Dear Library…

Come Sunday, I’ll be in a place I call ‘home’ in every sense of the word! The mere thought makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. I badly need the change of scene.

Last night, while on the verge of falling asleep, I remembered something that I had wanted to write about. I read something a couple of months ago and made a mental note to blog about it whenever I found time. But then, I got busy (like always) and the ‘note’ was pushed off to some corner of my mind. Only to resurface as a half-conscious thought, last night.

I came across this article in The Guardian about libraries – how they were ‘in danger’ and about a campaign that invited readers across the globe to write “love letters to their favourite libraries”. The idea had an instant connect with me and I knew that I wanted to write one, too.

My love-letter is to a very special library, one that does not exist anymore. Sometime in 2004, when I was in 8th standard, our school campus was relocated. While the library was, technically, shifted to another place, it wasn’t the same as the one we had in the old school. That library will always be a part of my fondest and most cherished school memories, for reasons more than one.

So..here goes!

Dear Library, 

You might not remember me but I could never forget you. They say you always hold your first love as a dear memory. I think that applies for libraries as well. Atleast for a bookworm like me. 

You were my very first library (and love)! I remember getting a glimpse of your interior sometime when I was in 1st or 2nd grade. Since then, I couldn’t wait to get inside and check out all those books. Finally, when I did enter the room, a year or so later, I was on cloud nine! It was love at first sight!

Dimly lit, with a mysterious air that hinted at all the treasure troves (read: books) waiting to be discovered, you had an old world charm about you. I loved spending time there, amidst shelves and shelves of books. We used to have a Library hour once every week and I remember waiting for it so eagerly. Waiting to meet you, to explore all that you had to offer me. Crossing your threshold was like entering into an entire new world, a space where everything else ceased to exist. It was just me, you and books. Even the air smelt of books, old and slightly tattered, adding to the magic. 

You introduced me to Enid Blyton. I couldn’t get enough of Famous Five and the Five Find-Outers. I kept yearning to see more of you, and read more. You helped me take the first step into ‘Bookwormland’ and guided me along the journey, delighting me with the beautiful classics you held. I remember those years as a blur of Jules Verne, Charles Dickens, Louisa May Alcott, E. Nesbit (to name a few) and gems like Anne of Green Gables, Pollyanna and Jane Eyre. 

I could never thank you enough for all that you have done for me. In so many ways, you made me what I am today. Hell, you might very well be the reason I write! Even though we had to part ways, I’ll never forget the time I spent with you, the happiness you gifted me. I know I never told you, but I love you; I always will. I believe you knew it all along. Every time I see the present library, or any library for that matter , I think of you and miss you. This is my way of trying to give back atleast a tiny bit of what you’ve given to me. 

Yours,

An ardent reader/admirer

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In the Wake of the Void…

People keep coming into your life. It’s all part of the ride. But then, meetings inevitably lead to partings. And, you know what’s the worst part (atleast, for me) when a person leaves, be it for the time being or for good? The void they leave behind…that inescapable hollow feeling when you sense the empty space in your life that they once occupied. As much as I love being with dear ones, I hate having to confront this void.

As mentioned in the previous post, my sister was here for a few days. She left on Saturday. And I was left face-to-face with a gaping hole that was the remnant of her presence here with me. Coming back to the room, knowing I was going to be by myself all over again…it was hell! Next day, I couldn’t bring myself to go out because I knew I would be reminded of all the times we had passed by those paths in the past few days. So, I stayed in.

Later, sometime at night, I had a talk with Kiran. I was surprised when she mentioned something along the same lines. She said that the worst part about people stepping out of your life was the memories they left behind. All you have to remember them by are those memories. My youngest sister, Ann, also said something similar – “The pain will be there as long as you are surrounded by stuff that reminds you of them.”

I might get over this situation in a couple of days. But it led me to think of all the friends I miss or have lost contact with…friends who have left a void and faded off, the intensity of it diminishing with each passing day yet refusing to disappear completely. And I felt a little lost. Disoriented would be a better word, I suppose. Take a moment and think of every single person who has moved out of your life, whom you miss in your own ways…and you might understandMemories what I’m talking about. Isn’t it disconcerting when you ponder over how much everything has changed, right from the person you are to the people in your life? That’s precisely what I felt when I had this train of thought yesterday.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I miss my sister. I miss some of the people who had been with me at different points in life. Nevertheless, I guess I’ve learnt to live with this emotion and all that it entails (writing helps immensely!).

