The Note 25 – part one

December is here again. Another year of the earth dancing around the sun is about to come to an end. Some people speculate that it might just be the last dance.

But that’s not what this is about. I’m not about to sing the Drifter’s lovable song to the earth.

This is about the last two years of dancing. Two highly eventful and life changing years. Two years where so much changed, so much stayed the same and so much happened in between.

I completed my thesis, graduated and moved to a new city to a new job. When I packed my things to leave, there was no assurance of anything. I didn’t have a house, friends or family in the city. I had never lived away from home before. But for some reason, I wasn’t afraid at all. Well, not at first. But then again I’ve never been the kind of person that’s afraid of change neither am I the kind of person that’s afraid to leave things behind.

I had a great time in the city, I moved back home over six months ago. So here’s a bunch of stuff I’ve learned along the way.

Things I discovered about myself and the universe moving away from home –

  1. Beans and carrots cook fast. Very fast. They put 2-minute noodles to shame. That said 2-minute noodles are still your best friend.
  2. The cake in a cup recipe is completely redeemable when fully soaked in rum. Spiking everything helps. Spiking helps everything.
  3. Sometimes the only thing that can keep you sane is an absolutely insane boss. And yet I know I will never let myself stay in a job I have to wake up every morning and hate. And that’s re-assuring.
  4. It’s easier to meet new people when everyone is new. It’s also easier to trust new people when everyone is new.
  5. Dancing all night long with someone whose nick name is ‘the rubber band boy’ could be what you were born for all along.
  6. I love to walk, not just when I’m broke. I smile at strangers in the street while walking, unconsciously.
  7. Being broke isn’t the same as being poor, but its close.
  8. You realize you’re not as independent and self-sufficient as you imagined. You need other people. Yes you do. Even if you admit it grudgingly.
  9. If you’re lucky you get the chance to become part of a whole new family. They’ll take you in, feed you when you’re too lazy to go home and make chapatti’s after a particularly long day at work, lend you their spare mattress, tease you when you gush about your hot boss too much, take you to the hospital when you’re too sick to go yourself, bake you a birthday cake, even drive you full speed to the bus you almost missed. Ah, they just let you in. Seamlessly. As though you’ve been there all along.
  10. You do adult things without even trying or noticing. You start to notice things like lemon juice is made with artificial flavours while dish washing liquid is made with real lemons.
  11. Sometimes, losing a mid-night game of scrabble can be amazingly therapeutic.
  12. People who love you still keep in touch. People who love you very much even come visit. And then there’s people who’ll visit more than once, and you make a mental note to never let go of these people, ever.
  13. You become best friends with someone you barely noticed in college and are amazed at how much you have in common. How well they understand your heart, or lack thereof.
  14. You really start to understand love. Or at least want to.
  15. You meet people and before you know it, they’re your friends. For real. Not just the kind you talk to every once in a while, but people who you spend time with, people who you do things with, people who you let in. Right in. You find ‘your people’. You have a ‘person to call when you get lost’, ‘person who gets you banana cake’, ‘person to get you out of bed on a particularly crummy day’, ‘person to encourage you to stay in bed on a particularly crummy day’.
  16.  Sometimes, it’s great to let go. Just let go. Completely.
  17. I’m young. Not too young, just young enough.
  18. Having your own house feels great. There’s nothing in the world that has made me feel prouder. Ever. Coming home to an empty house sometimes, not so great. Never before did I feel more in need of a man. Never before did I feel like as much of a woman.
  19. Every once in a while, when you least expect it something brilliant will happen.
  20. You find yourself going to church, sometimes more often than only on Sundays. You recognise what faith means to you now.
  21. I am a responsible person. I didn’t know that about myself before. I didn’t trust myself as much before. You realize you’re not as wild as you imagined. You’re also not as together as you imagined. You develop a relationship with silence. You read books, you buy the ones you like, you smell and curl up with the ones you love.
  22. You do more. Like you’re living on borrowed time.
  23. A new city allows you to be amazed, ever so often. It also makes you curse out loud, ever so often. Both make you feel alive.
  24. Not knowing where you are and how to get where you want to be can be a great adventure or a spiral of irritation but it always gives you a great story.
  25. There will be some mornings when you wake up and just want to pack all your things and go home. There will also be some mornings when you’ll promise yourself never to leave. Both these feelings pass and eventually you go where your heart takes you.

In the Pink of Death

I lay in bed. Alone. Left cheek pressed against my pink and white polka-dotted pillow. (pink with white polka dots, not the other way around). My left hand lying straight against my body. My right hand curled up under my chin. My right leg doubled over in a semi-foetal position.

So there I lay, breathing into my pillow, my pink and white polka-dotted pillow.

My pink and white checked blanket (I can’t seem to decide if it’s pink with white checks or white with pink checks, someone bring in a Zebra and let him be the judge) carefully wrapped around me. The edge following my lower lip, wrapping around my shoulders, around my back and disappearing into me.

So, there I lay, cozy as ever wrapped in my pink and white checked blanket.

My morning alarm starts buzzing, vibrating, shrieking. I hate the sound it makes. I hate everything about it. Its repetitiveness, its polyphonic waves, its maniacal vibrations. I’ve tried waking up to calm music, I’ve tried waking up to a pop song, I’ve tried country and I’ve tried jazz, hell I’ve even tried Gangnam style, and discovered I hate them all equally. So I reset it to some built-in alarm tone. If it had to be something I’d eventually hate, it might as well be some noise, some noise that I’d never have to encounter for the remainder of my day. White noise.

So there I lay, alarm screeching, one hand outside my rose coloured wrap.

I only half open my right eyelid, remember that my boss has a meeting all the way around the other side of town and won’t come in to work until mid-day. That means no rude stares for going in to work fifteen minutes late. Great, so that means I can sleep for half an hour more. Somehow, going in to work fifteen minutes later added thirty minutes to my sleep time. Never trust under-the-blanket math, much less under-the-zebraesque-pink and white checked blanket math.

So there I lay, carefully re-positioning myself under my mathematically challenged rouge coloured blanket.

When I was a child my mom was my alarm. She would come into my room and gently kiss me on my forehead and smile down at me and say “Billy darling, its morning!” And I’d smile right back at her. Those were simpler times. I wish someone would wake me up like that again. No, that’s not right, I wish that someone would pull me back into bed and say, “Billy darling, it’s not already morning, is it?”

So there I lay, my bed empty but for my warm, assuring, all-embracing blush coloured blanket.

Sometimes I guess it would be easier to get out of bed if say the fate of the universe depended on it. If my feet hitting the ground with the first rays of the morning sun would save someone from death or disease or degeneration. If I was a superhero who needed to rescue Mumbai city from the evil doings of an anti-hero. I guess that would be a good enough reason for taking the trouble to haul myself out of my comfortable bed. But the city needed no major rescuing today, not from me, it didn’t.

So there I lay, superpower- less or was it super powerless under my less than ordinary pink and white blanket.

So maybe that was the problem. That I’m not doing enough. That I’m not doing something significant enough. Not significant enough to move the world or for that matter not even significant enough to move me.

So there I lay, frozen. Frozen under my candy coloured pink and white checked fluffy blanket. Dead.