Friday, December 19, 2008

An Escape

When the skies are murky and I can’t see stars, or when the thundering city traffic unsettles me, I feel lost. On such occasions, I have often complained I should have lived differently. A rustic environment, somewhere up in the mountains, where I could hike everyday and find wildflowers behind every boulder seemed to me a perfect existence. An attic, a fireplace in front of which I could relax, and snow in the winter. What could beat that? This had long since been a childhood dream. Thoughts of such a life used to fuel my imagination when I was bored. “I’ll grow up and live my life on the easy chair, staring out to the skies….,” I used to think. This seems to have been inspired by the life of a fictitious girl by the name of Heidi, from Joanna Spyri’s classic Swiss novel by the same name. It was one of those stories which was very close to my heart, and the more I thought about it, the more I felt like associating myself with the character of Heidi. I had dreamed over and over again, of a villa nestled in the heart of a lesser mountain range where I could be homeschooled and a quaint little cottage by a riverside….those were the kind of places which were ideal for living, I thought, and such a life was easy.

Well, this time, I came very close to experiencing what a solitary living feels like, and I must say I was considerably surprised by my reaction to it. Initially, of course, I was thrilled to know that we were going to be spending some time in a distant cabin somewhere in the middle of Yosemite National Park for the holidays. It inspired the same childish delight in me that I associate with prolonged family outings, bringing to the forefront countless memories of yearly visits to granny’s house, warm reunions with cousins and the laid back days which were my summer holidays. This was going to be an experience to savor. This trip was going to be unique for many reasons. For the first time, we were to reside in a cabin instead of one of those standard American hotels with 2 beds, framed watercolours in the background and an old TV with pay-per-view. Oh no, this was going to be a very real experience and I was ready to enjoy it!

When we arrived, it was late evening. I had expected to feel happy at the sight of the cabin, but strangely enough, I felt a brooding fear of visiting an unfamiliar place instead. The sight of the cabin, forever hiding in the shade of tall Californian redwoods looked more spooky than welcoming. Further, the person who had tastefully decorated it seems to have enjoyed a certain savage pleasure of hanging dead deer heads all around the place, and they stood like ghostly remainders of some deadly event. The nights were absolute in their quiet, and suddenly, I did not feel so grown up anymore. For one thing, I knew I would start screaming if they locked me up in the attic for too long! I knew the forests were absolutely spendid, but I haden't taken off time to think that they might be scary too. Surprisingly, I longed for familiar sounds, like ticking of a clock, the whizzing of an overhead fan, and laughter. This felt unreal, lonely, and very much unlike home.

The second day, we decided to hike up Vernal Falls. It had rained previously, leaving the forest floor moist and the air stinging cold. I scrambled across rocks and uneven surfaces. I saw boulders, with pretty wildflowers growing behind them. They looked beautiful, but I also realized I was panting. I had hiked up an inclination to see this, and I was tired. I realized that finding wildflowers behind boulders was not easy, nor was living in the middle of the forest, as I had assumed. But it was different, and very meaningful. Life in the forests is definitely unique, but by no means easy. There is plenty to explore, unearth and uncover if I am in the mood for an adventure. Although I felt an emptiness staying away from Cupertino for so long, mesmerizing waterfalls, winding forest trails, and leisurely evenings more than made up for it. I returned home after catching a glimpse of a solitary life that was Heidi’s and I returned with a satisfaction of a lesson well learnt. I came back rejuvenated, with plenty of photos to remind of the experience which was an eye opener.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Arise India

Recently, I was shaken by the Mumbai terror attacks. A few days later, I watched the movie, A Wednesday, and this had my head spinning. The news of death, destruction and a movie concerning terrorists made me feel quite ill. I grew a bit pessimistic about the fate of my country. Then, a friend was kind enough to remind me that all was not as bad at it seems. When I ventured to find out what this person was talking about, I stumbled across the Arise India organization. I was awed by the work they were doing, and was so inspired that I practically begged to write a guest post on their blog. I thought it would be apt to discuss the work they are doing here. (

I was genuinely surprised with their story. Arise India was formed by a bunch of teenagers who have recognized that there are some problems in our country that need fixing, and that youth participation is vital to bring about change of any kind. They conceived a vision, and Arise India project was born. I was delighted to know that some of my former classmates had become active participants, along with many other faceless friends I am yet to meet. I salute their efforts, and am truly fascinated with the way they have managed to achieve all that they have within a time span of less than a year. They have been involved in a massive effort to change the way our teenagers think. They have been talking in schools, trying earnestly to revive patriotism in the hearts of children who have a very constricted view of this country. Today, they have broadened the horizons of thinking for many, and they earnestly hope that their movement will assume national proportions. What has interested me is that a majority of Arise India are teenagers, no younger than nineteen years of age, and they have already managed some media attention, and have established their cause. They are rapidly progressing towards success, fundraising, speaking in public forums and discussing issues of importance on the internet. Talk about achievement!

I learnt that it just started as a group of friends---teenagers who were fed up with extended holidays and thought they needed to do active work of some kind. They were lucky enough to receive guidance and encouragement just when they required it. A common passion can changed these people into truly committed individuals, and I have witnessed this. Passion stirs them, catalyzing action. Today, I am really proud of my classmates, and many other teenagers who have shown (and are still showing) the world that change can come only if there is participation.

They have taught me that the youth of today hold the promises of the future. They have shown me our future middle-aged citizens are not going to be careless fools like most fear and they have revived my hopes and interests in my country’s future. I thank them for that. They have received only a limited attention from the public, and a lukewarm response to their wonderful efforts. So, I felt it was befitting to inform you of their existence, and am respectfully completing this duty. I wish them all the best for all their future endeavors.Please do go through their website if you do have time to learn about how they plan to bring about change. ( I encourage everyone who lives in Bangalore to become part of Arise India. For those who are part of it, I think it will be an experience of a lifetime.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Walk through the Woods

The week before last, we wanted to take a walk through the woods. It was not an easy wish to be satisfied, considering the nearest woods were an hour’s drive away from home and cost $5 per person. But even flimsy excuses never work with it’s a holiday and there are four people in the house milling about aimlessly. Surprisingly, I was even willing to sacrifice a nice sleeping-in-on-a- holiday session for this trip, and that happens only on extremely rare occasions. So we packed our lunch before I had time to change my mind to snuggle back into bed. A previous trip to Muir Woods was too long ago to be conveniently forgotten, and I didn’t waste my energies to try and remember. My energies had been solely reserved for the greater adventures of the day, and I didn’t want to waste them on daydreams.

