Wednesday, June 27, 2007

An Enveloping Blankness..

When I came out of the cubicle after my visa interview my face was blank...

The room was full of hopeful aspirants.. all of them looking at every single person who came out of the cubicle.. a dejected face pulled everyone else down too and a happy face.. pleased the entire room.

But my face was stubbornly blank. No expression at all.

My interview had been exceptionally brief. It was over within a minute. And I was the first applicant at the cubicle i had gone to. The cubicle was right across the exit. I came out of the cubicle, directly crossed the room and let myself out. Once in the outer security area, I asked where to exit from, since I was one of the first ones to leave and directly came out from he consulate.

My father was standing across the road, waiting for me. I caught a brief glimpse of him while iw as descending from the stairs and I looked down. I crossed the street looking down, for the first time in my life.

When I reached the other side, he bounded over asking me, "What happened?"

I just nodded very briefly.

"You got it??"

Another brief nod.

His face cracked up in two and he lead the way to the car, where mom was sitting.

As I crossed th throng on the road, random uncles and aunty's asked me if I got my Visa.

I briefly nodded. When they gave me a wide smile and congratulated me, all I could muster up was a small crescent which could pass for a smile. They were still effusive.

I opened the door of the car, slid in and looked at my mom.

But when I answered her, my voice almost broke.

"But you got it," she reasoned, "what's wrong then?"

I did not reply. My face was crumbling from its blankness.

"You got it right??"

"Yes, yes," my dad assured her.

And yes I got it. I got my Visa approved. It was the final hurdle, and its been crossed. It was the last deciding factor, and it has worked out.

Effortlessly, I have been granted entry into the US of A. Effortlessly, everyone has accepted that I will now transition to a new land, a new culture and an absolutely different life and new.

I expect happiness about this novelty to strike me any instant. Till then, what am I supposed to do about this crushing sadness??

Monday, June 25, 2007

Visa Interview and sinking of the ship..

Quite weirdly, it sunk in now. It sunk in now that I might actually be going away from my home for a good three to four years to study, to live a new life and to learn and grow..

A few days back a close friend told me that it had just sunk in for him that I would not be around anymore, that I would actually be flying off. And in my ever-flippant style I said, "Relax.. its not sunk in yet for me.. why are you getting so serious"

While I said this my mind was already relaying to me that the day it sunk in, boy it would hit hard. And the day it chose to happen was today, 12 hours before my Visa Interview.

Suddenly, as I looked out of the speeding car, something pinched. I blamed it on feeling bad about a few things happening around me at that moment. It took some heavy metal pounding into my ears ( and I HATE metal) for me to realize that the fluttering, the pinch, was nothing but my conscious awakening to the fact, that tomorrow will truly be the day that decides it all. And if it's positive, a new life will begin.

The more the feeling became obvious, the louder was the volume on my normally soft-spoken i-pod. It was as if I was trying to drown out the screaming in my head. Competing with the voice within. I met her, and discussing nothing with her over burger and fries calmed me down. But the minute I headed back home alone, the screaming began.

It's like its pulling me down, compelling me to understand that this just a glimpse of what I might go through there, yet I have promised myself that I will never think of turning back now.

For a moment, I actually wondered that if I really was not happy leaving, then maybe I should mess up my Visa Interview. But that's no way. The mature me rubbished the idea as soon as it took birth. It feels so weird to not be excited about going to the US of A. Maybe it's because I have already been there. Maybe it's because it never beckoned me. It never managed to quite charm me. And the rotting Statue of Liberty did not help at all.

I'm glad I have my parents with me on the flight there. It's going to smooth my ruffles more than anything else. If anything could give me a little bit of peace, it's that they are accompanying me and that my brother, is going to be around, even if not physically, then mentally.

And I'm glad that Veeru is going to be there. Even if he is going to be in New York, and me in Champaign, it's just going to calm me down knowing that he is in the same country, going through the same experience as me.

Don't want to scream inside anymore.. don't want to think anymore..

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The pain called guests...

