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! 😀

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Thoughts, On The Way

Some people can intimidate you. It’s normal. Some books can have the same effect on you (or is it just me?). Again, normal. But, last weekend, while travelling, I realized something strange. Places intimidate me. Like hell. And when I say places, I’m not merely referring to tall buildings, huge structural wonders. I’m talking about the place, as a whole. When I travel to new (or even old) places, I realize how less I know about it. More like how much of it is left for me to know, to see. And that is extremely intimidating. For me, atleast. I know it sounds weird. But then, that’s why I’m telling you about it.

When I go to a new place, the first emotion is always fascination, the awesome feeling that comes with knowing something new. And then, realization sets in. I look around and I see how much there’s left to be seen. Last weekend, I went to a friend’s place. The journey was special, because, after a long time, I got time by myself. Completely by myself. I observed some people, looked out at the passing sights, let my mind wander and thought up a hell lot.

Another weird thought that occurred to me was when I was just leaving the city where I currently reside. For a moment, I felt this pang of emotion. I can’t explain what exactly it was. Something similar to what I’d feel when I go away from home. I felt like I was leaving a place where I (kinda) belong, a place that has begun to feel like home for me. I was surprised at the thought. Because it’s only been a month since I moved to this city. And realizing that it has already begun to fit into the concept of ‘home’ was sort of overwhelming in some ways. Seems like I’ve accepted the city, though I’m not yet sure if the city has accepted me as a part of it. It probably doesn’t make sense to you. Or maybe it does (if you’re weird enough).

 

And I would run away…

Have you ever felt the need to just run away? Run away from the place you’re in right now, the situation… Actually, not run away from anything. Just run away. Take a break, a deep breath, just not let anyone know…go away to some random place. You get the idea (don’t you?)! So, have you ever felt an urge to do it? It’s been on my mind for the past couple of days. No, nothing bad happening. Just that I’m not very happy with some situations and am kinda fed up. The thought of running away to some far-off place with nobody bothering me, nothing to worry about is extremely tempting.

To be honest, I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of running away. When I have nothing else to think about, I sit and think up possible plans for survival if (and when) I run away. My family’s never given me a reason to do it yet (luckily!). So, I decided that a reason wasn’t necessary. Today morning, I was seriously considering the idea. And that led me to think why I want to do it, in the first place. Well, you know what? I think it must be the sheer sense of freedom that it gives me. The knowledge that I can just let go of everything and go off somewhere, that I can just disappear one day. Knowing that I can be completely free.

Wondering why it’s necessary to run away to be completely free? Because, right now, I can’t really do what I want. Not always. I might have to keep my mouth shut so that I don’t lose my job, I might have to hold back something so that I don’t hurt some people… Doing what I want isn’t as easy as it sounds. So, loving the idea of running away should come as no surprise! I might not take off today, probably not tomorrow or the day after…but, hopefully, soon (Am I glad my parents aren’t reading this!).

Miss Me While I’m Gone…

By this time tomorrow, I’ll be in a different country…and when I say different, I mean different in every possible way. As different as heaven and hell, if you ask me. And the funniest part – that is supposedly my homeplace! I know this (leaving) is completely my decision and nobody else’s. But that doesn’t stop me from feeling sad. Nothing will, in fact.

I know I haven’t posted anything during the past few days. Well, I’ve been shopping, trying to spend time with Ann, packing, blah blah. I must have opened up the ‘add new post’ page atleast twice each day…but never felt like writing anything. And, even if I had, I’m positive it wouldn’t have been worth publishing. I hate lamenting in public (all those depressing, emo status updates in Facebook? I HATE THEM!). I didn’t want to end up doing something I hate.

Time to leave, I suppose…

So, I’m leaving tonight…will reach God’s Own Country by early morning. I don’t know how long I’ll have before I leave to Bangalore. But I have a lot of travelling to do before that. I’ll probably have to meet Merlin on Wednesday, go to college to get some certificates and stuff, meet up some friends, so on. I’m glad I’ll have enough to keep me distracted. I wouldn’t want too much time by myself, I know I’ll be reminded of the fact that I’m away from home.

