Pokemon Go is like Campus Placements

I was one of the earliest victims to have caught on the Pokemon Go bug. I had never watched Pokemon as a child. The only instance that Pokemon surfaced in my life was in class 6th, when I had to make a cartoon character on a chart paper as a part of holiday homework (don’t think of the rationale of that, holiday assignments are never meant to make sense). Being the artistically challenged soul that I am, I passed it on to my cousin who made a Pikachu and that is when I registered the existence of Pokemons.

Earlier this July, a friend told me about Pokemon Go, that how one can find Pokemons in real time as they move around in their city. And  from what I recall, I told him, ‘That is so cool’. I have read many articles on the game, talking about the rise and decline and the rise of Pokemon phenomenon, about how it affects our economy, about how the game is the fulfillment of every fan’s childhood dream- to become a Pokemon trainer. Everyone is trying to rationalize the breakneck success of the game, but if you’d ask me why I decided to play, the answer is simple, ‘that it’s a cool idea’.

The day I downloaded the game, I wanted to take a long stroll and familiarize myself with the ways of the game. But for two weeks I just could not materialize on that plan. I caught 3-4 Pokemons within my home but outside was quite a dismal story because I did not have time. The only way to accommodate it in  my day was to take a morning walk which I kept on avoiding for the risks involved. Yes there are lecherous men but at the same time there is a likelihood of bumping into many Aunties that I know. All it would take are a couple of namastes and halfhearted grins for my Pokemon Hunt to transform into a Main Milansar Hun Mission (I am Social Mission).

So last Sunday, my dad had a few errands to run; because I am jobless (or mostly deemed to be jobless) I accompanied him. While I was in the car I decided to try my luck at the game. Somehow, luck favored me- which is rare with games and me-because I continued to find Pokemons everywhere I went. That stroke of luck lasted the entire day. In between grocery shopping , catching a movie and dinner outside, I managed to find 40 Pokemons, right from the comfort of my car seat, which is ironic because the whole point of the game is to get people walking but hey I am lucky and lazy.

Yesterday was Sunday, the day when I am deemed to be most jobless in the week and there I was again, in the front seat of our car. I had opened the app and was watching the screen like a hawk. Yes, I know the phone vibrates when a Pokemon appears on the screen but I have spent a lifetime being wronged by games, I could not risk missing any Pokemon. In the 40-45 minutes drive, I could only spot Rattata, Pidgey and Spearrow, that is, the three most non exotic Pokemons out there. The oddity is that it was the same route as last week, where I had caught a Venonat, a Krabby, a Poliwag and an Eevee and today all that buzzed my screen was Rattata. On my way back I missed a Staryu because my screen froze (read, that last year’s update to Lollipop is a gift that never stops giving). The morning drive turned out to be a great disappointment.

Come evening and I was out again, this time with a definite goal- catch whatever that comes your way Palak. Before I initiate further, you should know that I am always running short on Poke Balls, owing to many injudicious throws in the beginning of the game and a general fault in my assembling when it comes to sports/games. So I had 10-12 when I left home and I continued catching Pidgey after Pidgey. With some 5 balls in my hand I took an aim at a Pidgey with Combat Power (CP) 57; it was a great throw  (this is a game terminology and not an attempt at gloating) but it broke free from the ball. I took another great throw but that wretched Pidgey escaped again. I had already seen a fair share of disappointments with the game since morning, so I was in no mood take a wound at my ego by the likes of a Pidgey. I took another aim, it dodged the ball. I took a deep breath, measured the throw and when I flicked the ball, the Pidgey was inside the ball. That is when satisfaction hit me, that I had a decent Pokemon to speak for the last 5 minutes and 4 lost Poke Balls. It was then that I could peacefully walk into the store my mom had taken me to.

I was helping my mother look for clothes when my screen buzzed. I was shocked to see that I was surrounded by 2 Zubats, a Pidgeotto of CP 146 and a Horsea of CP 76. Without waiting further I pressed on the Pidgeotto, took a aim at it and caught it. I kept my eyes closed for a second praying that it does not escape, is is likely for a Pokemon of high combat power. Unfortunately it did break free and when I moved finger to take another aim I realized that I had no Poke Balls. Being surrounded by 5 Pokemons and having no Poke Balls in hand, if that is not hard luck, I don’t know what is.

