The Curious Incident of the Reading Challenge

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

I like reading. This is because it allows me to think of things that are not real like a 15 year old boy with behavioural difficulties travelling alone in London. But sometimes I find it difficult to read because when I read I forget to do other things and I need to do other things for school. So I started reading less. But I miss reading. This is why I decided to do the Reading With Muffy challenge. Muffy said that I should read a book about a dog in January. Muffy is a dog I 'Follow' on Instagram. So I read 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time' by Mark Haddon. And it made me feel like this.

It is very interesting because it is a murder mystery. It is also a story about a very brave boy who tries to overcome his fears and difficulties. I like this book because it is simple and people of any age can understand it. Mr Haddon used simple words to explain the complex mind of Christopher. He made sure that Christopher never goes 'Out Of Character'. Christopher is introduced as a regular boy who is a little different. He has 'Special Needs', but points out that even 'Normal' people have special needs. I like Christopher because he is logical and takes decisions based on facts. This helps him overcome his fears and set priorities. He likes maths, like me, and finds prime numbers fascinating. Unlike me, he has a good memory. I wish I could learn the 'Memory Palace Method' from him.  Christopher showed me that even when we are usually rational, sometimes we need a few irrational ideas, fears, likes and dislikes to help organise our life and thoughts.

Father and Mother are realistic characters with both good and bad sides. All characters are introduced through simple facts and events in Christopher's life as narrated by him. Christopher's day shows us the issues faced by people with behavioural difficulties. But instead of showing them as negative points, Mr Haddon tells us how the boy overcomes each stage.

I read this book during the Christmas vacation. It was nice. Then I finished reading the book. And it made me feel like this.

Everyone interested in reading about psychology or children or dogs or behavioural difficulties or parenting or fiction should read this book.

നോട്ട്ർ ഡാം ഡെ പാരിസ് – The Hunchback of Notre Dame – A book review

ഈ അടുത്ത കാലത്തൊന്നും മനസ്സിനെ ഇത്രയും ആട്ടിയുലച്ച ഒരു സംഭവം ഉണ്ടായിട്ടില്ല! അഗ്നിയെ എനിക്കെന്നും ഭയവും ബഹുമാനവും ആണ്. ഇന്നൊരിക്കൽ കൂടി അഗ്നി കാണിച്ചു തന്നിരിക്കുന്നു, എല്ലാം ക്ഷണികം. എല്ലാം പ്രകൃതിയുടെ വികൃതി; അതോ മനുഷ്യന്റെയോ?

നോട്ട്ർ ഡാം. അവളെന്റെ കൂട്ടുകാരി ആണ്. തമ്മില്‍ കാണാതെയും സംസാരിക്കാതെയും ഉറ്റ ചങ്ങാതിമാര്‍ ആയിരിക്കുന്ന സുഹൃത്തുക്കള്‍ ഇല്ലേ? അത് പോലൊരു സൗഹൃദം. ‘ആണ്’ എന്നു പറയാന്‍ കാര്യം.. നേരില്‍ കണ്ടിട്ടില്ലാത്ത എനിക്ക് അവൾ അന്നും, ഇന്നും, എന്നും ഒരുപോലെയാണ്. ശിരസ്സിലെ മകുടം ഇന്ന് ഇല്ലെങ്കിലും ഞാൻ അത് കണക്കാക്കുന്നില്ല. എന്തെന്നാല്‍, എന്റെ മനസ്സില്‍ ആരോ വരച്ചിട്ടിരിക്കുന്ന രേഖാചിത്രത്തിൽ അവള്‍ക്ക് എന്നും ഒരു രൂപമാണ്. അതേ സുന്ദരമായ രൂപം.

