Everything is expected to end in a good note. Or, for jerks like me, atleast in a decent note without great disappointments. So today being the last day, I’m to judge my final note (ordeal) of the trip and rate it to myself. I wrote about every other day. But for today, I choose not to write. Obviously, it was a bad day. With remaining sight seeing and the evening cruise, the day was uneventful and boring. The rest of my day, (the finale of the trip, as they name it), was ruined and spoiled over silly pointless attitude drama. AGAIN, as they define it.
Back in train, into the abysmal night, thru the never ending tunnels. Where my soul and body fall back into the constraint of a form, yet stay satisfied being defined and complete once again.
I never ever learn. Introducing pizza to someone is the riskiest thing to do in one’s life. But I never learn and keep taking the same risk. And so I did this biggest ever blunder of my life. Took a group of fifteen to Dominos, with hardly one or two of them with any or little knowledge about this heavenly food called pizza. I still so much insisted they try pizza once in life atleast, citing how heavenly and all the more affordable and filling it could be. Outdoing each of theirs semi willingness, I just had to apply a bit more of persuasion to get them join me to Dominos. Now that we all finally set for it, we had no idea about the location of their shop. I googled, got their number, rang up and asked for landmarks and access methods. And came GPS and AGPS for our rescue. I am so wondering how’d have made it upto most of our destinations in the trip,had we not had Google Maps. Let me not talk in detail about the pizza ordering and eating experience. It was more embarrassing than my first pizza when the guy at the counter grinned at my fate! 😀 But at the end of the dinner, nobody appeared disappointed. May be not filling enough, but most seem quite okay with the new delicacy. Thank god! Domino(s) effect. I kept asking. Should have asked a rating on a scale of ten! Never mind.Next time. Yeah, I am planning on stuffing pizza into their mouths again and again, coz I love taking risks! 😛
The day’s highlight, personally, however was that I almost drowned and thought I am dying and wanted to resurface and drink some water and then die! It was in Baga beach that we spent our calm morning, with gentle waves and shallow waters. Posing for photos, tattooing, making sand ‘turtles’ (castles are outdated!), picking up ‘precious’ stones that could turn us billionnaires! We had some real fun out there! In turn, we were motivated to be all set for a complete hell break loose session in the evening! Pushing everyone into water,even those who stayed away in the morning, Calangute was an awesome beach experience with violent waves and deceiving depths! The first few metres were relatively deep and muddy. Beyond that, the shore elevated itself, under water. Naturally, we had more safe zone into the sea than normal, on height terms. I have never gone that deep into the sea alone. Not alone actually. I had another person to take care of! And then this massive wave hit us and we were pulled beneath the surface, almost drowning. I rose up once and thought I am saved and then this girl grabbed to support me or herself. Losing grip, I fell deeper and was so thrilled I’m gonna die an awesome death. And my bad! Nothing happened. The water withdrew and let me go! The salted water added to my bitterness. That’s all.
The last awesome night of IV was today. And as I knew it, we all did have maximum fun! All the last minute shopping and the ridiculuos bargains. Ah the other shop where we had a Malayali shopkeeper, and he pretended not understanding the Malayalam we spoke. We caught him red handed when he laughed with us, on our dialogues. Many incidents. Countless experiences. Infinte freedom. Memorable days. I was happy all these days. Feels like today is the last of some blissful days of life. Wanting more of them. All those short moments and long conversations. Cat fights and the giant hugs! I am so gonna miss them all.
Oh my god! OMG! The best part was not Goa. The best part was Mangalore. The best part meeting up with my pal. Has been years waiting for the day. After all the crap we’ve been thru over the years, we so badly had to catch up with eachother. And that was a perfect start for the day. From three in the morning, (after yesterday’s long bus journey), we were waiting for our train at six. And as scheduled, we had planned to meet up. And when he came, oh my god, its ridiculously true that I felt more at home with him than the rest of my group in the trip. Six and half years did no damage to our rapport. A short ten min meeting up and I almost have a separate blog post write about! Surprisingly, nobody even casually enquired about the stranger who saw me off at the station, as we left Mangalore. Towards Goa!
