Author: Dhanya Purushothaman

Imagine. Look around. Cook stories. Pen down a few. That's me.

Long Time, No see!

Hi There,

Long time no see, dear friend. How have you been?

So much has happened in the past few months that I do not know where to begin. Let me begin with this, I quit my job. The job that I was comfortable in, the one I was doing great at, the team I adored and the friends I grew attached to. I decided it was time to move on. I want to give myself a chance to explore something that I would possibly want to do for a long time, something that I could be passionate about, something that I would fall in love with. It is hard to leave behind all things and people that you are close to, but I did. There are days I miss working (I’d been a workaholic throughout) and seeing emails in the morning. But, I am also enjoying this break that was due from 4 years ago. This is my first break lasting a month in the last 4 years.

What did I do during the last few weeks? I travelled. I travelled to places that make me feel like a tiny speck in the universe. I travelled to a land that is called heaven on earth. I  travelled to Srinagar, Leh-Ladakh and Manali. And, what a trip it was! Jannat on earth for sure! The trip was also an eye-opener, I learnt so much about my privileges and also started appreciating people in my life more than I did before. I celebrated my birthday away from my usual world, away from internet and network towers. There was cup cakes in a tent, with friends staying awake playing games just to wish me. I was then sitting there stargazing, with a friend who would not let me go out alone. We sat there looking at shooting stars amidst the mountains in our camp. The daytime was spent at the Pangong lake, a lake I will never be able to describe that beauty with words. Absolutely stunning and unearthly Pangong lake! I couldn’t have asked for a better 25th birthday.

I spoke to my family 2 days after my birthday (because there was no network at our camp sites) and when my phone finally connected to WiFi I read my mom’s  sweet message only to find myself in a miserable teary eyed state. I was overwhelmed by the places I visited and then by the long distance phone calls from family and friends when they exclaimed how wonderful it was to listen to my voice after so long. Emotions choked me when I found out my friends called me over 20 times to just wish me but couldn’t get through, and more than that I was surprised at the people who remembered without any reminders on Facebook.

I finally got a chance to re-connect with my long lost friends over phone calls, now that I have begun to follow IST finally.  Yesterday, in specific was a day of phone calls. I got 2 call backs that I was expecting from a long time (fingers-crossed), one from my old colleague/classmate, one from my school bestie (she was having a great day like me), one from my childhood friend and finally I made one phone call to a school friend I promised to call ages ago.

The last phone call got me thinking, the phone call I made to was to the friend from my school. This is the friend who would be the first one to wish me on my birthday every year after my family, he had moved out of city after our class 12 and we’ve never met in person after that. But, I always knew what was up with him and vice-versa. He was someone who wasn’t the excellent student you would expect, but there was one thing that he was passionate about right from the school days – computers. I had no doubts that he would become a computer engineer, and he really did. Even though we only spoke on the phone, our banter was endless each time. Be it knowing about other’s crushes or blackmailing the other about revealing the secrets to the other’s crush, it was so much fun throughout all these years. More than anything else, he is a brother who would always look out for me, no matter which city I am in. I would occasionally get phone calls in a panicky voice ‘Hey, I heard there are riots going on. Are you okay? I was worried!’

Yesterday, however was different. I was expecting a boy from my high-school to answer my call but I spoke to a grown-up man. Well, as friends nothing had changed but the friend I knew had now matured. He was talking of his responsibilities and it wasn’t playful anymore. He had things to fix and people to take care of. He was speaking of everything in a calculated manner, a manner that I have heard my elders speak when I was a child. He spoke of events and not emotions. He had his life planned and spoke of looking out for alliances in a matter of fact voice. I couldn’t get my head around the fact that the little boy I knew had grown up, and now the world he lived in was very different. He was amazed at the carefree life that I am living, much different from the one he is. It was his birthday and he was still working, ‘another ordinary day’ he said. The call ended as usual, but this time I spoke to a whole new person.

I was amazed at how the careless kid I knew had grown up to be this responsible adult, deciding his own and his family’s life with conviction. I think maybe that’s what life is all about when it throws stones at you, pick them up and make a house out of it to protect your loved ones.

