Tag Archives: sunday

Changes are good because…

Every time I come back from a break from home, I feel as if a new chapter of my life starts. The flights to and fro home give me ample time to ponder over my life and its priorities, and I see them most clearly when I am riding the airport bus from Kempegowda Int’l Airport to my part of the city.

I grew up in a small town. While my hometown has all the facilities of modern life, it also has a blanket of silence that wraps it with care. This time, I went out on several morning walks, amid the monsoon greenery, and I felt the silence more than ever. Durgapur is somewhere you can take a pause in life, recharge your batteries and go back to the busy life that you had been living.

Bangalore, of course, is big, and with it, comes the noise. And when I say noise, I don’t mean the traffic. My apartment is quite peaceful, I wake up to the calls of little birdies and I can see trees from my window. It’s peaceful enough. The noise that I am talking about is the ricocheting of thoughts in my mind. In Bangalore, I am always busy. I lead a small team of four at work and throughout the day, that consumes my mind-share. If I am not thinking about that, I keep thinking about the thousand other things I could be doing in my life other than working in the corporate sector, the amount of money I must save, what I should be cooking for lunch. Durgapur has my parents, I spent my childhood there. The noise of responsibilities of my life is somewhat borne by my parents in that tiny town, and if not, I can somewhat put a hold on that noise for the time that I am at home. Alone, lying in my bed in Bangalore, I have a harder time falling asleep – having no one to speak my mind as the thoughts come by the droves at night.

This time when I came back from home, I decided to make a few changes around the room. One of it is the arrangement of the bed. When I was younger, I always preferred sleeping on my side, close to the wall, so that I could feel its cold and find some support in the wall. My bed in Bangalore was placed such that my head would be towards the wall and not my side. Monday night (in fact, early Tuesday morning), as I lay rocking in my bed, unable to sleep, the noise in my mind too loud against the sleeping apartment, I decided to place it in this manner:

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The amount of white space that this arrangement resulted in the room instantly made me happy – somehow, this makes me feel better about this room. I keep thinking why I had not thought of it earlier.

There is another addition to my household. Say hello to Daisy:

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Aloe vera is a great medicinal herb and works like a charm on the skin. I have an oily skin which breaks out in acne once in a while. I brought this from home, my mother was sure the herb would survive the travel and end up growing. “It has a strong lifeline,” she says. Throughout the week, I was quite busy to plant it. Yesterday, I found some time to put it to a mug which has remained unused for the past 2.5 years. I don’t know if it will grow, but the leaves are still green. I guess we will find out. 🙂

Arpita ❤

All these free moving feet, yet, freedom is a rare luxury!

As I write this, I am listening to In the End by Linkin Park. “I tried so hard… in the end, it doesn’t even matter.”

I think it nicely summarizes how I feel right now. Sometimes, when are you in a truly calm state, when you are having a conversation with yourself, you think about the deeper issues which you do not discuss with anyone else. For example, why is there so much pain in the world? Is there God?

Sometimes, I wonder, is life a forward moving journey? As your cells age, as your cheeks wrinkle and greys appear in your hair, do you always move in a linear progression, moving on from one experience to the other, learning things? Or is it rather a game of snake and ladder? You are constantly trying to move ahead, but circumstances, situations, keep pulling you backward. You feel you are moving ahead, but all the while, you are probably regressing. You might reach that final square too, but only if you are too lucky.

The answer is both. There are simple mistakes that we make, things that we learn from and make the correction part of our lives. But there are other issues which are deep-rooted. Sometimes, we don’t even realize these are issues. We jump from one mistake to the other, like a deer caught in a flashlight, confused, scared.

But today’s post is really about freedom. Everyday, each one of us, move from point A to point B, our free feet taking us wherever we want to go physically. Yet, how many of us are truly free? How many of us left last night behind ourselves, as hopeless as it was, and decided to live today like it was truly a new day, without the accumulated baggage of our lingering past?

Everyday when I go to bed and cannot fall asleep, I crave for a freedom from the thoughts swarming in my mind. Thoughts which are like buzzing bees without a hive to go back to. Thoughts which just swirl up, digging up the past in a new light, giving new meanings to things that have happened, giving new intonations to conversations that are long lost in the silent chambers of the past.

Meanwhile, the LP guys scream, “I will break away, and find myself today…”

I really want to find myself, that free me, who does things as she likes. She who does not require validation from anyone. She who is not a slave of the past. She moves like the wind through the present without the worry of the future being another version of the past.

