Where I Disappeared To… ;)

It has been a whirlwind week. Literally. I just got back to college after a week full of fun, activities and travelling. During the past 7 days, I went through parts of 4 different districts of the state, met a handful of amazing people and had some awesome time! And thought a great lot of stuff. Along with the crazy fun, there were so many instances when I was struck by profound thoughts. Every time I got a thought like that, I jotted it down so that I would remember it all to be posted here later, when I get back. 🙂

 

Well…to start from the beginning. On 22nd, all of my classmates from the hostel went out on a day out. It was more like trekking and I get easily tired by that. But we had a great time. We took a hell lot of photos (which isn’t really my thing, to be honest), chattered a lot, laughed so much and, basically, had a lot of fun! I’ll try putting up some pics in another post, coming up soon. Anyway, I loved the time we had. We checked out the stuff in the shops. I found this shop selling second-hand books and there were a handful of books that I have been longing to read. I bought ‘The Romanov Prophecy’ by Steve Berry. That was enough to make the rest of my day super-awesome! 🙂 I should mention that the lunch wasn’t satisfying enough but the fun parts outshine the disappointment. So, never mind!

 

Thekkady Boating Ticket Counter and Tourist In...

One spot we went to, if my memory is right!

 

The day passed so fast, hours passing by in a blur of laughter, photos and the happiness of being with your friends. 🙂 We got to meet this cute guy who came to talk to us and even clicked some photos for us! I don’t know if I’ll ever see him again, but I really liked him. He was…ummm…fun in a mischievous way! 😉 We did meet a couple of other guys, too. Anyway, all of us were exhausted but super-happy by the time we got back to hostel. Next day, all of us went home. It kinda felt like we were leaving forever, but I was glad to know I’d be coming back! 🙂 I never thought I would actually feel that!!

At home, I spent time with Janet (that’s my sister). We spoke a lot, caught up with each other’s lives, laughed a lot, talked about childhood memories and fought a tiny little bit. 🙂 As usual. We also went out, one evening. Just to the town, roamed around a bit, chattering all the while. 🙂 There were some issues she was caught up in. So, that kinda dampened our moods, in between. I had a fight with dad and some other issues, too. Both of us were really depressed when we left home but since I was going to my friend’s place, I pushed everything out of my head. I could deal with it later, anyway…

At my friend’s place (Betsy is her name), we just spent some time, lazing around, watching some movies, sleeping, talking and loafing around. On 28th, I went to meet Kiran at her hometown. 🙂 It felt so good to see her after so long (more than a year). I was introduced to her friends from college. I found them to be a pack of really sweet, friendly, crazy and super-awesome girls who were absolute fun to be with. There were 6 of them. Yes, I did feel kinda weird, initially, since I was meeting them for the first time. But I slowly got over it. That night, we wanted to do something fun or mischievous. But most of them were sleepy and wanted some proper sleep. So, there were just 3 of us (plus me and Betsy) – Pranavi, Meghna and Disha – sitting on the bed, talking. We shared some ghost stories (with the lights off)! It was fun because all three were kinda scared yet wanted to listen to all the horror stuff. Pranavi was so scared and used to scream at the slightest of noises and stuff. She got super-scared and yelled when Meghna touched her by mistake! We spent the whole night talking! We were babbling till almost 4:45am!

After the horror story session, we spoke about random stuff like science, religion, God, so on. Then, we had a game of Truth (& Dare, but since we were not in a situation to do Dares, we stuck to playing just Truth!). It was SUPER-AWESOME! I loved it! We asked each other a lot of wayward questions, some insane, some perverted, some just stupid! We laughed so much at the bullshit we were saying, shared so many experiences and made most of those few hours we had with us! I know I might not be personally close to any of them, but I had enough fun that night to form a sort of bond with them. 🙂 Next day, we had to get up at 7 or so. We got ready and went for the wedding.

