Falling For The Heat

179E473D-E8B6-443F-A0A1-ED672007C98C

This is the view from my window. It’s an absolutely lovely day, about fifteen degrees, not too windy, not a cloud in the sky, not a drop of rain.

If I’m being honest, I never imagined I’d ever come to find such a day appealing. I’ve spent eighteen years praying the sun away. Monsoon was not just a day when the rains poured, monsoon was a mood. It was the stop,–drop–and–roll! call, where you’d leave everything aside, pick up all your work, and just lodge your butt over a chair in the balcony. A cloudy day always held a calming presence over me, in fact it still does. But the way you respond to it varies in 30 degrees, and in 9.

We’ve had a drearily soppy week. Picture strong winds laced with rain pellets. Feel the little puddles on uneven ground, and water in your shoes and soaking into the socks. Saturday was a complete turnaround compared to the rest of the week, and Sunday’s looking like a cracker… from the glass of my window.

If it were up to me, I’d go completely Canadian on this weather. I’d go out for a long and pointless walk, just to greedily soak up a little more of the fleeting sunshine. Tomorrow’s scheduled to be cloudy. But of course, it must only look this good outside on a day I’ve really got to buckle down and work for a two-midterm onslaught to follow in the next two days.

3275068D-AB84-46FB-9123-6428B590582D
Any day that looks like this, you should probably be out.

So I’ll sit here, looking up occasionally from my work under the nefarious tubelight, and eventually the sun will go down and we’ll all sigh a sigh and forget, some of us thinking back on a lovely day well spent, and some others, in typical fashion, grunting and growling and muttering under their breath, will get ready to end a day and awake to the putrid petroleum smell of a fresh midterm season (does midterm season smell like petrol?)

8755195E-A030-4F5B-8739-55AC2218B4A1
Even as the day dies, the sun’s fighting for a summer simulation that I won’t enter.

Anyway, sorry for dragging you into this rant. I hope you’re enjoying a good sunny day, if you live somewhere cold, or a relaxed, cloudy, calm day, if you live somewhere hot. It’s amazing how the perspectives can shift along just a few latitudes!

Anyway, if you’re mad about five minutes well wasted, here’s some eye-candy for you. Hope the fall satiates you, and have a great Sunday!

5755F0E7-0456-4F48-A996-DB3BD30972A9D10885DF-9C83-4A00-8FE3-A86CD9209018

 

Social

Sometimes, you just have nothing to say. I’ve often had nothing to say, I’ve just hung around wondering how people talk so much.

Then they turn and hit you with the s-bomb. You’re so silent!

Yes, well, if all you can talk about is the last wedding you all were at and all the food you ate there, there is no way in a million lives I can contribute to that chatter.

I’ve realised of late that my way of coping with this, anticipating that dreaded blow, has been verbal diarrhoea: oh you wanna talk food? Allow me to divert and rant about how spicy this was, and then hijack the conversation and start talking about the history of spices and why all countries in the world wanted to set sail for India back in the set sail times (hint: thé answer is spices). Then I plan to dart and run away before you can throw any kind of bomb at me. I’m out.

Or you can be nice and give me the wifi password and we can avoid this whole mess. Keep me leashed, I guess, if you value your sanity.

And yeah, of course you’ll probably end up in one of my comics. That’s the sole reason why artists exist. We love annoying you.

Random Free Verse Rant

Assignments can be a little woozy sometimes
Especially at 4 in the morning
I get that
I also get sleepy
And I care, you know?
I’ll see us through
For sure,
I need to see me through too
And I have a strong back
And a stronger stomach
I’ll carry you
Sure I will
But not if you press down on me
And pretend you’re a hundred and four fucking kilos
And if you’ve a lot on your mind
Mine has blanked from exhaustion
And if I say, sure, I’ll take the heavier load
It means you take a load too, good sir
We learned in class
Of divide and conquer
That doesn’t work if the only dividing is between us
It’s slower if I need to look behind us
And go back to pick up the pieces of a mess
And when I say you get shit done
You get shit done, okay?
Because it might be my assignment too
And incomplete outputs might fail a test case or two
But I wonder what it’s gonna be like
When assertEqual returns an error:
“Expected return: True
Got “This method ain’t implemented cuz my partner didn’t do shit”.