My yesterday passed thinking about the change that is the only constant in our lives, to be interrupted by the phone call of my NRI bestie. After much thought and deliberation I filled her in with some recent news from my life taking a promise that no other soul would hear of it. Leap of faith, I know.

Today, I figured that I had already wasted 2 days being a potato so I finally got my lazy ass out of my bed and cleaned my room, pulled out 2 books that I should be reading & then white sheets and paints to make me feel like an artist. Opened those damn windows to let the air in, changed curtains to let the sunlight into my life and turned those fairy light on for some fairy tale magic! 🙂

By the end of the day, I am planning my trip to Kerala that would happen next week. My friend might join me, but I’ve decided that solo or not I will do that trip. I have annoyed google with details on how I would be getting around the place. I am planning to make this a cheap and exciting trip, my budget is 5K (be it solo or not). I’ll be back next week after I am back to tell you if I did manage to stick to the budget.

Until we speak next time I want you to remember, no matter what is troubling you now do not take it to heart. It will pass. Things will change for better and you will have everything you dreamed of, even if it gets monotonous today tomorrow will bring the passion and excitement you crave for. Take it from me, it will! 🙂

Adios for now!

All my love,

Dhanya

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Unfinished Painting

Unfinished painting leaning on the wall,

Spreads it’s love, it’s such a charm.

Inspired by the subjects, I picked up my brush,

Must get some colours straight from their lives, oh such leaders they have been.

Painting had then begun, but colours on them refused to dry.

I left them out there to dry, months and months untouched by brush.

That unfinished painting across the room,

Makes me smile, such a charm.

Right on the wall next to the charm, photographs of people I adore.

Photographs with smiling faces, of the ones I’ve known all my life. The ones I could refer to as my life.

Just above these pictures are the ones from my recent past. People I’ve come to love just way too much.

Unfinished painting across my room,

Fills me with life, oh such a charm.

Looking at the photographs and then back at the painting lit by fairy lights,

I contemplate my life decisions, yet again I’m in such a fix.

A dream I’ve dreamt from the time I do not even remember, and the life filled with the ones I treasure.

I must choose. I must be wise.

Unfinished painting across the room,

Helps me contemplate, it’s such a charm.

Above the painting are two hand made lamp shades, boasting of creativity that is somehow now lost.

The mild yellow light, tells me how I’m getting fond of some more just one step at a time.

I do not rhyme, I cannot whine. Cuz this is what I wanted so bad.

Unfinished painting leaning on the wall,

Love, Dreams & Life. You will always be a charm.

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Hyderabad For Soul.

I am penning this down as I travel back to Bengaluru to get back to another day in front of laptop, with people all around cribbing about getting back after a long weekend. I did not want to delay writing about this trip like I did last year, and had I forgotten all the little incidents and details.

One thing you should know about me is that, if you invite me to your city when I am free, I will not say no. Today, I am so glad for once that my disability to say no, worked very well for me.

Most people like me,  who are in their twenties, are stuck in life situations/ jobs/ relationships that they either hate or have no clue where it is going. We dream of touching the sky, then the reality hits us that a plane ticket is the only thing that will take us away to get us closer to that sky. I don’t make any sense, yeah that’s how we feel almost all the time.

Stuck in such life situations, we usually choose small escapes. Travel. Momentary reliefs. That’s what I also had thought of Hyderabad trip. But this became so much more than just that.

Greeted by warm smiles and filter coffee, a lovely swing that we came to love, Keesara Gatta for sunset, mom made dinner served with love, laughter until late night and crashing on the bed. A perfect first day.

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Second day began with my kind friends waking me up with patience, South Indian breakfast served with warm filter coffee and the morning newspaper all this while soaking in the warm morning sun in the beautiful balcony, then we were exploring the rooftop garden grown with such care, and we also got a chance to plant one pot of seeds each, carrot, radish,  onions, gongura etc. await our arrival the next time. Then, we also went down the memory lane of summer vacations by playing Holi with the colourful berries from one of the plants right ghere and then mosturing our skin and hair with the home grown Aloe Vera. With all that mud and colours there was a need to clean ourselves, shower and freshen up to get ready for the crazy day that lay ahead of us.

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By the time we were all ready we greeted newer faces who were old friends of the household. UNO with rules and new rules helped the ice breaking and then after the sumptuous and delicious lunch we were all set to explore Numaish.

