Bout of nostalgia

Annesha’s latest mix made me listen to the Gangs of Wasseypur soundtrack again. Right now I have ‘Womaniya’ blasting through my ears, and I want so, so badly to be back in Cal, on that day when I first watched the movie. That morning we reached Forum nearly three hours too early, crammed into the metro with a hundred other jostling, sweaty bodies. I was afraid that there was going to be a lot of awkwardness with someone who was there because of drunken antics that had happened a little while ago. There was no real awkwardness, and our motley assortment of people wandered Elgin Road searching for Crossword, taking the longest route possible. I remember sitting on the top floor with said person and looking out at this gigantic hoarding of Shahrukh Khan advertising some sort of vest(?) that bordered on the obscene. We were listening to these new-ish old songs and sharing a bowl of something or the other that was not enough for a single person, but we had no money. We kept getting the song names right, and then we wanted to look at the CD that was playing but the manager very firmly told us that it was against the rules. He took it out and let us stare at the CD cover though- lurid pink hearts and all. Then we walked back to the movie, and the Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi theme song began, and then the rest of the utterly brilliant movie followed. I was blown away by a Hindi movie after a long time, and when we staggered out into the sunlight, we were wobbly on our legs, and I was starving, but still broke so Chandrima fed me some sort of egg-fry thing from the roadside vendor on the footpath opposite Forum. It was delicious and then Squg turned up, glasses and all- and we debated for a long time where to go adventuring. Finally we let our stomachs guide us, and stopped at Sharma’s because K wanted kochuri and puri of which I stole some. Then A did his impression of Arunava which was incredibly spot on, and I laughed, and then I felt guilty for laughing, but it was all in good fun, so I laughed some more. We were back to wondering what to do next, and then someone started chanting ‘momos, momos’, so we started walking to the Metro Station to get to Denzong’s. I remember walking down the Gujarati part of the city for the first time and I was doing my usual thing, stopping to take pictures of cars, and saying ‘Byeee’ to random passersby on the street. Squg and I didn’t know each other as well back then, and she was torn between amusement and firmly taking me by the hand and dragging me along before I could cause any trouble. Anyway, so we wound up at Denzong’s and I remember texting N maybe(?)- we were always texting back then- and we settled down on the stairs/road next to the shop, and there was a cat mewling at us, and a turd somewhere close by, and ants too, but the momos were delicous, and salty, and the soup burned my tongue, and I wasn’t paying, so I sat down and gobbled a plate and a half. Then I went home, and I was very, very happy.

I loved Wasseypur 2 even more, if possible. N came along for that one, only the viewing experience was super uncomfortable for me. We watched it at some seedy, shady cinema hall- Roxy or something like that, with a coolio bar-lounge monstrosity on the top floor that said ‘On the Roxxx’. My seat was right in front of the AC vent, and I shivered through the entirety of the next three hours. I stuck my ice cold hands into N’s shirt out of desperation, which didn’t help much, and made him squirm. We’d just started dating though, so he didn’t say anything, just twitched his lips and looked amused. My favourite scene was at the end when Faisal just would not stop shooting at Ramadhir Singh’s body. Sweet, sweet release it was, and it fed my bloodlust, and man, Sneha K was a genius with the score.
I don’t really remember what we did before and after very well- I vaguely remember walking with N along New Market and trying (and failing) to pick out a decent tee for him at Sanjay’s. Chandrima and Squg were straggling behind us. When we got out of the theatre, blinking in the sunlight, we were starving as usual and we wanted to go to this place that Tridipta kept telling us about. So we walked all the way, but it was a Sunday, and it was closed, so we wound up eating roadside chowmein again. Then we wanted lassi, so I stole about half of N’s mango lassi. Then someone wanted shoes or something, so we walked along the tram line where Tridipta told N and I that if he ever had a girlfriend, he would like to sit with her on a tram and not get off for the entirety of the way, and just talk, talk, talk. I thought that this was great, and poetic, and all that, only I remembered some Splitsvilla episode or something equally heinous where one of the vapid girls on the show had to impress Rannvijay on a tram journey like they were hitting on him- so that ruined it a bit- but I didn’t say anything, just smiled and nodded.
I think about last summer sometimes, and it’s strange that it happened to me. It was so great, so much fun, so- life-altering- which is a grandiose statement to make, but it really was. It brought a bunch of people into my life who are now my people, and there were so many new things I tried, and just good emotions I felt. I guess if someday I have to remember being young, and being happy, that summer will stand out even though a lot of great stuff has happened since- stuff that has been a lot shinier, and a lot more exciting. We airbrush our memories though- I cried a bunch over summer, and did many stupid things- but I do know that last summer, I’d never been happier in my life.