ഒരിക്കലും കണ്ടിട്ടില്ലെങ്കിലും അറിയാം എനിക്കവളെ. കുട്ടിക്കാലത്ത് അച്ഛൻ പറഞ്ഞ് തന്ന ഹഞ്ച്ബാക്കി൯റ്റെ കഥയിലൂടെയും, പിന്നീട്‌ കോളേജിൽ ഹിസ്റ്ററി ഓഫ് ആർകിടെക്ച്ചർ പ്രൊഫസർ കാണിച്ചു തന്ന അദ്ഭുതകരമായ ദൃശ്യങ്ങളിലൂടെയും, ഹ്യൂഗോയുടെ വാക്കുകളുടെ എന്നോ വായ്ച്ച അബറിട്ജ്ട് ട്രാൻസലേഷണിലൂടെയും, ക്വാസിമോടോയുടെ പ്രണയത്തിലൂടെയും, എസമെരാൾഡയുടെ ലാസ്യത്തിലൂടെയും.

നോട്ട്ർ ഡാം, അതൊരു പ്രതീകം ആയിരുന്നു. പലതിന്റെയും. സ്റ്റെയി൯ട് ഗ്ലാസ്സും റോസ് വി൯ടോയും ഫ്ളയിങ് ബട്ട്രസ്സുകളും കൊണ്ട്, എനിക്കേറ്റവും പ്രിയപ്പെട്ട ഗോത്തിക് ആ൪ക്കിട്ടെക്ച്ച൪ എന്തെന്ന് എനിക്ക് പറഞ്ഞു തന്ന അമൂല്യ നിധി. സ്പയർ കത്തി നിലക്കുന്ന കാതേട്രാലിനെ പറ്റി വായ്ക്കണം എന്നു തോന്നി. അങ്ങിനെ ആണ് ഈ പുസ്തകം കൈയിൽ എടുത്തത്. എന്തുകൊണ്ടും നല്ല തീരുമാനം. ഇംഗ്ലണ്ടിലേക്കുള്ള യാത്രയിൽ കൊണ്ടുവരാൻ സാധിച്ചില്ലെങ്കിലും ക്യാംപസിലെ ലൈബ്രറിയിൽ പോയി ആദ്യ ദിവസം തന്നെ സാധനം കൈക്കലാക്കി. ഞാൻ കണ്ടിട്ടുള്ളത്ര ബാത്ത് സിറ്റിയുടെ മനോഹാര്യത അവളും കണ്ടിരിക്കണം. ഹൂഗോയുടെ സ്വന്തം വാക്കുകളിൽ വായ്ക്കാൻ കഴിയുന്നവരോട് അസൂയ തോന്നുന്നു. ട്രാൻസലേഷൻ ആണെങ്കിലും ആർകിടെക്ച്ചർ ഇത്ര ഭങ്ങിയോടെ എഴുതി ഇതിന് മുമ്പ് കണ്ടിട്ടില്ല. ആ റോസ് വി൯ടോയിലൂടെ സൂര്യാസ്തമനത്തെ വർണിച്ചത് വായ്ച്ചപ്പോൾ പാരീസിൽ ഒരു സന്ധ്യ ചിലവഴിച്ച പോലെ തോന്നി.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

പൊതുവേ ഒരു പുസ്തകം വായ്ച്ചു കൊറേ നാള് കഴിഞ്ഞാൽ എനിക്ക് വാചകങ്ങളോ, ചിലപ്പോഴൊക്കെ കഥ തന്നെയോ ഓര്മ നിൽക്കാറില്ല. ഇക്കാര്യത്തിലും എന്റെ മനസ്സിൽ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നത് ക്വാസിമോടോയുടെയും എസ്മരാൾഡയുടെയും നോട്ട്ർ ഡാം കാതേട്രാലിന്റേയും ഒരു പ്രതിഛായ മാതം ആണ്. ആർച്ച്ഡീക്കൺ എന്നൊരു കഥാപാത്രം എന്റെ അറിവിലോ ഓർമയിലോ ഇല്ലായിരുന്നു. എന്നാൽ ഈ കഥയിലെ ഏറ്റവും ഭീകരം ആയ കഥാപാത്രം ഇതായിരുന്നു. ഒരേ സമയം ജിജ്ഞാസ ഉളവാക്കാനും അതേ പോലെ തന്നെ ബോറടിപ്പിക്കാനും അങ്ങേർക്ക് കഴിഞ്ഞു എന്നതാണ് സത്യം.

