You know the Thought Experiments. This is the back of the envelope.

Friday, December 31, 2010

...and, curtains!

I do remember dancing into the new millennium and this decade. And I'll remember baking and reading my way out of it - the decade, that is. The millennium, I want to waltz my way out of :)

Fifty-three minutes to a brand new year, and a brand new decade.

I'll miss you, 2010. You were one interesting, happy year.

And you, 2011, waiting in the wings... Come on in!

I'll see you on the other side of midnight, World! Have a wonderful year ahead...and a decade to match!


The Mistake

Lesson 1: The next time someone has a story they want to tell you, run for your life.

Lesson 2: Never, never, never share your favourite spot in the world with anyone in the hope that it will make them feel better. It doesn't. It just ruins the spot for you till you can get over being mad at yourself for having been stupid enough to share it in the first place.

Lesson 3: Never be found in your hostel at lunch if you bunked classes that day.

Lesson 4: It's not that bad. Don't bother.

Lesson 5: Cross the road, and go home. Don't hang out or take a walk. Doesn't help the tiniest bit.

Lesson 6: Stop gaping. It doesn't even involve you. Utter waste of time.

Lesson 7: Some kinds of ice are best left unbroken.

Lesson 8: When you've learnt enough to be able to list Lessons 1 through 7, cut your losses and move on.

Note to reader: There's not much to be read into this.
Note to self: Learn, learn, learn!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fifth Corner - I

I guess it has something to do with this time of the year. Willy-nilly, I turn back and take stock. It's a feeling I'm now familiar with...the warmth of my palms ensconced safely in the pockets of my sweatshirt, the chill playing with my breath each time I exhale, my mind a whirl of thoughts. I've found myself doing this curled up on windowsills on Main Corr, on the terrace as I gaze out over a sleeping city, on long walks to Gwyer Hall and back, and on sleepless nights here in Bhubaneswar, watching winter raindrops trickling off palm fronds just outside my window. That palm frond was just sprouting when I got, it's close enough to touch.

I shake hands goodnight with it. :)

It's been a year I will never forget. I've done things I've always wanted to, and some things I never thought I would. I've had wishes granted. The impossible practically happened. Enough said.

Somewhere, though, there's a slight tinge of disillusionment and a little sadness.

Don't get me wrong - heaven forbid that I should feel or even sound like an ingrate. I'm thinking aloud...let's see if we can sort this out.

(So is this where I should insert the Rambling Alert? Methinks it is.)

It began wonderfully enough - my first New Year's Eve home in five years. It was a very happy girl who made her way back to Delhi for her fourth semester. February was important - I re-discovered an old love, thanks to a new friend. I had the most amazing evening of my life on March 15. I didn't know this then...but March was also the month of another beginning. More about that later.

Let's see...April was laid back. Quiet and lazy and fun. I do remember presenting my dissertation one afternoon. I've never been as poorly prepared for anything, ever...and I've never had so much fun. May...ah, now we're talking. :)

May was crazy. There were exams I was unprepared for out of sheer disinclination, and there was a growing realization that if what I had with Delhi couldn't be classified as a with-or-without-you relationship, nothing could. May 15, again, was one of those days. I went from ecstatic to flabbergasted to plain low in 30 seconds flat. Even for someone as mercurial as I am, that's a quick transition. And that's all the more reason May 16 was such a surprise. May 17 was...difficult. Packing six years into sixteen bags and boxes is not easy...and I'm not talking logistics here. The next day, I left Delhi.

I'll never forget the night leading up to my departure, or the last hour at the airport. Other memories will come and go, this one's going to stay. Till the plane actually took off the runway, I was practically numb. I didn't realise I was crying till much later. Then I felt embarrassed, then stupid...and then I stopped caring about everything but the fact that I was leaving behind something I loved, and cried harder.

And that's why the week that followed was so difficult. It was my last four days with my family before I entered a set-up that measures personal time and space in privilege leaves. There were a million things to be done, scores of things to run around for. Mornings and evenings came and went, marking time with merciless regularity. The one thing that was constant, whether I was at the doctor's or the bank or the temple, was this thought sitting in a corner of my mind. "When you leave now", it kept repeating, "you are not going back to Delhi. Not now, not any time soon. There's no Delhi to go back to, the way you've known going back to it. What you've left behind is over."

