Heaven welcomes a new angel…

​Today, towards the break of dawn, I dreamt of my father. My beloved father, who lost his battle with cancer last Tuesday. It wasn’t the most comprehensible dreams of all, yet it holds immense significance in my heart. So is going to be every dream with him in it, henceforth. It’s true when they say that you don’t realise how important someone is to you till they are no longer with you in mortal being. Dreams are my only probable way of reaching out to him now, and I want to make sure that I keep a record of these virtual psychological experiences in writing.

So in this dream, the setting was the porch of our bungalow in Varsoli, Alibag. I see that most of my relatives and several other people have gathered there and are encircling something, or maybe, someone. The place has become chaotic, people are whispering, murmuring something in each other’s ears. Amid this sea of whispers and murmurs, my ears catch that familiar voice I’ve been longing to hear for a while now. I guess it belongs to the subject of all these surprised and confused reactions. I try to make my way through the crowd and my eyes behold the most incredible sight. It is my father, resurrected from the dead, sitting down, looking at everyone with child-like eyes, trying to explain something to the heedless mass of people. He looks very human, miraculously unaffected by the pyre which cremated him some weeks ago.

We exchange glances, and we both are overwhelmed with emotions as I bend down and hold his hand. His hand is cold, and I realise that maybe it is not dad, but his spirit. After a long gap of meaningful silence between us, dad tells me, “I am no longer in your world now, Aishu. I exist in a different world now, in a different form now.” His eyes are moist and his face looks apologetic, as though trying to convince me to let the fact sink in. I cry and plead to him, “Why can’t you keep meeting us in this form? We’d be happier than ever even then!” To this he smiled, but said nothing. As I try to decipher the meaning of this silence, reality interrupts my dream and I wake up feeling all lost and disconnected.

I do know for a fact that what dad intended to imply through that silence was that we are not alone, he is always going to watch over us and protect us. Dad, you have set a brilliant example for us all through your colossal strength and optimism all along this struggle. You may not be in physical existence anymore, but your soul is now closer to us than ever.
Love,

Aishu.

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Mind games

Seems to me quite a striking thunderbolt of enlightenment to have come across a host of various articles on anxiety and depression very recently. To be precise, I wasn’t even aware earlier that ‘depression’ is not just a state of mind, but a genuine psychological disorder. Wonder how many people unknowingly carry an intangible burden of emotional battles within themselves?

It is amazing how we all easily dismiss psychological problems with the preconceived notion that only mentally-challenged people possess them. But do we ever think of how complex it must be for an individual who goes through all the trauma? Does this association of psychology with insanity help? Obviously, it doesn’t.

For that matter, we could even get to the root of the problem through economics, which says, ‘Human wants are never satisfied.’ True. To decipher the meaning of hedonism would be a cakewalk, because it is just as simple as it could get – that only happiness or pleasure is the ultimate goal in life. But where do we derive this happiness from? We may say it should emerge internally, but isn’t it what happens externally that impacts our internal emotions? We can find ways to momentarily suppress our despondency, but there is certainly no escaping it. Life is so grossly unpredictable, we never know when to hope or when to accept despair.

We set a goal, and are all eyes and ears only for that one goal, until we accomplish it. That is the only thing we wish for till the moment of achievement occurs. Later on, our mind inadvertently diverts its attention to the other things that are lacking. Though unessential their existence in our lives, we embark on a baseless journey to conquer them, only to be ultimately hit by utter disappointment.

Imagine how a world full of stoical people would be. Boring, of course, but peaceful, yes. How would depression finds its way into you, if you haven’t really felt euphoric extremity in your nerves ever, to know the difference that lies between sadness and joy?

If one would know the answers to my interrogative blog, that would literally be the end of everything. Because how much ever we find it tough to digest, it isn’t always the bee that takes the first step and sucks the nectar from a flower. The flower can also invitingly call out to the bee to prompt its actions. No big deal if you can’t comprehend what I just said, since even I don’t (I am sniggering now). Well whatever it is, we have to learn to deal with all sorts of roadblocks in life, because without some valid reason our hearts would not continue to beat.

Just my thoughts,
Aishwarya Bhagat.