ഓരോ പുസ്തകവും ഓരോ കാലത്തിന്റെയും അന്നത്തെ സമൂഹത്തിന്റെയും പ്രതീകങ്ങൾ ആണ്. പുസ്തകങ്ങളെ സ്നേഹിക്കുന്നുവെങ്കിലും ഞാൻ ക്ലാസിക്സ് ഒരുപാട് ഇഷ്ടപ്പെടുന്ന ആളല്ല. കാരണം അവയിൽ പലതിലും എനിക്ക് സമാനുഭാവം അനുഭവപ്പെടാറില്ല. എനിക്ക് ഏറ്റവും ഇഷ്ടപ്പെട്ട ക്ലാസിക് ആണ് വുതെറിങ് ഹൈറ്റ്സ്. സമൂഹത്തിന്റെ സ്വഭാവത്തെ നല്ലവണ്ണം അത് പ്രതീകരിക്കുന്നു. അതിനു ശേഷം അങ്ങനെ തോന്നിപ്പിച്ച ഒരു ക്ലാസിക് ആണ് ഹഞ്ച്ബാക്ക് ഓഫ് നോട്ട്ർ ഡാം. നൂറ്റാണ്ടുകൾ പിന്നിട്ടിട്ടും മനുഷ്യന്റെ പിന്നോക്ക ചിന്താഗതികളുടെ വേരുകൾ പടർന്നു പന്തലിച്ചു കിടക്കുന്നു. സമൂഹത്തിന്റെ മുൻവിധിയോട് കൂടിയ പെരുമാറ്റത്തിൽ ഒരു മാറ്റവും ഇല്ല. മുൻധാരണ മൂലം സ്വന്തം മകളെ പോലും തിരിച്ചറിയാൻ ആവാതിരുന്ന ഒരമ്മയുടെ മാനസികാവസ്ഥയിൽ ഞാൻ കാണുന്നത് ഇന്നത്തെ അന്ധ സമൂഹത്തെ ആണ്.

ഭാവനയും ചിത്രീകരണവും എന്നും വായനയുടെ അവിഭാജ്യ ഘടകം ആയിരുന്നു. പക്ഷേ എന്തുകൊണ്ടോ ക്വാസിമോടോയുടെ രൂപം എത്രതന്നെ വായ്ച്ചിട്ടും മനസ്സിലായിട്ടില്ല. അത്രകണ്ട് വികൃതം എന്നൊന്നുണ്ടോ? സത്യത്തിൽ ഒന്നിനെയും വക വെയ്ക്കാത്ത, ജീവൻ നല്കിയ മണ്ണിനെ പോലും സ്നേഹിക്കാത്ത, സ്വന്തം താല്പര്യങ്ങൾക്ക് വേണ്ടി പ്രകൃതിയെ കൊല്ലാകൊല ചെയ്യുന്ന നമ്മുടെ മനസ്സല്ലെ വികൃതം? നമ്മൾ അല്ലേ സത്യത്തിൽ നോട്ട്ർ ഡാമിനെ നശിപ്പിച്ചത്? നമ്മൾ അല്ലേ സത്യത്തിൽ എസ്മെറാൾഡയെ മരിക്കാൻ വിധിച്ചത്?

