Posted in Bengaluru, Books, Me, Writing

First June

This is the first June that I’ve not spent groaning to get up early to get to classes on time. It is the first June where I’m not worried about the evening rain and walking back in that horrendous road to the bus stop. This is the first June where I’m sitting at home and enjoying myself, reading and helping out in my family.

And this period will probably end this week.

This was the first June where I’ve been so emotional. I was just reading things that made me feel overwhelmed and inconsolable and I just sobbed through the night. My new refuge? Colleen Hoover. Even though her books aren’t any happier or on the more positive side, I feel safe reading them, because I know they got a happy ending.

This is the first June that I have written so less. I’ve blogged so less and my poetry has almost come to halt. I should get back up to writing poetry before I completely lose hang of it. I miss it so much.

This is the first June where I run out to the balcony every time I hear rain and smell the fresh tar and petrichor.

This is the first June where I’ll be travelling in the Metro Train from my house! It opens tomorrow and I am so excited for it!

This is the first June where I’ve started painting on canvas. They’re not the greatest masterpieces, but I’ve loved every moment of them. I should get to ordering more canvas.

This is the first June where I’ve struggled to fit all my books in the shelves I can accommodate in my room. Such a sad reality.

 

 

Posted in Me

End of Summer

Two days ago, the first rain of the monsoon officially marked the end of Summer. While I had finished exams earlier at the end of April, I had one more pending on Tuesday and after finishing it, I feel a huge sense of relief, planning all the things that I want to do for a year. Because, well, I will be taking a year off. I will apply for internships, volunteering anything, but then again, I want celebrate it too. I have several things lined up, and one of the major things is learning to drive. It is one of my things to do before I am 21, which was originally one of the things to do before I turn 19, but seriously, I think I will go and ask for information tomorrow only. I will drag my dad if I have to, but I am scared to go alone. Call me a wimp, but places like that is not where I have enough courage to go alone.
After that, I also plan on learning to paint on canvas. I went to the amazing Itsy Bitsy, which is a craft store chain here in India, and then spent a lot of time looking for good products and good discounts on those products. The total was Rs. 1200 something, and on discount, it came down to 600! nearly 50% off! I got some really cool stuff. My main aim was to actually buy acrylic paints. I ended up buying few of those and some pigment inks and so much more! My favourite stuff was probably the camlin Inks. I bought blue, Green and violet. They are so pretty!!
Divya and I plan on conducting language classes for kids. Her Kannada is really good, and my English is teachable. We can make a good team. We haven’t worked out the details, but I already like our plans. I have loads of iedas as to how I can engage with them and make them fall in love with the language. I am really excited for it!
I sholud make my Bullet Journal calendar for June. My arm feels so sore from carrying a bunch of textbooks from college for a friend’s friend. I also got my copy of Lord Of Shadows yesterday, but I haven cracked it open yet. I am re reading Lady Midnight, and probably will be able to finish it tomorrow. Then I can read Lord Of Shadows.
Parvathi and I should take up a poetry challenge. It’s been a few months and my brains cells have all dried up with the action of books and watching movies.

Will come back with better posts soon. I had to write something, otherwise I would get sucked into that black hole of nothingness, where I hardly do anything. I don’t want that.

Posted in Me, Movies

The Big Disney Project

So, one of the more “immediately-doable” things on my bucket list is to watch all Disney animated movies ever produced. There are 111, as of now, beginning from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Moana.

I’ve loved watching animated movies for as long as I can remember and I know that I am going to enjoy watching every single one of them. I only recently watched Lilo and Stitch and Mulan  (shocker, I know) and I watched Atlantis just last night. I loved all three of them and I realized there is so much I am missing. So, I shall watch them all, including Toy Story, which I’ve put off watching for a long time now, and Wall-E, which I haven’t been able to bear to watch it full.

Here is the full list of movies that are ever made under the banner of Walt Disney. Some of them are made by Studio Ghibli and Walt Disney had taken over their distribution across the globe.