Starting Afresh…

Dear blokes and ladies, I know that I am posting a blog after quite some ages, and I need to sincerely apologise for my disappearance on the writing scene. ‘Ages’ might seem an over-exaggerated term to describe a period spanning just three months in the literal sense, but that is exactly how I feel about it. I had so many reasons to bathe in complete happiness and enjoy my long summer holidays in the months gone by, but apparently that time my brain had flown away to a dreamy holiday destination of its own.

The apology that I just made isn’t dedicated to any of my readers, but to myself and God. We humans rarely feel sorry because of how we perceive ourselves. Public perception rules our lives, and this, is where self-damage begins. I am feeling sorry for myself, because adoxography is something that completes me, and I have been audacious enough to stay away from it only to build castles in the air.

However, I am not writing this blog to weep over things that went wrong. Recent happenings are restoring my faith in myself, and I now believe that the dull phase is about to wither away. I am finding fun in dancing in the rain again!

Getting straight to the point, we have this awesome subject called ‘Creative Writing’, wherein our professor makes us perform unconventional, fun activities which let our imagination flow beyond the obvious. Today’s exercise was writing poetry, and I thoroughly enjoyed my first attempt at it! I wasn’t very complex in my usage of words and language, yet there was something very hilarious about it with all its imperfections. Here, I share my first creation as a poetess with you (with slight editing):

It is a lazy, rainy Sunday,
And I am watching ‘Bride Wars’ for my love of Anne Hathway.
The colour of her wedding gown made of silk,
Reminds me of pure, white milk.
Now I am so hungry that I want to eat cheese,
But my mom shouts from the kitchen, “No more please.”
With a frown I get back to my bean bag, my mind now wanders off to a dreamland,
Oh my God, I am right now on the Alps of Switzerland!
Playing in the snow gives me a child-like glee,
That again reminds me, I’ve got to click a selfie!
Suddenly some hard noise brings me back to reality,
I realise that my mother has angrily switched off the TV!
I go and have a look at my face in the mirror, only to see severe signs of TV addiction,
But still My Lord, I really don’t care, because I am so much in love with this world of fiction!

I composed this poem within some ten to fifteen minutes, with around sixteen random words around which I had to build my story. It has its flaws for sure, but I just cannot describe the joy which I felt during the whole process of writing it. I guess this is just what prompted me to leave aside things that I have no control over, and get back to my first ‘true’ love – the love that no one can ever take away from me – my little, joyful talent of writing. As I conclude, I would love it if my readers give me their honest, valuable feedback on my first poem. 🙂
Till then…

Happy Writing,
Aishwarya Bhagat.

‘The Brain’ versus ‘The Heart’

As I return to writing – the only creative passion that I can boast of in life at the moment – after almost a two-month long sabbatical, my mind is an absolute clutter of assorted thoughts. I have already deviated from half of the resolves that I had sworn to religiously stick to in the next three hundred and sixty five days that would come my way, following the worldwide annual ritual of setting the previous year’s ‘Bad Man’ to fire. The events of the past few weeks (i.e., since the latter half of January), have been such an exciting and invigorating experience for my heart, that it has rendered my brain extremely foggy, and hence slow.
   
The fresh acquisition of ‘adulthood’ signifies the commencement of an epic battle between the brain and the heart. The human anatomy has this God-gifted prestige of playing battlefield to these two biological warriors. Adulthood indeed brings out the true essence of life. As a child, you simply live without a care in the universe. As an adult, you do not just live, but you also become aware of the reasons that make life worth living. You evolve. Whether this evolution is positive or negative depends on the levels of complexities each individual faces at that very stage. It is a very unique process, and it occurs naturally.
   
From the moment you turn eighteen, life automatically embarks on an adventurous journey, full of highs and lows. Earlier, the dissatisfaction in my life, had majorly been owing to a wrong academic choice. Now that I have turned over a new leaf, I am so much content with life, I myself can’t believe how a single decision has changed my entire world. I have kind of shed my introverted nature, just the way a serpent sheds its own skin. I have made many special friends, who have given me the warmth and social acceptance, I always used to long for. I have begun getting recognition and appreciation for my work. I have tasted success. I have even tasted fame. And everything is so delicious, I am developing an enormous appetite for it. I am severely ADDICTED to my new world. And this addiction has made my heart so crazy, that even my brain is now finding it difficult to establish a firm control over it.
   