An hour later, this felt too good to be true. It was incredible that I had escaped the drab old concrete of the city and the discomforts of congestion, in a matter of less than an hour! It was also hard to believe that true paradise existed so close to home and that I had been so blind to it. The Muir woods stood beckoningly before me. I took in grateful lungfuls of air, enjoying the smell of Californian redwoods, and the rejuvenating freshness of the air. There was a surreal perfectness to these woods, and they were exactly the way I had pictured them be. Something about the way the light came down in dim, magical streaks to the world alive in silent seclusion enchanted me. Surrounding me was a colourful little world full of pleasant smells, moisture which clung to my body, and incredibly tall trees. They reminded me of countless fantasies—everything from the Forbidden Forest of Hogwarts to the forests of the Land of Narnia to the recent fantasy movie A Bridge to Terabethia.

I remembered that the redwoods were one of the tallest tree species in the world. The fact looked undisputable as I stared up to the skies, trying to gauge the lengths to which they extended. There was an air of permanence about the place, like these mighty trees had lived for all of eternity. It was hard to believe that they would fall one day, when I observed how clearly rooted they were to the ground, and how they clung to the earth with a solid force. I took time to read those little information boards all along the way. Apart from describing plant anatomies, they told me stories, making me want to attribute character to each tree. They were the voice of these ancient gaints, echoing the many years of growth, experience, and struggle of the trees. They told me of trees charred to death by forest fired, yet miraculously produced shoots next spring, of weather-beaten trees too old to live who had bravely continued to stand against all odds. “This tree is Wise,” I felt like saying, “And the other one over there is a grouchy fellow….” I learnt of the way the redwoods guarded the tender world below them by diffisuing sunlight. And by doing that, they were painting the world below with splendid colours. Everything from moss to ferns thrived in the gracious shade of the redwoods. We hiked through a forest trail (although a not a very challenging one), reveling in pleasant talk and clicking pictures. We did spot a little deer (it definitely looked like one), feeding on some leaves by the side of the little creek. That had me all excited. I definitely felt refreshed, and couldn’t believe I had actually considered sleeping-in to this heavenly experience.

I was also reminded of one of those episodes on Discovery Channel. It is about ‘Forest Therapy’, and also about the way in which some civilizations worshipped the forest. Some civilizations actually believed that the woods had some untapped healing power…..a way of gently cleansing you of respiratory problems, curing you of mental sickness and reviving you. A walk through the woods was supposed to be the answer to your sickness, a gate key to heaven. As we rushed back home through the crowded streets of San Francisco, it seemed like someone had wispered this timeless secret in my ear. I knew, without quite knowing how I knew it, that there must be some hidden wisdom in that belief after all.

(The credit for all the pictures goes to my little brother, who was adamant to capture as much of the experience as possible.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monsoon Memories

Dear Journal “I had scribbled in an immature hand, “Today had been so much fun. It really was wonderful,” and had simply left it at that. For a person who is reading this one and a half years later, it is quite an arduous task to sift through her memories to remember what had been so fun, and what had made her feel so wonderful back then. Sometimes, I despise my own journal entries because they do not tell me everything. They merely reflect my mood on some particular day, or record the irrelevancies of my life which are of no significance to me now. For some vague reason, I was perturbed. I went to sleep with a question prodding my mind, like a playful cat toying with its food. “What had happened that day? Why was that day so wonderful?”

In sleep, something intruded into my dreams. It was a tenuous wisp of a memory which answered the puzzling question. I saw it clearly in my brain:

I remembered that evening. The day was done for the most part, and we watched the people worm their way homewards, through the muddy roads, dressed to evade the rains. The rains had been especially torrential, and many had grown weary of them. But we didn’t mind, my cousin and I, we loved the monsoons. That evening, a mild rain started off again, and we watched fascinated, like children. Soon, there was power-cut, mystifying the environment. We couldn’t have waited for a better invitation. That day, we called the neighbors over, and we soaked to the bones, screaming with delight as we drenched. We laughed and sang as the thunder set up a tempo. Oh yes, I remembered now, writing to my journal in semi-darkness, scribbling badly because I couldn’t see in the faint light of the lamp. “Today had been so much fun. It really was wonderful,” Nothing seemed more obvious, and my experience seemed to require no further explanation.

This was followed by one memory after another.

It was another wasted day, and I was slightly grumpy. I had finished my homework, devoured all the available novels, and wrapped up my studies. Nothing had interested me, and I felt strangely detached. I slipped outside, into the backyard, and saw no stars. I sought comfort in staring up at the skies, seeing those smiling stars winking at me. But that day, the skies were an ominous grey, and they frustrated me with their solemnity. But there was a wind, so I settled down, enjoying it. And gradually, the winds got stronger, and a rain started off, washing away my frustration gracefully. I was not cold, but I closed my eyes, and found thrill in the sensation of rain drops landing on my arm. I knew no one would think I’m crazy to be wetting myself in the rain this way, simply because no one was watching. I hummed a nice melody as I swayed with the wind. Minutes later, my frustration felt unreal, and I returned to my room, smiling without knowing why.

It was the holidays. I was relaxing in my bed, reading a somewhat boring book called “The Haunted Island,” My concentration was slipping away, and my eyes were running down the sentences without understanding them. I heard a rumble outside, and I threw the window open, and waited. The rains lashed outside, and I enjoyed listening to this. Suddenly, the book became a favorite. I stayed up, reading it until it’s finished.

I woke up with the memories still clinging onto my eyelids and squinted. The Californian sun was blazing outside, intruding into my bedroom. I stared out of my window. It looked quite sunny, but I knew I would shiver if I stepped out. The world looked a bit too bright for my liking. The autumns here will be uncertain; they always play with my senses. The weather changes rapidly as it fancies, and is very inconsistent. I scolded my inquisitive brain for making me remember the monsoons. I was missing the rains again, and sometimes, I thought, it’s better if some questions are left unanswered. The next day, I was blessed with mild rains, in the middle of autumn! I would never have expected it, that too in California....It looked like someone had suddenly decided to change the weather for me. I'm enjoying it while it lasts, this brief spell of rain, revisiting my monsoon memories again and again.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Virtual Dreams

I was once a millionaire who owned a sprawling mansion in the middle of nowhere, cared for an exotic azure cat, and constantly saw to it that fairies sprinkled pixie dust all along the way. My world was utopian, perfect, exciting. The only problem was, it was virtual.

