Anouncement

It has been long since I’ve logged into WordPress to blog and a lot has changed since then. I have officially wrapped up my first year of university (I know, can you believe it? It feels like yesterday since I posted on the first night in my hostel room!). I have moved back home and embarked on a three month long summer that has me fidgeting to do anything productive. My hair has grown up to my lower back, and it looks lovely. I have entered my last month as an eighteen year old. I have started reading more books as pdf files since I’ve realized that it is practically free and economically helpful. I have worn out my favorite pair of jeans.

My sister has entered her tenth grade and is prepping well for her board examinations at the end of the year. My mother has completed her training as an Art of Living teacher and taken two courses already. My father has submitted his Ph.D thesis and is training to be an Art of Living teacher. My friend Anusha returned from Thailand and got me nothing (thanks dude!) and Anahita is going to the US for the summer and Palak completed her high schooling and it looking at college options.

Why am I acquainting you all with these changes, and why now?

I have not been  good blogger of late, simply because blogging has not been on the top of my priority list, and let alone the top, it is nowhere on my priority list. I have been avoiding my blog of late because I don’t feel the need to blog anymore. Earlier, this place was an catalyst to let the creative juices flow.  Now, I am writing, but it is not making it to my blog anymore. Maybe it is because somewhere I feel like I am censoring myself. The honesty and truth that I like my work to contain has been restricting me from posting here, for I feel that it is way to personal for such an intimate area, with so many people I know reading it.

That is why I have decided to take a short break from my blog. In the next thirty days, I will continue writing, and I will think about the future of this blog. I don’t want to do something out of guilt or obligation to myself or anyone else because that would not be fair. Maybe all I need is a do over but I am taking this time apart to see how it I really feel about nurturing this blog. In the meanwhile, I shall be extremely happy if any of you get in touch with me to chat if you want.

Until then, I hope that you all have a wonderful time. See you in 30 days.

xoxo, Akanksha

Advertisements

A Day In My Life

Many a times, I wonder what I am doing with my life.

A typical day in my life would start with me waking up at about quarter to eight in the morning, occupy an empty toilet in the bathroom, brush my teeth, wait for a bathroom to vacate, bathe, and leave for my nine o’clock class sparing seven minutes for the commute. Fit in a hurried breakfast at about ten thirty, an lunch at one thirty, my class gets over by three thirty in the evening, Ideally, I like to fit in a workout at the gym for about an hour, but it is not an ideal world. I grab a bite, usually junk like chips or biscuits. Then depending on the amount of work I have, it is either studying or I chat with my friends, listen to music, catch up on my TV shows, or simply sleep. At about eight thirty, I go with my friends for dinner at the mess. Coming back at about ten thirty, I study for an hour or so, and then call it a night.

Then there are days where I simply get nothing done right. I sleep late; consequently, I wake up late, either getting late or missing my morning classes altogether. I forget to eat because the food sucks, I fight with my friends, I don’t go to the gym even though I know I should, I sleep the entire evening, only to wake up late at night, when I can neither sleep, nor study because I am too groggy. Those days are the worst because I end up feel like a useless lump of skin. I feel disgusted by myself for having slipped in my routine, just because of my frivolous attitude.

Coming to the university, I had to change a lot and adapt to a lifestyle that is befitting to me, which actually brings out the best in me. Last semester, I had classes only two days a week, which were absolutely packed. The rest of the days, I had no work, nothing on my agenda. I fell into a vicious circle of laziness and lethargy. I would stay up till dawn watching movies, and would sleep till noon, getting ready late in the evenings. My productivity was all time low, I wasn’t blogging, I wasn’t reading, I wasn’t doing anything. I hated that feeling. Thankfully, by the end semester break, which was almost a month long, I almost had a proper schedule, and I promised not to let myself slip again. Since the starting of this semester, I was inclined to give my hundred percent in college. I eat food, I study frequently, I am regular to my classes, I am happy.

Today was a wrong day in sorts. I slept late last night, working on an assignment we had been given. I set my alarm for seven thirty, waking up eventually at quarter to nine, giving me barely enough time to get dressed and rush to my class. I had a class from nine to ten and two consecutive ones from eleven to twelve and twelve to one. My eleven am class was cancelled at precisely eleven am, after I had wasted an hour in the block doing nothing when I could have taken a bath and change. I came back to my room at eleven, ate chips, drank juice and buttermilk, watched One Tree Hill. I went back for the twelve noon class, attended it, had lunch and was back in my room by two fifteen, feeling a little flustered by the hot sun, and my unwashed, unproductive state of being.