This isn’t me, and I’m super thankful, but one of my friends is seeing a slightly less specific variant of this. It amazes me, and while I’m no one to judge how you’ve planned out your semester, why on earth would someone do that? It’s horrible. It’s disgusting. I try to imagine how many hours of my life I could’ve saved had I not spent all my weekend in a study space working on a problem set. How many more nights I am just not going to be able to sleep because we have an assignment due next week, and it’s big. It just irks me. It irks me a bit that I’m working. There’s no getting around it for me, sure thing. I’m not planning to. I’d feel awful if I did, and if I’m being honest, as hard as they might be, there isn’t too much to resent them for but time and the stress. I learn a lot from them. But someone absolutely shirking off their share of the work and still getting a grade, then flying high and coming down crashing after the final and then bitterly shitting on our school, that just disgusts the fuck out of me, it’s horrible.

And rant almost over.

As for my own case, I sometimes feel like my own assignment partners are more moral support than actual working partners. Some days, it just feels like I’m doing a proof or writing an algorithm or something, and they’re nodding along going, “yes, that makes total sense!” Sure it does, buddy, but can you also write the next proof so we’re done quicker? I really, really, want nothing more than an unbroken, undisturbed 11 hours of sleep. Just one night that I can sleep without planning for and booking off the first thirteen hours of the next day. Once.

Okay.

Rant over.

Now for the better stuff! I’m going to see Muse this Thursday! I’ve been waiting for this day since November, and after five years of absolutely adoring the band, I’m finally going to be able to go see them live, and I almost can’t believe it!

No assignment, not even the finals could have kept me away, and nothing will!

I am so pumped!

Spent

The brain 

It does the best it can

But light as it is on its feet

It can’t always make it in a heartbeat 

So it calls up a friend

To take care of the backend

And clean up the mess

Before it begins

And finds a partner in crime

In the spine. 

And sometimes I wish

Good a partner as it may be,

The spine shared more of the brain’s workload

Because mine’s spent

Before I can afford it to

And I need a little more juice to push on

Come on, brain, come on

Me, I’m spent 

Somehow got to make it to the end

Might just stubbornly pull through

But man, I wish I could do that with you. 

Step Into The Dark

You don’t get paid for punishment. You get paid to do something useful. Help someone out. Put some skills to use.

And sure, there are a million people out there with the exact same skills as you. Why do we inherently bend ourselves backwards to believe that something Worth Doing must be something you’d consider a chore, something you have to slog for, something you don’t necessarily jump out of bed to do?

Why don’t we just do what we like then? Is it a bad thing to ask to be doing something in life that you like to do? Is it somehow ‘less worthy’?

It isn’t ‘lucky’ when I do something that I like. It shouldn’t be. You shouldn’t be sighing and telling me I’m one lucky bugger to be doing something I like if I am, because it’s not normally how ‘the world works’.

The whole idea of working and earning was a completely human-made process. So as a human in the system, I’m just that. A human. Not a cog in the wheel. I should decide.

I shouldn’t be sitting around here taking moment long guilty pleasure breaks to do something I like. I should be able to do it when I like, with no shame. No guilt. No “it was fun while it lasted, but now I gotta burn this bridge, hide this away, out of sight, out of mind, and get back to work”.

In all honesty, it kind of sucks. I don’t get to be this age again. It shouldn’t be in your place to tell me to wait until I’m forty. Wait until it’s all over. Hide away from everything that calls me and shut my ears tight and yell ‘ladiladila, I can’t hear you!’ just like you did. Just because you did.

It tires me out. And I know I’d never ever wear of certain things. It’s not a phase. Half your life is not a phase. We can pretend it will wear away. Maybe it will someday. But not for the reasons you think it will.

It won’t ‘grow out’, it’ll die.

And with that, I should probably admit that this was more cathartic than substantial, and put my phone down and get back on with my physics. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. I just wish I could stop pretending I didn’t love some other stuff too. I wish I could pretend it really isn’t for me.

But that probably will never happen.
Or maybe it will. But the effort it takes to make it is probably less than the effort it will take me to kill it.

But I know I won’t die with it.

Frigid Thoughts

It seems to me that I’m most tolerant of the winter in the midst of summer.

I can’t stand my freezer these days. For the first time, I’m resenting the cold blast I get when the door opens. My key to the Arctic. Beloved zero degrees. Clear ice. Being able to see the flow of frigid air, seeing the air move without infrared glasses or playing god or inhaling nitrogen vapours in the chem lab about two seconds before you set off the smoke alarm.

I’m not looking forward to it. I opened the freezer cringing. Safe to say there was no ice cream in there either. I’m not even in a bad mood, but I wasn’t anticipating anticipating a cold blast and the following break out of neurotic signals on overdrive with my arms trying to tell my brain, “Boss, it’s cold! What now?”. My brain normally just responds with “Yeah, it’s cold. Just chill. And I like it when you call me Boss. The skeleton I sit in doesn’t seem to realise that fact all too often. Especially not inside exam halls, if the records hold any weight.” This time, it just grunted and muttered, “shit.”

