To write or not to write- that is half a question
To go over in the mind asleep;
Slings and arrows of wakefulness
To surface from its sea to consciousness
Or suppress them, end them. To sleep, to sleep-
No more- and by a sleep to say release
Let go of a thousand and more thoughts
That the mind is heir to- ‘tis euphoria
Devoutly to be wished. To sleep, to sleep-
To sleep, perchance till twelve. Ay, there’s the rub,
Of an eye, for ‘til the fresh rays come,
The thought has left this mortal coil.
This gives us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long and dark a night.
For who would bear the glares and ticks of time,
The spacing out, the offended glares,
The pangs of a body hungering for sleep, and its arrival’s delay
The sleep deprivations and the spins
This patient merit of th’ body takes
When he himself his bed made,
With bare hands? Who would fardels bear,
To fumble in the dark, for the light switch
But the dread of losing that thought,
It’s departure to new-found lands
From where it never returns, puzzles the will
And makes us pick those quills we have
And have them fly over flapping sheets
Thus does the clock above make fools of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
To shut the eyes tight, and ward off all thought
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of another thought
But enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard, their currents hasten
But sleep must lose the name of action- Sleep-deprived you now!
The fair inkiness! Black, In thy testament
Be all my sins remember’d.
P.S. as you can probably guess, it’s that time of the year again.
Exams draw near, and it brings out the worst in me.
In my defence, I get bored.
Is this a real pile? Is it just fall-acy?
Caught in a landslide
Of books sliding down on me
Open your eyes
Look up to the ceilings and see
I’m just a poor boy
Pile of books taller than me,
Knowledge easy come, easy go
Little high, little low
Any way the wind blows,
The answers seem to blow with them
Away from me
Mama just killed a man
Just the turn of a page,
Flicked an eye and now he’s dead
Mama, the lesson’d just begun
But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away
Didn’t mean to make you cry
But I won’t be done with this by tomorrow
Grind on, grind on
As if nothing really matters.
It’s time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Eyes shutting all the time
I’ve got to go
Gotta leave the world behind and face the books
I don’t wanna die
And sometimes wish I’d studied a bit before
I see a little silhouette of a book
Scandium, scandium, can you be less scandalous
Thunderbolts and lightning are just electrons flying at you
Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, Galileo Galileo didn’t see this coming,
I’m an unpaired electron, nobody loves me
Unpaired and Lost from his metal was he
Spare him his life of unfulfilled valency
Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?
Bismillah! No, we will not let you go
Let him go!
Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let me go.) Will not let you go
(Let me go.) Will not let you go. (Let me go.) Ah
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
(Oh mamma mia, mamma mia) Mamma mia, let me go
Bismuth has an orbital put aside for me
So you think the plain ground state was made for I?
So you think I’ll just keep spinning here till I die?
Oh, gaining, velocity baby,
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right out of here
(Put down the book, and)
Nothing really matters
All the prep there can be
Nothing makes the difference
I was reading an article on how the population equilibrium on the planet will be maintained- a cycle of events that supposedly take place, that ensure a balance in human numbers on the planet.
Very roughly, they cycled as follows:
At first, there was a medium-ish population, and a small, hand sowed-and-reaped produce just enough to feed it.
If the population increased, the food supply was the limiting or checking factor, maintaining our population size.
Then came the mechanisation.
All of a sudden, with industrialisation, machines were reaping more crops than ever.
For once, an increasing population had enough, and even surplus food in store. (Cue: the Great Depression of the late ’20s, where the grain produce was so much, it had no more value in the markets.)
With this, and advances in technology and medicine, the so-far tight check on population growth loosened, and what began was the third phase of the cycle: something we call the population explosion.
In this stage, life conditions look relatively hunky dory, people live, live, and keep on living.
We’re accelerating too much, the problem of today.
Well, here’s what the cycle says.
This is where a fourth phase in the cycle kicks in.
There will then follow a stabilisation, wherein, with lower mortality rates and more longevity, humans will start reproducing less.
There simply won’t be a need for people to have as many kids anymore.
[Also, I may add, the lack of a libido, as seen in the Japanese, and the introduction of AI into the sex sphere, may play big roles in bringing down the very need/urge for human sex, and indirectly, reproduction.]
Now, I’m not economist or researcher. But I have another theory.
The human race will advance further in the intelligence sphere, and we’ll soon be delegating our intelligence to algorithms.
We’ll progress to the point where we’ve become far too comfortable.
(And trust me, we’re on our way there.)
The human body was designed for action. We were predators and prey once. Now we prey on the supermarket.
We use to be on the move.
Heaven knows we may adapt to inactivity. But mostly, I think that would fall apart.
