143: The Twists and Turns of Adulthood

23 May

Today just wasn’t the day for me to catch a few winks in the afternoon. The internet guys called me a couple of times even when I’d asked them to kindly call and visit my sick internet connection only in the evening. Then the security guard rang my doorbell to tell me to remove my plants from my balcony, which I already had, and which I pointed out to him as he spoke to me. The painting labourers who are giving our building a facelift then decided to knock on my door with empty plastic bottles, to tell me that two balcony chairs needed moving. And then the maid arrived. So there really were just about a handful of minutes that I could dream during, post which I remained in bed slurping a creamy kulfi and a TedX talk by Shah Rukh Khan sent to me by S. Happy belated birthday, S! I figured she sent me this link because I dig the guy at some level. He really is a witty genius, okay! Anyhoo, I savoured what was left of my afternoon, in the self-obsessed but also tasteful compilation of experiences that were SRK’s.

The one thing in his speech that did catch my attention is something I’ve been becoming aware of off late too. And it is this concept of autonomy in drawing our own definitions of our experiences. It was just yesterday while in conversation with P that I mentioned the exact same thing –  that we’re so habituated to this “unchangeable” and “rigid” concept of authority without realising that we’re now at a place of authority too. Perhaps we always had the right to our own authority, but it remained unrealised and therefore untouched. It’s in the small things, and consequently in the big things; the latent ways in which we accept definitions of right and wrong formulated by others, and make them our own.

We’re at a place where if we don’t respect our own selves, no one else will, is what I said to P last night. It’s a new baton that I’ve come face-to-face with and am intrigued by. I truly believe that you and I are here, because we’re worthy by our own merit and judgement to be here; and that we have an equal hand in setting boundaries and making rules that work for and with us. Gone are the days when I remember standing in school or college, just waiting to get out and take control of my life. But somewhere down the line, and thanks to this humongous baggage of “no questions asked”, it started to feel like I was living by others’ ways and rules. I find this platform especially relevant today when I have so many looking up to me, hoping that I have answers, control, and some semblance of stability. Moreover, I find it an intriguing path to walk down, dotted with sharp turns and ridges that are waiting for me to trip and fall, or to trip and fly.

This is really the best time to be alive because there’s no telling time than this, that what you do is yours and yours alone, in all your selfish and self-obsessed glory and necessities. It’s a struggle, but it’s most real too.

142: Cheating

23 May

Today I’m cheating, and confessing about doing so. Yesterday was one of the best Mondays I’ve had in a long, long time. The school is at its fractional strength what with all the kids, except the senior students, already off. It was quiet, calm, serene, and it had rained. There was no clamouring, no crowding, no shouting, no hurrying. If this is a blessing, then I feel blessed. I even got to walk back home in a faint drizzle and under an overcast sky; there’s nothing more a Bangalore girl can ask for during a harsh North-Indian summer May Monday.

And then my internet died on me just when I was about to ease into some yoga which I haven’t been able to indulge in for an annoyingly long time. Therefore, out went my yoga and out went any chance I had of blogging as well. So here I am, writing about yesterday, today. And therefore I confess.

Yesterday was meant to be enjoyed in its entirety I presume. So there was some uninterrupted tree and sky-staring time, followed by a long conversation with P which ended a good hour later when her baby had a poop-blast situation. Because A also got back home much later than usual and I had time at hand, I did what most self-respecting domesticated wives do – cook. I made today’s lunch, dinner, and perhaps tomorrow’s breakfast as well, last night. There’s so much food in the fridge, A exclaimed, almost in fright. I’d say there’s no better friend than boxes of fresh home food to tide us through days when the last thing I want to do is cook.

There’s a box of black chana stew, dalia (a savoury broken wheat pilaf), cabbage stir fry (made in a mixed north-indian and south-indian style), mangalorean egg curry, leftover rice, dal, one piece of tandoori chicken, and some other essentials – that’s enough no? :P

141: Midnight Peace

21 May

I spent a considerable reserve of my midnight oil over a Buddha painting last night. I’d had a strong cuppa filter coffee to shake the jumble of sleeplessness and drowsiness off of me, which resulted in this unusual nocturnal engagement that kept me going till the painting was finished. I hopped back into bed thoroughly satisfied – both with myself and the influence of this muse that kept me going till the wee hours of today morning. Painting, like any other form of expression, is selflessly cathartic. There’s something about the combination of colours, free-flowing movement, and calmness that makes it an irresistible fix to turn to, especially when all I need is a huge slice of peace to keep my volatile thoughts in check. Of course I wish A and I could engage in some painting together, like one of those couples who make music together, but perhaps that’s for another time and day.

