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The Chilli Pickle has been overcome.

They say that when you are dead and 'know it' but your body is yet to completely shut down, the thoughts in your head have a very surprisingly detached quality about them. 'Oh I'm dead? Ok. That was my life? So unreal man. Whatte waste of time.... Ok.' Reading that, it's almost like life was the mirage all along, and the Great Beyond is the only reality.

No I'm not being morose. No I've not had an overdose of depressing literature. And no, this is most certainly NOT my disembodied spirit accessing my page. It's just that I've been reading Rumi, Andal, and a few other deep meaning poets - and I happened to draw certain parallels between their state of mind and the ultimate thingamajig called Love.

Rumi was absolutely irrevocably DRUNK on Love. Andal couldn't even THINK of anything or anyone else but her beloved Krishna. The rest of the world and all its lures was like a fly to them, swatted away at most and not ever paid attention to.
Is there a love like this even in this day and age? I wonder.......

The love I know is strongest when I am close to animals, especially canines. It is overpowering, cloying and pretty much like an inner megatsunami. I CANNOT bear to see them hurt or hungry or in any pain - to see any of them dying possibly kills one big chunk of me for all time. My heart feels so big around them that I feel I am a part of my heart and not vice versa.

Oh yeah, the death reference. This Rumi/Andal kind of legendary love kills you while you are still alive. Every part and product of your thinking that you thought was real dies. You eat, sleep, breathe, walk, talk Love. The Great Beyond is this. You realise, in a discarding sort of way, that everything EVERYTHING before this was immaterial, unnecessary, maybe even illusionary, unreal. 

The gratefulness post.

I discovered, to my utter chagrin, that I'm turning into a Cynic-Grinch-Grumblewort. Not surprising, since I found a lot of stuff in my life that I found were worth cribbing about, strictly in comparison to my own (unnatural?) expectations and standards. But I made up my mind to find MORE stuff that I could be thankful for, since that former outlook was really REALLY messing things up. Might be the first of many 'thankful' / 'gratefulness' posts, I hope. Here goes.

As of today, am thankful (in varying degrees and in no particular hierarchy) for

1. A traditional Indian upbringing in a metropolitan city - I certainly got the best of both worlds.

2. My parents, for putting up with me during my most rebellious and difficult years, and still facing the consequences for some of my decisions (good, awesome and bad).

3. My dog for being the one major source of such complete love in my life.

4. A family that, however far I go, in whatever aspect, is still willing to take me back with open arms (conditions apply?). A brother whom I have largely ignored and treated not so well, but who has been extremely receptive to even the crumbs of love I throw. I will change, someday. I hope.

5. All those people who trampled over various parts of my psyche, self esteem and 'heart', for showing me how strong I am.

6. The shrink who gave me advice beyond what she normally would have. I still remind myself of what depths I would have gone to if I had not paid that one and only visit to her office.

7. Sushma N, my soul sister in the truest sense. I feel this weird lump in this throat as I write this for you. Your warmth, affection and voice when I needed you the most have shaped me into a better person. Also, I'd be a dead nobody without you, my love.

8. My girl friends through engineering - Myagz, Madwho, Role - you folks are wow. Thank you for so much more than I can put in words here.

9. The 'classmates' I endured for two years. Thank you for showing me what I'm really capable of - strength-wise, intellect-wise, otherwise.

10. Whitefield Puppy (2012 June-2012 August). You loved me, I loved you more. I hope you're happy in Doggy Heaven... There's not a day that passes without me wishing you were still alive and happy.

11. For a life that has no shortage in wealth, health and happiness, regardless of the occasional moody blips. That's life after all.

12. VanD - I love you girl. A sister from some other life you are. Thank you for the amazing lessons you taught me by just being with me.

13. Someone far, far away who might not even remember I exist. But thanks to constantly wanting to be like you, I am in an IIM today.

14. Someone far, far away on a map, but that much closer otherwise. You came into my life when I least expected it, and have stayed. Thank you for making me look at myself anew, re-evaluate my priorities, and face all the skeletons I'd unceremoniously stuffed away. Of course I like you, you awesome human being. 3...2...1...'D'ance.

15. Ayshna N. For telling me everrrrrything I needed to hear at that point of time. For being my Babaji. I am SO PROUD of who you are, and who you are becoming. 
 

Mosquito life.