Considering it’s the end of the year, I thought it would be the right time to put out this post. For everyone who has been/is part of my life, thank you for leaving me with a treasure trove of memories. I miss you in my own way. 🙂

 

[ P.S: For all the assholes who were in my life, the above message isn’t applicable to you. But yeah, thank you..for all the lessons I learnt, the hard way…for being the reason I could recognize your kind, later in life. You’re lucky I’m stopping at that. ]

Rain, Rain, Come Again :)

It’s night-time. Dark, silent (almost) and a tiny bit eerie. I don’t remember the last time I stayed up to blog. Since afternoon, there have been so many thoughts in my mind that I can’t help but sit down and let them out. Considering how lazy I can be, it surprises me that I’m staying up to write about some random thoughts I had earlier during the day. Maybe the fact that I could not go to sleep without doing this shows how much of an impact these thoughts have had on me.

I had been feeling quite low for the past couple of days.

Today afternoon, while walking back home with a friend, it started drizzling. It wasn’t unusual (it has been raining on and off during the past few weeks) or sudden (it has been cloudy for a couple of days). But it changed something within me. It felt good. I felt an urge to stay out in the rain for a while longer. It evoked a kind of happiness in me that I can’t seem to explain. It was not an overwhelming emotion…just plain happiness. A good feeling within, just a sense of being content and happy with wherever I was at that particular point in life. I went up to the terrace and sat there for a while. The rain had stopped by then but I knew it wouldn’t be long before it returned. At that moment, sitting there, watching the sky and lost in thoughts, I felt a deep sense of contentment with life. Almost like I was living solely in that moment. Even though I believe in the concept of living one’s life fully and in the moment, I have to admit that I hardly ever come across moments like this. And when I do, they touch me far deeper than ever; they leave me filled with thoughts that demand to be let out! (Right now, I feel flooded by so many thoughts, I don’t know which ones to let out!)

Since it was the rain that led to this “outpour” of thoughts, I suppose I’ll let rain take the limelight here. Today, while it was raining, I had so many thoughts going through my mind…and when I paid attention to these passing thoughts, I realized that they were mostly vivid memories, all related to rain. Some of them were almost long-forgotten. I thought I’d list out a few, to pore over on some other rainy day.

Rain reminds me of:

1) How I used to long for rainy days during childhood. I loved floating paper boats in the puddles, getting drenched in the rain (although that rarely happened) or just listening to the rain falling outside. Since rain wasn’t very common, I used to love whenever it rained, even if it meant mess and mud and dampness.

2) Schooldays! I loved going to school on rainy days. Inspite of the fact that I hated getting my feet wet, I enjoyed rainy school days. I used to love the small puddles on the school ground. Not the messy corridors, though. We used to make excuses or happily carry out errands for the teachers, just to get out of class and go out in the rain.

3) Quite contrary to school time, I hated rain during college. Perhaps because there was an excess of it! I dreaded going to class on rainy days. I hated the muddy paths, the drenched uniforms, the cold, everything! One distinct memory is of an instance when one moment, we  (classmates) were all walking slowly, ‘navigating’ around muddy puddles and talking, and the next moment, it started raining cats and dogs, and we ran to find shelter, splashing mud all around (need I add we ended up looking very much pitiable).

4) Songs. Experiences – Every time it rains, the first song to come to mind is Unnai Kandane (Parijatham). It has become almost synonymous to rain. Apart from all the memories of travelling on rainy days or of curling up in the bed, listening to the rain outside, another rainy experience I’ll always remember is the one I had while I was at Kochi – going up to the terrace with a PGmate/friend and enjoying the rain.  Evidently, it was good enough to make me blog about it. The memory and the post, in particular, have immense significance for me!

5) And now, rain will always remind me of today and the happiness it brought forth in me. Because it happened at a point when I badly needed it. Or perhaps, because it made me see things I had been overlooking, like the need to be happy by oneself.

So, what does rain remind you of? 

 

 

Of Palms, Feet & Spaces

Yesterday, I went out with my housemate, her brother and my sister (Janet). It was tiring, but enlightening in some ways. We went to this book fair, spent time checking out books… It’s always bliss to have books all around me! We had lunch, roamed around a bit, blah blah. It was past 5pm or so when we got back home. Completely drained and dead tired.