What is it about over-bearing guests?? They are the worst kind of species alive among the Homo Sapiens.

Classic Symptoms of the over-bearing guest:
  • They inform you 6 hours before they land in your town/city/area/home.
  • They will not ask whether this would be a good time to come visiting.
  • And if you say that you are a little busy currently, they say they couldnt come later necause it's their daughters result time then.
  • They come at the worst possible time for you, ie: either you are preparing for an important seminar or a Visa interview.
  • They over-stay by atleast 3 days.
  • They insist that you take them shopping around town to buy clothes like the one you are wearing
  • They insist you cook something different from what you have already prepared
  • They are given their own bathroom, yet they use yours (even though they know your bathroom is sacred space for you)
  • They ALWAYS forget to flush
  • They insist in sleeping either on the floor or in your room, which means you have to give up your room.
  • They snatch your laptop from your lap and say, "Oh you bought a new one? what did you do with the old one?"
  • They are curious whether you have a prepaid or a postpaid connection on your handphone, and when you have to answer quite truthfully that its a postpaid they wonder if they could make just a few STD calls from your cell phone. Oh and one ISD too.
  • And oh yes, could they also give your number to their relatives so that they could recieve calls form your phone, they wont be charged roaming then.
  • Oh since the phone is so busy with their calls (incoming and outgoing) they say they might as well keep the phone in their pockets.
  • They decide they dont want to visit anyone at their homes, so they call their entire khaandan and more to your house, afterall, "your house is so spacious and you people are so nice"
  • They will insist on using the free services of that Doctor that you know, and will not even take a token bar of chocolate for the doctor'kids
  • They will very casually say, "I was thinking of going back by flight, but I dont have a credit card, can you book my flight then please?"
  • They want a tour of your entire house, as if its a monument to be seen eevrytime they come. Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C.. and tu your left, ladies and gentlemen is the little corner where Princess so-n-so read her books in peace ( when she dint have guests at home!)

I solemnly swear that like my mom dad, I will NOT tolerate such guests at home. No really, really I wont. If the guests know how to behave they are welcome, else no way. I think this generation itself will not bear with such things. More power for the youth today!!

Monday, June 18, 2007

I will miss..

I will miss waking up in the morning to the clear blue sky spotted with clouds right in front of me. I will miss hearing the faint strains of the fluteman playing a lovely old tune on a cloudy day. The rhythm bursting out of his small flute, and enveloping the entire locality as if it were a morning call to show everyone the beauty in life. I will miss calling out to my mom while still in bed, and making her sit next to me while I still laze in bed. Her sweet warmth, and constant morning chatter gently making me smile. I will miss seeing my dad walk into the room, crack some jokes as the pair of us and then go back to his laptop and his futile attempts at copy and pasting things.

I will miss finding a glass of Sun-water, a glass of Nimbu-water and almonds at my bedside table. I will miss finding the coffee ready and waiting for me once I have brushed my teeth. I will miss reading the papers with my mom, discussing crimes in the city, and politics and celebrities. I will miss helping my mom make lunch, a thorough Gujarati lunch of Dal-Bhaat-Rotli-Shaak. And some pickle, and some aachar, and Chaas, and Salad and what-not. I will miss laying out the table for lunch, serving my dad, eating together with them. I already miss the presence of my brother at the dining table, his place- empty, and his plate unlaid.

I will miss meeting up my friends at the whim of a beach and thirsting for their company. I will miss the incessant laughter which rings within our group every time we meet, its infectious nature and the million pictures taken along with it. I will miss the sombre goodness of Veeru, the crazy immaturity of Jay, the practical sweetness of Dhanno, the crazy sensibility of Basanti, the shy but persistent laughter of Rami Kaki. I will miss the assertive patience of Thakurain and ofcourse my presence in the group, Gabbar. Oh, if you are wondering where Radha is, then she is some unknown figure who keeps changing with the fancies of our Jay. And I will miss dhru's trigger happy stance on the digicam.