A lot of contemplation and many roller coaster months later, this post finally takes shape. I don't know what the final trigger was, but being al alone and away from the stifling comfort of the family does teach one a valuable thing or two. In the time since I've been here in hostel, I've come to realise certain things that have so deeply ingrained themselves into my lattice of thought that they seem as inseparable as dye and colour, misfortune and mosquitoes.

One.
I am all alone in this world. It was possibly the most devastating thought that ever sunk in. (Yeah yeah yeah there's definitely a difference between a thought occurring and a thought sinking in.) I was in a strange zombie state for days after that, but then -

Two.
Everybody is all alone in this world, whether they realise it ever or not. So, in a way, nobody is alone in being alone.

Three.
Expectation of any reciprocation of feelings leads to an insane amount of pain if it doesn't materialise. I have had this happen multiple times to me, but still kept going the same mental way like an absolute idiot. Even your family is in this bracket. They are as human as you, after all, and it works both ways. I have had a relatively stable inner ceasefire after beginning to expect nothing from my 'dear ones'.
I can confidently assert that this is one area in my emosphere where hope is mostly dead. And it's a damn good thing, I daresay. Even when they do something nice, I am able to expect nothing further and handle it with deadpan equanimity, after years and stupid years of crying over things like why my own family did not wish me a proper happy birthday 'unlike other normal parents'.
This was also a sink-in, but wasn't as painful as Realisation One.

Four.
You have one life. YOU ARE LIVING FOR NOBODY BUT YOURSELF. Let that seep in sloooowly but permanently. There's no proof of your reincarnation and other crap, unless you want to fool yourself. So live it the way you want to, because by the time you get around to evaluating how you've done, all the ones you thought would judge you will be long dead or distant enough to forget. That might be quite a long list, so start sorting it right now - if there is something you want to do in this life, do it, obvious T&C apply. There's no need to bend to peer pressure. There's no need to be anyone you're not. There's no need to follow a religion or way of life that even mildly disgusts you, regardless of what the 'Judges' say. Because.....read this Realisation Four again.

Five.
Everybody has their own agenda and priorities, but as kids, we don't realise this. We promised to be friends for life, then I moped around for days when a phone call and sms went unanswered, sometime after we graduated from school. With one fantastic exception, none of my schoolmates are in touch with me right now, but that's ok. It goes both ways.
By the time I was done with my bachelors, I decided consciously not to keep certain people and their reminders in my life anymore. I was actually okay with anyone else doing the same thing wrt me. They had all the rights too. Like spring cleaning, I deleted all these people from my contacts and Facebook. And slowly the memories became like flowing air. I could let it pass me without feeling wronged.

Six.
Love is overhyped, except for animals. A dog's love is as unconditional as it can get. Even cats have their own sweet way of letting us know we are adored, but then their behavious is so uncannily similar to us arrogant humans that quite a few people can't stomach the idea of a 'mere animal' studiously snubbing them. The true worth of human love is my mother's love even though she's as crazy as they can possibly make them. Nothing else compares.

Melodrama my foot. I'm too old for that.

Growing up is pretty much the suckiest thing we do all our life. Nobody is willing to tell you what's going on because either
A. It's the awkward 'body' talk
B. It's the slightly less awkward 'mental' talk
C. It's awkward annnyway.

Thus you are left doing what the rest of your peer group does - endure whatever the hell's going on even though the rest of them are experiencing pretty much the same brand of moulting, or have already done so. I realised this over a period of time, but by then, I had already experienced most of what I fearfully and self-pityingly assumed were unique to my small world alone.

Feeling fat and wanting plastic surgery so much that my name would morph to Dissatisfaction Personified - check. First love overreaction followed by weeks and months of melodrama - check. The Rebel Days (ages 11-ongoing) check. A general feeling summed by the_whole_world_is_crap_oh_I_feel_so_alone - check. Engineering relatively sucks - check. There are no true friends in this universe - checkkkkkk.

So, of late, I am met by an awed reaction whenever I try to tell someone what I think they should do to deal with any of the above, and the related shizz. I am instantly given the halo of 'knowledgeable', 'know-it-all', 'wise', just because I am telling them in simplified english that they are not alone in experiencing any of these quasi-issues. It's hilarious most of the time, but I can't laugh and say 'Bwahahahaaa so you're saying you've NEVER EVER heard of the word infatuation? What a dhoodhpeda* !!'

*Dhoodhpeda - a term referring to an immature/childish person. Actually, a dhoodhpeda is a milk sweet, oh-so-soft.

Priorities and chilli pickle.