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While I was moaning over my loss on the way back home, I remembered college and placements. We had three tiers of companies for placement, the highest paying super blue, followed by blue and then light blue (because I don’t recall what that category was named). Any student could accept only two offers. Come to think of jobs like Pokemons, initially we save our efforts for exotic offers because who likes a Rattata right at the beginning. However when nothing good comes our way, in a desperate bid, we take a leap at the blue companies. Now picture yourself ecstatic at having earned two offers from blue companies and there comes a super blue Pidgeotto striking at your doorstep. But what can you do do now, there are no Poke Balls left.

What you have, is a curveball thrown at you maybe because life wants you to understand the virtues of patience or maybe because life is that insensitive friend who never misses a chance to take a dig at you. I don’t know what it is for certain, but I have decided to not squander away my Poke Balls in haste in Pokemon Go and otherwise in life.


This is my Pokemon Go story, maybe a tad dramatic but wholly authentic. Do tell me about yours in the comments.

My life is a Red Velvet Cake- I

Over a certain lunch in December, someone said Red Velvet Cake and by the night I had decided that I want to bake one. Before you read any further please note that I am not a sweet tooth, I am a morbid calorie counter, I have no special affection for Red Velvet Cake and my association with cooking begins and lasts with  watching Masterchef Australia every year. I simply acted on impulse because someone had recently pointed out that I never do a thing on a whim. But that is a story for another time. Right now, I want to talk about how I decided to bake a Red Velvet Cake on an impulse.

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So this was Monday midnight, when I had set myself a goal. To cook something, you need a recipe or be that skilled at cooking that multiple impulses lead you to culinary perfection. Since I fall in the former category, I began looking for a recipe. I needed a recipe that did not require eggs because my mother is a vegetarian. I found many, courtesy Pinterest and patiently read through each one of them to single out one from a blog called Gayathri’s Cook Spot. However her icing was quite an Achillean task to achieve for someone like me who displays not an iota of finesse in the kitchen. My search for a frosting recipe culminated on a recipe from Martha Stewart, which required me to whisk cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and vanilla essence. Seems easy, right; however not that easy if you have no clue as to what cream cheese is. Yes, that is how alien I was to the world of red velvet cakes. I did not know what the velvet stood for. From what Google told me, making cream cheese requires two days and I did not have two days because the things with whimsical decisions is that they vanish as swiftly as they occur.

Come Wednesday evening and I went looking for packaged cream cheese. A friend told me about a store that he believed certainly sold cream cheese. I believed otherwise because they had once given me clueless stares when I had asked for Parmesan cheese.As it turns out, they did sell cream cheese, however in a tub of the size that could easily last for two cakes. I bought that because I believe in excess and I did not have an alternative.

It was six when I walked in the kitchen. I opened the recipe on my phone, placed it on the shelf.  I took out three bowls, a cup for measurement, a cake tin, a hand beater and a couple of spoons. I took two deep breaths and contemplated if I should be getting into this. Before I could think any further, I peeked onto my phone for the first step. It said that I mix the essence and cocoa powder in one bowl, mix the flour and the baking powder in another and beat the sugar and butter in another. I measured out portions for the first two steps and mixed the ingredients. For the third, I wondered if I should opt for yellow butter or white butter. Lesson for life: never give yourself a choice Palak, because other people may rationalize between the options but you will go on to over think and you do enough of that already. Yellow butter it was in the end.

When I looked at the pictures on the blog, Gayathri seemed to have mixed butter without melting it. I followed suit. It took me two minutes to realize that this could be the downfall of this entire exercise, that there was no scope for refrigerated butter to mix with sugar, howsoever aggressively I beat them. So I let the butter rest for a couple of minutes and then tried softening it with a spoon. It took me a good half hour to beat the butter and sugar and I still wasn’t confident if it was the right consistency.

Next, I had to add curd to the butter mixture.That got me thinking, if I had enough curd or any at all. One glance at the top shelf and there was half a bowl of curd placed behind the milk container. I needed 3/4 cup of curd and I had 1/2 a cup. It was going to be 7 which meant I won’t be able to get anymore from the nearby market as well. Here is what I did, I beat the curd with a spoon for a minute and deluded myself into believing that this is enough, this is exactly what the recipe calls for. I then added the curd mixture with the beaten butter and sugar. The butter and sugar was a thick lump and I was having trouble in completing one round of mixing the curd into it. What the consistent effort of moving the hand beater gave me was red butter smeared hands, that began to slip every time I tried mixing and since I am not blessed with promising biceps, my arms began to hurt. I then took an electric blender but the blade continued to get stuck in the lump of butter.