I'm no good at handling endings, so that hurt.

The last week was full of new experiences. Outside BKC on the 23rd, I began a new chapter. Of more than one story, though I didn't know about the other.

May ended with three clueless ER Managers landing in Calcutta, dining on Maggi and saying goodnight in the hall before proceeding to Rooms 1 and 3 (I got one all to myself. The guys shared the other. Oh, the privileges of being a woman :)

June. Hmm...June.

Here are my discoveries for June:

1.Recruitment can be as boring in practice as it is in theory. The thrill wears off in no time, especially when logistics demand attention.

2. A good team is half the job done.

3. Laugh a lot. Be goofy. Play silly games. It's good for you. :)

4. Delhi is a lover and a friend. Calcutta is your friendly old neighbour next door.

5. And Calcutta is beautiful at midnight.

6. Long work hours are more irritating in reality than they are horrifying in concept.

7. Homesickness sometimes gets accentuated in a hotel room.

8. You can do - or not do - what you like. If it's meant to happen, it pretty much will.

9. Airtel has lousy customer care for its prepaid services.

10. Six weeks is a long time to spend with a bag packed only with a five-day trip in mind.

11. Following from #10, being in a new place every third day is a lot more fun when you don't have to worry about laundry.

12. Let. Go. It's important.

July was another revelation. Bhubaneswar and I happened to each other. We're still trying to figure our way around each other, this city and I. The end of the month was especially tough, on several fronts...which is why the trip to Khandala, which happened in the beginning of August, was a much-needed and very soothing break. Hills, mist, rain, lakes, highway, moonlit nights, golden afternoons. Perfection, in other words.

August, September, October, November...the months just melted away. Little bits and pieces of life held together by a fibre I couldn't identify. I learned something about myself these last four months. I learned that I am capable of feeling lonely, that I have walls I need to reconsider, and that I may have to rethink thoughts I've already rethought. I learned that I am allowed my mistakes. I learned to be comfortable with acknowledging that sometimes, things weren't all okay, and that it was alright for them to not be okay once in a while. I learned to face facts and deal with them. And above all, I learned that being honest with yourself and telling yourself the truth are sometimes two different things - and both are equally important.

Well,'s been a year I'll never forget. I'll remember it because it fulfilled a  long-cherished wish and because it taught me something I'd never have learned, left to myself. I'd always wished for a job I could travel madly as part of. That happened alright. The lesson? I'll tell you later. :)

Disillusionment, yes. I guess that's part of the deal. It happens to me sometimes as part of my job...and it happens on the personal front too. But, you know what, in the larger scheme of things, it's okay. It really is. You know what they say about fixing the blues...count your blessings, they say. Thank your lucky stars.

Either that, or blog about the year gone by, say I. :)

p.s. Still got some stock-taking left. Later, maybe.

Actually, I'll definitely come back and finish this.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Double Take

This post could have come later. No issues there. But it wouldn’t have been the same. And given what this is about, I think it’s only appropriate that it be written and published from where I currently am.

Berth 35, A2, Bhubaneswar Rajdhani.

There’s someone or something out there that’s sitting and taking notes each time you make a wish. That’s the only explanation I can think of for today, this moment and this feeling.

Life has come full circle today.

That I am inexorably in love with Delhi is probably in evidence all over this page. I used to take this train from Delhi to home. Back then, I loved it because it brought me home. It’s taking me home again today, but from Bhubaneswar this time. It could take me to Delhi too, if I wanted it to (and do I!). As someone who instinctively associates several disparate entities with one common thread in her thoughts and imagination, I am beyond thrilled this afternoon, taking one of my favourite trains back to one of my favourite places in the world. There are memories, there is anticipation, there are musings, there is beauty, there is gratitude, and there is belief.

It’s not for no reason that I am a believer, you know. :)

But this post is not just about that. I am sitting by a double window. It’s a golden afternoon, and I’m on board a train speeding through the Orissa countryside. My world has never been so beautiful. This, from someone who is sure she has more than her fair share of blessings to count.