  1.  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  2. Pinocchio
  3. Fantasia
  4. Dumbo
  5. Bambi
  6. Saludos Amigos
  7. Victory Through Air Power
  8. The Three Caballeros
  9. Make Mine Music
  10. Song of the South
  11. Fun and Fancy Free
  12. Melody Time
  13. The Adventured of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
  14. Cinderella
  15. Alice in Wonderland
  16. Peter Pan
  17. Lady and the Tramp
  18. Sleeping Beauty
  19. One Hundred and One Dalmations
  20. The Sword in the Stone
  21. The Jungle Book
  22. The Aristocats
  23. Robin Hood
  24. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  25. The Rescuers
  26. The Fox and the Hound
  27. The Black Cauldron
  28. The Great Mouse Detective
  29. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
  30. Oliver and Company
  31. The Little Mermaid
  32. DuckTales the Movie
  33. The Rescuers Down Under
  34. Beauty and the Beast
  35. Aladdin
  36. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  37. The Lion King
  38. A Goofy Movie
  39. Pocahontas
  40. Toy Story
  41. James and the Giant Peach
  42. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  43. Hercules
  44. Mulan
  45. A Bug’s Life
  46. Doug’s 1st Movie
  47. Tarzan
  48. Toy Story 2
  49. Fantasia 2000
  50. The Tigger Movie
  51. Dinosaur
  52. The Emperor’s New Groove
  53. Recess: School’s Out
  54. Atlantis: The Lost Empire
  55. Monsters, Inc.
  56. Return to Neverland
  57. Lilo and Stitch
  58. Spirited Away
  59. Treasure Planet
  60. The Jungle Book 2
  61. Piglet’s Big Movie
  62. Finding Nemo
  63. Brother Bear
  64. Teacher’s Pet
  65. Home on the Range
  66. The Incredibles
  67. Pooh’s Heffalump Movie
  68. Howl’s moving Castle
  69. Valiant
  70. Chicken Little
  71. Bambi II
  72. The Wild
  73. Cars
  74. Meet the Robinsons
  75. Ratatouille
  76. WALL-E
  77. Tinker Bell
  78. Roadside Romeo
  79. Bolt
  80. Up
  81. Ponyo
  82. Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure
  83. A Christmas Carol
  84. The Princess and the Frog
  85. Toy Story 3
  86. Tales from Earthsea
  87. Tangled
  88. Gnomeo and Juliet
  89. Mars Needs Moms
  90. Cars 2
  91. Winnie the Pooh
  92. The Secret World of Arietty
  93. Arjun: the Warrior Prince
  94. Brave
  95. Secret of the Wings
  96. Frankenweenie
  97. Wreck-It Ralph
  98. Monsters University
  99. Planes
  100. Frozen
  101. The Pirate Fairy
  102. The Wind Rises
  103. Planes: Fire and Rescue
  104. Big Hero 6
  105. Strange Magic
  106. Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast
  107. Inside Out 
  108. The Good Dinosaur
  109. Zootopia
  110. Finding Dory
  111. Moana

Of all of these, I’ve watched 31 movies. I plan to make that 111.

Should I watch them in a chronological order? Should I watch in an alphabetical order? Series wise?

I don’t know. I think I’ll watch whatever appeals to me first.

How many have you watched in this list?

After this, I plan to tackle the big 100s- top 100 all time best anime movies; top 100 all time best animated movies.

Wish me luck!

 

Posted in Bengaluru, Me, Movies, Uncategorized

Whatever Works

This is movie #1 that we watches in the Bangalore Special Course. The aim of watching these movies is to try and understand the concept of the city in a metaphorical sense.

Whatever Works is a Woody Allen movie set in New York. It is about a man named Boris, who’s into his late 70’s and talks about his life in New York and one day, BOOM! There’s a girl underneath his house stairs and his life changes drastically.

Boris is a physicist and has been divorced for quite some time now. He has high intellect and when Melodie, the 21-year-old-girl who’s really simple minded  lands up on Boris’s couch, he can’t take in her stupidity. After a while, he marries her. And then a whole lot of things happen and what I’m really interested in is the showcasing of the city in the movie.