I was introduced to a website called neopets at the age of eleven---the age when my common sense was slumbering peacefully somewhere in the back of my brain. Neopia was the promising land where all my desires could be fulfilled. There were unlimited games, virtual rewards, and an opportunity to claim a non—existent creature as my own. The internet told me an attractive lie, and I easily fell into the vicious trap. Every day, my “virtual” pets would demand some food, clothing, shelter, a companion, and it was my responsibility to satisfy their cravings. I soon developed an emotional attachment to them, even though I knew, somewhere in the depths of my heart, that they were not living things, but merely an artificially programmed images, and very immature imitation of biological beings. Another reason for my apparent addiction to the website was that the virtual me found success very easily, and was more responsible, skilled and purposeful than the real me. I saw a superior image of myself projected there, and it soon grew into an obsession. I wanted to keep on going.
I spent more of my sunny days that year, ruining the keyboard, than stepping outside to breathe in the fresh air, skip about the pavement, or feel the grass under my feet. Soon, I was not even a millionaire. I now was nearing a billion neopoints in my virtual bank, and I seized every opportunity to work on the website. One day, my father took me to the library, to browse for books, but I wasted the day using the library computer instead, playing games, earning more neopoints than ever before! It seemed like an achievement, and in that moment of blissful jubilation, I forgot to log out. I was ecstatic all the way home, I kept reciting to myself, like a familiar mantra, “Hundred more points for a billion….hundred more….”
As soon as I was home, I rushed to the computer again. My eyes were never tired of feasting on my exotic pets (I had now painted them purple), and my fingers never fatigued in the effort of dragging my virtual car (which was being bombed by the enemy) to safety, and my mind never took a break from trying to crack difficult anagrams. All these would earn me neopoints, and I logged on to the computer again. That day, my bank showed I owned no money, my deposit a horrifying single “0” where there supposed to have been 9 of them. My inventory had been robbed, my pets stripped of their luxuries. That day, I faced utter devastation.
My eleven year old brain was shattered, I sobbed into the night. My parents told me it was nothing to worry about, that my fears were imagined. Neopia was not real, so was my loss. I lived in denial of the fact for many days, finding the truth hard to ingest. Gradually, I grew out of it, started spending my summer days skipping on the pavement, rather than shopping in a virtual supermarket. It was easy for me to forget my addiction, but it is not so for millions of kids around the globe. Virtual heavens and computer games have tremendous psychological impact on a child. I know it from experience that there is no good to be gained from them. I’m not saying this because I’m not a virtual billionaire anymore, but I’m saying this with the realization of the amount of time and effort I wasted to nurture false dreams. Such things are nothing less than self-deceit. What bothers me of late is that more such websites are cropping up everywhere on the internet. Much to my disappointment, my favorite magazine, Tinkle has launched, a very similar website, which rewards kids with virtual money for playing games. Although the games are considerably less violent, they can still addict kids. It’s a major issue, and I have no answers to resolve it. All that I know today, as I breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy the moist of the very dewy grass below my feet, the world is beautiful. More importantly, it is real, and very much here. I just hope that computer game addicts would sense that, instead of chasing after something which only superficially looks splendid. True splendor can be uncovered in the intricate web a spider builds, or a mountain flower in full bloom. Today, I am grateful for that helpful guy who robbed me of all my virtual money. Without him, I would never have understood the simple truth that this world is the loveliest part of my existence.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A bitter-sweet day and a promise

The 17th of May 2008, was a very special day for me, and I realized that as soon as I woke up to feel the warmth of the sun on my face, and observed that the curtains were all aglow with the eerie early morning sunlight. There is something to be said about this, because I normally (make that never) wake up on early mornings voluntarily. It was pure excitement which made me unable to slip into that state of passivity I enjoyed so much. Yes, that day was going to be special, and I had made arrangements to see to that.

That day was going to be bitter-sweet. I knew that because it was the day I would say my official ‘good-bye’ to my best friend in a very grand way, and it was the day we were going to watch a much-awaited movie. When my friend and my cousin came over, we hired an auto to MG road. The newest of the Chronicles of Narnia series, the movie Prince Caspian was out, after a month of eager anticipation. We were wild with excitement. The experience was ultimately rewarding, and we watched it with mouths agape, like the old times. It was still very early by the time the movie ended, and we decided to do something fun together.

There, in a coffee shop, sipping some Butterscotch Frappe’, we let the conversation carry us endlessly from one topic to another, shifting pace, drifting into one memory after another, and thoughts of how much we would miss each other in the days to come. And then, we made a promise, the kind teenagers these days never do. Deepti and I decided to become pen-friends.
It is true that we are markedly alike in our tastes, and our perspectives often collided with surprising similarity. That day, we swore to keep the promise alive. We believed in the joy of handwritten letters, of the warmth it bought to you…..because we had never experienced it. I, at least, never had a pen friend in my life, and the whole concept was new to me. I was tired of the adults reminiscing about the good old days of the handwritten letters. I still believed there were ways of bringing things back. We could reach each other easily on email or on orkut, but that wasen’t really the point. The point was that we were trying to experiment, to find out how beneficial writing was.
2 months after coming here I received my first letter from Deepti as promised, I experienced an inexplicable thrill. The day seemed suddenly more colourful. Oh, how lovely it was to find my name written on a brown envelope, which has arrived all the way from India! I now seemed to grasp the secret appeal of letters, and comprehended with perfect clarity why adults turn nostalgic about them.

But day by day, it is getting more difficult to keep that promise alive, since both the letters I wrote to deepti never reached her. And with the postal prices skyrocketing in India, I do feel a twinge of guilt for making her spend so much for me. But all I’d like to say is that we will maintain it as long as we can, because none of us are willing to let go.
Deepti wrote this for my upcoming birthday, when I’ll be turning 18:

“May you be happy throughout your life
May you keep love and joy always by your side,
May you experience the magic of being fully alive,
And may life’s best be always yours.”
And they are best birthday present I have received so far.

(Read Deepti’s response on

Thursday, September 25, 2008


A few months ago, I chanced across a very good deal while shopping---a brand new mountain bike for 64 dollars, and it seemed like nothing in the world was fairer. The bike conveniently appealed to my taste, with a coat of metallic red which literally shone to heighten it’s presence. A little tweaking here and there, and the bike was ready to come home. We bought it along with us, with the bike securely attached to the back of the car.

