End of an Era — “I couldn’t care more about Harry Potter, if Hogwarts were my own Alma Mater…”

No, I am not six years too late with this video. Oh dear lord, I cannot BELIEVE it’s been SIX WHOLE YEARS!
Well, nostalgia is kind of a constant in my life right now. It’s probably a shield against change and uncertainty I guess? I saw this video and it brought back memories of the wait and excitement associated with Harry Potter. It’s been way too long since I felt this way. I hope it beings back similar memories for all you Potterheads out there. Also, it’s a pretty epic song. CHECK EEET OUT!

Introducing: Sindhu’s Certified Plane-Reads!

I happen to think plane rides are just about the most boring things ever, and I think any book that sufficiently keeps you company through one must have been written by an author of some talent.

Let me explain. Since I go to college 1881 km (I checked.) from my hometown, I travel a lot back and forth by plane. And I hate it. I hate travelling by planes in general and I hate travelling alone,

It’s close to impossible to entertain myself/ distract myself from the appalling-samples-of-humanity -that-fill-me-with-terror. I find that using my laptop in such a tiny space is too cumbersome  so I usually buy a book just before I leave that I assign for the plane ride. (I also carry another old favourite/ comfort-read in my bag just in case my assigned book disappoints!) And I carry earplugs. TRUST me. Always carry earplugs.My earplugs are a treasure. My earplugs are on that list of five things that I would save in a fire. They are also useful in any communal living situation, just so you know. Especially if you have noisy friends. Or friends who are -shudder- morning people. And the worst is that chirpy monstrosity that is a combination of the two. (Sorry. I still love you. You know who you are.) Earplugs. ❤ (Yes, they warrant a sidey heart, a high honour.).Ah, but I digress.

Speaking of high honours, I’ve decided to name and review books that I would certify as a worthy plane read. Fair warning, a lot of these are going to be gripping thriller-like books, rather than “literature”, though I would never presume to suggest that the two are mutually exclusive. This will happen every Saturday. So don’t forget to check out my blog every Saturday for books that are deserving of the highest honour in book circles, after the Booker Prize: The Plane-read Certificate! Woot.

Err. Sindhu would be me. I realised that hadn’t been previously clarified.

Cheers.

Lessons in Loss

When I was around 9, my grandmother lost one of her gold earrings.

It was summer. I was in the habit of going to my maternal grandparents’ house for weeks during my vacation. It was blissful – lolling about, reading, watching TV and being fed till I could eat no more by my grandmother, and my uncle, who dotes on me. I wouldn’t talk to my friends back home at all those few weeks, not having the internet or a cell phone. Often, I didn’t talk to my mum either. The idea seems so strange now, now that we’re so “connected” all the time. Instead, I had made new friends near my grandmother’s house and I would play with them in the evenings. I barely got to see them the rest of the year, but we resumed our friendships each summer with minimal awkwardness. I feel bouts of wistful nostalgia thinking about those days even though I’m barely twenty one and far too young to feel this way. It’s probably a testimony to the fast-changing times, I suppose.

My grandfather is a simple, intellectual man with few wants and he expects his family to be the same way. My mother tells me that while she and her siblings never felt deprived of their needs, they did not have many fineries when they were growing up. He is a writer and a historian and a man of great strength and discipline. I do believe that my grandmother as much respected him and was in awe of him, as she loved him. He is a stern man, serious; although he is also loving. The earrings were a gift from him to my grandmother.

I remember that my grandfather never said anything to my grandmother about the loss, but it was apparent that he was hurt. He was not the type to give gifts or demonstrate his affection in any way and this was one of the few times that he had. My grandmother, for her part, was crushed and ashamed. She looked for it for weeks. She had me look under their bed more than once because I was smaller than she was. She had the maidservant look for it every time she swept the house. Unfortunately, the earring was never found. I was a sensitive child and I could feel her pain and distress each time she spoke about it, but I never quite understood it. I was a spoilt brat and I have been told by my parents that I have no value for things because they automatically get replaced every time I lose them.

I stopped going over there in the summer as I grew older and went only on Sundays with my mum. I got swimming lessons instead, and music lessons and God knows what else. We didn’t get to stay very long on most Sundays either so I honestly don’t know if my grandmother ever stopped looking for that earring.