I have no clue when I’ll be posting next. It will take some time. So, while I’m away trying to settle down into a new phase in life, do bear with my silences and occasional laments. I’m going to miss this space, just as much as I’ll miss home. I’ll try my best to be back soon. Wish me good luck. And, most importantly…Miss me! 🙂

Moving On Can Be Super-Scary!

I just have two more weeks left! I don’t believe this. I can’t believe almost two months have gone by so fast! I’m already going crazy, thinking of the hell lot of stuff I’ll have to do once I get back. And apart from the tension, one emotion that’s been disturbing me is the sorrow of leaving. Once I start working, I have no idea when I’ll be able to come here on a vacation like this. For now, I’m just pushing aside that thought. For later.

It might sound stupid to some and crazy to some others. Even I’m amazed at what I’m about to embark on. I have absolutely no idea about what to do or how to go about with things, once I get back to India. I’m planning to move to a city that’s completely new and strange to me. I don’t even have close friends there! And I have no plan, not even a rough idea of how I intend to make this happen. Am I scared? Hell, yes, I am. Am I tensed? Yes, very much, even though I’m keeping a large part of it for later.

I seriously don’t know how I am going to find a place to stay, live by myself, manage everything by myself in a completely new city… I did NOT tell my parents about how scared I’m. I don’t think I ever will. They are already pretty freaked out and tensed. They tried tempting me with the idea of working over here. But I stayed firm on my decision. Anyway, I don’t want them to know I’m super-clueless, too. All that worry could be injurious to their health. 🙂

I did talk about this with some friends. Some of them said they believed I could do it, that I’d be able to pull through these situations. But a couple of my closest friends (one of them being Saba) were really concerned and asked me to think well before deciding. Saba, in particular, was super-worried. She tried her best to talk me into staying here. And, to be frank, she made me think about a lot of aspects that hadn’t occurred to me. Anyhow, eventually, she supported me in my decision. Not because I convinced her or anything (I doubt I’ll ever be able to do that!). But because she knows me.

For one thing, I’m firm (read: stubborn) when it comes to my decisions. Another thing, as she rightly pointed out, is that if I fall for my parents’ suggestion and stay back, I’ll never be able to feel fully happy. I will always wonder how things would have turned out had I gone forward with my plan. And it will keep gnawing at my happiness. So, she told me that it’s better that I go ahead with my decision. Otherwise I’ll never be happy. 🙂 I love her for saying that!

I’m aware of the risk I’m taking. I know things can go wrong. Very wrong. But, let’s just be positive. And, even if something goes wrong, I know I’ll deal with it somehow. That’s what life is about, after all. That’s how you learn to live! Exactly why I want to take this risk. I want to get out of the comfort zone that I’ve been in all these years, know what it is like to live by myself, deal with problems on my own…experience life. 🙂

Lot of hopes, dreams…and yes, a tiny bit of worries. Let’s wait and see how things turn out to be! 🙂

Thinking Away (as always!)

Some of my most wayward and deepest thoughts were born while travelling. I love travelling. It’s like a transition phase, where you go from one place to another, passing through so many strange places. I have always held a peculiar sense of fascination for travelling, that act of journeying from one point to another. While on the way to some place, I have always felt a desire to just go on travelling. As in, I don’t want to reach the destination, I want the path to go on. I love that in-between phase. And during travelling, I get so much time to indulge in thoughts. I let my mind wander around, taking in the people around me, observing the places I pass, the happenings on the way.

A DTC bus on a Delhi ring road, travelling on ...