The next few days were spent in admiring my shiny new cycle from all angles. It was obvious that I was excited, but I was satisfied enough by simply by staring at it. Then, I delicately locked it away. Only when my brother accused me of not using my cycle for anything did I resentfully take to biking. I only did it to prove him wrong.

Today, biking has become an obsession. When my life relapses into that habitual phase where everything follows a customary order, and everything falls into a predictable plan, It is often my impulse to do something to break the pattern. The pre-decided sequence of things seems like a comforting regularity for many people, who are all too happy to get adjusted to the monotony of daily life. I feel the simple life of college, homework, studies, reading novels, sleep, and food lulls my senses into that sleepy condition, until even surprises look ordinary. And this time, I have taken to biking on a whim, simply to break that sequence. There is nothing like cycling away aimlessly, letting the hours slip by irresponsibly. Having a friend tagging along in your worthless pursuit adds a little more spice. My favorite times to bike are in the evenings, when the heat of the morning fades away like it never existed and the sparrows throng the fences, chirping away madly. I immensely enjoy those moments of waywardness, feeling the winds on my face, allowing them to whip my hair around me playfully, I love the sound of the wheels on the tar, and the honest sweat on my brow as I continue to peddle forcefully. My friend maintains a continuous babble behind me as we peddle and it is now my responsibility to insert a “whoa!” “uh-huh” “Great!” in the conversation. At least, that has grown to be the silent agreement between the both of us.

Well, we bike until late evening until my weary joints stop assisting my urge to continue with this forever. The magic fades, and I return to my daily routine life, my heightened senses quickly slipping back into that dulled stupor, but I look forward to the next day optimistically, promising my friend a greater adventure in the days to come.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Student Psychology

(cartoon from the book The Complete Idiot's Guide to calculus)

In the beginning of the second year of pre-university, most students do the easiest thing they are allowed to do for the year—they set up a goal. It is a fairly simple thing to do: to say something like “Father, I’ll get a 90% in the final exams because I am going to study five hours everyday!” But the student discovers, much to his dismay, that the individual who authored his physics textbook fancies writing in a forgotten dialect that he is unable to comprehend.
“Not my fault I didn’t understand! The textbook is too complex!” he whines, conveniently blaming the defective book for all his agony. Just as he is about to sneak out of his bedroom, his mother spots him,
“Why are you not studying?”
“I can’t understand the textbook, ma. It’s so horribly written! It has a ton of mistakes, printing errors. I don’t know why I bought Bosco publications, I should have gone for MES publications. Studying is a serious business!”

The next day morning, the student’s (study) table is cluttered with stacks of newly bought textbooks, homework helpers, logarithmic tables, CET and COMED-K guides. The student intuitively realizes that there is no other excuse—his life and bookshelf are now crammed with these things.

Now, only the student is aware of the bitter truth that most of the books he has bought (which is the only thing in the world that his parents are willing to spend an infinite amount of money on) are unworthy of his interest and attention, and that they mean very little to his colourful life, a greater part of which includes eating pani-puri from a roadside stand and zooming away on a bike. The initial plan is abandoned, and those books which treasure all the wisdom of the world are now free to collect dust on his clumsy bookshelf. In the end, the student has just enough time to go over the textbook he detested in the first place, and prepare for the final exam. When Second PU finally concludes, the student views this as an appropriate time to dispose of these unwanted things and he now rushes to the paper waalla to exchange them for worthier rewards like money (which will be spent on the in the noble past-time of eating pani-puri from the roadside stand.) Some strange teenagers even pass on ‘knowledge’ in the form of careworn textbooks as legacies to their favorite siblings with the safe presumption that their books will be made use of. After the second year concludes admirably fast, the student assumes the powerful title of a sagely and wise creature, someone from whom the so-called “juniors” can draw inspiration from. They view him with awe-stuck wonder, and faithfulness as he shares his invaluable information with them. He is now the guide, the person with answers. And what does he tell his juniors?
“Look, there is nothing like setting up a goal, like I did. I promised myself that I would study 5 hours a day. And I was determined enough to follow my dreams. I referred all the study guides I could, I revised atleast 7 times. Don’t ignore your textbooks, they treasure all the wisdom in the world.”
The others are left to prospect how much of truth there is in these words.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The 17 mile Drive

[This is on my visit to the 17 mile drive, a scenic drive along the sea side. We visited this place on the 1st September 2008.]

Driving along 17 miles of road, in this sweltering Californian heat isn’t exactly anyone’s idea of fun, but it helps when the sun is forgiving, and the turbulent sea is by your side always, and the numerous crashing wave pools send some sea froth flying to you in welcome. It does lift your spirits, making you forgot how sapped out you were just a few hours ago. One of my favorite things to do on the 17 mile drive is simply throw away my burdens, spending those timeless hours gazing into the horizon. I am carefree here, careless in my observations, (which is rare for me), wasting away those unhampered hours doing nothing significant.

( Seen above is the sunset I witnessed. )
What is not beautiful about the seaside? There is something enchanting which delights your eyes, calms your waywardness, caresses your face with that gentle touch. This place has attracted me three times, but with every visit, I fall more in love with it. And there is this raw beauty in everything around me, right from the crooked, bleached, ghostly trees, to the red moss which hangs limply onto the rocks. This place is the unmasked, bare face of nature and it is animated with life—and that is why it appeals to me even more.

(The little bird I could capture---unfortunately, I couldn’t capture a sea-gull! )

The emotional person gets confused here, because everything looks metaphoric. For those who can extend their visions beyond what they can see, they sense a deep solemnity and a silent majesty in the presence of the lone cypress (which is a tree growing out of a rocky cropping, with very less water to support it, and still has survived for nearly 150 years)….and of course, the sea always seem to be smiling. Yes, I stayed back to watch the sun set over the pacific, and I admit, it’s one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life. Well sorry, i’ve been unable to inform you precisely of how my journey was, as I am not much of a researcher, when it comes to writings. I could have provided you with more factual information like how far the sea coast is from freeway 101, and how to get there. It is just that I look at life a bit differently. It does not matter how I got there, or which freeway I took, it only matters that I enjoyed the experience. And that is how I choose to remember most of the things which happen to me—only experiences remain understood, while all the facts are mysteriously erased. Yet, one fact I do remember, that this has been my most enjoyable weekend in America this year. I have had a lot of fun on the trip, and I’ll cherish that.