About two months ago, I received a call from my mother that my grandmother has passed away. I go to college in a different city and I didn’t get to say goodbye, and I didn’t visit her the last time I was at home for around four days. She’s gone and she can’t be gotten back, as hard as I wish it.  It is so tempting to look under that same bed in that unchanging room and hope very hard that I can find her hiding from me there, just the way she hoped to find that earring all those years ago. That’s what life seems to me to be about now: Losing valuable things and people and finding the strength to move past the pain, and the shame of not valuing them enough when they were there. I don’t know if my grandmother ever stopped hoping to find that earring, but I know I’ll never stop wishing I could have had one last summer with her.

Paranoia and Poetry

Paranoia and Poetry. Two words that ought not to go together, but that do and not only that, but that are also wonderfully alliterative. I think alliterations might be one of my favourite things in the world after books, pens and my laptop.

Anyway, I might not be medically paranoid, but I’ve seen that writing, and working on things I love in general, bring on large amounts of paranoia and self-doubt in me.

I was reading Bird by Bird, one of my favourite books, but one which I haven’t visited in a while now, and i found this wonderful and humorous poem in it that she quotes. I want to share this poem with the rest of you. (Not that I have expectations that the handful of readers I used to have, have stuck around.)

I hope it makes you laugh and generally teaches you to make light of your paranoia. 🙂 Often, this is the only way to deal with it in the first place.  Basically, it’s both fun and educative to make your paranoia appear as ridiculous and possibly humorous to yourself, as it may appear to others. It works!

This poem is dedicated to my friends, who are all amazing and brilliant and yet the most paranoid bunch of fucks I’ve ever seen. And to me. Although I’m just paranoid. Yes. You know who you are. (If you don’t, it’s all the morons that received this link in their email. That might be a tiny hint. Yeah.)

We Who Are Your Closest Friends
Phillip Lopate

We who are
your closest friends
feel the time
has come to tell you
that every Thursday
we have been meeting,
as a group,
to devise ways
to keep you
in perpetual uncertainty
frustration
discontent and
torture
by neither loving you
as much as you want
nor cutting you adrift.
Your analyst is
in on it,
plus your boyfriend
and your ex-husband;
and we have pledged
to disappoint you
as long as you need us.
In announcing our
association
we realize we have
placed in your hands
a possible antidote
against uncertainty
indeed against ourselves.
But since our Thursday nights
have brought us
to a community
of purpose
rare in itself
with you as
the natural center,
we feel hopeful you
will continue to make unreasonable
demands for affection
if not as a consequence
of your disastrous personality
then for the good of the collective.

My College

My College

This is the view of the Academic Block of my college from the hostel. It really is a beautiful place.
I never realized how much I love it until I started instinctively referring to it as ‘home’ in conversations with friends here, back home and once in front of my mum. Whoops.
I’m more than halfway through college now and it’s really scaring me now, the thought of leaving.
It’s good to know that I’ll take back AMAZING memories of this place. Not all of them are good, but they are still treasured. Five years just seems like too short a duration. I cannot believe how imposing it seemed when I first came here!

This year has been appalling.

Image  << What I felt like doing to life after going through this year.

This has been one of the worst years of my life. Nothing went my way. In the beginning, I couldn’t read, I couldn’t write, I couldn’t even study. And my grades reflect that beautifully. My grades reflect that in a way that hard work is never reflected in them!

I’m slowly getting back on track; I’m reading a lot, even if they’re slightly less heavy books than I’m used to, and I’m studying. In fact, I’m bang in the middle of my end semester exams right now! (Okay, so maybe I’m not studying as hard as I claim.) So here’s to hoping  I’m able to write again as well! Woo hoo! -Air punch!-

I’ve considered spicing things up a little bit,  so I’ll also upload pictures that I take along with, well, the general ramblings of my hodgepodgejellybrain.

<<Disclaimer>>: They’re depressingly amateur-looking and taken with a not-so-great camera. So don’t expect much! But yes. I shall be doing that. So there’s a plan. 🙂 I will get this blog back on track! Just watch me! Muahahahahahaha!

Cheers