One hour down, all I had achieved was butter on my hands, butter on the hand beater and butter on the electric blender. I wiped the butter on the mixers with my hand, washed my hands and then gave another try at it. It just wouldn’t mix. I wiped the mixer again and washed my hands. As I wiped my hands with the already crimson towel, I wanted to cry. Cry at my stupidity on believing that I could bake a cake, that too a red velvet. Cry at my stupidity on forgetting that I am not cut out for kitchen.

Enough had been done, I could not foresee any fix that would make this process easier for me. Lesson no. 2 of the day, some things are meant to be seen from afar and admired and not to be reproduced by your own hands;  Red Velvet Cake was that for me. If life was nothing but a piece of cake, then I could see nothing but trouble ahead.

On that note, I walked out of the kitchen.


Have you ever tried anything out of character? Did you succeed at it? Or did you give up on it as I did with the Red Velvet Cake.


Image has been sourced from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Presently from inside my head III

  • In one of the few interviews that I have appeared for, I was asked about my weaknesses. I had very confidently spoken about my introversion, on how I take some time in mingling with people. At that time, I would always imagine what a nightmare would it be for people to work with me. But lately I have realized I may not be that bad a colleague. Yes, I may not flash a smile at you as you begin at my office or swarm my way through your lunch table conversations. But I might come of help on that day that you are struggling, crack a joke or two in crunch hour and be a continued source of information ranging from office politics to Pokemon Go. Or maybe I am a nightmare – not the kind that haunts you for days but the one that you eventually make peace with.

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  • I am not fond of my immediate superior at work, the woman that I have been reporting to for a year now. Our mindsets don’t match and our approach to work does not form a peaceful parallel. Naturally, I have never given her a thought beyond that office space and working hours. Last year, I had discovered a dear friend at work who left a month after we started talking. In the days that followed, I had felt a void. Like you have a joke to share but you cannot see the person who’d laugh the most with you or you are confused on a point but the person that you were least hesitant to approach is not sitting next to you. I would still reach my friend through a text or a call. But come to think of it, my superior has been working here for 5 years. She has seen many people come and leave, some of whom she must have enjoyed working with or conversing to. She talks lesser than she used you to last year and hers may not be a very pleasant situation at work.
  • I was one of the many unfortunate people who tried participating in Xiaomi’s 2nd anniversary flash sale yesterday. I managed to press the buy now button which led me to the Xiaomi Mi5 product page. I selected the model and the page continued to load for over ten minutes before I hit refresh. The app displayed the usual product page with a discounted price of 22,999. A friend told me that his app displayed out of stock the second it was 2 pm and that the browser’s timing was 2 second behind. On reaching the internet, I found many such stories where people with as fast as a 50 mbps connection failed to grab the coveted Rupee one deals. Some people verified the MIUI ids displayed in the winner’s list and as it turns out quite a many do not exist. Out of the hundreds of comments that I had read only two people claimed that they were successful in buying a power bank. The admin of Mi India’s facebook page continued stating that the stocks flew off in .01 second and there were other promising discounts that people should have a look at. But my point is, if that is what was meant to be the USP of the 2nd anniversary celebrations then why not be upfront about it. Why not publicize the discounts in the first place rather than putting up a farce in the face of a flash sale and tricking people. I know, rupee 1 is far too good to be true but that is how naive I am, I believe in good things and giveaways. I would have liked my belief to be upheld, even if it was for someone else.

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  • As a child, I may not have foreseen what I was going to become when I grow up but I had foreseen myself to be financially independent. I have always enjoyed saving whatever came to me as pocket money and then spending a part of that savings into a thing I sought to own. I am 23 and I am not earning. I am studying. I believe it takes a different brand of patience to be 23 and to not be earning. To be doing what I am not very confident about and to be believing every day, that this will fulfill at least one of my childhood dreams- being financially independent. I look at all the things that I can do, the places that I can be to, the products I could buy and how little have I earned in these years. I have not been raised in deprivation, my parents will happily buy me anything that I desire, I have a good amount of savings but right now I desire to freewheel with money and freewheeling with my parents’ money  will tantamount to one thing- guilt.

