A Letter To Momo

Before watching Tokyo Godfathers, I had watched A Letter To Momo and it has to be one of the coolest and funniest anime movie I’ve seen. It’s also equally wacky and in the end, you’ll be dabbing the corners of your eyes because of how sweetly it ended.

A Letter to Momo is a very simple story. Momo’s father passes away and she and her mother move away to live with Momo’s maternal grandparents, which is far away on one of the islands. After her father’s funeral, she discovers a letter that her father was writing to her and all that was written was “Dear Momo”. This journey of self-discovery of Momo over her first summer in the new place is the story.  Her grandparents’ house is filled with ancient beings and surprises that will turn her life around for her.

It was short and it was sweet and I loved all the characters in it. The wacky, fantastical end was my favourite bit of the whole lot and I cannot emphasize enough that that was the game changer for me. Up until then, the movie was nice. After the climax scene, it was pretty awesome.

Productive day

Song of the post: Sweet Chaos by Day6 (duh; just like my heart)

I’m currently listening to the brand new album of Day6, The Book Of Us: Entropy and it was a bad idea to think that I can do anything with them and their voices blasting in my ear. But I don’t know what else to do, so I’ll write about yesterday.

It had been a really long time since I felt so safe and happy and completely at peace. Ever since I came home two weeks ago, all I’ve been is stressed. And now that a substantial sized chunk of my stress has been relieved, I refused to open my laptop for 2 days. I painted and drew and cooked and cleaned and went out to eat amazing biryani and assembled a table and got cheap, local sweets and even persuaded Pappa to buy me an egg puff on a Monday and did not burn a single chapati. I even began recording processes of my paintings and bullet journal and I’m getting the hang of editing as well!

Academically, I’ve fallen behind. Again. As usual. I still have two term papers and an assignment to hand in on the 25th and I have only begun one so far. So today and the next few days will be me just trying to churn out words from the knowledge that I found not 10 seconds before. It will wear me out but hey, at least I have new music to jam to.

I don’t know when I’ll next feel this safe and happy and peaceful but I will cherish yesterday for a long time.

Tokyo Godfathers

Song of the post: Tokyo Godfathers by Suzuki Keiichi

I have gotten back into watching anime movies and I have fallen in love all over again. Because of my busy schedule, I watched 2 films this week, A Letter to Momo and Tokyo Godfathers, both of which were on my list for the longest time. And because I was so busy, I watched them both in parts.

I know, I know, films are films for a reason and they should be watched in one sitting and I lived by that rule. I usually began them after I was done with life for the day and I would’ve dozed off halfway and that is something worse that I can do to a film so I consciously shut down my laptop and slept peacefully knowing well that I have more amazingness to finish in the next few days.

Anyway. I will write about both of them in two separate posts because they deserve them. Tokyo Godfathers first as it’s the last film that I watched, hence fresher in my head

I had been recommended Tokyo Godfathers by half a dozen people who watched anime and I kept putting it off because nobody would ever give me a gist of it and in my head, Tokyo Godfathers meant something to do with the mafia. Mafia wars, conspiracy. Things like the 1972 one. Things that do not interest me one bit. And that was until I actually read the one-line description of the film. *insert description from KissAnime* I was sold. Why wouldn’t anyone tell me that this was what the film was actually about?

I thought I’d savour the film for New Year’s ever or Christmas day when I’m in my room alone and sad and lonely but then I was already sad and lonely two days before and if the film was sad, might as well soak it all up, right? So, I began watching this at 12:30 and from the beginning, my only thought was, “Why was I prejudiced against this masterpiece?!”

Which, let’s face it, is me most times when I try new things.  

Tokyo Godfathers is a story than spans from Christmas Eve till New Year’s Day. It changes the lives of three homeless people: a middle-aged drunkard, a transvestite and a teenage runaway, when they find a baby among the garbage. They decide to reunite the baby with her parents. Through all of this, we get a glimpse of who these three people are and why they have ended up they way they have. All these events are set in the backdrop of Tokyo (duh) and for some reason, it feels all the more magical, even though it could completely be a real-life story.