Soon, non-movement-related illnesses would begin to take control of the human race, and human numbers will fall, because most likely, we won’t be able to reverse the damage.
Lifestyles mostly only progressively change, not regressively.
Now birth and death rates will balance out, and for all you know, despite improving technology, we may not have the problem of food surplus, because of the growing importance of (and money diverted to the production of) medicinal precautionary drugs, etc. in the human diet.
We come back to Step 1 of the cycle, i.e., balance. (Birth = death ≤ food supply).
There is another way, though.
Human beings’ strongest claim to the top of the hierarchy has always been their superior thinking ability. We’ve outsmarted and ousted almost every other dominant species on the planet. We call it civilisation.
But, of late, we’ve been handing over the reigns to the Golden Age bearers; with a machine to do everything a human can, the human needn’t work anymore. We have submitted to the idea of the Reigner Supreme: the now preferred machine.
Soon enough, the machine takes over the thinking aspect as well. Like a rusting machine, the now-useless human brain rots away in wastefulness.
No longer the well-oiled machine it once was, the evolution of the human brain stops.
With our front running claim to the top, our biggest weapon blunted, we will slide lower. Rationality and logical thinking will be lost, one bad decision will lead to another, till we’ve effectively dwindled down to the last human.
Ain’t that hard to kill the last dodo, is it now?
At last the cycle will end, and the winners, created by the ones they destroyed, the Reigning Machines, the victors, would stand tall, perfect and purposeless.
Hey, I’m only a science fiction writer, but who’s to say that dolphins won’t rule our planet one day?
Looking back on school makes you wonder how many of the things they’d told you about it were really true. It seems to me like a lot of times, myths seem to get away with their trashtalk just because in between hearing them and living your school life out, you don’t really get much time to think about them. (No, the time you spent whining about them doesn’t count.) You hear them, get busy living a completely different life, and then realise one day well past graduation that certain high school stereotypes were, well, unproven myths.
Heck, either that, or I was just a science student. That’s my one label to hide behind and blame for everything including something as trivial and unsuspecting as “My tea tastes poisoned” (long story for a day you’re up for some physics).
I digress here, but chemistry is all about the exceptions. Us failed chemical sugar bombs are no exception [or wait… would that then be ‘we are exceptions’? Aargh, language conventions! Don’t tell my English teacher. I bribe you with a picture of the structure of meth.
Us science kids were sort of exceptions to the high school stereotype. You thought the nerds, the jocks, the queens and the means were what you’d find in a typical grade 12 classroom? You’re wrong—we only have zombie versions of these.
The only stereotype that did fit us well was the absentee one. On the plus side, an empty class is a quiet one (well, relatively). On the flip side, it kind of defeated the purpose of school and had me carrying a 300-page Iron Man survey notebook for nothing… but apart from the last bit, those were teachers’ opinions, what zombie am I to judge?
PS: We didn’t have absentees though. Only zombie-absentees. We’ll let them loose on the city this Halloween… by which time, the first semester of college would have kicked in and they’ll be powerful zombies in the truest sense. Get out your cameras, filmmakers! The Rise And Pillowfall Of The Zombies will be premiering live (how ironic) this fall. Coming to a school near you. Mwahahahahahahaa!
Spoiler: This is the climax of the movie.
But yep, one high school legend that’s a truth is that high school will turn you into a sleepwalking insomniac. (Yes, that is a thing.)
I don’t know if it’s possible to catch up on four years’ worth of sleep, but my little sister, only just beginning high school, is already showing insomniac tendencies. It’s going to be a long four years.
[In other news, I am absolutely shattered that insomniacal is not a word. What happened to building a varied and diverse dictionary? They really are squeezing multiple meanings (as a noun and as an adjective) out of a single word… it’s ‘1984’ all over again!]
Anyway, I was talking to her about her math last night. She’d spent a few hours on some last-minute English homework she’d remembered. No one remembers English homework until it’s real late. It’s 1 AM. She’s due up at 6. But she’s a school-zombie. Not a very graduated one, I’ll grant her that; 3 AM was my timezone, and 2 AM was thermodynamics’, but she’s owning 1 too. On a random whim, I tell her what math lies in store for her. Circles, proofs, volumes, ‘angles in semicircles are always right’ (by which I meant 90° of course, not correct. But if you’d rather try that reasoning in your proof, I won’t stop you. It’s your bragging rights.), complex numbers, the redefinition of the ‘imaginary’.
I began to tell her about the trigonometry that followed up in two years, a personal favourite of every emotionally shattered high school kid… second only to calculus. I started talking about the fifty or so formulae you’d be buffeted by in nothing but your underwear. There also really are fifty, I kid you not.