There is something in the last two weeks of February and the first week of March that just lightens me up. The weather is just short of hot in the days, and appropriately cool in the night. I blossom in this time; even the most mundane tasks suddenly seem very exciting, I am ten times happier. Maybe it is the winter fading, maybe the approaching Holi that I absolutely love, maybe it is just seeing and existing in the sun when it is not melting you, I love this time. If you ask me to give up my most prized object at this time, I would probably give you. I would even share my food at this time if I am extremely happy.

Any when I came to my room, I listened to some music, the fan airing away all that I was feeling and the sun outside, the cool inside, I was actually very relaxed. However, arriving quarter past three, the idea of going to the gym was growing on my mind. I am the type of person who needs to lose weight to actually be healthy but gives up way too soon, before any results of all the hard work that I put in are visible. But as I said, it was spring, the weather was absolutely perfect, and the guilt of not having gone for the past ten days was killing me. Instinctively, without giving myself time to change my mind, I changed into my gym attire, ran a brush through my hair and was off to the gym, a water bottle in one hand, earphones and phone in the other.

It was a sweaty workout, I can say. I wear a woolen sweatshirt over a tee shirt so that I sweat more, so that was that, plus considering the fact that I hadn’t worked out in over ten days and started a month ago, I was impressed with my performance, particularly my stamina in running. I can also say the The Pretender by the Foo Fighters is a great song to work out to. I returned at about twenty minutes to five, absolutely knackered, sweaty and itchy all over. Again, without thinking, I went to bathe (with cold water, the first time since winter departed), knowing that if I think, I will probably not go. Came back, cleaned the room, my bed, folded my laundry, dressed up (a little fancy), and sat down to study all before five, which is when I started this post. All my frustration of being unproductive had washed away while I bathed. Admittedly, I am really proud of myself today. I think I am finally learning how to adult #donotjinx

I don’t know where I am aiming at with this post today. Maybe I just wanted to share my little victory with someone. Maybe it is the spirit of spring that inspired me to write this uncharacteristically personal post- a glimpse of my everyday life. I don’t know but I am feeling very happy today. Sometimes, you need to step closer to reality, look at the little things instead of the big picture to be content.

So now, I guess I am going plug in my earphones, and study since I have my mid-sems just a week away. What is your daily routine like? Have you done anything, no matter how tiny that has made you proud? Does the spirit of spring also transform you like it does me? I’d love to know.

Cheers!

What I Learnt in My First Month in University

Four days ago was one month since I moved out of my house to the hostel in my university. Here are my observations on how it has been:

1. Some teachers won’t give a damn if you won’t. They won’t bother if you are listening, if you’re napping, if you’re on your cell phones. Your education is in your hands. It is up to you to pay attention.

2. On the other hand, the teachers who do actually teach will not spoonfeed you. They will give you stepping stones, they will tell you what you want, in a manner that’ll make you want to rip off your hair. But at the end, you’ll get an idea of what they were talking about. You’ll be grateful that they didn’t tell you. You’ll be happy that you were able to arrive at what you did without anyone putting thoughts in your head.

3. There are no fixed schedules. Your sleeping pattern revolves around the work you have. You may have a class at 9 in the morning and the paper due the same morning. You will have to work till dawn, you will have to sleep for 3 hours and you’ll have to attend the class. 

4. Which is why, don’t procrastinate. If you do, you’ll have not have the satisfaction of having submitted a paper that you actually like. For the two papers that I’ve submitted so far, I have  worked and I enjoyed the process. Even though it kept me awake till 4, the feeling that I had before going to sleep was unparalleled.

5. You’ll have a lot of free time at hand. For people like me who have classes I only 2 days a week and who are literally the most shy and laziest people in the planet, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of sleep. It’ll beckon you, call you, force you in subordination so much that you’ll sleep 15 hours a day. You’ll have to resist that. I fell into that pattern and believe me, that week, I didn’t have more than 10-12 meals of the 21 meals I should have been having. 

6. Which is why, get involved. One of the best ways you can make friends is by getting involved. Find your interest and go for it. You’ll find your kind of people if you venture out of your comfort zone. Even if you can’t, sit on the quad, go to the library, sit in the café; you’ll find someone to talk to.

7. Saying that, there will come a time when you’ll lose your appetite. The mess food will taste like sand, each meal of each day and you will literally feel your appetite fading. And you would be able to go one for days on just water. At that time, eat. Go to tuck shops, make popcorn, buy a sandwich but eat. Nourishment is important.

