Dec 21, 2010

Earthy smell.
Pitter patter.
Tip toe.
Eyes shut.
Soak it in.

Of Hostels, Morning P.T & Headside Partners

Rishi Valley was one of the best things to have happened to me and the experience sure taught me a lot.There are too many lessons learnt and too many memories taken from the place and its people. It would be untrue to say that all the memories were good, but still, even the bad ones helped me become who I am today. But the times have changed and I am no longer the person I was in school. Change is a constant and accepting that was hard but something the experience at school allowed me to do. It taught me how to be strong while allowing myself to feel weak sometimes, how to be independent but to also let some people in who one can depend on. It made me see friends in teachers, beauty in Nature, simplicity in living. But most of all, it made me believe in myself.

The world is one big masquerade ball and everyone uses it as an excuse to pretend, disguise, deceive. As long as you can walk out of there as the same person who entered, you’re safe.
I still remember my first day there. Sarita Akka, the Houseparent of Green House, in her loud and jolly way welcomed my mother and me. She helped bring in the suitcase and showed me around the house. A while later, Priya walked into the house with her parents and gave me a confused and lost smile. We were the two fresher girls in class 9 and we would have to stick up for each other in this new way of life=

The new way of life was not bad at all. I had Trisha for my ‘headside partner’ and the two of us turned our heads to each other and hit it off the first night itself. She did surprise me in the morning though, when I found her sleeping on the ‘cool’ floor because it had been too hot to sleep on the bed. Every time I think about her, Casablanca’s ‘I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship’ come to mind. Over time, others went from ‘acquaintances’ to finding out that they were ‘classmates’ and eventually, became ‘friends’. Boarding schools have a strong feeling of a community. Teachers become friends, friends become family, boys become girls. If you were wondering, the last part of that sentence implies that one can’t differentiate between a guy friend and a girl friend because you treat them both as just ‘friends’, regardless of the gender. Of course, the hostels are well demarcated between the two genders, and that keeps things under control.

One thing that cannot be controlled is the paper chatting during boring classes and during Prep, an hour of supervised studies every evening before dinner. Someone writes something down, nudges the neighbour and asks to pass it to the receiver, who is usually sitting quite far away from the receiver. The middlemen get annoyed quite fast and the paper chatting comes to a halt. A little secret: some people would hide the grub that parents brought during visits in their desks, which they would unlock during Prep and munch away at the back of class. Those were the best Preps and such risks were taken only when a not-so-strict Supervisor was in charge.

Sports was one of the biggest things I had going for me during my time in school. After the first few weeks of complaining, I got used to waking up for PT at 6 in the morning and jogging for long distances. It didn’t help that in my previous school, I had done no stamina building activity. I would just be pleased that I could make it back to the field in one piece after each jog. Handball season was around the corner and they needed players. I gave it a shot and it turned out that being a ‘wing’ was my forte! In my four years there, the games ground became a place I loved being at, be it while playing tennis with Marker on the tennis courts, being goalie for 4th standard kids trying to play football, playing volleyball with a bunch of teachers and juniors, or even for sipping on hot tea and watching the basketball matches against the big uncles from nearby ‘schools’. Before Sports Day, my Economics teacher and I would go jogging round the 200 m path, in preparation for the 5 km jog that we intended to take part in. I came 2nd in girls for two consecutive years in that event thanks to the practice sessions with Rajan. Another big help in bringing out the runner in me that I discovered in class 11 were the stamina building sessions with Siddhartha Mennon, my English teacher/Class Teacher/Stamina Building Coach. Because of the compulsion to partake in sports in the school, I gave every sport offered by the school a shot. I even tried basketball despite my useless height and would be overjoyed when I was not picked last. A spirit of sportsmanship was developed and nurtured, which can now only be fed by going to a gym. The football field, the volleyball courts, the jogging paths, the uphill runs faded away and the gym, its make-do ‘replacement’ did not even earn itself a comparison to the pleasures of those open air, beautiful sports arenas...