I was awakened by a faint tickle on my feet to a cup of tea and breakfast ready, but kept in the kitchen for me. It is more than I could’ve asked for. Perhaps some Sundays are best begun like this?

140: For Ma

20 May

This cake was a long time coming; one that I’d been dreaming of making but just never got around to investing time over, until today when it just happened. Needless to say, it was the most effort I’ve ever needed to put in for a simple tea-cake, but the results, as you can see, were fabulous, and just thrilling, to be honest.

Today is ma’s birthday, and it was absolutely fitting to have this bubble up in my oven and fill my house with the fragrance of love, and all things that ma is to me, and each of us. Besides, she loves her teacakes, and I cannot wait to make this for her, because we all have an Alex in us that needs to bite the Marty in us too. :)

This reminded me of two years back when I made ma her birthday cake at home; it was also the year I was moving away from home and her nest. It had to be doubly special for reasons still too emotional to describe.

Time flies, and here I am, sitting with another cake over yet another year that has arrived at our doorsteps.

While I can’t be with her on this day, and couldn’t be with her on this day last year either, this sense of serendipity makes up for it somehow.

Love is ma. Love is a freshly baked homemade cake, too. :)

139: May Days

19 May

I’m sitting in my drawing room, at my dining table, with all my doors open and the fan on full whack, with some amazing music on, and just enjoying this Friday evening that is. We’ve been experiencing the tease of cloudy, grey skies for a couple of days now; and it finally drizzled while I was taking attendance today. As it drizzled, I asked my noisy bunch to stay still, take in the weather, relax and ease into our Friday morning while I took attendance. As if and what was I thinking asking a bunch of energetic, active teens to sit still. Stupid me. However, their fate twisted in my favour when they were told to participate in a story-writing activity which required them to sit quietly and think. Haha! I looked out of my window and into the lawn, savouring in every moment of this precious petrichor that came my way, while my teens worked on their adventurous creative story.

A has just come back home and we’re both hanging around, as the weather takes a turn for the better. This maddening breeze has taken over our overcast sky, as always and on cue, so I’m just going to take it all in before the clouds dissipate and vanish to feed other parched souls somewhere else. The windstorms that visit us here, come with an altogether spellbinding force. Everything in this part of the country runs on extremes; and I speculate that generations of emotions, mindsets, moods, and ways of behaviour have taken their own sense of identity due to the weather we have here. There’s both a sense of friskiness and seriousness, black and white, highs and lows. There are no in-betweens whatsoever. And as I speak, we have a full-blown dust storm raging outside, simultaneously colouring my grey sky brown.

Let’s not get into what happened to those precious clouds. :[

But it’s the weekend, and I must find a way to step out in this madness to get my weekend in order. I hope you have a lovely Friday. :)

 

 

138: Oh Gosh, It’s Just Thursday!

18 May

A lot of me, if not all of me, has been under the presumption that every single day of this week has been Friday. It first hit me when it was just Tuesday, thanks to the number of absentees my class. I just randomly figured it must be the effect of the weekend; and what a horrible killjoy my reality was. It happened on Wednesday, and now today as well. But at least we’re inching closer towards the weekend that I so desperately want because a) weekend, and b) our summer holidays are almost here and getting to school has just become tediously difficult.

I love summer mornings, the sun is up and out at a peachy time, it’s cool outside, and it’s just the perfect ambience to wake up to. But come 8am and all hell breaks loose. Some classrooms feel like furnaces, where the functioning of ceiling fans is futile. I have no idea how students sit through the entire day of classes in that heat. What a task. I’m certain none of us can wait enough to get to the final Friday of this term. But that’s still a little while away.

Oh man, it’s just Thursday, folks! The time to unwind is here, almost. And we’ll have to just wait.

137: Rooted

17 May

It happened sometime last week when A was working unpredictable and horrible hours which left me home alone longer than I usually am. It was also the week when I fiercely tried making a physical cut between my work and home; when I tried finishing all my work at work and bringing back just empty tiffin boxes and myself home. Naturally I had time at hand to while away, and that’s when it all happened.

I revisited a yoga video series that I’d ditched early this year or late last year, I can’t remember, to make myself feel more physically useful and productive. My evening walks, whenever they did happen, had been stopped as well because of this weird hay-fever I’d developed thanks to the season. Besides, it’s not fun to walk in a 38 degree environment (even post 730pm), so there just had to be a way out when I wanted the comfort of physical movement.

Back then I gave this up because I’d naturally overestimated myself and underestimated the potential and power of feeling, being, and engaging in yoga. Oh, this looks too non-challenging and blah, or, yoga isn’t for me, is what I’d always say, and that’d be that. Basically I guess I was just too out of whack to even admit that I couldn’t even comfortably do something that looked so darn easy; the false ploy of ego, I tell you.

