29 things in 2013

In the heaving throes of death that this year suffers, like every year past, between countless celebrations and goals and resolutions, despite many things and because of others, as is custom on the internet, this is what the passing year has been marked by.

1. My best friend nearly died and suffered from amnesia. He remembered only my name. He would repeat things from previous conversations and pretend to know well-meaning friends and relatives.

His world crumbled in a matter of days.
But I’m glad he has recovered and no longer needs Facebook to learn people’s faces from.

2. I entered the third year of my bachelor’s degree. I am officially overcoming the School Topping Wunderkid syndrome.

3. I started drawing/doodling again!

2013-12-22 14.49.38And surprisingly, makeup (makeup-ing?).
4. I deciphered the French braid! Holy gee, this is like the year of cosmetic achievements.

5. I learnt how to pack my stuff better.

6. I learnt how to fold t shirts in under 3 seconds.

7. I changed rooms this year and ended up living with two awesomesauce megacool sensible roommates. Nice kind people who share their things, share their day with you, pat your back when you cry and remind you not to buy that bag of chips cuz hey, sick tummy.

My previous roommates were a nightmare. Before I left the room to do anything, regardless of how long I’d be out, I locked everything up and hid my phone. I even locked my shoes in.
Oh nothing, just one of my roommates would walk off with a t shirt or flip flops without bothering to ask/inform me. And I love my shoes. What if she tried pushing her fat toes all the way inside?
Oh the grief that thought affords is too much. The other roommate got her brains stolen by a macaque.
Living with a dumb thieving idiot and an annoying (jealous?) another sure had its perks.

8. I’m learning to balance alone-time with a bit of people time.
The art of taking it easy, the value contained in solitary nothingness
I sometimes consider just telling people point-blank that I can’t stand too many people/chatter/movement around me. I need to be alone for some time or I turn into the crankiest person alive.

Someone wrote an article on problems introverts face here – bull’s eye, buddy.
9. But I ended up making some really good friends this year during  the model UN conference I’ve helped organize at an international school.
So there are these lovely babies from their IB department with whom I had a ball getting things done.

2013-08-19 16.03.52Then there’s the French teacher who’s actually Telugu but speaks such fluent French that he’ll knock the wind out of your lungs.He is skilled at googling recipes on mommy blogs online and treating me to lunch and tolerating shenanigans while letting exasperation slip through: I’ve heard ‘tu est malade mentale.’ fairly often, now.
If he sounds mean, that’s because he is.
Artist’s impression of the French teacher.
10. I started keeping a journal to note noteworthy things in.2013-12-30 18.13.01
11. I caught a cold in Bhubhaneswar. Again.
‘And you call yourself a dilliwalli? Boo.’

12. I started learning French!

13. Beginning this year, I take the books I read much more seriously; so instead of thumbing through the pages and petting my beard, I scribble all over the damn thing.14. I took more time out for myself. Time where I don’t have to yo-yo around about missing out something on the to-do list. (dangerously close to procrastination; haven’t we all been there?)

15. I started reading the manga for Bleach, Naruto Shippuden and One Piece. How did I live off anime before all this happened?

I shudder.

16. I’ve drink coffee like a madman. Enough to keep me awake for another year.17. I limited the time I spend on Facebook.

You don’t wanna know what happened after that.

I had a lot of free time.

18. I spent this year in introspection; what after I’m handed my degree? I always thought I’d be yet another one of those who sell their souls for money. It is a very flat, one-dimensional perception of employment; moreover, I spent time in newfound interests…

When we finally got down to something, which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him, you do that and forget the money, because, if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid. Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.

Alan Watts

I want to be more than just filthy rich.

There are three people I met in 2013 whose stories made me stop and think.

Shadab Hassan was a speaker at TEDxMasterCanteenSquare held on 21st April, 2013.
Shadab graduated from college and like everyone his age, applied for jobs. Then he received letters of acceptance which he kept with him as proof of his employability and set off to start a school in his village.His grandfather was a freedom fighter and as a result, the family often struggled to make ends meet. Shadab’s father would sell knick knacks in school and bought some flour with whatever he had earned. During summer, he frequented melas to sell stuff.