The next scene is straight out of the Saturday morning cartoons, but I hear a snot-filled snore. Our neo-high school zombie-borderline insomniac is asleep in a record five minutes.
Hey, it could be the English homework or the weird human thing you date for all your student life called ‘exhaustion’, but I’m selfish, so I’ll pawn off all the credit.
Following that, out of sheer perverse habit like the true student-zombie I’ve become, I sat in torchlight and drafted this post till 2.
Everyone has bucket lists, and so do I. But my bucket list is literally filled with various styles of buckets, based on aesthetic, shape, size and comfort. Because I may soon need one big and comfy enough to hide my face. For objectively long enough a time.
On a tangent, my bucket list now includes
a wish to a need to travel the world.
Oh, I see you building the image in your head already. Free spirit, wanderlust, emancipated idealist.
It’s misleading. I need to travel, and do it quick. I need a lot of stamps and visas filling up my passport pages.
I have a life too. How inconsiderate. I don’t look human in my passport picture. I need to fill up its pages and have a legitimate excuse to apply for a new one as soon as I get the chance to. It doesn’t help that for “extra preparedness”, my new passport is twice as thick as my last one. I want out before authorities begin to wonder if it’s not actually a photograph but a textbook example of bad art printed on my pages. It’s nerving enough to stand by and watch them read my documents with a permanently raised eyebrow (tangent– does airport security have beefy eyebrow muscles? To do that all day, everyday must be a workout routine!), I do not need them laughing or gawking at my picture.
Sigh. I miss the old days when I was a chubby little kid who looked passably cute. At least my photograpghs didn’t look like an illustration for a comic book where a racoon’s been disturbed from deep sleep (the hair and startled look says it all).
If I don’t create a goddamned atlas of my passport… (gulp) well, it’s valid for ten years.
How many times have you seen in the movies, an empowered, emancipated person giving an emotional speech, impromptu perhaps, to a number of comrades, associates, or even complete strangers?
There’s a crowd gathered around this person, listening in rapt attention, maybe even re-evaluating their whole lives, agreeing with this wonder who has managed to sum up everything they’ve wanted to say, who’s breaking the shackles, creating a new World Order, or perhaps, retiring.
As they go over a particularly delicate piece, emotion begins to take over, and the cellos behind either snap a finger and disappear, or go crazy to the point where the emotion is lost on you because you actually can’t hear what they’re saying.
That’s also just another one of the million infuriating times you will glance at the glaring white subtitles and miss a moment’s worth of reel and then curse the subtitles for being so distracting.
Honestly, I’m not ranting. I’m just asking for the subtitles to be turned transparent instead of white. Back to the emotional speech.
The camera zooms into the speaker’s face and then slowly pans over to the audience, who’s faces match the mood of the cramping, sore orchestra in the recording studio, and then back to the Orator, who suddenly cracks, first a cough, a choke then a sob, and then has a complete breakdown. If you couldn’t follow the speech before, even the subtitles can’t save you this time.
To be honest, the subtitles themselves are confused by this point.
I can only imagine the guilty party would want nothing more than to simply display five whole minutes of “*******” until the madness dies, but since they can’t do that or they aren’t getting called back (and an audio transcription of their phone call with their employers too would match their fine work), so they do the next best thing.
” (inaudible murmurings)”
Yep, that is precisely why you chose to look to the subtitles in the first place.
The look on your face is disruntled at best, but the look on the Orator and the audience’s face is disfigured, the ability to conjure up such a look being what the actors have been paid for.
Basically, the speaker is shook, the audience is moved, everyone’s on the verge of tears and the speaker’s in shambles. Glycerine does its job well. There are red eyes and screwed up eyebrows and glycerine pouring across faces. And you buy it. If you’re watching the movie alone and happen to have your door locked, you crack a sob. If you’re watching with a friend (or any other person), you curse in your head and angle your head away and suddenly want the violins to get louder and the subs to get more outrageously distracting.
But on doing some thinking, I realised I really haven’t seen these earth-shattering speeches work their magic in real life.
Glycerine does its job well. In real life, if you did manage to cook up such emotion (in which situation, the violins would actually seem out of place), there’d be bleary eyes, guilty people looking out of it as they realise something’s amiss and jerk up from their phones, and snot.
Seriously, it’s an image killer if you really think about it. In real life, crying like that would almost always be accompanied by snot. By the time you’ve shed two tears, there would be a new born stream coming out of your nose.
It’s all very nice if you’re myopic and sitting five metres away, but for someone in front, and for you, the speaker, to notice that clear line of dribble trickling down your nose, for its salty taste to fill the top of your mouth as you open it to speak in a situation where you’re already struggling to get the words out— it’s a mood killer!
