Saturday, January 09, 2010

The year that was..

I learnt diplomacy last year. Here's an example. If you ask me, how was the year that went by, my reply would be - Good and bits and parts. :) The 2008 me would've grinned and said 'quite awesome!'. Like the child  who burns his hand, yells his lungs out and then forgets it all as soon as he sees a bar of chocolate, I would forget the lows and stick to my reply. The 2009 me is not an improved version at all. Life is still all hunky dory and I still think that there is a silver lining behind the darkest of clouds. But yes, I learned diplomacy. So the year was a mixed bag of sorts.

So I take stock now. A checklist of things that I was supposed to do. Things I wanted to do. Things I shouldn't have done.

Studied - Hell no! It took me an MBA and an obscene amount of money to realise that I can study no more. Just wrote my last paper and swore to myself to never touch those darned things again! I can read but not study, and there is an ocean of difference between the two. Learned nothing from my post grad degree and I do hope my current employer doesn't come across this blog of mine. :)

Got a job. My justification for the obscene amount of money I mentioned before. :) Its a blessing to get exactly what you want and I am blessed.

Read books - Sadly no. Don't judge me. I love books. This year just whizzed by and I have read a measly few. But am back with new resolve. Got a long list to finish.

Travelled - A hell lot! New cities and old ones too. With friends, with family..for work, for fun...for no reason.   Chennai, Bangalore, Pondicherry, Kolkata, Bombay, Karwar, Sikkim, Darjeeling, Pune...phew! Loved every bit of it. Something about new places..their idiosyncrasies..their eccentricities..the people..I could really travel for a living! :)

Friends - Met some and lost some. Some law of balancing the good with the bad I presume. Met some awesome people. I mean really, can't remember what life was like before knowing them. :) (Here's to you - Sunshine and Saantu!). The ones I knew before came closer. The ones who had drifted away drifted right back in. Some people went away, out of reach. Such is life. Black, white and grey.

Love - Happens year after year. I've realised I don't just like people (that is, when I do like them), I fall in love with them. Some particular trait, the way they care, the way they are. Can be anything. So yes, I fall in love again and again. I am emotional and I get involved. I am pretty hopeless. :) I like it.

Danced till there was music. Danced like no one's watching.

Became a recluse. Not intentional, but somehow got comfortable in my corner. Its a good thing, to be able to spend a day alone and still come out of it smiling.

Flirted/Dated - Yes yes :). Good for health, they say. ;)

Cried - Like a baby. Over lost hopes. Over mushy movies. Over the absence of close ones. Over goodbyes. In fights where anger comes out as tears. In silence when eyes talk. Over nothing. I just cry easy.

Tried getting over my fear of height and water. Been years, still struggling. Floated around in the middle of the ocean (wearing a lifejacket), if that counts for anything. But the heights and depths of it still gets to me.

Stayed fit - No no and no! :( Being a Bong so does not help the cause. We Bongs get high on food. Good food and lack of physical exercise. Not good. Not good at all! I need to go on a war footing to cure this.

Survived on music. Like air and water. The first thing I did when I woke up and the last thing when I slept off. Listen to music. So, thank you to the likes of Pearl Jams and the odd Pitbulls for replacing the silence with rhythm. :)

Wrote - Yes, more than often. Sometimes on blogs. Sometimes to myself. On tissue papers. In notebooks.

Grew up - The age bit, inevitable! The mind bit, avoidable! :) I'll focus on the latter. Learned a li'l, grew up a li'l. Threw tantrums like a child, but still managed the occasional grown up's view of the world. That view is just shortlived though. Coz like Bryan Adams croons, I wanna be young for the rest of my life! ;)

Like I said, its been a good and a bad bits and parts. I will choose to remember the times that I smiled. I will hope to learn from the mistakes I made. I will revel in the happiness and I will forget the tears. For those I hurt, I am sorry. For those I loved, I am all mush. Live with it. For those I yelled at, it was just a moment. Never meant it. For those I forgot, call me and tell me I'm a jerk. For those I call friends, thank you. For everything.

Past perfect

They say start afresh, it's a new year! Think new thoughts. Make new plans. Some new resolutions, so what if you break them the very next day. The key word is 'new'. I say stick to the old. :) It keeps you rooted. Came across something that I had written while on my way to Chennai before my internship. No reason for not posting it. Simply put, I forgot. So here it is.

'I managed to board my train to Kolkata without any hassles. Baba’s foolproof planning might be a small reason. So, on my way to Bong Land, and then to Lungi Land(Chennai) for two months. Everyone’s already given their fair share of sympathies for the one place I didn’t want to go to, but thanks to some people I know, it’s not a scary thought after all.

I miss home. Every small bit of it. The photographs on the walls. The computer which chooses to restart as and when it fancies. Maach (at 4 in the morning!). Pizza from Sweet Home. The creaky cranky lift. Ma’s despair over the mess I create everyday. Cold coffee. Baba’s lectures and his to do lists. Comparisons with my oh-so-perfect dada. When I am there, I realize how much I miss all this and more. I am probably a misfit. Amidst the niceness, the religiousness, the attention to details, the perfection –  I don’t have much in common, but I know I belong here. In a weird crazy way.

Working parents and a visit home on weekdays means extremely rare conversations. Today evening was one of those rare moments. Chotokaku (chachu), baba and I talking over tea. Am penning this down because I don’t want to forget. Considering my sieve like brain, forgetting things comes pretty easily to me.

These were stories about daadu (my grandfather), thakuma (grandma) and daadu’s brother. Daadu has always been a legend of sorts. I have only heard about him. Daadu was a loud man, voiced his opinions unabashedly without bothering about the rest of the world and their views. He hated rotis, thought they should be banned from the face of this earth. Only parathas and luchis (Bengali puris) deserved a place in this world. His rules for attending any marriage/occasion was that the entire family should eat in the first round itself, lest the hosts fall short of food. Amidst such rules, ma entered the family – a demure convent educated girl. The road that led to our ancestral home was so narrow, that baba had actually taken her there on a rickshaw for the first time. The rule was that the new bride shouldn’t walk to her home! J Many of these functions that ma attended with the rest of the Shome family, daadu would call out loud for her and shout out across the table – aage kheye naao, shesh hoye jaabe! Pore golpo koro! (which means eat first, else it’ll finish. Talk later). Ma and Chotokaku would diligently turn into various shades of red. On hindsight, we kids love to see chotokaku enact and re-enact those scenes.

There was a movie theater right next to our home in Bhagalpur. So close that whenever baba and kaku would get bored, they would go watch 10 minutes of a movie and come back. We shared a common wall. Once some poor soul decided to pee on the common wall. Poor soul because of what I am going to write next. So, daadu’s brother becomes indignant and comes up with a brilliant idea. Asks baba to get hot water. There was this small hole in the wall. They poured steaming hot water on the man on the other side. I guess he would’ve learnt to use the public toilets!

Baba was thrown out of school in class 3. J He had pelted stones on the teacher. I know I belong because I was suspended from school for 15 days for exploding a bomb in school during diwali. I think I had seen pride in baba’s eyes, which had vanished instantly seeing ma’s fury!

Ever got the feeling that you didn’t know your parents too well? I do. All the time. What were they like in college. Did they mess up at times, like I do. Kaku told me today that baba was awesome at fishing. That no one could beat him at carom. That he could give the pros a run for their money in badminton. Do they see a bit of themselves in us, or did we fall short of what they actually wanted us to be?'

This is where I slept off. Did I fall short? I don't know yet. Don't think I ever will...