Dec 16, 2010

My Yearly Affair With Winter

Christmas is right around the corner and the chill in the air envelopes me almost like a hug as I welcome Winter.
 I love these two guests who visit every year around this time! Christmas is always punctual and arrives at the same date, but Winter, who loves chilling, comes whenever he feels like. He is forgiven, however, because he never fails to bring a smile to my face. I get to go shopping for new warm clothes and take out my woolen sweaters and all the jackets from the cupboards.
 I forgot to mention-he can be quite a sleaze! He'll come very close and blow his cold breath into your ears, on your neck, all over. This is just the reason why the warm, thick extra layers must adorn your body and tempt him. But other than that the occasional flirting, he is decent. He visits for around two months a year, and thanks to him, bonfires,the badminton games, garam chai, pakodas, and glasses of brandy in the evening become a frequency.
With these in your life, could you really complain about this visitor,regardless of however long he intends to stay?
With other guests, maybe.
Not this one. ;)

Dec 8, 2010

I wonder why 'Jangli Maharaj' Road is called that.

Dec 5, 2010

Reality bites

There are some things you just know and some things that you think you know. Life can be such an elusive bitch sometimes...

The unsure became sure, the nervousness found different reason to exist, the smiles were extracted from her face more easily than in her entire past. He just had a certain way; a certain touch. She had given it her all, but apparently, even that's not enough, nowadays. There are certain things about a man that truly are beyond a woman's comprehension. This is not new and has always been the case, but some people just never learn.

It changed because it was supposed to. Or was it? Supposed to and meant to be became two of the most amusing phrases she knew and she could no longer fathom why people would believe in fate, soulmates, true love, destiny...

There are those things you think you know as a reality but then again, reality bites.

Dec 4, 2010

Of Life Changing Devices and Chocolate Cakes

Someone once said “Inside some of us is a thin person struggling to get out, but they can usually be sedated with a few pieces of chocolate cake.” For a very long time in my life, I was sedated by those slices of chocolate cakes. And hot chocolate fudge. And tiramisus...Then, Papa brought home something that was to change his life-a n Aerofit 835 treadmill. I disliked the idea of it in the house for the first month. I made sure it did not feel welcome. I sat in front of it eating a plate full of french fries and smirked. It would not get me! It would not make me stop my daily unhealthy consumption of oily, sweet foods. Those were my life. Not 'THIS'!

But wonders never cease, do they? I had seen my brother's beer belly vanish since he started running on the treadmill for 45 minutes a day. He said he ran 10 kilometers a day and had never felt better. After all the spite I had shown that machine in front of my family, I'd be embarrassed to try it in front of them, especially since they would definitely give me the 'I-told-you-so' look, which I hated.

One Saturday evening, when they had stepped out with the entire jing bang of cousins for drinks, I slowly walked up to it. My keds were on, my shorts did nothing to cover the humongous thighs, and my t-shirt was ill-fitting. I stepped onto it and put the time to 5 minutes. My feet were walking on a machine involuntarily. I increased the speed from the default 4 to a 6.5 . By now, it was almost a little jog. I knew that my breathing was wrong and I consciously started working on that. It felt good now. Jogging on the spot but knowing that you are covering great distances. The speed was now 8 and I was running and feeling the extra flab jiggle around and that made me want to really push myself.

It felt so good.
I needed this.
My body needed this.
I gave in.
I was hooked.

My first wise choice made (voluntary or involuntary) after the many years of deciding whether to have the chocolate mousse or the blueberry cheesecake...

This entry was for the 'Your Life Changing Device' contest.
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Dec 1, 2010

Habits & Habitats

The smoke in their hand, a sign of strength,
The alcohol high once a week, a must.
Their morals are not in the least bit bent,
On their conscience, they lay full trust.

The breed of this kind are made to go far,
Their attributes, too long to list.
You might find them at a disco or a bar,
Or on a hillside in the mist.

What they do there is another story-
Weed, Cigarettes, cocaine and acid.
Constantly finding new forms of glory,
New found ways of being placid.

A look at him and you would know that he is one,
The tattoos, piercing, red eyes, et al.
He’d get the money because he was Mr Rich’s son,
Mr Rich, unaware of his inevitable fall.

But having a boy like him for a son is a boon,
How precious and thoughtful and kind he is.
He’d make you feed him out of golden spoon,
And then curse you under his breath and give you a kiss.

It must be cool to smoke a joint,
It must be fun to screw up.
I am not even trying to make a point,
Just thinking of the world in which I grew up.