Sunday, 11 January 2015

Customary new year post because, JLT.

This is a consolation post. Why? Because life is chaos. I was watching a movie on the 31st of December. I saw a scene in some movie where boy was narrating to co-passenger how it chanced upon this girl 'who was different' and was apprehensive that meeting her after a year would jeopardize the picture. All the co-passengers talk to him like they are the messengers of Cupid, armed with the love arrows and also clairvoyant enough to predict what the girl wants (him, of course). Such movies are often like old WB or MGM Cartoons: When the Coyote chasing the Road Runner fell into the canyon only when he realised he was mid-air. (As a Cartoon Network loyalist of the 1990s, I refuse to acknowledge the current crop of moving-doodles as cartoons). There was a marked suspension of reality before that point, and he literally ran through/on air. If this was real life, this boy would be talking to co-passengers who would be avoiding him by pretending to do the crosswords in the newspapers. The kid next to him would probably be throwing up only to look at him with the hope of entertaining his mind away from nausea. And thus, suspension of reality.

Such movies, painted and dented with such forceful causalities are particularly loved because they bring forth dawning comprehension about life and love, trying to make sense of the chaos that these things really are. And these movies are almost definitive in Decembers. They appeal to your end-of-the-year sensibilities, where the world has created an idea that each year must show some form of completion in your life. Boy must meet girl as the clock strikes midnight (else Cinderella may not leave her glass shoes) etc. etc. I realised I have no such conclusiveness to display. It's not fun. Therefore, this post is a narcissistic highlight of all my trysts with destiny I managed to encounter in the past year:

1. I came back to Calcutta for two months, only to be hurled back to Delhi again. City of Joy is clearly disgusted with my existence. To prove that, the universe conspired and I accidentally ended up spending half the time in the National Library in Calcutta. It's the only place that serves chai for two rupees. Somewhere, all the communists in my family still feel reassured from their commie-heaven.

2. I graduated this year. No clue why I don't have a picture of looking-important and grinning like an Madman who accidentally ate the Cheshire Cat.

3. I met new people. Yes this statement does sound like I was a convict for long suddenly liberated on to giant pools of population. But the fact is, in spite of having a dangerously low threshold of tolerating humanity (a reciprocal feeling of self-protection, really), I like knowing them. I am not sure how they feel about me, but over the years I believe my social skills have improved from the level of a dead rat to only a dying one.

4. talking of rats, I plunged into research. This deserves some explanation. I have studied history and I have embarked upon a journey which includes hoping to work towards a PhD in the subject. This translates into a lifetime commitment to poverty. Which by default trains me to have a snooze-fest personality and a surly demeanour. This was a result of bad parenting: they let me take my own decisions. Relying on a sixteen year old's decision making capacity is probably a mistake. But they refuse to acknowledge this. Too much faith is unhealthy. Sigh.

5. I am learning the art of academia-talk. It involves conference hopping and ambushing people with questions when they present their research. These questions must have some specific traits: they must be five minutes long. Three minutes should be given in displaying your own knowledge in the subject. In absence of knowledge, you rephrase the content of the paper as a question and throw it back. Such a process is particularly fun if you like the sound of your own voice over the mic. I sometimes end up getting bored mid-sentence, and this isn't a helpful thing.

6. Caused by no. 4 and 5 (and other aspects of my life on the lines of to err is human) I now boast of five strands of white hair. A friend kindly told me that it is five because he stopped counting after that. I take that as, no count no number. My five strands of white hair deserve an elegy, I feel. In ten more years, they shall be facing the tunes of fake hair-dye anyway, possibly in some corner of some obscure hostel-like room with a cracked mirror. *Shudder*.

7. I shall turn 25 this year. Quarter century.  In an age where marketing strategies see you as vulnerable enough to sell under-eye creams to, you know that adding another year is not going to go down well. But 25 isn't that big a deal. The problem lies elsewhere. One of my friends pointed out that this blog has seen me mature through times. I agreed, and something sunk in me a little. I knew that the time has come to accept what I have been not willing to acknowledge all these years: I am probably a hypocrite who pretends to grow up to fit in, but deep down is stuck in the firm belief system of a thirteen year old-in-denial. I therefore obviously defy laws of maturity. Ok wait this isn't highlighting all the talents I was supposed to write about in this post.

Why did I start writing again? Oh well. Doesn't matter. My high school English teacher isn't correcting this bit, and I need not stick to three sections of essay thingy. This shall go without a conclusion.

Happy New Year, fellows.