മനുഷ്യനും പ്രകൃതിയും ഒന്നാണെന്ന് വിവരം ഉള്ളവര് പറഞ്ഞു കേട്ടിട്ടുണ്ട്. അങ്ങനെ ആണെങ്കില്, ഒരു പക്ഷേ ആ ദ്വന്ദ്വത്തിന്റെ പേരായിരിക്കാം ക്വാസിമോടോ. പ്രകൃതി അവന്റെ ലോലമായ മനസ്സും മനുഷ്യൻ അവന്റെ വികൃത രൂപവും ആവാം. ഒരു തരം മ്യൂട്ടേഷൻ.

Vistara

This is just a little something I wrote for my college magazine a few years back, about one of the most wonderful experiences I had there; organising the annual college fest. Now, preparing to go back to the role of a student for my post-graduation, I am reminiscing those days of fun and toil.

February 2014

The most awaited semester for a GCA student; the 6th semester, when you get the fabulous opportunity of organising the college event Vistara!!!

And surely, all the waiting did not go waste. Organising Vistara ’14 has grown into one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Moments that will always be remembered and lessons that will never be forgotten. The past few months have surely helped me evolve, having given me lessons in organisation, dedication, and so much more. Never before has been there a time that tested my patience so.

The small moments of joy on getting small sponsors, the satisfaction of a few responsibilities being completed, the few moments of dismay when you feel you do not have the voice you deserve, the anger that you cannot express towards the ones who appear out of nowhere and criticize the ones that are working hard, the times of pride on seeing the product of your hard-work – these sum up my memories of Vistara preparation.

The 5th semester ended in all excitement of the upcoming event. Having started on the preparation and promised to ourselves and each other to work for Vistara in full power once we are back, we left for the class tour. We soon returned, leaving behind the chilling cold of the North; once again back to the thrill and joy of the making of Vistara.

Though very much excited in the beginning, the class seemed to lose interest as time went by. In just a few days, the class went back to the age old habit of laziness. The participation of the majority of the class ended at visiting various sponsors, which, I have to agree, is no small thing. This might have caused concentration of work on a few of us, but we did not really mind! We were ready to dedicate any amount of time and energy to this dream of ours.

It was no easy job getting from other college-mates, the little help we did manage to, being part of a very unique batch of students who have always had a very poor connection with other batches. Luckily, we had good relations with some, while very formal relations with others. Slowly, with their help, we built the event up.

Happy to have done a wide variety of work, from keeping of all records and searching for sponsors to making the stage backdrop with my friends and doing installations with juniors, now I look upon the end product of our hard-work – Vistara ’14 – with a sweet sense of bliss.

As I look back at the struggles and clashes of the last few days while corresponding with other colleges for registration and results and our own college-mates during preparation, and so much more, it dawns on me – Our class is not so bad after all!!

Vistara ’14 has given me a new reason to be, however divided and disorganised it may be, proud of my class.

