BMM memories…

Nostalgia is wonderful. I like listening to an old Bryan Adams track after a long time and close my eyes. I see the Podar auditorium and can smell about 300 sweaty students swinging to ‘Summer of ’69’. I open my eyes and realise that time’s gone. But for those 3 minutes, I recreate my first jam session and love every second of it.

I like smelling an empty bottle of a perfume I used to wear back in my degree college. I take in the citrusy smell and close my eyes. I am in my car, loads of friends with me, driving along, singing to songs. I open my eyes and I am back in my room, smelling an empty bottle of perfume. The projects, the songs, some places, they just take you on a minute long ride back into the past, the moments you’ve cherished and miss deeply. And you come back to the present, with a smile, realising that you’re older, maybe wiser but most importantly, how much you miss the people from those old days.

When a girl from KC called me and said that as an ex-student, I have to come for the BMM orientation, I decided to take the long and winding road back into the past.

BMM was the best thing that ever happened to me. Nah, academically it didn’t do wonders, but it changed a lot of things. I mean college does that to everybody, but I don’t think I would be the person I am today if I’d chosen to do a BA or Bcom.

If I ever wanted anything badly enough to give my life up for, it’s BMM. I strived hard through 12th to get the 50% (yeah I remembered I had to study a month before the boards!). I prepped myself up for entrances and made sure I was well-rehearsed for my personal interviews. When I got into all the colleges I applied to, I almost thanked Paulo Coelho! The universe had indeed given me what I wanted.

See! I am doing it again… Just getting lost on the long and winding road. Anyway, I landed up at the orientation, excited and all that. The same gates, the same audi…awww.

Once seated in the ‘alumni’ row, I looked around. Not a single familiar face! Once upon a time, I could’ve identified each and everyone in the audi… And just then, I saw Mr. Gupta. And, I was glad to see a familiar face. Ankit Gupta and I were classmates, project-mates and very close friends… We joked around like the good ole days, giggling but something didn’t feel the same. Ankit had changed through those years and so had I.

But we were trying hard to recreate the old days. But we saw that there people who had taken our place in the course. Our time was back then and it’s gone. So we ran for the HR Canteen, where many a love stories had bloomed, many fights materialised out of thin air and many kilos were put on. The same old hakka noodles, same old crispy noodles, we tucked in. But the fun factor was missing yet again. There was no juicy gossip on the side or eye candy for dessert. It was just not the same.

So much for nostalgia!

All of the experience left me depressed and on the ride back home, I realised I wasn’t the only one. “Our lives revolved around this college. We shouldn’t have to try so hard!” Ankit gushed. It was a shocker. Ankit was not the emotional types back in those days. We started talking about the old days, the new days and everything and I realised that though the college doesn’t hold much for me now, it is people like Ankit, Mruns, Pooja, Pranali, Satam, Lathi, Sapna, Suraj and so many more, who make me miss those days. I am glad I have these people, who each have a piece of the jigsaw puzzle of our college memories. And when we get together after 4 odd years at a random coffee shop at Bandra, we still create a halla gulla like we did in college. We still tickle each other and make screwed up faces in photos. Who needs nostalgia, when you treasure the ones you love through the years…

So this one’s for you…yes I am going to take everyone’s name here, as if it were my Oscar speech!

Sapna- My first friend in KCBMM

Nausheen- For saying ‘penneka’… haah

Sanket- for being a good sport with all the jokes made about you

Mrunmayee- A friend, fellow ponderer and of course my partner in crime in scaring couples on AC buses

Ankit- for the late night phone calls, advice on dealing with a certain boy, fighting with me through most of BMM but still being a friend I can share a laugh with.

Riddhi- for being the bholi bacchi I could educate 😉 ur welcome lol!

Lathia-For singing with me in the car! Na sur na taal bus dhamaal!

Ashwini- For just being there

Pranali- For being the one and only friend who knows me better than anyone else, for so many things… I can’t include it all in just a line…

Satam- Same goes for you, thanks for chasing away my body consciousness and having faith in me throughout! LOL and of course- ‘guppa bus Shakti’! HAHAHAHAH

Delu- fellow music lover, radio enthusiast and guy basher… you have no idea babe, when I met you in London, I felt like I finally had family in a foreign land!