The brain has been scientifically proven to be the most powerful internal organ of our body. Had it not been in existence, I would neither have had the ability to compose any blog, nor would any of you have had the ability to read and make sense of my writeups. The only organ capable of providing a tough competition to the brain is the heart. The heart works in an inexplicable manner. It does not follow any set protocol. It functions haphazardly just the way it wants to. Just beating back and forth continuously and pumping blood isn’t the only job it engages in. It is indisciplined. It wanders off to taste the sweet fruits which the brain fully knows are forbidden. The brain is logical while the heart is creative. If both function harmoniously, they can yield fantastic results. 
   
My main objective in this particular blog post is to distinguish between these two powerful organs. The differences that I want to state are not of a scientific nature. It will be my interpretation of the ongoing tug-of-war within my plump physiology. Without wasting any more time, here I present my analysis in ten lucid points (kindly pardon me for my weak sense of humour):
   
» The heart is emotional. The brain is practical.
   
» The heart feels a lot. The brain thinks a lot.
     
» The brain makes presumptions. The heart makes assumptions.
   
» When the heart knocked, the brain got blocked.
     
» When the heart becomes deaf, the brain plays it safe.
   
» The brain wants to care. The heart wants to dare.
   
» The brain deduces. The heart seduces.
     
» The brain understands what the heart is trying to say. The heart does not understand what the brain is trying to say.
     
» The brain forgets. The heart regrets.
   
And last, but certainly not the least,
» The brain does not get its name included in the titles of Bollywood films. The heart has enjoyed this honour umpteen number of times. Because, “Dil hai, ki maanta nahi……”
   
However troublesome this battle between the heart and the brain might seem, it definitely makes life more beautiful to lead. It makes you learn, it makes you grow. It doesn’t change you. It unfolds you. We are the sole referees in these weird matches between the brain and the heart. It depends on every individual’s self-control to decide who will win amongst the two. The emerging winner brings out the best in some, while the worst in others. But every transformation takes place for a purpose. Over the time I guess, both the brain and the heart will learn to cooperate with each other and achieve harmony. Even my astrological forecast tells me to listen to both my heart as well as mind. Now how I am going to manage that, is again, a matter of individual concern. Till then…

Happy writing,
Aishwarya Bhagat.

Breaking rules can be fun too

I know that I have been missing in action for quite some days post the new year’s start, but that’s because life suddenly gets very fast-paced after the lazy slowdown that past year’s culmination brings. I have been attending college lectures, attempting to write stories for a contest, and of course, had been preparing for the impending fun and adventure in my college life. The immensely memorable enjoyment that we experienced during our college’s first industrial visit to Silvassa ensured attendance on my part to the next one to Jaipur as well. Since Silvassa was such a hit, expectations from the Pink city definitely had to be a notch higher. 
   
That almost half of the class including my two besties were giving it a skip was an altogether separate topic. The thought of having to adjust myself with other classmates having entirely different natures initially engulfed me with slight anxiety, but all things did not turn out to be as horrible as I had anticipated them. If I were to talk about the trip, I would say that it was rather mediocre and unorganised. If I were to talk about the weird antics of my classmates, it was the best source of entertainment to gossip mongers like us girls.
   
The overnight train journeys were fantabulous, with my classmates doing all kinds of crazy things, much to the vexation of fellow passengers. Chai-coffee, soft drinks, soups, chips, chocolates, popcorn, samosas, vadas, cutlets, sandwiches, biryani, pulav were only some of the seemingly delicious items that pheri-walas (hawkers) were selling in the train. The continuous chit-chatting into the wee hours of the night, hence being unable to sleep, pulling a gullible friend’s legs, getting off on stations where the train halted to enjoy the nip in the air (temperature dropped as the geography changed); everything was super fun. And a unique experience for someone like me who isn’t habituated to travelling by trains (not even the locals).
   
The hotel which was our accommodation was a four star one, although their services were not exactly upto the high rating. On our arrival there we were rushed to the dining hall, forced to stuff our mouths with bland-tasting breakfast, were made to wait for over an hour to get rooms allotted to us and were irritated by our teacher who made crappy, on the spot adjustments to cut out on the expenses of extra rooms. Perhaps she was seeking revenge on me for politely declining her offer to share the room with her. But everything got sorted out pretty soon and all of us roommates got settled. We were five girls in a room, hence were the only group which was given a deluxe suite, since all the rest were in pre-decided groups of four persons each. The drinking expeditions of our two roommates, their foolish acts in a drunken state, the sleepovers of their guy friends in our room, their audacity to fool the teacher who was put in the immediate next room; I had never experienced such crazy incidents in my life, and even though I myself stayed safely away from all of this, it was greatly amusing to witness such happenings.
   