His father, Shadab related, never had a notebook to write in. He has always done his math in his head.
He is a professor at a college today.So when Hassan Junior made the decision to not hop onto the conveyor belt, Hassan Senior encouraged him to move forward because he knows how desperately he wished someone would give him a notebook.Shadab, for his part, has achieved astounding results with the school. When some of us met him after his TED talk, he showed pictures of his students and their academic achievements, their initiatives to keep the village clean and pictures from school functions with a touching, motherly pride.
He started out with a couple of thousand rupees and has today worked his way into giving children something to begin with.

Akram Feroz is a hitchhiking nautanki who does plays on the go. He also spoke at TEDxMCS. He travels all over the country on cycle and does plays for people.

Why would you DO that?
The last few months of everyone’s college life seem to be punctuated by the desire to travel, or braver: hitchhike.
But to do that for a living?
Akram shared a lot of stories with us and turns out he loves stories (just not reading them), when he came by in Bhubhaneswar.
IMG_1967Before we called it a day, three of us were sitting atop a mini hill, when I asked him why.
“Why hitchhike?” Doesn’t he want to settle down?
It makes me happy.
His answer was at once simple and confusing.
He then shared his story of how he dropped out of college and set out.His mother had sacrificed all that she could to give her children a respectable education.
“Don’t you want to earn for her and give her the comforts she has denied herself lifelong?”He had asked his mother what she wanted him to do, once.
And she only said, I want you to be happy.
That’s what I’m doing, then.
My French teacher completes the triad by topping off his undergrad degree in commerce with French learning from Alliance Francois. We’re talking middle class families where the pressure to earn without deviating from the mould is immense.These people are shining examples of being happy and moving with it. They could’ve chosen to follow the herd and clock in their nine-to-five hours. Instead of waiting for slaving away at something they didn’t like, they put in work where they wanted to and did a pretty inspiring job of it.

19. I skyped with a very handsome dog called Max.

20. I stopped making fun of people who listen to Linkin Park. Not EDM fans, not yet. It’s too early. I still find the idea of paying through your nose to see a firang bob up and down on stage with the devil’s horns to pre-recorded music highly ridiculous.

21. I finally faced my fears and accepted that Nichiren Daishonen’s Buddhism did not work for me. Undoubtedly, I refined my thought and principles in these four years.
I’m a proud Satanist.

22. I have greater tolerance towards pink.

23. I still get sugar highs. And caffeine highs.

24. This question has put to sleep the glowing embers of vengeance against those who dared to called anime mere cartoons.

While in Japan, anything that’s animated is called anime, the rest of the associated the word specifically with animation series from Japan.
But it just feels wrong to club two completely different under the same generic tag.
25. Certificates don’t matter. Eureka!

26. I’m getting better at saying no when it has to be said.

27. Internet usage down to twice thrice a week.

28. I speak much more clearly and slowly, thereby preventing deaths due to embarrassment per sentence in a given room.

29. Someone gifted me a website! 😀

Over to you, reader. Anything particularly awesome about 2013?

the internet remains the messiah with the pitchfork

I am dimly aware that by the time I finish writing this writhing, one-eyed toothless thing called a post, I will have to go back to The Tab That Shall Not Be Closed and enter my pseudorandomly-generated password to login for another session.

Two and a half hours into a novel form of bullying… I forgot. Anyway. For one, the reactions it has elicited from my friends is hilariously tragic.

One of my roommates is a recent manga convert. With the noose labelled ‘500 MB daily data limit’, how in hell will she catch up to me in One Piece? We’re talking about roughly 300+ chapters consisting of 25 pages on an average, each highly defined. As she grapples with this new problem, the threat of me unspooling her hopes by revealing the entire story looms large.

A data limit also means I can no longer watch this dog video when I feel shit. (i am amazed my French teacher was unfazed after watching this. A heartless man, indeed.)

Many will have to unwillingly curtail the hours spent on Facebook. No more selfies, no more status updates till you’re home, no more Comment Wars, no more stalking hot boys from other colleges. Is this what life will become for KiiT?

I’m not really complaining. Except I wish I could log in through my phone, because, you guessed it, NO MULTIPLE DEVICES.

Well, my first reaction?

So I pay a mini-fortune for the Wi-Fi only to have a puny data limit imposed on me? GEE THANKS. Continue reading