8. Have a night out with friends. Just go to the park, and sit there. Walk around, let the dew kiss your feet, play music, wait for the stars to recede. Talk about yourselves, know each other, your pasts, presents, futures. Witness the sunrise, I swear, you’ll feel like you were meant for that day only. (Not to mention, sleep at six and miss the first class of the day!)

9. There will be times when you’ll feel homesick, you’ll feel alone, and miserable. You’ll miss your home, your family, your friends, your school. You’ll feel like crying all the things that you’ve felt since you left home. Cry. Cry your heart out, in the pillow, on a shoulder, in the afternoon, at night after everyone’s asleep. You’ll feel a lot better, you’ll feel lighter, you’ll feel more settled.
10. You are here to learn but you’re here to make memories too. Many of the people you meet will probably end up becoming your closest friends for the rest of your life. Which is why, choose them carefully. I’m not saying don’t talk to anyone. Rather, talk, but make sure that the people you pour your heart out to deserve you. Don’t settle for less. You’re worth a lot more than a toxic relationship. Never demerit yourself. 

These are the few things that I learnt, rather experienced, in the first month. Do they match your college life, or are they not what you experiences? I’d love to hear from you!

Until the next month, then!

The World Past Me Goes To Uni.

Hi guys.

It has been long since I’ve written a personal post, so here goes: I’m at my university!!!

Yes, after a month of decided of majors, subjects and colleges, I’ve come to this amazing place near my house, and it’s beautiful. I’ll be doing my major in English.

So, I dropped in yesterday afternoon, and the weather was majestic. I got myself registered, then went to my hotel, checked in and I explored the campus with my best friend from school (you read that right!!). I slept really early though, last night, because I was exhausted.

I couldn’t write yesterday as my laptop wasn’t connected to the wi-fi and so today, this was the number one thing on my priority list so that I could write this post.

It’s been two amazing days, the only problem being the bathrooms which are awful. They’re constantly wet, they constantly smell and it’s impossible to change our clothes in there. Also, today’s breakfast was uneatable.

That’ all for now folks. I’m really excited to be here, and hopefully, the next four years will be one of the best years of my life.

Give me all your wishes because I need them. And I’ll keep you updated with how my college life goes.

Lots of love,
Akanksha

Woh Kagaz Ki Kashti

Read this for reference before continuing.

Sixteen years later, a full fledged, voluptuous, long dark haired girl lies on a bedsheet on the floor of her room, next to the two mattresses, both of which are depressed with mountainous solids, covered in bedsheets and flanked by multiple pillows on either side- her parents.

The room is bathed in a gentle red hue and the air conditioner’s low, constant hum creates a drowsy, comfortable atmosphere. A guitar is in one corner of the room, against the wall, behind which the red lights twinkle lazily. The opposite wall is covered entirely with scraps of paper, some printed, some written on- by crayons, pencils, pens, markers, so much that the blue paint of the wall is hardly visible; things that may make no sense to someone who doesn’t look close enough. Each bit of paper contains thoughts.

It was something that the two sisters started earlier in the year. They put their thoughts on scraps of paper and struck them to the wall. Song lyrics, some random poems, lists, words, quotes, essays in the newspapers they liked, some important deadlines, written in bold; it was their mind on the wall. It contained candid snaps of their lives. There are times when each one of us wishes to read other people’s minds. The sisters’ minds were on this wall, right here.

In the background, from a small speaker, in a low, smooth voice, sings Jagjit Singh her father’s and her favorite shayari- Woh Kagaz Ki Kashti.

“It is an experience,” she had urged her parents who were both in their beds in the adjoining rooms when she had asked them to accompany her to her bedroom. “I want to give you The Experience.”

The Experience referred to something that she had, well, experienced just that evening. She’ll lose the lights and light up the red ones, she’ll set the temperature to an optimum, she’ll envelope her body up to her shoulders in a bedsheet, arms beside the body and play this song from the speaker. She’ll close her  eyes and let the song wash her over. She’ll inhale each beat, she’ll exhale each note, she’ll feel the music unravelling her, she’ll feel the words crawl up her skin. She’ll conjure images in her head, as each combination of words will make sense, second after she has registered them. She’ll let each chatoyant of every word that left his voice, enter her being and imprint permanently in her mind. Sometimes she will open her eyes and look at the shadows that the red lights will make in the room, and the music and the light will complement each other perfectly. She will think of songs that may make her feel the same way that she is feeling now. Her mind will produce a blank slate. That is when she will feel weightless.

Her parents were in the same position, eyes closed. She can feel the music weigh her eyes, and she knows that she’d be asleep soon. She pops her eyes open and looks at her parents’ resting bodies. And suddenly, she feels guilty.

