2019: Two Hundred and Sixty Seven

I’m back to being on a wretched sleep cycle. This isn’t because of work, although the net result is that because I don’t find much else to do in these odd hours – and it’s quiet, it provides me the opportunity to get a lot of thinking done. Both about work and non-work things.

Today, I spent some time in the evening watching Hindi movies that took me back to the 2005-6 times. You know, that phase where you’re young enough to laugh wholeheartedly at cleverly interwoven jokes, and yet, simultaneously old enough to discredit poor plot. I did this largely to distract myself from a spiral I was going down – and it worked effectively for a few hours or so, I would think. I picked the right movies too. Munnabhai MBBS and Don: The Chase Begins Again. The first movie speaks for itself, but man, do I remember the hype the latter movie brought with it. It got the oldies into the nostalgia they craved, and listening to me croon-hum the new Don theme song (while pretending to be Don, of course), I remember, got my mom to make me sit and watch the original version of the film. Amitabh was incredible, as was Pran. Wow. Whatte acting. Whatta story also, seriously.

Anyway, given the sort of things I’ve been thinking in the last three weeks, I’m looking for anchors to latch myself onto. Aside from work oriented goals, I’m seeking out things I can do to help find some stability in my brain. For this, I plan to return to some deeply personal tasks again. I wanted to learn coding and chess this year. The coding mission was one I began in August first week – but also a mission that promptly died down as I returned to campus. Chess never even took off.

I shall learn these now. Maybe with more effort, and some odd hours of the day spent on the tasks.

The Lumineers’ released their new album, and while I seek anchors out and work on myself and understanding things, that album has got me thinking. A lot. Here’s a song I’ve found myself deeply attached to at the moment:


2019: Two Hundred and Sixty Six

Today, I’m grateful for two people who have helped make my life easier while I live in Gandhinagar.

The first, is a neighbour of ours. Aunty is one of my mother’s closest friends, and within the community we live in, the friend who lives closest to our home. When we first moved in, and learned that their second son was my age – I was glad my mom finally made friends whose children were in my age group. But over the years, Aunty has played so many roles in making my childhood a happy one. Aside from being a source of comfort for my mother, Aunty has donned several hats for our family, at different points of asking. She’s made me meals when I’ve gone back to the community and eked it out alone at home. She’s provided the curd sample for us to ferment our own mosaru. She’s ensured our house is in tip-top condition for when we do go back. She’s been a guardian of the belief that all is well in Bangalore, even when we hear reports that things aren’t going too smoothly in the area we reside in.

To me, Aunty’s been someone who has gone above and beyond. This one time, I remember she invited me along to a family dinner they had planned, because the alternative was me eating alone at home. My plans changed that evening, but the gesture was so kind-hearted, that it’s not something I will ever forget. She’s also introduced us to so many good people, reaffirming my belief that doing good always attracts warm-hearted individuals.

For me, in application season, when I haven’t had access to documents I’ve needed to ensure that I’m able to upload my application successfully (like transcripts and certificates), Aunty’s looked in all sorts of weird corners in our house (because my memory is awful), to help me locate them. She’s sent scans across promptly – just to ensure I had things ready and could ask for help if I needed it at any point. I’m so grateful. Not just for this, but for so much more she has done. I’m grateful to that full family – who are, and will be, lifelong friends to my own. For all the dinners we’ve shared, that one trip to Tirupathi, the multiple, hour-long conversations we’ve had, and the things I’ve personally gained exposure to since I’ve relocated to India: I’m eternally grateful. For comforting my parents through some of the roughest times I’ve seen my parents endure, I cannot thank you enough.

The other person is my Uncle. My Chikamma’s husband is a source of a lot of the values I’ve learned in life, and I’ve blogged about him before, but today, I’m grateful again. They got married when I was 1 year old – as a result I’ve always known him as a part of our family. And him and I, we just get along. It’s the same way I get along with my Chikamma, but different. It’s difficult to explain, you know? These are two people I can argue politics with, but then tell jokes to with just my eyes. They can sense when I’m thinking something mischievous (and yes, I am capable of this), and when I’m going to act on it. My relationship with my Uncle transcends all of this. There’s this comfort level because he was probably the first to challenge my political views (I could get away with disengaging with my mom, but my Uncle was relentless). When he realized I enjoyed watching sports, he introduced me to a bigger variety. And whenever I’ve been confused, or sought guidance – it’s never felt out of place to call or message him. I remember doing this when I was incredibly stressed out in Grade 12 when I had offers in hand, but I wasn’t sure where I’d be in 3 months. And I did it 2 weeks ago too. To have people like him, and my Chikamma, in my life: I am blessed.

