Bruges, Barcelona, Costa Brava. Damn, the list ended 😐

 

24. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Dil kuch kehta hai, kuch aur hi karta hai 😀

Wishlist


  1. Attend an A. R. Rahman’s concert- as many as possible
  2. Perform a fully orchestrated dance, preferably contemporary
  3. Play a beautiful piece on violin

 

(well, this gets edited for sure)