P.S. I think I am coming to enjoy writing in an unrestricted fashion because this lets me put whatever’s going on in my head to paper howsoever varied the thoughts may be individually. What do you enjoy more, writing with a sense of direction or carefree rants like this one?

Presently from inside my head- II

  • Have you been on Pinterest, seen all the DIY crafts and been excited to try them? I feel that, however I had never been remotely inclined towards anything that my crafts teacher made me do in school. It always seemed an inconvenience to me. Perhaps because she would ask me to get a poplin cloth or a matty cloth or some other cloth, and try embroidering a flower on that and then a leaf and then a climber. But did she ever ponder, what use would that cloth be of to me. Nothing. However, I can make use of a lot of things from Pinterest, flowers and fairy lights in upcycled bulbs, centrepieces from wine bottles, photo monogram or any of the mason jar crafts. Even if they may not qualify as being useful at least they will look stunning in the living room and that supersedes all.

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  • Don’t you think that they should just stop telecasting Friends? I love friends, I have my favorites too, ‘The one where no one’s ready‘, ‘The one without the skiing trip‘, ‘The one where Ross got high‘, ‘The one where everybody finds out‘ and most episodes from the first six seasons. However, from Zee Studio to Star World to Warner Bros. and now to Romedy Now, television has compulsively fed us with images from the lives of twenty somethings trying to survive in New York to the point that I am no longer fascinated to see them. I don’t laugh at certain jokes, the laughter track irks me now and I have analysed it to an extent that their world appears unreal, unattainable, something about it that cannot be reproduced given our economy and hostility.
  • When we are young, we constantly repeat to ourselves and others that we will not change. But I have changed and my perceptions have changed. I used to read a blog on Tumblr. Any post that I would read felt as it was my own life, my understanding of reality presented in better poetic words. I read the blog after some three months today and every thing seemed alien. I could no longer feel the resounding appeal of her work, I could no longer sympathize with her agony. So I say, I have changed. And this is simply one example of the many stances that have shifted lately.
  • Often when someone approaches us and bares their raw emotions to us, they don’t demand from us to make sense of the chaos. They simply want us to listen. I am not denying that some people appreciate being led to the solution, likewise some people want to clear their head so that they can unearth the solutions themselves. So, the next time someone wants to talk, do not draw out a pros and cons analysis of their situation, just listen, they’ll figure out the rest themselves.

Presently, from inside my head

If I am looking forward to an innovation at this point in time, that is a gadget which helps me transport a smell to another person. Like a small jar where you can trap the air in your vicinity and send that to someone so that they can smell the divinity you are surrounded with. How did I think of this? Every time I cook and I stand edged against the shelf, on the precipice of breaking into tears, it is the smell of the food that supplies me with hope of not having completely failed in my effort of bringing something edible to the plate. My food always smells thrice as good as it tastes. The time when I made coffee cupcakes, I was so drawn to the batter as I mixed the lukewarm coffee milk solution into the flour and the cocoa powder. Once the cupcakes went into the oven, the kitchen began to smell like a cozy patisserie round the corner. I had never imagined that I had it in me to cook something that smelled so magical.

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I am 23 and I should be earning. I am 23 and I should be earning. I am 23 and I should be earning. I am 23 and I should be earning. I am 23 and I should be earning. Who said being 23 came easy.

I want to be a success story. For instance a FitBit success story, even though I don’t own a FitBit but a Jawbone Up Move and Jawbone does not run success stories on its blog. However if it did I would not make it, because for that you have to move and I don’t move but sit and yearn to be a success at moving. If you think of it, the magnitude of your commitment to say x is directly proportional to the intensity of your desire to achieve x. I fail that relation because my desire may be very strong but I commit very little to it. So, afterall I am a success at something, of a being an exception to this relation. And I am not just talking about being a success at FitBit but making a general comment on wanting to be a success in life and the omniscient void when it comes to working towards it.

If you meet me in real life, I come across as a neat person. Eight on ten days I look neat. But these days there is something about my appearance that is odd, that is not neat. I haven’t been able to figure out what that is but I know that there is something, that irks me every morning when I am getting ready.