I’d been wishing for a bit of travel for some time now. It’s an inherent need. And not just the regular sort…I wanted to see more of the world I currently live in. That’s why I wouldn’t call the mandate for 10 branch visits a mandate. I’d call it a windfall. Or an answer.:)

So in the last week, I have been to Cuttack, Khurda, Nayagarh, Paradip, Jagatsinghpur, Raipur and Mahasamund. I’ve spent an average of 6 hours on the highway each working day, and spent two of the last four nights on a train. I’ve been in a different district every 4 hours since Monday.

I’ve fallen in love.

I realised that I never gave Orissa – or Chattisgarh, for that matter – a chance. By and large, my job description is not something I’d save for the day the genie pops out of the bottle. It’s not that it isn’t good – it’s just that my job and I are two people trying very hard to work things out between ourselves and finding ourselves not getting anywhere with the effort. But there are things about it that I love, and things about me that it likes back, hopefully. And I love the fact that travel and movement are such an intrinsic part of this profile.

Coming back to never having given my zone (Orissa and Chattisgarh, which I look after for my organization) a fair chance, no, I hadn’t. I allowed my perception of the place to be coloured by my perception of my job – and that was grossly unfair. I’ve seen Orissa as a place that requires manpower at the least convenient places and moments; which probably has more transfer requests and job satisfaction issues, and less retail holidays, than the rest of the country put together; and which is dotted with locations and profiles that are difficult to pitch.

Given my belief that everything in life deserves at least one fair chance – and a second one, if it’s worth it – I cannot believe how I let this pass me by. I feel worse about it because I call myself a traveler…and what traveler lets a chance for discovery and exploration go by just because there is a pre-conceived notion somewhere in her head?

In the last four days – and now, as I travel through the coastal region – I have learnt that this is a beautiful place. I’ve delighted in being in places where the coast is visible in the distance, and there are hills on the other side of the road. I’ve seen coconut palms swaying in the breeze, and I’ve gazed at endless paddy fields, such a fluorescent shade of green that you wonder where on earth the Maker found that perfect hue. I’ve seen rows upon rows of hills, fading from a rocky brown to slate to purple to barely-there blue the farther they get. I’ve seen clear ponds and lakes, where the vegetation on the shore is mirrored perfectly, down to the last blade of grass. I’ve seen water lilies carpeting an entire canal. I’ve seen a little town cradled amidst a cluster of hills...and then I’ve seen a perfect little township sitting neatly by a port, stuck endearingly in a time warp. I’ve spotted random, multi-hued rock formations that I gave fanciful names and shapes to. I’ve seen wild flowers in bloom all along the highway from Khurda to Nayagarh. I’ve seen little temples and shrines by lakes and under banyan trees, every 300 metres. Untouched, quaint, earthy, flawless Orissa.

My apologies, Orissa. I should have given you a chance. And now that I have, you swept me off my feet.

And that’s why it was important to post this now. Here. There can’t be a more perfect setting or time for this. I’m discovering more of Orissa as I head home today.

I am so happy today, I find it hard to contain. Brimming over, bubbling over, spilling over. So happy, it hurts. Life is beautiful. :)

P.S. I nearly went off to Haridwar this morning. Or Belpahar. Neither is a bad idea, of course, but it would have been about a thousand miles or more off course from where I was originally headed. How that happened is a different story. Later. :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

To Delhi, with love

Dear Delhi,

There have never been any secrets between you and me. I gave up trying to keep anything from you a long, long time ago. When personalities fall into sync the way yours and mine did, no thought is a secret. You know all of mine. Do I know all of yours?

Are you kidding me? There's no way I could manage knowing everything about you.

If anything, that makes me fall harder in love with you each time I so much as think about you.

I do know, though, that you're mad, and stubborn, and lovable, and temperamental and beautiful. I know that you're irritating, maddening even. That you're opinionated and interfering and irresistible. That I've never resisted something so hard and only ended up feeling that much more passionately about it.

I wasn't sure what to make of you when I first got to know you. I hated you, then moved on to indifference, then a tentative, hesitant liking of sorts, then a deep friendship...then immense love, more indifference...I began to resent you again and I thought we were done for good. And then I left you, feeling glad that the time had come for us to part before the love changed to something less pleasant. I didn't want to feel less pleasantly about you.

