Here’s an abrupt playlist for ya!

The WiFi is super fast at my library and I don’t want to put that to waste. So here are the ten best songs I listened to this year (does not mean that these songs were released in 2017) along with a pretty, complimentary  photo in the end. I’m immoderately jobless. Deal with it (pls). Let’s go from 10, shall we.

10. Phillips Phillips – Magnetic

9. The Strumbellas – Spirits 

8. Kodaline – Midnight

7. Imagine Dragons – Thunder

6. Vance Joy – Like Gold

5. Sid Sriram – Maruvaarthai

4. Mumford and Sons – Hopeless Wanderer

3. Imagine Dragons – Whatever It Takes

2. Eminem – Arose

1. Imagine Dragons – Believer 

That “pretty, complimentary photo” I told you about:

Eerily pretty.

 

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The Mandatory Year-End Post

Yet another great year comes to an end. It just whizzed past no? Feels like New Year was just yesterday!

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2017’s acceleration in a gif

Personally, twenty-seventeen was a splendid year. To number it, I saw legion movies (okay, exaggeration, I have absolutely no idea about the exact number of movies I saw but it was a good deal), I read 11 books, wrote (or came up with something hardly intelligible) on this blog and had an incredible, unbelievable year as a Rafa fan! Everything has a dark side to it, Twenty-seventeen’s dark side had gruelling lessons for me. Well, everything is fine with gulab jamuns no! And and and one of the highlights of the year, my annoying neighbor moved to America (to meet his American doppelganger Trump. Nah, just kidding, his son needs someone to babysit his newborn but that doesn’t make the former irrelevant) and only God knows when he will return to counsel all the kids in the neighborhood with his half-baked ideas and funny idiosyncrasies. Oh shucks! Now he will give anecdotes from his American trip which I am sure is as nutty as his half-baked ideas. Rantings and speculations aside, I had pleasant occasional weekends at home this year; kudos to the neighbour’s grandson who needed to be babysat.

Highlighting some stuff that definitely brightened up my Twenty-seventeen:

1) Humans of New York: The Series (click on this if you’re planning on watching it and don’t worry, it opens up in a new tab)

HONY Series are manifestly beautiful, the I am not crying, my eyes are just sweating kind of beautiful. The cinematography, the painstaking rawness of humans and ingredients such as candour and reality of what life really is makes the video series so awe-inspiring. I kid you not, I’ve seen each episode (consists of 15-19 minutes) at least three times. Please watch it. I’ll say it over and over. I’ll do ctrl c + ctrl v. Please watch it Please watch it Please watch it Please watch it. It will change you as a person and the way you perceive a person. It changed me. In fact, it does more than just changing you.

 

2) Rafa Nadal.

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Should I say more?

 

3) Final Year of my Under Graduation (another semester left but stilllllll!!)

It does not feel like that at all! Oh god, I know I was supposed to be more responsible, sleep less than the 14/24 I am doing now and actually do productive stuff. The thing with me is, I don’t how many of you can relate, but say I have around 80 pages of reading to do for the exam in say twelve hours, I get past four pages (not kidding) and I am overwhelmed by this feeling of comfort that I’d be able to cook up any answer with the four-page knowledge. So I fire up my laptop, pick a movie I’ve seen a million times and watch it again. At the morning of the exam, I rummage my suitcases and another set of bags for the bunched up photos of deities that my mother neatly put in a plastic Macy’s bag (God’s don’t deserve Nilgris bags ya. Only Target, Walmart or Macy’s in this case according to mother). After frantically searching, I find Macy’s eventually every time and pray fervently. From next exam onwards I will study properly. Please (do ctrl c + ctrl v 10 times) help me just this time, God. Pls. So apart from desperate moments like this, Twenty-seventeen was just fine.