NYC is kind of similar to Bangalore, in terms of richness of culture and the vast variety of people. It is a lot more cleaner than Bangalore but has lesser green coverage, from what I could see. It had world famous landmarks, like the Statue Of Liberty, which is one of the most distinguished characters of the city. All the big bill-boards and lights and the tiny cafe`s and the people all remind me of Bangalore. There’s just so much to explore in both the cities that living there for one lifetime is nearly not enough!

When we look at the finer details of the culture or the people, only then do we actually realise how different each city is. Bangalore has multi-lingual people and so does NYC but the languages spoken are 90% different from each other. So is the dressing, the transport, the food, the behaviour of the people and the city itself. And to mention the coastline.

This movie was an amazingly entertaining one. It had little adult concepts but, really, does it matter? It was funny in a satirical manner. Every single dialogue Boris speaks, every single action he performs—be it washing his hands for as long as it takes for him to sing “Happy Birthday” twice, or his peculiar manner of being honest on the face and and not ever be bothered by it—has a purpose. Every time he “performs”, it looks like it’s going to make to laugh till tears stream out of your eyes.

It is a must watch movie for high entertaining purposes!

I don’t think I want to change this in any way. I wrote this in 2015, and even though my writing has changed drastically, I don’t think I will change anything.

Posted in Bengaluru, Me

Goodbye, to my Bengaluru blog

I just deleted my Bengaluru blog.

I created this new blog just for Bengaluru and I’d named it, “Bangalore Through My Eyes”. It was for the English special course that I was taking, and it remained inactive for almost a year! I couldn’t take it anymore.

I already had this blog to fill it with food and culture and movies and everything in between of the city and that blog seemed a little unnecessary. So, I deleted it. It feels a bit sad, though, but thankfully, I don’t have to keep up with another blog.

I couldn’t bear to push that blog away into oblivion, so I took a few posts out of it (which were decent enough) and I plan to put them up here.

So, the next few posts will most probably be from them, and I will heavily revise it and edit it before I hit publish.

Because, honestly, reading those posts now makes me want to hit myself and say, “You have a brain! Learn to use it!” It is so bad.

Posted in Me, Writing

The Slam Book story

When I was in school, there was this usual tradition of writing and filling in slam books. Slam books were usually these pretty, printed books which had questions like, Name, nick name, favourite colour, yada yada yada, and you could give it to your best friend or crush or someone you don’t really know well, as a symbol of keeping in touch, or rather trying to, with those people. Sometimes, we grew up a little and thought of new things, like having a plain notebook and giving it to people and doing the opposite of what we did in those printed books. The people wrote about the person whose notebook it was and their relationship with the person. It was so much fun. I loved writing in every book and especially my close friend’s Amulya’s. I wrote on the top:
Pari’s blog
I wrote it in every book and all the time and even in the second time I wrote in Amulya’s book. I loved decorating it, drawing it and using every small stationery and art supplies that I had with me: glitter pens, colour pens, colour pencils, drawing some really lame stuff, quoting the backstreet boys, telling romantic quotes in a pure, innocent meaning. I loved every bit of it. I love reading it in my book, and I remember vague memories, of writing them, of the memories mentioned actually happening. I love it when I am reading through it and tears spring in my eyes, tears of lost memories, lost people, lost childhood and false promises of staying in touch and being there and getting summoned. And of course, the old, hardly existing phone numbers and the hardly-ever-used email ids.
But now, I don’t think anyone ever does that. I am not saying that I’m from the age where technology was unavailable, but I was in that lucky age group where I never took technology for granted. We wrote on paper; I wrote my first book on paper, and we did things like “FLAMES” and other such silly high school girly stuff where we were all just silly and happy to be silly. I miss those times.
So, I really wonder why, being such a believer of the written word, didn’t continue this in degree. I always kept wondering if I should give out my green magnetic spiral bound notebook to the people I want to, but something held me back. I guess I thought that people wouldn’t write anything different. Nobody would write it if they hated me. The would say the same things in different words. I am not disrespecting them, I am just… bored, I guess. And things don’t bore me that easily.
Also if I were to give the notebook, I would have to give to a LOT of people. So, instead, I wrote them letters. Which, honestly, made me so happy. Happier than if they’d written all those kind words about me.