I will miss the not-so-surprise birthday celebrations with my cousins and my extended family at 12 in the night. I will miss watching movies late into the night with my Bhabhi, and my cousins. I will miss the small little meaningful gifts given to me on every small occasion by my Mami. I will miss the rigging and ragging between the uncles in the family. I will miss the over jealous uncle who looked into every accomplishment for some flaw.

I will miss working deep into the nights on futile projects. I will miss talking about the Indian market, the various advertisements, the funny ones, the intelligent ones with my mothers, brother and friends. I will miss watching my father switch on the Telly to watch the prime time serials. I will miss watching my father choke up when a character is tortured, dies, or gets emotional. I will miss sharing knowing grins with mom when he tries to hide his tears by coughing.

I will miss the wild assumptions of my father, the lists my mother makes, the ever ready to help nature of both. I will miss sitting on my huge dining table cross legged, while my mother fearfully waits for the Italian Marble she so loves to break beneath me. I will miss watching the sun set over the sea from our terrace. I will miss going up to my parent's room once in a while just to see its immaculate beauty. I will miss the view from their room and terrace, looking down to the other buildings and quaint green lane below. I will miss looking at my multi-hued red wall adorned with all my soft toys at the top. I will my library and the million books i have stashed inside. I will miss my collection of brick-bracks and stirrers collected from every place I've gone to.

I will miss my bathroom, my favorite place in the house. I will miss my million shampoos and conditioners and I will miss my handsome red grills. I will miss walking into my old ancient building, creaky lift and up to my grand huge door. I will miss spending countless hours at my laptop, guarding it more fiercely than my own life. I will miss sneaking off for hours to finish the current novel at my hand. I will miss my friends dropping in and then eating steaming hot nashtas my mom would make for the entire jingband. I will miss dreaming about everything and anything. The most weirdest of dreams and the most real of them at my many-layered and over-cushioned bed.

I will miss my books, my room, my home, my family, my friends, the togetherness. I will miss my life. Here.

I will miss it all. And I will come back to it all. And more.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Things I learnt today..

"There is a limit to how important you can be your friends and how important they
can be to you, but there is absolutely NO limit to how important you will be for
your family and how important your family will be for you."

"No matter who does or does not, your family will ALWAYS stand besides you."

"Its disconcerting to think when someon else sitting next to you is also
thinking, and looking the part.."

Friday, June 15, 2007


I can't talk much these days, but I took the call. Premonition.

And tears sprung into my eyes.. I turned and looked at mom, held up my index finger.

"First?", she asked. I nodded. Tears sprung into her eyes.

Dad walked into my room, looked at both of us. Mom told him, I hung up the phone by then, and turned to them, and told them,

"First, in my university. I beat Lubna and Elaine."

Tears sprung into his eyes.

There are some moments, for which your entire life waits. This was one of them. This was my mother's vision, that one day, I will top. This was what she kept trying to explain to me all those years, when I had given up on life, studies and classrooms.

I beat an academically promiscuous girl who is also a yes-man for the entire faulty (this change in words has been done coz Tag Heuer deeply and gravely opposes profanity) and someone who had all the papers in her hands. After my final exams got over this May, I was going to write a long post about one person from my class who had all the papers in her hands because she was romancing a higher up in the dept., giving work to another, and buttering up the HOD. I was going to question her morality.. But I let it go thinking.. that it wasn't worth it. Giving her that kind of publicity.

I cant believe its happened.. that I have finally achieved what my mother always knew I could, what my brother always thought was possible for me, what my friends, Anu and Divya always had faith in, what I never thought I could...

I wanted to, but I dit know I could leave the department with a splash as big as this!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

And I will blog...

My mom has been insisting on reading my blog. Which is good news. But for the fact that I wanted her to read it once I left. And of course, she insists on reading it right now. So we havebeen methodically going over each post from the very beginning..

And I realized, that in the beginning I spoke of my opinions, my emotions, my thoughts so freely. No reigns.. I spotted an issue, discussed it with someone, or directly on my blog, and expressed all my opinions. That's what I guess blogging is about. Somehow, from quite a few months, every post I write, I either delete, save as a draft or save it to my desktop. Because either I think that it's fruitless to write about these emotions, or that it's getting too public. Maybe this changed happened because of the fact that I met my fellow bloggers, a few who were my readers.

