Cardboard and Kids

There are few things that give you immense satisfaction. I recently had a wonderful experience with little kids from a government school in Hyderabad running around with a Google cardboard stuck to their eyes, reveling in the joy of virtual reality for the first time in their lives.

Some of us might never understand what they felt when they were transported to a different world. For a privileged few among us, virtual reality is a means of entertainment in our free time. But for those kids, it was an experience they’ll remember all their life. They learnt about the human body by travelling through it, as a cell. And it was a sight to see them zooming around the classroom, driving their rover on the moon. And the fact that I was instrumental in providing this memorable experience to them fills my heart with unbound joy.

Children do find everything in nothing, and make you wonder why you haven’t been paying enough attention to marvel at that nothingness. As adults, what we learnt in that classroom was very different. It was everything that we knew as kids, but had pushed it somewhere in the dark corners of our mind as we grew up.

The experience had as much impact on me as it did on the kids. And I hope I carry the learning with me throughout my life, just like I hope they will.

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Goodbye, dear father

When I saw you today,
When I saw you, lifeless
I thought back to fonder days

When you held my hand
And taught me how to walk
When you carried me around
Proudly, on your shoulders
When you hugged me
Every time you came home from work
When you taught me all
You thought I should know

As time took its toll
We did grow apart
But the fondness in my heart
Never went away

And today, you left
Without a goodbye
And all we have left
Are memories
But every time we think of you,
Dear father, we’ll think of you
Only with love

As you lie there, lifeless
I fight back tears
I have to be strong now
For mother, for myself

But don’t you worry
This too, shall pass
And I’ll be the brave little boy
You raised me up to be

So goodbye, dear father
Don’t you worry now
We have each other
And you, in our hearts

Goodbye, dear father
Rest in peace, now


Two of my friends recently lost their fathers. This poem is dedicated to both of them. I’m sure this poem didn’t do justice to how you must have felt, and I apologize for that.

I can’t even begin to comprehend what you would have gone through. But all I can do is assure you, that this too shall pass.  

If You Were Here Today

If you were here today, I would have invited you into my room and showed you the place I’ve been given for a month. It has comfortable beds and the softest pillows I’ve ever come across! I would have offered you the laddoos that my mother sent with me, just a little snack from home. You know how mothers are. You would have loved them.

I would have told you about my first day at my first job. I would have told you how surprised I was that I didn’t get bored in the orientation. You would have loved the people here, at least those that I’ve met till now (save a crabby cab driver). Then I would have told you how lost I was about the income tax returns, and the various banks. I would have cribbed about how I don’t feel old enough to do all this and you would have laughed. You would have told me to grow up. Well, the process has begun.

If you were here today, I would have told you about the delicious bagara baingan that I had for lunch today. It tasted just like my mother makes it. I don’t know if I’ll ever learn to cook. I think I’ll just manage to survive.

I would have told you how excited I was to start the new chapter in my life, and at the same time, how intimidated. I would have told you that I’m scared I’m not good enough, and you would have encouraged me. And you would have made me see that I am. I can almost hear you say ‘You deserve this’. And I would have believed you. I would have believed in myself.

Then I would have told you how frustrating it is to look for houses. I would have told you how I want to step into a house and see my home in there. Too much of a dreamer? Maybe.

If you were here today, I would have told you how I had forgotten that I’m growing up. I’m almost 22 now, but I don’t feel like an adult. I don’t feel responsible enough. I’m not. I won’t make a great adult. But I guess I’ll settle for being a good child-at-heart adult.

If you were here today, I would have had a lot to tell you.

If you were here.

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NaPoWriMo Day 14: Destruction

I’ve been participating in the Global/National Poetry Writing Month (GloPoWriMo/NaPoWriMo) in which I have to write one poem everyday for the month of April. I haven’t added all my poems on the blog, only the slightly decent ones. My other poems can be found on Instagram and Twitter.

Today’s prompt is for us to write a seven-line poem called a san san, which means “three three” in Chinese. The san san repeats, three times, each of three terms or images. The seven lines rhyme in the pattern a-b-c-a-b-d-c-d.


 

Ashes and smoke devour the world

As the ground turns a crimson red

Underneath the piles

Of bodies that lay curled

On their death bed

As the world does break

Through massacres and wiles

No tears shed at its wake

Metamorphosis

Guest Post

This is a guest post by my sister, who wanted this out there to keep herself in check, and to send a message to all other girls struggling with a healthy body image.


 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had issues with my body.

