The Vernacular

Everytime my Achan comes to Bangalore to visit us, he brings a suitcase full of vegetables and coconuts for my sister and a book or two for me.  This is a bit of a ritual. Even if he doesn’t bring a book for me per se, he’ll bring one for himself which, chances are, I will nick. Having been at the wrong end of the book-theft-program quite a few times, he now travels almost always with a spare book for yours truly.

This time when he came to visit, he bought me the Malayalam translation of a Kannada book named “Bhujangayyana Dasavataragalu” (which can be roughly translated as the Ten Avatars of Bhujangayan, the protagonist) written by Srikrishna Alanahalli. I started reading it, got hooked and swore to finish it, only to be frustrated by how slow a progress I am making.

You see, there is a pattern here. Everytime I start reading a Malayalam book, I start off with a lot of enthusiasm – grand plans on how I’m going to read it, absorb it and talk about it eloquently to anyone who will listen. And almost everytime, I lose interest halfway through. Well, lose interest is too broad a term. What actually happens is I give up on the language.

I am extremely ashamed to admit this, but it is true. Malayalam is not my mental home ground. One of my English teachers in school used to tell us that to master a language, we have to start thinking in that language. “Most of you”, she used to say, “think in Malayalam and then try to convert it to English. That is why you find English frustrating. Think in English. THINK in English”, she used to repeat time and again.

For me, the case is often opposite. This is not to say that I don’t know Malayalam. I speak fluent Malayalam, I write, I read – all good. What I lack is the ability to appreciate Malayalam literature, the ability to articulate emotions or experiences beautifully. And I can’t put in plain words how much this frustrates and depresses me.

To be fair, I was not always like this. For a better part of my life, I was not aware of what I was missing. I have officially studied Malayalam till 4th std. After that, I took up Sanskrit as an elective. (if you have an hour or two to spare, lemme know. I can rant on and on about how ‘raama, raamau, raamah!’ screwed up my life) And it amuses me to no end what followed. Around 6th std or so, our school saw an influx of NRI malayalees – kids who had grown up in Dubai or Kuwait. Kids who spoke flawless English and took pride in saying “enik Malayalam korach korach ariyam” (“I know very little Malayalam). Stories of how they can’t read Malayalam and how they ‘speak only English’ at home were shared with a lot of panache. Not to be left behind, I decided to follow suit.  No more Malayalam. Na-ah. I became a I-am-too-cool-for-Malayalam person. I wrote out notes to my amma in Manglish. And when she pulled my leg about it, I ignored her.

Somewhere in 9th std, a lot of things changed for me. I don’t remember why or how, but looking back, I think of that period as ‘the time I grew a spine’. Among other epiphanies, it dawned on me how shameful it is that I can’t write a word in my mother tongue. And being the stupidly persistent person that I am, I decided to rectify this by spending an entire summer vacation copy-writing the headlines of each day’s Malayalam newspaper until my handwriting stopped resembling that of a 5-year-old.

But somewhere in between all this, I forgot to learn to appreciate fine Malayalam literature. Contrary to popular opinion, I believe that good tastes are acquired, not instinctive. Sure, the effort that you are willing to put in matters a lot, but it also matter when you put in that effort. There is such a thing called the ‘formative years’ and what you are exposed to then is likely to stay with you forever.

As I grew up, I often lamented (albeit privately) that I didn’t put in enough effort into understanding Malayalam literature. Today I have an additional concern. My baby niece, my MiniatureHuman (or Mihu, as I call her) is growing up in Bangalore. A place that is an amalgamation of all cultures and lifestyles. A place where she will learn a lot of things that I hadn’t. But will she learn her mother tongue? When she hears a poem in her mothertongue, will she appreciate the emotion in it or will she just…process it? I am worried, because as Vineeth Sreenivasan said in an interview, there will come a time in every person’s life when he/she will feel culturally adrift. It is only then that you will realise how closely linked your identity and your roots are.

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When did I become a grown up?