(The sea in the evening.)

(The lone cypress tree---one of my favorties.)

[Click to enlarge]

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Giving your Imagination a chance

I have often been confronted with the question that why is it that I spare so much time and effort to write something as puerile as a children’s story when I could be writing something more profound, mature, realistic. Now, I shall ask you a question. What is that you most enjoyed? Cuddling in your granny’s lap when you were small enough to fit in it, listening to the Ramayana, or the Sunday newspaper you read last weekend?

I believe that a child’s imagination, in all it’s innocent glory is the most splendid thing on the planet. As I have said before, children can dream, dream without any sort of limitation or fear, and this makes their thoughts so original. As we grow up, our creative skills become atrophic, and suddenly, there are no more monsters in your cupboard, and there is no rabbit skulking in the waxing moon. With the emphasis given to logical thinking, imagination normally relapses into dormancy. Even venture to think about something immature and then you’re brain will say, “Now that’s most improbable! There are no fairy princesses…” That’s why, great fantasy writers are so rare.

It is good to occasionally let your imagination run loose and slacken your firm hold on the creative brain, and simply think without reasoning. That’s when you get wild stories of monsters, princesses, witches and beasts. And that is where your children’s stories come from. And there is an enjoyment to be derived from it too, which can soothe your stressed mind. When the world seems like it’s going to collapse the next moment, I find writing a children’s story or doodling something stupid as the ultimate elixir.

Much to my delight, another one of my stories found publication in Tinkle Children’s magazine this month. Given a chance, I would much rather be an Enid Blyton than anybody else….you see, there is a child in everybody that some have imprisoned. In me, That child seems to have a stubborn immaturity that I simply can’t get rid of!

(The above illustrations from my story are a copyright of India book house pvt ltd)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Travelling by bus

At times, something as commonplace as a bus-stand can provoke you to write something. I passed one while returning home today and it instantly had be reminiscing. This made me think about how my college didn’t even have a bus—stand! It was this very girl, two years ago, who went to college with a wry face, constantly whining that our busses were not on time despising this mode of transport.

The third week of college, I remember having first boarded a bus from the relatively peaceful NR Colony to Gowdanapalya, with my over-protective mom pleading another student to ‘help me out’. It was a new world to me, travelling alone like that. People pushed you, you somehow forced yourself to hang onto a piece of metal, and that’s all the space you got. You could never sit down, because every bus has fat bossy women or wobbly old men. You were still a kid who was squeezed against the window to make place for four people. Oh, I couldn’t stop ranting about it.

And then, it was monsoon season. My college bus-stand is nowhere, so all of us assembled like stranded travelers in front of this filthy bakery by the roadside (which was great for the bakery, I’m sure). The roads weren’t tarred properly, so the sludge of previous rains still lingered, making everything look muddier than ever. We had street dogs too, some which looked seriously rabid….they were always prompt to clean up that piece of cake you might have dropped. And people who barked worse than dogs, campaigning for a new tutorial which had opened up somewhere, promising you instant success in IIT. Beggars dropped by occasionally, adamant not to go away until you handed them money. I boarded the bus cursing my fate that day, but then someone tapped me on the shoulder, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a classmate from school smiling back at me.

As the days progressed, I chanced upon so many things in bus 210 N. I met my old school friends on it, once, even my tution teacher’s mom, and my biology lecturer. (Didn’t know whether to shout ‘goodmorning mam’ or pretend not to know her!). Sometimes, old men who would start rambling about their college days without any provocation, and even my college friends followed me all the way home on the bus, to wave me off. Life on a public bus can throw weird and unpredictable surprises at you. Two years later, I tell a different story. There is nothing quite like a bunch of college students travelling home by bus, gossiping their heads off about the new movie in town, blissfully unaware of where the journey will take them. There was a charm to that which I had forgotten to realize, and when I did, life had already moved on. Memories are strange….they make you enjoy those experiences which you most despised some years ago, and there is a charm to that too, which is quite difficult to explain.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Whole New World

I was distinctly reminded of the song “A Whole New World” from Disney’s Aladdin as I nervously sauntered to my first class, whilst my parents scuttled behind me, excited. The last ‘good-bye’ was murmured in haste just outside class, and I entered, heart pounding. (Incidentally, I was the only student who was shepherded to class by her parents, here, that stops in Kindergarten). There is always the fear of unfamiliarity on the first day of college, those initial jitters, accompanied by slight reluctance. In me, it shows in exaggerated ways. I felt small in this new crowd, like a ship lost at sea.

I surveyed my surroundings….here, someone is babbling on a phone, blissfully oblivious to the surroundings, someone switching on their laptop or an ipod, or reading Marian Puzo with their head slightly inclined. Nobody was curiously peering at anybody else, or fidgeting about in their seats or throwing shifty glances. This I found slightly unnerving, because it was something I unconsciously did in the beginning of a new class. I meddled with my lucky ring, playing with it occasionally to engage myself. Then, the class started.

My art teacher, Mr. Roehl, began the class with a slideshow. The first slide was of a vase painted with Flamingoes.
"Now, Can anyone tell me where the flamingoes are?"
Instantly came a babble of answers.
"On the Vase."
"They're sort of standin up...."
"No" said Mr. Roehl, "They're standing in the water, don't you get it? It's Water." and that's how he started off on the importance of art analysis and observation.

The class went fairly well for the first one. I shall never forget it….but I couldn’t help comparing it to my first class back in PU. There, every student was asked to pronounce their name and their tenth standard percentage before class began. And that’s the day we had found our first friends.

It’s been 3 weeks since college now. The “Whole New World” I live in throws surprises at me everyday….I look forward to college. Open Jazz concerts in the Cafeteria, a fountain in front of the library and Graffiti on the walls in art class (named ‘Beautiful Chaos”) are some things which interest me. I find them strange, yet beautiful. The new method of teaching is what I need to get used to, though. I was familiar with my professor nodding curtly and saying,
Alright, class dismissed.” In his characteristically deep and throaty voice.
Now, Mr. Kline smiles and adds, “Have a nice weekend. Don’t drive home fast and kill yourself, because you better be here to submit your assignment next Tuesday!”As I said, it’s a whole new world.