This is by no means a movie where you sit and watch quietly. It is, to be the cliched person I am sometimes, a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I have cackled and giggled till my stomach hurt. I bawled like a baby until I had to pause to breathe. I have held my head in amazement at the chaos. I have “aww”ed and “ooh”ed and I have gripped my laptop in anticipation and I have sighed in relief. Each one overlapping over the other in strange orders. I knew it was possible to feel all this while watching an animated film but I did not expect this from Tokyo Godfathers. I think that’s why I was so blown away. I wonder how my heart has taken all this and still survived.

I love it. I love it so, so much. I don’t know if and when I’ll watch it again but it has become of those films that I will definitely recommend to everyone and their grandparents to watch.

For once, I’m rambling.

Songs of the post: Blue Side (Outro) by J-Hope and Somehow by Day6

This post has been way overdue. I was going to reward myself with writing a post once I completed one of my many, many assignments last night, but it was really late when I finished. And today, the day has ended in an orange glow. It was a sign that I had to write. I love it when it happens. Your entire view is bathed in this orange-hue light (maybe it’s golden or rose-gold, but in anime, it has always been orange so there) and it’s bright but you know it will get dark soon and you soak up the remaining light as much as you can so that you can survive the night-sleepless and thrashing or bawling and exhausted or drifting off into a dreamless sleep. Either way, you will wake up tired but hey, at least you got to see the orange glow.

It has been the longest 4 months and the shortest semester of my life.

4 months of incessant rain and shifting schedules and routines and when you least expect it, homesickness just creeps up behind you, just for a flash and disappears. As if to say, “I’ll be here; I’ll be watching.” Like I can forget.

I did not take my mid-semester break to go home this semester. I thought I would do all right, especially since Akka came over and stayed with me for a while. It was a good week. But the worst of it hit me sometime in mid-September, when my exam dates were being set. I realized it had been 4 months since I saw my parents and it has been a bit a down-ward spiral since then. For the past couple of weeks, my eyes have been permanently filled to the brim, threatening to fall but waiting for the right moment. Every morning, I get up and think, is this the day when I can finally find the right reason to open the floodgates? It turns out, it is not. Every reason seems too trivial, too petty, too unworthy of these tears that are mostly made out of longing and homesickness and lack of warmth and love. So I stopped waiting for it to happen because when it does, I’m sure I’ll be ready. There will be a tipping point and especially since we’re at the end of the semester, I’m sure there will be plenty of such points. It’s just a matter of my body coordinating with my all-over-the-place head and sync together and choose the right moment. I shall wait till then.

I have been painting a lot these days. I’m loving it and I look forward to the days where I whip out 4 tiny paintings that takes me all evening. I have been listening to the entire discography of Day6 every chance I get but shift to different music (chill, lo-fi hip-hop) when I need to study or sleep. If you ever have trouble falling asleep like I do, the best remedy I found was Epik High’s Sleepless in __________. It is amazing. It takes me a couple of rounds of the entire album for me to fall asleep these days because I end up singing along and feeling things and enjoying the songs so I now have to look for alternatives but if you’re new to this, it will definitely help. The album ends in a lullaby so I’m sure you’ll fall in love with the music and fall asleep.

I finished watching a couple of anime after forever. Fruits Basket (2019) and Kimi Ni Todoke, both on my list for the longest time, and I loved them both so so much. I will end up reading the manga at some point in my life, just not this month. Or the next. But soon. I took myself out on a date for a Kannada movie, with popcorn and dinner and while it was nice, I wish I did more and something else. I have been longing to go to the Bombay Natural History Museum and hopefully, I will spend a Saturday or Sunday by myself in the area. I had done it in November last year, and maybe I could celebrate it as an anniversary. If I’m back in the city by then, that is.

