Friday, September 28, 2007

Unpredictable Suddenness

Something just clicks. And something goes wrong. Something just shifts and slides inside and falls into that dark sphere which hurts terribly.

I spend the entire day pleased. With a spring in my step, a smile in my mind. I finish all my work on time. And then the dark sphere approaches. I run away. I try to run as far away as I can from it. Once it clouds over me, I know the cheer will take time to return.

I hate my damn moods. I hate the damn unpredictability of it. I HATE IT. But they just don't seem to understand that. They just keep pelting me with their suddenness.

I was walking across the Oval Maidan, 8:30 in the night. The laptop felt heavy on my back, and I knew my next train was at 8:43. I had a load of work to finish, I had a load of work to start with. I remember smiling because I liked the feeling. The feeling of knowing my responsibilities and priorities. The feeling of the chilly twilight breeze, hitting me across my face as I walked across the dark, dark pathway. The dreamy walk, lit with bright yellow bulbs, littered with pani-puri wallas and couples walking hand-in-hand. I remember thinking then, "Maybe this is how living in USA, shouldering my responsibilities will feel like."

I was so wrong. I want that feeling again. I want to be able to feel comfortable enough to feel like that again. I was rigging N about not having inner peace, I just realized now, I am ravaged inside. I don't have even a tidbit of inner peace. Why? Why the hell? If everyone thinks this too, then why is there no answer to it yet.. someone must have an answer.. who??

Friday, September 14, 2007

Who is wearing the pants and why..

Before I start writing this post, and before you start reading it, I should warn everyone that I am not judgmental. Neither am I opinionated. But yes, I do have strong, tangently-inclined opinions, which have their own value systems. I do realize that the few of you who read this blog know me personally and know the people I talk about, and I will talk about personally too. I beg you to not form your opinions based on what I write here, and don't hold me to them too. I notice things, I feel something about it, hence I write. I might notice something else later and my feelings or opinions might change. Which is a natural human process.

Those of you (if there are any) who don't know me personally, and yet read my blog, I have only one word for you - Welcome!! (Not that the others are not welcome!! :) )

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When I shifted into my new apartment, I had a clean, white, untouched wall and a lot of frames to be hung. I wasn't sure if I could pierce holes in the walls here so I asked my uncle (Masa) about it. Masa told me that all I needed was a few pins and a hammer and I was set. I try to cover all grounds, so I asked my seniors about whether I am allowed to do such things, and they said sure, just when you are vacating the apartment, se sure to stuff the holes with Colgate. Fair enough.

Problem two: Where do I get nails and a hammer from?
Masa's advice: Oh, Just meet Rahul (Some undergrad ABCD here, who he knows well) and say, "Raaa-hul.. How do I make holes in my walls for frames...(Accompanied with batting eyelashes and a few helpless giggles)"

Needless to say, I refused and my wall remains untouched and the frames unhung. But I am fine with it. This sounds like a better option.

I was planning a trip to Chicago, which is a three hour drive away. Room-mate (RM for all practical purposes from now on) tells me, "Why don't you call V? He will definitely take you there.." I cancelled my roadtrip. Better option.

RM was scared about a security issue concerning the internet we have been using. I told her that if someone comes asking, say that you don't use the internet, your room-mate does and leave the rest upto me. I have no idea how I will tackle the situation, if it arises. But I do know that she doesn't want to handle the issue, and I feel like the man here, asking her to drop it all on me.

RM's laptop arrived today ( Congrats for the same!!), but she missed the delivery. The FedEx guys think that the best time to deliver anything is when you are at class. Go figure. Anyway, this has happened with both of us before, at different times. First she, and then I tracked out way down to the otherside of this otherwise small town (Far, Far, Faaar away), to get out parcel, and back, in the bus. This time, she called up a friend, who lives far, far, faaar away too, got him to pick her up, take her to FedEx, and drop her back home.

When she asked me to accompany her, I refused. She asked me why, and I told her the truth.

I am not comfortable asking someone to pick me up from my house, take me somewhere and drop me back, and then go back on that self-same road to where he actually came from in the first place. It's awkward.

