I promise to keep this one sober.
There is a heaviness in the air and it is getting to me badly. Life is in a state of perpetual hangovers. Take today for example, I wake up, knowing I've grossly overslept, body aching, my head heavy, the solitary leg that managed to escape the shackles of the blanket in the dead of the night, did not get far before succumbing to the cold, and oh, the lethargy, in Bengali we have a wonderful word to describe that feeling very aptly, "Lyadh" (the phonetic spelling is debatable).
But the lyadh that is taking over my life, is very irksome. There was a time, when I actually enjoyed doing absolutely nothing. Now ironically, I've spent so much of my time doing nothing, that I'm now pretty fed up of doing nothing, but my ineptitude at doing anything, leads to the hopeless feeling of being stuck to doing nothing. Did that make sense? I hope it did, I did say I'd keep this sober.
So it has been six months since I landed up here in Hyderabad. Six long months, where much has happened, and a lot has changed since, and there is so much to be grateful for. This is the time of the year, when everyone sits down and reflects on the year gone by, and aspires for good things in the year to come, but I'm not going to do that, not yet. But Hyderabad, she has taught me a lot, she has taught me about solitude amidst company, and it has given me company for the solitude. These six months, it gave me a taste of the high life, and it made me bear the brunt of the consequences, it threw me in the pits of depression, and it helped pull me out, it increased distances, while helped bridge the gap, it is where new acquaintances became friends, and old ones became more. It has not been the easiest six months, and it isn't getting any easier as the days go by, but it has been an experience that I will remember and it has given me moments that I'll cherish for a lifetime. So thank you.
Life here is sedentary at best, and there are those days when I wake up feeling super cranky, and there was a time when I'd drone on and on about it, but yesterday was different. It was more pensive. Maybe I'm growing up (yeah, right), maybe I'm getting used to it now or maybe it's just that I have a perfect reason to bring my spirits right up. The high's are high indeed. Sometimes they spiral off control though, and I end up with a million and one regrets and guilt's. I'm working on that, therapy and all. My psychiatrist tells me not to worry too much about that, so I'm going to heed that piece of comforting advice, for now at least.
So D reminded me one day, that we're on the brink of a decade since we were in class ten. That was a rude reality check of sorts. Ten years, how time flies. I remember pretty much all of it pretty clearly, and given my memory, that is saying something. Early morning wait for the bus to come, on the days that were too cold, or I had a particular class that I wasn't looking forward to, my usual routine involved faking a round of stomach ache's right up to 7.30 when I knew for sure that the bus has passed. Those last five-ten minutes used to be excruciatingly long, where I used to take quick peeps at the watch amidst the 'pain'. But school was fun, there were no hassles. Early morning assembly had those painful songs, which we always avoided by appearing late, then there was the customary nails and badge check, where invariably my patched trousers used to get hauled up. I mean, every time I used to buy a new pair of trousers for school, lo behold, within two days, they'd invariably end up torn at the knees. Something to do with playing football on the concrete but who's to explain that to Mishraji! So I had these huge chunks of patches stitched over to cover the holes, and it wasn't long before the patches themselves tore, which lead to a patch on top of a patch. Soldiers who've spent months on the battlefield look less disaster struck than I did. Classes were fun, chatter, banter, all kinds of little tricks and tomfoolery ensued, and as the break time approached, we got busy with team selections for the match. You see no one wanted to waste any time on the field picking sides, so all that was completed in class, while some poor bloke up front droned on, and begged for our attention. Joga da's sudden bursts of rages, Rani Ramani's "whyyy yes yequool too yem see es square", every guy waiting for the next time DC's pallu would drop, and Mishra's "Quiet! The principle just passed away", those were classics. Intentionally skipping the bus back home, so as to walk back with a whole bunch of people, talking, laughing, without a care in the world. Those were good days.
Funnily, I don't miss them. I look back fondly at each of those and so so many more memories, but I think I've lived that phase of my life as best as I ever could, and I wouldn't go back and change anything, even if I were given a chance. I think they're perfect having lived them with not a clue as to what happens next. All our decisions, good and bad, lead to something, and I've come to realize that it is for the best to let them take their course. When I was in school, I'd never thought there'd be a day when I'd look back too fondly upon it, there was always so much that could have improved, so much that could have been different, as there always is, and as there always will be, but it is the imperfections of it, the little chinks, the one fall, the one embarrassing dance in a mickey mouse costume, the one time I failed an exam, that one time I blushed deep red when a girl gave me rose in front of a whole crowd of parents on valentine's day, the first time I cried when my mother left me at pre-school all alone, the many fights, the 'aari's' and the 'jibone aari's', losing the kho-kho finals three years in a row, the first failed crush, the last day of school, everything, that was not perfect then, everything that had ended once, still lives on, in happy perfect memories as I reflect back upon them now with immense satisfaction.
So I wake up cranky still, as I did then, as I probably always will, but I'm learning to deal with it better. I'm learning to accept my own fate, and every decision or indecision, taken sooner or later, despite the timing(or lack of it), has led me to where I am right now, and one day in the near or far away future, I'll look back upon them once again, the memories, so many of which are my fondest as they are, and hopefully those whose imperfections will make them timeless, and perfect. To the year gone by, and to the people who made it possible, once again, thank you.