Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I'm Done With Being Methodical. Unleashing Chaos. No More Parts!

Just three more days before I head back home. We’ve been given an “assignment” which we can work on from home. Till now, we have slept, ate and watched a shit load of TV :so it’s going well.



 Most of us are down with the flu and by most of us I mean everyone else except me and one other guy. My mother doesn’t believe it for a second. She is sure I’ll fall sick as soon as I land home. She could be right.

Our room smells of stale milk and my room-mate and I have narrowed it down to the cushions being the source of this smell. We don’t like to ponder over the how s and the why s. 

I woke up and went to the loo, I forgot to lock the door.  Then someone barged in. Except it wasn’t  anyone. The door was open. And no one was there.  It might have been the wind. I’ll never know. This is why you should always carry your paranormal activity laser with you, to the loo.

It could have also been Gepecko, the sparrow that never flew away, and therefore likes to haunt unsuspecting girls in their vulnerable moments. 

Our Apartment Owners have some serious quirks I tell you. 
So we’re having breakfast and my room-mate(N) says:
D I think I’m losing my mind a little bit.This is what they must call fever talk. 
Me: what do you mean?            
N: Does that look like a pool to you?
Me: which one?
She shows me this:




 D: OMG that is totally a pool
 

 N: That can’t be the much talked about wave pool though can it? I mean it’s not blue, it’s fucking dirty and it's green.
D: Maybe it’s a green pool.
N: Sure, cause there isn’t enough green around already.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Part 5: Please Laugh, I dare you.


Being a cheapskate in Mumbai might get you murdered/killed.

Yeah. Ask me. I would know.

Taking an auto that leaves you at your doorstep, from office, would be sheer stupidity, not when you have buses plying. Right?

I was just happy to hear the word “Direct bus” amidst all that Marathi and I followed my friends blindly.
It wasn’t a direct bus. It takes you to the entrance to the forest that we live in, and then let’s you go. It wouldn’t be fun otherwise would it?

So, the place where the bus leaves us off is superbly busy with the traffic and everything. It scares you because you keep getting this uncanny feeling that all this traffic is the number of cars running away from the hilly wilderness we live in, or maybe it is just the darkness that gets you.

We get down from the bus, trying to make our way through to the green-ness when a bus comes rearing at us from nowhere. It almost wasn’t stopping at all, till I shrieked out loud enough to freak my friends out. The bus stopped inches away from our faces.  

I don’t like to think about this. But I needed to put this in writing. Because it was.so.fucking.close.

Then we make our way to the other side. It’s still a long way to go. We have to wait for another bus, or at least an auto. But it didn’t come. We waited for ages till we decided we’d just walk it. It would take us an hour if we did. One of us suddenly has this bright idea of getting in a car. Even now, she insists it was a cab. But cabs in Mumbai don’t have clear visible signs on them. So maybe she was right, maybe she wasn’t. I don’t even know anymore. That ride freaked the living daylights out of me. And all I could think of was  if I have to jump out of this moving car, how badly would I get hurt.

After 30 long minutes, we  came back home, related this story to my friends. We had to submit a synopsis of a creative idea the very next day. And my friends are like “hey you already have a story. Except yours is more likeBedtime Stories. It came true.”

We saved 20 bucks from all of this. 20 bucks for some mind-numbing stress. 

Was it worth it? Hell no. 

It’s just nice to laugh this off.


It really is. 

Finding My Personal Tardis

Shit that I never thought I’d put together in a sentence:
Cold kebabs actually taste good.

This house comes with two single barrel shot guns.

Sometimes remembering something as mundane “I put blue nail polish sitting on that chair last night” can solve stupid puzzles like “where the fuck did we keep our flat keys and why is it that we can’t find it right when we are in a desperate need to leave immediately (we were getting late for work)?” It was on the damn chair.

My mom has been pestering me about a certain cat and I think I’m going to get exactly that for myself after I get my first salary. Something tells me that she won’t be happy with my interpretation of the word though.

