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.