One of the industries which we visited was a huge milk dairy, where in we got to see the complicated milk-processing machinery, were explained the entire procedure of pasteurization, how milk products were manufactured and so on. Besides we also received a yummy vanilla cup ice-cream while leaving from there. Next, we went to the printing factory of a leading Hindi newspaper, whose enormous set-up left us awe-inspired. The best one was our visit to the local radio station, FM Tadka. Interacting with the RJ was a complete delight and watching her go live on-air with so much spontaneity and perfection took my breath away.
   
For sightseeing, Jaipur is full of historical monuments. We trekked to Amer fort, viewed the Jal Mahal from far off, saw the Hawa Mahal, visited the City Palace and Jantar Mantar, went to Birla temple and the Albert Hall Museum. Perhaps the only one which appealed to me was the museum, thanks to my love for antiques and vintage decor. On our last day in the Pink City, I along with my friends indulged in shopping at the street bazaars, the non-shopaholic girl (that I am) confused about what to buy and what not to buy. After it was over, carrying four extra bags (full of shopping items) back home was yet another tension.
   
After squeezing some of the extra baggage in my trolley bag, I was ready for the return journey. After a comparatively lighter breakfast of vanilla milkshake, semolina upma, methi parathas with tomato ketchup and coffee, we left for the station much earlier than required. Standing for two hours impatiently awaiting our train’s arrival and the blood-sucking activity of boarding it hastily with so much luggage on my person, made me totally weary. The return journey was calmer than the one from Mumbai to Jaipur. Striking a conversation with a completely unknown person, listening to the gullible friend’s never-ending woes, singing old songs and cracking stupid jokes with friends comprised of it. Much to my relief we reached Mumbai early morning on Sunday.
   
My dad had come to pick me up, and after many ‘good-byes‘ and ‘see you tomorrows‘ with friends, I returned home. Narrating all the funny incidents of the trip to my parents, unpacking the luggage, opening up the shopping bags and lazing around was what went on for the rest of the day. What I basically learnt from this trip was that breaking rules at times can be fun too. Being prim and proper all the while doesn’t add thrill to one’s life. Now, after so much of timepass and delay, the college schedule will certainly get a hell lot tighter, so currently I am just waiting for what comes our way next. Till then…
   

Happy writing,
Aishwarya Bhagat.

New Year Resolutions

Well, let me make it clear beforehand, that I am not one of those typical folks who engage in cheesy activities such as forming new year resolutions. Most don’t even abide by half of the resolves. But the year gone by has been such a mixed bag of emotions for me, that I couldn’t stop myself from coming up with exciting resolutions for the forthcoming 2014. So ‘not being cheesy’ is history for now. Here’s a look at them:
   
1. Eating healthy, staying fit.
This definitely isn’t the first time that I am resolving to do so. Controlling my diet is by far the most difficult task to accomplish, especially for a foodie like me. I have failed miserably during my initial attempts. When you are young, you aren’t much cognizant of the importance of looking presentable. But as adolescence surfaces, this shocking realisation dawns upon you, due to extremely obvious reasons. My last attempt at dieting had been my best shot at it. It kick-started immediately after I saw the horrible, unflattering pictures of myself in my elder sister’s wedding. I had determinedly stuck to my self-promise for a really good nine months, without giving in to temptations, and the effort was quite visible. But during the previous three months, my crazed cravings for food got the better of me and emerged victorious. My resolve had to accept defeat. But today, on the threshold of new beginnings, I firmly resolve to resume dieting, but with certain sinful indulgences incorporated now and then, because as it is said, “Too much of anything is bad.” I won’t give up so easily this time.
   
2. Catching up on my hobbies.
Paying attention to academics gets so very time-consuming, that I hardly read any non-study material during the college’s functional days. Now I resolve to manage my time more effectively, so that I can daily read my favourite fictional novels in relaxation, and regularly write my blogs.
   