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say this happens to everyone. Almost everyone, at least. That feeling of “wow! I’m an adult now? When did that happen?”

One of the instances of that feeling accosting me occurred last weekend. I was at my sister’s place and was out for an evening walk with my sister and my 6 month-old niece when three 10-year-ish-looking girls ran towards us, all giggly. I smiled back politely and maybe encouraged by that they proceeded to tell me the story of how they saw “3 frogs.. no wait, there were 4 frogs – 3 big and 1 small.” The long story was told, debates on the size of frogs were made and they ended the story with “Don’t go there Aunty!”

When they said that, I immediately looked at my sister, because in my head, it makes sense for her to be called “aunty”. ‘Coz, you know, she has a kid and stuff. Only catch – they were clearly talking to me.  (Unless all three had crooked eyes. That is a possibility, yeah?) Then I convinced myself that they called me “aunty” ‘coz I was holding the baby – can’t blame the kids for being politically correct, can I? It took me a few more minutes to accept the reality that I am (and I look) old enough to be included in the ‘aunty’ category, especially from a 10-year-olds eye.

As we were walking back, my sister and I ended up talking about the whole ‘oh-man-she-called-me-an-aunty’. (Dear reader, I can sense you rolling your eyes at me now. I’ll stop in a bit. Thank you for your patience!) When we were talking it dawned on us that there is no equivalent term in English for the Malayalam word ‘chechi’. Technically, it means sister, but colloquially, it is used to address all women who appear to be older than you but is no old-old, geddit? You can’t ask people ‘sister, could you help me get an auto?’ whereas ‘chechi, can you help me get an auto?’ is completely acceptable. The vagaries of languages. Sigh.

As for the growing old part, I feel that there is a huge difference between growing up and feeling grown up, though I am still on the fence about the importance of the latter. All this hungama (which I am causing. Yes, I’m aware of that) is reminding me of a conversation from the movie ‘Liberal Arts’ (it’s one of my favourite movies. Go watch it if you haven’t. It’s super amazing.) which goes as follows:

Prof. Peter Hoberg: You know how old I am?

Jesse Fisher: No, how old are you?

Prof. Peter Hoberg: It’s none of your goddamn business. Do you know how old I feel like I am?

Jesse Fisher: [shrugs]

Prof. Peter Hoberg: 19. Since I was 19, I have never felt not 19. But I shave my face, and I look in the mirror, and I’m forced to say, “This is not a 19-year-old staring back at me.”

[sighs]

Prof. Peter Hoberg: Teaching here all these years, I’ve had to be very clear with myself, that even when I’m surrounded by 19-year-olds, and I may have felt 19, I’m not 19 anymore. You follow me?

Jesse Fisher: Yeah.

Prof. Peter Hoberg: Nobody feels like an adult. It’s the world’s dirty secret.

And now you have in on the dirty secret too. You can thank me in the comments. Or send me Bournville – the super dark one, not the raisins one. That works too.

The Labyrinth

You know what I should be doing? Trying to figure out my life. You know what I am doing? Watching Adele on Youtube and pretending that I am not having a life crisis.

Story of my life.

So I am at the crossroads of life where I have to choose between the perfectly-good, decently-paid job that I have and a probably-not-well-paid, might-or-might-not-be-magnificent job that I don’t have. And since I have exhausted all the people around me by talking about this for the last few years, pretty much nobody wants to hear about this anymore. But I can’t stop obsessing over it and it’s driving me CRAZY. Hence this very short, pretty pointless blog entry.

Something I have noticed is that the catch about having something to look forward to in life is that you often get consumed in what you will do that you often forget to enjoy what you ARE doing.

As John Green writes in ‘Looking for Alaska’, “Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”

I think that is the best description of my current predicament. Nevertheless, I hope that I manage to get out of the labyrinth someday. But I wonder what awaits outside it. Another labyrinth, maybe?