But I desperately needed some grounding, some calm, some mindspace to give myself all that I’d planned to give myself. How could I fathom giving my mind a breather if I didn’t allow it to breathe, and how could I feel energised or even connected and rooted without giving my body that energy it needed? It took a couple of days, but I could begin to identify these minute but very evident changes that slowly took root in me. To feel grounded, rooted, connected, energised, a conductor and channel of positive flowing energy is something my body and mind were thirsty for. Back when I did yoga in school, I’d learnt the power of its mysticism, except I never stuck on with it for innumerable reasons. To understand the supremacy of a single breath and the potential it has in it is quite fascinating. Not that I’m here to get philosophical or yogic with you, but here I am, five days (I started this more than a week ago but it’s been just five days) of yoga later, feeling a feeling that I haven’t a long while.

On the floor, in what I can assume is a yoga posture, and sipping on cold water under a tireless fan, I sit, writing this blog post for you and me. It’s just us, the hustle of these keys, the distant sound of a pressure cooker, and the choir of silence that has me exactly where I want to be.

Namaste.

136: Dissociation

16 May

Dissociate (v.): to severe, to separate, to cut, to remove.

I just walked out of class talking about a certain classification of psychological disorders that fall under this category. And yet time and again, I find myself unable to do the same between my work and me. If flitting from one classroom to the other, inflicting one scolding after the other, taking one lesson after the other, being present continuously one after the other isn’t enough, I find my waking and sleeping zones plagued with all of this clutter too.

I can’t seem to dissociate.

I’m trying, but it’s taking much longer than I thought.

From ceasing bringing work home (as much as a teacher possibly can) to physically shutting every single work-related thought out of my way at home, it’s a monumental effort that’s not effortless at all.

It’s so easy to cut, break off, walk away. But I have no idea what the key to this severance is, if at all.

135: Red Pen Memories

15 May

I’m sitting with a red pen, armed almost, and remembering the seed of fear it had germinated in me. The sight of a red pen in any of my work was only welcomed when it re-affirmed the best of my capabilities; and dreaded at other times. I wonder if it continues its legacy with the students whose work I mark today. Is there fear, or just complacency now? Kids today fear less, or fear different things. How far or how effective this colour is on their answer sheets is one I can only guess or confirm upon clarification.

Flitting between the rustle of papers, I feel odd and out of place in a bodily experience. Is this really me? Never did I think of being here, again. Never did I plan for any of this. Little did I imagine making someone chase marks again.

It’s a strange feeling.

For now I’m caught in the urgent thoughts of many squeezed in a 60-minute clock. There are spews of panic, confidence, confusion, “silly mistakes” (oh how I hated that word, because I made so many of them), hurry, and a slight streak of calmness. I can’t help but smile, and also grimace at the same time.

134: Sunday Specials

14 May

While I stewed a brilliantly fragrant batch of dal, I hopped in for a leisurely shower (just before the water began to heat up thanks to the mad heatwave we’re undergoing), waltzed out, fried us some papads to go with our rice, dal, and salad meal, and had lunch ready for the two of us. A cooled down our hangout room, drew the blinds, poured us some beer, and had Bahubali 2 ready to watch. Little did I think I’d be watching the movie, forget watching it so soon. But watch it we did. I’ll tell you that I enjoyed both my lunch and the movie, but felt more satisfied by the former, and the experience, than the movie itself. At the risk of the many brickbats that have already flown my way, I am glad to have seen it at home, because it went on for longer than I could sit. As fantastical and intriguing as it was, I switched off periodically, especially when the sfx took over more blatantly than my unimaginative mind could stomach.

We had chilled mangoes to complete the experience, and as if that wasn’t enough, I cut myself whatever leftover banana cake I could, and had that with some ice cream as we closed the movie as well. It’s insanely hot outside, and everything has come to a standstill, including the forest that is growing on my arms and face, because we just can’t. It’s making me eat more, and eat sweeter colder things more. I cannot understand this shift in eating habits, but it has me scared because of just how much junk I’m consuming in the name of “light food”.

We watched planes last evening, once it’d become dark and was okay to step out for a drive. Of course a lot of me was tempted to hang on to a plane and get the hell out of this hell hole to a place where the breeze blows cool air and where the signs of rain really do usher in some rain and respite. I am not complaining, as much as I am lamenting the ghastliness that is this furnace we’re living in. And to think it hasn’t rained yet.

But I’m not letting this take away the specialness of my Sunday. Not now at least.