The dusty long tunnels by the Konkan path made the rest of the day too dry and too drab. The train was delayed and guess the aftermath! Without even freshening up, ( more precisely, with half of us not even brushing teeth), we were set for the industrial visit to NIO, compensating for the delay. National Institute of Oceanography, as they should be, showed no enthusiasm receiving us. The same being reciprocated, we sat thru the slide show for half an hour and rushed to the next in schedule. Food- brunch and later! Our accomodation was pretty much awesome.With a long balcony overlooking a pool, the two bedroom resort looked much like my typical dream apartment! I am so impressed! Sitting here in the balcony, by the pool side, writing is next only to sleep!
Finally at Goa, beaches and shopping was all we had to attend to. Calangute and Baga. At night, we had plenty of time and space and relatively too little to do. Shopping spree hasn’t caught the girls fullly yet. By tomorrow though, we are committed to pack half of Goa, along with us. And for the night it seemed like its just this small group of fifteen is alone at Goa. That was heavenly! The lot of fun, the lot of fights, the lot of arguments. I can’t quite put them into the apt words. It was a beautifull night. And I could slide all the inner turmoil and confusion under my blanket of bliss, as I now fall into abysmal sleep in the cushiony couch!
The day was this close. The day that I was anticipating ever since the inception of the idea of a trip with my classmates. The day when I’d just want to wind up everything and to back to my world. It was today that I really got into my head that all I have to do now is just get the next bus and run away from the place. I am so tired of this. Don’t know what changed overnight. Exhausted! And so I did it. I went and talked to my teacher about how my leg hurts and how I can’t walk and how I just want to go back home and relax. But yeah, I already knew she wasn’t as dumb as I wanted her to be. She didn’t buy it. Obviously. She wanted me to open up. At that point, of complete exhaustion and welling up, I didn’t mind sharing a piece of my mind with her. She, all the time, looked so sensible and did make sense too!
The day started quite like any other day except that we had to start too early in the morning to stay away from the effects of the Bharat bandh. Most the time in bus, I just slept and slept. Tired and exhausted. Up there at some monastery in Coorg, it was as surprising as our classroom sessions as about what the heck were we doing there! Without mention, it was boring. Down there at the lake, when everybody went rafting, I found reasons to stay at the bank. Partly that I had really sore leg. Partly that my dad so insisted that I do everything else in the trip, but stay away from water. And mostly, I just wanted to run away somewhere. The remaining of the day was spent with a book I never planned to open, these ten days. By evening, I got so tired that I talked to the teacher. I just wanted someone listening to my point of view things. I just wanted someone to tell me it needn’t ‘always’ be my ego, my narrow mindedness or my problem that things don’t seem perfect around me. I knew what she’d say. That this is once in a life time experience. That this should be enjoyed to the fullest. That definition to enjoyment may differ for people, but we must adjust and compromise. Blah! I knew it all. But I still just wanted someone to tell me. It was so comforting, when you feel so broken! At the end of the day, with the camp fire episode, I am gathering enough hope to survive another day and give my freaking ‘awesome’ trip one more chance of falling in. In bus again. Sleepy. Tired. Exhausted.
And finally finally, I bought something from all the shopping. A saree for my mom is the most special of them. My first single handed selection for my mom! And that turned quite eventful too. I picked one, in my usual way of knowing it IS what I want in the first sight. Asked the sales lady to keep it aside, and went digging deeper into their collections. But as always, I came back to my first choice. And it wasn’t even there! My disappointment knew no limits and I even went upto blaming their irresponsibility in not keeping my selection aside. Poor
souls. They gave me every other similar looking sarees. But nothing would please me coz I had already imagined my mom wearing that red horse bordered white based saree. I totally get why women are so particular about all those now! And as always, I got what I truly wanted, for they did find my red horses in the white ground.
Now that was too easy to get what I want. But not always is it so. We had breakfast in this cottage restaurant kinda place. There was handicraft shop right outside. From my yesterday’s desperation of not having bought anything, I turned up at the shop first. And then again, I had this perfect thing that I wanted to buy. Just so perfect that I even imagined it to be used and used and broken by the use. It was cut throat cheating. He increased the price at every bargain, sure that I’d buy it anyway. And I did buy it anyway. Knowing it was cheating. Knowing I was being fooled. I so wanted it. The perfect thing I’d gift Swathi.
