Table for One

I’m writing an additional post because I feel generous like that. Haha. (I like how I speak as though my audience is humungously large. Oh little pleasures) Also, quick apology on the home page layout, I wanted the “December Diaries” logo out there but clearly it is looking shitty. Will sort it out slowly. I am also seriously considering a domain name purchase, hmm.

So, as part of #BloggingTuesdays I thought of writing on my solitude-driven moment from last night. When I ended last night’s post, the plan was to get sloshed but that didn’t happen noh. Instead I thought of getting a bottle home and drinking alone while watching a movie, but then it was a meh moment so I went for dinner instead. Went to one of my all time favourite Italian places but sadly they had only pizza, because it was only the “pizza chef” who was available on duty. Meh. I was marginally offended when they thought I could eat an entire nine-inch pizza by myself. I mean uhm not to uhm, seriously?

Instead, I went to another recent favourite Italian place and well, they sat me a nice quaint corner.

#ProTip : When dining alone, do not sit with your back to the restaurant, even though this seems more “private”, it becomes a leelte inconvenient to distract a waiter. I mean your chances of flashing also are less noh, as distraction methods of course. 

I was craving ravioli and alcohol, but I don’t think they have a liquor license (nor do they want to be breeding potential alcoholics like myself. lol) and asked for hot chocolate instead. I mean it’s Christmas noh and I’m mainstream and vain like that.

I brought along with me the book I’m currently reading (which deserves a post of its own <3) and honestly did not feel the time go by, but half an hour later my stomach did. Meh. The food did finally arrive and it was pretty good, the sauce could’ve been thicker if I say so myself, but it was a delightful meal and heavens, I was hungry!

Please note that I’m not mentioning names because it’s not a “review” per se 🙂

The lady who runs the restaurant was very apologetic about the entire affair, (apparently it’s that time of the year when chefs of Italian restaurants go on leave 😮 ) and said that I get dessert on the house.

It was the moment of truth.

Do I tell her that I don’t like sweets or do I accept it as a token of apology without being the usual bitch I am?

Well, I opted for the latter because I’m nice like that 😉 *batters eyelashes*

I asked for Tiramisu because it is one of my favourite desserts sitting on par with baked Alaska and yay for it being available. I was also aware that a hot chocolate was on the way and it would be an overdose of chocolate but alas. I had it all anyway. *glutton moment*

Also interestingly, my hot chocolate arrived after my meal. For those who know me, I usually drink (any beverage) with my meal and this was an entirely “new” experience and after it followed the Tiramisu! Dang girl. I didn’t manage to finish the dessert as the sugar rush was not what I was used to, though I must admit that it was some pretty good Tiramisu. But then again, I’m neither a foodie nor have I had Tiramisu in more than ten places but it was pretty good mostly coz it wasn’t too sweet. *thumbs up*

Another thing I realised was that I ate very slowly. Now I am not the “savour” your food types because eating is more chore-ish for my than an act of enjoyment. But I had to eat very slowly (because the food was very hot, lol – and) as I had no work or responsibilities or curfew or whatever to look forward to. My folks were away at a wedding far far away and I knew there wasn’t anything urgent I had to look into and probably for the first time in a very long time I really enjoyed what I was eating, probably because I ate with a p(i)e(a)ce of mind, literally.

If you reallyyy want to know where I went, let me know. I highly recommend this place for solo-dining (which I might do quite frequently in future) as the restaurant is run by a sane and non-judgemental bunch.

Until evening.

Tuesday Voices

Hello lovelies!

It’s been a while since I last wrote here and for those who actually stop to read the nonsense I write, first thank you and secondly, I apologise. Writing has been difficult for me the past few days and even months. It’s always been a process that has come easy to me, by this no I do not mean that I didn’t put effort into it, but it’s something I could do with little or no motivation whatsoever if it was for work or even for something fun, like writing here. But these days, motivation has been sitting below ground level and for the first time it’s probably affected this process negatively.

I don’t rant about it as much because I know that I somehow pull myself up and pinch my eyelid to get things done last minute. The second reason I keep myself from ranting about it is because I am aware there are those who have it worse off than I do and I have absolutely nothing to complain about.