Balance

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The most difficult thing in life is to get that perfect balance - of work and leisure, of boredom and fun, of purpose and laziness, of extraversion and introversion, of personal needs and social calls, of selflessness and selfishness, of good and bad, of black and white, and so on.
No, this is isn't a random unrelated quote. I am just penning down the thoughts I had while I drew this.
The most important and frequent problem I encounter while drawing, is my fear of blank spaces. I try to fill the space with patterns, and leave no void, black or white. I fear that voids might make my art incomplete, and I sub-consciously fill up all the voids with intricate patterns. Intricacy is my "thing", after all! It took me quite a while to understand that by creating so much clutter, I am depriving my art of its depth, and hence, a life, or a soul. Too flat, one could say, in simpler terms.
My fear of voids could very well be connected to a fear of emptiness at a higher, emotional level. I have always found myself incapable of doing nothing. Those of my friends who can, tell me that it is a highly freeing experience. But I can never let myself be idle. My mind has to, forever, be thinking, imagining, complicating and resolving. I feel a constant need to employ myself in productive tasks. I don't mean that I don't laze around, mind you. I just have a checklist on the back of my mind that reminds me of the time I am wasting, as I laze. Sometimes, on days on which I feel completely useless, I even manage to get some panic attacks. On those days, even my art is too slow to comfort.
I used to think of my art as doodling. My inspiration came from people who did doodles and my own love for patterns and all things aligned. Other times, I never "thought" of my art at all. I never thought of a possibility of there being a similar form of art, complete with mathematical rules guiding the artist. I owe it to my friend for introducing me to the concepts of "mandala" (which I knew about, but not in an artistic perspective) and "zentangle". Though I do not identify with either, I feel that knowing those terms have helped me understand my own art better.
My friend works on (from what I understand) a combination of Mandala art and Zentangle, while not limiting herself to the rules of either. She finds peace in the tumult of lines, and it was during one of those comfortable silences with her that I observed her work her magic. What struck me the most was how confident she was - her hands steady, her lines strong. The composition came easy. The balance that I longed for seemed to come naturally to her. She is my inspiration to push my artistic boundaries. Since that day, I have been trying to fight my fear of voids. With every new piece that I work on, I try to bring in bigger patches of smooth, clean, blank.
In spite of the trials of my childhood and the training from my architecture degree, I was never impressed by anything I drew. I know, I know! Everyone is an artist, and every artist has a signature style. I guess I am still discovering mine. I started doodling so as to take my mind off things from everyday life. I function better when I multi-task, and this seemed like a nice and productive way to challenge myself. In order to keep myself on edge, I try to bring complexities within order. In art, I have found, the best way to do that, is through the use (or overuse) of circles. A circle is the single most simple, and at the same time, the single most complex geometrical form, ever. I find it fascinating, how circles both simplify and complicate a composition.
The journey to calling myself an artist wasn't an easy one. I have only recently accepted what I do as art. I know that art, in its essence, is more inclusive than that. But I prefer to be critical of myself. But it truly is difficult balancing my love for perfection and my admiration of the imperfect. My art isn't perfect. But my art and I have met midway now. Now, I tell myself : I too, am an artist.
It is exhilarating to give in to your instincts; to be spontaneous. To not have an ultimate goal, but to consider the process a journey, where the destination will surprise me as much as the next person. While drawing this particular piece, I managed to surprise myself a few times with something new - a new type of line, an unusual pattern, a break in the default.
I have heard of how relaxing the process of drawing can be, when you really get into it. But I never expected it to be a changing experience. In addition to instilling patience, perseverance and motor control, every time I draw, it kindles something in my mind. At times, I have had to revisit some areas of the drawing, and while I do so, I get reminded of how similar it is to the working of the world in general, as with balance. There are some things that you just don't learn, even after being told multiple times. There are some things that you forget to remember. Things you learn only on personal experience. But who would have thought such a life experience can be found within art?! This drawing has once again shown me how a tiny little thing can make a huge impact on the overall picture (pun intended).
So here's to an amazing, spontaneous, even adventurous artistic life ahead of me, you and everyone. May art give you all the life lessons you need, and may we all get that perfect balance between what you are, what you are becoming, what you need to be, and what you want to be.