At Chamundeswari temple, what awaited me was totally unpredictable. As somebody remarked, I probably entered God mode that I felt nothing as we walked thru the burning hot tiles. (not nothing at all. It was just bearable heat even for my low temperature bearing capacity). But after the temple episode, it really occurred to me how ‘unbearable’ the heat aftereffects are. My feet has now turned so sore that I can hardly make a step without moaning. With two bubbles beneath my feet, it feels like I’m walking over bubbles, inducing unbearable pain. The Mysore palace experience too went too sore that it so became my sore. With a lot of kneeling down for group photos, I almost totally ruined my legs for the rest of the day.
With a shopping planned later in the evening, I had no choice but to move on with it. The shopping was totally food since it’s gonna be Bharat Bandh tomorrow. We are to stock food, like ants do for the winter. It was exactly like ants that we gathered food. Everyone (in our newly made group) split into smaller groups, brought back all the ‘economical’ ‘filling’ goodies. Typical ants!
Back at our stay, I had this new born revelation about people in my room. Due to situational crises,
seven of us ended up in a room. The time that I keep away for blogging was spent on talking and knowing people. Quite strange of me. Still, I found it quite worth the time. Time wasted on people are never wasted. They always give you a newer dimension to build a newer plane of diverging thoughts. So here I’m,drawing character sketch of people I never knew to exist, let alone acknowledge to have had a character at all. IV is not all pain and no gain after all!
Bad bad day! Travel travel travel. Boring boring travel. Wasted time at an Industry. OMFG! Industry eh? That eh? That was such a sucking experience. Incompetence at its height! Really, is it for such companies that we are struggling to get a rotten degree? Okay, no more comments on it. May be its more of my ignorance than their incompetence. But it sucked anyway. And travel again. Travel travel travel! In a blaring bus with god knows what kinda songs and beats! I so much needed a break. And then came my coveted migraine attack. And I black out. Slept like never in this trip. Woke up only to get back in the boring repetitive dejavu!
Back at our stay, we had some good time shopping. Not very good in terms of shopping for me. But still good. For the first time, I stepped in to select something with the other buyers. Bought a frock for a kid, a friend’s cousin. Really reminded me of my brother. :)Roamed on and on and bought nothing for myself. Sad sad me! Good things keep happening though. A good dinner in a good way to dine! Good people to be with. Good place to walk around. Good shopkeepers to deal with. Good mates to share a room with. Good night’s sleep.
Oh my god is what I’d say now, at the end of the day. Today was one heck of a day! Not extremely entertaining or depressing. But eventful and exhausting. Making friends, making groups, staying around, splitting apart, regrouping oneself. It all seemed so easy and so quick. For a snail head like me, it was too silly and more tiring always. But today seemed different and things came more easy to me too.
Walking around Ramoji film city, we fell into infinitely nested groups and finally came down to be group-less. Often huddled up as a bunch of chattering chipmunks, we seldom reduced (or elevated? 😛 ) ourselves to silent monks. There wasn’t much to feel wonderful about the place. But experiences are always place and time independent. The times we had there were quite memorable. We (I’d rather choose to be in first person hereafter) made friends with more intimacy now, and I tried had to stick around as way my habit. But then it came so natural to me now that being friends needn’t be always about sticking around. (It still appeals to me though!) I learnt that having fun was definitely more important than sticking to a group ever so boring they become. Dont assume now the day was all just fun, fun and fun! We had fights. And I had my own fights. Cat fights! Over the mobile charger. Over the berth. Over guys’ ego. Over girls’ carelessness. I was pretty much annoyed and infuriated by people’s attitude on these. But I guess, so should they be feeling about it. So, never mind we’re still macha-macha friends! (I assume I’ve fallen perfectly into that group of twelve or thirteen! Not very sure about what they think. Thank god not all of them read this.)