I have also been falling sick at the worst times possible. It’s not even viral; I suspect it is stress induced, but that’s just absurd. The level of chill I have currently should scare the wits out of stress. But no. My throat hurt for a couple of days and then the cold came all the way, bringing with it temperature and body chills. I am not that weak. My immune system is quite strong and my body should know that this is not the time to fail. Sigh.

5 years.

Song of the post: Ji Eun’s Sunset by City Girl

I had imagined how today would look like, right down to my clothes and eyeliner but when I woke up today morning, I realized none of that would happen. That’s life, right? You have a certain perfect vision in your head of how you want to lead your life but how many times does it actually turn out that way? The universe causes coincidences so monumental sometimes that it turns your world upside down. Many times, it’s for the best. If it doesn’t work out for you, I’m sure we all the strength and ability to carve our way out of the situation we don’t like and create something that we can be happy with.

Today marks the 5th Anniversary of this blog and this is a huge milestone for this small blog. This blog was started for a creative writing course and when I began, I didn’t know what I was doing. It has been a learning process all this while and I’m sure it will continue to be so. There is constant rediscovering of myself and while there are some I’m pleasantly surprised with, there are some I don’t like. Working towards those is hard because those traits make the kind of person I highly dislike. If I don’t like the person I am, who am I to expect people to like me?

From September 6, 2018 to September 6, 2019, this girl has experienced and discovered things that she never thought existed. I’ve gotten significantly better at art and that’s one thing that I’m extremely proud of. I had big plans this year, but meeting them was hard because life happened. It has been pulling be back and back and after fighting for a while, I just let myself get pulled back and tried to enjoy the slow ride forward. It wasn’t easy but when you have the right people by your side, we can do anything (Amy Santiago, Brooklyn 99).

Sometimes I wonder why people are interested in this blog. It’s the “adventures” of a random girl living in a big city in a country that is full of stereotypes. But then, today, Arohi got me the cutest sheet of stickers and a note that said my blog was “lovely, funny and amazing…” and my eyes legit misted.

I will be here when it’s 6 and like two years ago, I hope I’m in a different city from now and maybe in a different country all together. Who knows? I’d like to have a place of my own, smelling of fresh filter coffee and lo-fi music and even though I may not get it the next year, I’m hoping one of these days I’ll enjoy adulting. Until then, I’ll keep waiting and pushing forward.

There were more sappy things that I had written but the stupid internet has conspired with the Universe against me and made me lose all the good stuff.

#27. What I wore today- Aug 23, 2019

Song of the post: Wish by Day6

I made Arohi pick a number for me and I chose a prompt from an endless list of choices. I looked through several sets and I liked this one the best. I’ve never been one to be very conscious of my appearance before, but it can be a very empowering experience, when you embrace how you look and if you love how you look, you can be unstoppable. I used to think it was some crap that was made up by the fashion industry, and to an extent it is but I just think one should wear and look how they want to, especially if it makes them feel confident. Even if it is in purple star patterned socks with matching night pants.

a little sketch of the wear-the-first-thing-I-can-find outfit on Friday

On August 22, I wore a light pink v-neck t-shirt that once belonged to Akka and my favourite pair of jeans that are baggy and comfortable, with flip-flops. The next day, on August 23, I wore the same look, but in grey. My t-shirt was a local Batman v-neck that I bought somewhere on Brigade Road. Same pair of jeans. Same pair of flip-flops. It’s not that I didn’t want to put in some effort. I mostly want to but that morning, I woke up late and missed breakfast so I had to make something for myself before taking a bath and giving my clothes to the laundry and changing the sheets on my bed. By the time I did all that and bathed, I had 15 minutes left to find some decent clothes and pack my bag. These jeans have three felt patches of colour, yellow, red and black, that Arohi has associated with a certain personality trait in me that gets activated when pressed. Yellow is for the cute side, red is for the flirty side, black is for the badass side (which does not exist otherwise). And the next time I go home, Amma is sure to throw away the flip-flops that I wore. They are big and my small feet disappear into the black abyss of the size-36 flip-flops but it happens to be the most comfortable pair I’ve ever had and I play badminton in it better than in my sports shoes.