I still recall vividly the summer of the 3rd grade when I first felt bad about not being thin. And that’s how early it starts. That’s how much the society tries to push the thin-is-pretty ideology on everyone. Thanks to sports, i managed to remain healthy most of my life. Except for class 8, where an obsession with losing weight, becoming paper thin overcame me. A skewed self perception went a long way to make me drown myself in exercise and a measly amount of food. The initial months were good, I was eating healthy and running so much. But then I lost track of it all. I looked at myself in the mirror and all I saw was fat, ugly omnipresent adipose tissue. I started looking like I’d been sick. The 13 year old me couldn’t possibly comprehend that , thin was bad, fat was bad, what to do and be then? There was no self love, no identity. There was just a messed up want for acceptance. And I’d been deluded into believing that acceptance would come as fat disappeared. Boy was I wrong.

And here I am 4 years older (and hopefully wiser), in the same place again. But this time, I know what went wrong, and what I did wrong. And I know now, that it’s not about your face or body. I’ve beaten myself over body image issues and hated my body for so long. I’m going to give loving myself a go.

Not being thin, hot, pretty is by no means the end of the world and you can be a very happy individual if you focus on the better things in life – friends, family, love, education, ambition and being happy. Acceptance is faceted because people are faceted and as long as you know that feeling comfortable in your skin is of prime importance, it’s going to be fine. And I’m not, and I’m going to try to do something to change that. Let’s see if I get it right this time.

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A Soft Spot for Hitler?

Hitler has done some awful things for which he does not deserve forgiveness. I was, like every other child, repulsed by the destruction he caused and the lives he had taken. And then I came across this :

“Hitler created laws against animal cruelty”

So I started reading about him. Turns out he loved animals. He was extremely fond of dogs, especially his German Shepherd named Blondi. They seemed inseparable. He adored Blondi and her five puppies.

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Look at him
Hitler and Blondie
Just look

Okay. So he loved animals, but did not care about human casualties to achieve what he wanted; to do what he thought was right.

I’m in a bit of spot here. That sounds like me. You know the old “I don’t care who dies in a movie as long as the dog lives“. I shed no tears when people die. Because they have to. In fact, I love murder mysteries.

And it doesn’t end here. He suffered from Ailurophobia, the fear of cats. All right, so I don’t have a phobia. But cats scare me. Kittens don’t. But cats, they look evil. Whenever I’m passing by a cat, it looks at me like it will scratch my eyes out if I take a step closer to it. They don’t wag their tails and tell me they’re happy to see me. They just sit there and stare. Menacingly.

What does that mean? Am I Hitler?

But well, he poisoned his dog in the end, so I guess not. Peace.

The Last Semester

It will all be over soon. 4 years of college. I still can’t believe it has been 4 years already. Well, almost. But these 3 years and 7 months have given me uncountable memories that I’ll cherish all my life.

Manipal has taught me a lot, from living on my own, to embracing the things I love. It taught me that sometimes, people may take time to warm up to me. It taught me how to be a better human being. It taught me not be condescending and biased. It taught me how to get along with everyone, regardless of their color, caste, the language they speak and where they’re from. It taught me how to respect the differences I might have with others. It taught me a way of life.

And now, in 3 months, I will say goodbye to my college forever. And although I’m very excited about the next phase in my life, it scares me. So far, college has just been an illusion of living independently. I have had to do nothing on my own, except get dressed and go to different places.

And I’m not great at keeping in touch with people. I don’t know how to do that. I’ve moved so many times, that I just let go. And I do that with a lot of ease. I still talk to a few people of course, but it isn’t the same. Things change, and we’re not as close as we once were. So what will happen to all my friends from college? We will no longer be living in a huge campus where we bump into each other everyday or can decide to meet up whenever we want, wherever we want. We will no longer be living in the same hostel, where we can go to each other’s room and just sit around and play poker or UNO or just chat away. Hell, most of us will not even be the same city!

So I’m writing to thank all of you now. Thank you for being a part of my life. Thank you for making my time in college wonderful. Thank you for imbibing a little of your fashion sense in me so at least I know how to look decent now. Thank you for everything.

And I’m attaching some photos of us, hoping to make you cry.

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Roommates! Thanks for keeping me company in the room 😀
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NCC Ladies 😀
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Teacher’s wedding gang?
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Go to sleep Utkarsh
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Sirs 😛
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Bowling in Mangalore finally!
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CSE – B 😀

As my last three months in college, I plan on enjoying these to the fullest. At least as much as I can on a very limited budget (This was a hint for my parents to send me a voluptuous amount of money).

I don’t know how I’ll survive after college though. How do I suddenly turn into a responsible, mature adult? It hasn’t happened in these 21 years. If magic exists, I will need some in three months.

For now, I will go and continue my vacation-before-I-start-working. Adios!