Ever since I've started a new exercise routine in this tiny balcony attached to my room (yes I started again. I always start), I've started noticing what I eat, how much I eat, and all this mosh, but this is greatly distressing the foodie side of me. No more cheesebursts at my pet Dominoes, says the ab-rip-crazy side of my mind. Okay FINE maybe once a year. Going by that standard, I've already eaten four years' worth of pizzas in just two months.
 This IIM life no... :-/ Tchah.

So coming to priorities after pointlessly salivating again.

My bestie Meow (mentioned in an earlier long-winding post) got married today. Me being this far away, I could only spam her facebook wall with sappy messages about how much I was missing her and how life is a strange plasma custard (every bit of this is true, though). The newlyweds are obviously busy, big fat south Indian wedding after all, and I won't be able to get to her for a while. Her happiness at getting hitched has me re-evaluating my own state of affairs (no pun. Oh REALLY) and whether this commitment-phobic_extremely_sappy love lover will ever find a happily-forever-after.

Oh I'm in love all right. Right now, with the chilli pickle my insti mess provides for lunch and dinner. It's a love that will never be reciprocated, because chilli pickle is so....chilli pickle. Moving on to humans, I've never had any luck. "Love has been like catching shadows", a thoroughly pointless exercise (gives one a neck crick and the mental seasick).

I've lost count of the number of muses I have, but love? Naaaaaaaaa. Not my brand of haiku. Except for chilli pickle. I might just end up having it with the custard (no not the plasma custard, the edible yellow one) someday.

Green, oily wonder
Thoughts you render asunder
A true tongue thunder.

Atlantis

My kindred spirit,
We are but galactic pawns
In Cause and Effect.

You have me, I have you
On the same side
In this battle to claim
Peace and horizons
As our charted territory.

Our dreams are summer palaces.

I have you, you have me
As we watch a new sunrise
From the vantage of arms,
Yours and mine,
Entwined destiny, supine,
Opens her eyes and our hopes
In dimensions we don't yet
Know we can dream of.

My kindred spirit,
We are but blips, puppets
Who find solace in knowing
That we are not alone. 

AYYAYYOOOO

So hi.
Officially my first blog post after the city change.
Have been wanting to post for a while, but owing to shortage of me-time, inner chime and good outer  clime, the post remained a to-be-post.

Am in the land of the Balle Balle if I were to pander to the only cliche that quite a few south Indians know about Haryana. I had to tell my grandmom that NO, Punjab and Haryana are two different states and NO, people don't always keep dancing with a turban on their heads in the midst of bright yellow mustard fields shouting KUDIYE! MUNDE! OYE! OYE! *Thank you Bollywood, thank you SO much for reinforcing such stuff in innocent people's heads.*

I had to break a few brick-solid stereotypes here too. NO, Madrasi is NOT a caste, language or community, and WE DON'T EAT CURD RICE 24/7. There are Keralites from Kerala, Tamilians from Tamil Nadu, Kannadigas from Karnataka, and so on. Well, you CAN be a Tamilian from Karnataka or some nice mix like that, but let's look at breaking the aforementioned very basic bricks before we move on to the Stereotype Wall.

Ah. The Stereotype Wall. Presenting just one SMALL segment, for you to hit your head (and other things, really your choice) against when you want to break something that needs breaking.

So basicaLy myseLf Tanya a Madrasi with very unMadrasi name my mother wanted to name me something like the Lakshmi, Veena, Nandini, Ananya but I started the baby version of ayyoooo and she maybe understood I oLways dress like I'm going to a dance performance or a tembLe these biiig beautifuL earrings and that nice biiig bindi on my fourhead oh I Loooove mehndi it's not just my hands that have them but shooshoo ayyooooo don't ask me embarrassing koschans yennyway I cannot understand youvar Hindi at aLL let's move to diskasshan of my fayyyyvourate thayir saadham with the pikkLs oh wait you poovar North Indian north of the Vindhyachalams you don't know what thayir saadham is I pitty you like anything by the name of my lord God Tirupathi Swami who I visit all the time yanyway all our men always have ash on their fourhead so devout I say it is curd rice with the pikkLs wait I can't STAND this north india food paneer paneer aLoo aLoo gobi gobi why you eat the only rottis it's just a chapathi no we eat only rice we don't eat chapathi unless we go to north india listen why you no wear bindi any of you ayyyayyyyooooo not the vegetable bindi the dot bindi you write on your forehead ayyayyoooooooooooooooooooo