Moving on from what it was like to be with you is the hardest thing I have had to do yet. I hadn't been away for 12 hours before it hit me that this was it...I'd never be back there again, things would change forever. I missed you. I still do. I miss everything about you, and I love you.

You know all that there is to know about me, Delhi. When I'm with you, I'm me. I can't say I know everything about you, Delhi, but I do know you're lush and green and rebellious when it rains. I know you have your monsoon moodswings. I've grown to love them, be able to predict them, even. I know that yours is the most scorching, unforgiving summer in the world. You stubborn, headstrong city...nothing reflects your temperamental side as easily as your Mays, Junes and Julys.

And I did manage to survive a summer and monsoon away from you, Delhi...but not being there when winter is slowly making its way into the calendar is killing me. Yous soul is never as beautifully consummate as it is in winter. And every time I smell the wood-smoke in the air here, every time I shiver and hug myself to keep out the nip in the air, each time I see a trace of fog anywhere around me, I miss you so much that it breaks my heart. I miss the fog there, I miss shivering uncontrollably under eight layers of woollen clothing, I miss the impossibility of leaving my bed every morning. I miss the way the air smells and feels there. I miss your fairy lights at CP, and the lone peanut vendor by Arts Fac. I miss the coldness of the handrails inside the Metro. I miss the bite of the wind as it whips across my face when I travel through Central Secretariat by auto. I miss India Gate, I miss the Ridge, I miss the University, I miss the terrace of my hostel building. I miss the quietness of 2 a.m, when an insomniac and her city would commune. I miss the stillness of your nights. I miss the beauty of your roads. I miss your skies and your horizon. I miss every thing about you.

And till I left you and realised how it felt, I had no idea I was capable of so much love.

I'll come back to you. Don't ask me when, because I don't know. But I will.

Till then, know that I love you, and miss you with every particle of my being.

Yours, always,

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Autumn - Part III


It's a whole five days since we last met...I miss you. I wish you hadn't gone. I know, I know, it's your best friend's wedding...but hey, I count for something too, don't I?


Don't be mad know I'm kidding.

About you not caring for me, that is. I do miss you.

I was walking by PTI this afternoon. Can you believe it's been eight months now?? Eight whole months of knowing you...of loving's the same thing...I miss you, Neen.

Keventers got back their vanilla shake, by the way. I went there this afternoon with Deep. I had the mango, though...we'll save the vanilla for when you get back. :)

Come back soon, Neen. I want my security blanket back.

Yes, I know I have to grow up. You can teach me how. We've got the rest of our lives to do all the teaching and learning. :)

Just come back soon, okay?


P.S. It's not like I don't know that you won't really be checking your mail there...but I've got to write when I've got to write, right? Love you.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Autumn - Part II

The rain began to fall faster, more urgently. She could have stepped under the awning of the coffee shop, but something made her want to wait for Dhrubo here, right outside in the rain. That way, she could get a glimpse of him sooner.

She paused for a second at the thought, contemplating reprimanding herself for being so silly. She wasn't sixteen...and this certainly wasn't the rational behaviour of a twenty-six year-old. Then she let the reprimand go. Dhrubo had taught her to ease up, to be more accepting of life as it came instead of attempting to pigeon-hole everything into logic, schedules and plans. She wondered, not for the first time, what had brought them together...what made them stay this way.

"Is this how you always begin your day?" she had asked in disbelief tinged with annoyance the third time they had met - the third morning also, in a row, that Dhrubo had come sprinting into the elevator, partially-knotted tie in one hand and backpack flung over his shoulder. His rushed entry would scatter the crowd already present inside. With his feckless air and the nonchalant, disarming ease with which he smiled at a bunch of strangers he had just inconvenienced, Dhrubo could make the concept of frowning upon delays look near-ridiculous...and every morning, it seemed to Neena, he did just that.

"I try", he had grinned at her. It was a frank, open smile, the sort that told her right away that she would be wasting her time harbouring ill-will against the face that wore it. "I really do...but no matter what I do, I am always running late." He frowned towards the end of the sentence, then smiled again. "I'll try not to hold back the elevator tomorrow...or at least not when you're taking it."