It was the first time I was attending a Hindu marriage. I was fascinated by their rituals and customs. Since the minute it began, I was paying close attention to what was happening and was so lost in it that I didn’t see anyone/anything else. I really loved it! Apart from the fact that it was short, sweet and simple, there was a lot of meaning in their rituals. And I should admit, I would love to have a Hindu marriage! 🙂 Seriously! After the marriage, we had lunch, spoke to Kiran for a while and then, had to leave. Betsy and I bid our farewells and went on our way home, after two great days with some really wonderful people! 🙂 I got back to hostel the next day (ie, yesterday). So, that’s what I’ve been upto during the past one week. It has been hectic, I admit. But I would do it all over again, any day! Without a doubt, or a moment’s hesitation! 🙂 I loved the experience…and all that came with it – the people, the good times, thoughts, everything. Yes, I know I haven’t mentioned the thoughts…more of that coming up. And I’ll try getting some pics for the upcoming posts! 🙂

One for now... 🙂 that's us, hostelers from my class, at Thekkady

From Books I Loved…

Last day, while going through some of my old diaries, I found some excerpts that I had written down from books I loved. I thought I would share them with you. I have also included a bit of what I think about these books. These are lines that have touched me in profound ways, and brought about a radical change in my perceptions and outlook towards a lot of aspects in life.

“I want to be with a man who will be my bra and tampon and credit card and cook and pedicurist and masseuse and driver and muse, vibrator, comb, gardener and pilot. And I will be everything for him.”

“But there are people who really meant something, who changed my life, in good or bad ways, who helped me get where I am today. And they are gone, and I don’t know where they are, or how to find them, and I cannot remember the last time I saw them, and there was no goodbye, no decisive parting, just a wearing away, just one day after the next came and went without seeing them, and then they were no longer part of my life.”

A Pack of Lies, Urmilla Deshpande

A book I loved for the distinct and poignant way in which the life of a woman and her struggles (emotional and otherwise) have been portrayed.

 

“Faith is universal. Our specific methods for understanding it are arbitrary. Some of us pray to Jesus, some of us go to Mecca, some of us study subatomic particles. In the end, we are all just searching for truth, that which is greater than ourselves.”

“God is not an omnipotent authority that looks from above and threatens to put us into pits of hell if we disobey. God is the energy that flows through the synapses of our nervous system and the chambers of our hearts.”

“The planet is an organism. All of us are cells with different purposes. And yet we are intertwined serving each other. Serving the whole.”

Angels & Demons, Dan Brown

This is one book that has forced me to think again about so many things in life; things that are fundamental to one’s existence like one’s belief in religion. There is a line in this book that says physics is like a religion for some scientist characters in the book. That’s when I realized the true meaning of religion. All of us have a religion of our own, something which he hold onto strongly, something which we believe in, beyond everything else. I guess my religion would be books & writing. What’s yours?

 

“He is the type of man who means it when he asks, “How are you?” and then listens to the answer. Men will never understand that this is one of the sexiest things a man can say to a woman.”

“Who’s to stop us if we decide to stay in a city for reasons as intangible as the glimpse of a Mughal-era tomb out of the corner of our eye as we sit in a noisy autorickshaw, or Chandra [Jain’s maid]’s lovingly made morning lassis? Who’s to tell us that the moments of grace we encounter in a place are not enough to keep us there– that instead we need a context, a future, a father, a husband?”

“Perhaps it is the constant stripping down and building up again of a life that appeals to me, like a snake shedding its skin every few years. I think: When does my life go on autopilot? Maybe it never does, because I start getting restless when I’m too settled. There’s something in the gypsydom that I need, that is fundamental to who I am.”

“But it’s also painful to not have the right to feel betrayed, but to feel it acutely nonetheless.”

“I do not consider myself a good lover…In fact, although I hardly wish to overstate the case, I may even be a poor lover. I am neither extremely generous, nor inventively acrobatic, nor indefatigable. I’m not terribly experienced or irresistibly sexy, and worst of all, I’m far too interested in postcoital affection and conversation.”

Marrying Anita, Anita Jain

‘Marrying Anita’ is a book I can’t stop talking about. Whether it is the writing style (a wonderful combination of wry, witty and casual humour with an honest tone of narration) or the portrayal of the character or the situations described, this is a book I totally relate to. I identify with the character of Anita to an amazing extent, more than I could with any other. I share her frustration at the inability to find a guy who matches one’s concept and I was surprised to find myself nodding in agreement with so many situations mentioned in the book. One of my all-time favourites!

 

“Finding someone you love and who loves you back is a wonderful, wonderful feeling. But finding a true soul mate is an even better feeling. A soul mate is someone who understands you like no other, loves you like no other, will be there for you forever, no matter what. They say that nothing lasts forever, but I am a firm believer in the fact that for some, love lives on even after we’re gone.”

“…what a luxury it was for people to be able to hold their loved ones whenever they wanted…”

“But, Holly, nobody’s life is filled with perfect little moments. And if they were, they wouldn’t be perfect little moments. They would just be normal. How would you ever know happiness if you’d never experienced downs?”

