This time, last year…

This time, last year I was dumber than I now am. A lot more touchy-feely, depressed as hell because I was soon to graduate and mad with joy because a certain someone I didn’t like was getting fucked. In short, I was my normal me, I was happy. If I had any idea that eight months down the line, I would be teaching, TEACHING at Joseph’s, I would have told you to “Shut your ass” (full on Koothrapalli style)

I was less mad, less enthusiastic, more shy and definitely more obsessed and possessed than ever.

Graduation happened like a dream. Things went smooth. I joined some dumb ass Yoga class, they made me stretch and bend like a frigging wire. I wound up with low bp, fell sick and cursed. I got myself my first job in Mysore. That was a bust. Owing to some miscalculated horror some odd 25 years ago, a couple “did it” and I was born 9 months later. And that’s why I couldn’t stick with my Mysore job. Got dragged back to lala land,  did some depressed-patient drama for about a month. Found myself another job, relaxed there for another  two months or so. Made sexy contacts. Went to Pondicherry to celebrate a big event that happened 7 years before. Came back to lala land, went back to dullness.

And then things started to look up. I cleared NET and before I knew it, my life was re-organizing itself and all I could do was stand and look, wide-mouthed, the way Jack sparrow did when the weird sea creatures took his ship to the shore.

                                                                     
                                                       Pretty much sums up my reaction when life suddenly became terrific

                                         I didn’t even find the energy in me to feel happy for myself on my 24th Birthday. Because all the energy was directed at pinching myself to keep me from gloating loudly.

And since November 20, 2012, my life has drastically changed. I LOVE what I am doing right now. This is the absolute high point of my life. I love who I have become. I love that I’m not what I used to be. I love it even more that I don’t remember who I used to be.

The only nagging worry now is that it will all be taken away from me.

Because I am not prepared to lose what I can only call, the phase and place in my life that has finally shown me who I am and what I am capable of. I am no longer afraid of my weaknesses. I push myself to work on them when confronted.

And beyond everything, beyond all the mundane ritual of loving myself and other such bull crap, I love my schedule right now. I love my routine. I love my students. I love getting to work early. I love waking up early to get to my work. Just the thought of my table in the department, talking, laughing, dancing in the department lights up my face. Just the thought of conversations with the ‘happy child’ lifts my spirits and I cannot seem to contain myself.

Here I am, sitting on my bed, feeling happy, thinking about the door of the Department of English, the key to which is safely tucked away in my bag. And you know what is so thrilling about my tomorrows? The promise of the smell of dusty old books locked overnight which greets me at 8:40 every morning. That’s my regular dose of caffeine. And I wish, I hope to death that, that be one image, one promise that I carry to my bed every night before I sleep.

Run Lola Run!

I was 14 when I first wanted to run away from home. Dad hit me on my shin with his leather belt for refusing to make him tea. Mother still believes it was not why he hit me. It was the tone in which I refused that triggered his mad anger, she says. I let her believe what she wants to believe. I’m not really interested in how much they and I have grown since then. I’m more interested in the rebel that was born that day, just like that.

Frankly, the fact that he hit me does not bother me much now. Now that I think about those red lines on my shin, it’s clear why most of my important acts of rebellion have been staged against the periphery of home making skills. That was probably the defining moment of my life. And what has followed since then have been but just small time rebellions, all against my father or father like figures.

Over the years, the desire to run away from home became more and more immense fueled constantly by their need to keep me from becoming too independent. They feared it and much to my delight, still do. It was crazy.

Attending phone calls from male friends in my PU days were challenging. This one time, when he found out that I was talking to a boy, he screamed for hours together. That evening, I remember, trying really hard to salvage the situation. Mother was trying harder. She said that some uncle from Dubai I had never met before is visiting soon. I enquired more about him. It was my lame attempt at normalizing the evening as much as I could. And even to this day I still do not know why for the life of me, I said the words I did. I wondered aloud why I hadn’t heard of him before and all hell broke loose.

He yelled at me for not knowing the names of my relatives. No, actually he yelled at me for storing the names of my male friends on my cell phone. He yelled at me for talking to boys, he yelled at me for knowing boys. Nobody at home had dinner that night. Nobody turned on the TV and nobody teased my little brother. Dramatic, I know. Like somebody died. But that’s how it has always been. Like somebody had died. It still is that way. Like somebody is dying.

I am 24 now. And I still want to run away. I am now wondering why I haven’t run away yet.

When I watched Julie & Julia

On the Evening of September 10, 2012 I was frantically browsing through my hard drive to watch a movie, ANY movie. I was restless because I was back home from work too early, like I have been; every other day, ever since I started work a week before. And this is sad because when I graduated, I had a picture of me working my ass off on a job that I really love, that I looked forward to being at; every single morning  really early and returning home late. I know right? What was I thinking?

Maybe I could have had that life, maybe not. Anyway since I’m a little too happy to talk about Richard and Emily Gilmore right now, I might as well start off with Julie & Julia. So I had the movie downloaded weeks before. It was just sitting there on my hard drive and I was wondering why I hadn’t watched it yet. I decided to watch it since I had nothing better to do and was I glad that I watched it!

The movie really got to me. The movie is an absolute delight and on so many different levels. I’m one of those people who cannot and will not cook; but drool all over Nigella Lawson’s famous chicken and other chocolate thingies.

I absolutely love watching her cook. Having said that, I love reading about a writer’s progress and especially a woman’s at that. Watching movies or reading books about women writing or working or doing just about anything that they love somehow liberates me. Mostly that’s why I love watching movies that begin with a woman waking up to the noisy Alarm clock, ONLY not to get her husband and kids ready and set to go live their lives outside but to go live her own. To get to work early or to get coffee to confront a busy hard day.

Don’t get me wrong. Because yes I absolutely hate watching or reading about women waking up to be housewives. YES, even if they are happy doing it. When I say housewife-ry, I do not mean cooking and cleaning, I mean devoting her entire life to her family and being taught not to want “more” from her life than to keep her husband and children happy.

Yes, I am one of those ‘feminist people’.

I have heard from many a people what a liberating experience cooking can be. And I have absolutely nothing against it. In fact I often dream about making a beef steak with red wine on the side of mashed potatoes, beans and mushrooms, ALL BY MYSELF. What I liked about the whole cooking experience in the movie was it seemed to liberate the women from a society that is hell bent on consuming a culture that is obsessed with borrowed and dry ideas of what success is or what a successful career is.

So even more than the cooking in Julie and Julia, I really enjoyed the way Julie Powell progresses as a cook and more importantly as a writer. It took her quite sometime but she figured out what she wants. She figured out that cooking and writing about cooking make her happy and a better person. I quite liked the idea of the deadline: 564 recipes in 365 days. And as is painfully typical of me to feel inspired by most of the movies and then deciding that I am going to do this this and this and then waking up the next morning and be my grumpy self; I decided to give it a shot and discipline myself with deadlines. The project: As many books as I can read in 365 days, starting today.

If I feel up to it, I could start by finally confronting the BBC book challenge. The challenge is to have finished 100 books, out of which I have finished only 11.

Sound good?  I just hope I get back everyday and record my updates with the books.

See ya next time, hopefully in a non Face – palm situation!