The enlightenment was more like an insight into myself. While travelling in the bus, on the way to some part of the city, I realized that I have a kind of claustrophobia. It’s not that I’m always afraid of all closed/cramped/tight places. For instance, I’m not at all uncomfortable while using an elevator. But then, sometimes, when I see walls all around me or can’t see beyond to an open space, I feel this rush of anxiety, a weird sense of suffocation. I was surprised when it struck me; I had never noticed it until now.

How I came to realize this fact about myself – While the bus was passing by a building, the wall was visible right outside the window (to my right). I could just reach out and feel its rough surface. And when I looked to my left, there were people crowding around, and I couldn’t see beyond the wall of human bodies. I felt like I’d begin to suffocate…a clutch of panic in my mind. That was when I understood that I’m claustrophobic, to some extent.

Another enlightenment I had was in the book fair, when I chanced upon a certain book. During the past couple of days, I’ve been talking, reading and thinking a lot about certain unconventional fields of study – astrology, palmistry. What drew me to them is the fact that they combine science (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE) and ethereal, metaphysical elements (which I find intriguing).

At the book fair, yesterday, I saw this book – The Complete Illustrated Guide to Palmistry. I flipped through it, stopping for longer on some pages; the images, texts and concepts all jumping out at my inquisitive mind. Apart from the fact that it was detailed, illustrated and written in an interesting way, I loved the book because of the sheer curiosity it awakened in me. Anyone who saw me could have seen the unmasked excitement on my face!

I’m sure my face must have looked even more animated when I found another book below the palmistry one – The Complete Illustrated Guide to Reflexology. I have always liked the concept of reflexology but didn’t know anything much about it. Beyond the basics, that is. So, seeing the book, I went through it, trying to get a deeper idea of a topic I like. And, I was surprised to find myself going on turning pages, falling in love with the book. I loved the illustrations, explaining how to massage, where and how to apply pressure at the right points for the right reasons.

When I moved towards my sister and away from the book, I felt this longing, pulling me back… I had fallen in love with the book. I had discovered interest and zeal for something so unexpected. And I knew I wanted to learn, know more about it.. So, I’ve been trying to get more information on the subject, checking out possible courses, blah blah. And I couldn’t help sharing it with y’all. 🙂

As far as work is concerned, the bad phase is slowly starting to brighten up. I just completed my first major event, quite successfully. More on that later! I’m still demotivated, more or less, but I’m sure that will pass. Janet is here for a couple of weeks, so it feels really good. I’ve become aware of the presence of an awesome friend. I’ve been having a lot of chocolate. 🙂 Seems like good times are just around the corner.

Thoughts in Loops

A remarkable snippet from the conversation I had with someone I met today –

He: You are not happy with your life

Me: Nothing like that, I am happy about where I am right now.

He: No, you are not. 

Me: No, seriously, I am. I’m happy with my job… 

[Interrupting] He: It’s not about the job…

Me: I understand. I’m happy with my job, I love the place, I love the people. OK, I admit I don’t love the place where I stay but that’s not such a big deal. Basically, I am happy with stuff…but on the whole, if you ask me, I can’t say I’m completely happy. There’s something…

He: It’s incomplete.

Me: Exactly! [smiling wide as the realization strikes, thinking “That’s it, that’s what I couldn’t place all this while, there’s something missing.”]

Tries asking if he is happy, to know if he feels the incompleteness too. Seems he doesn’t, he is happy with life. Ok, so why am I not happy? Too screwed up in the head? What’s wrong with me? Wonders aloud what could be causing the insufficiency. 

[Answers my thoughts] He: Freedom! 

Me: Exactly! [Thinking “How the hell does this guy come up with all the answers for my life?”]

And, like some light just dawned on me, I realize what’s missing in my life. The freedom to live life the way I want. I don’t want restrictions. I want to be let free completely, so that I can choose between right and wrong by myself, make some mistakes, learn and live life. This realization kinda opened my eyes (thanks to the awesome guy who helped).

After seeing him off, I was walking back. On the way, I had another thought…a line that this same person had mentioned a few days ago. And, at that moment, as we moved far away from each other, that line came back to me. And I knew he was right. ‘I fear I won’t be the same anymore, after meeting you.’ I’m not the same anymore. Nothing is the same anymore.