3. Not expecting anything from anyone.
Gone are the days when one good turn deserved another. These days when you do a good deed, it’s considered your unpaid job. Expecting gratitude is folly redefined. And if you do receive it, don’t rave about it. Keep your feet fixed on the ground. Trust is yet another factor. Do not force people to trust you. You should not have to fight tooth and nail to prove your point. If someone wants to believe you, he or she anyhow will. Now I firmly resolve to neither expect gratitude, nor expect to be trusted.
   
4. Being optimistic.
When you have done nothing wrong, why fear? Work sincerely hard and stay true to yourself, other things settle all by themselves. Thinking negatively never helps, only worsens situations. Now I resolve to get rid of undefined fears.
   
This is it for me. I have tried to keep my resolutions as short and simple as possible, because bragging too much will only land me in trouble. I truly hope to successfully follow them and make 2014 a much better year than 2013 was. Till then, here’s wishing everyone a fanstastically happy and prosperous new year!
   

Happy writing,
Aishwarya Bhagat.

The Born Loner

Narrating to you readers all the events of a day when everything went wrong, and took a complete toll on my feelings:

Thursday,
19th December, 2013.

1. The wall clock struck midnight. It was my father’s sixtieth birthday. It had to be a special day of course! My elder sister and her husband had both come over to surprise dad, and they planned to stay overnight. After the customary cake-cutting ritual, the chorus singing of “Happy birthday to you”, and having uploaded the mouth-watering cake’s picture on a social networking website, I set the alarm for the morning and retired to bed.

2. I woke up with a start. It was my mother’s wake up call. The alarm had failed to arouse me from my deep, heavy slumber as usual. When I glanced at the time in my cell phone, I was horrified. It showed 6, where as I had been hoping to start my day as early as 4.30 in the morning. No, I wasn’t getting late for my college lectures. To be more precise, there weren’t any lectures. The college’s festive season was on, and it was traditional day today. Plus I was volunteering for the marketing mela which was coinciding with it. I had to get ready. Super fast.

3. If you are girl, in the real sense of the word, you ought to begin your preparations for some special occasion at least a week beforehand. But oh, there also exists a girl like me. I hadn’t thought of what I was going to wear, I had even had the audacity of skipping a trip to the beauty salon the day before! I had untrimmed eyebrows, frizzy, unwashed hair, and shortage of time! I bathed quickly and washed my dirty tresses. I stepped out of the bathroom at around 6.35 a.m.

4. I decided to wear a royal blue anarkali dress, because it suited me pretty well. I applied some makeup mousse on my face, coloured my lips, hung a heavy pair of earrings from my earlobes and stuck a tiny bindi on my small forehead. All seemed quite okay. Almost all my grooming was done, except for my hair. Those locks were still damp. I was going to waste a lot of time drying them on a chilly winter morning. I considered it wise to finish off my breakfast first and work on those hair later. Perfectly wise.

5. Breakfast was over by 7.15 a.m. I should have practically reached college by this time. But I couldn’t step out with those locks still dripping wet. I cursed myself for not knowing how to use the blow-drier. I had no other option but towel-drying and patience. After a quarter of an hour, I brushed the now-somewhat-dry hair and swept them to one side. My parents complimented me on how I looked. I felt a sense of partial satisfaction. Nevertheless, I was now raring to go. It was 7.40 a.m. now.

6. Forgetful, idiotic me. As I stepped downstairs, and sat onto the backseat of my car, I realised that I had forgotten to wear my dupatta. The thought of having to go upstairs again vexed me to a great extent. I called up mom in advance to be ready with the thing near the elevator. As soon as the elevator landed on the seventh floor, mom handed over the dupatta to me. During the downward journey, I hastily arranged it around my neck. Boy, I had wasted a good five minutes in this episode.

7. I reached college by 7.50 a.m. It’s my good fortune that I do not stay faraway from my college. I was kind of shocked initially, since I couldn’t see many students roaming around the premises. Obviously, who apart from volunteers was expected to come this early? The few people that I spotted were hanging around in casuals. A feeling of awkwardness crept over me. Was it really traditional day today? Or was I mistaken? Those silly thoughts were whisked away by the sight of some saree-clad girls. Phew, I hadn’t been mistaken after all. I was now waiting for my friend to appear at the entrance gate, so that we could both go inside together.

8. I was extremely tired of waiting for her. She was so fashionably late! I bombarded her with dozens of chat messages asking her where she was. It seemed years before she finally made her ‘gracious presence’ felt at 8.15 a.m. Sick!

