Monday, 10 October 2016

First Year Troubles #MondayMusings

Source: Lesson 695

So we're just back from classes and chilling in our hostel rooms, swiping through whatsapp messages when we suddenly hear rushing footsteps in the corridor. The next moment, our door bangs open to reveal a panting girl ready to explode. I could've sworn she was going to say "Troll in the dungeons!", but then all she said was - "They're coming!" That was enough though.

"Not again!" screamed by roommates as the messenger girl ran off to alert the others. In a fraction of a second, we're reminded of that graphics assignment to be submitted the following day, the tutorial sheets left undone, and the hell lot of things left to study for the exams due in three days. No, we couldn't afford to waste a whole evening on some kind of inauguration ceremony in the campus. They'd come in a few minutes to take us away. We had to act now.

There was a flurry of movement already as the corridor saw girls rushing either to hide in the bathrooms or to other places I wouldn't dare reveal. On the other hand, we had our books open with locked doors, hoping they'd have some mercy on us poor kids burdened with overloaded work. Oh well, who were we kidding?! That was probably the dumbest effort to escape. Nevertheless we had our fingers crossed.

And soon enough they came banging on our doors with orders to line up downstairs. Obviously, we got no sympathy. Having no choice, we joined the sea of gloomy faces gathered near the gate. Scanning the crowd, I noticed the missing ones who'd somehow gotten away from their clutches, and thought how lucky they were.

After half an hour of calling lists and signing papers, off we went in 'perfect twos' and holding hands, as instructed by our seniors. Yes, them people were our seniors.  And all we could think of was how unfair everything was...for we weren't included in college events otherwise till then, and here we were being taken for something unwillingly at the cost of assignments.

There we were like a flock of chickens lead around by their mama, and getting a mouthful from them for mysteriously messing up the two lines despite staying put. They told us that this was about our first college fest. Yes it was huge. But for us it was just another event we may or may not be a part of. If it sounds like we're annoyed, that's because we were. Because c'mon, you can't help it when your friends from other colleges tell you about their grand college parties and hangouts while all you do in your college is go up and down the classes and hostel.

So finally being seated in the hall, the programme had begun. And for the next whole hour, believe it or not, we sat in awe wondering if ever we'll grow up to be like them amazing seniors. A simple introduction to the much awaited fest, and what it meant to them was enough to give us goosebumps. The passion in those eyes, the power in their voices, the vibes, and the magic. Of course we knew we were a part of something huge, but we were only beginning to realize it. I thought then, maybe the ones who stayed back in the hostel weren't so lucky after all.

I guess all we need is a little patience. You know life's boring when the only thing you look forward to is the evening snacks in the mess. Oh well, its only the beginning. *Sigh*. First year troubles. Now I'm reminded of a meme I came across the other day...
'First year in college is a lot like kindergarten.. you sleep a lot, miss your mom, and have no idea what's going on.'
One couldn't have put it better.

Linking with #MondayMusings and #MicroblogMondays

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

I am Grateful :)

I lay beside the window watching the night sky. The lights are out and my roommates have slept. The sky is cloudy, leaving not a single star in sight. But my mind isn't on the sky, it's still reminiscing in the day's events. There is a smile planted on my face. To that, I am grateful.

Every morning I wake up after five snooze buttons and a final nudge from the only early bird in our room. To her, I'm grateful... for I needn't worry about missing the first class on having overslept. Walking down to the mess for breakfast I'm reminded of the oh-so-yum food waiting to be devoured. To those lovely cooks I'm grateful. Although I wish I stopped getting fatter.

As we walk together to class in idle chat and laughter it feels good. To my companions, I'm grateful... for their presence make a world of difference. When the class begins, the late night's sleep from the previous day takes it's toll. Head down with droopy eyes, there's a jerk from my partner each time the teacher's eyes chance upon me.  To that sweet partner, I'm grateful.

After a tiring day, overloaded work and devoid of fun, we settle down moodily for tea despite the heavy schedule. We whine and frown, or sit silently too. But for that sweet period of relaxation, I'm grateful. When we set back to work, all rejuvenated now, there comes a call from home. All work is put to a halt then. It doesn't matter if it lasts for twenty minutes or two, for that soothing phone call for mere everyday news, I'm grateful.

Once I manage to finish the following day's work, it's almost midnight. I hop onto my bed with my phone. Of all the restrictions there could've been when in a hostel, I'm grateful there are none to use my smartphone. And more than grateful for having mobile data too (never mind the difficulties of having no WiFi in campus).

It's past midnight, and here I lay recollecting the good times of the day. There is a smile on my face. All because I decided to write this gratitude post.
So for this, I'm grateful.

What about you? What are you grateful for today? ☺

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Phobia Folio #FridayReflections

- 6 6 6 -

Watch out! This is the horrific number of the Beast! Anti-Christ, they call it; hugely carnal and sinful.  The source of this number and all evil in the world is Satan himself! Let this number not make you victim to the beast! Beware!