 

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Dodging walking away from responsibilities like

 

Actually, lots of stuff made this year better like Eminem’s Revival, good movies such as Dunkirk, Lady Bird, shows that lightens you up; Master of None (for one) and more drolleries like the Indian Politics. Many acquaintances were made, I met a very close friend of mine after 3 years and 300 plans, a childhood friend/almost neighbour after around 8 years and this year had a melancholic side to it too, I lost two of my uncles; one to cancer and another to a cardiac arrest. Greener grass on one side means a darker patch on the other right? But looking on the bright side globally, women came out, spoke up, and took what is rightfully ours that is dignity and respect. Now people are kinder, more caring and considerate. We Millennials (or 90s kids) might not be a romantic at heart (yes, we’ve divested your art of letter writing, there are no more flowers or men don’t take ages to ask out a girl) but at least eighteen-year-olds don’t get married anymore, there are more graduates than ever, people help, judge less, overlook differences and we embrace. We love without conditions, without rules. Yes, we pick dogs and pizza over people but we have the right reasons for it. So here’s to 2017, a year of possibilities.

*mic drop*

And for 2018, I have a quote to start with:

“Hope
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
― Alfred Tennyson

 

56

[This was written for a descriptive writing contest.]

Cars sped at sixty kilometers per hour, two-wheelers whizzed past; driven by people always in a hurry, cyclists rode by with huge baggage tied to their carrier with a rope of coir, dense trees in a shade of deep olive green passed by in blackish-green streaks, people were bustling here and there doing this and that, ladies inspected good vegetables for an insect bite or a squelched dent on the potatoes and tomatoes and broke off the pointy tips of the ladies-fingers in the prospect of bargaining the vegetable prices from the vendor, slouched school children stood in the neatly pressed uniforms (it was a Monday after all) overstretching their overweight school bags’ straps waiting for their bus, waiting like the words of a pen.

My forehead rattled against the iron bars of the no. 56 bus to Siruvani. I’d been on this bus numerous times, mostly overstretching my overweight school bags’ straps clinging on to the steel rails with their steel smells until someone got off the overcrowded bus. And then I’d sit on the newly vacant seat and doze off on the overweight school bag, shored up on my lap. Later I’d take the same bus, during weekends, when I came home on two-day holidays. I’d get on it, on the dot of daybreak, buy the eleven rupee ticket (where the one rupee change is a must) and again doze off, like an unsung ritual with a longitudinal cheap translucent paper strip of pale blue: 11 rupees and a list of all the bus-stops written below the fare in Tamil, clenched in my palms which would be wet by sweat by the time I got off at my stop.

Traveling on a bus is a no biggie, at least the buses that took my route. They weren’t jam-packed, even if they were; they were during rush-hours, when people got off work and when children got off school. Mornings were different; I was returning from my grandparents’ place and took the 10am bus. Usually buses are super-free in the morning after the school kids are put away behind the school gates and working-people are put away behind their office gates, maximum of five or six passengers would be there, apart from the driver and the conductor with an unknown song playing in the quondam stereo over which the passengers spoke loudly, topics pertaining to politics, vegetable rates, household matters with a perpetual expression of shock and faux involvement. Sometimes the conductor would join in the conversation, leaning on steel rails with his brown, coin-bag slung across his torso and responding to the conversation in stochastic bursts of derisive laughter.

Coimbatore has a cordial weather, even when the sun scorched, it never parched. It felt good instead, like the vacuum band of warmth between the surface of a woollen sweater and the skin during a winter night. The heat never bothered anyone; it was just there like a ball of cotton in the sky, giving enough sunlight for photosynthesis, for clothes to dry and for red chillies on the terrace to sear. The slender outline of the hills with Kerala on its other-side traveled along 56, to the left and the hills we went towards, Velingiri, with its set of seven breathtaking hills covered with sacred ash, thirunur and the Siruvani with its sweet, crystal water on the foothills laid out in front of us, 56 took us closer to it, with every meter its diesel covered.

The panorama commuted from loud dynamics of crowded bus-stops with saree clad women buying fresh fish, men dressed in baniyans and lungis unloading cartons and gunny bags from mini-tempos and Matadors, trudging to the provision stores, a Race Course filled with people desperate to lose weight, a Town Hall filled with businessmen who took  frequent tea breaks with a bajji or a bonda or both. More people got off on their stops, lesser people got on the bus. When the bus, stopped at Perur Patteeswarar temple, some in the bus folded their hands, bent down the necks, tapped their palms partially on both sides of their cheeks as an act of redemption, a habit that took 30 seconds. The urban constituents of concrete, people and chaos thinned out after Perur.

