Selfie with friends

The highest point of the year gone by 2015, for me, was its last month.

Loads of things were happening at a very high speed in December, but one  thing that kept me pleasantly preoccupied was a reunion with few friends from good old college days. The warm memories, the anticipation to recreate the carefree atmosphere from back then, the curiosity to know more  about them than what’s put on FB… the whole cocktail  of emotions was so potent, that it kept me heady … that too without an iota of any kind of spirit!

It’s been 11 years since we parted our ways. I was so looking forward to feel young again… to actually roll on floor laughing (not just type ROFL )… to talk (sense/ nonsense) non-stop… to dare to do something stupid…in a nutshell  I longed to catch a glimpse of the madness that Manipal had been for us!

While recreating this madness I hoped to be able to find that streak of craziness, spontaneity, passion, wildness… which I call “the keeda”(literal meaning  is worm), which I feel is lost within me, subdued by “life”. It was this keeda which added zing and drama to my life back then. It was because of this keeda each moment was fuller than expected. It was the drive for the unexpected to happen.

And then… it got lost. It was time to grow up and take responsibility! Compromises and logic shut its voice down. Routine and more responsibility took away its fangs. It was made docile… but I know for sure it isn’t dead! I feel it  wriggling sometimes trying to awaken from its latency. Whenever i felt cornered it would nudge me to do something random but reasoning would prevail.  Or when surrounded by the vast expanse of the sea or mountains I could feel it stir. In eleven years, “time” and “life” have helped me find more aspects of myself which I didn’t think I had in me. I feel secure, confident and whole but I miss my keeda. it’s time now for my mature self to befriend the keeda again.

Reunion was the perfect setting! It was to be the reunion of us four friends from a lager group of 11 …and hopefully my keeda too.

We met. We talked.We laughed. We recounted umpteen number of flashbacks from college. We exchanged gifts. We bared our scars. We shared our dreams. We rejoiced. We celebrated. It was all so organic.  there was  no awkwardness. We took off from where we left. It was magical. It was therapeutic. Oh yes! We had our share of drama too! 3 days passed away in a whiff!

Taken with Lumia Selfie
“When hours feel like moments, you know you are with good friends” Emily beckett.

We are back to our battlegrounds. I feel more refreshed than normal vacation (though we do much more in them). I feel proud of my girls… let’s face it, we have faced many a storms and that’s not stopped us from sailing! I feel immensely grateful to be able to meet my friends again. I hope we are able to make it little more frequent and not wait for another 11 years, and next time maybe  meet our larger group.

As for the keeda I have a new one which is determined to find my old one.


Flower woes: V-Day

I don't exactly remember when Valentine's Day became a craze in India. Think it was around my late teens. It became a rage all of a sudden. All the pent up love from hormone rush was pouring all round us and there were us – a bewildered bunch, who spectacled this display of amour pretty much the same way cows look at moving traffic (in our country), with a bit of anticipation. Is there a secret admirer? Will I get flowers too? All of it remained a big secret as nobody ever… let's say manned up.

Then I graduated to college and first V – day there became quite a memory. Early morning the Indira block, entrance of our hostel looked like a huge flower shop and then there was a huge life size teddy bear waiting for some lucky girl. There was an explosion of romance in kinds. For us first years mostly coming from conservative families, with little or no exposure to this level of consumerism, it looked nothing less than wonderland. And, there were the excited girls who had come down to receive the flowers. Different tones and decibels of “aaawww”s rang everywhere around. There was jumping and hugging and few tears of joy too. Plans of evening followed — what am I going to wear? How I will do my hair? Which class I will bunk to get makeup done? And so on…

That year we singles formed our 'Lonely hearts' club'. We also planned the night out. First year was fun, as almost whole batch of girls and boys were there. So we did what we always did…. just goofed around. Subsequent years the Lonely hearts club just kept getting lonelier, as many of our patrons found company, our lot dwindled. We kept up with our dining out tradition. Our conversations became confused and thick with emotion. First, how lucky we were to have each other. Second, the couples- latest, cutest,unlikeliest, weirdest, etc… After sometime came resolutions. How we would turn a new leaf, or do a makeover and not land up here again… ever. Then came realization how happy we were being single — no drama, no fights, so much more time to focus on self and our hobbies.And, another round of how lucky we were to have each other… and hope nothing ever comes in between! (please God don't let me be the last one standing)

Phew! It was a relief to cross that date off from calendar.

In my final year, the unexpected happened. I had met my husband (now) just a couple of months before valentines day. He lived in another city, and honestly I didn't think anything serious would happen. I had long stopped going to the hostel entrance to check for flowers. My day passed like any other and I was told around tea time that a bunch of flowers waited at the entrance with my name on it. I brushed it off as prank….but went to check nevertheless. Yes I found the bunch of by-now wilted flower lying with the ones rejected (sent by undesired candidates). By then i was so conditioned to not getting flowers that i couldn't accept the fact. So I spewed venom on the remaining loyalists of lonely hearts club for playing me. It was only later at night when my husband called that I got to know it came from him (I had a hunch). That was my first and last time of getting flowers. I remained permanent member of Lonely Hearts' club, as we went for our traditional dinner out for the last time, before parted onto our different ways.

Indeed Lonely hearts' club holds a very special place. Every year since, on valentines day, I remember this special group with special fondness.

After I found my so-far-permanent valentine, my husband refused to become victim of this “farce ” created to “promote consumerism. “He is not ready to pay more for flowers on valentines day. Don't take me wrong, he isn't a miser…. rather he is quite a spender. But, this is against his rationality and principle. So, I still get flowers but with slight deviation from regular!

And,here is a glimpse of how we do it…

Remind me
Practical love
And then at the traffic signal near inOrbit mall
My cheap valentine...