I normally enjoy the cold. I yearn for it during the summers. The opposite never happens. I intuitively know that I’d just be happier being a frozen popsicle than a barbeque charcoal going red.

My reputation is at stake. The snow jackets are laughing in my face. This is no way to be prepping for the winters.

‘Winter is coming’, I suddenly see the phrase in a new light.

I want my old ice loving self back.

If this rant bored you and you got stuck on the thought of ice cream in the freezer and eventually graduated to more sucrose-laced thoughts (sucralose for those of you on diets?), here’s a drawing of the chocolate biscuit and Oreo and milk and Coke can aisle of the grocery store.

15347843633791600748359.jpg
 The hand is definitely mine. Don’t ask how it’s possible to draw and reach out with the same hand, but I like chocolate biscuits too.

In the end, I’ve ranted and you’ve drooled before graphite choco chip cookie bags, so we all leave this page happy about having achieved absolutely nothing.

Have a great day!

Detuned And Totally Unprepared

Clichés are clichéd, awful and annoying. So I’m not going to begin this with the customary “it’s been a long while since I last blogged” and am going to entirely avoid addressing the elephant in the room (text-box?). Or maybe I will. I’m still alive, if you’re wondering. It’s good to acknowledge that!

I’ve been preparing for university. Most of my time has actually gone in procrastinating preparing for university and in trying to accept the fact that I’m eighteen, an adult, and can legally drink in the UK. (Although, UK or not, I am a soon-to-be uni kid who has read too many books—and has a lot more of those to come!
Who needs legal drinking age limits, I’ll probably graduate and never have had the time to drink… and this, ladies and gentlemen, is how you hype your beginning university.)

In truth, my academic progress is hovering pitifully above zero, and I just embarrassed myself with my terribly slowed down calculating powers working on my little sister’s basic high school physics yesterday.  [And of course, “yesterday” being two weeks ago, because that’s how much I procrastinated finishing this post. It’s never like this when I write on paper!]
Did I just call high school physics basic? Change (and tons of rain) is in the air.

I have to admit, I really admire people who can keep up their hobbies during their off-periods. When I was a kid, I used to wonder how busy adults managed to fit in fun stuff into their work-filled lives. I’ve come to realise that when your mind loves to wander and you’re the Ace Pro of Procrastination, blogging in the middle of your chemistry finals preparation is really no big deal. Consistently blogging in the middle of the lazy May summer break? I’d buy you a trophy. To be honest, my mind isn’t really working enough to recognise that I can be blogging about things I’d jump to my phone for during the mentally active periods. Maybe I’d be glad once university begins, so take my future whining with a grain of salt!

My latest preparation for college was thinking it would be a cool idea to have a harmonica on me on campus. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not abandoning my guitar. I’d take it everywhere with me if I could. But I have learnt through experience that that’s not a great idea. It’s also kind of cumbersome. I mean, mum and dad have ruled out carrying my electric guitar and amp with me, at least for the first year. I can’t be walking around stations with a backpack, a suitcase, an amplifier in hand and two guitars slung over my shoulder. So well, ouch. I was sort of hoping a harmonica could fill the void (it would also mean I’d probably do a reverse Dylan– I’m ditching rock and roll for folk and the blues… indicative, ’cause if you see me in a few month, you’ll probably hear me admitting, “I got the blues”). Besides, a harmonica could fit in my pocket! I mean, I do have a policy of always having a pick on me at all times—just in case!—but you can’t really do much with a pick alone, and most people’s incidentally-lying-around guitars happen to be dusty, rusty to the point where you fear a tuning peg would snap if you turned it, to say nothing of the strings, but that’s all in a guitarist’s day’s work. Problem is, they are all right-handed. I am freaking Tantalus.
A harmonica on me would really be neat in such trying times!

So I dragged mum into the nearest music shop because I failed to do that to dad. I may be legally eighteen, but when product prices start exceeding what you can hope t earn in your adolescent dreams, you resort to the trusted method you’ve used since you were five.
In my defence, it got me my first guitar.
So we stepped into the shop.

Now, I’ll make a confession here. I actually don’t like music stores that much. You’d think I ought to practically live there, and I’d have thought so too. But really, they freak me out a bit. It’s a constant challenge from the very second you enter. There’d be that one eager salesman who’s out to prove that he knows more than I’ll ever study.
Hey, I’m still a student too, and in music, the learning never ends. But this guy really is the Master of everything music, and what he doesn’t know probably isn’t for real.

