Long Time, No See

I’ve been meaning to get back to blogging for ages now. A passing thought, a meaningful conversation, an interesting person or, as usual, a great book or a movie – there’s been so much to write about. Yet, I couldn’t bring myself to actually sit down and write out what I had in mind. Why, you ask? Well, I wasn’t sure about it, in simple words. I had been writing in another ‘voice’ for so long (as part of my job) that I was worried I’d realise I had lost touch with mine. I was scared I’d just make a fool of myself. And, at other times, I was just plain lazy.

Thankfully, I have a bunch of friends who keep pestering me about asking me when I’m going to blog, so much that I decided to finally get down to it! Now that I’ve begun, the words seem to be coming a little more easily, this feels a tiny bit more familiar. Although, I have to admit, inspite of being over a 100 words into this post, I still don’t know what it is going to be about.

I left a place I called home for nearly three years (actually, it’s still home of sorts), to a city that has always been home but feels a little less so right now. While it has been nice running into all the familiar faces here, there’s also a strangeness that I keep sensing every now and then. More often than not, I find myself taking another look at these seemingly recognisable people, and I realise they aren’t who I thought them to be. Not anymore atleast. Or maybe, they never were.

It almost feels like I’m talking to them for the first time, getting to know them from scratch! Perhaps, it doesn’t sound all that bad. But I don’t think I enjoy the sense of detachment that comes with it. In fact, it’s also slightly scary. Kind of makes you look back at everyone you have ever known. And then, when you look at yourself, you see how much you have changed along the way, how little these ‘familiar faces’ know about you, how you are a whole new person yourself. So, maybe it’s alright for them to seem like strangers…and for you (me, that is) to rediscover anew a place you used to consider home for so long.

Long pause.

I’m sort of surprised at what I just wrote typed out, simply because it was nothing but a doubtful, half-formed notepad-926046_960_720thought until a few minutes ago! I don’t know if any of it makes sense, but this is precisely why I love blogging/writing (one of the reasons, atleast) – it has a way of unlocking something deep within that even I might not be aware of. Well, all I can say at this point is, it definitely feels good to be back here!

Ever had an epiphany brought about by your writing? Tell me more. 🙂  

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Happy. Thank you. More Please!

I’m home (read: RAK) for two weeks! I have been reading, talking to my bratty sister, devouring mom’s awesome food and, well, having a good time! In short, I am happy. It sounds almost surreal to say that. But I actually am happy. For now, atleast. Anyway, so, I have also been watching quite a lot of movies. Last day, I happened to watch one that I really, badly wanted to blog about. So, here I am. Sometimes, amidst the flurry of superhero, horror, thriller, comedy, drama and romance movies, you come across something refreshing. Predictable yet different. Happythankyoumoreplease (2010) was one such movie for me. It’s a romance-comedy-drama film that I stumbled upon while checking out some other flick in IMDB. The synopsis seemed interesting and I added it to my to-watch list. For the past 3-4 months, it had been gathering virtual dust in my laptop, until I decided to watch it yesterday. And I’m glad I did! There are three parallel stories in the film, told seamlessly, delving into the lives, relationships and problems of a handful of characters. Sam (Josh Radnor, who is also the director-writer) is a struggling writer who develops a complicated friendship with a lost child. His best friend, Annie (Malin Akerman), an Alopecia patient, tries to fix her messed up self-image and, in turn, her love life. Sam’s cousin, Mary Catherine (Zoe Kazan) and her boyfriend face certain problems in their relationship. Also in the picture is Mississippi (Kate Mara) – a charming, young waitress with issues of her own – who Sam falls for. OK, so, I know it sounds completely cliché. I agree, it is. And yet, I absolutely loved it. It felt like a breath of fresh air to me with its simple premise and extremely likeable, not to mention relatable, characters. I really don’t know why I found it so good. Maybe it just happened at the right time, like, I probably needed something light after the bout of “heavy” movies I had been watching. Perhaps, it’s because I found a genuinely feel-good movie after a long time. Or, maybe, it’s truly as awesome as I think it is! Whatever be the reason, it doesn’t really matter. Because the bottom line is: I loved the movie! It’s refreshing, light, happy, warm and…(the best part) even uplifting, in some ways. I think I could see bits and pieces of myself in the characters and their difficulties. The dialogues are another aspect I really liked. Sample this: “I realized the problem. You write short stories… and I think you like living short stories, but I’m kinda ready for the novel.” I was also quite taken by the music; some of the songs had really interesting lyrics. By the time the end credits were rolling, I was feeling quite happy in a way I can’t seem to explain. Probably because  it’s not usual for me to feel that way after a movie. This one, inspite of being predictable, had a lot more sense and warmth than many other rom-com-dramas. It’s not even about that, to be honest. You don’t always come across a light-hearted movie which actually lifts your mood, even makes you feel…inspired-happy, for lack of a better word. That’s the effect Happythankyoumoreplease had on me. And I can’t remember the last time a movie made me feel so good! So there! I think I’m done with the gushing. Your turn! Oh, that reminds me. I hate the “like” option WordPress has enabled for comments. Maybe I am overreacting, but I suppose I can still have my say. Earlier, the only way to respond to a comment was by, well, replying to it. The plain old reply in words thing. Now, you have the option of merely “liking” the comment, offering the gesture as a possible response. I hate that! It cuts off conversation! I suppose it might be Facebook-inspired. But then, it’s fine in FB, because you can conveniently end an unnecessary comment thread by just clicking the ‘like’ button (I do that all the time!). I don’t think it is required on a platform like WordPress where bloggers actually intend to communicate. And, that marks the end of my rant. For now!