 

Gone Girl

So I read Gone Girl. As usual, it was by chance (is that an oxymoron, btw?). I had just downloaded the Aldiko E-book reader and wanted to try it out and the only epub file I had with me was this one. So I just loaded it to check, and boy, was it incredible!

Gone Girl (Cover)
Gone Girl (Cover)

Gone Girl, the 3rd of Gillian Flynn’s works (each “darker” than the previous, according to the reviews I’ve skimmed through), is the story of Nick and Amy Dunne, a painfully beautiful and charming couple who had a romcom-ishly perfect courtship and marriage only to realise that they are, basically, two psychos. Seriously. There is no other word for it! Now I’m not going to go into the plot because I’m pretty sure half the world have seen this movie and been adequately scarred for life. At least I was.

Truth be told, the reason I decided to watch the movie (back then, I had no idea it was an adaptation of the book) was mainly because I had a crush soft spot for Ben Affleck. So I started watching the movie in my usual I-am-watching-and-playing-game-and-fiddiling-on-my-phone mode. I wasn’t really into it. Sure, there was a bunch of stuff happening on screen but I wasn’t…hooked, you know. Heck, I didn’t even understand half of what was going on! What made me sit up was seeing Neil Patrick Harris on the big screen (Pretty sure you are starting to sense a pattern here). And in a bit, The Boy Met The Girl and all hell broke loose. In other words, I got mindblown.

To say that the story is a disturbing one would be like saying Messi is a footballer or gulab jamun is a sweet – diabolical would be more appropriate, especially since the Doer-of-All-Evil is a woman. Yes, I know how that sounds. But you have to remember that we, as a society, have it ingrained in our mind that women are essentially sweet and delicate and incapable of planning, much less seeing through, incredibly and intentionally evil schemes. But that is exactly Amy does. And this is, by far, the most contradicting-ly feministic and misandristic blur of a book I’ve ever read. For instance, Amy, while waiting for the news on television about ‘how her cheating, lying, scum of a husband killed her’, makes the following observation:

“Tampon commercial, detergent commercial, maxi pad commercial, windex commercial – you’d think all women do is clean and bleed.” 

It is said so casually, in so wry a tone that you can’t help but chuckle. That, I feel, is the power of this book. Flynn has constructed a good-on-paper-but-not-so-much-in-real-life situation which, thanks to the characters, seems not unoccurable.

And to be honest, I loved reading the book. Nick and Amy take turns narrating the story and as in real life, their versions of it are conflicting. He sees the rainbows, she sees the rain. He sees the spilled flour, she sees the cake. Life as it is. But more than just characters and premises, what grips you (with a bit of dread, if you will), is the idea of how easy it is to manipulate reality. It’s a bit like Inception – only that it is real and unpleasant and detailed to a fault. As Joshua Rotham wrote in The New Yorker,Gone Girl is fascinating because it gets at what is unsettling about coupledom: our suspicion that, in some fundamental sense, it necessarily entails victimization. Just as Fight Club showed that manliness and violence were imaginatively inseparable, Gone Girl raises the possibility that marriage and victimhood are inseparable, too. In real life, this is a widespread suspicion, sometimes justified, sometimes not. Gone Girl has resonated for a reason. It has found a creepy, confused, and troubling part of us, and expressed it.’

Or as Nick puts it (in simpler words),

“There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.”

Suffice to say that this is the first book that I’ve read in a long time (and by that I mean a VERY long time) that I’ve read with an intensity reminiscent of my fervent-bookaholic days.

24*

I turned 24 today. And I’m very excited!

You see, the thing is that usually I don’t enjoy birthdays. It’s not that I don’t like getting old. In fact, it’s the opposite. I love getting older. Yes, that sounds weird, but I truly do love getting older. So much so that I have this theory of how I was actually born as a 30 year old, but the social conventions have confined me to this Gregorian calendar system. Yet, I’ve never been a person who gets all thrilled about her b’day. I genuinely disliked all the attention and absolutely loathed surprises! Which is why this year’s b’day deserves a blog post of it’s own.