Imagine, you met a certain person at a certain place and point in time. Everyday both of you’d be in the same place, you talked and grew fond of each other. Eventually you reached a point in time that they moved to a different place. But you are in the same place and on some mornings you sit where you’d sit earlier and miss watching them walk through that door and want to resurrect that time in this time. Even though, to long for this, is pointless because you are both closer than you were then but the longing is still housed in your heart and is housed as a compelling guest that keeps on revisiting you.

On some days, I have this unexplained urge to go out alone for say a quick snack or coffee or looking for clothes and on some such days I have done that. However every time I am out alone, people look at me in a strange light as if there is something embarrassing or worrisome about being out and lonesome. So every time I am out on my own, I rush through the entire affair which is contrary of what I was trying to achieve, to be able to sit in peace, undisturbed. If only there was a way I could do this without thinking about others.

I don’t wear ornamental jewelry or conspicuous jewelry. I like an understated appearance. However I am wearing a black dress at a cocktail party in a month and I have bought a golden neck piece to go along with that. Now, every time I go through a shopping website I end up saving a number of jewelry pieces, minimal elaborate and intricate ones. The voice in the back of my head coaxes me to proceed to checkout. But I don’t. But I know that one day I will. One day I will end up collecting an entire lot of ostentatious jewelery that will always seem too tedious or unwieldy to wear.


 

Image found on the given link.

Definition

I was trying to make it to a thousand. A thousand steps, that is. It was nine in the morning and I was walking outside an accounts class that I attend every morning. I had landed myself in a 10,000 step duel against a friend and being the high headed snob that I am, there was no chance that I lose it. So, while the friend was sleeping and while the teacher was sipping on to tea as the class had broken for a ten minute break, I was pacing in the corridor to make it to a thousand. That is when my path crossed with a guy from my class who – unaware of the target I’d set for myself- initiated a conversation. A conversation that culminated in the inevitable question for any Chartered Accountancy student in this country- ‘When are you due to attempt the final examinations?’

Inside work and outside work, inside class and outside class, while acquainting with new faces or while watching old ones resurface, I am always greeted with questions about the exam, about the classes that I have taken, am taking or will be taking, about the teachers I am taking the classes from and their knowledge market branding. Once we are past the questions, the other half of the conversation is centered on the critique offered on my modus operandi to study and advice that I did not solicit or that is of no relevance to me. This is the conversation that I have to put myself through on a standard day. Without any intention or effort of my own, in the past fifteen months, this conversation has become the nucleus of my existence and an invisible centripetal force keeps on pulling me towards it.

What everyone looks at is the nucleus and what all of them ignore are the many orbs of electrons that complete the atom of my existence. I have an individuality that goes far beyond my education and my career. I am the person who sits down occasionally to spell out her perceptions on paper and manages to do a decent job at it. I am the person who reads to lose hold of reality and emerges with an improved grasp on reality. I am the person who can read people, their words and the aperture between what they vocalize and what they withhold. I am the person who has grown to develop a funny bone or two in her body and the heart to laugh along when a joke is being made on her. I am the person who finds a strange sense of liberation in road trips and in singing every lyric to every song that plays throughout the journey. I am the person who will begin reading an answer on the biggest conspiracies on Quora and ends being so fascinated with the Nayirah testimony that she spends the entire night learning every fact that there is on the Gulf War. I am the person who attaches great value in family and believes the best nights are the ones spent eating and talking and laughing with family. I am the person who will come across an interesting image of mocha muffins on Pinterest and be found trying to reproduce them- on sheer whim because cooking does  not interest her much- in her kitchen the next day. I am the person who diligently solves every question in the class and tries to do it before the allotted time, even though it is 6:30 in the morning, even though she struggled to open her eyes minutes before, even though it is a satellite class and the teacher will never even witness her exultation on having done it correctly. But being this person does not deny me of being the many other persons that are housed within me.

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You may wonder, why am I so bugged with my education beginning to define my life. But this is not about my education rather about one exam, the paparazzi that surrounds it, what people believe that ought to be done to survive it and how I have come to be identified with it. This fellow who does not know me outside the class, who I have never even looked at in class, charted out a timeline for the next two years of my life, told me what according to him I was doing wrong, raised an eye on my relaxed stance on the much dreaded exam and left even without asking my name. I don’t know about anybody else, but I find that rude of him to have completely neglected my identity and to have branded me as another one of the many people in this country who are attempting to become a Chartered Accountant. And what I would not give to simply move past this conversation in a blur where people attempt to shrink my personality into this definition of being a CA Final student.