Have you seen the movie? Let me know what you think. And, while you’re at it, I’d love to know what you think about the “like” option for comments, as well. 🙂

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

Don’t you Miss my Blah Blah? (Please Say Yes!)

Please ignore the stupidity of the title. I can be really crazy, sometimes. And, dumb, at other times. 

I had a wonderful weekend at home, lazing around, watching movies, eating and talking to Ann. I did everything that I can’t do when I’m staying in a new place – sing out loud, play loud music, talk whatever I want for as long as I want, enjoy the familiarity that home always offers. It was almost painful to come back and get to work.

But, well, here I am, sitting in front of a system that gets super-slow every once in a while, bored of doing whatever I’m doing.

The downside of being here is that I’m alone. In a lot of ways, I appreciate the solitude, especially since it helps me learn to live by myself and take care of myself. But, when it comes to going out, having a meaningful conversation or wanting to see a familiar, comforting face, loneliness sucks! Like I wrote in a

I should use that line, sometime!

I should use that line, sometime!

mail to a friend, I have even lost my appetite because I HATE eating alone (does not mean I enjoy eating with strangers). Every day, I keep hoping time will do the trick, that things will change. Because I’m sure it will. Maybe today. Or tomorrow.

Anyway, another problem with new people is: you tend to hide (or atleast, try not to let them notice) the weird habits/behaviour or quirks you have. On my second day here, when I found out that one of my colleagues lives in the same building as me, I thought I’d have company to commute to work. I almost asked him something of that sort, then quickly dropped it. Why? Because he would come to know some of my quirks. [Awkward confession time…Man, this is difficult!] I’m strangely apprehensive about going down a staircase and look kinda weird while doing so. And thanks to my awesome lack of balance, escalators and electronic walkways are…umm…a tiny bit scary. Just a bit.

So, the thought of a new person noticing this was more than what I was comfortable with. Anyhow, today morning, both of us happened to be waiting for the metro, at the same time. Which, inevitably, means we came to work together. Thankfully, though, this guy happens to be a little too much into himself to notice my innocent quirks. Or maybe he didn’t find me interesting enough to notice (since I hide my awesomeness when I go to work; why invite all that jealousy to oneself?). Well, so, I guess everything’s fine; my secret is safe. 🙂

What makes blogging so much of a relief right now is the fact that I haven’t found a friend to dump my thoughts on have a proper, open conversation with. Until I do (and until I start talking some sense), I’m sure you wouldn’t mind listening.

Bottom line: quirks or no quirks, friend or no friend, life’s good. 🙂

 

New Girl in the City

Any time there’s a major change, whether it’s going into a relationship, getting out of a relationship, moving to a new city, a death – that usually provides a catalyst for an explosion of creativity.
– Lucinda Williams

So, the major change, in my case, might not have led to an ‘explosion of creativity’, but, I’m feeling a lot better than when I wrote the previous post. Well, inspite of my lack of interest, I took up this utterly boring front-desk job at an advertising agency in Dubai. The motivating factors? The thought of moving to a new city, meeting new people, exploring new opportunities, going through new experiences. And that’s how the move to Dubai happened. I work 5 days a week and come home to RAK for the weekend.

Even though my job is boring and least challenging, I like the fact that I have a lot of time on hand. I spend most of my time online, reading blog posts & news articles or replying to some mails. While the youngsters at my office aren’t very welcoming or friendly (in fact, hardly any of them talk to me), the older ones are quite friendly. It’s kind of weird; maybe, they just need time to accept me. Anyway, for now, all I need to keep me going is the prospect of exploring the new city and the experiences it has to offer. The absence of a good friend to talk to or confide in can be overlooked, I suppose. Atleast for now.

