Tag Archive | life

A Little Bit Of Sunshine

‘You are scared of driving here? Surprising. You didn’t seem to be a person who would be scared.’ A senior classmate commented when I told her how I was totally scared of driving here.

This comment seriously surprised me. How could someone perceive me as fearless when I don’t have any confidence in myself? I have to be the meekest, most unsure and subdued person around.

First there was the no-friends-no-independence-no-money thing. Then, can’t-sew-to-save-my-life thing. Then, this-traffic-scares-the-sh*t-out-of-me thing. And then, my-weight-refuses-to-reduce thing. A companion who practically belongs to US didn’t help much. A combination of all this made me feel worse about myself every single day.

It was like having to start life all over again. It was like leaving the safe, comfortable cocoon of your home for a foreign territory and struggling to get your feet firmly planted there.

I wouldn’t dress up well because I thought others had better clothes than me. My enthusiasm at college slowed down because I felt I could not learn this new field; there were so many others already so far ahead. I stopped attempting to drive because changing lanes on the freeway was so damn intimidating. I was tired of compelling myself to stop being ‘new’ and become ‘one of them’ quickly.

The cold weather depressed me further. I have always been a summer girl. I like the heat, the sun. I spent so many months huddling up, shivering, and fighting the cold. There were no friends to pull me out of isolation, to break my silence and bring out those deepest, suppressed feelings.

Sunshine came eventually. It made me smile and everyone else cringe. ‘Ouch. It is so damn hot outside’ – my classmates would complain every day.

But I was happy. And a bit hopeful.

With summer, came Adi, one of my favourite people, to spend a week with me. She brought more sunshine to my life. She brought with her familiarity, a sense of belongingness and love. An air of security.

I was myself again. I was confident again. I would radiantly walk into my class and smile. My soul friend in class noticed the change.

I even attempted driving again.

Adi and I roamed around using public transport (something I have badly wanted to do here). We ate out, we shopped. It was like those days when I wandered around on my own or with friends carelessly, not bothering about time, worries or money. It reminded me of those days when I was surrounded by friends, by people.

And when she left, she took away sunshine with her. Things became cold and lifeless again. I was left yet again with solitude and struggle.

If she hadn’t come, I would never have tasted that freedom, that happiness again. And I would have happily lived with what I was used to – solitude.

Maybe summer will arrive again. And arise a little flame within me with a tiny spark.

New From The Gym

Gym always sounded glamorous. ‘I go to the gym everyday’. How fashionable does it sound!

So, I finally joined the gym, which is right opposite my society and force myself to go there regularly.

I am the thinnest person there.

I am also underweight, low on BMI and muscle.

The ladies in their 40’s stare at me doing stuff.

There are some cute trainers but I feel intimidated by them.

Though initially I felt glad that I was the slimmest person around and used to sashay around the gym, I feel embarrassed when my arms look like sticks when I lift 2.5 kg (yes, 2.5 kg) weights.

When they make me pull and push all kinds of weights on those scary looking machines, I think joining the gym was not really a good idea.

They also hold aerobics sometimes, which I find more interesting that lifting weights but I am refused entry there because ‘you don’t need so much cardio since you are already…skinny’ (indicated by shaking a finger in air).

My workout schedule begins with the Treadmill, ends with the R Bike and consists of crunches, free weights and machines weights in between. By the time I near the end of the schedule, I am almost dragging myself to and on the R-bike and feel I can fall off anytime.

At times I feel awkward because I am sure I look very funny doing all those crunches and weights.

When I’m about to enter the gym, I take each step slowly, perform the actions of wearing my shoes slowly, hence delaying the act of entering into the main gym area and all the time, a voice screams inside my head – TURN BACK!! RUN!

There is a ‘macho’ guy, whom I find quite irritating, who lifts 80 kg and all with lots of noisy pomp that would divert the crowd’s attention to him.

I may try and postpone going to the gym but once there I enjoy the time there.

I like it better if any of the trainers in friendly and chatty with me. I feel less conscious.

The cute trainer, ‘I’ wasn’t pleased when I told him that I eat lots of chips, biscuits and chocolates and still don’t put on weight. ‘Ma’am (despite me telling him many times to call me by name), all that is just fat. You eat all this and then don’t feel hungry enough for proper food’.

I secretly hope I’ll make some friends there.

Aditi

I fought with her when she was 3. She wanted to see the things I had which she had never seen and touched before – lipsticks, pens, earrings. I shooed her away.

We went for long walks when she was 4. Her little fingers gripped my long fingers while she struggled to keep up with me. She looked wide eyed at all aunties and big kids who pulled her chubby cheeks and shied away when I asked her to say Hello to them.

I told her stories when she turned 5. Stories about my shopping trips, about college and things I saw during my daily travel home. She listened attentively with all the curiosity a child of her age can get. Her huge eyes sometimes glowed, sometimes danced as the stories excited her. She often presented me with a ‘card’ of sorts with her childish drawing and whatever she could write. I’ve treasured each of her cards till today.

I was always there to greet her when she was back from school after she turned 6. She ate from my hands while I told her Enid Blyton stories (The Treasure Hunters being her favourite). I put her to sleep and waited eagerly for her to wake up, after which I would get her ready, eat something and send her to the park to play with other kids.

We watched movies like Jumanji, Dunsten Checks In and Baby’s Day Out together when she turned 7. I teased her about the cartoons she watched like Pokemon and preferred watching Tom and Jerry with her. I still fed her with my own hands. The dreamy girl that she was, she roamed around the whole house getting lost in drawing on a cabinet or exploring a toy and I went around her wherever she went and kept putting food in her mouth.

