On (More) Travels

One of those days. I had a very short (work) travel stint the past two days and am trying to settle back to normalcy. The more I travel (even on work) the more I seem to understand why most may like to do so. To me, the most blatant of explanations is that those who travel regularly are perhaps those who seek adventure and new experiences different to their own. However, for me, I am not adventurous and as for new experiences, I could live without.

I’m neither a born traveller nor do I have that innate need in me to travel. What happens to me is that, I do get attached to places. People, maybe not as much, but places yes. India, did that to me and it forever will have a special place in my life (I refrain from saying, “heart” as it may seem an absurd choice of word, to most).

From somewhere towards the end of the first quarter in 2014, I began travelling, not a lot, but much more than I otherwise would. The start of 2015 so far has been more inland-bound travel that I have always secretly enjoyed more. This may perhaps be due to the familiarity in language that tells me that everything is going to be okay. I don’t need to communicate in broken English with few phrases from a regional or any other common language, in order to tell the taxi driver that I need to go back to the hotel to pick up my suitcase.

But the familiarity ends there.

In every town or city I travel to, it is the people that make the locality what it is.

It is among those very people, foreign to you and you to them, that you can voluntarily get lost in and seek the truth you are searching for.

It is in those very long commutes do you get to look outside and wonder how things became what they were; how a city not too far from a little desert had turned to what it was; how communities can look alike in skin tone and in close proximity to one another, but be so different in clothing, mannerisms and tone of voice.

For me, travel doesn’t bring out that sense of adventure and thrill. It is a new experience, I agree, but perhaps more than discovering new cities and places, for me, it is more so on discovering myself all over again, just this time, in a locality that is not familiar to me.

I hope you all have a good weekend.

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Running Away from Reality

But then what is reality, if not what we define ourselves? Reality and normalcy are the world as we know it. It is not within our control, which is why seek a world outside it.

***

Hi there!

So I was to write this over the weekend, but that never materialised. So what else is new?

Well a lot of things to start with but let’s not get in to that. I’m not too sure if it is nostalgia from four years past but somewhere this time, or a little before this time in 2010 when I left to India. I sought India as a place of solace, escape and moreover peace. Not that I was a “troubled” person. Well I was, yes, but no more than you are. Over the years I have grown to accept that we are all troubled in our own sense and if we think we are special coz we are not, then there is something absolutely wrong with you. I am no more troubled than you are and vice versa. So quit being a punk about it. Mind you, this is advise and reassurance I’m also giving myself.

Truer words have not been spoken. (c) Google Images

Truer words have not been spoken. (c) Google Images

I am not too sure where it all started but there were some boy issues then and there were certain spatial issues (you know my issue of “space” noh) I had a while to get used to and well, I needed a new start. I am thankful to my mother who was willing to see through my education and for my sister too for having paid for a fair share of expenses. Would I ever be able to pay them back? I am not too sure, but I do hope that my actions would be on the lines of something that would make them happy.

It’s perhaps that time of year again, perhaps driven by nostalgia and philosophical conversations that make me wonder if we all need to constantly run away from reality, and why.

It’s not as though I seek happiness that I already do not have, but then perhaps it is that constant message of underachievement, underperformance and a lot of other negative cues that make me feel this way. In times and circumstances such as these, it is only a sadass blog post that would help me get by.

I hope there are sunnier days ahead. The clouds are messing with the sun and making the rains comes down. I’m not too sure if that is a good thing.

I hope all you babies are having a good week.

On Missing India

The guilty watermelon that caused unnecessary havoc.

The guilty watermelon that caused unnecessary havoc.

So I’m sipping on some tea and got myself some watermelon for lunch and sigh, I missed India. I use my favourite pink bowl as well, the very one I did use while I lived there. The only difference to the image I tried to replicate was that Watermelon Sundays (or lazy days) would accompany coffee, if it were during the morning hours of the day.

It’s been a while since the nostalgia hit. It’s been a long while for a not-very nostalgic person. Sure there are times when I do get the sniffles and mull over what once was. But this somehow proved to be a tad bit different. More than dwelling in the moment from the past, I wanted to crawl back into the little shelter I built while I lived in Bangalore.

Life was easy there. Mama sent money, my job was to live and get through exams. I did ‘wander’ yes, like the time I began reading GoT the week before my second year finals, but life was good. Life was not complicated and above all, things were easy.

I say this out loud to anyone who would listen. Never hesitate to be alone and better, to be away. I know it’s a very selfish voice of reasoning that resonates after that sentence but, at the end of the day, life is constant progression of being alone. (I read that off Thought Catalog once)

A wise man I was once very attached to told me never to have regrets in life. I don’t and Heaven forbid, I don’t intend to. But if there was a time I could relive, in forever, I think India is where it would be. One of my next posts would ironically be on why I wouldn’t want to time travel. Tsk.