Scotch on the rocks

It lasted for three years and if you count the ones that I lusted for it, then we settle at four. When something lasts for around a fifth of your life, do you not miss it, do you not wish to revive it, everyone asks. I curtly answer a ‘no’. Because I am talking of my affair with the college I did my graduation from. It is funny how much had my emotions changed between yearning to be there and having been there. It was a constant conflict that played in my head.

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College was ‘that only is education that leads to liberty’ on paper. But it was a mandatory 66.67% attendance in practice. It was the hassle of having to do the mental math on attendance every time I wanted to extend my stay at home because 85% attendance meant 5 marks on internal assessment, the easiest 5 marks that you could make in any subject. College was the 8:45 am lecture that involved a boring presentation which was black letters on a white background and which almost always ended up in agonized rants.

College was unkind words, that I had believed until then, I was incapable of enunciating for someone in a teaching position. It was a teacher putting forth a question, ‘what is salary?’ and the answer I wrote in the notebook, ‘the amount that Satan pays you to kill the life out of this subject’. But then college was the Political Science lectures in the third semester where I voluntarily made a note of every word that the lecturer uttered. It was of understanding a different side of globalization than what Economics had drilled in my head, a side about the Brettonwood Conference, about the rise and collapse of the Asian Tigers, a side about the western countries tricking underdeveloped nations into the tentacles of liberalization, privatization and globalization in lieu of finance that they dearly needed. College was the wonderful human being who taught Corporate Accounting and Cost Accounting in the fourth semester. It was awe for her intellect, her maturity, her understanding of the world and her balanced approach that ranged from problem in the text book to a problem in the real world. It was the want to make the most of what she had to offer in the small time that we had together.

College was being a paying guest and witnessing the food run out every night even before having looked at it properly. It was substituting cup noodles and chips for dinner. College was sabut masur and nariyal beans every Tuesday in the mess. College was double coffee and egg toast from the cafe every morning in winters. It was endless rounds of coffee and coke every time you stepped in the cafe. It was the rush to adjust the Pizza Hut weekday meals in the one hour ECA break on Tuesdays. It was going to a nearby coffee haunt on the premise of looking for a peaceful spot to study for the law exam and end up warming the taste buds to french fries, chilly cheese and pasta. It was conversations and arguments with friends over ghar ka khana (home cooked food) in the hotel room.

College was watching the world celebrate the outspoken. College was rejection after rejection. College was the twitching nerves in every interview and the complexity of sounding coherent and convincing at the same time. It was the desire to be a lot of things and a lot of people. It was the acceptance of the inability to be certain things. It was making peace with the inherent flaws. It was constantly looking out of the windows in the hope of achieving a sense of direction. It was sitting on the hedges in the foyer as the sunlight washed over my back and simply ogling at the boards or at the people passing by. It was sitting there and thinking if there is a need to fit in the crowd and to madly rush into the future.

College was naming the folder of the farewell pictures, ‘The much awaited end begins’ on my laptop. It was the exhilaration at the prospect of freedom and the prospect of beginnings. But then college was the morning of hostel farewell and being woken up to chocolate biscuits and coffee in bed. It was the lengths of trouble that people had gone to ensure that the final lap in college was worth sitting down and to marveling at. It was the intricate invitation cards, the graduation caps in the foyer, the brilliant voice that sang Royals on the graduation night during the play, London Thumakda on loop at the dinner, the secrecy around the titles, the extravagant feast on the hostel farewell and the admirable dedication it was served with.

College was scotch on the rocks. It was being enticed by the caramel colored liquid and of wanting to experience the wonder it will work on you. However, it was the bitter notes hitting the tongue and the fire in your throat on the first gulp. It was what people tell you about alcohol, that you will come to savor it with time. It was the realization that whether or not you expect it to, it inevitably does.

 

It’s not a small world

Globalization is the inter connection of countries so that there is faster and easier exchange of goods, services, technology, ideas, information and thoughts. This is what they first taught me in school when I was 14. This is what they repeated to me in school and college as and when the curriculum demanded. They re-emphasized on the words faster and exchange. They drilled it in my mind that anything that possesses the characteristic of being shared whether tangible or intangible can be transferred to any given point on the globe. I believed it to be true, I believed that the entire world was a click away. But they were wrong and so was I.