Also, I must add that it’s still Sunday over here and I want to write a bit of a longer post so will be spanning this across the next two days, hopefully.

On Journeys 

One of the many things that has fascinated me is the concept (and even the act of) a journey. I am deeply (and very cheesily) moved by inspiring music that is used as a background track for a journey, in any form of transportation. I’ve experimented this while editing videos while in university too and it does leave you with that feeling of content and warm fuzz. <turns into slime after all that cheese>

However, what I haven’t been fascinated with is why most people compare life to a journey. True there is the beginning and the end, but unlike in a journey when you set out, you wouldn’t know the stops you would make for fuel, food, sleep and you wouldn’t have Google maps either. And more often than not, our short-term destinations are not always pre-destined are they.

Journeys and motivation. Happy Tuesday my babies 🙂 (c) Google Images

On Motivation 

It’s Monday night, in case you were wondering.

I may have written on this before but things may have a bit of twist because Winter is here. I recently watched one of my favourite YouTuber’s say how she cheers herself up on a bad day by saying, “Today is the youngest and the oldest I’ll ever be (and hence will live today as it were the last day on earth – or something to that effect).”

But from what I know of myself, it’s easier to stay sad and miserable as opposed to trying. Trying requires too much effort and trust me, some can only try to get through the day. Night becomes hell. Sleep comes to you less and when it does bad dreams accompany it. You wake up feeling like you were hit by a truck or had a Sumo wrestler sleeping on top of you. Either way, it isn’t too pretty to wear salonpas on both shoulders as if it were part of your daily attire. But you can’t help it because this is exactly what you want to do and want to be and you frankly cannot do anything to make better the situation because there is no effort left in you.

I’m not saying that you can, if I knew you can, I would be trying that out on myself first. But what you can do however, to better the situation is to *drum roll please* compartmentalise. Yes, my shameless self-promotion of what Mr Lorry (A Tale of Two Cities) does best and what I have grown to imbibe in me as well. This way, your chances of being susceptible to what I call the “Domino Effect”, where everything in your life comes crashing down at the same time, becomes lesser. You become like those surviving Christmas lights you’d be taking out sometime next month to light up the tree and continue to shine bright despite that one little LED fucker who is not sunny.

The show must go on.

Even if the sky falls down, even if everything seems wrong and nothing makes sense anymore, the show must always go on. At times like this, the only solace once could find lies in trying to find the purpose of life and perhaps why we are here today. Why we may have had a “near death experience” as opposed to “death” itself. Why we should be thankful for ourselves and for everything and everyone we have in our lives. Even if the “Domino Effect” does come into play and Mr Lorry’s compartments all starts come to a halt at the same time, find the one that has the least damage and start healing that first before the crowd of compartments lures it into burning water. Once in a way, a bottoms up approach doesn’t hurt 🙂

Journal Entries

My present journal! Been using it since 2009, shows how often I write noh.
My present journal! Been using it since 2009, shows how often I write noh.

I spoke on reality or running away from it rather, a week ago and lo and behold I came across a journal entry I made last year. Yes, I keep a journal for those interested and have been since I was twelve. Apparently, this trait of mine has been a consistent one and seems to be something I would carry forward with me to the rest of my twenties (life beyond that is uncertain as at now). How I feel about that however, is not something I am still too sure of.

On the subject of alternate realities, since that is not necessarily an option, let me give you a little insight on my little places of solace. Yes, I’m becoming a little up close and personal and a certain few of you might not have anything to whine about so if you do not want to continue reading, I fully understand. 

Rightiyo. So there are a few “activities” (sounds dirty noh. Trust me they are not!) I do or places of solace I retreat to when I need well, clarity on certain things in my life. As most of you may know, or wouldn’t know, I’m a bit of a closed-person or happy loner, as I would like to call myself, and do not talk about things as often as someone else would talk to me about things. Once upon a time I did let that happen, clearly it didn’t end up the way I anticipated and small wonder I crabbed in to my shell again. These things I do or places I well resort to are also subject to my venting and rants about things I cannot say in public. I do not “yell” as a principle and given that I know what internalised anger does to one, I resort to these activities / places. 

