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!!

A weekend well spent!!

November 8, 2016

Weekends are generally supposed to be spent in leisure. The satisfaction that a jobless weekend gives is said to be unmatched. But all happy weekends are not plain and uneventful. Some are made of action and drama, swift movement and sudden brakes, awakenings and falls… often quite literally! This was one such weekend.It all started with a theatre workshop held at the college where I work. The purpose of the workshop was to extract the creative talents of the students and to inspire them to rise beyond their inhibitions. I was looking forward to it for it was something I too needed, to an extent. As the person responsible for organising the workshop, on the one hand I was busy coordinating with the students, while on the other, I was planning shuttling between home and hostel, all on the day before the workshop.The next day, a Saturday, began with my usual chores. After a lot of running about the city for various works, I finally reached on time for the workshop, which was to be conducted by a renowned dancer and theatre artist, from one of the famous theatrical families. She was a young and pleasant woman and we would lovingly call her ‘chechi’ (a term we Malayalis use to address our elder sisters). I was glad to see that chechi chose to conduct the workshop under the open sky, rather than the Seminar hall we had arranged for the purpose. Her demeanour was friendly and animated, inspiring us to break out of our shells. Though not a student myself, I was invited to participate in the workshop alongside the students. I readily agreed as this kind of an opportunity rarely knocks at my door. After a few warm up exercises, we turned to more intense character depictions. Chechi observed each participant in detail and formed a programme for the next day that would help each person in their area of weakness. The second day of the workshop concentrated on dialogue rendering, voice modulation and areas of weakness particular to each student. Though I enjoyed the exercises from the first day more than those from the second, I believe that the second day was more helpful for everyone, both in terms of career as well as character building.I guess it was the effect of having learnt something new that caused the energy drain by Sunday evening. But laziness gave way to excitement at the prospect of an opportunity to practice riding my bike! It is not every day that I have a friend with me, ready to help me practice! Overjoyed and excited, I proceeded to ride my bike. Uncertainty and ecstasy took their turns dominating my mind, as I mounted my childhood favourite CT100. I was reluctant to let my feet off the ground at first, having very little practice riding a scooter and even less so of a bicycle. Determined, I started off on my first ride. Having practiced only on scooters, I found the positions of brakes and gears utterly confusing.  Surprisingly enough, apart from the initial trouble, I seemed to be handing the bike well and could cover a long (long for me, a first-timer) distance. Was it the over-confidence given by the smooth beginning, or my friend’s comment (that the day would mark my first fall) lingering in my mind, I experienced a slight imbalance and landed on one knee with the bike lying on its side. Nevertheless, I got up and continued with the practice till I was completely drained.It was a memorable weekend, on the whole, and I couldn’t help but write about it. That is why I call it ‘a weekend well spent’. I dedicate this post to Gayathri chechi, my students and my friend Ashwin, for gifting me this wonderful weekend! 

The mandatory Introductory post!!

October 29, 2016

I hope to talk to you again soon! Thank you for hearing (reading) me out!
And that’s all for now! I really do hope that I can continue writing this time… for a change!! See you soon, folks!!

Hi everyone..!!Let me introduce myself in the usual boring way! I am Ar. Medha N. Gayathri (no, not Dr. !! It’s Ar. !! It means Architect) and I just joined a school of architecture in Kerala, India, as one of the teaching staff. I have been wanting to write for a while now but, I never found enough time or leisure to actually do so. You will probably hear me lamenting about that a lot, at least in the first few posts! For a start, let me show you the introductory note i wrote for this blog a year back.
Hello dear friends!!I have been looking forward to this moment… when I would FINALLY write something that would actually be read! But of course, lack of time is an integral part of the beautiful and exciting field of Architecture. Four years into the course and I am yet to learn time-management. A final year student now, I have begun to think about the wishes of my past and my expectations of the future. My increasingly frequent encounters with the words ‘thesis’, ‘dissertation’ and ‘research’ seem to have awaken in me a sudden urge to write. So here I am, pouring my heart out to you, hoping that I will find time and energy to continue with this endeavor. 
Recently, I have been meeting a lot of people who encourage me to write more. (You know who you are!!). I have also come across many highly demotivating people. (I wish I could tell you, who!!). But, to my satisfaction, I have, so far, been successful in turning the situation around, by taking inspiration from these influences to hone my creative skills. What you are reading now is a result of that inspiration.
As an ice-breaker, let me tell you my story. I was born as the second child in a Malayali middle-class family in Kerala, India. My elder brother, being the crazy bookworm he is, brought me to the world of books. Since then, it has been one of my favourite worlds. I call it a world because I believe that when you read, it is like a parallel existence! You are a different person, living a different life.. living many different lives! When you are engrossed in reading, you are at the epitome of your imagination. It truly is a great feeling. I and my brother would sit up all night just to finish that one book we picked up during the day. I have lost count of the books I have read during those 10-15 years of my life, while I was still in school. I was living a happy literary life. And then, Architecture happened! Though the sleepless nights of reading did help me complete my college assignments, architecture did not quite return the favour. On the contrary, it took away my precious reading time. The few times I tried to regain it, I understood that an addiction for reading is not healthy for my career, as I could have a VIVA anytime. Nothing could stop me from reading once i started, and by the time I found the strength to stop myself, it would be too late! Hence, my reading has come down a thousand miles, and I am nowhere comparable to what i used to be.
Now that you know how hard it has been for me to find some time to read, you will understand why I haven’t been able to write, till today. As much as I would like to tell you how inspiring architecture is, I will have to keep that for later. I am very talkative, as you will realize soon! But let me just keep this short and sweet (if this can be called short) as this was just an introduction of sorts.