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.


New Girl In The City

I know…I know…the title seems jane pehchani si…! (For your info it is from the movie Wake up Sid). But wait a moment, there is little connection between this blog of mine and Konkana Sen’s character’s column in Wake up Sid except for the fact that both are expressions of our impressions in a new city. I liked the title and I have kept it…as I have done on many occasions, after all we live in a free country!

In my case the city involved is Bangalore or Jamaluru as a publication recently called it. This series will ramble on about me coming to Bangalore-from a small town-with eyes set on big dreams-taking up an unlikely job (at least that is what I thought then)- living in a crowded PG in a nondescript neighbhourhood- the loneliness involved – making new friends – setting up a house in the city etc etc….

The main point : I will cherish this one and a half years of my independent life in the city as some of the sweetest times of my life. Looking back at how I started on this wild journey, I can still recollect the sting of the home sickness that I felt on my first night in Bangalore. Not that I had never stayed away from home till then. In fact I had lived on my own in Bangalore for several months and in other cities for varied points of time.

But this was the first time I had left home with the full knowledge that now the home where I was brought up would be limited to only occasional visits whenever time permits. It was like I had left my home for good to establish a new one in this strange, bustling city.

Sept 14, 08: I very well remember standing in the balcony of the PG which I had just joined, my eyes swollen with unshed tears, watching a Ganesha procession go by, wondering how I would go by living a life shorn of the umbilical cord connecting me to my parents! I remember praying for strength and resilience from the slowly moving Lord. Little did I realize then that my prayer that had indeed been heard was to be fulfilled very slowly; testing me all along the way.

Sept 14, 09: I was on the eve of completing one year of my living in Bangalore. Strength- check. Resilience- check. I had indeed come of age.

The one year had seen me facing many ups and downs. The worst and the most influential being a lack of companionship in Bangalore. Colleagues remained just colleagues! They were far removed in their own personal lives to take note of the loneliness of a pompous fresher in office. Those 2 who actually did left my immediate vicinity for good very soon.

Every weekend passed by with me desperate to get out of the 4 walls of my cramped room in the PG, but not being able to for lack of people to hangout with. (Yes…being in my tweens I consider ‘Hanging out’ as the ultimate fun in the world). It didn’t help matters that every Monday people came back to office with stories of where they partied, hung out or enjoyed the weekend. The frustration was frustratingly frustrating! I put in more and more hours at work. It paid off professionally but personally-I was still holed up within 4 walls!

And then it happened! My 2 long standing roommates moved out of the PG. my world came crashing down! It was then that I realized that these 2 people had been making my life livable amidst all my angst though I hadn’t realized it then. Fine they didn’t hang out with me, but they were always there, come what may, providing consistency and emotional support all throughout.

Then began my life of a lonely, temperamental, work loving shopaholic. I worked my ass off on weekdays and spent and shopped with a vengeance on weekends- alone! In the process making fewer and fewer friends.

Then came the boon, an answer to my prayers. I found friendship and camaraderie in 3 people as varied as the 3 poles of the earth. There has been no looking back since then. Moving out (or rather being half chucked out of the PG we stayed in), setting up a house by ourselves, making it a home- have all been a dream come true. Added to this was the arrival of a dear college friend in Bangalore. This is what I call the “denewala jab bhi deta deta chappad phad ke” factor.

The new girl in the city had truly arrived-adventures, fun et al. Now the wait is on for that factor in my life that will fill the other void in my soul- a soul mate for keeps. It is my belief that god has a way of granting our wishes in his own sweet time. Who knows…maybe the sun will shine down on me again very soon!