Learning more about long journeys with totally annoying and discomforting company. Learning how a bottle of water, or a free charging point or even a freaking awesome gadget can woo them into be your ‘friends’. Oh yeah, something worse than fair weather friends! 😀 With all the cat fights and giant hugs, I’m content!
Today started off like any other day. The perfect crappy days in college. I was pretty much depressed and very sober and prone to any and every provocation. I was soon left out and had my private melodrama running in my brains. And then as I knew something would turn up, the breakfast episode started. Sharing and adjusting are things that we are so perfect at, by a single day of the journey. And there it began, the charity parity episode. I had no clue it’d run this long that even now, as we are all set to sleep, the topic still remains our interest of discussion. It all started with this one kid coming begging into our compartment. A classmate of mine was so generous that she’d practically give anything the boy asks for. And I was so much beyond just infuriated when she casually gave away the jam tin to the kid. What the fuck man! I just saw that kid running from the next compartment, with a handful of breakfast packed in the silver foil from railways. Somebody else had given him way more than what he can ever eat. It was no more begging for food but point blank cheating. And when I tell people about it, they look at me like I’m this devil’s messenger with no compassion. Its fraud and I just knew it before they did. What difference did my long lecture make! The kid easily managed to woo her into giving him another chips packet, in another some hours. It really needn’t be my concern and I’m no way directly involved. But somehow, I ended up reacting, though none really noticed me skipping my breakfast. 😛 The first half was sober enough that we really didn’t want the hijdas to walk into us to worsen our mood. But they just had to coz it was Hyderabad that we were approaching! I paid them off as I was instructed by people with previous experiences. And then someone just casually remarked, “How different is this now! In the morning, kids come and plead and now eunuchs come and threaten! One gets paid out of compassion and the other out of fear. They are exploiting.” I fell silent. I knew it was not intended at me at all. But my silence was deafening to me.
Snow world! I never thought I’d totally freak out like I just did there. I was annoyed. Frustrated. Sad. Crying. Almost out of mind. I thought I’d just turn more cold and freeze in there. But instead, I melted. My anger. My sorrow. Everything just melted at the sight of snow! I chased down people, got chased. I hit with snow, got hit. I yelled. Shoved my anger against some crap heads in plain words, before I smeared snow over them. And to some others, I said how I miss not having had fun with them earlier. I made friends. I destroyed strangers. I freaked out. Literally. 🙂
I stand up for things that I find right. Even if that means walking out of a dining hall, when the rest are eating. (I am skipping that part, but something did happen.) But then again, I was wrong about one such. I thought against having a male company for our late night shopping coz I was almost near sure that nobody would totally want our company. A couple of us girls, three to be precise, set off our way, in search of some food and some other shopping goodies if possible. And against my calculations, we had volunteering male company. And frankly, I thought no good of them coz they were barely in talking terms with me, in other circumstances. To my greater surprise, when I had to dial one of them for an emergency, I almost thought he wouldn’t even pick since roaming charged would cost him and he picked! Not only did he just pick, I got multiple calls from both those guys ensuring where we were and if we reached back safe. I was surprised. I still am.
The day one of our Industrial Visit from college. In other words, my first perfect day of ten days away from everyone and everything. Cant call it too perfect a day. But it definitely was a perfect start for a series of hopefully perfect days! 😛 Started early morning at seven by train and I’m still in train as I type this. Has been really long after spending more than twenty four hours in train. And I totally love this feeling of a wobbly train, gently rolling about the perfect sized berth. Writing is the perfect thing to do now. But as I mentioned, it is wobbly. Typing is the next near perfect thing I can think of!