Numaish, as you enter you can see a tide of human beings ebbing in and realise that it is no small deal. Numaish, has everything you need at the price you can bargain for. With all the shopping, bargaining and kepeing track of all 8 people all of us were exhausted and just wanted to get back, but then the magic happens. Giant wheel, I love these rides but this one was really scary. I do not remember the time I did not scream during this ride. But then was it worth it, absolutely! As soon as we had our adrenaline pumping we were ready for Columbus and Cup & Saucer too.  The braver ones amonget us, captured the screams and madness of the rides in their cameras to which became an entrainment after the entertainment for all of us.  Searching cabs, explaining our location to the driver who wouldn’t understand, eventually getting our legs some much meeded rest we reached back to our favourite swing that again was welcoming us very warmly. Tired, but still we didn’t hit the bed immediately.

 

We had our dinner that was warm because, mother.  While the elders of the household went to sleep, we decided to turn on TV to entertain us during our dinner. K3G was on, I would then go on to say dialogue much to the annoyance of my friends. I then decided to finally shut up. Once the movie ended we then went on to watch half of the last episode of F.R.I.E.D.S. All of us soon succumbed to the need of rest that our bodies demanded and fell asleep.

The last day, morning began exactly as warmly as the previous morning. Breakfast, Sun, Warmth, Smiles, Filter Coffee and  Shower.

We then went to Charminar, we met the childhood bestie of one of us and who also joined us with the rest of the exploration for the day. We went on to spend some time at Charminar, click the mandarman instant photograph, drink the yummiest chai and taste the tastiest Pineapple cake from Nizam bakery.

 

Then we expired the chudi market right in front and bought some gorgeous bangles and headed to Paradise hotel for lunch. We reached there by 4.30 pm but then we had to wait for 50 mins after the token, but since we didn’t have time for that we took a parcel and set out to explore a park where we could sit and enjoy our Biriyani.

We found the park, ate till we could eat no more, clicked pictures next to ”LOVE HYD” and got back home to pack & catch my bus back to Bengaluru.

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The trip was extra special because I had no access to Internet, most of us didn’t have. Which made us live right there and not wander else where, talk to people in the room, listen and laugh.

I know though the trip was effortless and beautiful for us, our friend spent hours in making this trip perfect for us. The mother of the household took such efforts to get us the tastiest homemade food while we explored the city. The father of the household created a  perfect setting for us to enjoy, be it the silly bubble fights we had on the terrace or the finance planning help.

This Hyderabad trip was heart – warming. All the people who were in it and who made it happen, thank you! Thanks for asking, I loved it.

Chicken Stew.

Today was a usual Sunday. I woke up late, decided I can study today’s lesson also on my own so skipped classes. I couldn’t get myself to travel to the other side of the city to meet my friends so made excuses and settled down well again on my bed. Parents came up with cheerful way to speak to me about the same old topic and I dodged the same and was mentally preparing myself to find ways to run away to another city as quickly as possible. I sat on my bed with ‘akki roti’ for half an hour watching yet another emotional episode of a Korean drama with subtitles, dreaming of the day when I can understand the language without them. The episode ended and also my breakfast, let me correct myself not breakfast, let’s call it ‘Brunch+Evening Snacks’. That is when the magical moment struck me.

I remembered about the chicken stew my neighbour had very kindly left it on my table for me this morning. I quickly hurry to the table to make sure my sister hasn’t finished it even before I got to taste it. I’m relieved to see the white parcel filled with ‘Chicken Stew’, I get a plate and a spoon to taste this dish. And what do I taste!!!!

This ‘Chicken Stew’ is the best one I have had so far. The coconut milk, the yummy chicken perfectly cooked and even the ginger. I dislike ginger in any dish, but this one is just beyond delicious. If you are a Malayali or if you have tasted the ‘Stew’ that is often served with Appam or Idiyappam and love it, then this beats all of those amazing ‘Stews’ you have had. The perfect blend and the amazingly enchanting taste of this ‘Chicken Stew’ will remain in my taste buds and memories forever (whatever forever means)! 🙂

Chef at ‘Lungees’ restaurant, keep up the good work! 😀 Happy Sunday Everyone! May your Sunday have yummy surprises like mine had!

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