Another Year Draws To A Close.

December 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

2012 is on its way out. It’s seen me through so much. I travelled abroad for the first  time, and spent a month in the United States. I graduated college, got the post-graduate degree (no more university exams, woop woop!). I started studying for the Civil Service exam, and then stopped, because I realised it wasn’t quite my cup of tea. And I got a job in New Delhi, left the home and the city so familiar to me for 24 years, and adapted to a place entirely new in its people, its mindset and its ways.

So far, the new job’s been great. Being in Delhi isn’t as difficult as I thought it would be – having family and friends in it has helped with the homesickness. But yes, it is a completely new city to me, and I’m still finding my way around it.

2012 has been a year of ups and downs, and it ended with a massive up and an equally massive down. The up – I got to come home, and spend New Year’s with the person I love most, my mother. The down – someone I don’t know died a brutal, tragic death, and her suffering kicked off a movement that I hope will not fizzle out. In many years, 2012 has been an abysmal one for women, and I hope that in the coming year, and indeed, in the years to come, we are treated with more respect, understanding, and given status at par with that of men. It’s not just about this rape, or that molestation, it’s about violence as a whole, and it’s time we said no, it’s time we made violence non-negotiable.

After almost two months in Delhi, I couldn’t wait to fly home for New Year’s, to surprise my mother. And what a surprise it was. At the moment that I walked into my house, and saw her stunned face looking at me, almost unable to believe it was really me, I knew it was worth it. I’ve realised that no matter where you go, no matter how old you are, and no matter how much you earn – a mother is always a mother. And home is always home.

I am looking forward to 2013. Not only do I get to move into my own place  and experience living by myself, but there’s a fair bit I have planned for this year. And I hope that the coming year brings you all happiness, but above all, peace. I leave you with some lines by Robert Frost.

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep.

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.”

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Of Shankar Tucker, Cheese, And Murakami.

September 24, 2012 § 2 Comments

…Though not nececessarily in that order, of course.

My Monday morning, so far, has been spent replying to emails, working on a Femina interview, and trying to get started with the story on Shankar Tucker (the extremely cute musician I interviewed very recently). Writers’ block doesn’t help at a time like this, so I’m drowning my woes in crackers and cheese – which Pickles (my fat and furry cat) evidently thinks is meant for her. Ah well.

I recently finished reading Murakami’s Norwegian Wood. I have to say I like it better than Kafka On The Shore and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, both of which were too vague for my liking. Norwegian Wood, on the other hand, beautifully interweaves the themes of love, loss, music, and mental illness – and there are parts of the book which find a peaceful sort of resonance. It’s a book that stays with you.

All for now. Time to get back to Shankar Tucker. Phew.

A Return (Of Sorts).

September 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

So it seems that I am returning to blogosphere after, what, more than four months. I suppose I should be shocked at that, but I’m really not – it’s just that most of the time what I want to write about I just cannot, for the life of me, frame into words. Apparently, being prolific with my pen  (err, keyboard) is sometimes just easier said than done.

In other news, house-renovations go on with mind-numbing tediousness. There’s too much dust in the air, which makes my allergies act up – sneezing and coughing seems to be pretty much all that I do nowadays. However, my room is ready – it’s warm, spacious, and just inviting. Plus, it has a LOT of books – mine, some of my brother’s, and all of my father’s. While cleaning these books and putting them away in the shelves (while I was setting up my room), I came across some really amazing publications, some pretty old editions, not to mention four different kinds of dictionaries and a separate thesaurus! This, from a man who, when he did not have proper tiles, casually made up words on the Scrabble board, and dared me to challenge them when I got suspicious. I think I miss my father the most through his books. Sometimes I come across his name signed across the front page of a book, or a newspaper cutout within the pages, or a short scribbled note – and I’m reminded, time and again, of the man who gave us so many memories, of the man who gave me life.

In my heart and in my head, I return, time and again, to this man – my father. I may not have too many photographs of his, he may not have left me fixed deposits in hefty amounts, but he has left me something that matters – the power of the written word. And I think it’s the best legacy he could have left behind for me.

Of Illness, Reading, And Puss In Boots.

May 1, 2012 § 4 Comments

Recovering from heatstroke is not fun – fever always leaves behind a nasty taste in the mouth, which combines with a nausea that refuses to go away. Endless glasses of lebu’r jol give just temporary relief, and even the usual pleasure of reading (When in doubt, read. When unhappy, read. When overjoyed, read. And when ill, read.) is denied for the time being, as Naipaul’s A House For Mr Biswas is, by far, the SLOWEST book I have ever had the misfortune to come across! And so, after having been expressly forbidden to do any work by my mother, I sleep restlessly, read sporadically, and indulge in lots and lots of lebu’r jol.