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Because if it were true, I would have been able to appease you when you made the call. When the anxiety in your voice dawned upon me, I would have been able to extinguish that. Even though, every word that I uttered reached you the moment it escaped my mouth, it sounded as if it were hollowed down by every unit of distance between us. And what made perfect sense in my head, ceased to make any sense at all as it traversed via the air bands of our service providers. You were in trouble and you were scared and all I could do was to wrap my head around how technology and globalization were failing me. How the entire institution of faster exchange of thoughts was collapsing right in front of my eyes.

One of the primary benefits of technology is that it is empowering. But I did not feel empowered when you suggested disconnecting the call. Yes, I denied but how long could have that denial lasted because it were not as if you were in front of me. It were not as if I could keep circling around you and reason with you or quietly sit beside you and let you attain composure again. That is the problem after all, that we are not together. And as much as I keep on repeating to you on a usual day that I am still as much a part of your life as I was before, that I am only a message or a call away; I just came to realize that they were vacant words with which I have been tricking both of our minds.

They say that the world is shrinking. But they were wrong. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been sitting on the couch entrenched with helplessness, feeling the weight of every minute of the number of hours that it would take for me to reach you. Otherwise I would have materialized in front of you that very instant your voice spelled out that you needed me, the very instant I ought to have been with you.

 

 

Vantage Point

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The day I left for college

There was nothing but melancholy abound

There was a silent yearning my father’s eyes

That called for me to retreat on my decision

There was a strange reflection on my mother’s face

That knew I will never be permanently home again

In the two cups of latte that my brother had brought for me

He wanted me to believe that I am loved and looked out for

And there was a knot in my heart and lump in my throat

As I sipped the sight in

Why did I want to severe from my roots, that you may ask

Because I sought liberty and pursuit of a promising future

Because I was running from hostile prejudices

Because I wanted to not be labelled as arrogant and cold anymore

Because I wanted to be anonymous and start afresh

In one corner of the house, there was another individual

Who was quietly sobbing as she stood edged against the wall

She was the domestic help who stated

That this home shall cease to be home in the wake of my absence

In that one sentence, she made me introspect

Was I really as crude as the world had made me believe I was

Had I chosen to perceive myself from a wrong vantage point

And was there any need at all to escape from who I was

 

September

It was September. For two individuals, it did not seem like a September to remember. They did not see the warmth of the summer in symphony with the cheer of autumn. That September was soaring temperatures, subdued work environs and silence permeating between those two strangers. She looked at him and wondered that why the otherwise animated soul was so unusually dull spirited in her presence. He looked at her surrounded with a fortress that he believed he did not have the force to trespass.

september

Then there was a day when her sail had hit turbulent waters and she sought his assistance. She wanted to see if she was thinking on the correct lines. For an hour he walked and reflected over the lines with her and even seemed amused at her silly remarks. Over the course of the day, he stole a few intent glaces at her and initiated many a small talks. They talked and laughed and talked again. That is when it struck them that this may not be as strenuous a September that they had imagined it to be.

It was everyday that he would bring conversations to her table and candies and a lot of laughter. At times she would shoo him away but like a relentless force he would approach with newer vigor. She would poke fun at him and he would laugh at his own self. He would warn her, that he would outnumber her wits in a single attempt of retaliation.

He made her loosen the shackles that she had imposed on making conversations with people. He gently unraveled the many mysterious layers that defined her individuality. She would tell him that she is a difficult person to be with. He told her that you are what being different is. She would tell him that one day when you look at me, you will see nothing but monotony. He would silence her by saying that the deeper he explores the terrains of her personality, the more fascinating she emerges to be. And then she quietly wondered, that this is the sort of retaliation she would love to make hers for an eternity.

He pacified her when she would fidget. He helped her regain lucidity every time she stumbled a rock. He politely retreated when she would deny of his offers. He would gaze at her every time she turned her attention somewhere else. He would bring her Coca Cola every time she lost her composure. She mentally reasoned that Coca Cola might not open happiness but this guy surely does.

october-21-2015

Then September made way for October and October advanced into November. What did not change, is the room, which to her seems more alien in the wake of his absence. What the changed time has brought for her is the fancy to have him here again and to relive not a specific single day but the entire September. Because it indeed was a September to remember.