The Child and the Street

February 28, 2017

Throughout my final years at college, I had done various levels of study on kids and their relation to spaces. I also had a few friends in my class with similar dedication. We have always got positive feedback as to how our passion towards the topic is reflected in our study. When we had to choose a Thesis topic, though we had diverse options in our mind, deep down, I think, we always knew that we would design for children. That is how I ended up doing an ‘Integrated school’ and one of my friends ended up doing a ‘Centre for street children’. This was an opportunity for us to learn more about child growth and psychology. Even as I was deeply involved in my study and the design it would lead to, my friend’s topic fascinated me. I remember asking her for briefs of everything she had read, heard or observed. I remember her quoting the main tagline of her project, “You can take the child out of the street, but never the street out of the child”. I remember eagerly listening to her as she explained to me how she translated that tagline into her design.All these rushed to my mind in a sudden wave of emotion, when I heard that a student my colleague was mentoring for Thesis, was working on ‘Centre for street children’ for his Architectural Design Thesis. The topic seems to be trending, what with my friend working on it first, and now these students! It is indeed a really interesting topic, especially for those like me with passion towards it.  We all have, for sure, encountered these cute (but dirty), tiny human beings that we call ‘street children’, at some point in our lives. Most of us just ignore it, considering them unimportant. But some of us are part of moments that could remain in our hearts forever. Today, I would like to share one such experience with you, so that you may understand the seriousness of the situation at hand!This happened during my college days. We were on a tour away from college. It was one of those dream-come-true moments for me. A visit to the golden shrine standing at the centre of a peaceful water body. The ambience and tranquillity there was unmatched. Awestruck by the quiet I felt in that crowded space, I couldn’t help but smile ear-to-ear. I knew I’d hate to leave the place. But alas, I had to!! The bliss was short-lived.As I walked out from the ever-so-beautiful Golden temple, I felt a slight tug at my clothes. I looked down to find a small child, 5 or 6 years of age, hoping to sell an image of some deity. Soon, a slightly older girl joined him and together they pleaded me to buy something, as they needed money to pay for food and school. They uttered heart-breaking phrases like “Do din se kuch nahi khaya, didi” (We haven’t eaten anything since two days)and “Kal school me fees bharne hai” (We have to pay our fees in school tomorrow). My brain kept telling me that these were probably ‘pick-up lines’ they used on everyone. But I love kids!! It pained me greatly to see them begging like that. Over the few days of that North-India tour, I realised that the streets of India are filled with children of various age groups begging, stealing and/or selling petty stuff, apparently to make money for food and education (which I doubt that they get, anyway).Movies and articles have taught me to believe that the adorably sad kids are just another tool for the street mafia to extract money from the people in the name of sympathy. But when you see those pleading eyes and the tiny delicate fingers that wrap around yours, all that matters is that you want to, somehow, help the little ones. And maybe you can… maybe you can help those one or two children who run to you the moment you step out of the temple (that is, assuming that your help is eventually useful to those children and not some mafia leader behind them). But what do you do when there are 10 or 50 such pairs of hands stretched towards you, asking the same generosity of you?It’s been 3 years since that day. I still haven’t been able to figure out an answer to these questions. It’s a sad thing, really… Begging on the streets, while they should, actually, be spending their time learning. I wished I could do something about it. But sadly enough, I don’t have the means to help them! I probably don’t even have the means to keep aside time to help them.
As architects, we have this habit of considering any kind of problem-solving our responsibility, because almost every issue has an architectural solution that could make the situation better. This is probably why we choose such topics for our Theses… In hopes of carrying our ideas forward sometime in the future. Maybe someday I can help educate and uplift these kids. As of now, I just know that it is no child’s play! 

Starting the New Year in frustration

January 01, 2017

It’s funny how some people can affect you with their negative energy, however unimportant they might be to you. I am the kind of person who not just likes to remain happy at all times, but also succeeds in doing so most of the time. I am known to be a very happy person and I too believe so. I always keep negative energy at bay and avoid negative personalities. But sometimes, it is not so easy. Some people are such that they cannot be kicked out of your life.

Today, being the first day of the year, was meant to be kept happy and positive. That is what we all wish for, for we believe that a good beginning will ensure a good year. For the same reason, I decided to bring a smile to a very special person today. I was aware of the possible consequences. I knew I’d have to expose myself to the negative energies I’ve been avoiding. But what the heck!! I can’t let a few unimportant people affect my decisions! I know I can do this!