9. We both went inside together. Preparations were on in full zest for the marketing mela. Participants were putting up their stalls, and the event coordinators, i.e., our seniors, were busy with the decorations. I handed over an old, spare black and orange dupatta (belonging to my mother) to one of the coordinators, since they had requested all of the volunteers to get one. I realised that I had been the only loyal person to their word. But it didn’t matter much. I asked them if we could lend a helping hand. My lazy friend made a weird face when I asked them for work. But to her luck, they weren’t having much work for us.

10. We roamed around having a look at each of the ten stalls, and chatted with some of our classmates who were participating. Then bored without any activity to be done, we climbed upstairs to our department floor for signing the attendance register, and entered the incoming time. This rule sucked, because it made it a compulsion for introvertish people like me to remain present during college festivals. We then ran upstairs the opposite building to the common room, escaping the eyes of the coordinators.

11. We whiled away our time indulging in photo sessions. Two ugly photos of mine were enough to drive me away from the camera lens. My hair had now dried completely and had got frizzier than ever! What a nightmare on such a day! I brushed my hair vigorously in an attempt to tame them. But to no avail. They just wouldn’t listen to my pleadings. I absolutely regretted not having gone to the parlour the day before. A professional blow-dry would have done me too good. But it was going to be no use crying over spilt milk now.

12. By 9.30 a.m., we realised that we had wasted enough time doing nothing, and it was now time for us to check on the event proceedings. Music was playing loudly in the background. It gave rise to exuberance in the atmosphere. But nothing much had taken place as yet. Hence, since my friend said that she was hungry, we went to the canteen.

13. We sat down on a canteen bench, and I asked her what she would like to eat. At that very moment, she made an about-turn, saying it was still too early to eat anything. So why had we come here in the first place? We continued sitting there, engaged in our respective cell phones. My friend complained that we shouldn’t have come to college so early. In a way, she was correct. We weren’t doing any volunteering work, just wasting our time doing nothing. My hair had become disastrous, and my makeup was turning greasy, all thanks to my oily skin. Other classmates hadn’t even showed up on the scene yet. “Must be getting ready at leisure”, I thought out of envy.

14. We went back to the quadrangle. All of our professors had come by now. Everything was almost ready by 10 a.m. One by one, several of our classmates started appearing. My, the girls were looking really hot! Most of them were in sarees. Everyone was in their best form, myself being an exception. No one even looked at me or complimented me. I felt damn shy.

15. The mela was inaugurated, and our professors, the principal and the chief guest were giving lengthy, uncomprehending speeches. After all that was over, I greeted other classmates, complimented them on their appearances, getting no compliments in return. Plenty of photo sessions occurred, much to my disgust. The photos only made me more aware of how horrible I was looking on such an important day.

16. We had nothing to do. No contributory work was demanded of us. We were hungry, so I, my friend, and another friend made our way to a food stall outside the college premises. I helped myself to a butter cheese toast sandwich and a fizzy cold drink. It didn’t satisfy me much, but I presumed that it would help me keep going through the day.

17. Hours flew by. Boredom took the better of us. My friend was even more bored. Her face wore a very depressing expression. In spite of everything, I tried cracking silly jokes now and then to keep our moods uplifted. But it was of no use. Nobody ever laughs at my jokes. Because I do not have a very great sense of humour. My friend didn’t seem least interested in me. She was in fact looking for the other friend, who had apparently disappeared into thin air. This made me jealous and I started feeling low.

18. This friend of mine is perhaps the most unenthusiastic person I have ever met on earth. She is scared to attempt anything new and always tries to run away from everything. It was now 1.30 p.m. She declared that she was tired of waiting and had had enough. I too was bored, but problem was that we couldn’t leave before doing the outgoing signature in the attendance register. We could leave officially only after the event got over at 4. So we waited. My friend was desperately making calls to the other friend for her whereabouts. I felt really sad about the fact that the friend I considered close didn’t quite enjoy my company so much. I tried to divert those upsetting thoughts by playing with my cell phone. But alas! The phone gave a low battery signal, and it could die any moment. Things couldn’t have got worse. But they did. Later.

19. At 2 o’clock, my friend ultimately gave up and said that she was leaving without doing the outgoing signature. I didn’t sense the urge to convince her to stop, because as it is she wasn’t enjoying my company. If she had been, she would have waited. I nodded at her decision, and told her that I wouldn’t leave without signing. Even if that meant waiting until late evening. She left haughtily and I dryly said good bye to her.

