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

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! 😀

Figuring Out

Everyday, I open up the ‘Add New Post’ page, thinking the sight of it might inspire me or push me to write out something. But it has been nearly two weeks now. Ann told me that I must blog something today. And then, I found this Freshly Pressed post today, in which the blogger experiences a similar lack of  inspiration to write (due to different reasons, though). In my case, I just don’t find that spark, that inner need to write, to let out my thoughts. I do have stuff to say, but I just can’t seem to find the will to do it.

I’m trying to figure out what I should do next, in terms of a course/further studies. I want to let myself take time and come up with it, but meanwhile, it kind of depresses me to think that I’m in the middle of nowhere, right now…with no idea of where to turn to, what to do next. I’m sure it’s normal, but I’m still trying to come to terms with it. So, I suppose all that inner turmoil is the actual culprit behind my lack of motivation.

Someone once told me that we don’t really need to be taught anything; all that we need to know or learn is within us. It might be true, because sometimes when a person tells me something, I get this feeling that I had already known it, and just needed someone to remind me of it.

I had been unable to understand why I was so moody and disturbed. And then, while reading ‘Like the Flowing River’ by Paulo Coelho, I came across this situation (a comparison to life) in it, and it struck me: “This is my problem! I knew it all along but I needed to be reminded, be told about it (in this case, read it).” So, this was what enlightened me –

“The Persian poet Rumi once said that life is like being sent by a king to another country in order to carry out a particular task. The person sent may do a hundred other things in that other country, but if he or she fails to fulfill the particular task he or she was charged with, it is as if nothing had been done.”

The age-old problem of finding one’s purpose in life. I realized that I’m plagued disturbed. Because I couldn’t figure out what exactly I was supposed to do. That constant feeling of ‘something missing’ or

Found this online. LOVED it! 🙂 Made me smile!

‘something not right’ – that’s what is disturbing me. And I also realize that it is upto me to put it right. And that it can’t be forced. So, while that goes on, I’m trying to enjoy this phase. Trying to get over the sense of loneliness and purpose-less-ness.

I’m sure all of you must have gone through this. So, tell me, how did you get over it or sort it out? 

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? 🙂 

What I’m Upto…

Right from the time I could remember, I have been into Hindi music. I used to listen to most of the new songs, pick my favourites, suggest others to listen to them, have long talks with friends about the new movies & songs. Music has always been one inseparable part of my life, right from school time. And I’ve always been more into Bollywood music as compared to English, Malayalam or Tamil. So, imagine my dismay and frustration when I end up doing college in a place where Hindi movies hardly get released (hardly=limited to big banner movies). And don’t even ask about the music! I was almost equal to an illiterate when it came to Bollywood music, while there. Once in a while, some friend would tell me about this new hit song from so-and-so movie and that was like the only way I had to keep myself updated. And, of course, I had the internet. But there’s only so much you can  find out by sitting in the lab and googling. 🙂

What I used to do was: while I come home (read: RAK) for the hols, I used to check out the movies/music that I had missed during the past few months and catch up. I’d  google for the reviews and pick out those that seem good; sometimes, go by my own judgement, from the sound of the movie title, music director, singers, so on. And that’s exactly what I’m doing right now. 🙂 I’ve been going through some movie reviews, a hell lot of music reviews… And I’ve rerealized how crazy I still am about music. Not just anything or everything, though. Basically, I’m crazy about good movies & music. And what’s good? I’d say any music that can connect to me (my inner being) can be declared good.

I have found some really good songs, some awesome movies to watch… and it’s surprising how some movies that weren’t exactly box-office hits can have such beautiful music! Even though some songs didn’t exactly turn out to be as good as the reviews promised, I’ve come across a handful that I’m sure are going to be played a hell of a lot! 🙂 To name a few (very very few), I’m in love with Hona Tha Pyaar from Bol, Tere Dil Mein from Let’s Party (Ganesh Hegde [I’m crazy about him!!!]), Tera Noor from Teri Rehmatein (Javed Ali), songs from Jhootha Hi Sahi…

So, I’ll be getting back to my songs, for now. Let me know what you’ve been upto! 🙂