I go home in a month. Everything has changed. People are now old and familiar, like ha’pant-genji, and I love them infinitely more. But there are people still to meet, and new experiences to have with the old ones. Chaa awaits, and aimless rambles, and stuffing face, and getting wet, and lazy afternoons with music and kulfi, and falling asleep happy together, if I can.
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Annual end of year reflection-2012

1What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
2012’s been a helluva year for new things. I’ll try to list as many as I can remember.
-had someone i knew very well die an untimely, unnatural death
– smoked up
-drunken mistake number 1,2,3,4,50
-learned how to grind (yesreally)
-went on a pubcrawl
-been kissed multiple times by multiple women
-been in the middle of a terrible split, come out of it relatively unscathed
-bagged an internship at harvard; come jan, i will be moving to boston and the states for the very first time
– lost all faith and confidence in myself and completely broken down
– stayed over at a proper sleepover party (thankyou sambit and rupsha!)
– made the first move(ish)
– bust casting- got top half naked with a bunch of unknown women, sat in a circle and cooperatively made casts of our breasts
– read asimov, watched Monty Python, listened to tom waits- yes these are significant enough to be listed here
– gotten into the blues (thankyou neelu)
– made a lot of new friends with much confidence, without swallowing my tongue or letting my usual- well previous awkwardness rob me of my ability to speak
– explored cal on foot, thoroughly
– behaved like a completely irrational sap, bid goodbye to my ego
– written exams without driving myself into blind panic about them
– cooked, started cooking properly- i made soup guys! chicken noodle soup from scratch!
– lost a whole ton of weight, gone on a proper running routine, done that whole thing where you wake up at 5:30 am to go for a morning run before you start your day
– gone on a proper diet for like 2 months- it worked too; then i became happy and lazy
– wanted to do things i hadn’t wanted to before, and liked em
–  visited sodpur (lol?)
– gotten my first vacation in three years (existential fear factor, yes)
– long distance
– worked at an ngo with the children of sex-workers
– gotten into a scuffle with er..metro police?
– been awarded a scholarship
-gotten three job offers- one at a major toronto hospital, two at harvard (yes i’m gloating)
– watched Dylan and Knopfler live. I can’t say enough about this so I won’t say anything at all.
– had a lot of epiphanies
– started the process of coming to terms with the fact that I’m not a terrible person. self-love, self-love, self-love.
– torn a ligament, passed out, called 911, been taken to emergency in an ambulance
– got stung by a wasp
-started a secretblog, and a shared musicblog
-started liking beer
-did a photoshoot
2. Did you keep your new years resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Well, I did lose weight (and then gained most of it back), and eat healthy and cook lots (and then start eating trash again), and become focused on my academics. So I guess sort’ve? My new resolution is to stick to my resolutions.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not that I know of.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yeah. Not emotionally I guess, but physically? And mentally.
5. What countries did you visit?
Canada, India. Same as last year.
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Published papers, a significant involvement in research I love, a 4.2. More: kindness,  balance, travelling, concerts, writing, self-love.
Wishful thinking: My voice back, my boyfriend in the same place. This was the 2012 list:
Inner peace. Better grades. Significant involvement in a cause I’m committed to, an extracurricular I love. The right significant other? Better hair. More compassion and thoughtfulness. Patience. Better time management. A fitter and healthier body. The ability to see a good story through the initial few chapters to the very end. The start of a long term research involvement. The opposite of my usual inertia and ennui. Confidence.
7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
– Feb 14th- the night R.B died and I balanced a stupid plate of dal on my hand
– April 23rd- the night I landed in Calcutta, seeing Trisha, Adi, and Piu at the airport and finally believing that I was back home
– July 17th- cuz N finally reached the end of his rational thought process
– August 7th- cuz it was a new birthday to put on the list of donotforget. And it was a nice time
– Sep 11th- cuz I dreaded it for so long, and then it came and I left
– November 14th- because I watched Dylan and Knopfler live and it was indescribable
– October 26th- cuz rankings came out and I went out with a bang, just like I wanted
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
– Doing major amounts of growing up
– Surviving Winter term long enough to drag my arse home where thankfully summer happened
– Bagging three job offers
– Getting on Dean’s Honour Roll, and excellent standing
– Keeping my promise to myself to write all of my exams this term
– Somehow managing not to screw up hobo and crazy thus far
– Not indulging in self sabotage long enough to let myself fall in love
9. What was your biggest failure?
Oh. I got so distracted and happy that I failed my non-credit PD course. And forgot to contact that prof for research. Ohwell.