Monday, June 30, 2008

First Friends

For me, the days in Cupertino have been swift, rapidly melting away, spent…..until I find myself facing the day I’ll once again step into college, which will be tomorrow. In the beginning, I saw my surroundings barren, devoid of anything interesting. Now, I have come to realize that adapting to any environment is a gradual process---one that slowly blends you into the fabric of the community. It took patient days of silent discovery for me to truly realize my surroundings, something which offered a brighter perspective of everything…there is an ambience to this place which sooths my restless soul, there are the fresh winds, and sparrows in my balcony to play with my bird-food. Something I am grateful for….for the dreamer in me, these are treats---something which I relish and savor. I can sense celebration everywhere.

The newness of this atmosphere has refreshed me. I find it pleasant to spend my evenings on my brand new bicycle (meant to say bike), watch those feathered friends squabble over the food (inevitably reminds me of my squirrels back home), or simply relax on the new furniture. I spent one lazy afternoon photographing some of the sparrows. As I have found nothing more worthwhile to blog about, I thought of posting some of these photographs. They’re not perfect, but I hope you’ll enjoy them anyway!! These have turned out to be my first friends!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Finding Yourself

I am no profound thinker, but recently deep thoughts have been twisting the realms of my consciousness. They swirl, twine, connect and finally establish themselves with startling clarity. What makes a teenager tick? Career choices! The prospects are scary because I am fully aware that they’ll completely impact the rest of my life. It is an easier matter to be swayed by the torrents of advices, suggestions which flow perennially from all sides. Being a spirited person, I looked for answers from within myself, and not without careful exploration of what I really want to be.

Many a myopic eye see only two glimmering opportunities before them which makes it foolish to consider anything else---Engineering or Medicine. Only a few observe that in between them, there are a multitude of other careers which can be just as rewarding and fulfilling. There might even be careers which intigrate the two. They see it as a vital promise for the good life.
“Oh come now,” some say to me, “I know you can wriggle through electrical engineering.”
My problem is that I don;t want to wriggle through anything. I aspire to choose a subject in which I am strong, talented and skilled---something for which my aptitudes and interests converge. Something which awakens the passion in me. Many who forcibly take up engineering or medicine don’t have skills to really master it. Or else it is simply the pressure or the follow-the-herd instinct. I am unwilling to cheat myself by forcing myself to like something like electrical engineering, when I know it’s not my cup of tea, and whine the rest of my life. Medicine holds an interest too, but is a little demanding. True, true, I am aware of how much I am deviating from the conventional pattern---some say there is a lot I’ll miss. But there’ll be a lot I’ll gain too. It’s just a matter of finding yourself.

I’ve chosen to deal with the biological sciences. Be it anything from biotechnology, biochemistry, genomics or biosystematics, I’ll embrace it. You see, I’ve nurtured a dream to see me here, that it would be cruel to orphan it. In eighteen days, I am off to the United States to study in a community college my father has chosen and then transfer to a university. I still look within for everything that’s needed from me when a new phase of my life opens up. I’ll be a short wait before I find an answer. Many more thoughts provoke my mind, like mild fear but I wish to put them to rest and wait to see where the winds of change will take me…..It’ll be a new path to tread and also an uncommon one. It’ll be a discovery....

Monday, May 12, 2008

Remembering Tradition

It has been sometime since I decided to dabble with Tradition. You know, I decided to get a makeover, to get a little old-fashioned. Before you take the liberty to declare that this girl is definitely loony, let me tell you what I did!

This Saturday afternoon I decided to wear my silks with a bunch of heavy necklaces on my neck and decorate my hair with Moggina Jade’. Small things like these stir up an immediate reaction. This includes the grandparents getting over-joyed with my decision to bear a few pounds of flowers on my head, my grandma taking me on a picnic to all the houses in the neighbourhood, and my brother tut-tutting over me. You do feel imperious, royal, important and special. And more than everything else, that’s what that counts.

Now let me venture to speak on Mysore’s favorite tradition. (At least, for the girls!) Moggina Jade’ has been around for ages, normally, the girls decorate their hair with it when it’s the Jasmine season and these pretty flowers are in bloom. Generally, the bride wears it, but girls do too, on special occasions. Moggina Jade’ used to be something like craft---when the ladies ‘organized’ these flowers on your long plait in an exotic and delicate fashion. Now, it’s a minute’s business. You get them ready-made in the mysore market for 150/, and all you do is place them over your hair and simply ‘tie’ them on.

You see, things you thought would never disappear sometimes do. Like the sparrows, a non-polluted Bangalore, the jutkas, and tradition. That’s why it’s better to savour them before they’re finally gone. Try it, all this tradition thing is not as bad as it sounds. It can be fun too. Besides, I’ve taken it into my stride to break the myth that fashion, slang and rock music is all what teenagers are made of!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

'Studying' Squirrels

I remember those days when I looked forward to return home from college just to observe the family of seven squirrels who lived in our mango tree. They were spirited little things, scampering about the backyard with such enthusiasm, that they invoked the same in me. In the sultry afternoons, when everyone slumbered, they would play peek-a-boo in the garden, and one would look for them for a nice escape from the mundane regularity of life. They scavenged our dustbins, which I thought was rather unfitting, so I provided them with some peanuts, (later shifted over to cashews and pista nuts much to the rage of my mother) which they absolutely loved. . It was something of a mixture of childish curiosity mingled with a sense miraculous wonder that overcame me as I stood quietly watching them from behind the crack in the door, nibbling away on peanuts. They enterained me for many happy days, until, by the end of summer we found dead squirrels in the water tank, and the rest disappeared from the mango tree forever. It is since then that I have bitterly understood that it is unwise to try and tame wild animals, or punishingly increase their dependence on us.

From six months, one particular squirrel started intruding into our lives. She had the nerves of steel, I must say, boldly scuttling into the house without a moment’s hesitation. She missed the frying pan by inches one day, surprising my mom. She made her presence apparent by chewing away some of my comics, and pieces of a teddy bear named fluffy. Her favorite place was the Atta where we store our winter quilts and unused stuff. It was this Monday I discovered that she has given birth to 2 adorable young ones in the Atta. They are bald little things, very tiny and bleakly-eyed, but are growing real well. I have tried, many times to get their picture but the little things scamper away so fast…I have figured it is impossible. Besides, I am not a very good photographer. I have now taken to spending half my day at the Dining table, doing everything from reading to dreaming right there, keeping a vigil, trying to look out for those little ones screeching above my head. Everything from the way they clean their tails to their manipulative methods of trying to steal the chickoo on the dining table are delights to watch. It has my mother enraged of course, but I welcome them quite cheerfully. A day shall come when they venture out into the wide open to explore the world which is not our dining room, but until then, I shall be thankful that they are just there, making my life more colourful and meaningful by the day.