Plantain plantations covered one side of the road, the other side was filled with corn crops and an Aavin milk factory. Occasionally a stretch of tall coconut trees would appear, perched on laterite accompanied by the coconut-farm owner and his affluent mansion, an Audi or a Skoda parked right behind the closed, beautifully contrived gates. A ten to fifteen-minute drive down this idyllic route will get you to my humble abode. 56 carried the gossipmongers who spoke loudly over the unknown Tamil songs, coconut-farm moguls and grandchildren returning from their grandparents’ place. The coconut-farm moguls took out their Cars, bought out of coconut-money and sons’ earnings from America, only to crowded events such as weddings, to name one. Trivial matters such as going to Town did not call for the Car or the cost of diesel that came with it. They counted in coconuts. If they had spent thousand rupees on filling the car fuel-tank, they would account it as fifty coconuts. Why spend fifty coconuts on going to Town in a Car when you can go and return at the cost of just on coconut by 56? I get off soon after the Perur temple, way before the whole stretch of coconut, palm (they come later on, as the weather gets cooler and close to the Seven Hills) farms come to an obscure end. 56 stops off at the small (but enough) bus stand. After a ninety minute respite, they hark back from the coconut-farms to the ever engaged concrete domain. But the same dulcet weather remains same throughout, impartial.

 

 

boulevard of broken things

How did these small, colourful spokes get inside? I give the thing a shake. The bluish, soapy liquid moves here and there, flowing over the glossed, vivacious spokes that kind of resembles those seaweeds and algae you find in oceans. I place the two big, spread out air bubbles on the surface of what seems like faux Mediterranean corals. There are a few starfishes stuck to the bottom. I try to get the air bubbles laid on them now but the bigger coral deflects that from happening. The bubbles and the liquid jaunt aimlessly. How did these get inside? Didn’t the liquid splash when they were trying to make this thing? Why aren’t there any other fishes when there is a mini ocean in here? I try to look through the thing, squinting hard. The reflexion is blurred, like a mirage, swaying and trembling at the same time.  I want to know if those corals are real and if the liquid is as slimy and shiny as it appears. Argh, this is too much. I cannot resist this temptation. That’s precisely why it’s called temptation. Is the door locked? I check the thing again, it feels so cool against my own flushed palms, its surface is so damn smooth. I press it to my cheeks and close my eyes. I’ve had enough.

Curiosity killed the cat. In a parallel backdrop, curiosity made a girl break and smash every paperweight she saw. It is true, I guess – you break the things you love.step0001 (1)

Ants, Ranting and a Poem

What I said was wrong, mom.

Every time I said I wanted to leave home

I was wrong.

Hostel sucks.

My room is such a mess

I’d have to fuss

About it

But I just don’t care because

It would never be like mine back home

There are ants every where

In my jar of sugar, they’re about to get into the coffee

How do I make them go away?

I’ve drawn Lakshman Rekha in rangoli patterns

On the shelves, on my trolleys, suitcases,

Cartons and big-shoppers, even books

I’ve sprinkled some powder that the security gave

“The ants will be gone in a day” he said

Nothing went, but followed in a fit of sneezes

And a headache

How come our kitchen never had these many ants, mom?

Would you let me in on your anti-ant secret?

I wipe, sweep (okay, once in a while) and dust

But the moment I turn the other way

To wipe the sweat off my forehead

The dirt

The pile of ugly, entangled hair comes

Rollin’ in like they were never tossed in,

In to the dustbin

Even the dustbin is never clean, mom.

I leave the dishes untouched for weeks

At least until the next time

I scrape up a barely edible bowl

Of noodles or corn flakes

Or a cup of coffee

But until then the rims of the cutlery

Turn dry and impossible to wash

What do you then, mom?

I have an idea.

Write me a book, a novella

On how to maintain a room,

Beat up a cockroach when it turns up at the middle of the night

When I’m trying to cram Phillips’ Curve,

What should I do when the uncooked noodles

Gives me a stomach ache,

How to keep the swept dust from making a run,

Fold clothes in a way that they look pressed

Or accurately ration my washing powder

I think I reek of soap nowadays

And, mom, how do I stop missing home?

It would save us a lot of phone calls too

Wouldn’t it?