Author: Dhanya Purushothaman

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

A new beginning.

I have been wanting to write for a long time now. Starting from the new year, so many things have taken place in my life in this short span of past two months that now I do not know what to talk to you about.

Barely three weeks into our new semester in December 2016, I got placed through campus placements. Yes, three of us including me got placed in a company that was perfect for me in every sense. Pay was decent, work wise it looked great and it was a great start to a career.  Everything was perfect until we were told that we should join the company in two weeks. As usual, there was a little bit of panic. Not because I was too fond of my campus but because it meant lesser time with my friends. As the ritual that every student undertakes in the last few days of campus life is to travel to hills and beaches with friends, we planned our last trips too. Our road-trips to Mahabaleshwar and  Murud were wonderful in their own unique ways. We did all the things we should on a typical trip with friends; went crazy, took a zillion selfies, struck celebrity poses on scenic locations, counted the stars in the unpolluted skies, met new people, relished good food, fought with each other over silly things and also enjoyed every minute of it.

I then came back home to join my job. Before that welcomed new year with the craziest new years party I’ve had in years with my undergrad friends. It felt great to be back home, back to my family back to my old friends. On the new years we went on long bike rides in the chilling cold of January winters, had tea with omelette at 3 o’clock in the morning, braved street dogs who followed our bikes and finally dozed off at 7 in the morning only to wake up in an hour to get back home. Then joined work the next day and its been a great run so far. These two and a half months have been very eventful with a lot of learning and  new friendships. It felt great to receive my first salary. Oh it was an out-of the world experience. I won’t be lying if I said I teared up a little to see my paycheck and quickly wiped it off with a tissue. Then bought gifts for the family and relatives with my money. It was a good month, January.

February was a lot of travelling and nostalgia. Traveled to campus for internal exams, did road-trips to wayanad and then to my parents’ ancestral homes both of which was renovated recently in two consecutive weekends. Nostalgia was instantly triggered as I touched the place I spent my every summer vacation till class tenth. My refusal to accept the new changes which came with the shifting of power and changing of times was surprising. I felt like the little girl who ran around the house playing hide and seek, bathing in the pond and enjoying the taste of sweet mangoes from our tree in the backyard. It was disheartening that I didn’t see the faces of my grandparents sitting in the front porch waiting for us to arrive like it was a norm for many years, instead it was the faces of new tenants who were living in the favourite area of the house. We now had a small room and pooja room converted into a small kitchen and a small hall to stay in whenever we visited. It was a logical decision for sure, at least now there are people living in the house which would have otherwise been locked and unused for ages. But it was disappointing for me to not get the feel of big rooms, halls, dining area and the big kitchen that we grew up in. I realised it would have been even harder for my mother who actually spent half of her life here. The house has its charms, it kind of grows on you. I understand the attachment that my grandparents had to the house, it was their sweat and blood. Every plant in the farm was planted by my grandpa and his children.  The mango tree that we adored was now gone, cut and sold off. I do not understand farming or how long a plant is useful but all I know that cutting down the tree just felt wrong, very wrong. I still went and lit the lamp in our tiny temple. It felt right, it felt like summer holidays.

We then went to my dads’ ancestral home which was taken down and now a small house is built in its place. That old one was a beauty in itself. It was over 150 years old, made of mud and in olden style. It had thatched roof and traditional Kerala architecture. It always surprised me how cool it felt inside the old house even when it was soaring 45 degree Celsius outside the home. But then this was to be taken down because it was falling apart slowly. The new one was perfect for its inhabitants, which was one of my dad’s younger brothers and family.

February was a month filled with wanderlust, I had visited all familiar places from my past which had changed in its essence and meaning in many ways than one but still never failed to bring back the feeling of nostalgia.

That was about February, now time to tell you about how March has been treating me. If you ask me March is not as glamorous or nostalgic as January or February. March is reminding me that honeymoon period is now over, everything in life now will take a little more effort and patience to make it work. I worked my ass off to finish my assignments and dissertation of college in time and also manage work. Then there was reality check with the family, me being away from home for three years had made me oblivious to how parents usually work. I had become way too independent to take my own decisions of travel, finances and health but now there is constant interference from my parents on my every decision. They seem to have forgotten I am now a grown up adult and still treat me like a little child. Then there is constant interference from relatives, again who think my life is free to be interfered with. It will take some time to make my folks learn to understand my life and respect my privacy at times when they are most needed.

