Wanderlust

This is in response to the daily prompt Tourist

Time never seems to stand still. It keeps leaping, rolling, turning, phasing and even rushing along. But, at Hyderabad, time seems to stand still.

Recently, I had the opportunity to make a family trip to Hyderabad’s most exciting tourist places and was wonder struck at how things and places were left unaffected by the culprit called Time. It was a revelation that brought out the wanderer in me and I made it a point to store every bit of that city that I saw, which still lives int the past.

When I say nothing’s changed, I literally mean it. Some might find it strange that time and technology didn’t play their master tricks on this place, but i found it endearing. Some things are best when left undisturbed. Their class and culture remains intact and the tourists can revel in the beauty that they behold in front of them. The place is still an age-old wonder and the people, even more so. The State maybe called new names, but the newness is still the beauty with which they preserve their history and legacy.

The streets, colloquially called galees are tiny, narrow and are cramped in the old city and are lined with shops selling hard wares on either side. Fashion seems to be a luxury and an unwelcome intrusion to most people in the city and branded shops are very few and are to be found in the modern part of the city. Stacked with a few accessible residential areas, the old city is a wonder in itself at how people still live amidst such chaos and clumsiness. They live in history itself.

The cramped houses, narrow lanes and crowded shops provide a strong contrast to the towering historical monuments for which the city is famous. Development has touched the city, but only in the required amount- it hasn’t led to the destruction of what Hyderabad stood for in the past, making its strong mark as the main harbor for trade, culture, architecture, ideas and religion, and what it still stands for.

Here are a few snaps from my trip to Hyderabad.

 

The chaos

You know I had just been at the receiving end of some striking realisations that things don’t seem as easy and simple and uncomplicated as you imagine. A widely known truth and fact, but took a moment for the actuality of it to sink in.
Have you imagined a quiet moment home, sipping a mug of wispy hot chocolate from your favourite mug, undisturbed, taking the world around you in, one at a time? Well, let me tell you, that day never comes. Even if it does, you can just be thankful that it stayed for that fleeting few seconds in your life before your mom finds out that you haven’t made your bed and wants you down immediately or your grandad wants you to help him find his specs which had always been there on his table. Happens.

Well, haven’t you ever imagined going on a family trip with just the basic luggage? You know kinda like a backpacking one? With family, it doesn’t happen. Your dad finds out that he HAS to send that important emails during that one week and your mom is too hysterical to leave out the digestive tablets and even the rasnaadi powder because she is worried if you would catch a cold of the different climate. And of course, not to forget the oils, talcum powders and even the pickles some families tend to carry, making you watch your backpacking trip go into ruins.  Well, surprisingly adventure is never in the Indian family trips. But of course, fun is guaranteed!

This is just a shoutout from a girl who believed all the 20-somethings you enjoy , 10-must have experiences, 17-places for backpack trips and tried them out at a Indian family, failing tremendously because our families just don’t work according to the way media portrays it to. We have our flaws, our moments(which definitely involve a lot of noise), our chaos. But family is always family.
And we live, more than anything, together!

Being away

A friend of mine recently asked me if I remembered his birthday. I coolly said, “Hey, it’s on February 18. I do remember okay!”
And he asked me if I remember wishing him on his birthday this year. And surprisingly, I was taken aback. Because, honestly I didn’t remember. And I told him so too.
But later when I thought about how I could possibly forget if I wished a friend of mine whose birthday was just a couple of months back, I figured out I didnt remember what it felt like to have lived in February itself! It seemed like a month from a decade ago. For being someone who remembers even the Hindi poem I learned in 4th grade, this came as a shocking revelation to me! I mean, of course there were things like recipes and phone numbers I couldn’t memorise, but recollection had never been a problem for me. I realized it was not basically my ability to recollect that seems to have suffered a setback, but my ability to connect with a period that seems long lost. My under-grad life. My hostel life- when things happened unplanned and even for no reason. And those were things that stayed in my mind.
Now it almost seems like I’m trying to recollect what February even felt like. What exactly happened during Feb 2016 that I should never forget? (Apart from my best friend’s birthday!) Something told me that we successfully conducted “Silver jubilee celebrations” of my department. Did we? Was it this year ir the previous one?
Scurrying through the pictures, frantic as I was, I learned that there were quite a lot more to Feb than I could possibly remember now, sitting in my bedroom.
Life has become monotonous and not happening. There’s nothing thrilling or adventurous other than a call to my favourite person across the globe, hiding from my family in the room upstairs, or a movie outing with my friends. Sometimes falling sick gives me a new experience too. I’ve become pathetic, I know. But I don’t seem to have any remembrance of living through a phase, just a couple of months back, that had been a life changer. Even February seems hard to recollect, now that I’m at home. Complacency has crept into my dailiness. And as much as I hate to admit, I miss being away from home and learning new things, making memories…because that was the only way I knew to break the web of complacency that has built up around me.

When you are away chasing your dreams, all you ever want to do, is come back home.

But once you are home, you realise how much you miss being away.

The Wonder that was You

image

Colors, lights and flashes,
All popped up at me once.
When I opened that Wonder’s box
Gifted to me during a December.

The box was so different, vibrant;
Nothing could still it’s strident.
Every now and then it refused to close,
Watching it, I happily left my remorse.

It made me feel what I never could
And gave me what I never had.
Well, who can but not be a poet,
When such gaiety is at hand?