I wonder how it would work if some hyperrealist filmmaker became obsessed with glycerine pouring down actors noses.
The subtitlers would have a field day:
(Audibly chokes on
I filled applications. Then I filled some more applications. I’ve browsed through majors I’ve never dreamed of doing and fantasized about others my mother would never dream of me doing. I’ve answered questions in writing that no normal socially functioning person should ask a person, much less a seventeen year old. My personal data and quirks have merrily sailed into data banks of colleges I have no obligation to be selling out to, and even paid them for it.
I heard back and got admit letters and rejection letters (tons. The environment thanks universities for having the sense not to print rejection letters on paper. Phew, fireplaces are not even violent.)
I’ve even attended meet-and-greets with other university admits.
But nothing, and I mean nothing, makes the idea of going to college a distinct reality like trying to find a roommate does.
Or more accurately, providing a self-profile and being matched with a roommate.
They say, provide information about yourself, interests, passions, other things that you may be looking for when searching for a roommate.
Isn’t that exactly how Tinder functions?
To make it more sinister if possible, neither me nor my Mystery Future Match get to swipe in either direction. Faceless shadows behind administrative desks will do that for us. Now that’s a swipe in the face.
I’ve done this, what, fifteen times already, and I’m still procrastinating describing myself. It’s hard stuff. Makes me want to run away and hide. I wonder if that’s a valid description? “Having to describe myself makes me want to run away and hide. Looking for a roommate who doesn’t mind me bringing along a broom closet to hide in.”
Maybe I should stick with “Not a morning person. Bear with black curtains. Drawn close.” Or go with the very considerate warning: “I might just blog about you.”
Yikes. Maybe no one should want to room with me.
At least I have some time to think about this.
And I’m thinking.
I’m thinking, is Tinder for asexuals a thing?
While I’m thinking, I’m drawing dragons. I’ve graduated beyond researching them.
Supermarkets are hell. Grocery shopping is hell. Grocery shopping in a place where you aren’t limited in choice to just groceries and can in fact buy anything from celery to stationery, medicines to washing machines and god alone knows what more, is hell. I’d have wondered why, if vegetables were more of a nightmare than they’d originally been slated to be, people didn’t just stick to eating ice cream.
But then again, in a supermarket of such stature, you probably get your ice cream shopping done too.
It’s the sort of place where you come out with a shopping bill that looks more like a scroll transcription of an ancient epic.
And whatever the discounts may make it sound like, you’re not going to come out feeling any richer for sure.
Mum decided that as an Eighteen Year-Old Adult, I ought to join the happy family tradition of Sunday morning grocery shopping.
As if I’ve never had to do this before.
Alright then, let’s pretend I’ve made new revelations.
It is quite hell.
I can only imagine what sort of an adult I would make. I’d detest the obligatory weekly necessity and curse my human need to eat. Or something like that.
I’d be that person with noise cancelling headphones and a ton of experimental music in my ears, carefully analyzing pieces I haven’t had the chance to in the weekly rush of a [insert weird job title]’s life, carelessly striking items off my list and then getting home to realise, “I forgot to shop for toilet roll… again!”
No, I think people might want to pay me not to be an adult.
But anyway, if I had any use at all in today’s opera, it was that of the trolley. And pacifying mum. Both of which turned out to be the same.
If I had a stereotypical girlfriend, I’d be expected to lug shopping bags around, a scene anyone can identify.
Now replace the shopping bags with chillies and potatoes, and a mum grumbling about how dad wouldn’t allow a second trolley. (After all, what am I for?)
No, putting myself to a little more use than just that, I did shop for ice cream.
But I really am a multi-purpose instrument that deserves to be advertised on the shopping mart bill board. And that’s because I had another task to carry out.
And yes, they’re the same. When you’ve spent an hour at the mart, painstakingly remembering and collecting every item needed to complete this clueless treasure hunt, braving failure every step of the way, that trolley does indeed become precious as your baby. Or at least, what’s inside it does.
A short note about these failures: I’ve taken five trips up and down the store to relay from dad to mum the fact that the vegetables she’d picked out were ‘just not right’.
The second last time I got there, I handed mum the offending packet and told her, “Try again.”
The last I got there, I simply handed her a brand new report card: “F.”
Trolleysitting. When people eye so much candy on shelves, there needs to be a solid anchor to watch over your past efforts. No one said it had to be voluntary, even when the volunteer would rather be leagues away!
My grandparents were here with us today, so I had to babysit their shopping cart. Oh well, with trolleys around, absolutely nothing can be frictionless. (In narrow isles, navigating an overfilled shopping cart with maddeningly screeching wheels is an art. Avoiding the squeaky cart is more luck than an art, because almost no cart is perfect, but it seems today was my day. Ironic, given I had to go at all. But the friction today was elsewhere.)