Shraddha- the drive to and from college, muthia and a lot more…

Nikita- my very own Maniben… never seen sans a smile… keep smiling

Sneha- her crazy jokes about the management prof… she took lectures to a whole new level!

Suraj- Haah… I have no words for this guy… Loved verbal thrashing around the whole place with him!

Mansee- The true free-spirit! Loved the little bit of hangin out we did…

Mathew- the 6th October lunches… burrrp… thank u Mat, thank you aunty!

Suhani- I haven’t met her for years, but I know that the day we meet we will connect… She and Mruns are the reason I decided I want to be a writer!

Pooja: The most straight-forward person in the class! Love u 🙂

I will keep adding names… I am too overwhelmed to write more… Love you all boyses and girlses…

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June Songs

So June has come and gone. I have been blogging heavily and just reading through the past posts makes me realise that I can revisit my life anytime. So I am going to put down stuff that needs to be maintained (Remember my worry that my memories might go?)

So here’s how my past month was:

Mood: more or less mad

Work: it was a busy month. Had the CJ contest and a whole lot of other stuff to organise

Happiness: I appreciate the lovely time with the sister while the parents were on vacation. The sister has finished her Ogilvy internship and we’ve had a whole new wardrobe courtesy parents’ trip to UK.

Music: I was into a lot of radio, but I also managed to organise the 9000 songs on my computer, so there was a lot of Simon and Garfunkel. I love listening to happy and mellow love songs. The monsoon called for it. Also, absolutely tripped on Kabhie Kabhie Aditi from Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.

Friends: Sneha, Jugal came over to eat food cooked by moi. Om joined us too… a lovely evening J Pannu started working with Kuku and man I am excited about the fact that she’s working with someone I thought was hot on screen…. Hehe… I am so filmy! Satam has had a rough patch with her Dad being unwell, but she will bounce back and uncle will be up and about soon.

Reading: I read chick lit through June. First I endured How Opal Mehta Got Kissed… and then I read Salam Paris by Kavita Daswani. They were a good brush through. But right now, I m right in the middle of The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes and I am loving it.

Dreams: There have been mad dreams, some feel good, some shocking and some just about forgettable.

Movies: Sarkar Raj, Sex and the City and Indiana Jones are the movies I saw at a theatre. I revisited many movies through the month on telly. I revisited Bicycle Thieves in the last week of June and it touched me just as deeply. Me and Nani also caught Sideways, which too the meaning of ‘wine’ to whole new level. Of course, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was revisited too.

Disappointment: I was very excited about my BIGFlix membership but their service has really let me down. I hope they pull their act together, so I can watch more movies and be happy J

Hope: I’ve learnt to enjoy my family’s indulgence in the idea of my wedding. It gives them joy and I think the joy’s rubbing off me too…

Love: I want it but whenever it comes on its own… Meanwhile, I am in love with the idea of love…. *smiles*

Achievement: I saw my pictures from a couple of years ago. I’ve lost a lot of weight, I definitely dress better and I am happy about that. But I m happy knowing that I was happy with the tomboy I was too! Nanu, thanks for inspiring me to kick the fat off…

Favourite place: Five gardens. Walking there soothes me. I owe it to the iPod

Food: I have indulged this month. Right from chicken hot n sour soups to tuna subs… I ate it all. Loved cooking the squid ink pasta and totally loved eating at Open Affair at Bandra. The food was strictly okay but it was a windy day by the sea… Wonderful ambience.

I am a sucker for meat but I have enjoyed vegetarian food through most of the month and I’m loving it.

Dance: Banana Bar, random music with Om. Thanks for coming back to Mumbai brother…

Talk: Sneha and Nani- heavy discussions about life, people and more… Love them both…

Wanted to: Spend more time with Pannu… July will be the month  

 

 

life… where it comes from and where it could go…

I escaped last week from the questions that the city life was posing before me. I escaped from the people that were coming too close for comfort and I escaped away, far enough to think about what was keeping me from breaking the walls.

I wasn’t escaping permanently, but just for a time enough to catch my breath and come back and deal with my life. So off I went- best friend, sister, and sister’s best friend in tow- to Malvan. A small town in Sindhudurg district, Konkan.