(I shall return to blogging next Monday after COMED-K exams to tell you how I have done and how my squirrels are doing! :) )

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mr. Shenoy tagged me to fill out this questionnaire. So I’ve tried to be obedient and filled it up. Well, apart from that my CET—The Common Enterance test in this Saturday. Wish me luck!! Will return to blogging on Sunday, after the exam to tell you how I’ve done.

1. Last movie you saw in a theater?
A kannada movie, days before the exam……Gaalipatha. ( Met my friend in the crowd too, and she was baffled to see this English-lovin girl enjoying a Kannada movie.)

2. What book are you reading?
Trust me, you would faint. Currently, it’s a 905 page ‘Complete guide to Karnataka CET and comed-K—Mathematics.” See? You’re swooning already.

3. Favorite board game?

4. Favorite magazine?
don’t oogle…but it’s been Tinkle since 7 years. 

5. Favorite smells?
Smell of wet earth, freshly mowed grass, petrol an kerosene, new books, the ‘office smell’….lots more, can’t remember.

6. Favorite sounds?
Bird calls, the light windy tune of the flute, Meloncholy notes on the Veena…

7. Worst feeling in the world?
Well, there are lots. People yelling that I’m not accepting responsibility, nor learnt to cook, or dress finely, a bad question paper, facing CET exams, the nerds callin up to remind that they are smarter than you, saying good-bye.

8. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?
Probably be thinking of all the fun my brother’s having with his friends when I’m to waste my time in front of textbooks.

9. Favorite fast food place?
None. Don’t like fast food. (Strange, I know!)

10. Future child’s name?
Haven’t thought about it.

11. Finish this statement. “If I had lot of money I’d….?”
Plant a thousand trees for Sapgreen.

12. Do you drive fast?
Yeah, if you blame me, I blame my age! 

13. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
I tried, but everytime I opened my eyes, I got scared by my own teddy bear.

14. Storms - cool or scary?

15. What was your first car?
I’m an unfortunate creature. Don’t own one yet.

16. Favorite drink?
Cane Juice with a hint of cool mint….an coffee.

17. Finish this statement, “If I had the time I would….”?
Try to get my bro to fix the computer. The alphabet ‘d’ does not work and I’ve to painfully copy an paste it every time I type.

18. Do you eat the stems on broccoli?
I just chew stuff up without thinking abt it. So, I don’t really know an answer to this one.

19. If you could dye your hair any color, what would be your choice?
No, it would definitely not be pink. I would want my hair to look like Ahalya’s in Chak de though.

20. Name all the different cities/towns you’ve lived in?
Mysore, Bangalore, Fremont (CA), Beaver dam (Wi)

21. Favorite sports to watch?
Badminton, College Basketball

22. One nice thing about the person who sent this to you?
To confess, I’m a huge fan of Mr. Shenoy. Would probably want an autograph in the future, after the media proclaims he’s the reincarnation of O Henry.

23. What’s under your bed?
Lots of things.

24. Would you like to be born as yourself again?
Wouldn’t mind, actually.

25. Morning person, or night owl?
definitely a night owl

26. Over easy, or sunny side up?
Sunny side up

27. Favorite place to relax?
The Balcony, an the bean bag

28. Favorite pie?

29. Favorite ice cream flavor?

I tag deepti, Anushya, and Indrani.

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Tryst with Coorg

Pristine green hills, reviving winds, Vernal blooms bursting from the undergrowth, the mist of early morning enveloping the colonial houses….where am I? Where else but Coorg! My tryst with Coorg lasted for just two days, but within that time, I have unearthed so much. Once you learn to ignore the heat and bad roads, Coorg unfolds it’s infinite splendor before your eyes. Stretches of untamed forests, wild elephants, silent water pools hidden behind a thick shield of trees…there is so much to discover, and it tempts you to brave an adventure.

Surrounded by adults who don’t match my wavelength, and the absence of chattering cousins bought out the true observer in me. My eyes soaked in every detail of the landscape, and it set me thinking. We stayed over in my Uncle’s house—a pretty one on a hillock, with such a breathtaking view of the surroundings, that it had me mesmerized. I sometimes find inexplicable joy in simple things like the smell of wet earth, a babbling thrush on the pomegranate plants. This place was too beautiful for words. Spending a lonely evening on a terrace on the hillside can give you the true perception of the mystique and grandeur of nature’s creation. The spirit of the forest reverberated in the whistle of the winds, every call of the coucal in the distance. The magic of that environment can only be experienced. It gives you the sense of timelessness—where there is no past, future, or present. There is thrill of surprise every time something streaks past above your head. Visits such as these expand your horizons---to think a little beyond the life of marks, CET, and daily coaching classes. Coorg ignited my imagination and painted it with myriad colours.

This season, Coorg is alive with the vibrancy of life. You will find at least one feathered friend behind every silent thicket. There is no need to tell that it is very rich in it’s biodiversity. I have such a wide variety of birds here---all very exotic (excuse me, but even the common birds of Coorg are exotic in a Bangalorian’s dictionary!). I have spotted Sunbirds, Pied Kingfishers, Coucals, Yellow-billed Hornbills, Drongo (Jungle Crow), black ibises, tailorbirds, blue-jays, a woodpecker, wagtails, and magpie robins. I have spotted this butterfly called Malabar Banded Peacock Butterfly, endemic to Karnataka. Those 2 days, I have felt like I was living in a different part of the world with a true sense of belonging to it. I have seen wild elephants being tamed, seen the hesitancy in the eyes of a spotted deer when a car approaches too close, and even waited like a dreamer with an Umbrella in hand for that elusive woodpecker to return to a nearby tree (it never did!). I have drenched myself in a waterfall (Irpu Waterfalls), sipped coffee outside forest guest houses, and ultimately found deep contentment.. As I once again tackle my books, my mind cannot help but wander to Coorg, with star-sprinkled skies and beautiful flora and fauna and I find myself sinfully wishing for one more trip.
(photos from cousin Renu...)

Friday, April 4, 2008

I'm celebrating!