Losing my temper too often at my family. Falling off course with the diet and eating healthy and running.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I tore a ligament right before finals week. And I got a nasty bout of flu during reading week. And I got stung by a wasp.
11. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Mine for going after the things I wanted and getting allofem =D
Squg for being dignified and a lady in a very old world sense of the term. For being a bundle of goodness and joy.
Neelu for dealing with all my crazy.
Piu for unconditional support, and for finding her way and getting her act together. Trisha for being the fiercely loyal and kickass person she is.
Emily for being the wonderful generous person she is.
12. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Er. I don’t want to say.
13. Where did most of your money go?
Eating out =( I gave Burger King, Mozy’s and Tim Horton’s LOTS of steady business.
14. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going home for the summer. Neelu. The job I got offered at Princess Margaret. Harvard and Boston. Sambit’s farewell. New Light. The Dylan-Knopfler concert.
15. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Sweet thing- The Waterboys/Van Morrison. So far away, What it is- Knopfler. Bird on a wire- Bonamassa’s cover of Cohen. So long Marianne- Cohen. Gun street girl, Hold on- Waits.  Waits in general. I want you, You’re gonna make me lonesome when you go, All along the watchtower, Like a rolling stone- Dylan. Womaniya, Moora. Sittin’ on top of the world. Heroin- VU. Pine moon- Feist. Bloom- The Paper Kites. I saw her standing there, Someday(heh)- the Beatles. Wagon wheel- Old Crow Medicine Show. Drift away- Dobie gray. Lover you should’ve come over- Buckley.
16. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?’
Last year this time I was in Toronto, it was a very nice time, and I was quite happy. This year I’m alone in ghost town for the next two weeks. Overall however, 2012 has been unbelievable, in terms of the incredible things it has brought me. So happier, I guess. And very, very grateful.
17. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Spending more time with the grandparents, brother. Reading. Making out. Running. Cooking.
18. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Eating junk, brooding over things, procrastinating, taking out my temper on my fam cuz it was easy
19. How will you be spending Christmas?
I will try to find a church to haunt. I will bring back spiced eggnog and a shawarma. I will watch a movie and read Lord of the Rings and go to bed.
20. Did you fall in love in 2012?
H, L and S.
21. How many one night stands?
None.
22. What was your favourite TV programme?
I don’t watch TV. Gilmore Girls, I guess. And Criminal Minds.
23. What was the best book you read?
Good Omens, I think. It was a lifesaver on the plane back. I just started LOTR so anticipation. Kafka on the Shore. The Great Indian Novel.  Animal Farm.
24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Oh man. 2012’s been a brilliant year as far as musical discoveries are concerned. A large part of this has to do with Neelu. All the blues stuff. Right now I’m really loving John Hammond and JJ Cale. In general, my absolute new favourite is Tom Waits. Listened to a lot of Cohen and Dylan for extensive periods of time. Knopfler in a big way, and Knopfler himself is responsible for this 😀
The Velvet Underground whom I absolutely loved. I listened to lots of the Beatles as usual. Tallest Man on Earth. Jefferson Airplane. Bonamassa. The Grateful Dead, whom I still have to listen to a lot more of. Jeff Buckley!
25. What did you want and get?
Love.
Happiness.
A good GPA and job offers and Harvard.
26. What did you want and not get?
Nothing. I got everything I wanted.
27. What was your favourite film of this year?
In theatre? Gangs of Wasseypur.
I fell in love with Woody Allen, Annie Hall in particular- those lobsters kill me. Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian.
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
It’s coming up on the 30th. I’m alone in ghost town right now. I’ll wake up, talk to people, eat something, read something, watch something. Might go to Symposium and buy myself cake. Byas.
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Nothing. I got everything I wanted, and more. Well, being able to go home for the winter would have been nice, but that’s just greediness. And having N closer would’ve been great, but that’s more greediness.
30. What kept you sane?
Ma, Trisha, Piu, Tony, Anushka, Upi, Shalmi, Neelu, Emily.
31. Who was the worst new person you met?
Stupid new bitch roommate.
32. Who was the best new person you met?
Upasana whom I’d technically met before but I really got to know her this year. Sattam. Amrusha. Pratiti. Shibansu. Tanuka (whom I technically haven’t met yet). Neelu.
33. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learnt in 2012.
Only worry about one thing at a time. Take life one moment at a time.
If you want something, go after it. Stop being passive. Go out and grab what you want.
All that self-love bullshit isn’t bullshit.
Making soup is easy.
I have an infinite capacity to surprise myself.
34. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Hey, it’s me, I’m dynamite
And I don’t know why