P.S I Love You, Cecelia Ahern

I guess I have written a lot about this book, already, in earlier posts. But, considering the way it touched me, it’s no surprise that I keep coming back to it. I love the characters in it; I could see a little of myself in a couple of them. And I could relate so well to Holly’s emotions, her relationship with her family and friends. An amazingly simple book that revolves around everything that matters to us in life – love, family, friends, happiness and loving oneself.

 

Changing Times…

This post is so totally about me! So, it could be boring. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you! So, if you want to turn back (ie. if you have something better to do), please do so NOW!

Time seems to have gone by so fast. I still can’t believe I’m going to be done with college within a couple of months (hardly). But when I think about it, I realize that even though these 3 years may have gone incredibly fast, it has had a great impact on me. I have changed a lot…a lot more than what meets the eye. In essence, yes, I’m still the same. But in many ways, trivial and significant, I have changed. My thoughts and perceptions about so many aspects of life have undergone a transformation. The bond I share with some friends and my family have changed.

When I thought about it, I realized that I’m a different person now…a lot different from the person I was on the first day of college. I can feel it in me. Now, sometimes, when I talk, I think inside my head how new it all sounds to me, how much my views have changed. It strikes me that this isn’t me…or atleast, not the person I was. Initially, I was surprised. I had never expected this. But I love whatever changes have happened. And that gave me an idea – to write down the major or relevant changes in me, over the past 3 years.

Before: I used to believe one should have an ambition and should work hard towards accomplishing it. I always thought it was essential to find that one perfect job where you could find happiness for the rest of your life.

Now: I don’t think it’s necessary to stick to a certain career line for a whole lifetime. I think life should be experienced…and that, inevitably, involves doing what you want, what gives you happiness. Yesterday, in class, a teacher said that the youngsters of today don’t have a clear-cut goal or a sense of where they want to be. Well, I may not have a clear-cut goal but I’m truly happy with that. How can you plan for a future that is completely unpredictable? Yes, you can have dreams but a goal makes your life rigid…focused only on that particular outcome, not letting you do something else you might like better. I prefer keeping my options open, not restricting myself to anything. There’s a lot of things I want to do, lot of places I want to be… A goal wouldn’t let me live all that! Though maybe, you could say that my goal is to fulfill all my different, crazy dreams! 🙂

Before: I was really pious and an absolute believer.

Now: My perceptions about religion and God have changed so drastically. Now, I have formed my own concept about what’s God (as opposed to who it is). And I don’t believe in religion. Sometimes, I think God is more like an entity that men created so that they could blame someone for what’s happening to them. Well, that’s just another weird thought I had. No offense meant! Anyway, I guess that shows how much I have changed in this aspect!

Before: I believed that there existed a Mr. Right for me, somewhere out there, someone who was exactly the way I wanted my guy to be, someone for whom I would be a perfect match, blah blah.

Now: I do NOT believe in a Mr. Right anymore. You might find someone you truly love, someone who understands and accepts you as you are. But the whole concept of a Mr. Perfect is a total fantasy and nothing more (I have already blogged about this, and in case you want to check it out – Seeing Through Mr. Perfect…). My perceptions about relationships have changed like hell, too. I have become a lot more broad-minded and less demanding. I believe a relationship does not have to mean being together 24*7. It involves giving each other the time and space they need (something everyone might know but rarely put into practice), letting the other have a life of their own, knowing that you are always an inseparable part of it. It is about respecting each other’s choices and decisions…and a lot more, of course!

Before: I never had a particular attachment to my family. Yes, I loved them but I didn’t miss them when I was away or feel anything very deep.

Now: I’m extremely attached to my family! I may not be close with my parents beyond a certain extent but I’m really attached to them and my sisters. I miss them so badly. Even as I type this out, I wish I were back at home with them! 😦

Before: Until I got to college, I had only seen a small part of the world, known very few people. I didn’t know much of how diverse people could be. I never knew how fickle some could be.

Now: After coming to college, I have met so many different kinds of individuals. Now, I understand people a lot better and deeper. I have come to understand that there are people with so many different perspectives, behaviours and characters. And I have learnt to accept all of them, learnt to see through them, atleast to an extent. I have also realized the meaning of true friendship. Back at school, I had so many friends. We used to have this great gang and I thought we would be in touch even after school got over. I was very very wrong! But those who are still with me, I’m sure, will stay for life. And I know it will be the same after college. Those who stay, will stay.

Before: I used to study, atleast for the exams.