Disclaimer: Some of the following are utterly generic and if I am ever caught doing one of the following (this sounds wrong noh) or even sitting in one of the following places, it might not always be that I’m borderline depressed, okay? Lol. 

1. Writing

Surprise, surprise for those who didn’t guess this already! 😀 I had quite a time when I am began (trying to commit to) “Blogging Tuesdays” as well, I was afraid I wouldn’t have anything to speak on. On certain days (such as today) I write a day (or two) before and schedule it for a Tuesday. These scheduling things are lifesavers I tell you. If I choose to write more than once a week, then jolly good. I’m not complaining.

So “writing” is technically part 1/3 in my “Writing / Cooking / Window Shopping” tag. I’ve been writing a while now, be it in journals or diaries or newspapers, did a bit of dabbling in poetry, some blogging and turns out I could even earn a living out of it, despite not been too good at it. Yay me.

But do note, I do not always write to seek solace okei. It’s also part of my job and when there is writer’s bloc, yes that does happen, I might run out of money for tukis, my cleanser and rum. First world pains I tell you.

2. Cooking

Part 2/3 of the tag, I cook not only for solace, sometimes out of necessity (not because I’m hungry, given my effed up appetite / metabolism but because it’s part of the unmentioned list of chores) and sometimes because I’m bored. I like cooking to be honest and I think I’m alright at it, in all modesty. I can’t cook fancy, nor can I bake, but some decent rice and curry is totally my jam. I post some okay-looking unfiltered images on Instagram 😀

3. Window Shopping!

I don’t think this applies any longer, well because I neither have much time to window shop in SL nor are there enough places to do so! I picked up this habit while I lived in India and it was fabulous! My roomie was not much of a shopper, nor was my Nepali friend. As for my two Indian friends, one was a bit of a shopper, the other a lost soul like myself. Haha. I miss all of us together.

Another life, another time, I hope. 

4. Driving

Hmm, this is a tad bit subjective because this has found itself in the “chore” list. I like long drives by myself actually, even if it means going to Colombo on a perfectly chill weekend to pick up my sister’s birthday cake, alone. Yes, I am a happy loner noh. Wadudu. 

5. Working!

I like to call myself a bit of a workaholic because work keeps me happy and moreover, it keeps me occupied thereby not recreating an idle mind’s is a devil’s workshop situation we are all too familiar with. Or in other words, it keeps me sane. Working is a healthy way of releasing energy (the negative sort too), overworking leads to exhaustion which leads to a goodnight’s sleep, which then leads to waking up and repeating the process.

And monotony is so under-appreciated I tell you.

6. Jogging / Yoga

No, I’m not going Zen on you, neither am I good at doing either of the two: jogging or yoga(ing). But I do tremendously enjoy doing both and gives me my much required “time” and well, keeps me happy, healthy and hopefully slim. Lol. It’s not that bad, also it isn’t as pretentious as it seems. Trust me 🙂

Okay so I wrote all over the place today: journal-entried after a year *woots*, blogged and there is work related writing I still need to look into. 

Tell me, what sort of places do you retreat to or what do you do to find peace and solace and I don’t know, Zen? 🙂

Hope all of you have a great week ahead. Mine’s bound to be interesting, me thinks. 

P.S. – It’s still Sunday here and I know I wouldn’t write anything by Tuesday so hitting #lifesaver mode

On Seeking Happiness

I know the Tuesday post is late but hey, it’s still Tuesday and also, it’s a holiday. I’m exempted. Muhaha.

We’ve dealt on this sometime before, a few times even, but I thought it’s about time the topic was revisited. Like *cough* ‘love’, happiness for me is one of those complex, cannot-be-explained topics. I don’t quite deal as much with the former, as I believe in restricting myself to ‘popular beliefs’, however, happiness is a curious thing. Most of us are yet to find things that keep us happy, for a while longer than a new pair of shoes or a freshly mowed lawn. Some of us are also yet to find that person that supposedly keeps us happy. For those who have, kudos, may happiness stay with you for as long as the sun continues to rise. For those who haven’t, it’s about time we take a look at our alternate options. There aren’t many, but yes we could find something half as interesting.

