Saturday, 10 September 2011

On a Birthday

I'm awkward when it comes to my birthday. Sometimes I'm cranky because I miss my family, especially my little brother who I (almost) share a birthday with. Sometimes I'm excited. Sometimes I want to flop. I'm a difficult person to plan a birthday for. I keep changing my mind and even when I say I don't care, I've realised I actually do.

That's why this post is dedicated to my friends and family. Especially my friends here in college. They tolerate my tantrums, they suffer through my angsty texts and mean glares and they get together and make me feel like I'm the only thing that matters to them. Even when they're LATE. Yes, even then, they make birthdays amazing for a birthday-hater like me.

To Diya, Rashi, Ann, Anna, Kalyani, Meghaa. I know how hard you guys try. I know it isn't easy to get me in a good mood on my birthday. But you guys do it, somehow. Because of you guys, I know how amazing and un-ordinary a birthday can be. Because of you guys, I let down my guard and actually have a good time. Because of you guys, Delhi will always be where I had the most insane birthdays. I've never had these, you know. These big affairs, with presents and cakes and parties. You guys spoil me. And I love you.

To David and Aayush, who were on time with that crazy gift. Who make me laugh endlessly. Who have witnessed my weirdest moments and never judged. Who love me even after all the Drama. Who ask me for advice and make me feel like an authority on things. Who are always there for girl-rating in the cafe.

To Amit and Rose, who listened to me crib because my birthday was boring in Delhi. Who promised me a big bang when I get home. Rose, with your cakes and purple cards and birthday craziness. Amit, with this endless messages that make me feel like the only girl in the world. You two keep me sane, everyday.

To Mamma and Papa, for bringing me home, knowing how badly I wanted to be around them when I turned 21. For watching me grow up without driving yourselves and me too crazy. For the quiet birthday dinners that I'll always love.

To my Abu. Who is THE most important person in the month of August. The one who shares a cake with me every year without complaining. The one who walked around with me all over the city trying to find me a gift I liked. The one who grudgingly listens to me as I ramble. It isn't a birthday without you.

This year, I had the best of both worlds. And I couldn't have turned 21 in a better way. I love you guys.

Friday, 9 September 2011

The Little Bookstore

I'm no one to give a bookstore review, I hardly buy books. I spend more of my time in libraries than bookstores. That's probably why this Little Bookstore attracted me, with all it's moth eaten second hand books.

I've been there a few times, not really to buy anything but just to be among books that were owned by other people and often have tiny snapshots of those people within their pages. Some have just the date written on the first page them in ageing ink, some have a whole passage. Some have pages with the crease of an earmark. Some have underlined words and their meanings diligently written on top. Some have study notes in them, others have personal scribbles. Every book is a treasure trove in which you often find little stories of the anonymous.

So I trotted along to the tiny little store just to look around and smell that old-book smell. As I read the worn out spines, the owner kept handing me romance novels. I suppose a lot of college girls buy cheap romance novels from this guy. I laughed and declined. To appear a little more serious, I asked him if he has a copy of Hamlet. Hamlet? He went on to pile on his table every classic he could fine. Those books were gorgeous, I would have bought all of them if I could. I kept wondering why anyone could throw them away, but of course I was glad they did.

As I bargained my price I looked around and honestly, I just wanted to stay in that little corner surrounded by those books forever. I fingered the spine of a Winnie The Pooh, I leafed through the pages of a Huckleberry Finn, I even fell in love with this moth-eaten copy of Asterix and The Cauldron that looked exactly like something I'd find in Eloor (the ancient library where I first began to devour Asterix comics). I wanted them all.

I think the store owner figured me out pretty quickly, because the next thing I knew, he was getting me a glass of chai and piling book after book into my arms. He shoved a stack of bookmarks in my hand to give away in College. He tried to chat me up with stories of Kerala and the Delhi Book Fair and someone from Malayala Manorama that bought a ton of books from him. He said something about getting me a whole stack of Asterix comics. He went on to give me a free thesaurus. I took it, I don't even know why.

But that's where things got a little strange. This man, for some strange reason gives me a book, written by some Indian writer I'd never heard of. He raises his eyebrows and asks me to read the back. I skim through a few sentences and look at him quizzically.
"Did you read it?"
"Yes. What's wrong?"
"No, read it. Then you'll see."
I read the back again a little bit more carefully. All I read was '..her moist..'. and I freaked out.
"You like?"
"No! What the hell is wrong with you?"
"Okay, okay. You don't like. Tell your friends okay?"

I stormed out of the shop, all those romantic old-book thoughts left in a muddy puddle at my feet. Was that man trying to sell me erotic fiction after I had bought Pride and Prejudice and Antony and Cleopatra? My cheeks were flushed and I got on a rickshaw as fast as I could to find refuge in under-eighteen-friendly Costa Coffee.

Maybe I'll take Diya and go back, just for the heck of it. Maybe I'll even slap that old pervert. Or kick him in the shin. Yes, that is bound to hurt. *beams*

Monday, 5 September 2011

Best. Doodle. Ever.

It's hard to capture an incredibly vivacious personality like Freddie Mercury in a doodle, and if you've watched any of his live performances, you'll know why. But Google blew me away with this one.

For all those Queen fans, "Get Down. Make Love."