In the Mood

The weather is amazing today in Hyderabad. Usually, the days are dry and the nights are sweaty and humid here. But today, I was blessed with “inspiration weather”. It’s my favorite kind of weather. If you go out into the open, a pleasant chill will surround you, raising goosebumps on your arms, but it is not so cold that you need to bundle up in wool. The air is slightly weighed down with dampness, hinting at the possibility of rain. I absolutely adore this weather. To me, it seems to be full of hope and anticipation.

Whenever I get to experience this inspiration weather, I write. Because it is the best time for me to write. Inspiration weather fills me with, well, inspiration. It makes me believe in myself. My head brims with ideas. Energy floods my veins until I can’t stand still. Until I sit in front of a computer and empty my thoughts into it.

But today, I decided not to write.

I’ve never been the most disciplined of writers. I can’t start writing whenever I want to. Getting into the writing mood is a veritable struggle for me. I need silence, the right mental state and of course, the always elusive motivation. I write only when I absolutely have to. I write only when I can’t stand not to write.

But I’ve decided to put a stop to my old writing habits. Hereafter, I won’t write when inspiration weather strikes. I will write everyday at a specific time. No matter how “not in the mood” I am, I am going to write. I came close to giving up writing for good, but I can’t. It is too important to me. I will keep writing.

Warm Love, Bitter Truth and Cold Desolation

So I went home after a long time. I bid Hyderabad a happy goodbye and boarded the bus to my hometown. I had so many plans, so many things I wanted to do. “Dulhaniya Dilwale Le Jayenge” was playing on the TV. I love that movie. It maybe old school, but something about the movie brings out the romantic in me. The bus stopped at a highway restaurant at about 9 pm for dinner. I was eating roti and paneer butter masala with my dad, who was accompanying me on this trip (my mom has this crazy idea that someone might do something to me if I travel alone) at the restaurant when my dad got a call. It was bad news. My forty six year old uncle had just died of renal failure.

In my twenty two years, I haven’t had to deal with a loved one’s death at any point. Granted, I wasn’t very close to my uncle. We had exchanged a few words at family gatherings and that is it. But I was very close to my aunt and she had just lost her husband. Also, the fact that someone whom I had seen just a few months back is now dead made me feel lost and unsure about my own life. It wasn’t a full-blown existential crisis, but it was close.

The day I arrived at my home, we packed our bags and left for Tirunelveli. The mood at my aunt’s house was depressing. Me, being the selfish bitch that I am, couldn’t handle all the crying. I wanted to leave and then, come back when everything was better. But I stayed. I had to. I consoled my aunt as best as I could. After a day with the mourning family, we came back home.

My uncle had just died, but I was determined to make the most of my visit. I dragged my mom to restaurants and malls and street shops. Thankfully, my dad had some work to attend to, so he had left town for a couple of days. If he had been with us, he would have brought our spirits down to rock bottom.

I spent a lot of money and didn’t feel guilty spending it. I had delicious home cooked meals. I spent hours talking to my mom. It was wonderful. My mom who had been miserable living alone with my dad seemed to like having me around. Then, my dad came back.

My dad has this power to make everyone around him wish they were somewhere else. I had been so happy to come home, but when I started to spend time with him, I wanted nothing more than to take the next bus back to Hyderabad. I am not quite sure if I completely hate my dad, but I hate at least 99.9% of him. He is loud, obnoxious and rude. He picks fights with everyone. He is controlling. He is paranoid. He treats his family like shit. He is a top-class asshole.

A few days later, I left for Hyderabad. I felt sad and guilty about leaving my mom with my dad again (for some reason, he doesn’t treat her so badly when I am around). But I couldn’t stay in that house any longer. It was depressing.

It had been a weird trip filled with death and heartache and love. On the way back to Hyderabad, I kept thinking about what I took away from this whole experience. But the truth is – nothing. I still feel like the same person. I haven’t been enlightened. I have one less person in my life and I still can’t stop thinking about how much I hate my dad. I still can’t stop trying to isolate myself from others. I am a lost cause.

Bangalore Withdrawal

It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago, I was a young, starry-eyed, idealistic girl who wanted to change the world with her written word. Fast-forward to the present and here I am, a cynical, unapologetically selfish, twenty one year old woman who cannot muster up enough energy to give a damn about anything. And when I say I don’t give a damn about anything, I don’t mean it in the cool, rock-star kinda way, where I look like I don’t give a damn but in reality, my hard exterior shell is hiding a sweet and sensitive nature. No. I am not sweet, neither am I sensitive. I have become a bitter husk of the person I used to be. I literally can’t get myself to care about anything or anyone.

Okay, maybe that’s wrong. I do care about one person. That’s me. Sometimes I think the reason I am not able to write nowadays is because I’m so selfish. Emotions that are so natural to normal people like love, anger, shame, grief, mourning and heartbreak seem elusive to me. I understand the hows, but not the whys of these feelings. As a writer, I am supposed to make every character believable, every thought and action of his/hers realistic. As a writer, I’m supposed to feel what these characters are feeling. But I am unable to. Therefore, every word I write rings false in my ears.

But I digress. My un-write-ablility is a story for another day. I wanted to talk about my Bangalore withdrawal.

I have never cared for the IT industry (yes, one of the many things I don’t care for). The thought of staring at a computer screen all day used to scare me to death when I was in high school. Then, ironically, a twist of fate landed me in an engineering college where I completed my B.Tech in IT. After four mind-numbing years, I got myself a job in an IT company (it doesn’t matter which company it is; they are all the same). For the sake of simplicity, this company will henceforth be referred to as XYZ India Ltd. XYZ decided that I had to complete one and a half months of training in Bangalore before I was assigned to a project. I, a Tamil girl who had never lived in a non-Tamil speaking city, packed my suitcases and moved to Bangalore.

And instantly fell in love. Bangalore was beautiful, modern and most of all, a far cry from the blistering heat of Tamil Nadu. There were people who spoke all sorts of languages in Bangalore – Tamil, Telegu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi. I never wanted to leave the city. Who cared if I was stuck in a stare-at-the-computer-all-day job? I was in heaven. What’s more, I even kinda, sorta developed a crush on one of my colleagues. I mean, sure, he was taken, but my bitter, bitter heart was overjoyed at the fact that it was still capable of having these kind of feelings. Then, XYZ gave me a project in Hyderabad.

I bid Bangalore a reluctant goodbye and moved to Hyderabad. Hot, hot Hyderabad which reminded me every minute of how much I missed the Bangalore weather. Walking to work in Bangalore was a cake. Here in Hyderabad, my ten minute walk to work feels like an hour and every day, when I reach my office, I am sweating so much I feel like I’ve run a marathon.

Today’s my 11th day in Hyderabad. In the past 10 days, in a bid to get rid of my Bangalore blues, or at least to lessen the intensity of it, I jumped head-first into a Veronica Mars marathon. I have to say, Veronica Mars has done me good. She kept my mind blissfully occupied and I only pined about Bangalore a couple of times. The Veronica Mars movie is getting downloaded as I write. Hopefully, that and the two seasons of Dead Like Me on my hard disk will get me through this weekend.