The Transformation

Till date, the most memorable and cheerful period of my life was my school days. When I say school days, its the quoted period from my V standard to X. This was the time I enjoyed the most - the most with my friends.

My life would have been different if I hadn't joined St. John's School, Kayamkulam. When I first went there to give my admission test, I wasn't happy with the appearance of the school. Small classrooms without fans and lights, but large windows and doors, unhygienic bathrooms, no football grounds, or basketball courts. I missed my previous school when I saw all these things. I knew not how I was going to adjust over there.

My first day at school was terrible. When I entered the V standard classroom, all were staring at me as at an alien. For the first few days it was so. But things began to change gradually. I gained a few friends, started liking the whole place, and looked forward to attending my classes. The only dissappointing part was that I had to stay in the hostel. In the evenings, I watched all the children leave for home eagerly and I left to the hostel.

As time passed I had become more attached to my school and friends. Made a few good friends and one best friend (it was the concept - best friend must be only one :-)). I also had a few 'enemies' in class - a group of girls I disliked. Till VII it continued the same way. When I reached VIII, I became a day scholar. Started traveling by bus to come to school. Made a lot of friends that way. And by this time, my 'enemies' had becomes my best friends. We formed a gang and had lots of fun together. Extra classes, tuitions, bunking, being rebel, outings, we enjoyed everything. Three years passed so quickly that we weren't happy when our board exams started. Most of them would be going to different schools. I was also sad when I knew that we would be splitting up. But I was atleast happy that I would continue in my good old school for the rest two years. Some friends would remain. I cheered up. We could keep in touch and meet once in a while. Morover all stayed somewhat near.

It was only when my exams started I came to know that my parents had something else in store for me. I was lost without hope. They were planning to take me abroad to my old school in Muscat. I had mixed feelings. Finally I thought maybe this will be better for me. After my exams, I left with my mom reluctantly. I had no other option. I couldn't plead as there would be none with whom I could stay over here.

Once I reached Muscat, everything changed. In those days I wasn't so comfortable staying with my parents because it was after a long gap of six years. Even I had no friends over there. Most of the time I was sad. As usual I couldn't enjoy the present and was still living in the past. Three months passed the same way. Atlast my parents, understanding my thoughts, decided that I was to be sent somewhere else. And hence I reached Udaipur, to stay with my brother, uncle, aunt, and cousins. Now I was a bit fine. My parents also came there within an year. It was sort of a get-together feeling always. All together. Things were turning out good. But I couldn't overcome the hurdles in getting friendly to my mates in school. That was the worst part. I just made three good friends. Still it was better than being in Muscat. After completing my schooling I was back in Kerala. What a relief! I met my good old friends and was really happy.

But in this whole process something within me changed. Don't know whether my assessment is correct, but now I am not that comfortable being with unknown people. Making friends now takes a long time. But my old friends remain closest to my heart.

The Trivandrum British Library

The British Library at Trivandrum was one of my favourite hang-outs in the city for a period of 3 years. I became a member of the library in 2004. I made several re-thinkings on whether to join the library or not, simply because the membership fee was Rs. 600. Whereas to join the Public Library or University Library, one needed only an amount within Rs. 300. After several calculations and budget revisals, I became a member of the British Library. In those days, I was still doing my graduation and 600 Rs meant a lot. The ambience was the aspect which attracted me the first. After being to the college and university libraries, where the racks, books, and reading rooms were not cleaned for years, British Library was a welcoming one and indeed looked like a library.

The first day, I wandered around all the sections and finally borrowed three fictions. In the beginning, I found it difficult to adjust with the library. The period for which a book could be borrowed was two weeks, after which it was to be renewed. I usually lost track of the date and ended up paying huge amounts in the form of fine. But gradually I picked up the habit. I started gaining a lot more interest in reading. I always made it a point to visit the library twice or may be thrice a month. I started loving the place.

The following years when I had to renew my membership, I never gave it a second thought. Even after finishing my graduation, I was in the city and frequently visited the place. The British Library was the place from where I picked up the habit of reading intensely. I never borrowed the CDs, browsed through the kid's section, or used the internet connection over there. Always felt there was lot of time left for that. But alas, they closed it down... :-( This was something that hurt me the most.

I would say that it was one of the few libraries in Trivandrum which maintained all the aspects of a good library - the ambience, a wide collection of books, friendly staff, etc. It was really bad that such an institution had to be shut down. My membership has expired and I have moved out of the city. Need to look out for the British Library over here!

I'm not loving it...

The moment I reached Bangalore, I started feeling a sense of loss. Though I was happy and looking forward to exploring the city and working at the new place, I really missed something. It took a few hours to dawn on me that I was missing nothing but my life itself. The moment I reached here, everything had changed. My workplace, my stay, my weekends, my outings, my friends, everything. But I tried to be happy. Afterall I had no option than to adjust over here. I liked the house we were to stay in, but not the location. I liked my new office, but I missed my previous one. I liked the new friends also, but badly missed my very own ones. Somehow I couldn't find the city interesting. I wasn't fascinated or interested in the life style. I didn't want to accept anything over here. For each and everything I compared it with what I had a few days back. And I knew that was the root cause. None would agree with me that Bangalore is not good. But I have a deep rooted liking for Trivandrum and my past five years over there that I am not able to adjust over here.