(No) Blast from the Past

So, I went to India. YAY. I know right. Except, there wasn’t much YAY there. Well, for starters, I went for work and to Delhi slash later to Madhya Pradesh so I suppose the ‘lack of Bangalore’ may have resulted in feelings of ‘non-familiarity’. Hmm. I dunno. Or I might be overly hormonal today.

The journey alone was fine, with no qualms of sorts. I never had an innate travel bug and don’t think I would be embracing one either. There are a few places I have to go, someday but yeah that wouldn’t be for work. I hope. Lol.

I had always associated India with a sense of growing up, learning, being away but being here sort of a thing. I suppose it may have been immaturity from my end that would’ve expected more of that. Or perhaps, it’s a feeling of nostalgia and lack of that make me yearn for what is no longer.

Below are a few pics I put up on Instagram and Twitter. An update post of sorts is required, will see to it soon.

Walking the fields of gold.

Walking the fields of gold.

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Orchcha Palace, Madhya Pradesh.

 

 

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One of those panorama thingies.

On Happiness that Once Was

This post might come in as a little personal. I’m sorry if it becomes too feminine slash sentimental slash different to what I usually write buuuuut, I dared myself to post it maybe because it would also serve as reassurance to myself.

Over the past few days and weeks even, coming to think of it, from the start of this year, a constant topic of discussion with myself and my friends has been with regard to our past(s). This means, revisiting and at times reliving, memories that once were. I’m not too sure why the subject was carried forward to this year as well because these sorta jazz gets over when the year comes to an end noh. I suppose it must’ve been the awful traffic blocks and the countless number of times I’ve run out of things to do in traffic. But no, the jazz didn’t come to an end and sometimes it’s really shitty looking back at what happened and what you’ve done and the supposed mistakes you made but at times, it’s a nice recollection. You feel nostalgic and a little sad of course about the memory being now just a vision from the past but it’s a nice feeling or at least, (you tell yourself) it feels that way. I dunno.

It all came back when I began cleaning my souvenir box from India. Yes, India! This is the first of three souvenir boxes I collected during my three years. The largest of the three that filled up pretty fast as it was my first year there (2010) and well I was partially homesick slash excited about the early twenties Indian adventure slash the long-distance relationship slash a lot of other things with regard to documenting history, life and the twenties. I’ve always been a little sentimental and managed to collect artefacts from places I’ve been to (when I was a child of say six this would include rocks and leaves #CollectorsEdition ) and this was no different.

So, during my first year I visited Kerala, a place I continue to love and that explained the dedicated ‘Kerala box’ with bus and train tickets, entrance tickets, hotel receipts (you are permitted to laugh yes!) and I dunno, business cards of the first shop I went  to!

Lots of other things found itself in the box as well, including two of my planners! My organiser has been a constant bag/handbag companion since 2006. Recently, it occurred that I should put all of them in one big box! Especially the first planner I used. It was a ‘compilation’ of a lot of planners, undated stuff and all that I put together. I didn’t write to-do lists daily, just when a list popped up or there was a lot of homework or something. I think the ‘undated’ bit allowed me to use it for nearly one and a half years! Then of course I grew up a bit, became almost legal and began rolling on annual planners. For the past three years I’ve become more anal about the texture of the planner because come November, I would be ashamed to take it out of my bag! Not that I don’t take care of things so, just that it’s used a lot and my handbag is usually really heavy. I can’t help it okay. Sheesh. But yea. The planner box must be done. Followed by a wallet-box. I have all the wallets I’ve used since 2004 or something. They are located in their respective souvenir boxes, which are sorted in chronological order. Maybe I should build a cupboard just for all these boxes. Like a memory cupboard, voilà.

I managed to throw out a good number of stuff from the box eventually. You realise when you clean out boxes, cupboards, clothes a few months or years later, that what was once considered important or that memory you tell yourself you will hold on to for the rest of your life, moves on to be one of those ‘why did I even keep a paper serviette from restaurant x’ moments. My first vacation in SL, I remember throwing out boxes of things and books while my mother just stared. I gave her the, ‘throw it while I’m in the mood or forever keep it in storage’ speech and I think that called for a visit to the recycling joint.

I suppose, it helps to sometimes hold on to little things from the past. Perhaps as a reminder of happiness that once was. The happiness you may no longer have at present, or even for the rest of your life due to continuous discontent with yourself, the world and everything else, but then you live with the thought of having once being as happy, and that is enough to get through your Sunday.

Let’s Go Back to India

I couldn’t title this as soon as I started writing and that’s weird. I usually think­ of the title before I start writing and clearly that didn’t happen this time around. Haw. I also started using WriteMonkey. Neat piece of meat this is.

So last night, I missed India. Okay, I’ve been missing India for a while now. Seriously considering Masters there, but there is the problem of work [India, get your act together. Letting your PG kids work while study would make them better employees. Sheesh]. But, I dunno. There seems to be a lack of writers in this country, so that’s good news for us noh! But yes, there are other responsibilities that are keeping me from going there as well. It is one of the best escape strategies I’ve come up with, to date.