He’s so knowledgeable.

He’s so skilled.

Man wears a backward hat.

He knows a freaking pentatonic scale and keeps playing it over and over again.

He’ll tell you that the PRS he’s playing is probably the best in town. [But his store sells freaking Gibsons on order!] He’ll talk about how he heroically quit everything to pursue hid dream (of being a music salesman?), then he’ll throw his head back and rock it sideways with his eyes closed as he plays the A# pentatonic scale again. And when he opens them again, there’s a clear challenge in his eyes.
Part of me cannot resist the challenge, but oh, for goodness sake, I only came for a guitar belt!

Breathe. Sometime, I’m going to remind him that Stratocasters are heaven and he will forever be a disappointment for this store not stocking one.
But beware that if you ever try out a guitar and play something, he’ll be there behind you, smirking. What does suck though, is that he gets to smirk anyway. Remember I’d mentioned Tantalus? I’m awkward holding all guitars on display, of course. They’re all right-handed. And then, just for variety, Soulful Salesman tells me that he too is left-handed in truth, but learnt to be comfortable playing right handed, for t’is the Right Way.

I guess that’s the real reason he has a three paragraph-long rant in his name.

But anyway, this time it was for harmonicas. I’d heard people refer to harmonicas as mouth organs, so I wasn’t sure what to tell them. On a whim, I went with the second.

“Could you show me some mouth organs?”
There. That was all it took to have triggered somebody.

A man turned to me to inquire if I’d ever played anything in my life, and why I was looking for this particular instrument.

I told him I was a guitarist and was simply interested in trying out a new instrument.
Big mistake. He immediately took me for a commitment-phobe and proceeded, over twenty minutes, to demonstrate, on both the guitar and mouth organ, what a difference commitment could make in a player.

“And, my dear child, it is a harmonica, do not call it a mouth organ!”

He didn’t work at the store (he repeatedly stressed on this point). He was eighty-four years old, an engineer and a hobbyist luthier who had a shop of his own in a nearby town. He showed a number of styles of playing, emphasising what practice could do for me, talking all the while, and all I could do was nod. In between explaining me why I shouldn’t go for a SEYDEL harmonica, being an absolute rookie, just like I wouldn’t begin driving lessons with a Ferrari (I had only wanted a look) came the story of his kid’s birth and the autobiography he was writing, and a pretty neat quote from his book. I just can’t remember what it was at this moment. The book though, is still under construction.

In the end, he told me I could drop by the store anytime, and remember, he did not work here, but they had his number and I could get in touch with him for any advice, and now I should just say “Thank you, sir”, and it was time for me to leave. And well, that’s exactly what happened.
I never actually got to see the harmonicas.

This is why I am not yet ready for college.

Oh, Buck It.

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.

Cave rants

I’m sorry for sounding like a caveperson, but the worst thing about conventional social outings is the music.

You think I’m kidding? Thought twelfth grade was hard? Try eating with Justin Beiber shrieking in close proximity to your ear.

And they all have such unshakable faith in simple minor scales… after a while, they all begin to sound the same.
Except for when they kick into G major, sheesh.

This probably sounds like hopelessly incomplete analysis, someday, I’ll tell you the exact chord progression they hide behind. A day when I’m stronger.

Anyway, if I do sound like a grumpy caveperson, I’ll correct you, I’m a nervous caveperson.

I’m blogging from amidst the exact same pandemonium I’d blogged a few weeks ago.

Ironically, the last time I was here, I was “waitlisted” (not explaining again).

This time around, I’m possibly going to be off a waitlist, one way or the other.

Either I’m in or I’m out, and I’m not kidding around this time… of course I’m nervous! (Shivers follow)

It’s so weird how five minutes, a momentary phone tap, could decide the next four years of my life. Momentous, isn’t it?

Shit, I’m nervous.

PS: Justin Beiber works both ways: I don’t have to listen to anyone speak.

Edit: I’m thinking of attempting sketches, the finger-on-napkin or character kind, to keep me going.
It kinda helps that two ladies, done with their food, have begun grooving. Easy fodder for a bored writer.
Shit, an anxious one.

Edit 2: Are things getting better or worse? We’ve moved from the Beibers to the Macarena. It’s subjective, I guess.
I need to stop before I get liveblogging.

Edit 3: (sue me) KIDS, THE NINETIES ARE HERE (cue 90’s dance-pop)
Maybe everything will be alright. Afterall, dad’s busy singing now, so he’s not trying to check my application portal!