Someday. Someday!

First swimming lesson!

Yesterday, one of my flatmates, asked me if I would join her in the swimming pool. I don’t swim (not until yesterday) and my first response was, No! However, she was fairly convincing. After a while, I was like, why not? It’s a skill that I have always wanted to learn. It’s a lifesaving skill and a great form of exercise, something which I have been trying to do more of these days.

So, I dressed in a full body costume that my ex-roommate had left behind and went to the pool. Other than us, there were two boys – one of them was teaching the other how to swim.

I have been in water before. As a kid, we used to visit my maternal uncle’s place, which is by the side  of a river. We used to go bathing in the river every time we went there. Thrashing in the water, throwing water balls at each other was a favorite pastime. However, I would start screaming the moment my father dragged me deeper into the river, trying to teach me how to dip underwater. Not a favorite!

But thanks to him, I did get over that fear of water. I mean I am still scared of huge waves thrashing on the shores, but I am okay with a decent depth of water in the swimming pool.

So, my first lesson was learning to float. I have tried swimming as a kid in the river, but of course, I never got around to being able to float. I didn’t trust that the water could push my body up. I mean I am heavier than the water, right? Solving numericals using Archimedes’ principle is one thing, and to trust the water to help you float is something else altogether.

So, I was fairly surprised when I actually started floating, all about five to ten minutes in the water. All I had to do was let go of my body (my flatmate’s tips helped, thanks Shilpa!). In the beginning, I tried to keep my foot in the water, because, well, history. But then, as I started to let go, started to trust the water, I saw I was propelled up and soon I was floating horizontally in the water! Yay!

The second surprise came when, just by being still in the water, I felt that I was moving forward. Water currents, huh?! Amazing! So why not try a bit of propelling my hands to see if I could voluntarily swim? And voila, there I was, swimming half-way through the pool!

One trick that I was yet to learn in the pool yesterday as how to breathe while swimming. Shilpa couldn’t help either, because she is yet to learn it herself. So, I swam half-way through the pool, multiple times, coming back up to breathe midway.

I think the fact that I have been exercising helped me so quickly pick up the basics of swimming. Shilpa mentioned multiple times that she hadn’t seen a faster learner and that I did great for the first day.

After I came back, I watched multiple videos on swimming and I am dying to try out the tricks I learnt next weekend – or better yet, day after tomorrow! We have a holiday on Wednesday on account of Kannada Rajyotsava. Whoo-hoo!

Let me know in the Comments below if you swim, and what are your best tips to get better at it.

Until later, live healthy, eat healthy! ❤

The vortex of boredom

If you thought that the first few months after moving to a new city are the most difficult, you couldn’t be more wrong. Agreed, life is tough in the first few weeks. You are looking for places to stay, you are struggling to make acquaintances. You’d think that after the novelty is worn off, life would become simpler. let me tell you, it is far from that.

It’s been close to a year now that I am in Bangalore. I have had my fair share of travels within the city. I have shopped a bit, made a couple of friends. But the desolation that comes after having experienced basic lifestyle of the new city is more poignant than the first days’ experience.

After you have lived long enough in the new place, you know that you can’t go places every weekend. You can’t read books all your life. You can’t cook new things every other day. The hopelessness that draws you in is powerful. I have spent hours refreshing my Facebook feed, hoping to find something that would engage me for a few hours. That’s it! I am constantly looking for things to engage myself.

When I was in college, time was always short. There was so much to read, so many practical notebooks to fill. I was always struggling to keep up with the load of work. Here, into my first job, I no longer have a goal in my life. I don’t have tests to take (if you discount the tests I have to take to get a promotion). I have turned to a person who watches celebrity gossip on Youtube just to pass time.

In between, I was watching Satyajit Ray movies, trying to understand cinematography. After a few days, that phase left me. Now I find myself fighting an inertia to find a good movie to watch. My bigger difficulty is that once I lose interest in something, I find it hard to go back to it.

How do things come to this? How do you prevent mundaneness of everyday life from engulfing you? I try to do something new or the other once in a while, rotate my routine around to stay away from boredom. Sometimes, I just fall behind.

Anyway, here’s a little something I created yesterday. It is part of a series of micro-stories to be shared as images on my Facebook page and Facebook wall. I hope I will continue to do it from time to time.

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Do let me know you thoughts on the first micro-story. Your feedback, among other things, is what keep me going while I wade the thick, muddy waters of boredom.