My relationship with Malvan has been a strange one. Although my family came from this place, I never went there for 9 years. When I did, I was a pesky 10 year old obsessed with Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. So there I was, in the backseat of the car, singing along to the songs, observing the trees passing and asking my grandfather some silly questions.

On that trip he told me that we all face same situations through our lifetimes, how we deal with them, is what differentiates each life story. On this trip, he could have ignored me, treated me like a kid but he didn’t. He treated my questions with integrity, answering them till I was convinced.

Soon, I didn’t have to ask any questions. He told me of his childhood, his mother, his father and a life full of poverty. He told me of his restlessness, to move out of the small town. He told me of his life in Mumbai, his struggles. He told me how he became a rich man and then bankrupt again. He told me how he tried to fight his bankruptcy and rise again. He told me how he succeeded and most importantly he told me how in his success he also failed.

I came back, the same pesky 10 year old, but I knew a lot more about my grandparents. And the narrow streets and thatched roofs of Malvan stood as a symbol of the story.
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The whole village seems abuzz. The streets that once saw not more than one or two cars a week, were experiencing traffic jams. The street, on which my grandfather played Veeti-Dandu, is full of halogens as we approach a Ganesh mandir. The bright exuberant Mandir is decorated with flowers, lights and devotees.

An old man wearing bright orange robes walks in with an entourage of 10-15 people. And at every step, someone touches his feet and seeks his blessing. He smiles and walks. He stood before the golden Idol, bowed his head and stood again, looking at Him with love. It was a different kind of devotion.

He walked back and sat by the edge of the Mandir. People from the village, from outside the village came and paid their respects to this man, who’d grown up on this very piece of land. This man, when he was a boy, struggled to keep at school. His father was a simple man who was passionate about Ayurveda. Though the family lived in limited means, this boy grew into a man rich with curiosity. He struggled to start a handwritten magazine. He may have dropped out of school, but he read and soaked up the knowledge books had to offer. He learned Sanskrit and astrology. He soon started wondering about the world outside the boundaries of this village.
He went, he struggled, he conquered, he lost, he struggled again and now, he was the man who commanded respect with the way he walked. Tall, elegant and serene.

In a village, where once he had been too poor to be able to afford simple joys of life, he had built a grand Ganesh mandir. In a village, where school masters wrote him off for dropping out, he built a school. And even today, the money doesn’t matter, he continues to be rich with curiosity.

Who should be more thankful???

Malvan:

It’s been sometime since I have done nothing and not felt guilty. It all seemed worth the 12 hours travel. Just seeing the sea swish into the sand…Just to sit in the peaceful little temples…Just to show around my friends…just to feel proud as they admire your village.

It’s like coming home. It’s like coming home to my roots. It’s like coming home to my great-grandmother; it’s like coming home to my grandparent’s childhood. It’s like many things. It’s like me…

The first time I came to Malvan, I was this 11 year old talkative girl who wanted to be at the beach 24/7. When I wasn’t splashing in the water, I wanted to draw water from the wlls, even if it meant pulling up a ‘kalshi’ double my weight. Malvan… I just love the place. Every place has a story to tell… about my great-grandparents, grandparents, dad and even my uncles. Every place I go to, I wish for a time machine to see my grand father studying, to see my grandmother playing with her friends and to see my great grandmother teach her illiterate self how to read and write just to teach my grandfather to make sure he has a great future. Having heard so many stories from Manuai and Papa, I have enough anecdotes associated with every place in Malvan. Even when I take the boat to Sindhudurga, I remember how their boat toppled 13 years ago and how my grandmother saw the super clean sea floor. Every place I go to has me smiling randomly… if someone were to see me; they would surely think I am mad.

I realized that though I have no personal memories with this place, I have a legacy of memories that I get from my family. I never realized that earlier and kept wondering why I am so drawn to Malvan. But then this time I came to Malvan for the first time with my friends and not with family as usual. And while I showed them around, I realized that everything is so personal for me and every thing is so full of random memories.

These two friends of mine, Ashwini and Lathia, keep saying thank you because I got them here… but how do I say thanks to them… because they made me realize so much and see things about malvan so differently. They made this trip so different from the usual malvan trips that I have. Because of them for the first time, I was the one telling stories about malvan rather than being the one who was told stories…