20. Now, I was all alone. I had no one for company. The introvert that I am, I do not have many friends. But I am totally faithful to the few that I have, and help them in every possible way. And I have never received the slightest appreciation in the times that I have helped them. As if it was a job that I was paid to get done. At that moment, I felt that I was probably born with some negative aura, to be so languishing when it comes to having friends. True friends. I wandered uselessly here and there, tried to strike a conversation with some classmates that I would spot, only to feel more unwanted.

21. Tired, I went upstairs to our department floor, and sat down in one classroom. I was thoroughly upset. Having nothing to do, all sorts of negative thoughts crept into my mind. The other girls were looking so gorgeous, they were receiving so many red roses from members of the opposite sex. Forget red roses, I wasn’t even given a yellow one. I felt ugly, boring, unwanted and useless. My head was aching. I had become restless. I couldn’t spot my other friends either.

22. I was about to quit and leave just like my friend when it was around 2.45, but those other friends came just then. So I didn’t go. These people were enjoying at a nearby park all this while. My mood depressed further, since they hadn’t bothered to ask me if I could join them there. Just then, the coordinators began ragging us. They called us downstairs, scowled at us for our disappearance, and began teaching us our responsibilities as volunteers. It was a foot in the mouth situation. We were told to guard the entrance to the mela, disallowing anyone inside before they purchased an entry coupon.

23. My feet hurt extremely because of the heels. It was indeed difficult to keep standing for so long. I kept removing them at times, but that didn’t help much. I was doing a good job as a watch guard. I stood that way for almost an hour and a half till the event was wrapped up by 4 p.m. My back was almost broken. I asked the coordinators to return my mom’s dupatta which they had hung as a bunting. After lots of ‘yes’es and ‘no’s, I was told that it would be returned to me the next day. Shit. That meant coming here again the next day to bore myself. All others had been planning to give the event a miss the next day. But nevertheless, I okayed it. I went upstairs to sign off my outgoing time. The counter was closed. The peons told us all that we could all leave, there was no need to sign. My heart sank completely as I heard this. My friend’s luck was indeed shining today. She escaped without jeopardizing herself. Worst. Things had definitely gone from bad to worse to worst.

24. I now wanted to reach home in a jiffy. My feet hurt so much that I couldn’t walk to the bus stop. I hired a cab instead and rushed home. When I got back home, I found out that all our relatives had gathered to celebrate dad’s birthday! It should have been a joyous moment, but the events of the day hindered my happiness. I just dashed into my bedroom without greeting the relatives, which I know isn’t a very polite way. I changed into my regular clothes, removed all traces of makeup, freshened up and then went outside. I got all the more upset since I was expecting some breathing space on the home front, and I didn’t get it since the place was now crowded with relatives. It wasn’t their mistake at all, I should have been mingling in their midst, joining in the celebrations. But I was mentally and physically disturbed, hence couldn’t. Mom was obviously unappreciative of such behaviour on my part, but she didn’t know anything.

25. I went off to sleep, but all the thoughts weren’t granting me any mental rest. I also got a message from a classmate that the dupatta which I had lent was given to some other classmate (by the seniors in my absence), who wouldn’t be coming to college the next day. This made me go completely mad. I couldn’t take it any longer. I woke up, entered the kitchen, vented out my frustration, told mom all about the happenings of the day. She tried comforting me, but overwhelmed by emotions, I broke down. I wept like a baby. Mom explained my condition to the relatives, and even they began consoling me. But I continued weeping. It made me feel better. Soon I came back to my senses. A day that was meant to be so special had got ruined. I should have revelled in my father’s happiness on his birthday, but I had sulked. But as time passed, things normalised again. I realised that I was not lonely anymore. I was laughing with them as I usually did.

As I conclude, I would sincerely like to thank God for my family, for the unconditional love and support that it offers me. Never take your folks for granted, because blood will always be thicker than water.As far as this day was concerned, such days must be a part and parcel of every person’s life, so I shouldn’t worry myself about it. Brain-drain occurs at times. But you do recover from it. You continue doing the things that you love, and start regaining your happiness. See, am I not already authoring such long writeups?

Happy writing,
Aishwarya Bhagat.