Bangalore to London


You only get scared of the giant wheel till you are on it, after that it’s a fun ride you will never forget

Well, well…this is evidently a long pending post that is almost four months late. But I should say it’s in time to greet the Chinese Year of the Dragon. Anyway, after much procrastination and some tough decisions (like deciding not to make my blog a travel diary) I have moved my lazy ass to sit down and write a post for ‘2012’.

First things first, I am not writing from Bangalore, the city which was my home for the last three years and which drove me so damn nuts that I created a blog diary The Color Purple (which thou art reading at the moment) to share my inner most depressed thoughts with the unsuspecting public. :p I am also not writing from my family home in the little beach town Udupi on the west coast of Karnataka where I spent the first 21 years of my life and took refuge from the madness of the world now and then. I am writing from Kingston upon Thames, a borough of London in the far away island of United Kingdom.

I am no longer a workaholic Public Relations professional or a financially independent ‘Fire-brand’. I am a student dependent on parents for pocket money. I no longer live in a cramped rented 1BHK house in Bangalore with a half crazy roommate, filling my lungs with nicotine while pounding out blogs and stories to de-stress. I am writing sitting in my own cubby hole of a study-bedroom with no way of filling my lungs with nico while I write for fear of setting off the fire alarm. I no longer write to de-stress, instead I write full time as apart of my Creative Writing course.  How life changes doesn’t it?

Flashback to January 2011. Overworked. Stressed out. Neurotic. Grumpy. Depressed. You get the drift. That’s when this great idea finally crossed my mind. I thought, “why not go back to University and complete my education? How about doing my Post-grad? I could do with a break right? I had to get that all-day-smile my friends oh so missed back on my face”. It sounded like a great plan and the research began over Kingfisher-Strong powered late night online sessions. A plan emerged, only to be cut short by the family astrologer (to whom my well meaning mother relays every event in our lives) who said I should drop any such plans. After much motherly emotional drama- which every Indian mother worth her salt would approve of- I decided to drop the plan. Well family comes first right?

February and March zipped by and I continued with the banal existence. Then the heavens opened up and sent me a divine message. It was April and I was in the middle of a lead-up meeting to the annual review session at work, sitting across my Boss and was fielding some googlies meant to see how ready I was to take on more responsibility when I was asked this oh-so-irritating question, “Where do you see yourself 10 years from now”? And guess what happened? First time in the three years in that company I was tongue-tied. I did not know what the heck I should answer. No I did not want more responsibility, not even a promotion or a raise. I wanted to be as far away from the profession as possible, I wanted to do something I had lately realised I was born to do. I wanted to write. God It was such a revelation! And that is when I changed my mind. Astrologer or no astrologer, I was going to write full time and I was going to fine tune my writing with a Post-Grad writing degree. The rest was not so easy but eventually it did fall in place. TG!

Strange are the ways of the world. The two people who propped me up through the next few months of mad applying to Universities, arranging finances, battling chicken pox and emotional meltdowns were my mum and my Dad. My Amma’s motherly love overtook beliefs in astrology and she decided to trust in God and help me through the last-minute-applying madness. So here I am, a Science group student who did an Undergrad degree in Journalism (thinking it was her true calling till she actually got into a newsroom and hated it), who stumbled upon Public Relations by chance and put in three years of her life trying to like it and finally was enlightened belatedly that all the while what she thought was a hobby was indeed her passion. WRITING, the ever-so-slippery eel of a calling that dawns on so many people so late in life. (I have a few 50+ year olds in my class and many in their post 30’s.)

So now that I know what I want to do in life am I happy? Well…let me put it this way: – I can’t complain. LOL 😀 I don’t work long hours (though I am hunting for a part-time job), I get to write whatever I want to, whenever I want to, I am writing a novel which is much loved in class, I get to meet some great people and explore a whole new culture that is Britain, I intend to travel through Europe and am getting to learn and do things that I never thought I would. (Aww my…my…that’s an awfully long sentence.) So you see I can’t complain. 😀

All said and done there is something to following your passion. (Amir Khan might have tried hard to convey this message in 3 Idiots but I don’t see any change in the ‘IT world aspiring robots’ of our country.) Following your passion can put a smile back on your face,  bring lightness to your steps, gives you a sunshine attitude that rubs off on people around you and a purpose in life. And money, you ask? Well I don’t know, but if we are happy with what we are doing we will figure out the money part somehow isn’t it? At least, that’s what I think and I want to give my belief a chance. Right or wrong, time alone can tell. After all like a wise guy once said “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

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Of life, revelations & kahaani mein twists


Every living soul goes through at least one life changing moment in which a revelation strikes like a thunderbolt, out of the blue, giving that moment in which the mind is suddenly crystal clear. For some great souls like Budha if the moment spells enlightenment of the greater mysteries of life, for lesser mortals like you and me it can as well be a “What am I doing in life?” kind of observation that when answered could lead to interesting kahaani me twists.

I had this “What am I doing in life?” question dawn on me exactly three years ago as I sat under a tree (No not Peepal tree) in a densely forested park near the famed Bull Temple in Bangalore. I had just graduated from Journalism school, was unemployed, was in search of my true calling and was living in a dingy PG in Bangalore to escape questions from family and friends back home.

There was no drum roll, no bolt of lightning, it just happened- a stream of bird shit dropped on me as I sat under that tree, free of responsibilities and questions. One moment I was hopping angry, the next I was asking myself what was I doing under that tree in the first place, what was I doing in life? That is when I answered it with- Nothing!

The nothing seemed so disgusting to me, I almost puked. I decided then and there that I was not going to squander away my life doing nothing. I walked back to the PG, made a few calls to friends asking them to refer any jobs in the media & communication field and made that one decision in my life that has been game changing to say the least. I have never sat doing nothing since then.The bird shit did it!

I had another one of the thunderbolt revelations a few months ago. It was bang in the middle of running hitching up my sari down a high security venue to be inaugurated by the Prez of India seconds before the Presidents convoy reached the spot. Spectators were confused, police befuddled and I hoped the earth would open up and swallow me. It is and I hope will remain my biggest goof up ever. But the point is, as my limbs were in action my brain had that moment of clarity. The “What the Fuck have I done?” observation. I answered it with “utter shit”. That’s it! I swore I will never take ANY undue risks in life and that I will think twice before moving a limb. Sigh! Hope the plan works. I do not want an encore of the Prez-wala incident. Brrrr…

So there it is folks, the secret of game changing decisions- the one moment of clarity, THE revelation. When you do get that one moment, grab it with both hands, it’s like orgasm, it’s wonderful while it lasts.