She refused to do anything without me by the time she turned 8. She would go to the park only with me and sit with me. I went on the swings with her, took long walks and told her stories and bullied her while she laughed and got hiccups in the process. I became the only one who could make her eat or get ready or wash her face; she listened to no one else.

I felt like I was leaving behind a piece of my heart when I moved out of Bombay after her 8th birthday. I feared that she would forget me. She was a child after all; she had so many other things to entertain her and so many people who loved her. I visited her many times during the year, with a gift every time and her love for me only increased. On my visits, she didn’t like me going out to meet my friends. She hated them, in that way! She hated me giving time to my friends and parents / sister.

I took DIY projects when I went to meet her which we could do together. Quite an artist she was even at the age of 9. We tried spray painting and wax painting and spilled more paint on the floor than putting it to the right use. She still wanted to hear the Treasure Hunters story.

We were clearly obsessed with each other when she turned 10. She wouldn’t let anyone come near me and wanted my whole attention. She forgot the world and got lost in me. She was nearly as tall as me now and I could take her out on my shopping trips. Now that was fun. She behaved like an obedient girl and was fun too.

At 11, she became quite a loving, interesting and pretty girl. I loved each minute with her. We went away from home and shopped, ate and took photos. I totally pampered her with candies and books. I could see her become detached. She was a big girl and didn’t quite need me. This was disappointing and hurt me.

I was away at Surat to attend an interview a day before her 12th birthday. I remember her father (my uncle) calling my father and asking me to come for her birthday party. When my father asked if it was okay that I don’t attend, as my grandparents also wanted to meet me that time, Uncle said I was the most important guest and the party cannot happen without me. I’ve not missed a single birthday of hers since her 3rd birthday.

I shifted to Surat (ya, I got that job) and made friends here. My visits to Bombay reduced because I had so many things to do here and I was really happy. She wasn’t happy about this and demanded answers from me every time Aunt called me. She was 13 now and operating a mail id of her own (big girl!). I shared with her my new house pictures, etc. She understood every thing I spoke – about fashion, office, friends, home, boss – every thing. She had become a friend.

She turned 14 this year. She’s at least 2 inches taller than me. Has a bigger built. Clothes that don’t fit her are handed to me (ganji tees and short skirts and jackets). She is extremely generous and wants me to take all the good stuff she has. Our shopping expeditions continue; movies have got added. We laugh, do our nonsense gimmicks, buy and do things that make us happy and pamper ourselves . I tease her till she gets hiccups. Oh yes, and we do photo-shoots now. When I go to meet her, as my Nana says, she’ll forget the whole of Bombay!

She’s a big girl now. Somewhere, I still treat her like a 4 year old. I remember each and every moment with her. I remember the things she used to say, the way she used to laugh and her cute goof ups. I don’t know how much she adores me but I adore her like crazy. She’s probably the most important person in my life today and one of the best friends I have.

PS: She’s Aditi. My cousin 🙂

 

Random Thoughts

Work is really boring these days. There are some good phases (for reasons other than work) and horrible phases, too. Today, I am smiling a lot. Because I have got a start! My first ever article to get published on a public portal, that too under my own name. It’s a feeling of pride. I feel motivated and confident. And I have work to do now. My journey has begun.

Fighting the cold at work is quite a task. I am guessing the current temperature at my work place is 21 degree Celsius. The cold actually gets in your head. I have been getting a headache since the last 4-5 days. Not to mention the goose bumps. The AC room guy has stopped entertaining our request (read: orders) for increasing the temperature and has now begun to threaten us using the Factory Head’s name. It seems the sun is overly generous towards his cabin and these are his orders. To keep the temperature low, that is. Gosh. They want to kill us.

People around me can’t stop cribbing. I see everyone complaining around me. Someone has a problem in their pay slip. Someone can’t login on the employee portal. Someone wants some data from me. I really am not interested in any body’s problems. I really don’t feel any concern for them. What with the cold and my attention getting diverted towards reading and writing again and again, I find these complaining employees pests. Ok, their problems are genuine. Ok, I am the only one who can help them. Not the only one, the cursed one, rather. And sadly, it is my job to solve their problems. WHY IS IT MY JOB? WHY?

I registered on goodreads.com today with the name NS. Not because these are my initials, but because I am known as NS in my friend circle. I’ve always fancied having a nick name but never had one. How will I unless someone gives it me? Lovingly, maybe. Or just for fun, if not anything. Young girls often have an ‘outside name’ and a ‘home name’. Home names friendship_day_graphics_06are usually like Guddi or Sonu or Gattu ( I would have died if I had such a name). Or, short forms of their birth names like Ashu for Ashutosh. Some people go all the way to have 2 separate names as outside and home names. Maybe they had too many options of names and didn’t know which one to use. So they use one for home and one for outside. Alas, I had just one name which was too short to be modified into a nickname. And no one gave me a nick name – jokingly or lovingly. I feel happy now to have a nick name.

Guess who the latest popular pop star is – Justin Beiber. And not just among teenagers. Among workers, autowalahs and working class people too. A friend commented on FB that her auto guy was playing Justin Beiber. I see every other person’s ringtone being a Justin Beiber song. Well, good that Indians are going global but it really isn’t necessary to ape blindly.

I am back to the good old habit of reading. Had been unsuccessfully daring myself to begin Jeffrey Archer’s Only Time Will Tell since a month. I took the plunge on Sunday while coming back from home. I was determined not to touch the iPod and immersed myself in the book. Well, I developed interest in it. And read quite a bit of it yesterday (not without turning the pages randomly and reading the story ahead. Luckily, it wasn’t a spoiler; I can still read). It is still going to take some will power to continue with this habit and not give up (and not turn the pages out of impatience). Reading is a habit that one should never give up.