After moving in to a comfortable place to stay (with some friendly, sweet people for roommates), my first challenge was finding my way around, to and from work. You will be able to understand the horror of the situation, if you know how terrible my sense of direction is. I had to travel by metro (for the first time) and the first time I reached office by myself, I felt this intense sense of achievement. Like I had done something. Definitely not something difficult or unattainable;but something new, which is what matters to me, after all.

Of course, there’s the foot ache, slight neck pain (from sitting in front of the computer for too long) and the constant feeling of disorientation and being lost. Yet, at the threshold of each new experience, I sense a burst of zeal, because I’ve been yearning for it. Inspite of being a stranger, I love the way the city welcomes me, without being too intimidating. The people I’ve come across have been extremely helpful, even if it meant sacrificing a few minutes of their busy schedule.

Now, I have time for everything. Even with the 8-hour job, the travelling and everything, I have time to write, to read and time for myself. Maybe I had to have these new, strange experiences to get myself back to normal. And, of course, that would inevitably mean: more to blog about! 🙂

Kind of what I look like at work, minus the nail file, of course! 😀

Let’s Catch Up!

So…I think I’m back, and I know I’m repeating a line that has been part of atleast 4-5 previous posts. Around 7 weeks after my previous post, here I am, finally typing something onto a page that I’ve opened up a hundred times in the past few days. Well, a lot has changed. Obviously. How can things remain the same for 7 whole weeks, anyway?

Well, in case you’d like to know, I quit my job at Kochi (Kerala), bid farewell to some awesome friends (and some beautiful, memorable places) and have come back to RAK. Home. It’s just been around 7 months since I left this place. It used to feel like ages when I was in Kerala, but now, once I got back, it feels like I hadn’t gone at all.

I suppose RAK is the place where I spend that interval period between two phases in my life. Because, now, I’m here to take my time and figure out what I want to do next. I haven’t yet begun the ‘figuring out’. I don’t want to force myself to dwell on it and find an answer. Let it come by itself, I know it will.

So, while I’m in the process or relaxing, lazing around and trying to do some serious thinking, I will also have a lot of chattering to do… Do keep a watch on this space! 🙂 I’ve missed my readers – regulars and the random visitors alike – as much as I have missed the experience of blogging.

And while you’re here, why don’t you tell me what you have been upto? 🙂 

Back Again

It’s been ages since I blogged. And you have no idea how many have been asking me to blog, saying they keep checking for new posts. To be honest, I’m flattered. The reason why I haven’t been blogging for so long is – hectic schedule (thanks to work) and pure laziness (thanks to me)! Right now, seeing the ‘Add New Post’ page, having my fingers literally flying over the keyboard, it feels so damn good.

Today has been an awesome day! In fact, I have been having a bit of awesomeness in each day during the past one week. Which is probably why I felt moved enough to blog today. Well, apart from the fact that I’ve made a couple of new friends, a lot has been happening. And I just had to write it out.

The past one week has been eventful. My work has begun to get a little pressurizing, at times. Even though I get irritated, I know that it will eventually turn out to be a great experience for me. So, I grit my teeth (literally, almost always) and go through these trying situations, knowing that it will pass.

I have grown closer to a really sweet person at work. Her place is right beside mine, and every now and then, we find something or the other to talk to each other. It might be stupid office-gossip, personal stuff, work-related tidbits or whatever! And, last week, when I faced a very confusing situation, I wanted to talk it out. And she was the first person to come to my mind. I loved the conversation we had. For one thing, it made me realize how close we had grown to each other. Another reason is – I LOVED the way she cleared up the whole issue, making me feel so much better.

I have made another new friend, too. A total random stranger. We started texting by chance…and then met up last week. And, well, we might not be personally close or anything. But I enjoyed the time I spent with him. He is easy and fun to be with, someone who will make you laugh, feel comfortable. So, that’s how I found a new friend.

I moved to a new place today. It’s a really cute, awesome place. Very silent, tranquil area…friendly house-mates… After I got here, I was unpacking. And it struck me. Unpacking (or even packing, for that matter) is a sort of draining process. It’s like you’re unpacking your life; you pack up every remnant of the life you spent in a place, and then you unpack that life in another place, where these things look odd, misplaced. But, eventually, those things start to belong in the new space… I hope I’ll be able to blend in with this place soon.

I have so many other thoughts running around in my head. But, right now, I need to go get some sleep. I’ll try not to let this space rot. I’ve missed blogging so much.