another little sketch of the cotton kurti

But for August 24, I had my outfit fully prepared in my head and the execution was quite on point. Arohi had her proposal presentation and I had decided Mishel and I would be the pretty faces that she could concentrate on amidst all the…others’. It was a kurti from Rustorange that I had ordered for the conference way back in the second week of August. It came late and it stank of the natural dye so I had to wash it. It fits me quite well and very comfortably. I had freshly washed my hair and had put on brown kajal that gave me a very natural look.

Low-key loving this sketch

Later in the evening, a bunch of us girls went out to party in South Bombay. Dress code was dresses but since I didn’t feel like wearing any of the dresses I had, I wore pants with a cute top that I bought in Colaba. It was closing time when Akka and I went walking along the main road of Colaba Causeway and my eye caught this cute grey striped top. The shop keeper gave us the top at closing price (even though I tried to bargain with him for lower) and he said, “Don’t show it to your jealous friends. They will definitely steal it from you.” Like that’s the most natural thing in the world. I laughed it off because all the friends I have are super amazing and I don’t recognize jealousy in others even if it hit me in the face. It’s quite simple but I pushed it down one shoulder for a bolder look. I sent the picture to Akka and she said, “If you’re going to wear that, you need to wear it properly over both your shoulders.” Right. I shall. (I did not.) I also managed to nail my eyeliner game- black and silver. It made me look pretty and fun and bold. I cannot wait to wear eyeliner like that again.

Maya and Sunday Monsoons

Song of the Post: Beautiful Feeling by Day6

It’s a Monday afternoon, lunch time and after spending most of yesterday dodging work and bingeing in a K-drama that I had put off, I’m back to working and trying to stay on top of things. The city has been shut down because of yesterday’s rains. It has not rained for ten minutes all day today but apparently the rain had flooded the city in many parts. I haven’t left the campus in more than a week but it’s been a great weekend. Highly unproductive, but it was quite satisfying and I definitely needed this.

I think the time has finally come for me to talk about Maya. During my second semester, the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019, when the weather was cold and windy but very dry and very pleasant, I spent a lot of my time after dinner in the basketball court, sitting and talking to my family on the phone and looking up at the stars. I looked forward to that part of the day the most. I could be alone, away from all the drama and social life and just try to get along with the sky and stars and wind. And on most of such nights, Maya was a constant companion.

Terrible subject for a photo. He won’t sit or stay long enough for me to take a nice picture of him. Adding me, a terrible photographer in the equation, no wonder I don’t have any good pictures of him.

Sometimes, when the weather was just perfect and I didn’t feel like going back to my life, I stayed there long after I had made calls. Whenever Maya joined, I rubbed his bum (he loves those) and I would just talk to him. Mostly in Kannada. I would tell him about my day and what was happening at home and how much I miss them and tell him about all the things running through my head, things that are usually incomprehensible in my head but when I put it out, it’s all clear. My hand would ache from all the rubbing and it would be really dirty but after a point, I just didn’t care.

I remember this one particular incident during an exam. I was making notes for an open book exam that I had the next day and I didn’t want to sit inside, so I took my laptop and notebook and found a shady spot where I could get light and see people but not be seen. I was stressing out and furiously scribbling and essentially freaking out when Maya comes along. Ten minutes later, Mishel comes by for a break out of her flat and finds me sitting in the dark, petting Maya. We sat like that for another ten minutes or so, Maya at my feet, me rubbing his bum, Mishel and I just talking. My arm ached, but I didn’t want to stop. It was one of the only times I wished I could use both my hands. Maya brings about this calmness with him and the moment I see him, it is guaranteed that that is the best part of my day.