In twenty three days, she would be leaving for college. For four years. For the first time, she’ll be away from them- away that she will never see them daily, away that she will not hassle with her mother over the quality of the food, away that she will not hug her father and kiss him goodnight, away that will not curse her sister for not having set the beds, away that her parents will not barge in on her before dawn and catch her on the phone. She felt guilty for leaving them with nothing after eighteen years of love and effort they put in for raising her; she felt guilty for leaving them empty handed. She felt guilty for having discovered The Experience so late that she won’t be able to compose a playlist of songs suitable for it. She felt guilty for receiving all the time. She felt guilty for taking so much from them. She felt guilty for having thought that she’d enjoy hostels, when the truth is that her heart would always be there, in this house, in this moment, when she is guilty and they are weightless.

Her parents were perfect. How can she ever have thought of leaving them, how could she have fought with them for something as stupid as a mobile phone? How could she have ever thought of living alone, embracing adulthood, when she still needed her mother to tell the doctor what was wrong whenever they visited one, for her? How could have she ever thought of doing laundry when she didn’t know how to operate a washing machine?

How could, how would she leave them? 

She looks at them. She wishes, suddenly, to be two once again, when her father came from the office, straight towards her for a hearty kiss, and her mother bathed her in a small bucket in the kitchen. She wishes to be two again, because she knows she’d have sixteen more years before she’d have to leave them.

Getting up from the floor, she goes and lies down between her parents, who are, both, fast asleep by now. She cuddle with her father, his arms around her. She extends her hands towards her mother, who holds them both between her own, warm palms, as Jagjit Singh sings in the background, “Voh kagaz ki kashti, voh baarish ka paani…”

*

Sorry for the long absence. Please check the Facebook page for details. You can follow TWPM on Instagram @theakankshavarma where I post lots, and regularly. Also follow at Twitter under @axavarma. Enjoy!

You Are Enough.

 

brooke

You called me ugly. But I beg to differ.

I feel beautiful.

I feel just like drunken sky, bathed in hues of yellow and blue and white, spread all over your heads, a tantalizing display of colours never seen and designs never imagined.

You called me shallow.

But I feel layered.

I feel like taste of your favourite dessert: chocolate truffle, the slightly bitter taste of chocolate oozing down to a softer, sweeter and mellower palate, both sweet and bitter serenading a taste so perfectly wonderful as if you’ve just had a culinary orgasm.

You called me confused.

But I feel precise.

I feel like the quiet and composed calm that you experience before the storm hits, that one moment of tranquillity and peace that you might never experience again, the one moment of perfect clarity when I know that no matter what the stakes, you’ll never be more content with life.

You called me monotonous.

But I feel unique.

I feel like the swaying leaf in the last nocturnal hour, the moon light shining just for me, and a thousand others, but only just for me, engulfing me in an aura so holy that my spirit is pure, its divine.

The world called me replaceable.

But honey, that’s what I’m not. I’m one of a kind, and that is enough.

Thank You, School.

Tu Shaheen hai parwaaz hai kaam tera;
Tere saamne aasman aur bhee hain
– Iqbal

“You are a falcon. Soaring high is your nature. There are skies yet for you to conquer.”

January 30, 2016. School’s over. Forever. Twelve years in a place that I sometimes hated, sometimes loved, despised, desired, longed for, a place that became my second home over the years is no longer my own, and all I wish, contrary to what I’ve been wishing the past twelve years, is that it doesn’t end, not now, not forever.

My school has given me knowledge, it has given me strength and support. It has taught me to trust and to believe in the goodness of people. It has taught me to think beyond myself and in the power of relationships not bound by blood. It has taught me all that I know and will be the foundation of all that I will ever know. But most of all, it has taught me about me, about myself, my identity, my strengths and weaknesses. I have found myself and there is probably no one else, albeit my parents, who I can credit this to.

My school is not the best school in the world. It is not the worst school in the world. It doesn’t have the best teachers, the best students, the best infrastructure, but my school has what no other will. It has my childhood- all the dropped food, spoilt skirts, torn papers, table art, my blood, my name, my tears, my laughter, every inch of me that once existed there- in the classrooms I’ve been in, in the tiny scribbling on the walls and the desks and the corridors and the school ground and the auditorium and the swimming pool and the basketball court and the canteen and the middle and junior block and beside the hostels and the bookshop and the uniform shop and the library and the computer and physics and chemistry labs and in the reception and maybe memories of my favourite teacher and my favorite junior and somehow, somehow, that is enough for me to feel like the luckiest student in the world- to have had the privilege of studying in the best school in the world. I can say with pride that I am a Apeejayite forever.