Just like I had imagined, the time I spent there was uncomfortable and highly irritating. But atleast, I’m glad the feeling is mutual! I left, wondering how it was that that place managed to awaken so much anger in ME, a generally calm and composed person… There’s something about that place.. the people.. the air.. each tiny speck of dust.. that makes me yearn for a punching bag (or person) every time I step out!! But being who I am, I just grind my teeth and get over it (or maybe I should say, brood over it). Perhaps I’d feel much better now if I had actually found something (or someone) to punch!! But hey!! That’s against my character! So I just calm myself down by sharing my experience with my dear and near… By now, I believe, you understand, that my purpose of writing today is the same…

I had not planned to write again so soon. But the circumstances are such that I had to!! Thanks for hearing me through, buddies!! I really appreciate you reading till the end, knowing the vague nature of my writing today! This is because it concerns real people who I don’t care about enough to mention in my precious blog! This is just a platform for me to express my feelings and that is exactly what I am doing.

Each post in this blog speaks of a different emotion because even though I wrote a lot many times in between these posts, these were the events that actually affected my soul deeply enough… I have written so many words which never made it to the blog because they came from my brain.. And even my brain knows that to be worth publishing, words need to come from the heart (the metaphoric one)!! So the ones you’ve read have come straight from my heart, out in one single continuous flow!

I hope you can empathise – or at the very least, sympathise – with me on this. But more than that, I hope that writing this, I have taken this feeling out from my heart, through my arm, my fingers and my pen, onto a paper, and then into this blog post… I hope that I will not brood over this anymore and will go back to my usual happy self!!  Wish me luck!!

Once again, let me wish you all a very Happy New Year and many more ahead!! (Ironic, saying this at the end of an angry post, but, anyway…) So long, and thanks for all the fish!!! 🙂

A different kind of New Year’s Eve

December 31, 2016

My first New Year’s Eve alone… If I’m not mistaken, my first New Year’s Eve away from home!! It’s a totally different feeling. Perhaps I am feeling a bit homesick. I mean, what are celebrations without family?!! Christmas and New Year have been a tradition in my home for some time now, more likely to be celebrated than Onam or Deepawali. I don’t know if this is because Christmas and New Year allow a lighter, simpler, easier celebration or because of the spirit of ‘Goa’.

Back home, the celebration continues without me and my brother. We, away from home, celebrate in our own little ways. Now I wonder… What thoughts are going on in their minds? Just like it is my first new year away from family, it is their first new year without me, in years. They probably miss me like they do everyday. But for me, today is special. Everything about today is special. The boredom, the homesickness, the loneliness, every little feeling is special. It is as relaxing as it is haunting, as exciting as it is uneventful. This sudden wave of mixed emotions shall always be cherished. I wonder if my brother felt the same way on his first New Year’s Eve away. It is difficult to tell – New Year’s Eves were different for us in those days – and I never asked… And even though he has spent many a New Year’s Eves away from home after that, I doubt if he has ever spent one alone.

The day before New Year. When people discuss their plans for New Year’s Eve and Day. Unlike every other year, this time, I had nothing to say! No plans, bro!! This New Year will see me spending a peaceful night with soft music, some simple food and a glass of my favourite red wine… Some call it a perfect plan for New Year’s Eve! But like I said, I have mixed feelings about this. There is a part of me that yearnsto dance my feet off at a loud party… another part of me that wants to be back at home with family, talking, laughing, eating…. yet another part of me that desires a whole night of deep conversations (silent and otherwise) with a bunch of close friends… And then, there is this tiny part of me that is excited about spending New Year’s Eve all by myself!

Christmas passed by like it should, as i spent the eve with my roommate and the day with another friend and his family. New Year’s Eve is when the feeling finally kicks in. I have, for a long time now, known that I will be spending this New Year’s Eve alone. But not for once did I think of what that would feel like. But now I realise… there was nothing to think about. Even now, close to experiencing it, I have no idea what-so-ever how I feel about it!!

I am, somehow, at a loss for words. I don’t seem to have anything more to say. I should probably get to my kitchen and cook my simple New Year’s Eve dinner. See you next year!

May we all have happy years ahead…. Happy New Year!!