I joined the Animal Care Club this year and I am assigned Sunday nights for feeding the dogs. Each dog on campus has a different feeling towards me. I am usually honored when Poser accepts my feeding him and actually eats. It’s been happening for the past two weeks now and I feel like he’s put me high on his list of people he doesn’t hate. Alice and Zoya are very flitty. Sometimes they eat, sometimes they don’t. I cannot distinguish them apart and they are quite indifferent towards me but one evening, I was walking back towards my room when I thought I’ll call Parvathi. So I took a turn and sat in the middle of the basket ball court, in my usual spot, and as I was getting comfortable and had just dialed her, one of the two bounds in, jumping and so happy, like I was the person they wanted to see and just sat in my lap as I sat cross-legged on the ground. Just sat there, not demanding rubs or anything, for a good half hour. And then she got up and left. There’s Shifu who’s old and needs more care than the others, but I’m a bit scared of him. Scrappy is this skinny little thing that flits in and out of campus and refuses to eat when I feed him. Arohi joined me one night and she was almost in tears when we were leaving Scrappy because his eyes kept saying, “Please don’t leave me, please”. Maya is a good, non-fussy eater and just follows me around. And the newest addition to this set is Totoro, this three-legged dog that appeared from somewhere and has so much spunk that it attacks any other dog that trespasses its territory. It’s quite an interesting bunch.

Yesterday was feeding duty for me. I picked up some rotis for them and headed out, looking for them in their spots. I found Poser first, in the canteen, and he refused to eat until I sat down next to him and fed him little pieces of the roti. Such a drama queen. After he was done, I got up and went looking for the others, calling them by their name, when I reached the balcony of the canteen. I saw Maya looking up and staring at me and I called his name again, moving towards the stairs. He jumped up in excitement and reached the stairs before me. When he saw me, he did a little jump-dance and howled like a baby wolf. He seemed to be asking, “Where were you?” And I had missed him. I did the little dance with him and began feeding him. I apologized to him for not being able to show him all the love I have and promised to see him more often. He followed me around for the rest of the night.

Weekend Coffee Share #22

Song of the post: Runaway by Bobby

7 months into 2019, and this is my first Weekend Coffee Share? Dishonor on me! Dishonor on my cow!

I began writing this post last weekend simply to complain where all the rains went off to and what do you know? It began raining that day and hasn’t stopped since. I was sitting in the dark that the cloudy days can only create under my blue fairy lights and listening to my favourite soft kpop playlist on Spotify with the rain and thunder in the background and the only way it can be more perfect is maybe with a nice cup of hot coffee or soup, but I’ll let it slide.

After the heavy bouts of rain in June, we thought, that’s it. That’s all the rain that the city recieves and it got it all in those three days so I don’t have to worry about wearing my rain-proof sandals that keep sliding off or having to remember to take my umbrella. But all of a sudden today, after a sunny morning, it got dark and chilly and cozy and I was going to nap but I will forego sleep now. If my slightly medicated body will allow it, that is.

I had been sick that entire week. I had fever and cold and sore throat that restricted me to my bed because of the medication. And after that I was just floating in between classes and reading up for classes and Students’ Union election stuff. I wasn’t a candidate, but I was campaigning for my really good and talented friend, Simrat, who was standing for Sports Secretary, and it has been an experience of a lifetime. She unfortunately lost by a small margin of 19 votes, but that has not deterred her from doing all the work she had been planning on doing anyway. I shall get to that soon.

I also watched The Lion King, the live action film and it hit me harder than the original one. It was so beautiful and the scenes were just so picturesque that I felt like I was actually there with Simba and his gang. I think that’s mostly the 3D effects, but still. I cried and gasped when the tragedy happened, and I cried and gasped at the climax. The bits with Simba and Nala romancing was a little weird for me in the live action because you do not expect lions to “mate” that way in the wild. But I’ll give it a pass. The songs were mesmerizing and haunting as usual and the voices were spot on!

