August 28, 2008

Over a cup of coffee

I sit by my window, at my desk, loads of work lying in front of me. I sip my cup of much-needed black coffee, enjoying the wonderful aroma and flavour of it. It looks, and sounds, like rain outside. I take in the dark clouds, chilly wind, the leaves swaying in the wind. I can hear the birds twittering, probably looking for better shelter before the rain starts and their homes get wet.
Ah…what an idyllic moment.
I remember, in my last blog, the tagged-writing one, in my list of “things I believe in”, one of the things I’d written was “Happiness is definitely a state of mind”. In retrospect, what prompted me to write that? Did I always believe in that? Or did circumstances prompt me to think like that? Again, I don’t know…
But I think, at some level, I do know. I guess I realized the value of happiness after I came to Hyderabad, or, to be more specific, when I left home. Again, I come back to square one. Home.
Everybody takes things for granted. That’s…basic human nature. You take your family for granted, your friends for granted, your spouse…I guess I took my home for granted…my space. Where I had everything…my own room, my books, my comp, my T.V. and most of all, my family. Amma, who’s probably the best mom a stubborn, scatter-brain like me could have got. Sometimes I feel I don’t even deserve to get an angel like her. I mean, what have I ever done for her, except given a lot a tension and talk back. And Acha, who’s like a coconut. Tough on the outside, but when it comes to his daughters, he’s just a softie. My sister always used to say, that I’m his pet, that he loves me more than her…Is that ever possible? Can a parent ever favour one child over the other? And Chechi, who at one point of time, though we would fight like crazy, used to be one of my closest friends; sometimes I feel like I don’t know her anymore. I guess we just outgrew each other.
So then, what exactly am I doing 36-hours-long-train-journey away from home? Am I being a complete idiot? Or am I trying discover myself? Bullshit. Who am I kidding? The only thing I’ve discovered so far is that living alone costs a lot of money, and at the end of the day, all that freedom and all, is just not fun anymore. All you want to do is eat some proper home-made food, and cuddle up in your bed.
So, where does happiness figure in all this? Miles away from home, among people I’m not sure I even like (barring a very few), what crap am I out to discover? That people can be really mean and bitchy and selfish? That there isn’t inherent goodness in everyone as I used to believe? As Calvin once pondered with Hobbes “ Are human beings basically bad with some good tendencies, or basically good with some bad tendencies”( these are not the exact words. But it’s on similar lines). But yes, I have learnt to be happy about the smallest things. The long walks we enjoy around my awesome campus. The occasional eating-out jaunts that we take. The long coffee-sessions that we have in the hostel room, which can go on for- on some days- 3-4 hours. The steaming cup of chai at the canteen after a long day of classes. The cooking experiments in the room using a hot-plate. The feeling of being a kid again while swinging on the swings in the children’s park. When my cycle has enough air in it and I can enjoy a smooth ride.
I guess that’s one thing that’s helped me remain sane in this madhouse. My childishness. Others may think it’s silly, but I find solace in it. I find refuge in that, and I find freedom in that.
And I find joy in rambling like this…
My coffee’s over, some sugar crystals dried to the cup-bottom. It’s dark outside. And I don’t have anymore excuses to shirk away from work.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep…
And miles to go before I sleep…