I came about writing this post as to why I kept my blog name the name it is. And also why I don’t plan on changing it. Even if I did, it would remain something along the lines of my name only. I can’t think of anything more suitable.

And yes, I know I am a little full of myself. Can’t help it. That’s the only confidence I have.

Posted in Books, Me, Weekend Coffee Share

Weekend Coffee Share #15

I thought I published this on Sunday night! Oh gosh.

Oh God. It’s been more than two months since I wrote one! I actually was supposed to write one last week, but I was so exhausted and excited that my exams got over and I’d have a week’s solitude (after which I need to prepare for an exam) for doing absolutely everything that I want to.

Or just do nothing at all.

Anyway, I have had a blast, these two weeks. I will start from the 28th April. That was the day that I wrote my last exam of my last semester at St Joseph’s college. After which we decided we cant to go out for lunch, as usual. At first, we planned to chill our for a bit at DJ’s house and then later go to Food Street in VV Puram, near Samudyatha’s house.

Then, of course, we had a long, long debate/discussion as to where else to go, because all of us were really hungry. We thought of Onesta, but Salka vetoed it. Nairika suggested The Chocolate Room, on Brigade Road, and we all agreed to go there, pulling Passang along with us.

The place was small but comfy and the food was mediocre. What mattered to me was how much time we’d spend there together. Which is why, we got together the next day also, at Smriti’s house. More on that later.

The waiter was such an annoying man. At first, only four of us were sitting at the only long, big table. We ordered food for four of us and little more snacks. While we were rattling off our items, the guy just stood staring at us. Normally, no matter who it is, waiters write down orders. This guy didn’t even blink an eye. We straight out asked him, “Don’t you want to write it down?” Because honestly, each of us had a food item and a drink, along with snacks until the rest of them came. And who did he think he is, Arul Mani?!

He said, “No, I can remember,” So we told him everything, going a little slow this time. He went away and came back after the rest of our peeps came. After taking their orders, he came back and brought a drink that none of us ordered. He just huffed and rolled his eyes and took it back.

This happened a second time. He didn’t stay quiet. “This is too much!” And we all burst into shouts and cries of “You should’ve written it down!” in various versions. HE went away without another word.

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After this lunch, we planned to meet at Smriti’s house for lunch the next day, to compensate for the Holi we missed. We watched Suicide Squad partway on Amazon Prime while waiting for the rest of them, and after everyone came, we had lunch. Like last time, Smriti’s mother had cooked us a delicious, elaborate lunch, not including those starter snacks that Smriti and her mother had made for a pre-lunch snack. Smriti’s plan was to go boating in the Madiwala lake near her house after lunch, and then swimming in the pool of her building.

When we went to the lake, it started raining. The officials at the boating centre said that until it stopped raining, there wasn’t much they could do. As we thought the rain slowed to a drizzle, it became heavier. In the end, we couldn’t go boating but we spent a good 30 minutes or so just staring at the lake and birds and skipping (or trying to) stones across the water, and talking about everything and nothing all at once. In the rain. It was so nice that I didn’t want to leave the lake.

After we got back to Smriti’s house, the boys went to pool and changed soon. I don’t swim. I don’t know how and I have that common fear of depths. So, I hadn’t planned on swimming at all. But Indu and Nairika pleaded and Smriti got me clothes to wear and I reluctantly agreed to get into the water only; I hadn’t agreed to swim yet.

I got into the kiddie pool first; standing and holding tightly to Nairika’s hand. We waded through that pool, which only came up to my knees. The I sat on the wall between the kiddie pool and the adults pool, lowering one leg at a time. The finally, Nairika coaxed me into standing in the shallow side of the pool. Then I eventually graduated to holding the length of rope between the pool dividing the shallow and deep ends. I also Submerged in the water and took a dip!