She hadn't been able to hold back the smile then.

Her smile...thought Dhrubo, rounding a bend in the road. It was the sort that stayed with you hours after you'd seen it, the sort that could be sensed even over the phone. He loved her smile. He'd told her that often enough.

Standing there in the rain, mulling over all that she wanted to tell Dhrubo today, she wondered if she had ever told him that she had lost her heart to him with that first smile and conversation. Excuse of a conversation, she corrected herself. Some first meeting that was. Had she told him? She didn't remember doing so.

I hope to goodness she isn't getting drenched, Dhrubo muttered to himself as threaded his way through a crowded pavement. And then he grinned to himself at the realisation of how the essence of each had rubbed off on the other...he'd started being careful, for goodness' sake. Actually, he added as an afterthought, he'd started being careful for her sake. And he was willing to bet that she would actually be standing out there in the rain - just like he would.

He was afraid of sense and order before she came along. There was always greater security in the haphazard and the haywire. She had found that both astonishing and amusing - and had told him so in as many words. He'd laughed off her questions then...and then found himself pondering them later, in his solitude. That was what had clinched it for him. His solitude was sacrosanct - reserved only for him. When thoughts about her inched themselves effortlessly into his long walks and early morning coffee, he'd stopped to take stock. And he had known. Known with absolute certainty.

And here they were today. There she was, the only person standing in the rain. He waved.

Neena waved back, her throat suddenly aching with unshed tears.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Autumn - Part I

Dhrubo was late again. That didn't surprise Neena. He was always late. In the beginning, she had thought this was an endearing habit. She liked the way he would come running up, stringing words together into an excuse - or an apology; she never really knew which - smiling at her even before their eyes met, taking her hand even as she tried - half-heartedly - to rebuke him. Their meetings always began this way. It was a habit with her, just like Dhrubo's tardiness was a habit with him.

Dhrubo checked his watch. In all the seventeen months that he had known Neena, he had never made it on time. It amazed him that they were still together. They were so different as people that it was surprising that they had even got along in the first place. Or maybe that's why they got along, he mused. Either way, he couldn't imagine his life without her. He couldn't recall a time when she hadn't been there, his island of calm in an otherwise crazy life. Neena, he thought to himself, and smiled. Neena, his security blanket.

Dhrubo, Neena thought to herself. Dhrubo, her hurricane lamp. Fickle, warm, bright. Hers.

They used these terms of endearment in their letters and emails to each other. Almost silly, it would have all seemed to an outsider, but they didn't care for outsiders. They had each other, and that was all that mattered.

In the beginning...but then, things are so different in the beginning. For better or for worse, they change, she thought, as she searched her bag for mint. She liked mint. It was something she had picked up from Dhrubo. Sometimes, she wasn't sure whether she liked mint because she liked it, or because Dhrubo was fond of it. After all this time, it didn't matter.

It began to rain. She shielded her eyes against the drops and squinted into the distance, looking for Dhrubo.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Pause

Some parts don't add up to a complete whole, and some do.

More on The Southwest Wall, later.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

All-is in Wonderland - I

So, Thursday evening, at about five or half past, I receive a call from a colleague in Hyderabad. "Just wanted to confirm this with you", she says, "you do know that you have to be at Civil Township, Rourkela at 10:30 am tomorrow, don't you?"

"Er, no." I decide it is best to be forthright.

"Oh, but you do", she goes on, inexorably. "Tomorrow", she adds for good measure, just in case I missed it the first time she said it.

Excitement's beginning to grow, but so is a small sense of alarm. "Shilpa", I manage, "Rourkela is 500-odd kilometres away. It's an overnight journey by train. I'm going to need tickets."

"So get some", she says brightly.

"For tonight", I remind her. "The train may already have left."

"Let me know", she buzzes off. Clearly, the geography of Orissa is lost on my colleague in Andhra Pradesh, next door.

Getting more and more excited about an impromptu trip to some place I have never seen (I like hills and waterfalls and highways, but a train journey to a new city is also a great idea. I'll take it, thanks), I dial the travel agent's number.

And that is how I find myself en route to Rourkela at 10:20 pm that evening.