I became vulnerable with that meet. I guess its a very human process. I wondered during the meet what would happen, then I wondered if I fit in. I realized that I normally dont fit in anywhere.. I'm not the fitting kinds!! But I made a few.. friends.. I guess.

One such blogger, Idea, told me one day that she'd like to read the drafts.. the one's that I havent published on the blog, and I was delighted. But then like many things said and forgotten.. it was too.

But reading all my old blogs today.. I remembered what I felt at each moment, and whether it was pain, joy, sorrow, the good, the bad, the ugly.. It felt beautiful now. To me. And so I will blog about it. I will write.

And If I ever think that the blog has become to public, I'll just shift the sands again and take up another blog somewhere else!! I'll keep you posted..

Friday, June 01, 2007

And it rained...

It rained yesterday. Altering Abhishek told me he'd send the rains over to me from Powai, and man, did they travel quick!! :)

I had once blogged about rain and what it does to me. But yesterday, getting drenched in the first rains, as is my ritual, I realized that rains do a lot more to me, than just mean something, and its something more everytime.

Getting drenched in the first rain leaves my mind refreshingly blank. Suddenly all the sorrows I have been carrying with me, are just erased. For that much time, while I am strolling in my terrace, ankle deep in water, surrounded by the lush greens my mom lovingly tends to, my being just tends to forget everything which plagued it till then.

I look down my building, at the foot of which my street begins, the street lights have fizzed out, and there's not a soul on the wet dark lane. It takes me back to the deck of the ship I stood on in the Arabian sea. The entire neighborhood and its lights cease to exist, and the winds and the rains are the same that existed then, through those 10 days aboard the cruise.

I look up at the sky, trying to catch the raindrops directly on my face. I can see the mingled colors of the sky. It doesn't look like it is 10 in the night. It looks like early evening. The cloud splattered sky flashes with streaks of pure white. The open-ness looks as if its ready to become a permanent roof to my terrace. The roofs of the other buildings beside mine look like they have been washed with orange glow. All the white tiles have a slight tinge of melony orange to it. Beautiful.

The cold goes deep to the core of me. I can feel the goosebumps going up my back, it feels good, it feels true. Like nothing truer than this can exist.

A good 45 minute bath in the first rain. I used to hop about and dance once. Thats when one of my most valuable friendships has been forged, with J. But now, I just stroll and splash the water with my feet gently. Who would have believed that I have mellowed down.

The goodness lasts with me.

To the next day. I AM utilising my vacation to the maximum. J and me saw two movies, first day first two shows, back to back. Shrek 3 and Pirates of the Carribean, At World's End.

Followed in the next post..

Shrek 3, Pirates and the end of goodness

To the next day..

I AM utilising my vacation to the maximum. J and me saw two movies, first day first two shows, back to back. Shrek 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean, At World's End.

Shrek 3 is good. Not great. Its good fun, but too small a treat. The best part of the movie is the "Power to Women" part of it. Not that I am a feminist but seeing an ogress burn a bra was just too hilarious.

Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Ahh. Jack Sparrow. Whoa-oa.

"I missed you Sparrow, really"

Can't believe how they can keep coming up with a sequel better than its preceding part. I was forced to see the first Pirates and I dint regret it. I was hooked. But this one. Its awesome. It is comparatively less action-packed. But I dint feel that cheated, because of the visual feast. The plot got a little confusing, but I loved that, because I understood it and explained it to J!! Its splendid this movie. Should NOT NOT NOT be missed. And yes, seeing it in recliner sofa seats of red lounge just added to the entire experience. Awesome!!

"It would never have worked out between us"
"Keep telling yourself that, darling"

All goodness comes to an end, I started this post with a happy heart, and end it with an empty one.

Sometimes, life tells you,

"I haven't kicked you enough yet, come a little closer, I need to put my foot on your butt square."

And all you can do it scoot a little closer and oblige.