Because this year, I feel quite different. For the first time in my conscious memory, I feel excited that it’s my birthday. I have no idea why that is, but I am. 24 seems to be a good age. And the fact that I’m going to get older excites me to no bounds, because I LOVE being an adult. I love having responsibilities, being in charge of my life, making tough choices and living with the repercussions. I love budgeting my earnings, saving up for trips, going broke at the end of the month…I love being in charge of my life, and the infinite possibilities it presents.

That is not all. This b’day has been really a sweet one. A bunch of friends called me up, a number of Whatsapp group names were changed to include mine and two of my chunk-brozz popped over to my place for an impromptu cake-cutting session (complete with a cone-cap!). I swear that if u measured my heart right now, I’d be twice its normal size!

Also, Google gave me a personalised homepage! I mean how cool is that! If you were to see me right now, I’d look like I slept with a hanger in my mouth, I tell ya! 😀

Google is bae

The Bad Bad Day

It was a bad bad day. It was a not very feel-good day. You’ve probably experienced one of those before. I have too. No matter how many times you’ve had it, it is one experience that I hope we never get used to.

So where was I? Yes, bad day. What was so bad about it, you ask? Oh nothing. Nothing in particular. Just a day where you mess up a lot of things you could’ve not. You know, work things. Nothing major, just….things. I’m not being very eloquent, am I?

So what do you do when you have such days?  Seriously? The old me would’ve headed to the kitchen, made a cup of coffee, shouted a bit at amma and sat in a corner reading a good book. The new me, on the other hand, deals with such days by heading home, switching on the laptop and going through an entire season of FRIENDS/The Big Bang Theory/How I Met Your Mother/Mentalist/…., you get the gist. Effective, you’d think.

Nah.

So that’s what this post is about. (Yes, there is a purpose to this, you-snarky-person-who-is-grinning-as-you-read-this). This post is a celebration. For what, you ask? Celebration of an aberration. An anomaly. A deviation from the well-treaded path. This post is a hurray to the old-turned-new-turned-old me who is dealing with a bad, bad day by crawling in bed with a cup of coffee and a fascinating book and ending up writing a short post about it, that, in retrospect, doesn’t make much sense.

Exploring Karnataka – Kolar District

So that happened. To be honest, I didn’t think I had it in me to wake up at 4.30 am. But wake up I did, after about 10 min of trying to come up with a legitimate reason to give up the whole idea of heading to Kolar at the crack of dawn.

Yes, Kolar – the destination for the day, primarily chosen for its proximity to Bangalore. My friend and I set off from Majestic at around 7.30am from Platform 3. The buses are frequent and cost around INR 70.00. We reached Kolar bus stand by around 9.00-ish and that’s when the story started.

We found an auto from the bus stand that was willing to take us to the nearby Kolaramma Temple for INR 30.00 (TBH, it is just within walking distance. We opted for auto because we were a bit late and were not sure how long the temple will be open) Incidentally, while planning the trip, I tried, in vain, to find out the timing of the temple. Even now, I have no accurate idea of the timings – it was open till 10.00am on a Sunday is all I can say. The Kolaramma Temple was quaint. Small, but quaint. It took us barely 15-20 mins to see the entire place. It is also pretty famous and draws huge crowds on certain days, an inference I made from all the crowd control measures found inside. It wouldn’t eat up much of your time. After the temple visit, we realised that we are pretty hungry and set out to find a place to take breakfast. After roaming around the entire town, which is pretty small and old school, we ended up at the hotel in the bus stand. And let me forewarn you – Don’t eat from there! The food sucks. Which is why we ended up setting off to Anatara Gange in a semi-hungry state.

