Saturday, November 16, 2013

Surprise surprise

On the other news today, The Happy Page took my idea and illustrated the following :-)

Sort of inspired from this :-)

And this is one such sunny spot

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Of easy wind and downy flake

After days and days of waiting for snow, here it is. A couple of weeks before, I was almost sure that it was snowing but then it melted before it hit the ground. I assumed I was hallucinating after three cups of coffee.

Nevertheless, it is here, it is incredible and I haven't stopped smiling since morning. I was looking for an unsuspecting victim whom I could thwack with a snow ball from the back. I found one later in the day and he was not pleased. One off the bucket list though.

Snow is sort of fluffy which is surprising because I imagined it to be like grated ice not unlike the snow cones. Now I know why Robert Frost  called it the "downy" flake.

I can't *wait* to build a snowman and have an actual snowball fight.

If you see someone near CMU jumping up and down and singing off key, it should probably be me.

I had to abandon this perfect snowball that I made in the morning!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Quora question: What did you do when your parents left you at home alone?

Obviously, I had a lot of things to say on this topic. (I have already written about some of the stuff here in this blog)

I spent a considerable amount of my childhood at home alone. The story goes that my school started at 7 AM and it got over by 12:15 PM. This meant that my parents had to put me on the bus by 6 AM which also meant that they should be up by 5 AM. My mother thought it was too much of a bother for five hours of school which, in her opinion, was not teaching me anything. I bunked school at least 3 days a week. Both my parents worked and being a single kid, I pretty much spent all my time at home.

This was pre-internet and pre-exciting TV channels. We had cable TV (which was anyway introduced only in late 90's) but I somehow I never liked cartoons (I didn't understand the accent in which the characters talked ). My parents were voracious readers and read quite a bit in Tamil. No one was really interested in watching TV in my house and therefore, for the lack of better things to do, I started reading, crazily. My school had a wonderful library and I checked out tons of books every week whenever I went. I wheedled the librarian into giving me more books than it was normally allowed.

Madurai is not a big place. There weren't too many people who read, let alone children's books written by arcane authors. Only my grandfather read English books in the circle of people I knew . He harped on the classics of his times and snorted derisively at my taste. Due the distinct lack of a recommendation mechanism, I discovered all the books that I loved by myself and that helped me try out a lot of things before I started appreciating good writing.  It was only after the Internet came about, I discovered how popular Enid Blyton, Herge(not technically an author), P.G.Wodehouse and my other favorite authors were among others who liked reading and I felt a strange kinship with the world.

Apart from the time I spent reading, I used to paint, collect stamps, sew clothes for my dolls and cook clandestinely because I was not allowed to switch on the stove. For some time, I was even interested in clay modeling. Basically, I learned to keep myself super occupied and when my parents came back home in the evening I had tons of stuff to tell them about the exciting happenings of my day, that was exciting even within the confines of my house. After the Internet came to my home in 12th grade, things changed massively- well, even with a dialup one could do so much. (I nostalgically observe a minute of silence for the creeps of AOL/Yahoo chatrooms at this point. A/S/L, anyone?)

Anyway, the point is I spent a very significant portion of my childhood, at home, alone. I loved it, though it (obviously) had major repercussions. Till date, I simply cannot work from desks and prefer to work in my nightclothes and from my bed because that is how I used to study or get any work done -by being a blob- as no one was around to chastise my weird ways. Things got slightly better after I lived in a dorm during undergrad and later, when I had room mates - but I used to love the all the little moments when I had the place I called home, to myself.

There is one particular reason why I love Calvin. Except for the figment of Calvin's imagination, Dad, Mom and the occasional kid he plays with, there aren't too many characters in his childhood. I resonate with this sentiment so much.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Happy Page

My urge to write becomes astronomical only when I have two tests, a gigantic assignment and other important stuff that I have been trying to get to. Hence, I would like to write about a recent discovery of mine on Facebook. It is called the Happy Page (website here). People around the world write to these guys who illustrate in a meme like fashion on what happiness means to different people.

This page is sort of addictive to flip through and see how many of the pictures I can relate to.

My favorites are

And the best

If I read some of my early posts from my college, I sound like a completely messed up person (not to  mention the gazillion grammatical errors and mortifying writing). I seem to have focussed entirely on being contentious. Some of these issues are so irrelevant that I do not understand how they riled me up to write such torrential amount of garbage in the first place. I seem to have wasted oh-so-much time in my undergrad and learned random stuff (like how to solve cryptic crossword puzzles) just so that I can get into the finals of a random made up event in an even more random cultural fest at some college.

Nevertheless, here I am, almost as depicted in the picture, wise enough recognize the follies of my squandered youth. As JK Rowling says, I guess there is an expiry date to all the anger that you feel towards the world at large which is pretty much the underlying theme of undergrad days. These days I don't even pick up fights on Facebook. If that is any sign of maturity, I attribute it to the copious amount of character building that happened between January and up until I came here.

All this renders a zen like quality to my sleep deprived self that I have started finding happiness in

1) Nice sunny spots to work from
2) Daylight at home
3) Figuring out things on whiteboards
4) Better still -walls made of whiteboards which I accidentally found out in a building on my campus
5) Days without feeling a sleepy haze around my head
6) Being a blob on my bed on Saturdays
7) Remembering where I last left my spectacles (and keys, and ID card..)

and most important of all

which is all this blogging business is about.

Now, I really really have to do something about the homework.