May 30, 2015

Observations



My only form of vice these days is tea. I have two cups of tea on working days in office served at my table by this young Bangladeshi chap called Azeez. I always talk in Bangla with him though there is a distinct difference in our dialects but we understand each other perfectly. I love the tea he makes. It’s a cross between the bubble tea I had in Singapore and the homemade tea with milk and sugar in Calcutta.

Some days I feel I never left India. Some days I feel I have been here forever. Besides Indians are everywhere in this country, if not Indians then Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. How am I supposed to feel remotely out of place? If truth be told then in Sharjah it is practically impossible to feel like an alien if one is an Indian. I was forewarned  but it is reinforced every day. I am not even complaining.
This country didn’t hit me hard on my face or punch me right there on my gut like Singapore had. Is it because I came here with a job and not as a penniless graduate student ? I didn’t have to look for a shelter over my head or figure cheap transport out  to work nor think of where my meals shall come from. At some level it was all handed to me on a platter. 


I walk everywhere, to office, to the gym, for my walks to the park, for movies to the mall, for grocery shopping to any one of the hundreds of departmental stores that this city is dotted with. I walk and I walk in the peak of summer in the Middle East and I don’t mind at all. I have my eureka moments here every now and then, while walking through the streets and I spot a sign of a book shop only to figure out that it is actually a stationery shop! Dayyymmm! The salons are so affordable that I almost shrieked in delight the other day after being told a manicure will cost only so much.

The hottest part of the day I am in office and by evening it does cool down relatively. What I miss the most, if I have to talk about superficial material comforts, would be the cold water showers. The feeling of the cool water against my skin, at the end of a long tiring day at work, will be a long distant dream now. The water is perennially hot here, even at 10 at night. All those tall claims about a cooling system for the water tanks were all eyewash. The only cold water(read as normal water in Indian standards)  showers I took was in Dubai at my friends’ places who live in the better off parts of the city.



Dubai fails to dazzle me. I am thankful to have friends there. Not just anybody, but my roomie from Singapore and a very old and dear friend from my Pune days. But if I had to record my observations on the city, as a complete outsider who has never visited this part of the world, I’d say it is big, dizzyingly grand, intentionally imposing (they try too hard to intimidate with their loud architecture I must say), so very bling and a complete concrete jungle sprinkled with man-made green patches here and there. What sold Dubai to me, if at all it did, would be the rows and rows of Gulmohur trees planted liberally all around the city. The sight of the fiery red blossoms gladdened my heart and filled me with a strange sense of bonhomie towards the city. I wasn’t so far from home after all. 






Apr 27, 2015

Because I am leaving

Because I am leaving. And I am already feeling home sick before I have left home. Once again.  It happened when I least expected it to. Because I keep moving again and again. Because last year all I wanted was to get out and do something that would count. I would be sitting in the bus on my way to office and close my eyes and want to be anywhere but where I was. I would imagine I was back in Singapore, doing the one thing I had wanted to do for the longest time. I got to do that for a year. I came back and hated every bit of working life, loathed it and made my very own personal hell until I realised I cannot possibly survive this way and may be this time I ain't getting out. I made my peace with that and rejections and disappointments became a way of life. But I did find my own little haven. Just when I get all comfortable and cosy this happens. I'd be lying if I said I am not excited but then the apprehension once again. I had more to lose the last time. But hell that year seems magical even now.  And this, whatever is in front of me, well I hope it lasts longer and doesn't slip away from between my fingers.A different city, a different life and the older me. Heyllo! Guess whose back!!!! 

May 27, 2014

I didn't know, I didn't know

I lied. Getting over Singapore hasn't happened as yet. I am still trying. I live in denial about missing the city, the places, the people and my life there. The thing about home is that it'll never go away ever thankfully so I never miss it as much. Plus being from Calcutta very few things change as such and my school friends are permanently stationed here. I always come back to the same comfortable feeling of home, mum, our conversations, my room, my girls, the same haunts, the coffee shops change once in a while but that is that. It is still us, school friends, Park Street, same watering holes and the conversations too border on familiarity with each other, having grown up together and I wouldn't want this to go away at all. This is my anchor each time I leave a new place and begin elsewhere I know that Calcutta doesn't change as much, for me at least.

I was in Delhi for a week for my best friend's wedding and it was just fun, fun, fun but I honestly felt nothing coming back to it after 2 years. I have spent almost 5 years there and the longer part of my twenties were spent in Delhi but I feel this strange disassociation from the city. There is no nostalgia attached with the city. I loved that place when I was younger and now I cannot see myself there. I'd much rather stick around in Cal for a bit rather than heading back to Delhi. But of course one gets a job there and one shall be forced to relocate to Delhi yet again. Arghhhhhhh!