I’ve expressed my silent promotions for monotony before. Even content, to some extent is monotonous and subject to more stability. I find immense joy in doing the most boring of tasks, ironing, washing clothes and other household chores that do not require much creativity (housewife, FTW). It’s laborious in its own way but at the end of the chore, your mind is hopefully clear on whatever that took place, pre-chore-time and you have a cleaner house. Voila. Two pigs with one bird. There are of course other methods in which one can attain monotony and trip for hours to end (this is the post-I Love Una me talking) and still attain the same level of supposed self actualisation.

Then you get the stuff that require some amount of creativity or right brain activity. For me, it’s usually writing or cooking. Playing a sport too, (an art in my opinion) requires a good deal of this. Or even yoga. Or doing make up tutorials on YouTube.

The post is a little disjoint and lotsa loose ends that require to be tied up. I might revisit it someday, but if I don’t, humble apologies. Just one of those days and periods in life where the timer in the oven is yet to ring.

For me, happiness is a big pie everyone wants a piece of. I hope you find yours before this one runs out. But in case you don’t, it’s still okay. God throws in refills at regular intervals.

#3 India Posting

Yes. Another one of the many late nights. Many late nights that have passed and of that are yet to come. As in the case of last night, work awaits, yet the Art must go on. It is the solace for those of us who seek it.

Today I did not learn, but realised that life and time are elements that – as I do not wish to generalise – take for granted. It is not as though I have much of it left with me, given its unpredictable nature. Yet I do not do anything with it, or about it. Because I take time for granted. Because I start sentences with ‘because’.

It’s been a few abstract days. Abstract why, I do not know. I do not wish to know. It is most convenient not knowing why.

It may be stringed together with the thought of going back. I am beginning to find my ‘self’, or at least I think I am starting to. Or at least like to think thus. Shoos away the hollowness easily.

Or it might even be a mixture of thoughts floating about, like most of my answer scripts. There is no will power to summon. Submission, seems to be the word of the day.

I blame this on the twenty-something-fucked-up-ness.

#1 India Posting

First, let me explain the #1 at the beginning of the title. It is indicative and (hopefully) will act as motivation for me to continue writing in the same uhm genre? I’ll be leaving this place for good in a few months and I don’t know how I feel about that yet. Yes, I am glad to go home for sure but then change and choice are man’s worst enemies. Also, India has been home for three years. A wise lady and favourite teacher of mine once told us that nativity is associated to where you mature as an individual and that changes a lot of things for me yes.

I was walking home today and I noticed some images I would like to share. I think as a student of literature, arts, humanities, I take the liberty to say that we become more aware to what happens around us. Or I might be making a sweeping generalisation for all I know as a result of the pseudo-elitism I associate with my discipline J

I live in SG Palya. Well not really (as most friends who come over would say) but a little passing the very end of this area. Most Bangloreans (yes that is what they call themselves) or those residing in Bangalore now, especially attending my university will be familiar with this locality as well. A good friend once said, “If they want to bomb the university, they should just bomb SG Palya.” Yes, it is a colony of uni-dwellers. I will not dare to make my family walk down this area. At least not without covered shoes. I think I’ve ‘transcended’ that stage 😉 However, a general idea is formed, yes?

While walking back from college today, I take my usual route (there are many which I am not familiar of). I see a man sitting on his haunches on (and not “near”) our garbage-dumping area.

Yes, we do this every morning. There is no longer any shame left in it.

The man, was a scavenger. There is also that occasional rascal who pees on a garbage dump, India in that way, does become an open latrine – don’t get me wrong, I like this country but there are some cultural shocks I am yet to mitigate with.

The scavenger, was on his haunches breaking open a trash bag. I identified some of the contents in that bag and was ashamed to have merely become a passive observer. In class, we speak so much of the role of the artist, the calling, the memory of the writer, the responsibility of the reader and so on and yet I choose to continue walking, after having observed, from a distance, him manually segregating waste, with his bare hands, no gloves, no boots.