We were in the water in the rain for a good 45 minutes. Again, it was really nice. I did not want to leave.

After that the most eventful day was Wednesday 3 May. I went book shopping! Akka told me to meet her Higginbotham’s a little later in the evening. I had a 300 rupee voucher for books at The Bookworm. I went to MG Road, catching a bus from 4th Block Jayanagar, and walked all the way to Church street, where I found the old building of Bookworm. Just behind that complex is Church Street, and I went there, only to find out that Blossoms, Gangarams and The Bookworm were all in the same line. All of them are bookstores and old ones but in new buildings.

I went to Gangaram’s first, bought myself my very first Ruskin Bond book (because it is a very pretty 60th anniversary edition) and then to Bookworm. I stayed in Bookworm for a long time and then I didn’t know what to buy. SO I just bought a 150 rupee worth book, the second of the Eragon series, Eldest. The spine of the book is so so pretty!

Then I went to Higginbothams with Akka. It was a beautiful sight at first but after scouting the whole store, I was not sure I liked it. I prefered the smell and love of old books to new ones, I guess and Higginbothams only sold new ones. We spent more than two hours deciding what to buy, before i finally bought Anansi Boys and A thousand Nights, which was another total cover buy.

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And then this weekend I did work. I got my results on Saturday and I passed with first class! I  am officially a graduate!

Then my dad made me clean up my shelves and today, we had a ton more work.

And, tonight I will be leaving to Chikmagalur! It is a hill station with coffee estates and a beautiful climate. i will write about once I come back on Tuesday.

Tell about your two weeks! Or more!

Posted in Me, Movies, Writing

Whisper of the Heart

I was initially going to write about Spirited away on the 27th April, in honour of its 15th Anniversary, but like always, my lazy bum just wouldn’t do it. Instead, I will write about Whisper of the Heart.

I’d written about the movie earlier but I wanted to write again because, like Shizuku and Seiji, I’ve grown up a little since the last time I saw and watching the movie in Japanese with English subtitles made me feel warmer and gooier since the last time (which was probably a week ago).

I can’t help but think how similar I am and could’ve been to Shizuku. I am way older than her (from the movie) but when I was her age, I was pretty…dumb. She had planned to read 20 books during the summer break and what did I do during the summer breaks?

Nada. Nothing. Which is why I don’t remember anything about my spent summers.

I keep wondering, what if I had read more? What if I took that one extra step away from home and went to a library? Would I have started writing earlier? Maybe I’d have better imagination? Maybe I’d be better than now? Maybe I’d—

Right now, only two things matter: That I am writing.

And that this movie is one of the best of Ghibli’s. And I need more of a back story and a good epilogue to go with the ending of the movie. And maybe a little bit from Seiji’s perspective.

Okay, so it’s not two things, but oh well.

Posted in Environmental Rant, Family, Me, Writing

End of three years? Nah, not really.

This post is in honor of my last exam in college. If I have missed you, know that you will forever and always be in my heart.

After the main orientation by the college in the Auditorium, we were asked to go to certain rooms to meet with our class mentors and get our timetables for the year and whatever else that the mentor had planned. Our classroom was in the third floor. It was the corner room behind the bio tech department, which I found strange. Nitya and I huffed and puffed to climb those three floors, only to be met with Rishi, who was standing there to inform all first years that the orientation was in the ground floor, in the Environmental Science department. She rolled her eyes and we climbed back downstairs.

The weirdest and most awkward day in all of Environmental Science students’ lives is the Orientation day. Not the one that the college collectively gives all of first years, but this is small special occasion: just for the Environmental Science “noobs”. Prabhakar sir makes it very memorable, with the two getting-to-know activities, we probably knew things about one another better than anybody else did on the first day itself.