Surprise, surprise...there's highways and greenery and rain and hills here too. And all through the trip, I can't get over the suddenness of it all. When it comes to travel, the more arbitrary and random, the better, is my credo.

I grin and grin like a freak. In Rourkela, they wonder why their Employee Relations Manager is always so happy. Truth be told, the ER Manager is not even thinking ER.

Then I catch a train back Friday evening. Before I do that, though, I take a walk around the part of the city that the regional office is located in. It's very sixties, I decide, never mind that I wasn't even around before the eighties. I like it. I like the suddenness and consequent newness of it all.

The only hitch is, the train reaches Bhubaneswar at 5 am. Now, I have nothing against early morning arrivals, except the nagging worry at the back of my mind all night that I'm going to sleep through my destination and wind up in some other place a couple hundred miles away. By itself, that is a great idea...but I am also expected back in office at 9 am, so I can't afford to take it as it comes.

I've forgotten something, though. My subconscious takes care of it. At 4:20 am, my eyes fly open on their own. "Up", my brain says quietly.

And then, there's a strange sense of deja vu.

I've been here before, on an upper berth, blankets and sheets lying in a tangle by my feet, a backpack shoved against the wall of the compartment, at the ungodly hour of four or thereabouts, blinking in confusion at a blue landscape visible from the window, through a haze of condensation, droplets having run down the pane in the sort of straight line only droplets can run down in. I've been here before, shivering and wondering if they turn the airconditioning up in the middle of the night, or if it is the morning chill creeping in past the double-paned windows. The brisk, businesslike urgency with which my brain orders me to gather up my belongings (and don't forget your glasses tucked in on the side...and where's that book?) and clamber down, is familiar too. Yes, I've definitely been here before.

As I'm climbing down, still a little sleepy, the train comes to an abrupt halt in the middle of a lot of vegetation, signs of civilization barely discernible in the distance. This is familiar, too.

I pull my backpack and sheet down, snuggle up against the window and lean on the pane. And then it hits me.

This is Tilak Bridge. This is 4:30 am. This is that exasperating point at which the train will stop for no apparent reason for at least an hour. This is a beautiful landscape to be gazing out at, though.

This is me, on board the Purushottam, on my way back to Delhi.

Six years. At least twenty-five times. No wonder I feel like I've lived this hour before. No wonder I am wonderfully cosy and completely at home against that cold window pane with droplets of condensation on it, my eyes running over a blue setting slowly turning bluish-golden. No wonder my subconscious is programmed to poke me into wakefulness when it is 4:30 am on board a train. No wonder.

My vision gets a little more blurred...and this time, it's not just the condensation on the glass.

As the train pushes off from the middle of nowhere - this time a different nowhere - the landscape smiles at me. It's not the same. Geography will apply. So the trees are not banyan or eucalyptus...these are coconut palms. The soil appears a different hue. The huts are built slightly differently.

But this is a beautiful landscape too. It's waiting to be discovered and befriended. It can't help not being Delhi...but it is itself, and it is beautiful, too.
So I smile and softly say Hi.

And I think of those lines from Follow Me.

You don't know how you met me, you don't know why
you can't turn around and say goodbye;
All you know is, when I'm with you, I make you free
and swim to your veins like a fish in the sea...

Follow me, everything is alright
I'll be the one to tuck you in at night
And if you want to leave, I can guarantee
You won't find nobody else like me...

Won't give you money, I can't give you the sky
You're better off if you don't ask why
I'm not the reason that you go astray, and
We'll be alright if you don't ask me to stay...

That I came back home and had to break into my own house is a story for a different day. Till then.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Introduction

It is a beautiful, beautiful afternoon. Like a gift, almost. It brought back to me all that I had lost - or thought I had lost - over the last few months. There's golden, mellow sunshine, lots of greenery, a slight drizzle. The world is happy, and so am I. A curtain's lifted somewhere. And one window has been pushed open.

For good. :)

Did I tell you the elements are my best friends?

Let's begin at the beginning, actually. You and I have known each other three years, and I haven't introduced myself formally yet. Not there, nor here. Do we need an introduction?

Let me see.

You know what, we do. I'm beginning over in so many ways. Let this be one.