Kolaramma Temple
Kolaramma Temple
Inside the Kolaramma Temple
Inside the Kolaramma Temple

Antara Gange is a range of mountains that you first get a glimpse of when you enter the district of Kolar via bus. It is around 4km from the Kolar bus stand – it should cost you around INR 50 to go there – beware of auto drivers just outside the bus stand who’d charge you INR 70-100 stating that they’ll have to ‘return empty’! We had asked a vendor inside the bus stand how much the autos charge you normally, so when the first auto bhaiyya said 100 bucks, we knew better than to take it.

The steps that lead up to the Ganesh temple, Antara Gange, Kolar
The steps that lead up to the Ganesh temple, Antara Gange, Kolar

Now the Antara Gange mountains can be climbed in 2 phases – first there is a series of steps that take you to a temple that is built at the slope of the mountain. The deity is Ganesha and the temple had a decent number of devotees offering prayers when we reached. Now the climb is pretty steep with around 100-200 steps, but no worries – you’ll be escorted by hordes of monkeys throughout. Once you reach the top, the real trek begins. Climb the rocks and you’ll find a narrow path covered with trees and bushes – once you pass through the “portal” (as I like to call it) the mountains beckons. The trail is pretty straightforward – most of the stones even have rough steps carved on them!

The climb up from the Antara Ganga Ganesha temple
The climb up from the Antara Ganga Ganesha temple

We climbed our way to the top of a mountain where we found a bunch of trekkers with a young local boy acting as a guide – apparently, they were in pursuit of the famed Antara Gange caves. Since it was 12.00-ish by then and hot like hell, the breakfast-deprived duo (aka us) decided not to join the team. We found a cosy spot by a tree at the top and rested for a good half hour, gushing about Wild, Reese Witherspoon and the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) and enjoying the view, after which we had an uneventful trek downhill. Autos were readily available at the base of the mountain (INR 50) to the bus stand from where we took a bus to Bangalore.

And the view from the top. Worth the climb, don't you agree?
And the view from the top. Worth the climb, don’t you agree?

All this took just half a day. I was back in my room by 4.00pm.

P.S: You could also try visiting KGF (Kolar Gold Field), the Kotilingeshwar Temple and Someshwara Temple, situated around 35 km from the Kolar town (nearest railway station is the Bangarapet). Frankly, we were too exhausted from the lack of sleep and food to head out there. Antara Gange also offers considerably challenging cave exploration treks which could be undertaken at night – moderately dangerous, yet worth the effort, I’m told! Btw, don’t forget to carry plenty of water when you set out for the trek!

P.P.S: In case you are planning a trip to the place and need any info, please feel free to post your query in the comments. The primary reason I decided to document the trip is the lack of detailed info about the place – you know, the kinda of things that actually help you plan the trip, especially if you are a geographically challenged newbie like me. 🙂

From NBT To FTII: Is The BJP Indulging In Political Favouritism?

A few days back, the internet was flooded with news of the apparent unfairness of Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment as the new chief of the esteemed Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. It took me a moment to piece the face in pictures with that of the mustache-sporting, crown-wearing Yudhisthir who spoke spasht Hindi and had me hooked to the TV every Sunday morning. I spent around 10 fruitless minutes trying to recollect what else he has in his kitty to justify the entrustment of such a big responsibility before I came across an article that explained his political affiliations and – lo behold! I wasn’t in the dark anymore.

Picture Credit: FTII Wisdom Tree
Picture Credit: FTII Wisdom Tree

Interestingly, the phenomenon of political favoritism when it comes to official appointments is not a new one. It is common practice for political parties to pull out the wrong color grass and replace it with the right one – it has been done before and it will be done again. However, nepotism in the field of education is exceptionally lethal and should be done away at any cost.

Educational institutions have, and will continue to be, the breeding grounds for the future citizens of our country. It is here that ideas arise, ideologies are discussed, and studied and impressions formed. Hence, it is of utmost importance that these arenas of knowledge not be limited by any kind of political or religious agenda or arm-twisting. However, this is exactly what the current Government is doing.