In the first activity, we were supposed to stand in two concentric circles, one facing the other, and speak to the person opposite to you, looking into each other’s eyes while holding hands with the other person. After a few rounds of boys, the first girl I came across was Tenzin Passang. This lovely Tibetan had a sore throat that day. I think she wore a yellow kurta. Her voice was barely above a whisper and I had to lean in real close. It felt like we were conspiring against the whole new set of people. We giggled in low voices like little girls.

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Passang and Sonali

The second activity was a silent skit of any one of the two incomplete stories that Prabs had narrated us. I found myself in an all-girls group with Smriti, Indu, Sam, Passang and someone else — Jyothi, I think, and we performed the caterpillars on pilgrimage story and Passang was the tree. Once that was done, my original seat was gone and I sat at the edge next to a long-haired girl, also in a yellow kurta. I hadn’t met her in the first activity, so she introduced herself to me. A hand with long slender fingers to her chest, “Hi, I’m Samudyatha,” she said slowly. I smiled. She was probably the first Kannadiga that I’d come across that day, and I was a lot relieved that I didn’t have to feel so intimidated by everyone anymore.

 

 

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Samudyatha and I in Yukatas

***

Sometime in the following days after the orientation day, I was sitting in the third or second row, when I overheard two girls behind me speaking:

Girl one: Who is your OTP?

Girl two: What’s an OTP?

Such an abomination! I was only new into the world of “Fandom”, but even I knew what OTP meant. I turn around to face the two girls behind me.

Me: OTP? One True Pairing? Mine’s Everlark!

Girl one: Ooh, nice!

Me: Who’s yours?

Girl one: I actually have two. One is Percabeth, and another is from the Mortal Instruments. You know the series?

Me: *shakes head*

Girl one: Oh, the other OTP is from that. Malec.

Girl two: *MIA*

And that’s the story of how I met my first best fangirl friend, Indumathi Arunan.

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Our traditional, standard ethnic day picture.

***

The most memorable re-meet was with Prince. One morning, I was walking the long walk from the bus stop to college, when someone walked beside me: long legged, tall (of course) and eating biscuits. I recognized him from my new class. Harshith, was it…?

I don’t remember what I spoke to him, but he offered me bourbon biscuits, and I was so happy. I took one and munched on it hungrily. I was just finishing up that biscuit when he offered me another. I initially refused, but he just held it in front of me, his long fingers gripping the packet in a friendly manner. Breakfast-less as usual, I ate another one. He also offered me water, but I drank my own. Little did I know that he would become one of my best friends for life.

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***

It was one sultry August Friday. It was Varamaha Lakshmi puja that day, and I remember wearing a new Chrome yellow kurta and olive green lycra pants and a matching dupatta. It was a really nice and sad day. I’d just joined my Creative Writing course, and the class started at 5 in the evening. My classes got over by 4, I think, and after sending off all my friends, (namely Samudyatha) I was thinking of doing something until class began. I ran into Poorvi in the canteen. I knew Poorvi from my 2nd PU coaching centre, and I think I spoke with her for a bit and she introduced me to Aquib. Then it started raining. We were confined to the humid walls of the canteen for a while before Poorvi got an idea: why not eat ice cream in the rain?

We went and bought ice cream in the canteen. Sadly, there were only two D’Daaz Vanilla with Chocolate Sauce ice cream that day, and Aquib, being the gentleman he is, let us girls buy them and he bought something else. We went all the way out of the canteen and to the ground and the humanities block. We went around the ground a couple of times, and then when it was time, I told them “byes” and left for class. The rain was a very fine drizzle and just settles on your skin and clothes and hair but doesn’t really seep in. it was wonderful.

I don’t remember what we spoke about, or even if we did. It was just one of those fine, fine days that remains in you for a really long time.

Then I went home after class, and sent Trance on his way to his originally intended home. Happy and Sad day.

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Standing eyes closed with Poorvi

***

One afternoon, Nairika and I almost made it in time for class. I had accompanied her to the Humanities block for something, and on the way back, we struck up a conversation that made us sit in the playground for more than twenty minutes, while she told me all about her past. That was one of the only times I’d spoken with her for long and so closely and it jarred me for a second that people can be so trusting towards not-well-known people.

