Night in the loft

An influx of guests to my house meant that there was a shortage of rooms in which to sleep in.  I had an idea.  Why don’t I sleep in the loft?  I would have the room to myself (which I like…)  and it could be fun!  Ignoring my mother’s disapproving face, I ran upstairs to get it cleaned for the night.

A barrage of memories came flooding back when I entered the room, after many years.  This was the place where I had spent many hours, no, days in my childhood.  The plethora of things that were dumped there was something of a fantasy to me – it quenched my boyish adventurous spirit.  I could do what I wanted there, dirty it as much as I wanted to.  Noone bothered about a room under the roof – it was just a store room to the elders.  I remembered the day when I and my cousins had built our own little “house” out of cardboard boxes, the day when I had made my own little pulley to transport small things from the attic to the floor and the day when I had brought many wooden planks crashing down…  Those were the days!

Anyway, for the present, I started by sweeping the years of dust away.  I was chased upstairs at an early time, not being able to watch TV or use my comp.  Nick Hornby and 11 radio stations gave me company for a couple of hours.  There was a phone call as well – my mom from downstairs asking if everything was fine! 😀

The whole thing was an interesting experience, except for one thing though – lofts can get bloody cold at night!

Hmm…

dsc00121.jpg

Saw this at IISc. today… Life truly is full of ironies…

Wannabe Lincoln

I was woken up at a most unearthly time.  It was 4:39 AM when a tone from my cell phone woke me up with a start and made me aware of the new message.

It was from this nut friend of mine.  The message just said ‘I have decided to grow a beard.’   I had to read it again in the morning to confirm that I was not dreaming.  I asked him about it in the evening and all he said in explanation was – ‘a little girl told me…’

I have no words! None at all!

I “pass”ed the “port” city…

I double checked. The ID card was in my pocket. The documents (which apparently prove my existence…) were in my bag. The ticket was in my wallet. Importantly, a big sturdy umbrella was in the bag. I was ready to go.

I was forced into making an insane journey back to college right in the middle of my hols thanks to my passport – it had finally, finally arrived. I had applied for it 8 months back! The only thing that I was looking forward to in this visit was a chance to get drenched in the torrential downpours that are synonymous with that place at this time of the year.

I settled down for an uncomfortable night in the bus. Sylvan surroundings met my eyes when I opened them in the morning. But this was not the time to admire nature – cos immediately I realized that I was still stuck in the ghats, my bus motionless due to a huge road block. We inched ahead at snail pace. The day started getting hot. Why isn’t it raining?

The culprit was a timber lorry as usual – it had had a breakdown and had strewn the logs all over the road causing the block. I cursed and swore under my breath. Finally we hit the coast. 80 kilometres more. Suddenly, I had a horrible thought – it was a Saturday and also the second Saturday of the month, the day government institutions are closed. I made a frantic call to the post office at S’kal and luckily they reassured me that they were working. I reached S’kal at 1 in the afternoon. A very hot day. I was already zapped of energy. Why isn’t it raining?

I ran to the post office and collected my passport. The purpose of my arduous journey was fulfilled. I had to find some way to kill the next 6 hours when I would catch my bus home. I made my way to the hostels. Ah! there was some music playing, people were here… Nerds I say! I made my way to a friend’s room and just as I was about to collapse beneath the fan, the power went off. Why isn’t it raining?

Jeeves and Psmith gave me company over the next couple of hours, before I decided to head to Mangalore. I needed to buy some stuff, visit the police station (to help my friend get his passport) and eat Ideal ice cream – a nice way to beat the heat… I’ll say it again – Why isn’t it raining?

Mess food in the night brought back unpleasant memories. It was time to catch the bus. I had hardly sat in the bus for 10 minutes when the skies opened up…

XXI

The day had more than its fair share of surprises. The day was one of the few which was all highs and no lows. The day was one where I truly realized the number of people who constantly hold me up, help me and wish me well.

It was the day I turned 21.

The messages started coming from the zeroth hour – my dear cousin being the first. My close friends and fellow birthday-mates came next (I know 3 others…). I was touched when someone promised to be the first one to wish me the next year. It was 2 AM when I slept, not at all having a hint of what was coming up through the day.

A phone call from my parents at 6AM woke me up. And then the surprises began.

My grandpa brought a big parcel and put it before me when I was having breakfast. It was from my parents – lovely gifts. Still it did not make up for them not being there. 😦

Phone calls from relatives and friends followed. By lunch time I was wondering why the 21st was considered so big – it was like any other birthday. Out of nowhere, my uncle, aunt and cousins brought a cake with other presents. The cameras were out – before I knew it, the candles had been lit. Hell! I was still in my casuals. The usual singing, cutting and feeding followed. They were lining me up. The prey was being sized up.

Four hands laden with cake come straight at my face. Before I knew it, I had a most exotic face pack, as my cousin put it. 🙂 It took a lot of soap…

We played an intense game of Risk for the rest of the afternoon. At around 7, my cousin asked me to get ready – we were going out for a light meal. Perhaps my thinking was overshadowed by the general “feel good” factor of the day; I failed to see through this one as well.

I was taken to a wonderful roof-top place which served Mangalorean. My other uncles and aunts joined me there. One of my uncles threw a hint by saying “Aneesh, you are going to be introduced…”

After sometime was spent over the starters, another cake appeared before me! This time I was sharp enough to ensure that it went into the mouth only. 🙂 After the same procedure of blow-sing-cut-feed, a champagne bottle was thrust into my hands… I was quite speechless.

People asked me to go right ahead and open it in style. I made a boo-boo at this point. I fumbled with the cork and dint seem to get it open for a long time, even as the cameras were waiting to capture images to be sent to my parents and to be cherished for years to come.

(My hands fail to cover the embarassment on my face…). Finally, a loud pop shot through the air.

Words cannot describe how I felt when a toast was made to me. It truly, was the champagne moment. More gifts followed – luuuve all of them.

The day came to an end after I had gone through the plethora of orkut scraps. Thank you all – it means a lot.

My uncle, during the toast had said that I was the first one from among all my cousins to turn 21. It made me aware of the future. The baton has been passed. The celebration through the day signified all the support and love that has gone into developing the wings – those that will take me to success.  It is my duty to soar high now…