They momentarily left me to mind the cart as they stood in line for the checkout. The minute they were gone though, all hell broke lose.
A few nods and a glance up later, I realised that they were standing in the senior citizens’ line!
Many people complain about not looking their age, and no way in hell could I ever have fit the board hanging above my head: “Sixty years and above only”. I also think I’ve been overusing the word hell today.
At any rate, my first reaction was panic mixed with a mad, fleeting moment of Inposter syndrome, and then an explanation of how I was trolleysitting. No charge per hour too.
The rest of my time there was spent bumping into (and getting squeezed by, into corners, like no one under the Jacobin government had any business to) other people who’d lucked out with rebel trolleys while typing this post out and occasionally getting that self righteous look from others in the senior citizen queue that said, “this infernal texting generation!”.
But I guess there’s one thing my “adult” self will thank mum for getting me here for: next time, we bring along Paganini.
[Edits: the ongoing civil war against Autocorrect’s subversion of my opinions.]
I’ve had a weird day.
Here’s some background. There’s something sad and something very weird about being underslept in the summer vacations.
It’s like some law of the universe being violated. But it’s also inevitable.
At this point, you’re probably on the verge of giving up on me, but give me a chance to explain.
Summers often mean free time, sure, but it’s not just free time for me, but for everybody.
There’s the phrase about an empty vessel being a devil’s workshop. Let’s only focus on the empty vessel. Have you ever pretended to be a drummer banging on a steel plate when you were young? (Or still are young, who am I to say)
If you look back on those rock star days, you realise they probably wouldn’t have gotten you signed to a major label with a multi-million dollar contract, and you know the reason why.
Empty vessels don’t sound good.
They don’t, to me either. And that’s why, come the night, I am overcome by an irresistible urge to read. Reading a book is really not about the words. It’s not so much about seeing, recognising and understanding the words you come across on a page.
It’s about being immersed in the story, to feel your characters, thinking what they’re thinking, creating in your head a scene envisioned by the writer, basically living in the same world your story unfolds in. It’s about forgetting that there’s a white page with black impressions before you, and replacing it with a face, an expression, a conversation, a city, with colour and sounds and voices.
And man, can you do that in a mind equivalent of High Definition, in the silence of the night.
Also, as you can guess, I’m a book addict. Naturally, I sleep at 2.
It’s led mum to become quite the Sherlock Holmes in the morning, trying to figure out why I’m falling asleep repeatedly till 10 AM in spite of having supposedly gone to bed at 11:30 in the night, and why I begin yawning at a plum 4 in the evening. (Hint: boredom exists)
Anyway, I’m sleepy in the mornings, and the weird look mum gives me is only the start of a weird day.
In short, I was out on an art expedition (fancier than saying ‘design class’, eh?) and got late coming home. I also brought back with me an assignment to study dragons because my dragons look like friendly dinosaurs from the 9 AM slot animated children’s show.
Now I’m figuring out how to make meaty dragons.
But back up a bit and you’ll notice I mentioned the word late.
What’s new about that, you ask?
True, I’m almost always late, or being more optimistic for the future, let us say I pretty much have been late, to school, to classes, to go home, throughout the year. What made this time any different?
What made this time a little different was that I was off to school again. I know, school has officially ended, and all us ex-twelfth graders are in the hazy mist of confusion of neither being current students, nor being alumni. Not really.
But today was the day, in our principal’s words, we don the tag of ‘student’ for the last time, and really become alums. No, not potash alums. We’re not wiping anyone clean… only having our own brains wiped clean because our exams are finally over. And for a long time.
Whatever you want to call it, it’s the closest thing we were going to get to a graduation ceremony.
It may be true that we wouldn’t have the graduation gown nor the hat, not the open grassy podium, t’is a fact, but for the school terrace we are given for the occasion, I’d rather not be pent up in a stuffy gown and be sweating worse than I can possibly cry, for hours.
So it’s the closest thing we get to a real graduation ceremony. Oh, and no diplomas, though. At least we all know for a fact already that we really have passed and are graduating!
My record, as many people know, has been to just about make it to school in time. I still don’t know how they’re graduating me, given that I almost missed the beginning of the first period, just about slipped in and sat on the very first bench– almost every day!
Here I stood today, chancing the ridiculous: I might very well end up being late for my own graduation!
This is the epitome of asinine, and you agree with me.
So I spent five minutes, sticking my thumb out ridiculously, trying to hail a ride home.
As always, in times of need and all times otherwise, the auto guys bail on you. With an all-important look on their face, they watch you desperately flailing you arm out.