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Field trip to FRLHT
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With Nairika, first ethnic day!

***

Smriti had once vaguely mentioned about her school friend buying a nice camera and was joining our college for the Vocational Course on Film making. At that time, I didn’t give much thought. Sometime in the beginning of second year, I was running around for something (as usual I don’t remember why) when I met Smriti near the canteen. She introduced me to her school friend, Arun and I said,

“Hi, nice to meet you!”

(Or something along those lines…) and dashed off. The next thing I know we’re sitting at lunch with Arun and talking as if we’d been long lost friends. His hands are like a small child’s, rough on the outside but contrarily, soft to the touch.

 

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***

Prince was speaking with this tall, athletic-looking boy one day, and I kept seeing him talking to Prince quite often after that. I asked Prince one day,

“Who is that guy that you talk to? He comes in our bus, no?”

“I forgot his name. I’ll find out soon again. But he lives near my house. CBZ guy. Also in my Kannada class.”

“Oh, okay.”

The same tall boy one day, on the way to the bus stop, asked me if I had a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, which he’d seen with one of his classmates earlier. I told him that I’d lend it to him whenever he wanted.

Today, we speak about a ton of things that I never thought I’d speak about. I often imagine his long veined arms and fingers furiously typing long texts late into the night. That’s Yeshas, bringing out the best versions of people.

***

The last day of Sanskrit class was the day where I realized I was going to miss it.

That class was thoroughly and neatly divided into boys’ side and girls’ side, and four of us, Vaishnavi, Tejasvini, Haimanthi and me, sat in the middle bench of the middle row and make trouble. Make trouble as in talk endlessly about things that varied from music to culture to castes to dirty jokes on the stories we were learning to fandoms. Everybody was new to me and I am so glad I’d found them. I wouldn’t have enjoyed the classes as much as I did if even one of them were missing.

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Vaishnavi, Haimanthi, Me and Tejasvini, troublemakers 😀

***

I think people found it weird that I had days where I could not eat non vegetarian food. Those days are my “vegetarian” days, and on those days, Sam and Nairika and Smriti were happy that they’d gotten someone on their side.

Every afternoon, when DJ brought his plate of colourful biryani from the canteen, he asks me,

“Is it one of your vegetarian days?” 

“It’s a Monday, Deej. I’ve been eating with you for more than a year now. What do you think?”

Sam pipes in, “Vegetarian today.”

DJ just sighs and eats his biryani, his fingers gracefully cleaning up the plate.

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Classic picture of DJ.

***

When we were up trekking the Kunti Betta I was very close to giving up at more than a few instances. Each time, Jyothi just pulled me up and forward. I was dressed in hiking shoes and a comfortable t shirt and stretchy jeans; she was in normal college clothes, chudidar and sandals.

***

Before third year started, Prabs had told us that three guys from the previous batch would be joining us for the year: Denzil, Chetan and Samuel. I’d known Denzil, whom Samudyatha and I call Danny and was really fun to hang out with; and we knew Chetan; he was quiet and brooding but underneath all that façade was one hell of a troublemaker. Samuel- now that name was new. And I did not expect him to be the way he is.

Samuel is smart and sarcastic. His quick wit is appreciated widely by most of our classmates (those who get the jokes) and especially by his namesake, Sam(udyatha). The Sam ‘n’ Sam duo is epic. If they had a stand-up comedy show, I’d be the first to buy tickets. His hands are like his personality: it looks like they don’t belong to the body and they do, at the same time.

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Chetan and Samuel on Chetan’s birthday.