Now: I don’t bother to study. I go for the exams without even touching the books. The reason is simple enough: I hate the stuff I’m studying!

These are the major changes I could think of. Apart from these, some relevant changes would be: I started blogging (best thing that happened to me in 2011!!!); my perceptions about guys have changed a LOT; I have understood myself better; I discovered something I would love to do in life. And so many more imperceptible changes. I think I have begun loving changes!!! 🙂

My Religious Views !

      This is something I wrote sometime ago. But due to the lack of time and interest (me being too lazy ), I couldn’t  get it uploaded till now. Today, I happened to read this post in a blog of one of my good friends. And that reminded me about my own post !! 😀

    Well… I have definite views about everything in life. I generally don’t allow it to be changed by others’ opinions but if I feel that my views need a change I don’t hesitate to bring about a change in the way I think.

       One such aspect of my life that has undergone a transformation recently is my views about religion. I come from a normal Christian family, hailing from Kerala. My parents are not so fanatically religious but they have brought me up, teaching me to follow my religion and to keep my religious values intact. Naturally, they expect me to believe in the religion they believe in, and along with it all the teachings, rituals and other customs that are basically part of the religion. My mother is a very religious person, unlike my father who is not so much into religion. He believes in God and all… but he doesn’t really lay so much stress on following all the religious practices. Maybe because of the freedom he gave me, I have developed very much different views of religion.

     As might be known, Christianity, at present, has various sects. These different groups have different beliefs and teachings. I was introduced to a group of Christianity, which taught differently from mine, when I was around 12 years old. I was taught so many things that were contrary to what was taught in my church. And I believed whatever was taught. I don’t mean to say that they taught me something wrong. I think whatever they taught me is true. Anyway, at that time my mother was very much disturbed because of my conflicting thoughts and she used to try to convince me that what I believed to be true is not actually so. Anyhow, it did nothing to change my opinion.

      Then, as I grew up, my religious views changed gradually. I was an extremely pious person before. But now, I am not. Religion is just another part of life, for me. A necessity that man himself has created. All the forms for applying for a job, enrolling into a school, college or whatever, asks you your religion. It seems like you cant exist without a religion. Definitely, I can’t be wrong if I say that it is a necessity that man himself has created!

  Another thing that I noticed was that religion did not necessarily change anyone. There are so many people who go to church (or their respective religious places) and ”pretend” to be so God-fearing and good, while truly they are far from being good! Religion doesn’t change such hypocrites, does it ? Not every religious person is good… On the contrary, I am sure that you can find so many good people who might not necessarily be very much into religion (me being one of them 😉  …).

     So…now I am not religious, as in, not so much into religion. I have a religion, just for namesake. I don’t mean to say that I am an atheist. I believe in God but I don’t feel it is necessary that I should be part of some religion in order to pray! If God is one, then why do we need so many religions ? In the blog I read today, it was mentioned that my friend (the writer) feels that God is more like an energy than a person or  power. And I completely agree with that. I don’t really go along with the typical image of God and prefer to believe that He is something that exists in all of us, everywhere and nowhere.

      Recently, I read in a book that people turn to religion for meaning in their life. When everything in life seems to be uncertain and meaningless, they turn to religion, expecting it to impart meaning to their lives. That made me think why I was following a religion. I had no answer. Except that I was doing it for the sake of it. I was following a particular religion because I had to. It doesn’t really matter which religion I belong to, as long as I belong to one.

      As for me, my religion doesn’t impart any great meaning to my life. I go to church, celebrate the Christian festivals, follow some values or customs…that’s about it. Maybe if I had an option I would choose not to do them. So you see, I am doing it just because I am of this particular religion. I am not so keen about doing it, it doesn’t mean anything to me, it doesn’t impart any meaning to my life.

      So, i reached the conclusion that nowadays religion is not really meant to give people the peace and meaning that they are looking for in life. The truth is that religion CANNOT give the meaning that people are trying to find in their life! It might give a sense of belongingness or something in those lines since it is part of a society.

     Some people might say that I am wrong. But I still stand firm on my claim/view that religion cannot impart any great meaning to life … That makes me wonder . . . There is so much of problems in the world at present, and so many of them are related to religion. Now, I find that extremely ridiculous. Man himself creates something, turns it into a necessity and wrecks the lives of so many innocent people. I wish these religious fanatics would, for one moment, realize the futility of what they are doing, even though I know it is impossible… !

  Well, I was initially worried whether this post would create any problems. But well, this is what I think; you might think differently. But I definitely am glad that my mom’s not going to read this! 😀