Sickness scares me to death. My room-mate fell terribly ill over the week-end. I made soup for her, called the doctor, got her medicine. But the whole time I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I just cannot sit and watch people suffer. It is a trigger.

I have been told on two occasions: “don’t worry I can kill people if it comes to it” Two fucking times. Either I worry too much, or I have this inane capacity to get myself in a lot of trouble.Also, I could never say I can kill people without snorting at myself. I can't.fucking.kill.people.even.if.it.is.to.protect.me. 

I might have been stalked. Or I might have pretended like I’m being stalked. Either of the two. 



Yes, I let myself like them because: See, heaven's got a plan for you. 

Let go. Let things happen. 

Peace. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Part 4: Winds Push Me Away.


I’m almost done with yet another week here, in Mumbai. There are so many people I have got to know, in this short span. Some of them have become friends that I’d love to keep in touch with, others belong to that group of species that intrigue you so much that you want to stare or converse with them the whole day, just to map their source of thoughts. It is hard  not to lose yourself a little bit. Sometimes you are thankful that you did. Other times you wish you’d just listened to your inner voice.

However, there are always things you just stumble upon:

I realised that I like quiet. I have a really fun room mate. She keeps suggesting fun activities, or fun movies we should watch on the telly. I go along almost always. And then I’m  just craving to go back to my room, sit with my laptop, or just read a book.

My definition of fun is very different from most people’s. I am probably the kind of person that would bore you to death in a loud music environment, because I think it is pointless trying to make meaningful conversation with anyone when you have to raise your voice beyond a certain pitch.

I am seriously unintentionally funny. I know my twitter handle says that about me. But it was a guess. Now I know for sure. Because I have been told so. By numerous people.In those exact same words.

I take a while to respond positively to a request for a  favour. Even if it is a small one. Funny thing though, I find it exceptionally hard to say no to one.

I seriously cannot write a blog post without being interrupted many times here.

A one particular room-mate of mine, S, has surpassed the very definition of selfishness. And  it is my life’s aim to never behave like her.

This place has very strong winds. Like OMG it’s a setting for a scary movie kind of strong winds.This one time I was staring out of a window, and I see these trees looking all eerie and just lying there, knocked down by the winds. And I can't help but feel sad for them....bare trees with their branches outspread lying there on the concrete waiting for the rain to come and wash them away...

Oya -- Yoruba/Santeria.        She is seen in aspects as the warrior-spirit of the wind, lightning, fertility, fire, and magic. She creates hurricanes and tornadoes, and guards the underworld.  Beyond destruction, Oya is the spirit of change, transition, and the chaos that often brings it about.

Did I tell you this place we live in is haunted? Because it seriously is. But it is beautiful enough to make you get spooked and then learn to live with the spookiness, it becomes a part of you. So you find yourself leaning out and wanting to catch the rain on your tongue and wonder why things wouldn’t end already.

Why won’t they just end?





Saturday, July 27, 2013

Part 3: Let's Get The Party Started, Or Not.

It's another weekend over here. So I shall continue with Part 3 of my stay here in Mumbai.

It was a little bit of an anti-climax after doing all that out-doorsy stuff when we were locked up in a dungeon in the basement to attend back to back powerpoint presentations from different people who were awesome at things we must know about. Of course I exaggerate when I say dungeon.

But I remember I was so tired that there was a point where I grudgingly took out my journal to write about my day and I looked hard for a pen inside my bag and I pulled it out, opened the cap and then I realised it was my fucking eyeliner. That's when you know you should just go to bed.

Then Mumbai decided to test us even further, by flooding the whole damn place. It wasn't even a joke, because everybody's family started calling with alerts and "OMG you must be careful, train lines are blocked up and maybe you should just stay back in the office" I actually considered that idea and then found some people who were complete bravehearts or complete idiots like me, and wanted to go home despite the serpentine queue of traffic that we could see from our office rooftop.

The others? They had a better idea: they wanted to go attend a birthday party in South Mumbai. Birthday girl had invited us as well. But we were not in a mood to party...at all.

One hour later.

We join the seventeen others to go for the birthday party via train. Yes. Being stranded in the rain and not finding a single auto or taxi to take you home? Does that to you. That's when mania kicks in, and you stop caring.