So I am Crossworder. I call myself that because, as is probably obvious, crosswords are an enormous passion with me. Also because words make great playmates.

I adore the outdoors, the elements and the seasons. I love the sky and the rain. Sunshine makes me happy. Winter fog fascinates me. Nature and I are old buddies. I like my silences and space. Music is one of my biggest loves. It's playing somewhere all the time - especially in my head. I can't help hyperlinking thoughts...but I'll vouch for the great entertainment it provides...try it some day! I haven't managed the perfect stew so far, but I am especially good at desserts of all kinds. I'll pick a book over the phone any day. I am freakish about keeping things organised, but there are days when I just let it all be, just because. That's fun too...try that when you're hyperlinking thoughts. I have to explore the city after midnight one day, and explore all the hills this side of the country before I'm 27. I'm not very fond of cinnamon-flavoured gum and mint. I have a tendency to get really caught up in things that I shouldn't have touched in the first place...but because my span of attention is nothing to write home about (unless I'm doing something I  have to, or want to do - especially the latter), I reach a point where I get fed up, and then walk off. But then, what's a life where you're following the rulebook all the time? Up to a certain point in my early twenties, I thought I was a career-centred woman. Now, I've figured out that I am just life-and-happiness-centric. And since the center of my existence keeps morphing into one thing and then another, I'm on a constant trip of discovery. Does it get exhausting? Sure it does, but since I never was one for staying put, it suits me fine. Mushy love stories make me sentimental when I'm watching or listening to them, and then make me roll my eyes the next morning. Oh, it’s not like I don’t believe in love...I’m probably the biggest romantic this side of the Equator…but I’ll pass on the mush and the endless loop of “Should I, shouldn’t I?”, thank you very much. Patience is not one of my stronger points (why do you think I’ve never managed the perfect stew?). I know the lyrics of all the songs and jingles I’ve ever heard more than twice…and it’s effortless. It surprises me. I’m good with birthdays too…but I am terrible with names. Terrible. Floral fragrances give me a headache, and citrus smells make me happy. I’m so clumsy I’d make a sloth bear look like a ballerina…but I am actually very good with a knife and a chopping board – I can dice three apples in under two minutes, just like that. Don’t be surprised if you see me walking down the road, grinning to myself – often, stuff that I may have heard weeks ago suddenly decides to come back to me without invitation, and I can’t help laughing again then. If you starve me of company, I’ll deal with it…but not having as much solitude as I need will drive me mad. I am an inherent traveler and student…literally and metaphorically. I’m too impulsive for my own good. I also like to think I'm more complicated and profound a person than I really am. Every now and then, I get a reality check...and grin some more. Show me a math book and I’ll run a mile…show me conceited idiots and I’ll run two (who wouldn’t?). I have a tendency to go underground every now and then, much to my friends’ annoyance…but I’d do anything for the people I love. I still haven’t been able to choose between literature and economics when it comes to identifying the biggest love of my life. Then again, I think, why choose? I’m very lucky in a million ways. I've recently moved into a place of my own, in a city I'm a complete stranger to, for a job I'm still iffy about. It's got its rough points, but I'm excited about all of it...and I love the sense of space and discovery. I think life’s one big adventure…and at the end of the day, no matter what, it’s never that bad, really.

Whew. That’s about me. What about you?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Phase III

The Wallpapering

I think we rubbed the sandpaper a little too hard.

It's abrasive, remember?

What's this little dent here? And that crack in that corner? This little bit of paint peeling off? Wait...and this patch here looks like it appeared recently.

How damaged is this wall?

It's alright, really. That crack hasn't widened in five years. And we'll fill the dent in. That patch is a ten-minute job.

Let's begin wallpapering, then.

How about something philosophical for this part of wall?

Oh, alright. We'll put something Archies-like. You know, the bright, happy variety.

Something on love?
Get out of here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Background

Bluish-green handmade paper.

The surfaces need sandpapering, but they're strong, sturdy. This looks alright. Synthetic glue won't work here, though, so we'll need board pins. What's that you're saying...adhesive tape? That never works!

This feels like somebody else's a good way. And this feels like someone else's city, too. I feel like a particularly welcome guest. The unfamiliarity is delicious.