This beast of a number (or the number of the beast like they call it) is one that brought shivers down the spine of plenty. They fear of misfortune when the triple-six appears in their bill, or their ID number, or anywhere at all in their daily life. Are you one among them? If you are, then you are suffering from an illness I can't even pronounce - Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. (Honestly, I didn't even try to read the whole word ). That n-lettered word I copy-pasted up there refers to the fear of the number 666. 

Are you afraid of something? If you are, I bet there is a name for it. Like my best friend is alektorophobic (she's scared of chickens), and my classmate is both dromophobic and ailurophobic...that is; she's afraid of crossing roads, and afraid of cats. Yeah, cats. 

Plenty of students all over the world suffer from didaskeleinophobia (I can pronounce this one!). That is the fear of going to school. I know, it would've been much easier if the maker of phobia-names used simpler words, like school-o-phobia.

We've all been autophobic at least once in our lives. Fear of being isolated. And lately, I've been afraid of going bald, considering my alarming rate of hair loss. Thus I've become prone to phalacrophobia. And then, there is  Nomophobia - the fear of no mobile phones or not having service. Anyone in this digital age would have that. Especially the teens who have a mini heart attack when they don't find their phone in their pockets. 

Speaking of phones, one of my friends updated his status on being ablutophobic. Apparently, he's afraid of taking a bath. I assume my sister has the same, considering how she baths only on continual insistence from mom. Well, no questions on my bathing schedule here!

Have you been very lazy lately? And you've run out of excuses to escape work? Here's something of help- tell them you're ergophobic. It is the fear of doing work; comes with the stress of overloaded tasks and deadlines that cannot be met with. It can be quite painful (if you really have it). 
And then of course, there's alychiphobia - the fear of failure. I'm a victim to that, and it comes with the lack of self confidence. I can guarantee that many of the students at the verge of ending school have the same. 

 Often, taking decisions can be really tough. Yes, I'm afraid of them. I'm decidophobic. Sounds apt doesn't it?. I actually thought I found a fear without a name- the fear of doing nothing. It may sound silly but it isn't! I've been having this fear all day, since it's been the third holiday in a row that I'm wasting away doing nothing despite looking for something to do. But it seems like it goes along with the 'fear of passing time' which is called chronophobia...which is probably why I'm afraid of doing nothing. So that means I'm polyphobic, it's meaning as intended in the name.

Papyrophobia might surprise you. There are actually people who suffer from fear of papers. Folded papers, crumbled papers, wet papers, torn papers, smooth papers...each symbolizing a different disturbing thought in their minds. It isn't funny either! Imagine your life being afraid of papers. Hell on earth or what?

So...what's the name of your phobia? Don't worry if you don't know yet. Because that means you're probably scared of what phobia you might have. And yes, that has a name too. Face it. You're phobophobic!


Linking with #FridayReflections

Friday, 2 September 2016

We still stay free #PeriodPride

"What's that?" Asked the curious little one, watching her sister sneak a plastic packet into the bathroom.
"What's what?" She replied, doing a bad job in hiding the stuff.
The little one only knew too well that she wasn't going to get an answer. She'd tried enough times already. So she wisely put away her question.

She'd asked her mom about those strange 'whisper' commercials for girls, and had only gotten vague replies. At other times, she'd been told about how girls were different from boys, of biological processes and other things which she had found insignificant to register. But it never occurred to the little mind that these were all connected and more or less pointing to the same thing. Periods.

It was the strangest thing when she first found that red stain in he clothing. She spent a good deal of time wondering when she'd spilt red ink on her top before narrating her mysterious discovery to her mother. Then came 'the talk', and just like that, all the pieces fit in together to an "Ooh!" moment.

She enjoyed a slight sense of pride to be the only one among her friends to be 'mature', as they called it. Life went on more or less the same way. It didn't cause much of a  hindrance to her usual routine. Frustrated, that she have to check regularly for stains in school uniforms. But there were those girly giggles in school when they had a code language to pass on a napkin, meet up in the bathroom or check for stains. And also the 'special' meetings for girls in school, when the boys would wonder what it's all about and the girls'd make up their own tales of what fun things they did together at the meeting.

To her, periods was nothing more than a small, negligible monthly irritation. But then she came to know that everyone didn't have such a smooth story. She heard about people crying the first time, the shock of not knowing, the excruciating pain, and being subjected to restrictions that made no sense. She was nothing short of amazed to know what a big deal it was made of. It was only then that she realised that she was lucky enough to have had no problems with its monthly visit.

Periods was a natural process after all, a mere part of life. Why hadn't she questioned all the hush-hush part of it? Why were the napkins always kept hidden ? Why did men hesitate to purchase them for ladies? Why was it a taboo in the society?

Like they say... education is not a crime, but ignorance is. So here's to all those amazing ladies of age, this isn't something to be ashamed of and you know it. Yes, its tough. Yes, its a trouble. But not something we can't deal with. And no, it isn't a shame, it isn't a disgrace. It is simply a part of who we are.

Let's hope for more of these girls with effortless transitions into a life with period pride.
You read it right. Period pride. Trust me, it isn't a big deal unless you choose it to be. Now it's left to us to convince the world the same.

Linking with Write Tribe and #Naari, an organisation to spread awareness on menstrual hygiene among ladies. 