I live in a town where traveling by the bus is pretty convenient. And, traveling by car is convenient too. The bus system here is pretty good, plus it helps that I can look up online when the next bus will reach exactly outside my home and which bus will take me where from wherever I want to go. You get the picture.

But, on the other hand, its not that difficult to buy a car in this country after a few years, as a result of which a lot of seniors and friends I know, have cars. And since they are all nice people they are always ready to help/comply.

While I know that this is what friends are for, I also know that I am not comfortable taking obligations from people when I can use my own self or my resources to get the same thing done. I hate being typified as a typical girl, because I believe I don't fit into that segment. I also understand that most people don't like being "Typified".

Maybe I am being sexist when I say that I expect girls to behave this way. Maybe I am being practical when I say, don't take anyone or anything for granted. Maybe I am being too stubborn when I refuse to take help from people bowing under stereotypes.

Am I the only one who can see these stereotypes? Or am I the only one who can feel their pressure and be uncomfortable with the comfort offered by the stereotypes. I know that is a paradox, but it makes a lot of sense. I am uncomfortable with it just because staying within the boundaries of these stereotypes will make my life easier, and more comfortable.

It's not about the male or female stereotype here, its about fitting into the mould of damsel in distress and waiting for a prince to lift you out of it. Why can't these damsels stop sounding so dainty and pretty just by their names and start fighting back their own distresses, at least till you can. Till you have the resources too.

I am not saying that you should deny help when you seriously need it. Going back late in the night, and said friend offering to drop you back, is understood. Need to go somewhere immediately where no bus goes, really far, and said friend takes you there- understood. But more than that, and it brings an image of a female sitting on a pretty couch, twiddling her thumbs waiting for the man to come and roll out the carpet so that she can step up and go about.

It's really not about who is wearing the pants, its about who is making whom wear it.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Sea, the sun and the confusion

Pal, my friend doing Urban Planning here, was calling me up to her place, "It's spectacular, the apartment we have rented."

I dint say much. I don't know why. I followed her up the circular staircase to her apartment. I could feel her excitement passing on to me. But I was just smiling.

When I entered her place, it was just a terrace. A square room with glass walls, with a huge terrace bordering it outside from three sides. And out of all those three sides all I could see was the blue, very blue and Azure sea. Rippling gently with the breeze. The coast wasn't visible at all. It was as if the building, her house, was right at the bank of the coast. Looking out into the sea. Beautiful. As far as my eyes could see, as far the horizon stretched all I could see was the blue, blue sea and the orange, setting ball of fire above it. Somehow the sea was untouched by the sun's hue. It was a crystal cobalt and the sky was a mixed palette of reds, yellows and orange.

I don't know how long I stood there, mesmerized. Dumbstruck. Pal had gotten lucky with her home. It was a beauty. It was Mumbai as my eyes saw it. Fascinating. Mumbai, over here.

Suddenly I jolted out of my reverie. "I have a job interview at the radio station, right under your house. Oh god, I'll be late." I rushed out. Longingly, I looked over my shoulder once at the vision I was so enamored by. Something was changing, but I couldn't single it out then.

I ran down the circular staircase, and reached outside the building. I thumped on the door and told the student at the other side that I have a job interview with the RJ right now.

"Which RJ?", he asked me, looking into his rooster.
"RJ Tham."
"Oh, but he has been fired. He should be coming around right now to plead his case, maybe he can plead yours too."

Plead?? How could that be? RJ Tham had taken me around the entire radio station the last time I met him. He had been pretty positive about me getting the job. How did he lose his job????

RJ Tham came around. He did not see me. He charged straight inside. I followed him in. The student let me in thinking that I was coming in with Tham.

We went up the circular staircase. The walls were filled with colorful graffiti. He was saying something about how I can't get the job, because he himself has been displaced. I thought, yeah I got that much, Buster.

I followed him around for a little while. Hoping for something to click in place. For something to happen that would get me this job. Nothing.