I am not gonna write about SG. I am not gonna write about my last few days there. I am not gonna write about my night out at Timbre, the music, Bettina, Andy, A and I dancing our hearts out. I am not gonna write about the drunken picnic on Marina Barrage, my last day at the Uni as I emptied my locker and returned the keys, entering the library the last time, my last conversation with P in her lovely balcony, standing in the beach with A that last evening, dropping Tina to Uni and she calling back in tears saying she'll miss me, goodbye to A in the MRT and it felt like a movie, a movie I didn't want to end as yet and hell I wanted a happy ending.

Here I am sleepwalking through my life here. Somedays I am just numb as if the last one year never happened. I make myself believe that I have been here forever. Did I ever have all those conversations with P on her balcony? Did A and I ever walk through Boat Quay singing songs? It is like a dream and I pinch myself to make myself believe all of that actually happened. I lived a lifetime in 9 months, I did. Now to live the rest of my life here and some how it doesn't seem an inviting prospect without some of those lovely people I met.

"And me? Well I’ll carry the thought of you doing just fine. I’ll carry the thought of you meeting new people, and holding new pairs of hands, and clutching people closer than you ever clutched me. I’ll remember that when you came to me it was a blessing. A temporary blessing that we’ll one day see if we can make permanent. But for now, it’s you and all the little lives you’ve got to go out there and touch.
You’re ready. That’s why I’m letting you go. And everyone else? Everyone else who gets you for this next little “I’ll see you everyday” sort of while? They win. I don’t feel like much of a winner in this moment, but them? They absolutely win."

Apr 28, 2014

My first and second last exam in 2 hours. I only managed one revision. I somehow just cannot get down to reading like a maniac. I know I shouldn't be over confident because it is construction law but I am hardly complacent about this. I just don't feel like reading anymore. I'll solve the problem when it is in front of me. That is that. I am not excited about this getting over. Of course I can hardly wait for the "I don't need to study everyday diligently feeling" to set in but the rest I am just clueless. What now?

I'll be lying if I said I wasn't excited about going back home though. I am so so excited, as if I am 18 again and this is the first year of undergrad. I am so excited about Mona's wedding and meeting up with all the girls where ever they may be. I am excited about meeting some old old friends in Delhi and I can hardly wait to go to Bombay and meet Shivi. Sad about leaving somethings and some people behind in Singapore. But that was inevitable I guess. Now to find a new job and move on in life.  I'll mostly have happy memories of this city. 

Apr 11, 2014

Random thoughts

I wish I had just one day when my mind did not think so much but for the tasks I am supposed to complete. So many thoughts running wild in my head, all the what nots, the whys, the hows? I am tired of over thinking. I am not even that worried. But I think being blank is so peaceful sometimes. I want that blankness of mind, like a blackboard wiped clean.

I don't wanna crave and pine for romantic love. Its so tiresome to bother about it. Not a single leaf moves if it is not supposed to and same goes with romantic love. I don't know how people so smugly advice you not to focus on finding someone and concentrating on loving yourself first and it'll come when you least expect it. Hahaha! Seriously that is a joke. Some of us don't like to focus on finding someone but are constantly reminded of it. 

And if anyone tells me about self love and loving myself first, well I think the last couple of years especially the two years, I have done a good job of loving myself and my life and following my dreams and I aspire to be able to continue to do so. But seriously I can only love myself so much. I do not wanna be obsessed about finding myself and get lost in self love. I already found myself, a tad bit late but I did. I still have stars in my eyes though. 

I gotta head back to work. Sigh! 

Apr 2, 2014

I am tired and drained out with research. ASEAN's policies have sucked the life out of me. As usual I have failed to adhere to the word limit of a research paper.

This morning I got up and I realised any more reading on ASEAN and I'll explode. Besides the amount of time I spend on Facebook is preposterous. Last night I  deactivated my account only to activate it again.

Today it is Freedom of Speech that shall do the honours.

 I keep reading this fabulous articles, written by brilliant people and I also read some not so great articles by not so brilliant people and then I write a pile of rubbish and sometimes maybe I write something that actually makes sense and the one thing that keeps running in my mind while I am buried knee deep in books, getting all these concepts clear in my head, stuff I never thought would come to me easily and it still doesn't but I love it, and the truth is that one does not feel like going back to highways, underground railways and bridges. Airports I can tolerate. But loving something and tolerating something is soooooo different.

Silly woman. Should have taken the corporate and financial services modules and never gotten a taste of this. The doctrine of 'grapes are sour' shall never apply here. Now to live with this. 

Mar 31, 2014

A little mellow. What with my farewell dinner and heading back home in a month I am guessing it is justified.