Doesn’t seem like I can give a point to point review of the day. But there are definitely things I wouldn’t want to miss sharing. Played cards as ever. But never played like today. And the trump was awesome. (Forgiveness expected from the relevant self! 🙂 )After all the frequent and consistent training I got all these years, its only today that I ‘really’ played the game. One heck of a game! My first cheating in the game. My first losing the game, which multiplied by so many times that I adorned my ears with the cards! (Didn’t have the actual thing (vellakka) that you hang on the ears to symbolise the defeat! ) My first conversations with a lot of my classmates. Yeah! I should be ashamed of it, after two long years of coexistence. So should be they. Never mind. Coz made upto all of it today and will do more in the days to come. My first ‘political’ discussion, abusing an ideology on the face of an activist. It was as out of my scope as it was intriguing. My (not first) awesome experience at the door of the coach. My classmates almost thought I’m on a suicide mission. They wanted me to stay alive till we come back, so that it doesn’t screw up their trip. 😛 I wasn’t planning to die anyway. My first awesome experience with filter coffee. Though I drooled over coffee, I kept my safe distance from the filter one. Getting down on the platform just to get that awesome coffee was worth it!
At the end of the day, the only face that prominently stays is of that old lady from who I bought a dozen of safety pins. Her smile was the most warm, so much reminding my ammammai’s (grandma’s). I didn’t want safety pins. Perhaps, she wanted someone to buy it. I’m glad today. Bliss!
And finally, I too was set for it. With my kaalan kuda (I really dont know what that’s called in English. Help welcome!), walking ahead like the head of the family, that was my n-th trip for buying a bag for my impending looong journey. Walked all around tvm for a petty bag and still couldn’t make it upto buying one! It was a pleasure everytime. To go wander, on and on, with no particular goal in my mind. I was just walking and seeing new things, meeting new people. It was all good and comfy. I never minded not ‘buying’, though that’s what I primarily went around for. Today, however, ended up different.
So I was walking as the head of the family, leading my mom and sister. Of course with my kaalan kuda. (That’s the part I loved the most!) We walked in and out of shops. A bag. That’s all what we wanted. Obviously though, we had an eye on all the textiles on display too. The first shop we got into was a textile shop. Thought we could make a quick peep on the displays and walk out soon. But so much for my annoyance, there was nothing on display. A lady was all set to take out the ‘exact’ kinda dress we wanted, with colour and pattern specifications, out of the shelves and put them on display for us. I had an instant attitude problem with that lady. So much so that I flipped the plate and told my mom how I never wanted dress. I just wanted to get out of the place and get away from that lady before our eyes meet again. And we walked out. We, rather I, dropped the idea of textiles. Another couple of metres, and we reached where it seemed like we could dive in for what we needed (a bag!) in any direction and still resurface with it! First in row, we saw nothing like what ‘I’ wanted. But it was still difficult to get my family out of the place. I dragged them into the immediate next door and still found nothing. But I saw my mom bidding the fellow at the shop, with enquiries about if sundays would be working for them. And that she would like to come with her husband (my dad, yeah.) and confirm on what to choose. I liked his attitude when he said how wonderful it’d be that we better check out the bags on sundays then rather than waste theirs and our time! That was so direct that…! 😀 And the next shop was the best! Oh my god! I’d really recommend that guy for some marketing ‘awesomeness’ award. He was so flawless. But his bags weren’t. I’d have surely bought from him otherwise. He gave me a five min lecture on how trolley wheels are bad for air bags and how the inclination and the ease for pulling it around would never sync. I almost thought I was in my most dreaded Physics class learning the ‘FLE’ again. I patted him on his shoulder (in my mind) and congratulated him on his performance, if he could really see the grin that I hid in my occasional smiles. We walked out very politely, thanking him and letting him know that I STILL wanted a trolley coz I didn’t understand his Physics anyway! For the final lap, we decided on textiles coz we (read I) dropped plans about the bag. Giving it a start, I walked into the next immediate shop and got out in a jiffy. I ushered my mom to walk along and advocated her on financial management and value for money! And then she said it! ‘Unnoda appavoda kooda kadakku poka ivvalavu paadillai. Onnum vangavum cheyyama ippadi lo lo ennu alayalam.’ (Its not this difficult to shop with your dad. Dont buy a thing and walk around like a maniac.)
I beamed. Instantly. And my face glowed. With a misplaced yet unmatched pride.
P.S. I consciously left a lot of my sister’s comments. That’d sound more like boasting beyond anybody’s threshold. 😛 But one thing for sure is that, I’d not have been this happy had I got the thing I went shopping for. I’d have never beamed, with a bag in hand. Shopping is not all about buying.