As if out of sympathy and to test out waters, they ask you where you want to go. The look on their face already gives you their answer, but you try and mumble out your location anyway.
The eyebrows furrow, the head goes deep in thought, the mouth pouts. All this in the space of half a second.
The head then tilts, shakes, and out comes the answer: “Nah.”
Well, yeah, I knew that.
Eventually, I decided to walk home rather than waste another minute. I tend to be one of those people who either thinks real deep and does not execute, or doesn’t think at all and begins, and makes up a plan along the way.
The current plan, I thought as I crossed the road, dodging a car, is to stay alive.
Having safely made it to a non-existent footpath, I devise a further plan. I have twenty minutes until an hour for the event. I need that hour, or maybe half an hour and some buffer, to get ready. So I get running.
Taking some weird inroads and wishing every five minutes that I’d stuck around to play the cabbie’s game, I finally made it home only five minutes late.
Oh well, I guess we’re used to it by now.
Of course, any time I saved not playing to the cabbies’ tune was lost on a 25-minute walk, and the absolute NEED to shower after.
But it was definitely a strange feeling slipping into a school uniform again. It had been months, nothing since the end of March, and possibly for the last time. I’ll never have to wear the uniform again. I’ll never have to wear any uniform again. I will officially not be a part, not responsibility, of the school again.
Of course, that’s not going to stop me from spending all day there!
I’ve legit talked to my teachers and told them they’ll be seeing much more of me than they should, and that with me doing close to nothing all day at home, she’d rather not see me at home at all right now.
And I proved my commitment to my word right today, arriving for a graduating event at 4:07 (?) and leaving at quarter to 8. Booyah.
So now I’m an alumnus. I’m free. I’m really free. In a way, I’ve lost my home of two years. But I know that’s not true. I’m still going to be squandering my days away down there. I’m thinking of trekking down there and spending a full day drawing the building. I actually hadn’t thought of that before I typed it down. I probably won’t do it. Researching dragons is enough for me.
The feeling of really not being attached to an institution for the first time since I enrolled in playschool is definitely unreal. It hasn’t hit. I suspect it won’t get the chance to, because college will engulf me soon enough.
But symmetry rules our universes, and everything eventually comes full circle. So, weird day or not, I know that if I was almost late for my school graduation, like I was almost late for school everyday, everything will really be okay.
Over and out!
The rains are arriving, and they’re coming in waves and spells.
The first wave, was the heat. towards the end of summer, the weather goes from bad to unbearable, and that’s the first sign you receive.
The first monsoon shower, none too heavy, marks the second wave. Usher in a day’s relief!
The next wave, is a surf.
By that, I mean the roads are flooded and what proceeds to form is an inland wavepool. Only, it’s kinda not-so appealing.
Following that is a phenomenal wave. It’s when the television temporarily loses signals and the internet connection gets progressively worse. That’s really why you’ll have to forgive this post coming some 72 hours after the event itself. It’s really taken exponentially long to upload this.
[ To prove: Exponentially long
Given: Time taken to take pictures: half an hour
Time taken to upload pictures: 3 days
Proof: time taken: 2^ -1 hrs
upload time: 2^6 +2^3 hrs
Somewhat, hence proven.]
Anyway, the next wave could baffle Sherlock– the utter disappearance of any sign that it had rained, nor any inkling that it ever would again. Except, Met still thinks it is going to rain. Real soon. We’re on the brink. They’re positive. They’re watching for it with more anticipation than the Spain-Portugal World Cup match tomorrow (I’m diversifying).
But I have proof that it happened. Right here.
And so I present to the jury, the first spells of rain!
(… please don’t ‘judge’ me.)
Let me know what you think of them!
Part of me wishes I was more willing to use phones this early in the morning.
I probably look hell as weird with a notebook and a pencil drafting this post in the middle of a clinic’s waiting room.
It doesn’t help that I’m so sleepy I look drugged. You’d think a one hour cab ride would wake me up, but no. I’m breathing hard just to keep awake.
Breathing hard. Not a good sign, given I’m here for a medical checkup.
How did I get talked into this?
The last few days have been pure anxiety. Since they told me there’d be a blood test. I hate needles, I’ve been avoiding vaccines for five years out of pure fear, I’m super scared of them. I always used to cry on getting my shot, and this theory hasn’t been tested, but at eighteen, I probably will again. Shame.
[Spoiler: theory half-failed]
A friend once told me she’d ‘loved’ donating blood because she ‘loved the feel of the prick’. 1) Thinking back, I’m worried for her. 2) Are 6th graders old enough to donate blood? 3) Have I believed a lie for six years?
Anyway, I’m scared of needles.
We asked what they’re gonna do the tests for. A veiled way of asking what they’re gonna do with my blood.