At such times, things like a public holiday and Whatsapp messaging are wonderful gifts. Plus, there are people without whom I could not possibly get by. And today was spent doing just a little cleaning (the day I am too  sick to clean, you shall know I am dead), sleeping, and in the evening, watching Puss In Boots with Pickles keeping me company.

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And The Days Go On…

April 17, 2012 § 8 Comments

…with an intensity and rapidity of pace that never cease to stupefy. With  the last week of university comes the need to confront memories of five years gone by, of people who have come in and gone out of my life, of numerous classes, Professors, department canines, cups and cups of iced tea at Milon-da’s. How do you say goodbye? How do you bid adieu? More importantly, is it necessary to feel excessively sad and morose at college-days coming to an end? Call me detached, accuse me of not having been too wound up with college life (certainly not as much as many others I know), but I’m not bogged down by sadness. Of course, it’s the end of another phase, the passing of a milestone – I’m going to miss certain people whom I’ve grown to love just like family, but I’m also so excited about what lies ahead. And even though I have no idea what lies ahead, I’m still excited.

Because that’s life. With every goodbye comes a hello. Sometimes the hello comes immediately, sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s always there, waiting in the wings, waiting to make its entry. If there’s anything that I’ve learnt in  life, it’s that everything is transient. This too shall pass. Everything passes. Ecstatic moments, sorrowful times, grief and despair, anger and resentment – everything eventually makes its exit, makes way for new things, new people, new emotions.

So while I’m sad about the last five years coming to a close, about saying goodbye to a place that I’ve grown to love, I’m equally excited about stepping forward. That’s really what keeps me going – the need to look in front.  Because a hello always holds such promise. And with my last goodbye, the goodbye that caused me such anguish, I’ve said hello to so much – I’ve discovered Margaret Atwood and Thomas Hardy, have fallen in love with Moby, Florence + The Machine, John Mayer, and Otis Redding, have realised that some relationships are non-negotiable and that I must not dwell on the insignificant, and lastly – I’ve learnt that I must never, ever lose to life.

Forgiving. And Forgetting.

March 18, 2012 § 2 Comments

For the last few months, I have been bogged down with too much negativity. Hurt, outrage, and most of all, a sense of not quite understanding have filled up  the slate of my life. Forgiving and forgetting is hard – maybe everyone deserves forgiveness, because after all, to err is human, to forgive divine, right? Of course, right!

Of late, though, I have come to the conclusion that maybe we were never meant to understand some things. And that being hurt is unavoidable, but we always pick up ourselves up stronger than before, with lessons learnt along the way. And as for forgiving and forgetting – I have struggled with both notions, only to come up against conspicuous blankness. I have learnt, though, that it is way easier to forgive others than to forgive oneself. Because after all, we go the hardest on our own transgressions, on our own emotional folly. That’s something that I have been doing for a long time now. And after four months of intense hurt, I feel better knowing that I shall, eventually, forgive (and indeed, forget) the person who hurt me, but the process of forgiving myself – it’s already begun. Because I’ve scolded myself enough, now the self-inflicted analysis is done. Time to move on. No time for harbouring hurt or negativity.

Adele’s Rolling In The Deep is the song of the moment:

“Throw your soul through every open door
Count your blessings to find what you look for
Turn my sorrow into treasured gold
You’ll pay me back in kind and reap just what you sow.”

Also, with reference to the picture, life is like darkness, we just need to find the little bulbs to light our way along.

Back To Baking.

March 10, 2012 § 16 Comments

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There is something vaguely comforting about whipping up a batter of eggs, butter, sugar, flour, and milk – and putting it to good use, i.e. – baking cupcakes.

Apologies for bad picture quality. My phone camera isn’t the best. My baking, however, is pretty decent, if I may so myself!

It’s been a satisfying, and productive, Saturday evening! When in doubt, or alternatively, when under stress, bake!

PS – Someday I would like to open my own little cafe – with home-made cookies, cakes, muffins, and the like. Perhaps there could be a little corner with some book-shelves and some bean-bags. On the walls, frames of photographs taken by my favourite clicker. And soft, jazzy music playing in the background. And always, always the smell of something baking.