Monday, 22 August 2016

My Time Machine

 The wooden clock hung right overhead as I took off my shoes and placed my school bag aside. "What news today?" mom called from the kitchen. "Nothing new ma..." I said, "A few long lectures all day, and a huge pile of work to do." and I sat down for a snack. Once I felt refreshed enough to tackle the workload of the day, I entered my room.

  There it was, standing right by the window, bathed in the afternoon sunlight, showing off its glimmering brown veneer. Books, small and big, fat and thin, lay dusted in stacks, waiting to be opened and flipped over. The globe sat on the top, expecting to be twirled and studied any moment. The pink table lamp stood ready to be switched on, so it's spotlight could make it seem like the rest of the world did noto exist.

Yes, that was none other than my very own study table. My secret 'Time machine'. Confused? Worry not, for an elaboration is on the way.
I went and sat on my poor blue rolling chair, which had lost quite a few screws since I started using it. Grabbing the nearest book and a pencil, I ventured to study. Ten minutes later, the charm began. My eyes caught sight of the pen-stand right in front of me, made out of newspaper rolls. And then, my time machine took me four years back..

 "Dashy pass the fevicol!" my sister gestured to me. I passed the big bottle of glue over to her happily, while she finished rolling her paper. I continued rolling my first piece for the fourth time, still unable to perfect it like she did. "Mine's still fatter than yours! " I whined, comparing my loose paper roll with her's. "That's okay...we could still use that." my sister said. I looked at my roll with no satisfaction. "Or..." my sister continued, " You could cut out the papers and keep them ready for me." That sounded fine. So I began cutting the newspapers into equal squares. This time, our pen stand was going to be way better than the last one! "Dashy..we could stick our photos on it too!" said sissy, as if she was reading my mind. "Great idea!" I beamed. 

And I'm back to the present. My sister smiled at me from the photo in the pen stand, a younger me stood next to her. I decided to study again. This time my time machine kept me focused for half an hour. My phone beeped. Someone had turned the Wi-Fi on at home. A quick surf through my FB notifications exposed me to a status update "Off to Ootty with buddies...gonna rock! <3 ;)" My time machine now took me to the future, but it kept the time vague...

 The wind rushing past was deafening. My hair flew in random directions, forming a complete mess. It was biting cold despite the heavy jacket I wore. But it only made it all the more amazing. Sitting in the backseat of the bike, I closed my eyes. It was finally happening...our dream ride to Goa. "Daaaash!!" I opened my eyes to see my bestie grinning at me from my left. I raised my hand to hit her high-five, but it was too small to reach hers, much to my dismay while the others laughed. The three bikes were now parallel. I raised my hands up high... swaying in the wind...flying...woohooo!

I felt a tap on my shoulder. Mom had brought me some salted cucumber. She left soon enough. I closed the book on the table. They say it's good to switch subjects to escape boredom. So I took the next immediate book from the stack. Whoops. Chemistry...I was definitely not in a mood for that. So I looked around for something to engage me. The large periodic table of elements pasted on the wall looked down at me. People think I stuck it out of interest. Who knew that it was a gift from my dear sister! Right next to it was a painting made by my friend, another gift for my birthday. 'Keep smiling', it read. She'd drawn our group of ten, so I could always remember them, even if we were in ten different directions in the future...

 I was sitting in front of my PC, reading comments of my latest published book about my career life. Surprisingly, it sold in great numbers in the very first week. There was a comment from the IFS officer, "You've made it Dash! And remember, keep smiling! :) " You've made it too dear, I thought. I looked up at the wall where the painting hung, the very same IFS officer's painting. Just then my phone rang. "She got the job!" A voice screamed into my phone, "She finally got it!" I shrieked with delight, "That makes the ten of us! We've made it to our dreams!" "I love us!" she screamed back. "Party mode on!"

A half orange appeared before me. "Want it?" my dad asked. "Of course!" I said, taking it from him. "It's okay if you say no sometimes you know!" he quipped. I laughed. Oh how could I say no! It was like a custom for me to eat the other half of dad's orange, whenever he wanted one. Chewing the fruit, I started working out math problems. Soon I started searching for an algebraic identity among the sticky notes to solve a problem. During the search, I noticed how the shuffled Rubik's cube did not  look neat on my table. So I picked it up to solve it. I was then taken six months behind.

 "R..U...R'..U..R..UU..R'..U...and that's how you get the cross." I told my cousin brother, showing him the way to solve the last side of the Rubik's cube. He shook his head, "I won't remember...write it down for me." I grinned. "Speed up the first part, I'll write it down after you've done that!" I said. "Right." he gave a small nod, taking the cube from me and turning the whole of his attention into it. That would keep him occupied for a while. I went back to my study to complete my homework. The sun was setting. The soothing evening rays lulled me to sleep right on top my notebook.

The Rubik's cube was done and I placed it back on top. The open chemistry textbook was staring at me. I stared back at it for a while, until I decided to close that too. Time for a break. I'll travel again some time later. 

An older post published again. Connecting with #MondayMusings at Corinne's :)
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