They’re explaining mum the tests they’re gonna do, but I’m not interested. Once they have my blood, they can do what they like with it. If only there were a better way of getting my blood.
I’d once read an article on ”painless” syringes that would use pressure to numb the target skin before executing hell. In fact, I’ve been putting off my vaccinations till their arrival, but they never came.
Anyway, I’m cool with whatever they do with my blood once they have it, except use it to make little clones of me, or something. That’d creep me out like hell.
Just had it done, it must’ve been comical for the nurses. And stressful.
Mum insisted on being let into the room because I had already begun an internal freak out. I was also suffering from second-hand embarrassment on mum’s behalf.
The age may be eighteen but right then, a four year-old may have been braver than me.
The nurse even did the kid thing of trying to keep me talking and distracted and telling me not to think too much and it was alright. And “yes, I said put your thumb inside and ball up your fist, but not that hard, relax your muscles!” It must’ve taken patience.
The needle was long and thin, and one look at it and I wished I hadn’t. I also wish it had been faster, I took a breath and hung on pretty ‘bravely’—by my own previous pathetic standards—for the first two seconds, but three, four, five, and I was panicking. How much longer? There was something puncturing my veins in there!
I know, people do this every month or something. Guess I’m exceptionally chicken. I also guess I won’t be getting a cool tattoo any time soon. I’ll have to find other ways to be cooler.
I’d be a terrible junkie.
An X-ray followed soon after disaster management had played its part over my sorry case, and in contrast, I didn’t know when it even happened. Makes me kind of sad that if X-rays kill me, I won’t even know it.
Done with the rest of the tests. I’ve sort of been scribbling in between tests (and am typing it out from home after the whole ordeal took place).
I wonder if the fact that I’m half asleep is going to work against me. I’ve also got an unbending arm (Vaccine mistakes 101?).
Great. Now there’s nothing left for me to do while I wait. My options are: stare out the window watching the rain and wishing I weren’t stuck here for another twenty minutes at least, I’m immensely disliking this place; judge the other people waiting with me; eat mum’s sandwiches; relive my ordeal.
Not great options, huh.
But at the end of this, I would have lived through the thing once, relived it twice, (once on paper, a second time typing it on a phone… ‘a’ phone, because the phone I’ve spent a blogging year and a half on, the one with my HALF MY DRAFTS ON IT, refuses to switch on. If you know me, I’ve mentioned it fifteen times) and I bet I’ll be as much of a sissy about this when I return for my next test. Yikes.
To top it all off, I rated them “average”. Some people just feel no pain.
There was an idea, a seemingly foolproof plan, that had lurked in my head for a while. During the last few months of school, I’d been thinking of trying to study in the hours that no one was around to disturb me– early morning and late at night. At least so far, there’s no construction at 3 AM!
The only reason my foolproof plan kept failing was that I couldn’t sleep in the day.
Regardless though, I’d been taking to the night. Four years ago, I couldn’t have possibly stayed up past one. But I think, when I look back on my high school years, I may just associate 2 AM with thermodynamics. Go figure.
Unless I am super distracted, in which case I give up at 2 and go to sleep, at least the studying at night part of the plan still doesn’t fail me. (One minute… I’ve done nearly zero studying since school ended, this statement has no evidence backing it up.)
But as always, there’s an exception to the rule, and I’m not even talking chemistry.
Mum sometimes checks up on me if she momentarily wakes up at night. Sometimes she gets me a water bottle or yells at me to go to sleep (“it’s already 3 AM!”) or comes with the dreaded question: “Did you/Will you have your milk?”
This one particular night though, she decided, after checking up on me, to make something to eat, possibly for my sister’s tiffin the next morning.
She wouldn’t tell me. Maybe it was one of the protein powders she’s trying out on my sister. I’d know if I heard her scream the next day.
I was sitting with some chemistry, only half awake. I’m scribbling down reactions of burning salts, high ignition temperatures and product gases when I smell smoke.
I realise it’s probably too late in the night. So I glance at the clock for permission to leave, and it laughs back in my face.
It’s only 12:30 AM. What?
So I get up and go outside to grab a bottle of water.
There’s actually smoke, I can’t hallucinate a smell and cough! I frown.
My turn to check up on mum.
Mum says, don’t open the kitchen door.
I say, someone outside’s burning something?
Mum says, I was cooking…
I realise something.
You burned something? I ask.
“If you need a water bottle, take it from outside.”
“What were you cooking?” I ask.
Mum doesn’t answer that.
“I thought it was late, I’ll do it tomorrow.”
“But what could you possibly have burnt this late at night?” But she won’t say.