***

I think this was sometime during fifth sem. Salka stayed at her uncle’s place in another part of JP Nagar, some 4 kilometers from my home. She invited me and Prince over for lunch one day, and she said she’d cook something very Tripura-n. Prince and I were excited. It was one of my chicken eating days and I knew she’d cook it. When I went to her place, I found out that she’d gotten some really bad news. But she insisted that she cook for us, and cook for us she did. Along with special chicken, she cooked us vegetables and rice. It was good food. And good food comes with a good show. We watched three out of twenty-something episodes of this Korean show called “My True Love From The Stars”, that Sonali had recommended, where the protagonist was absolutely OTT. I took the full show from her and watched it the rest of the week. It was a nice afternoon, even though I finished my lunch at about 5 in the evening.

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***

Mine and Parvathi’s conversations are similar to tagging each other on Facebook memes.

Me: We should totally do this. (referring to a set of poetry prompts).

Her: Hell Yeah.

*After a few days of attempting the prompts*

Her: But it is hard dude.

Me: I know.

Her: My brain has gone numb.

Me: I KNOW.

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***

One of the only other people apart from Sam that I wanted to keep a stall with during Meta was Nithya. I’d seen her art and I’d loved them all. And I knew she’d have plenty of ideas.

I was not wrong. Keeping a stall with her has been a really good experience. And to think we’d made such a good team! When she opens her book box, I will be first in line to get them.

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***

That one nasty February Friday during third year ended on a sour note. I was hurrying to perform for my third final poetry slam during Meta after this “pointless experiment”. Sam was at my heels and Smriti also followed me. I asked her, “Where are you going, Smritz?”

“I want to see you perform.” She looked baffled that I would even ask such a question.

At that moment, I felt an immense surge of gratitude and love for my friends. They wanted to see me perform badly. If they’d asked me to launch a nuclear missile on the Vidhana Soudha that day, I would have gladly done it, without second thought.

Although, I didn’t get to perform it, I loved the piece that I wrote for it. I would’ve been very nervous (more than usual) because it was really honest and I think I would’ve scared away my few precious friends.

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Some smiles! 

***

Naveen refused to be my talent for that week. I hadn’t done it in almost a year and his was only the second one in my third year. I was nervous, sure, but I was 100% sure that Naveen deserved all the fame and glory he could get. It took me a long time to convince him, and even then he wasn’t. Then I took the shortest method out as a final resort: tell Yeshas that Naveen was being stupid. It took Naveen a few hours to finally text me,

“Okay, I’ll do it.”

And I wondered why I didn’t take the shortcut earlier.

Naveen’s post, till date has about 600 views; the most on a single post and I can’t even get started on the response that I got from it. And to think that Naveen thought he didn’t deserve it.

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***

To James, who’s been one of the kindest boys I’ve ever known in my life, to my namesake Pari, to Drishti and Srishti for being so lively and amazing and supportive and to Ismail and his morbid jokes, to all those people who have waved or smiled at me while passing each other in the corridors or in the bathrooms and sometimes asked each other “How are you?”, to all my present and former classmates I’ve not mentioned, to all the Graphic.Inc people, to Archana for making me laugh so hard that I was clutching my stomach with tears rolling down my cheeks and to Rajitha for being one of my biggest supporters for my writing,

You’ve made it all worth it.

Posted in Me

What I do while writing an exam

I swear this is what I did this year since I became a little physically weak. And, man, this was fun!

Exam starts at 1:00 PM. I sit in my bench. 

  • Say my prayers. To Ganesha and Saraswathi. Under my breath and unnoticeably.
  •  Take my answersheet and question paper. Write off my details on my answer sheet first.
  • Start answering.
  • Look around the hall. See who’s writing. Who’s not.
  • Get tired. 6th semester exams were in a class room where there was a garden just outside our windows. I lay my head down and listened to the birds.

Fast-forward to half an hour later.

  • Write some more.
  • Get bored of writing the answer because it is totally unimaginitive.
  • Write some more. Curse myself for not going through that one part of the syllabus again.
  • Stretch.
  • Write.
  • Look behind at Sam. See if she’s done.
  • If she’s done, we give our paper and leave.
  • If she’s not done, I wait a bit.
  • If she’s still not done after ten minutes, I give my paper and leave.