First, Baldev Sharma, former editor of RSS mouthpiece ‘Panchjanya‘, was appointed as chairman of the National Book Trust. Then, Vishram Ramchandra Jamdar, a professed RSS swayamsevak, was appointed as the head of Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur (although he was not among the four shortlisted candidates for the post), not to forget the much publicized resignation of Dr. Amartya Sen from the helm of Nalanda University, which was followed by the repainting of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) with a cluster of saffron supporters. And now this. Read it all together and you’ll realise that the paranoia and suspicion that greeted the news of Chauhan’s appointment was not uncalled for.

FTII, which had been home to the likes of Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, and Raj Kumar Hirani, to name a few, has long been a space that treats cinema as an art. This is hugely relevant in today’s times than we imagine, because it still adheres to viewing cinema in its hugely multifarious role for social comment, socio-political reflection, and as an important cultural tool that makes sense of the society we live in. Considering the importance of free speech in the constructive criticism of society, the government and the culture in general, it is of utmost importance that the spaces that facilitate the same not be under the shadow of any particular political entity. This is particularly valid in the current scenario where the opposition party (or what is left of it) is as effective as a pen without a nib.

Last that I heard, the FTII students at Pune have launched an indefinite strike against this blatantly political appointment. Taking into consideration the reports that Chauhan was picked ahead of lyricist Gulzar and filmmakers Shyam Benegal and Adoor Gopalakrishnan, who were apparently shortlisted by the ministry for the top job, this is not surprising. Meanwhile, Chauhan maintains that he doesn’t understand the reasoning behind these ‘blind protests’ and that he is planning to meet the students in person and try and address their concerns.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to mention that the reign of the BJP government has been peppered with controversies of favoritism and U-turns from Day 1, which is amusing since it is for the same that they had pointed fingers, with much gusto, at the earlier government. Needless to say, this is not going to be the last of the many controversies that the ruling party is so very fond of unleashing. In the meantime, as the headline of a leading daily goes, appointment of ‘Yudhishtir‘ has triggered an FTII ‘Mahabharat’”.

(This article was first published in Youth Ki Awaaz)

WTH!

Since time immemorial, scientists across the world have been working on trying to come up with logical explanations for many a head-scratching questions like why the bread always fall on its buttered side or the velocity with which Poonam Pandey was dropped when she was a kid. One of the many questions which have baffled the best of the better brains of the universe is deceptively simple – what prompts a guy to offer a random girl a lift? (Nope, not looking for the obvious answer)

Now before the awesome male population that happens to be reading this blog starts writing the script for a “my choice” male-version-video type response, allow me to put out the necessary disclaimer. To quote A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,

“Any resemblance to persons living or dead should be plainly apparent to them and those who know them, especially if the author has been kind enough to have provided their real names and, in some cases, their phone numbers. All events described herein actually happened, though on occasion the author has taken certain, very small, liberties with chronology, because that is his right as an American.”

The basis of this sudden reflection of an age-old phenomenon stems from an experience I has while I was out for a run today. It was around 10 at night and I was jogging (read panting like a sweaty, headphone-wearing doggy) when I saw a car slow down a few meters in front of me. I was about to pass it when a young man driving it did the whole “Excuse me” thingy and asked me where BTM 2nd Stage was. Assuming that the poor man was lost, and being the queen of FGCP aka Federation of Geographically Challenged People and hence sympathetic to the plight of fellow members, I pointed out with a pleasant smile that “this is BTM 2nd Stage”. And since he continued to look lost, alternatively peering at his phone and saying “Just a moment”, I asked him where he wanted to go. (Of course, HE didn’t have to know that I’m almost as lost as him, did he??) He mentioned another landmark, which I pointed out and proceeded to jog. I had barely gone a few meters when he slowed down again and did the whole “Excuse me” process all over again only to ask me if I am a localite. I was like “Erm..depends”.

And then he asks me if I want a lift.