Perhaps yesterday was the last time I’d ever be there, perhaps it is the beginning of reminiscence and nostalgia that I would feel when I talk about my school and when I would bring my children to be here, but the memories of the times spent here, the bonds made, the teachers who cared for us like our mothers, will stay with me forever, till my last breath.

In the course of twelve years, I made some amazing friends, some who aren’t friends anymore, some with whom I’ve grown closer, some who have been there since forever, some who left midway, trusting me to cherish the memories- Anahita, Anusha, Simran, Riti, Sakshi, Aideed, Naru, Ekam, Rishabh, Arushi, Akriti, Preetika, Kriti, Ishika, Mansi, Aayush, Garima, Pragya, Mahima, Nitya, Ananya, Shreshth, Mayank, Kritika, Ishmeet, Rahul, Aayushi, Preetha, Kareen, Falguni, Dhruvi, Deepika, Raksha -to name some of them, and some amazing teachers, to whom I’m indebted to- Anju Ma’am, Bipasha Ma’am, Surabhi Ma’am, Rukmini Ma’am, Manjari Ma’am, Kumkum Ma’am, Alka Ma’am, Ashu Ma’am, Salila Ma’am, Varun Sir, Kanchan Ma’am, Lubna Ma’am, Susmita Ma’am, Meenakshi Ma’am, Ruby Ma’am- to name a few who have moulded me, comforted me, understood me, and loved me.

But as they say, every end brings a new beginning. This was just one chapter in my life, a pretty prolonged one at that, but it will always be with me. This is curtain drawn on a part of my life, a piece of heart left behind. And it will be there. And it will be here. And for the moment, that is enough.

“Besides, what makes any highschool special? That’s where it all happened for the first time, the pain, the heartache, the happiness.”

Happy New Year.

20160102092423

A new beginning.

2015 was a very varied year for me. And to sum it up, I’d say it was quick.

Grade 12 kept me pretty busy, and enjoyed my life most of the time. Yes, there were bad times too, when I was hopeless, when I wanted nothing more than to give, and when I was pretty screwed up. But then there were some amazing times too. I learnt a lot about my truest friends, I tampered a lot of relationships and I mended quite a few. I change a lot. I was more cautious with the relationships I invested in, and I was more invested at the same time too, I contemplated quite a lot on who I was, who I am, and who I aspire to be. I lost quite a few people, many went far away, vacant spots in the heart, the only medicine to the pain it causes being the memories that we shared.

I travelled. Starting from a trip to Kurfi and Shimla, in January, where I saw snow for the first time and a small expedition to Agra in April, where I striked off my first Bucket List item- taking a selfie at Taj Mahal at dawn (and both of whose drafts are still in my drafts tag), followed by visiting lucknow in June (for my SAT) where I met up with some distant and some relatives as well, followed by the best trip ever- to Kashmir! It was an year I spent quite a lot on road.

At school, graduation approached (one month people), we gave an amazing farewell to the senior class. I got an award for my poetry, and I ventured (tried to) venture beyond my comfort zone, and I think I improved in terms of my social anxiety, I think. I made new friends, I learned new things (I think) and there were times I was quite frustrated (as anyone who’s read my blog regularly might know), but I grew. Yes, I grew.

At my blogosphere, I tried to be pretty active, though it was not possible at times. Nevertheless, TWPM made its presence felt worldwide and I got some 13k views on my blog this year (thanks to you!) TWPM made an Instagram page (@theworldpastme: go follow) with a lot of photos and other writeups. I met some amazing bloggers and made some great friends- Adi, Yusra, Anoop, Zareen, Ribhu, Cynic, Phoenix, Erika, Ritu- to name a few. I tried to write on a variety of topics, add a little personal touch to it most of the times. Whether it reflected in my work, only you can decide.

I worked on my physical and mental state as well, tried to be happier and kinder, and be happy with who I am and accept myself as I am. It worked, quite a bit, but it’s something I will work on, again.

As you might have guessed, it has been a tumultuous year, with a lot of ups and downs and lefts and rights. But hey, this is life. You never know what next is going to come, how you will fare, and how you will perform. What you do know is that there is always a silver lining to every dark cloud. And that, each year, you are going to get a little older, your hair greyer, your face a little wrinkled, your age increasing. This is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you’ll ever be.

So to all my readers, live your life to the fullest, be happy, learn, aspire, dream and achieve. A very happy 2016 to you.