The only one I could blame was myself. It was my choice. Now I am here and can't go back. Knowing all these facts I try to love the place and my life. But I still haven't come with terms to it. I still love those days I spent in Trivandrum. I would say that it is a great city (its my view .. :-)). I loved the places. I was so familiar with all the roads and streets there, and here I don't know anything beyond my home, office, Madiwala, and the Forum Mall.

I loved the way I waited eagerly for the Fridays to arrive so that I could go home. I loved the Mondays when I used to wake up with Monday sickness. I loved the journeys to and fro. I loved my PG accommodation. I loved the Technopark and the restaurants there. I loved my office. I loved the city and everything about it. I just feel like crying out loud.

Now I find nothing great in my life. Work on the weekdays. Be at home on the weekends. That's it. Believe me, that's my routine from the past three months. And I have no idea as to how long I am going to continue with this!

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall...

Last Wednesday something happened in my life. I was on my way home on my two-wheeler. I was thinking about reaching home, cooking, washing, ringing up a friend, taking the left turn on the road, and there I go. Instead of going left, I go down. It happened all so suddenly that I wasn't really aware what and how. All I knew was that I was falling and people were watching. Also let me tell you it wasn't only an embarrassing fall. It was painful also... :( The moment I opened my eyes I thanked God that I was wearing my helmet. Only He knows what would have happened otherwise. I was lying on my left side and my kinetic on me. Somehow I managed to raise myself a bit, but couldn't do it any further. People gathered from all sides. Somebody helped me stand up and took me to the side and another brought my vehicle along. I really didn't know what to do. I was very much confused. Just wanted to flee from there, but I was feeling dizzy.

Somebody brought me a jug of water and somebody lent me a handkerchief to wipe the blood from my elbow. They offered to drop me home, if I was not in a position to drive. I refused it very kindly. I was so grateful to them for being so kind and not using harsh words as some would. They just inquired what had happened. I was not allowed to go until five minutes. They asked me to wait for five minutes and leave. Finally, I thanked them all and left.

Now I was really scared to ride my bike. What if I fall down again? My knees had started to bleed and the whole body was aching and paining. The whole way, people were staring at me and my vehicle. A girl riding a shattered kinetic. That was when I realised that the panel encasing the head lamp and indicators had come out and was hanging. Somebody in the crowd had been kind enough to tie it with ropes so that it didnt fall off completely. Somehow I reached a workshop near my home, only to find a small boy over there. The mechanic had gone out. I waited there half an hour. My knees and elbows hurt and my upper lip was swollen (I have no idea how that happened). When I was tired of waiting I left my vehicle there, gestured to the boy and left. Dont wonder why I only gestured to him. I had tried a lot to make him understand that the vehicle was to be repaired and to inform the mechanic I'll call him up. I was not successful. He understood something not everything what I said. He didnt know English, Tamil, Malayalam, or Hindi. Only Kannada. And I didnt know Kannada... :(

I limped my way back home. I had just filled in one and a half litres of petrol. The mechanics over here have a good reputation of taking out petrol when the vehicles are given for repairing. I had no option than to leave it there (The guy wasn't that bad, he had taken out only a little bit of it). I limped for 20 mins and reached home. To my dismay, I found the door locked. My brother was not at home. And the spare key I had, was with that of the kinetic. I didnt take it. I waited for another 30 minutes in front of the house. Finally, my brother came and I could get in the house. I was so relieved when he didnt scold me... :)

I checked the wounds - four good scars on the left knee, one on the right, a few scars on the left elbow, a cut on the foot, one on my upper lip, and a few places on the legs and hands were dark blue in color. This is what I got from the fall... :(

All it takes is a little while, and interest!!!

Hey, I am very glad making this post!! You know why? I’ve started cooking! I have tried a few dishes. Though most of them were flops, I am glad that I am finally making something. And not to forget, a big thanks to my brother on whom I am experimenting all these.. ;-)

The first day, as usual, I started with dishes I already knew. So, no much comments on that. Then I tried my hands on chicken curry. Ghhh… Wish I knew how much chilli powder to add. The fry was ok. Parippu, I have really become an expert in that. But, as said, my overconfidence failed me yesterday. The water I added was in excess.

Next, fish curry. I made fish curries with two varieties of fish. One was very thick and the other was very sour. Again a big flop. In between, there were side dishes which were okay. Raw banana thoran was something I liked very much. But to my disappointment, my brother didn’t. I fed him one spoon forcibly. Meanwhile, for breakfast, I prepared appam and egg curry, dosa and coconut chutney, egg noodles, and so on. Mind it, I didn’t buy the instant mix of dosa and appam. I made them on my own. Those were good.

Last day I tried preparing caramel custard, which was the biggest flop. 3 egss, half litre of milk, 1 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of custard powder, and of course the cooking gas – all gone waste.

My successful recipe list includes carrot burfi, fruit custard, chicken mughlai (I bought the instant mix.. ;)), chicken fry, scrambled egg, noodles, mango milk shake, and a few items more.

And today, I am planning to prepare a dish from beetroot. My bro has informed me in advance that he doesn’t like beetroots.. In the coming days, I also plan to try my hands on mushroom and paneer. Hope it works out fine.