Naveen had asked me who my favourite character in the film was. I hadn’t really thought about it, but it was pretty clear for me. It was Rafiki and Timon. Timon is a hilariously, logical character with sass three times his height. Rafiki is the cutest ever. He might be weird to a lot of people but to me, he was probably the most sane character there ever could be, in his own twisted way that I aspire to be in my old age. If I ever reach old age, that is.

Some pictures of the sky over the past two weeks. The duality of it never ceases to amaze me.

It feels like the entirety of July has gone by in a blur and in three days it’ll be August and I’ll be presenting my dissertation proposal that I have not prepared for at all and then there’ll be the climate conference and then an exam and another presentation and then Akka will be coming mid August and then we shall all fall down.

Phew. It’s here. The stress has arrived and I can no longer avoid it, no matter how good I am at evading things. And time. And people.

Heavens save us all.

July Bullet Journalling

Song of the post: Hi Hello by Day6

( I cannot believe I haven’t ever talked about my favourite K-band on my blog. They’ll be coming back with new music in two weeks and I cannot wait. Do check them out! I promise you will not be disappointed.)

It does seem like a very Hi Hello day. It’s chilly and has been pouring continuously for the past few days and it has been bliss. It’s the kind of weather that makes it hard to get out of bed, but you have to get up and make it to the 9 AM class, at least for attendance. It’s the kind of weather that makes everything look so pretty that you wonder what else you might have missed all those times you’d stayed in and away from windows.

I have been bullet journalling since the December of 2016. And I haven’t put up a lot of posts here because I didn’t think it was all that important for this platform. But I was extremely proud of my July Bullet Journal and thought I would share it here.

It is a simple, minimal layout with doodles. I initially didn’t have anything in mind, but when I put those two colours together, I fell in love. And it ended up becoming a-teal-and-yellow-and-everything-in-between theme.

I have great plans for the future weeks of July and I hope it’ll be great.

Toy Story 4

I finally watched Toy Story 4 in the theaters today. It was a 9 AM show on a rainy Sunday morning, and I do not regret it one bit.

This was the perfect ending to the series. It carried similar elements as any other Disney Pixar film, but this one was on a whole new level. I laughed and cried and gasped and went gooey on the inside and laughed some more. All the kids around us seemed excited and were showing appropriate reactions and it warmed my heart to see them feel the way I do, even though some of them were super annoying.

The story begins from 9 years ago, when Andy’s sister Molly gives away her toys and Woody tries to save the love of his life Bo Peep, but she refuses to be saved. And boy she made the right choice. She has to be my favourite character, especially in terms of character development, in the entire series.

Woody’s adventures kicked up a notch in this film. It wasn’t in their town or their locality. It was in a totally different area and the way Woody rediscovers himself and realizes just how big the world is, that moment moment not only undoes him, it undoes all of us. It is profoundly inspiring and you’re really sad but at the same time your heart is bursting with all the love and pride you have for Woody. It might remind several of us of all the times we have had sudden realizations about ourselves. A certain moment, a period of our lives, people involved. All of it. It makes you think how important it is to step out of the little bubble you consciously or unconsciously create around yourself. You can retreat into it anytime you want, but stepping out of it, even though it takes a tremendous amount of courage, is important.

I loved it. I loved all the new toys we were introduced to, I loved seeing all the old ones, I loved the snarky, slightly morbid humour and the inside jokes that we created out of them, I loved all the touchy bits and the inspiring bits of Duke Caboom, I loved all the tiny little details that makes the whole story that much more closer to your heart, I loved the innocence of Bonnie and I loved the darkness of Gabby Gabby. It was an extremely well put package that I wouldn’t mind watching again. And again. And again.