Tuesday, 1 January 2019

2018: a recap

I'm a big fan of closure, it's this pathological need to make sure all loose ends have been tied in a pretty bow before I move on to the next thing - and since I perpetually live in the yesterday, this post was but obvious. I recap my years although very irregularly here, but I do. I do it in my head while going through the gallery on my phone. Recollecting, remembering. You see my memory has holes, I'm very, very forgetful and documenting my days is a compensatory mechanism I've adopted. One of the people I hold dear once asked me, "don't pictures dilute your experiences?" They are not a fan of photographing/documenting their life. It's unfathomable to me cause I know if I didn't write my good/bad days down if I didn't capture that moment of bliss, it will be lost to my subconscious. So I write when I can, and I take pictures when I can in an attempt to freeze the good moments for a little while longer.

Here's an attempt at remembering my 2018, at archiving it on the dusty interwebs.

2018 started with a weekend trip to a nearby city with mum, a city that we had never been to. It also was a first for the two of us - traveling by ourselves. It was a warm trip. We got a room with a pretty hillside view, drank tea in its shadow, and chased a sunset. Of course, all of this was in the backdrop to an exam I gave but it seems very irrelevant to me at this point.

January and February were full of festivities. My best friend got married, she made the most beautiful bride.
All the big and small moments from that week are so very dear to me. Not just the wedding but the time I spent with her pre-wedding - shopping, helping her plan the honeymoon outfits, our breakfasts and brunches, gorging on unhealthy amount of pasta,  I'm not sure if we will ever get to hang out the way we did especially now since she has moved to a different country, which is why I cherish every single moment from that week. The after party dholki, the late night chat we had before her big day talking fears, doubts, aspirations. The day of her wedding, the reception, the vidai. Ah, my heart.

What followed her wedding week was lots of community-related functions. Garba nights, and finding a way out of the spiritual stagnancy that I was stuck in.

Attended a concert, and an art show. It was wonderful.

March was my last month of internship, I was graduating, FINALLY!
It came too soon. Hah, I say it came too soon after 6 years of labour, nostalgia makes you say/do weird things, dunnit?

I graduated in April. Wore a pochampalli saree, made my parents get me a bouquet, clicked millions of pictures. It was the last day I was to see my class in the same set-up, all together. All of us were moving on to the next adventure.

April and May were months of bliss. I was home for the two months, the longest I've ever been home in the last 5-6years. I spent these months in front of my bookshelves, admiring the books from a distance. Sipping on mum made muskmelon juice at night. Early morning walks, watching my younger sibling shoot hoops. Reading a little, sleeping a lot.

June was my month of, "so what next?" I'm the most indecisive person you know so making a choice of what next was torture. I picked a path. Still walking on it. Where is it going to lead? I literally have got no clue.

(July - November)
Moved back to Hyd. I finally got to live on my own, something I'd always wanted to do. (check)
Attended my first ever CME module (Continuous Medical Education)
August 1, 2018, marked my 6th anniversary in this city. Celebrated it at a nursery, bought me a peace lily. And then some lemon tea with my inner circle at night.
The next few months are a blur of 12-hour classes and finger cramps from taking notes for that long. There were some moments in between worth remembering though;

New roommate moved in, the time I spent with her is very precious. We basked in sun, sipped on gallons of green tea, talking for hours on end. Foot soaks and Gilmore Girl re-runs. Impromptu face masks, LGBTQ movies. la vie en rose.

Met my friends from high school after 7 years, it's funny how we were so young with all these confusions and ambitions, preparing for entrances to get into med school and now we are all Doctors preparing to get into MD. Full circle? ah, there's still time.

Attended a play, "Kaifi aur Mai" performed by Javed Akhtar Sahab and Shabana Azmi, it was beautiful. The live ghazal performances seamlessly interspersed with Urdu prose and poetry. The shayaris and ghazals made my heart full and turned me into a theatre convert. I missed meeting the actors in person by five minutes, but that's okay, there's always the next time. (RIGHT? RIGHT? SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN SO FRICKING SHY DAMN YOU SHONAZEE)

THE OFFICE (Dwight Shrute you ignorant slut!)

Attended a death cafe after having read "When Breath Becomes Air" (not because of the book, the two were a happy coincidence) Realized how much I'm in love with philosophy. 

My last few sunsets in the city (as a dweller). Farewell lunches. Movie nights. Sleepovers. Online Ludo. Late night walks with friends. The warmth. I just want to remember the warmth. I'd like to leave behind the drama, bad days & feelings in 2018.

I'm home now. Celebrated my 25th at home with the fam. It was wholesome.

2018 was this phase between what was and what will be. There's going to be more of that in 2019, and this time, it is essential. This time is revealing to me what I did not know of myself. (Self-discovery is messy and frustrating + gratifying.)

It's funny how I wasn't such a fan of this year but in retrospect, 2018 has had its moments. Ah, how retrospect glosses the past-tense. I'm happy with the year I had. The sunsets with lo-fi music playing in the background, while I sipped on Mint Milk Chocolate Tea.

It's 31st Dec, I'm on my way to a family get together, the good kind of fambam milaap and with that, goodbye 2018. you were the middle child of my life.

update: spent new year's eve doing the gujju garba in an arabian restaurant, and that has set a benchmark for all the other nye that are yet to come. welcome 2019, be kind.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

cold night

As we grow older, some of us (most of us?) tend to grow inward, more internal, or maybe because our loved ones live far away, at some point while growing up - distance takes up a lot of space, leaving us utterly alone, and for that matter very lonely. There's no one here today to percept the subtle shifts in my mood or schedule. To identify the red flags & hold an intervention. No one to stop me from diving head first into a deep abyss of darkness. Of depression. Of late mornings and even later nights. Of yearnings and longings. Of questions with no answers. So what do you do? Where do you go from here? Why my darling, you hold an intervention for yourself. Only you can bring yourself out of the cold night. Just wear a sweater today. Just let yourself feel a little warm today.

I'd written this in December 2017. Clearly, I wasn't in a good mental space back then. I spent the entire month in my room, hardly leaving the house. My excuse was that I was preparing for an exam, not that I glanced in the direction of my books even once. In fact, I did not even know where my books were. I did try to make myself happy, but some days were better, most weren't. I wrote a couple of things during this period which now serve to give me a window into my headspace from then, when you are feeling low, or down, chronically, days just merge into one and another. There's no sense of time or space. You distract yourself by watching crap tons of shows and you don't realize how a month whizzed by. There will be cold nights. If you're living/sleeping through one right now, know that a brighter day is coming. Summer is right around the corner.
And until then, I could keep you company, get you some hot cocoa with marshmallows? Or is it green tea that you prefer? And if you're drowning in this dark abyss, seek professional help. Don't shy away from what your mind needs. Remember only you can keep yourself warm.

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