So 19 of us (birthday girl would join us at the venue) go along in the train and I was...freaked. Despite assurances, I kept thinking wtf am I doing? But I didn't have a choice. It was exasperating.

So we go to this place. Birthday girl? Is jain. No booze. :) So we're all dancing completely sober. So.much.fun.

Then five of us took a cab ride home across Mumbai at 130 in the night. My mother has no fucking idea,  about this. I feel weird even writing this. Seriously. After getting back home at 230 in the night, I fell asleep, while undressing. I pity my room-mate, who is awesome btw.

The next day we had to reach office super early. You know why? We had a code of conduct presentation. The irony is so stark sometimes, that I wonder if it is on purpose.

Then this tune was stuck in my head: and I didn't know what the song was, I just had the tune, so I put myself in that embarrassing place where I sang out the tune vocally to a bunch of colleagues and yeah found it:

Would I normally ever go out at 10 pm in the night in my own city, let alone Mumbai? to a bar?

Nope.

We all know I would rather sit at home and read a book.

Did I hate it?

Not really. Maybe I'm in that place where these things don't excite me anymore. It happened. It is over.

What's next? 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Part 2: Overcoming Fear And Pain

When I got onto the bus for an “Empowerment Training Camp” I never would quite realise how sorely I'd miss my camera. I thought it would be better not to take it, given that we were prepped with rucksacks and told we wouldn't get any phone network in the place we were going to. 

I go there, expecting only adventure. That’s when we met Dilip, our trainer. When I saw him I kind of thought he was hiding behind his massive white mustache and long white hair that he would tie neatly in a ponytail. And that he must be just a young guy inside an old guy’s paraphernalia. Then he started talking about his credentials, how he has a phd in clinical psychology and a very long list of other impressive things and I’m thinking “oo so this is going to be a and-how-do-you-feel-about-that kind of experience” and I start to even look forward to it.

Then the rain came. And for the next four fucking days that I stayed in that place it never stopped. I literally had wet pants wet shirts wet everything that I would have to wear because yeah fucking raincoats we were given? Was no match for the torrential stuff the rains were made of.


Dilip took us through many ideas and concepts of a team and leadership, and just when I was beginning to feel all comfy, he sets us a task that puts our dinner at stake. We lose it. We lose our dinner. And you know what happens the very next day after skipping dinner? We trek up rough terrain to the very top of the camp site, on nothing but oxygen to keep us going. 

But the view?

Yeah, that will stay with me. 

Forever. 

Then Dilip tells us he has this crazy simple task for us: each of us have to climb up this swingy rope ladder to a this tall-ass tree, blow a fucking whistle and find our way back to the ground. 

And.that's.when.I.started.to.lose.my.shit. 

tree climbing
something like this except a lot more screaming,and my juniors actually climbed it with that ease..like fucking monkeys! I wish I could just stand and stare at it though. It was poetic to say the least. 

The tree looked creepy. Everything looked creepy. And I started hyperventialting. 

I sucked at it. I kept slipping off the  ladder footings. Did I tell you it was raining the whole time this climbing thing happened? Yeah. So I gave my all to finally get to the minimum number of steps I needed to climb to not get the entire team disqualified. So nineteen people staring up at me, watching me mess the shit out of myself and counting on me, no pressure at all

Sigh. 

Funny thing though: ever since then? I stopped caring about hurting myself. I came back to my tent and saw that my thighs were black and blue from the harness, my arms were sore, I felt like I'd been beaten up bad and I was drenched to the fucking core....and I was alive, despite everything, despite feeling like my arms were dead. And that if I moved them an inch even, I was going to cry. But I didn't. They were fine the next day: when we built our own raft to float on the lake nearby...and when we had to do push-ups everytime we used words like "dude" and similar such lingo. 

Empowerment camp has highlighted things I'd never thought I'd be lacking in...sometimes I feel like I'm all words..I don't follow up on things...I feel like a pompous fucking joker.I need to change that perception of myself. I need to be better for me. 