On your worst days, on days when you feel particularly low – and when you’re not sure how you can deal with flaws you can see in yourself, its people who give you comfort that you’ll be most grateful for. I’m in the lucky position that its not only my parents, but a circle who will care for me while I figure out things – no matter how badly I’m doing.

As a side-note: https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/malory-towers-books-fan-enid-blyton-politics_in_5d85049de4b0957256b661d0

2019: Two Hundred and Sixty Five

Today, I wrote my IELTS exam. I’m hopeful that results will be chill, we’ll know in about a weeks’ time. It was a 3-hour long exam, with Listening, Reading and Writing components. This was my first time giving the computer-delivered test. I remember writing the test in Bangalore 4 years ago, somewhere in April 2015 – a chaotic month filled with all sorts of tests. Giving this one, alone, in Ahmedabad, made me realize how grateful I was for that one month, where my mom drove with me to every single test. Waiting for me to finish, and keeping snacks & water in the car (alongwith my textbooks) so I could revise/study for the board exams I had the next day. I don’t know how I would’ve done that month without her support and physical presence. I also don’t think I would’ve been able to do that month if I wasn’t in a good headspace.

At the moment, I’m not. But I’m working on it, and I’m working on myself – to understand, and to learn. And that’s important to me right now. That’s all I can do.

I’m glad that exam is done. It’s one thing off the list of things I had to get done in September.

This weekend, I managed to spend some time watching the Netflix docu-series “Inside Bill’s Brain”, which outlines conversations with Bill Gates and his perspective on a wide-range of things affecting today’s world, while providing insight into his background and the experiences that make him who he is. It’s an excellent 3-part series. I can’t recommend it enough, because it provides really good coverage of who Bill Gates is as a human being: the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s important to remember that that’s who we are as people. We’re imperfect. Bill is too. But he works on things he can do to improve (when he agrees with people [rare]), and there’s a lesson to be learned there. I’m looking for books about Gates at the moment, and hopefully, I find one soon.


2019: Two Hundred and Sixty Four

It’s the weekend. I’ve set out some goals for myself. They’re small, incremental ones. Nothing too big, but stuff that’ll give me some happiness if I’m able to finish. I need to be able to do them – because I need to give myself time to accept the way things are at the moment without affecting commitments I still hold to for myself. It’s a part of the cycle right now.

Bojack Horseman has taught me a lot. I’d recommend the show.

2019: Two Hundred and Sixty Three

Today was the last day of those mid-semesters. The only thing I appreciate about examination season, and this is something I’ve said countless times before, is that when there are afternoon exams, you have complete control of your sleep cycle. In fifth year, this includes strange things like sleeping through the entire evening, waking up, beginning portions and studying for 2 hours, and going back to sleep, to wake up the next morning and finishing your portions while lying down. It could’ve happened to anybody. Yet, this is precisely how my roommate & I prepared for today’s exam. The result of this preparation? One hour before the examination was frenetic, to say the least. There were these new words that kept popping up on the batch group, and we’d give each other a quizzical look. Only to turn to Google Guruji and understand what those words meant – or rather, attempt to.

In any case, these exams brought the revelation of the following conversation in my mind:

“Ek page ki kimath, tum kya jaano Ramesh babu?”
“2.5 mark ki kimaath hota hai, ek poora page”

For the uninitiated, I basically mimicked this incredible season from Om Shanti Om (2007):

Basically, man, I came to the realization that this professor from today’s paper just valued the number of pages we wrote.

So write away I did. I wonder if rebelling against the system (and writing the same content in fewer pages/words) will yield the same results. I have about 11 exams left to give it a shot. Dare I?

2019: Two Hundred and Sixty One

The fact of the matter is that these are the second last mid-semester exams I will have to give at this University. That’s a joyous fact. Never again (barring next semester) will I be subject to the 30-mark tests that come and disrupt the flow of happiness that semesters are.

I can’t wait for a post midsemester world. It almost feels utopian.

2019: Two Hundred and Fifty Eight

In trying to come to terms with the kind of things I’ve done and the kind of things that I’ve been thinking in the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to confront what my identity is: away from the media I use, the people I meet and their images of me. I’ve been trying to understand who I am, and what I stand for – and how to learn.


This was an interesting read.