Down my lane, or at least the lane I take now due to the ceaseless road construction on 4th Cross, I see an old man standing on a balcony looking down, around at what was happening.

I see a little girl sitting on the pavement slash her porch. The house, having the pavement as its threshold, perhaps used it as their porch as well. That is the very explanation given to street hawkers. I see her and she looks a little bundle of joy. It was super sunny and I love children, girls more and thus an amalgamation of all happy things. I smile at her, and she responds with a shy, half-smile.

I meet another little girl of about seven? She is walking towards me and on her way, elsewhere. I smile, and she doesn’t smile back. I guess her parents taught her not to smile with strangers J

I next see another old man. The house is built a little beyond the pavement so there is a foot-wide slipper/chappal-keeping area slash porch for him to stand and lean forward, resting his hands on the short wall. He looks disdain and lost.

I cannot help but think, as I start ascending the never-ending flight of stairs to my little home, those who suffer the most, are the little ones, or the old ones. I think I knew that a while back, but seeing this again and reliving it, being amidst it not doing anything about it just makes life a little miserable.

Education for who, I would like to ask myself.

The Third Ring

This post is dedicated to Sudaththa – who reminded me of the joy of dedications and long blog posts – and Lisa – with whom I first discovered the joy of Kerala.

I need to upload the picture in order to justify my title but I seem to be little too lazy for that sort of madness. But just some insight into my ring theory. So, I acquire a ring from most places I visit. One was a gift from the lovely Nepali girls. But the others are pretty much acquired from places I’ve visited or hand-me-downs.

So I visited Kerala this weekend – again. bliss. – and got another ring! Yes, I do love that place.

I haven’t really understood as to why I fell in love with this place. The weather is amazing, – we are speaking specifically Cochin and Ernakulam – and reminded me of Colombo. Yes, I’m crazy to love humidity but that is one of the main reasons I love Colombo and Jaffna and uhm Galle 🙂 Also for those who think sweating is gross, let me remind you that it is also healthy. Much better than us jokers who don’t sweat in Bangalore and only burn in the cruel sun. No wonder people don’t like the sun.

The past three days was a getaway I badly needed. For reasons that even I cannot justify. It’s not as though I lead a hectic life. Hell, my Mama pays for everything. It’s the procrastination and sheer nonchalance on my end that I wanted to get away from. Yes, I was in that sense running away. Turns out I am pretty good at doing so too.

This visit to Kerala was made longer by the bus rides, especially my ride back where I wasn’t as tired and therefore did not fall asleep as much. So riding back in the some-twelve-hour-journey I begin to think of what I have achieved through my escape strategy. Yes, there was a need to quantify this and it stems from an overarching concept that we cannot seem to get away from.

***

It was about letting go. Letting go of biases, prejudices, past experiences and you know, all that jazz. It was about reminiscing and dwelling in nostalgia and at the same time, accepting what once was and no longer, and discovering what will be and what ideally ought to be.

***

It was about realising that I am not much as a city girl as I thought I initially was. It was about how I enjoyed the long bus ride with bumpy roads made bumpier and a roller-coaster ride by the rain water that had made pot holes on the road as opposed to the well-paved out roads of Coimbatore and Bangalore. It was about how I smiled when we passed over a little bridge like area that overlooked a paddy field and that glistened under the moonlight.

***

It was all these that made me question my appreciation of what I once considered aesthetic. I began to realise that I might not necessarily enjoy the mainstream and actually look forward to getting away from it. Like Carrie Bradshaw once said, “The best thing about living in New York, is getting away from it.” Difference is, I’m no character in the glitzy Sex and the City (though secretly I do dig that idea!) and Bangalore and Colombo are mainstream enough in my little South Asian context.

***

Finally, Kerala this time was about recalling my last visit here and of course being in bed with a half-naked white girl *wink* and traversing through the Cochin waters to reach the juncture with Kottayam, Alappuzha and Poothotta.