But then, what would I do with my Masters in Philosophy? Or Literature? No one really gives an eff about Barthes or Derrida and that always breaks my heart a little (I realised I had one, after such repeated episodes). I use their theories and get my point across but it’s sad when due respect or credit is not given. Same with the psyc fools. Haw.

Does that mean that SL needs more education or educated people OR general awareness on theoreticians, for GK purposes? I know Google is there, and I rely on it immensely as well, but still. I do not want to be a part of the ‘Are You Smarter Than Google’ competition.

Life back in Sri Lanka is frustrating. I keep complaining to anyone who would listen to me. There’s no place to shop. No place to study. Well there are, if you are interested in technology and business. Not that there is anything wrong with it. I’m a huge fan of both. But I wouldn’t necessarily want to study em? I would rather optimise its usage to my advantage (ahem) but not study the rotten thing. What the eff happened to Humanities?! Why doesn’t the world care about other disciplines anymore. Sigh.

Yup. Honours in English Studies 2013' :)

Yup. Honours in English Studies 2013′ 🙂

I miss my seventeen (no it was sixteen by the time we graduated) people classroom in India. In that little horrid room, with no windows, pungentee and fabulous teachers. I mean people out there were capable of ‘convincing’ people like me that education was not only for the overly smart people. That university degrees, while not a breeze, were attainable. That is where the real ‘marketing’ lies, me thinks: the little psychological manipulation slash constructive criticism.

Here’s to India, the place where I met my lovely roomie, great people and friends scattered across continents and the Indian subcontinent and most importantly, a place where I once found home 🙂

Highly emotion driven, I must be at the onset of my period.

#5 India Posting: One for the Teachers

“Eliminate the impossible, and whatever remains, however improbable, is the truth.”

–          Luka and the Fire of Life – Salman Rushdie

Sickness brings out the worst in you. Okay I take that back. A lot of things bring out the worst in you. But sickness, physical ailment makes you think of things once impossible. The above quote was something that played in mind while reading the Rushdie book. Gifted man he is. Especially for those of us who cannot write fiction. Bringing back the worst, since yesterday I’m convinced that I suffer from Parkinson’s. I clearly do not, but the medication has made me weary and drowsy that I almost became convinced of it.

Like a few of my other posts, this may seem haphazard as well. It might be partially influenced by too much sleep, too little energy and grogginess from meds.

Ideally, I would’ve liked to write this while in India but circumstances were such that the last week proved to be physically exhausting, mentally traumatising and of course psychologically overbearing.

It never occurred until I went to college for the last time how much I would miss my teachers.

Teachers had always played not a very important role, but a fairly significant role in my life. Despite not remembering their faces, I can list out most, if not all teachers who taught me throughout my twenty something years.

A friend of mine recently said that teaching was one of unappreciated jobs. To an extent I agree. It is like parenting I guess. You take it for granted. Being a teacher however is no piece of cake either. It drains the life and soul and whatever else that reside in you.

I always considered teachers to be bodies of knowledge with wisdom coming out of their ears. I still do. Which is why when someone asked if I wanted to teach after I was done with college, I wondered how I would fill my ears with little snippets of knowledge and anecdotes of wisdom? How will I transmit what I know, or at least I think I know, to a group of people whom I think that don’t know anything? My last-class teacher told us that we are all limited by the knowledge we know. There is so much that we don’t know and through teachers, I’ve realised that it is alright to not-know. Despite the many fantasy-ridden novels I’ve been reading since of recent, I know it’s not possible to know-it-all and there is no shame in saying so.

Teachers are fascinating people. I think teachers should also try to be like Mr Lorry from Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities; try to compartmentalise their lives for their well-being. The very good teachers are not necessarily those who empathise, but those who make that extra effort to ensure that their students get the best of what they have to offer. Those who ask students like me, “What happens to you during an exam?” Lols.

So here is to all the great teachers who taught me. I hope you are eternal and timeless entities who will continue to impart your oceans of knowledge and mostly relentless encouragement to not-so motivated students like myself.

On a closing note, I would also like to observe two things:

i)                   I sincerely hope all my teachers would pass me in all my papers 🙂

ii)                 I think I am able to enter the realm of ‘fiction’ only during an exam. My imagination knows no bounds and my writing becomes anything but that which is affiliated to the question paper 🙂

I never reblog as I have issues with maintaining an original – I think – but this post, is everything most of us want to say – Jillinthebox90

Thought Catalog

A very dependable feature of people who live abroad is finding them huddled together in bars and restaurants, talking not just about their homelands, but about the experience of leaving. And strangely enough, these groups of ex-pats aren’t necessarily all from the same home countries, often the mere experience of trading lands and cultures is enough to link them together and build the foundations of a friendship. I knew a decent amount of ex pats — of varying lengths of stay — back in America, and it’s reassuring to see that here in Europe, the “foreigner” bars are just as prevalent and filled with the same warm, nostalgic chatter.

But one thing that undoubtedly exists between all of us, something that lingers unspoken at all of our gatherings, is fear. There is a palpable fear to living in a new country, and though it is more acute in the first…

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