The box was all I’d ever wanted
Making me forget all that I’d encountered.
The box was a bubbling jar of a beautiful aura
And part I could with it, no longer.

But once I pried further into its depths,
Knowing I would ultimately discover what lay beneath.
I was engulfed in an embrace- overwhelmingly beautiful
And when I looked up from the affectionate warmth,
I saw the face that belonged to you!
And I knew I’d finally found the answer.

Embraced

Not every beautiful poem rhymes, sweetheart

This beautiful line from a talented writer made her think about the possibilities of embracing differences.
She was always caught in the midst of trying to be normal and daring to be different. Well, mostly the former won, because she seldom had the courage to embrace the outspoken.

But, now she seems to have dared to make the difference by finding out someone who is the exact opposite to her. And she has discovered sheer joy and excitement. Apart from learning that they differ, she has learned to accept that their affection would never receive a setback because of their differing personas. But they never had to make compromises, because they were never willing to give up on each other’s craziness. That bound them together.
She couldn’t wait to explore the new versions of life that he jokingly threatened to present her and add meaningful chapters to her life, however short or long it was. And she hardly could contain herself when thoughts about meeting aroused her spirits and it was evident in everything she did.

As the wise always said, “Opposites attract each other” and what more did she need when love always won? They only had to wait to make a beautiful poem whether it rhymed or not. Theirs was a chapter yet to be written and now she knew that the prologue had just been made.

The wait, that was all she looked forward to.

As Confusing as the Kitchen

Are you in that stage of your 20s where you think you have lost it completely at Home? Do domestic chores bother you and suck the hell out? Are you that part of the crowd of women(not exactly ’cause you are just 20 something) who think who can’t be a ‘Supermom’?
Well, you can add me to your list of companions then.

You might be going through that stage where you cannot even think of marriage let alone parenting. Because you cannot cook! You just CANNOT cook. And what’s worse? You don’t even enjoy that daily chore. The major reason why you think you can’t be the super-cool person your mom is, is this! The kitchen- Every mother’s beginning and end to the day.
It’s what makes life complacent and complicated. Because in most Indian households, all the kitchen work is still done by moms, even if they work or not and basically, girls are expected to cook and feed everyone in the family.
And if you are a person who would happily trade that part of the domestic chore to anything else like cleaning dishes or the dining table after a heavy supper or even mopping the floor, let me tell you, you are never gonna learn to cook. Only practice makes you perfect. As simple as that!
I sometimes stare with wide eyes at how quickly my Superlady (a.k.a Amma) at home does this trick within minutes. Her hands are always at work and so is her thought process. She thinks only about ‘What to cook next?’ and ‘How to put some sense into the silly girl standing next to her who has no idea about the dishes that she prepares!’. Oh and also about how many milk packets are left in the refrigerator!

Also it is super difficult when you are in your twenties and still are clueless about it. At a time when most of the girls have become experts in this Art, you remain an amateur trying to figure out how to distinguish between Garam masala and Sambhar powder. It’s even more terrifying when you realise that you don’t find it interesting at all. I mean, your whole life depends upon how many dishes you can prepare for breakfast, lunch and dinner and go for a movie with your family without falling asleep!

It just gets worser when your maamis, aunts and uncles meet you during a wedding reception and they start discussing about your future(wedding, that is!). Now, here’s the major problem. You have to subtly tell them that you don’t know to cook and ensure that they don’t scream out in shock at this revelation and embarrass you in that social gathering. Which, in Indian families, is a task that needs careful planning before execution.

This is a problem that needs greater attention than the numerous other things running in your head like what you are gonna do with your life, dilemma between study and work, relationship issues etc, because every girl should be the pillar of her family once she starts one. She must be a ‘Supermom’. And she doesn’t have a choice, but to figure things out.

As they say, everything has its right time and there obviously will be one, when you will finally find an interest in our mothers’ traditional and most tedious task of ruling the kitchen.

P.S. All the mothers out there, it’s just a quick note from a twenty-something, insignificant girl who is confused with baking powder and salt.

The Glow that stirs

The beach, the waves and the sunset.

What more can a Kochite ask for when she is bound to experience the real kochi feel?

On a clouded evening, the breeze carried with it the smell of rain, the rain that kisses the salty sea water before it merges with the sand on the beach. Like a lover telling his beloved that he’ll be back soon. One cannot, but be stirred by such deep imageries of nature.

The heart that misses had become even heavier  on such an evening. As ships moved across the sea and into the open waters, I longed for a journey that had been due. I longed to step out and feel the ocean breeze on my face and hair and the saltiness on my lips. I felt the need in me to venture out of my cocoon ad experience the world around. I wanted to be daring and wander along like the sailing ship, watch the dolphins squirt i mid-air and all the other wonders at sea.

For once in my life I wanted to be aimless.

Then came the moon, disturbing my train of thought. The moon always pulls me up like it does to the waves. The tiny rounded cloudy mass of whiteness that emitted so much power and positivism, caught me its embrace. And I went back to being that child again who wishes to hold the moon in her tiny fingers. I wanted to keep that light of energy with me forever, for it felt like my lucky-charm.

 

And so I did. I captured the glowing moon digitally and here I am sharing it with all of you the energy that keeps me up and going. The white light after the sunset. The Moon.

IMG_20160520_184923_AO_HDR.jpg