I was like “Wait…what?” I mean, I was in my track pants and running shoes with headphones in my ears, puffing like a choo-choo train…which part of that spells “I-need-a-lift” to you? I gave him The Look and he speaks again “I could give you a lift” . Me, being the epitome of politeness, goes all “I don’t need a lift, thanks” (yeah, I tend to be excessively polite at times, without meaning to be. Chances are if someone comes with a gun at me, I’d probably be like “Nah..I don’t need a hole in my heart, thank you very much”) By now, I was pretty creeped out. I mean, yes there are people around in a if-I-shout-they’ll-hear-me distance so I’m not outright scared, but the itchy feeling that says “let’s get outta here sweetheart“ was on. So I jogged on, a tad bit faster, two blocks away where there were plenty of PGs (and hence couples – which count as people, I suppose). All good, right?

Nah.

The guy comes in his car and slows down next to me. Again.

And he goes “Hi”. With a grin. Creepy grin. By now, I’m all “WTH!!” And a tad bit worried. Images newspaper headlines that goes “Single lady raped in car in Bangalore” starts floating around my head. And I go all “What is wrong with you?” and head home taking the long route through the main (aka plenty-of-people) road.

So there. Now you know why I asked what I asked. So what am I supposed to take away from this episode? Was that guy harmless? Or was the whole asking-for-address thing a smoke-screen for something more sinister? Was he drunk? Or was he like “I’m bored. Lemme go scare the bazooga outta some random girl-on-the-road”?

So. Many. Questions.

Just a note.

It’s been a while. It’s almost like I’ve forgotten how to write. For the past few days, weeks even, I’ve been carrying this nagging feeling to jot down something – anything, really. Of course, like the wannabe I am, I’d love it if I could sit in front of my lap and churn away a poignant, eloquent piece of article. However, that’s not how it is to be. I’m trying to come in terms with the fact that maybe this is the best I can do – an occasional peep into the blog to rant/jot about life and its numerous intricacies.

So as I was saying, I’ve been wanting to write desperately for the past few days. In fact, the last time I wrote something meaningful was a good 3 months back. In between these, many a thing has happened that’d have normally had me running to my beloved Word document. And I did too. But somehow, every time I sat down to write something, all the words that I knew of, all the clever metaphors and witty one-liners I had in my mind seemed to fade into oblivion right before my eyes, until all that was left was a wisp of lame English words strung together by the most uninspired of connectors.

I’ve spent quite a few bus rides wondering why this is. For the uninitiated, I love bus rides. And I love not to talk during bus rides. Unless I’m in exceptionally, exceedingly awesome mood, that is. It is during that time that I do a lot of things I like to do. I think about stuff like the Calvin n Hobbes quote I read the other day. Or a conversation I had with a friend about religion/politics. I talk to myself in my mind. I pray in my own warped way. I read sometimes. So my point is that I’ve spent quite a few precious hours (I live at Bangalore, so a normal 15 min bus ride gets stretched to at least 40 min – plenty of time) pondering why I don’t write anymore. As I said, it is not for lack of issues. If anything, it might be ‘coz of too many issues to write about.

After much thought, the conclusion I came into was this – of late, I’ve been exposed to a variety of articles on a wide range of topics that I’ve hit what can be called (sophistically) a writer’s block. Let’s not focus on the fact that I just referred to myself as a writer (I mean, how vain is THAT!) and move on to the point I’m trying to make. Basically, I’m feeling how Cooper might have felt when he stepped on (erm..stepped on? That ain’t right, is it?) space – so much out there that transcends what you know and what you do…so much out there that you know is out there but is yet to find out. And in between all this there is the incomparably insignificant you, your work and your passion that matters so much to you but in actuality, is not even a drop in the ocean. Does that make sense?

Well, if it doesn’t, blame it on the rain. It always messes with my mind. (Yep, it’s raining in Bangalore. And yep, that smell of new soil is overpowering my senses.) I mean, I love rains. Monsoon is my favourite season. However, in what may seem as a contradiction, rain also makes me sad. Emotional. It makes me long for the places I left behind and the places I have to go to.

It makes me feel alive.