It’s the time of celebration for me. I’m celebrating my 50th post here, and look back to see it’s already been over an year of blogging experience. My blogs (well, most of them) have become an online version of my journal and I find the same amount of delight in rereading them as I do in reading my previous journals. I started blogging on the 26th of March, 2007. That was a long time ago, and I was thinking I would have completed a 100th blog by now. Well, I’m not sad it didn’t happen. I guess my priorities were different, and sometimes, bloggging took a backseat.

For a teenager who’s growing up so quickly, life shifts pace rapidly too. Lifestyles change—you are in school one moment, and then in college. And by the time you settle down, you are facing the board exams and the lecturers wave you off….then, there are new things to discover. Every day I grow up, every day, there is something new in my life. And my blog keeps reminding me of all the fun I had in second PU and the way I was thinking at that point of time. My brain tends to be volatile, sometimes immature, sometimes strangely vague and clouded, I cannot define it. My blogs help me to go back and see the way I am growing up as they mirror my thoughts.

For example, when someone wrote that I was trying to indulge in ‘shameless self-promotion’ on my blog, I really took it to heart and whole-heartedly agreed with that person without as much as analyzing myself. Now I think that was seriously immature of me. On account of my fiftieth post, I wish to spice up my blog with interesting features and welcome some constructive criticism. I was thinking of replacing the title with something more insightful and metaphoric (suggestions are welcome!) and even find a better template, if possible.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I'm Back!!!

After a prolonged hour waiting for the bus in the hot sun by the roadside, and practically ‘hanging’ from the only piece of metal I could safely grab unto before a bulky woman decided to smother me with her weight, almost suffocating in a crowded bus…..I still returned home with a smile. The reasons? There were plenty. I finished my exams yesterday, chit-chatted effortlessly with some of my closest pals doing full justice to what I call ‘talking’ (for the past few months it has been just a quiver of a nervous smile and a hopeful ‘All the Best’)…..and I suddenly realized I was free to blog again.

The past few days for me have been filled with drudgery and the monotony of continuous hours of studying. I was left with nothing to write about, to be honest, except perhaps a long list of exam dates, portions and countless unsystematic time-tables that no one would be interested in. The only ‘writing’ I did was in one prep exam after another, until I lost count. Creativity was buried in the sea of formulae, a list of doubts, confused muddle of diagrams and memorized words from Shivaraudrappa’s Bhimaaalapa. In my free time, I confess I tried my hand at writing something like a story, but my tensed up brain spun some meaningless sentences without a tail. Finally, I declined and decided to give it up as a bad job and settled to staring out of the window for comfort from the mundane hours of studying.

February is the time of the year to listen to a million advises, you know, when your relatives suddenly remember your existence. Many people share those great words of wisdom that I’m supposed to respect. Ask any relative and they give you grave hints for the perilous future ahead (‘the turning point in life’ ‘You are at the crucial phase’ ‘These fifteen days can change your life’ ‘Look at the previous year question papers, they are the key to tackling tough papers…’ ). Well, thank goodness that is over. I would like to put the exams behind me now, with the satisfaction that I have given it my best, and fill the next few blogs with pure holiday fun before it is time to worry for my CET. But the fact remains that I’m definitely back to blogging, folks! It’s time to sleep in, to relax on a bean bag with my favorite novels, and clean my room which has started resembling an unkempt garage these days….and blog also, because it’s so much fun!!!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Saying Good-Bye

There are many things in life that are difficult, and saying 'good-bye' to the people who have been an integral part of your life is one of the hardest. It's time to bid farewell to second puc. With the beginning of the month of December, the number of students who attended classes began to gradually decline. I should have realized it then. But I just couldn’t face the fact that it was time to say ‘good-bye’ so soon. I was unconcicoulsy unwilling to accept the idea, and I rebelled against it as much as possible. “It’s still December, there’s still more time….”
No, I reckon there wasen’t. The disappearance of students was too abrupt to suit me. Finally, there were just 6 of us left devotedly attending classes by Christmas time. All these six happen to be my most valuable friends---Me, Shruthi, Hemavathi, Thunga, Navyashree, Virendra, and Kavya. I reason as to why I attended classes was more to see them, savor those last few days with them than anything else. And I stupidly forced myself into an illusion and pretended 2nd PU would last forever. I wish, now, more than anything else that we could all be stuck in time. For all the seven of us have truly enjoyed the past few days so much, and we understand that these last few memories will be cherished and preserved, because we finally comprehended the gravity of the situation. No, we are honest people and we cannot say “We can stay in touch forever!” because we realize that is something unrealistic. We’re at the crossroads, with youthful ambitions and hopes aplenty, and we’ll be moving along separate channels, into different environments, and perhaps even find new friends. The memories might weaken, but for me, I assure you, they’ll be strong, because these have been the best two years of my life.

The last day of college ended in a somber note---just signing slam books, sitting on a college bench. That is just meaningless, if you ask me. Friendship cannot be defined or written down in words, it has to be experienced. I got a slam book too, just because everyone else had, but the truth is, I’m not really happy with it. A mere 30 page book cannot hold all my memories, it really cannot. If I spill my memories on paper, they’ll overflow. I admit, I am a ball of emotions. It’s hard to hide your feelings when the truth hits you so badly---this will be the last day of classes. It is not just ‘OK fine, bye then!” with me. I see this in a different perspective. It is that deep realization that I shall never be in the same phase of life again—I will not enter the class to witness sixty smiling faces---it’s just over. Done, finished! Some people rejoiced classes are over. But this girl squirmed in discomfort. Things would never be the same again….

Most of us did put on a stoic front, bravely showcasing our indifference, until we understood that the pretence was unsuccessful and the truth was pretty transparent. The truth was that all of us were feeling a bit hollow inside—a sudden void, like something invaluable has been snatched away from us, like time cheated us definitely showed in our faces. Manasa was the first one to remark “I’ll be missing you guys a lot, you know….”
Then came clear confessions, and for a moment, we felt connected in the pain of departure. The last word of comfort came from Shruthi, “Hey, it’s not over yet. I mean, there is still time after exams….”
As I drove home that day, I sensed a sudden pleasantness in the air. The winds hit me powerfully, and I enjoyed it, with Shurthi’s words still ringing in my ears “There’s still time after exams….there is still time…still time…” and I really found comfort in those words. For now, I just liked to believe (foolishly) , once again, that it was not yet the time to say ‘good-bye’ after all….we’re friends forever, we will be, no matter what.