Friday 21 September, 2012
So officially the last day before my first weekend here begins. There is a party air in the atmosphere already. People are gearing up with their party clothes while I load up on the warm clothes. The wind has started to get chilly. Yes, it bites..! But in the warmth of the ‘happening’ atmosphere around, I doubt that matters.
The culture isn’t quite a shock, but it is still difficult to comprehend. Everyone so decked up, or rather dressed down hehe in as minimum clothes as possible isn’t something I have seen on a daily basis…yet! People aged 16+ already look ‘wasted’. For a minute, I need to check my id card to confirm my age. I look a kindergarten kid in front of them. And that is a little unnerving. Not just clothes, but simply in the way they carry themselves. The ‘don’t-care attitude’ they flaunt so easily.
I am having my own adventure today though. In the bus to Brighton with Anushka, to check out the ‘night life’ as we describe it. Where the Pier lights fascinate us more than the pubs. Where the excitement brings goosebumps more than the chilly rain that just started impromptu. And where we get back ‘on a high’….minus the alcohol 🙂
Thursday 20 September, 2012
So today begins the teaching. The real reason for uprooting myself from my motherland and landing up in this foreign country. The pull of language stretching across borders. The system is different, the approach to teaching absolutely alien. And yet, at the very core the topics are the same. It is, after all, the presentation that makes a world of difference.
Everyone is a fresher here…even the locals. And that is the best part of this campus I would say. The fact that no one gives you a second glance just because you are dark-skinned. Life goes on normal for everyone, no matter what part of the world you come from. There is not ‘much ado about nothing’ 😉
The teaching is another fascinating part out here. The professor is a little less than a friend, with the way she interacts and talks. The lectures are absolute bouncers…or today’s was I should be saying hehe since the study system differs so very much. The only positive part, my prior knowledge is upto the mark..! But it is going to take me a while to get used to the way lectures occur. A lot is left to the student…whether that is good or bad I really cannot say. Today has only been the first day…
But yes, the library has enough to keep you busy and so here I am, burdened with books on the first day itself. So hello PG life 😛
Wednesday 19 September,2012
I am up and about even before the sun has decided to peek over the horizon. The after-effects of jet lag…or maybe the pressure of managing the day and the various activities it offers within next few hours. Everything here shuts at 5. And my brain is mentally wired to get my chores done mostly in the evening. Late nights are frequent with me, and early mornings a rarity. On the other side of the continent, my habits also seem to have flipped priorities.
Cooking for myself is one of those. Patience has always evaded me in the kitchen. But out here, surprise overwhelms the low patience. Come to think of it, over 50% of the day goes in either thinking up the menu for the next meal or in actually preparing it…and of course, cleaning up afterwards..! Thanks to Anushka, my housemate, kitchen chores don’t seem so bad. Now that we have split responsibilites. The first dinner together was an adventure and a good one too. The rice cooked well, the fire alarm didn’t sound off, the strawberry mousse packs I bought served good dessert. The butter went in a tad bit too much, but the curd we created into a side dish balanced the taste and look. And then we just sat about, mourning about India going to the dogs and yet silently glad we were joined by that one common thread….of being born an Indian. 🙂
Tuesday 18 September,2012.
I hear a creaking right over my head. It feels like the whole house is going to fall on my head. A gushing sound begins parallely and for a second I find myself wondering what a waterfall is doing nearby. And then something pings….umm clicks! I am in a ‘full house’…with everyone clamouring to get their morning chores done before the other gets an advantage.
Welcome to my first morning on campus of The University of Sussex. A huge campus, an infinite sea of unfamiliar faces and a maze of buildings. Grocery to be bought, cutlery to be claimed, registration to be done…a long day ahead. Brighton awaits 35 mins away, a whole adventure in itself. Today I have the world at my feet. I can do whatever I want because it is a holiday. Tomorrow I join the fray. My first real lesson at ‘keeping house’.
A rumble in my stomach reminds me I have to figure out my breakfast. And for that, I need to get myself to the co-operative store on campus. Pull out the campus map and try to find it. Before I actually look for it, I take a moment’s pride in myself. For all my life, I have run away from Geography. Today Geography lessons are throwing themselves at my face and I am standing my ground. Maybe it won’t be that bad. I just need to stop being a traveller and become an explorer instead. 😉
So here goes, the shower tap is switched off…maybe I should try my luck at claiming the bathroom. Get out of the luxurious duvet and soak myself in warm water. By Jove, I need it. My arms are still aching from lugging up all the luggage so many stairs up till House No-34. Talk about trying to travel light..!
Oops, here goes the doorbell. No other option but to throw off the duvet (and my sleep) to open up. Alas, the disadvantges of staying on the ground floor. But the kitchen is right next door. So hello, breakfast..! And Good morning, Sussex 🙂
As sudden as the idea of writing this blog popped into my mind, that sudden was his entry into my life. Tall, dark and handsome is how I saw him then…see him now. One fine day I woke up and there he was. Looking back at me, with a smile on his face. That smile is destructive. He doesn’t know its power himself. Leaves all girls who’re faced with him in a frenzy. Left me the same way too. Constantly engaged in a struggle to get that smile to play on his lips, just for me….
Over time, sometimes that smile slipped. And that is when I saw the vulnerable him. My ‘superhuman’ had a down side too. Like a roller coaster our lives are. And his was no exception. I lived those ups and downs with him….and with every ‘bend in the road’, found myself more and more involved. I learnt as I loved, lived as I loved.
With him by my side, I grew. Shed away my childish airs and embraced a little ‘grown up’ ness. He changed me, that guy did. In every way possible. And for that I am thankful……ever grateful.
Because he taught me to love……
The life that is given!
The idea just fluttered into my mind, one fine day, in between conversations. I teased a friend about writing a book on him and lightening struck.
Maybe not a book, but how about a blog? A post per person. For the ways the individual touched my life, left me changed…either happy or shattered. The one realisation stays true. That no matter the amount of happiness or sorrow brought along by that person, he/she have made me what I am today.
For good or for bad, I owe my life to them.
My independent being is shaped by them, and for that sole reason…
My personal tribute to the ‘host of people’ in my life! 🙂