I begin to laugh. This could end up worse than mystery meat! In that moment, I forgive my sister for everything.
Smoke on the water
A fire in the sky
Man, mum makes it possible!
The laughing soon turned to coughing though, and I had to open every window in the house. Diffusion of gases. Middle school chemistry.
I did eventually return to my (new and improved) high school chemistry, only to find that it was 1 AM. Half an hour? My foolproof plan nosedived out the window.
I remember sitting down with a sigh, thinking, ‘spoke too soon’.
The Next Day…
The Burnt Magic Potion had revealed itself.
It was a mixture, just as I’d suspected. Like mystery meat though, I don’t know what it is. I can’t know the ingredients, that’s just the way it is. Of course, I only came to know from the scream.
As I sat with a chemistry text book, I heard coughs and screams. By the time I rushed out to see who needed a paramedic though, no one was there. My sister, the lab rat, was in the bathroom, possibly puking. What she’d left behind was a sight to behold.
It looked like a scene straight out of Trainspotting.
There was disarray at the table, some spilt liquid (water), overturned glasses, oh, and powder. A lot of powder, sprinkled over the table like someone had recently had a hurried session. All I needed to do to complete the scene was draw the curtains and darken the room.
I didn’t stick around and sniff though, but headed back to my chemistry books. [Fun fact for geeks and junkies: this chemistry text book of mine almost teaches you how to prepare herion, codeine and morphine. Almost. I know the structures. It’s under a section called “Everyday-life Chemistry. Come talk to me. 😉 ]
I did later hear something about puking up breakfast. The Magic Potion’s done it’s job, I’d say!
I’ll admit it’s been a while. May does this to people. I simply lose all motivation to blog during May. Is it the heat? Or maybe a mental block? At any rate, with no more school to attend, I risk becoming a caveperson surviving on guttural noises to communicate if I don’t keep my writing up (… there. I’ve already forgotten what my gender’s called. See my point?)
With June having set in, I have no excuses anymore. As extra motivation, it’s begun to rain! It started with a strong—and very cool—breeze, and barely twenty minutes in, I’m on my first draft in a month. The things the weather can do!
I’m out to do something that’s been on my agenda for a long time. I’ve been nominated for a Sunshine Blogger Award by the awesome Shreya Madhusudan! She’s absolutely crazy about books, which is always a good thing in my books (see what I did there?), and her blog’s all about them! Catch her over on her blog bookwormtopia.wordpress.com.
I’m tempted to reuse this wonderful piece of footage for my thank you speech.
I also find my nomination a bit ironic, because if anything, I should be nominated for a Dark As Pitch Black Despair award for all everyone has to put up with around me. But I don’t argue with it, I jump straight to the meaty content ahead!
The rules of this award are,
So, been there, doing that! Here go the questions, and my answers (cracks knuckles, stretches neck muscles, realises that was excessive).
1. If you were stranded on an island, which book would you have with you (clichéd, but couldn’t help)?
Any book by Robert Ludlum would do, I’m not even particular. To write like that guy is a very high ideal for me to achieve as a writer!
2. If you had a time machine/turner, where would you go?
Bwahahahahahahha, karma screws. My answer remains the same, though: I’d go back to the nineties for the alt rock movement in America. Nirvana was long gone by the time I came around.
3. What is your message to a person who thinks books are for ‘boring, nerdy’ people (you’re allowed to be candid and rude)?
Hmmm… one part of me thinks them being cursed for life with shitty movie versions is satisfying enough. Another part of me sees heavy lightning outside my window right now and is getting… bad ideas. Nevermind me.
4. Are you more of a social butterfly or a little bit introverted?
A “little” introverted?? This is a joke!
But seriously, I can talk when I have to… I think.
5. Favourite song on your playlist now.
Well, I’d normally cheat and say I’m listening to anything Muse, and that would be my favourite, but since you’re asking for what I’m listening to right now (and I’m liking it too), it’ll be Nightlife by Green Day.
Please don’t judge me.
(runs away and hides)
6. One dream spot you would like to visit (can be fictional too).
I’d really really like to go to New Zealand. I’d normally have had a conflict between there and Chennai, but I was there last week. And four years ago. Not that I’d mind going again!
7. Your comfort food.
Ice cream! Although, my stomach begs to differ.
8. Favourite ice-cream flavour : D
Butterscotch, any day!
9. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Orange chocolate! (I’m cheating)
10. Your favourite joke.
Am I allowed to say, “My life”? (although, that’s more of an answer for “the biggest joke”…)
And that’s about me!
Now my nominations, who really brighten up my WordPress reads.
Eleven questions from me, let the survey begin! (laughs evilly and then remembers 10 or so yet-unpublished surveys…)
Have a nice June!