I was climbing up the stairs to Pal's place again. Round and round, up, to the blue, blue sea. I somehow felt like I was showing her place to my parents. Telling them that look, she has a place that looks out to the sea... the SEA!!!!!!

When I reached the squarish terrace, I realized what had gone amiss then. The sea had been receding. Now all I could see from the vantage point was small buildings and streets and little bit of sand. No sea anywhere. Up above, the sky was a dull. The color was just not registering. Like the sea, the sky had lost its charm too. Receded maybe?

*****
I live in a non-coastal city now. There is no water body, even within 30 miles of the place that I live in. I can not count small stupid ponds that are miles away, as water bodies. Pal lives in a ground floor apartment(that's called the First floor here; weird) , with two other roomies. I cannot work in a radio station, thought I'd love to, because its not affiliated to the university. The radio station here, is on the ground floor too, facing out to the main street here. There is no sea here. No SEA!!!!! :(

AND I don't understand what my mind can conjure up while my eyes are closed. I just don't get it, and no matter how much I try to find the meanings of such dreams, I come up with the obvious. If there is one thing I know about dreams, it's that it never means what is obvious apparent. Which leaves me flummoxed. Sigh.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Life took the Backseat in the Roller Coaster..

Life is a rollercoaster. Really. But the ups are really short, and the lows are really long. I guess I am getting too clich├ęd now...

Anyway, a few people who are really silent readers of my blog, or so I believe. I hope they are not total non-readers :(. So, these people, suddenly got active, in their own way, and delighted me. Absolutely delight me.

Pri, is leaving for her masters abroad soon. Technically I can't say that she is leaving, since I am not there, as in in Mumbai, to bid adieu, but, anyway. So as she finally, FINALLY, disembarks on her further studies, she left me a beautiful, beautiful gift. A blog. Something just between the two of us. It feels like its a hotline of some sort. London to US: DIRECT. (No, the link on her name above is not to her blog. Dint I say that it is just between the two of us??) There have been quite a few friends of mine who have started blogging after witnessing my mania.
Or so I like to believe. Just humor me if it's not that way, OK?
But, this is a blog made just for me and her. I don't blog in it. She does. For me to read. I think its a wonderful thing to do. Especially since she knows how important it is for me!!

Also, another friend, who I have surprisingly started talking to quite a bit, talking about life here and all called me suddenly. Nothing so huge about this. Except that I had never spoken on the phone with said friend before. When Unknown Number Calling, flashed on my phone, I assumed it was Mr. Pilot, and I picked up with a cheery "hello".

"Pragni?" (Pronounced as Prugni, like in a short 'a', not the elongated way it actually is. And anyone who doesn't know me in real life will obviously not know how to pronounce it right. Like I guess those few reading this and who don't know me personally, mispronounce it. Yes, I'm sure you do it too!!)

So said friend is in Petrovski, which is not a place, but is just what I call the place from where said friend hails. So Petrovski (as we shall call said friend) has never spoken to me on the phone. NO we are not net friends. We were supposed to be humwatans in this place here, but his end of the things dint work out. I was too surprised to hold a proper conversation I think, but I was pleased, supremely pleased. It's not everyday that someone calls just because, "I couldn't come online too often, and because of this new time difference between us now, I just don't ever see you online!!"

And the third non-active friend. Who was not supposed to be a part of this post really, but got included in it, just because of his enthusiasm to see my next post up and on. So this friend is also someone studying here at the U of I (notice how I don't say UIUC anymore.. we are actually the U of I!!) This friend, better called Dhum ( short for Dhum dhum dhadam dhadaiya re), revealed to me sometime back that he reads my blog. Which induced a Cheshire Cat kind of a grin from me. Nothing pleases me more. And since then, he has been on my case to get me to blog more often. Everyday I am greeted with a "Hey, did you post something new??".

Dhum, I don't think I have told you, but I find this REALLY sweet. Keep it up will ya? Motivates me to getting my fingers moving along the keyboard (Another huge Grin).

So that's the ups on my life's roller coaster as of now. Recounted so that they last longer!! Hope I dont sad enough to start recounting the downs too... :)

Wish Blogger had smileys that I could include in the post yaar..