However, 2017 has been a cool new beginning for me,

 And I look forward to the surprises and challenges that it is yet to bring and the items I am hoping to tick off my bucket-list this year! 🙂

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One day to go.

I haven’t started my report yet. I just cannot get myself to type out the first word even when it is the report of the most exciting phase of my recent past. I do not know how do I get to start my first word on the report. Maybe, maybe it is because once the report is done I’ll know for sure it is all over. Maybe, I do not want to move forward from the space I am in right now. I do not want to take the flight tomorrow. Same time next year I might have a clear decision on where I will be for the next two or three years.For now, I’m a confused soul who is stuck between what I should be doing and what the heart wants. More than that I’m a kid who has not completed the homework and hates the thought that there is school tomorrow. Adios.

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Addicted to Mumbai.

There are a million memories in this dream city during the past two months that I would never trade. I am overwhelmed by the love that this city has showered on me. It breaks my heart to leave this place.

I did not know anyone when I moved into this city two months ago. I had no expectations from this city. But for me, Mumbai definitely was everything and more.

It was just a leap of faith when I decided to live with strangers, but today those strangers are by my side to bid me farewell.

There was a company I thought was a bit boring before I sat through its interview, but then it turned out to be one the most happening of all places that I have had the chance to be a part of.

I have had exceptional teachers in my school days.No, they were not exceptional because of their knowledge but because they understood me and they moulded me so beautifully even without me realising it. I had not found such teachers till the day I entered NVM. Jeetu sir is without doubt the best mentor that anyone can ever have. He has mentored us, helped us work on our flaws and taken care of us. He means a lot more to us than most of our lecturers in college. A true teacher and a gem of a person. I’m so glad that sir was out mentor. The founders of NVM Balli sir and JP sir too inspired us with so much more than just knowledge. Their life experiences, struggles and most of all their friendship, will give anyone who meets them #career goals and #friendshipgoals for life.

Mumbai gave me a chnce to reconnect with my relatives and cousins who I hadn’t met in a long time. Mumbai taught me that I could actually go broke, true to the last penny. I borrowed money for the first time in my life, waited eagerly for two weeks for the stipend to arrive, with just 40 bucks in the bank. Mumbai told me the importance of stocking up enough food at home, so that you don’t starve when you have no money to buy anything. Mumbai showed me the coolest streets to go street shopping in and that it is just pue badluck if BMC shows up the day you decide to shop. I fell in love with the Mumbai local trains, the bindass Mumbaikars, the gentlemen of Mumbai & the strong women of Mumbai, stylish babies in Carter road, Sunset of Bandstand and the Skyline of Marine drive.

MUMBAI is where my heart is going to remain from now on, surprisingly I did not miss home for the first time, during my stay here for two months. I feel guilty for saying this, but I didn’t miss home even little bit. Maybe it is true when they say home is where the heart is. Home is Bangalore. Home is also Mumbai.  I smiled everyday I was here, maybe that’s why it is so difficult to leave. And more tough is to leave without shedding tears.

Before I leave I must say this, thaaaaaaank youuuuu Muuumbaaai. Thank you for everything.

I looooooooveeeeeeeeeeeeee youuuuuu Mumbaaaai.

 

She: ‘I love paneer butter masala, I learnt to make that dish.’

Me: ‘ That’s so cool.’

She: ‘Not so much. I just told him on the phone, he says he doesn’t like paneer.’

Me : ‘So?’

She: ‘It’s a waste that I learnt to cook it, his mom likes round rotis she said.’

Me: ‘So?’

She: ‘I’ll have to perfect my roti making skills.’

Me: ‘Oh!’

She: ‘ I don’t like it so much in Mumbai. But then now I’ll have to like it, the family is settled in Mumbai. Now after I’m wed I might visit home just once a year, maybe.’

Me: ‘Oh! What is his profession again?’

She:’ Software Engineer. Same as mine, just different companies.’

Me: ‘Does he cook?’

She: ‘He has never entered kitchen apparently. His mom says.’

Me:’Wow.’

 

 

Time has changed. Sure.

Not a Life-Partner, an educated and well-earning house help.