Dilip also spoke about something important at the very end when we got our war tags,("yes we can") :) and he told us that being defensive about people around us is never going to get us anywhere. He said that somebody may have caused a lot of hurt in our own life...but to treat everybody else like they would do the same  would be being very unfair to the new people you meet in your life. 

I've been thinking a lot about this...about how defensive I've been because somebody fucked up my childhood for me...it's not fair. I haven't been fair. At all. 

Let's do this. 

Let's be fair. 

To myself. 

And To Everyone else. 

Yes.We.Can 


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Part 1: Settling/Not Settling In

I started off keeping a journal for my stay here in Mumbai. I think I went as far as Day 2.

The rest of  them are there in the head. And sometimes return to me in my dreams and I can’t go back to sleep again. The massiveness of it hits me out of nowhere.

The flight to Mumbai was fine except that one time I saw white smoke just billowing out of these fringes in the ceiling and I’m thinking this has to be sign, I am doing  a bad thing staying in Mumbai, even if it is for only 21 days. But apparently it’s some kind of air freshener thing. Way to play a joke, airplane people. I am so not going to believe you if you tell me your hair is real.

My mom decided to accompany me, because she thinks (still) that I am making  a terrible mistake in doing what I’m doing. It was almost like she was looking for reasons to yank me out of the place and back home.

And trust me she found plenty.

The room we are supposed to be staying in was absolutely not ready for us. I mean it was definitely ready for hobos. And a shit tonne of lizards. And one of my room-mates(S) has a fucking lizard phobia. And she would scream at me and the other room-mate(N) and we had to rush out at as late as 1 am in the night to get the security guards to kill a damn lizard. It was that bad. I suck at killing things. And did you know that if you sprayed a lizard with Hit Cockroach Spray it just turns pink? And dance-y.Like it's been to a tanning salon or something. 

So finally our employers took pity on us and asked us to move in with some other girls. They were accommodating. And I’m just frustrated sitting on my bed, and I look out and I see this :
And just for one second. I wanted to kill people a little less.



We made some calls for food. And I find this on the menu card:


Butter Chicken Sala. Because that's how we serve around here. If you don't know what Sala means, it is an Indian abuse. And after having the kind of  day I had and reading this, I laughed till my room-mates thought I was probably losing it. 

PS. This place is apparently just behind a national park. So we've been warned about panthers and other fierce creatures. And asked not to go out when it gets dark. I am strangely tempted to go for a night walk though. 
Who wouldn't be ...right? 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

So I'm Storing All These Masks In The Dark Corners of My Closet For The Next Three Weeks.

Update: I wrote this post one week ago, but I forgot to post it. Because that's just how my week has been. It's been a bombardment from all directions and I'm barely just coping. I want to write all about it, but Time is a Monster. It makes you pay...in push-ups. (If this is not making any sense don't worry, I'm not sure it makes sense to me...yet). 

Look out!!


So here's from  the pre-bombardment me: 

This Saturday(13th July)  I leave everything that is expected of   me as someone who has completed her postgraduation in Economics; get away and  do something completely different. 

It is so different it freaks me out a little bit.


 But this the oh-my-God- I- am- seeing- myself- naked- for- the- first- time- and- I- feel- good- about- me kind of freaky. 


Okay I'm not a narcissist or anything...this is a creative job that I'm actually getting paid to take up, like in cash notes or cheques or whatever form of currency..you know? 


And I just want to stop being a closed person and not accept this opportunity because I'm supposed to be all "smart" and "analytical" and other stuff that economics is supposed to make you become, instead of allowing myself this terible need I have to express myself creatively. 


I.just.want.to.see.if.I'm.any.good.at.this. 


So I'm leaving for Mumbai (I like to call it Bombay) this Saturday where I basically attend a three week long orientation programme. 


None of this has been easy to put across to people who still care about me: like my mother. 


Yeah that's the whole list. 


But I'm going. And maybe it won't be all the things I think it's cracked up to be.


Three weeks is however, a reasonable investment  (time-wise)  for fulfillment of a day dream I've always had.  :)