I got back sometime ago. I had these two thoughts going around in my head in loops (bits for the day). And I knew I had to blog about it. Today has also changed my perceptions about railway stations. 😉

The Lemons Life Gave Me

They say life gives you what you want (it might give you lemons, if that’s what you want). I wonder who said that. Because he seems to have said it right.

A week ago, I was depressed because I was homesick, lonely and yearned to see a familiar face. And now, for the past few days, I have been spending time with or running into some familiar faces. Also, I’ve found an awesome friend in someone who has a very familiar face.

I met up with Merlin on Saturday, after 1 month of silence. It was a very special experience for both of us. I stayed over at her place for the night. We talked until around 2am or so, caught up with each other’s lives. When I woke up in the morning, it almost felt like I was back in hostel. I had never thought I would be meeting Merlin, atleast not in the way it actually happened. I’m glad we did, though. We got to spend some really good time with each other. She is about to embark on a very significant journey in life, a totally new phase. And I’m glad I was there with her before she left.

There are very few people with whom you can trust yourself. I realized it in full force, once I started living by myself. I had to be careful about who I chose to trust, about divulging personal information… After all this, it’s a complete relief to be with someone you can trust, with whom you can be yourself and say all the nonsense you want to. I spent (almost) the whole of Monday with someone who fits this description perfectly! I was truly happy and enjoyed the time we spent. Maybe I was meant  to go through that period of loneliness, or I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate the happiness I felt yesterday. I had an absolutely awesome time. We talked a lot, had some food, walked around, fooled around a bit, laughed…basically, made most of the time we had.

Yesterday, on my way back from work, I saw a guy who was my senior in college. Both of us recognized each other even though we hadn’t spoken during the 3 years of college. So, life’s giving me what I want, more or less. I got to meet some well-known faces.  I have a handful of friends who genuinely care about me. During the past one week, I’ve also got closer to someone who is so scarily similar to me. I enjoy and love his presence in my life. I wonder what I should ask for next! 🙂

So, do you think life gives/has given you what you want? 

Why I Want Last Night Back

[I don’t know if the title makes sense, but that is exactly what this post is about!]

Remember New Year’s Eve? If ever I got the chance to relive a day in my life, I used to think I’d choose that day. Well, not anymore! Yesterday, I had one of the most unforgettable days of my life…a day that I’ll hold special and memorable (and a lot more, actually) forever! Sometimes, you meet people who touch you in such irrevocable ways, like they become etched into your mind! People with whom you can connect at an extraordinary level, feel absolutely comfortable and happy, open up without thinking of rights or wrongs. Last night, I got close to a couple of people who fit into this category. It was out of this world. Nothing else could ever describe it better.

I went out for a movie with my colleagues and then spent the night at the place where a couple of them stay. Since I’m so into new experiences and making most of opportunities, I had decided I didn’t want to sleep at all (wanted to make most of the night). I spent the entire night talking to the others, specifically two awesome guys! It’s after a long time that I got to have such a detailed conversation. We spoke about a lot of stuff…and at the end of it, I was speechless! I didn’t want the day to end, I wished time would stop or something. 🙂 But you know it didn’t. Good things don’t last forever.

It’s very rarely that I get to meet guys (or anyone, for that matter) with whom I can have proper, mature talks, without bothering to think about what I’m saying. So, I truly enjoyed last night. I wish I could tell you more, because I’d love to commit to memory each word we spoke. I was super-amazed by the level of connection and similarities I shared with them. Apart from that, why I loved this night so much is because it moved me, touched me in ways I cannot explain. I have never thought up so much within one night! 🙂 And I’d choose to relive last night, if I were given the chance! Without a second thought!

But, like every great day, this one came to an end…and I was struck by a realization today morning (shattering the dreamy happiness that yesternight had created). You meet people who share a great chemistry with you, people who are meant to be part of your life. But, it’s almost like you know you won’t have a chance to experience what it’s like (having them with you). Does that make sense? OK, let’s put it this way. You meet people who are perfect to be part of your life…but, well, there’s a but! I know I’m not being very lucid, but that’s the easiest way to explain what I have in mind. There’s a but involved! Realizing this has kind of dampened my spirits today morning.

Anyhow, maybe time could work wonders. 🙂 I never seem to lose hope, right? After all, what do we have in life other than hope for a better tomorrow?