Every cell aligned,
so perfect, it’s almost fake—
it’s nature at work.

The Great Adventure

It’s June now, but I’d still like to think March was recent. Having said that, I’d give anything to revisit my recent visit to the western borders of India. I’ve written quite a lot of my travels, and spoken about it even more. To be honest, I brought back over a thousand photos, and I needed a way to flaunt them.


But it wasn’t just about the charming sights and endless stream of photos. There were so many new things I had to get used to, and I did. It wasn’t easy being thrown into a vehicle with five others and travelling uphill with my head swirling. But I got used to it. I had no choice, but I enjoyed it too.

And we travelled with kids. Small kids, infants, even. That was my tipping point. I wasn’t keen on having kids on the trip, because they have a tendency to ruin it for the rest of us. And sure enough, there were a few tears, a few tantrums, and plenty of throwing up incidents I’d rather erase from my memory. It’s not something I liked or would recommend, but I got used to it. I just had to accept the fact that we were a party of twenty four, including three senior citizens and five kids, braving a temperature as low as -6˚C.

I hated having to give up the window seats and making small conversation every time we stopped for tea. But when I look back at the whole trip, I have nothing but memories I cherish. I enjoyed every bit of it. It was hard at first, and I had my own inertia to overcome, but once I did, I saw how beautiful even mundane things like a steep U bend became. It brought me closer to the people I travelled with. I hadn’t expected to meet a sixty-five year old eager to jump into a freezing lake. It showed me a different side of the people I thought I knew. I hadn’t liked the idea of travelling with my colleagues’ parents, but I had judged too soon. Because by the time we returned, they had became as close to me as my own parents.

It was an adventure of a lifetime.

Chapter Fifty One: Eight Years Later

Dear Diary,

I’m sorry I haven’t written in a long time. It’s just, I am so busy with my life and all the other lives I’m now a part of. A lot has been happening lately.

Today dawned just another boring Tuesday, but the important thing, today’s Pa’s ninth death anniversary. I was a quiet day, and I made his favourite chapatti — just the usual.

Also, we got some great news yesterday. “Dissolve Addiction” members are all doing really well. We have succeeded more than I thought. I’m really glad. We’ve got new volunteers and a whole lot of benefactors. Yay!

Anil’s interview aired yesterday, and he was amazing of course. He spoke of us and how we got things started. And he spoke of Niveda. I didn’t know he would, and after a long time, thinking of her made me cry. If only we could have saved her.

I saw him do the interview, but seeing him on television really gave me the spark. You know what? He looked so handsome in that blue shirt I picked up, I couldn’t take my eyes off him.

Anyway, about “Dissolve Addiction” — we’ve sent out thousands of people who are better off. Their families are so grateful to see them free. It’s priceless. Particularly the children. I’ve never been happier for starting this organization.

Anil is taking care of the organization, and I’m juggling between this and teaching. He’s done a great job, really. He’s almost taking care of everything single handed. I’m so glad he doesn’t regret quitting his job. It’s as if both he and I have taken our inspiration from James.

But here’s the truth, Diary. In the beginning, we got nowhere, and I worried about failing. None of our members were motivated enough, they tried, yes, but kept giving up. And then James heard of our endeavour and called us. It was James and Rasheed (Remember him? The physician who treated Niveda?) who helped us get on track. Rasheed connected us with a few professionals and then it was all success from there.

Ms Marrie called today. She’s having a good time. She likes traveling and meeting new people. It’s surprising, you know, how she’s so active for her age. We celebrated her fortieth birthday last year, and she bubbled with energy. She was like these women in American TV series. You know, those old women who neither look nor sound old? That’s how she is, she’s got herself a comfortable car and is planning to make road trips throughout the country.

Another weird thing happened last night. Niveda’s mother called me. Can you believe it? I didn’t think so.

She called in to say she was sorry. ‘What for?’ I asked, and she said, it was for the way she had treated me all those years ago. I told her she should feel sorry for the way she had treated Niveda. After all, it was her fault, right?

Anyway, I don’t even know why she suddenly thought of apologizing. Maybe it was the interview. But I don’t care about her. I have other, important things to worry about.

That’s it for now, I think.
Talk later.

What’s your choice?

When it comes to words of wisdom, she’s now my go-to person. It’s pretty amazing how whatever she’s written is so relatable. I have a choice - Sylvia Plath It’s like she’s seen right through you and spoken the very words that you would cringe to admit. I don’t know about you guys, but I sure have found myself in the “in between” point that Sylvia mentions. I’ve been torn between the choice of being happy and the undeniable circumstances of mourning.

In fact, when you pay enough attention to it, there’s a lot to worry about. Work, family, health, debt, duties… it’s an endless list. And these are mostly sad instances. There’s nothing joyful about work pressure, or health issues.

But then, there’s the choice.

Isn’t it better to be happy about earning enough to enjoy a great movie at the theatre with corn that’s popped to perfection, than worry about being constantly picked on at work? But it’s not always the option we’d opt for; we’d usually get stuck “in between.”

And that’s where we need to make a conscious choice. It’s either happiness or sadness – because even introspective sadness has a calming effect on the soul, whereas indecisiveness is just a complete fiasco.

Another Year. Yet Again

Google surprised me. Yet again.

My own personalised doodle!

I don’t remember seeing a personalized Google doodle for my last birthday. It’s just this year. Perhaps it’s not such a big deal, maybe it’s been around for some time now. But no one I ever know spoke of this, and I thought it was pretty cool to suddenly find out on my birthday at 12.35 AM.

That said, the intent of the post is not to thank Google. It’s to reflect on the past one year. But just as I typed that out, I realized that would be boring. It would be boring to read and even more so to write about.

So, let’s talk about today.

Things will change from today. I’ve been away from work for a week and in the meantime, I cut my hair off. I had weak and almost-long hair. Now it’s short, easily manageable. So, it’s bound to raise eyebrows – not something I’m not used to. Plus, going back to work really means, having to work on Mondays and Fridays. That I’m not thrilled of. But at least there’ll be Saturday afternoons.

Apart from that, life would be pretty normal. It’ll be tough to get back to the routine after a week of chaotic lifestyle. It’s going to be difficult to get back to waking up at 5.30 and hitting the sack  before 11.

Enough of the rant though.

It’s my birthday. I’m twenty as of today. No more a teenager, no more a kid. Of course, to my mother, I’m always a small child, but mothers don’t count. I’ve grown a lot. I’ve grown out a lot of my old, childish habits, and also a few clothes. I’ve grown out of the “irresponsible” age and am supposedly into the enjoyable twenties, the age of responsible drinking. (Does anyone else ever think that the words “responsible” and “drinking” don’t go well together?)