During the one week I was away, I did a hell lot of travelling. And, needless to say, I have had so many interesting thoughts. Once, while I was in the bus, I noticed how it was so weird that around 40-50 (or more) people came together, in close contact or proximity with each other, for a short time span and then went off on their different ways. That is what happens in a bus, right? You have some 50 other strangers around you, all so close to you (physically) and going in the same direction, atleast for some time. So many people with a lot of different lives, hopes, dreams and problems. Yet bound to you in an odd way, because you’re all in the same vehicle, on the same path to somewhere.

I was struck by the singularity of the situation. When I looked around, I found so many unknown people around me…people who were going the same way, sitting so close to me, yet living worlds apart…making no effort to know the person sitting next to them, just plain lost and immersed in their own worlds. Have you ever thought about how many such strangers you meet on your way to and from work (or any place, for that matter)? It’s like, for those few minutes or hours, you are all bonded by the journey…kind of like your destinies have come together…and then, you are lost. [I just realized that I LOVE that last line, the sheer imagination behind that thought.] 🙂

I always wonder what kind of person must be the one sitting next to me, what kind of life he/she leads, so on. If it didn’t seem like an intrusion into their privacy, I guess I’d have tried to ask them and find out! 🙂

Another time, while in the bus (again), I was listening to music. And I noticed that each song made me think of something related to college, even if it was in the slightest way. Now, since college is over, every song I hear seems to remind me of some instance related to college days. Almost all the songs I hear fall into categories like: songs we danced to or songs we wanted to dance to, songs that this person liked or that person disliked, songs that we sang to make fun of some friend, songs that I listened to on that trip or that day, songs that my ex and I loved or hated, songs that remind me of particular events or situations…so on. Every song I listen to has some significance, some connection to the times I’ve had at college. It’s amusing, actually, to know that these 3 years have influenced me to such an extent. 🙂

Nextttt! While I was with Kiran, I happened to ask her if she had heard some new songs. She replied that she listens only to English songs now; she doesn’t listen to Hindi music because, frankly, she doesn’t feel there are many good songs coming out now. I suggested some of my favourites among the latest releases and she said that she didn’t like them. I confess that I kinda agree with her statement about not many good songs being made nowadays. But there are quite a few, nevertheless, that captured my attention enough to make me want to listen to them again. Then, Kiran mentioned that all these ‘good’ songs are love songs, all mushy-mushy or talking of true love and stuff (that being an inherent theme in Bollywood music). You know what I mean. And she said that she has become sort of immune to that line of thought – love, commitment, true love, blah blah. She feels a kind of sarcasm and contempt when she listens to those totally mushy songs; she doesn’t believe in that ‘shit’ anymore. I understand her comment, because she has never really held any belief in the concept of true love. So, no wonder she has become immune to it.

I don’t think the same, though. I believe in true love and I enjoy all the love stuff that some (read: most) Hindi songs talk about. But I kept quiet and listened to Kiran’s reasoning and perceptions. Something about the conversation struck my mind and refused to leave. Later, when I thought about it, I understood why. I admire the fact that she can be immune to the concept of love when it is a most pervasive thought, particularly at this stage in our lives. I realized that I was, in fact, wishing I could also reach that point when I’ll be unaffected by it all. Because, truly speaking, I’m tired of it, fed up, worn out…whatever you choose to call this situation.

GelGems (I love them) on train.

The whole dating thing, commitments, relationships, heartbreaks, everything has got to me, exhausted me…and I’m seriously tired. Yet, I don’t seem to have become ‘immune’. I mean, I still believe I’ll find true love and, I have to admit, keep hoping for it. I keep waiting for it. Inspite of being tired. Sometimes, I wish I could also feel the same as Kiran. Compared to what I’m going through, her ability to be free of such emotions sounds like total bliss. I don’t know when it will happen to me, or if it happen at all. Or if I actually want it to happen! 🙂 Imagine…if I became indifferent to the whole love thing, how would I believe or accept when it actually happens? AAhhh…I don’t think I will ever let go of that thought. Doesn’t really matter. Though, I do wish it would stop pricking my happiness at those random moments.