Sketch update: The drinks are kicking in around here. No, it’s not me, even though I’ve officially crossed the legal limit. I’m still slipping into character: “I’m an adult? Oh, wait, yes, legally… I’m an adult!?”
But someone laughing here just gave Snow White’s witch a run for her money. I’ve been practising an evil laugh for years! Some people have a gift. Sigh. Never landing a job with Disney. I can’t voice their princesses, you see.

More edits: After all I’ve just said, it’s only logical that from somewhere behind me, Barbie Girl has to begin to boom. No fun, really. If you want something new, check out the Offspring’s cover of the song. Mwahaha.

Also… are the lyrics really “You can brush my hair/ Undress me anywhere”? I swear I thought it was “and dress… I cannot unhear what I’ve heard. Sigh.

The Heat Is On

I know, after my last post, I’m not even supposed to be here. I wasn’t planning to, the idea was to keep my phone off all week. Or more.

But today is 5th February, and as close as that is to my exams, I have actually been waiting for this for, what, seven months? However long it’s been since the end of July.

Today begins the (for me, and hopefully a lot more people too,) long-anticipated India vs South Africa women’s ODI series. It’s not inconsequential. The winners get to qualify directly for the 2021 Women’s World Cup! No qualifiers cup like last year.

Unlike a lot of other cricket boards, the Indian board hadn’t had any cricket lined up for ever national team for seven months. It’s true, the girls have welcomed the period, there being a lot of fatigue and injuries in the team, but it does seem a bit too long. But they’ve put up with a lot more in past decades, so oh well.

In the meantime, we have had some pretty interesting clashes around the world, the women’s Ashes and the New Zealand White Ferns triumphs in and away from home have been amazing to watch.

But when a team that was pretty dominant last year, with a very impressive win percentage throughout the calendar year, the World Cup finalists from the 2017 Cup, who lost the finals by but a margin of 9 runs, finally returns to the international circuit, don’t you think it’s a LITTLE exciting?

An opponent in the feisty South Africa, whom India only narrowly beat in all their encounters last year (save one), makes for a super-anticipated clash.

In all honesty, it’s a real bad time to be out of the cricket loop, with so many interesting series coming up!

There are both, the men’s and women’s India-South Africa ODI series going on right now in South Africa, the Tri series in Australia between Australia, New Zealand and England, and the upcoming White Ferns-West Indies clash in March. (I spent all afternoon (Okay, more like ten minutes) syncing both the Black Caps and White Ferns’ annual schedule, or as much as has been planned, to my phone.

It’s an altogether different amount of time I spent trying to figure out how I’ll be able to watch them all… not a good time to be having exams, I guess!

But New Zealand cricket is how I relax. I’m a fan, I’ll find a way!)

Now, what I’m here to rant about.

This is such an anticlimax.

The only reason I switched on my phone today was to watch (parts of) the Ind-SA women’s game.

I check all the usual sites, I look for unconventional sites, and I turn up blank.

I thought they were broadcasting.

After all the interest women’s cricket garnered in the World Cup, it should’ve been a default next step.

But no, it’s not being streamed, it’s not being televised. Please tell me if I’m wrong, I wouldn’t mind wasting a whole rant-post if I could still get the highlights.

DVQ2aRuW0AAhpne
Every once in a while though, I do get this. Thank goodness for twitter!

Come on, if no one else will do it, I should! All I need now is a good camera and an intercontinental flight ticket. Asking for much?

 

But from my, ahem, sources (I’ll always have those!) Indian captain Mithali Raj has won the toss and is batting first.

India are currently 135-1 in 31 overs, having lost opener Poonam Raut early on, for 19 runs. Ayabonga Khaka, who took her wicket,  is the only South African  bowler to have taken a wicket yet.

Opener Smriti Mandhana (of a hundred in India’s WC opener against England fame) is going steady on 79 off 89 balls, with 8 boundaries to help along the way. Skipper Raj is at the other end on a 31 off 52, 2 neat fours.

Now wouldn’t this make for a wonderful watch??

1A2777A9-AD53-45ED-A485-62D3BFE6BD40
Not only is that grammar awful, but so is its contents!

 

Searching for sources to follow a game can be exhausting. Drinks break has been called!

D78177AA-926B-42CD-9820-DC6AA825185A.jpeg
Bless the ICC, I guess.

Just spoke of blessings, here comes a curse for the Indian team!

Mandhana’s just gotten herself out, Khaka nailing her second victim of the day, and the game goes on!

(I’m happy, honestly, I am. I’m getting the game in some form. And I really am trying to study too. Just in five minutes.)

%d bloggers like this: