2008.

As I saw him pull up his socks under his pants, gently push his feet into the brown shoes and tie the laces with his shaky hands, I felt as though I was time travelling. Physically I was in 2019, staring at him but mentally I was somewhere in 2008. Suddenly, my mind was relaxed, a hundred things did not run through my mind, I had no deadlines to keep and I was not consciously blocking out my stress. I half expected my aunt to come down, wearing a colorful saree, smelling like the yellow- staining majanta perfume and say where all the food and snacks were kept and insist that we eat all the chocolates in the fridge- then wave us goodbye as then she would proceed to get on the scooter behind him with her bag around her shoulder and the pallu of her saree tucked on her lap. We would keep waving and standing by the gate until they turned around the corner, common courtesy I suppose. The radio in the room is still playing old Malayalam songs. The radio itself was very old and I cannot remember a time without it playing these old songs, waking me up in the morning while my aunt is in the kitchen whipping up some breakfast.

Thus began a long 8 hours in my summer vacation. Some days we would go shopping during the day. Mostly for books, otherwise we would not be willing to leave the house. Travel in the rain to buy chips and pickles? No thanks. Travel in the rain to buy chips, pickles AND look at books? Yeah, alright. (Now I understand that kids are easy to manipulate.)

And some days we would laze around watching TV, eating all the aforementioned snacks, reading books (a simpler time, before the era of smartphones) and wait for them to come back. By evening, my mom would wake me up from my nap, scolding me to not sleep at dusk, and then she would proceed to light the lamp and start the evening prayers. By the time she’s done the sound of the gate opening would be music to our ears and both my aunt and uncle would be back with a whole lot of treats. We would make Tea and coffee and sit around the table talking about our day. And without fail, every year, whenever I go there, they would never forget to buy me the traditional snack Bholee. I don’t think I’ve eaten it from anywhere except their house.

These memories felt untainted and happy. I could stay in that moment forever.

However, I was snapped back to 2019 by the sound of the door closing behind my uncle. For a brief moment, I was back to being a 11 year old with no care in the world. So much has changed-

The radio starts to play old Malayalam songs and my aunt hums along in the kitchen whipping up some breakfast for me.

But somethings, remain the same – comforting and familiar.

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‘Before-After’

This past week, I went to Chennai to visit my cousin. It was the first time I visited Chennai after almost 2 years. It was wonderful thinking about how much I’ve changed, evolved as a person, since the last time the city saw me. 

The first time I was here, I came with my mom, she took care of everything and then she left. All I had to do was go for classes till noon and come back and study. And that’s all I did. I was all alone in a city I didn’t know and all I heard everyday in the phone calls from my parents and relatives was to be careful. So that’s what I did. I was careful. I shut myself up in that apartment and only went out for the daily dosage of CLAT prep. 

To me, Chennai was an intimidating city. Everything was new and scary. For instance, I walked to classes. And I remember how terrified I was of crossing roads. I even took the long way round if it meant that I could avoid crossing busy roads. 

And when my classes ended after 25 days, I didn’t want to travel in a train all by myself, so my uncle came all the way from Kerala to drop me back to Kerala. 

It all seems so silly now. Now I travel every chance I get. And If I’m alone, its better.  The roads aren’t intimidating anymore, it’s just annoying(how drivers refuse to stop!). I take care of all my needs myself. I feel independent and free.

Chennai always holds a special place in my heart, for, it’s where the second phase of my life started. 

Thinking about all these instances gives my a small sort of pride; this is character development right? 

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books. 

When buying new books, was your addiction 
Reading new books was pure joy

Smelling new books made your whole day

When did that change? 

Reading books is a task now

I am ashamed. 

Picking up a new book, 

Liking it

Reading it

And being obsessed with it

I miss that

I miss the book lover in me

She starved?

I starved her to death?

I’m scared. 

Going to second hand books stores

Returning with more books than I can carry

That happiness

That happiness brought on by buying cheap good books

When did that change? 

Who do I blame? 

Queen that rules my life-Time?  

Or my best friend-laziness? 

I am disappoi-

Oh, is that a new book by (x author)? 

Oooh, can i borrow it? 

Well, 

What can I say- 

Book lovers don’t really change, 

They’re just waiting for the right book. 

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2016. 

Wow,  what a year,  right. 2016 took so much from the world. It generally seemed like a sad year for everyone. 

For me, though. It was not bad of a year. I learnt so much, and honestly, I’m leaving the year smiling. 

Looking back, 

2016 was the year where I finally started enjoying my life as a college student. The year I realized that, this place I was in? Not too shabby. Interesting people all around. I just had to open my mind a little more. I had to understand that different people have different opinion. And that’s okay. You don’t always have to prove them wrong. You had to give everyone a chance. 

2016, the year of my first ever moot court. 

2016, where I had planned to travel to 5 places in my vision board, and I did. I went to new places and I got new experiences.Well,  I HAVE to travel more in 2017!

2016, where I had my first accident as a licensed driver. Scary, but I learned a lot, so no regrets there. 

2016; that time when we sat down and sang Yellow (and other songs) under the stars on the Calicut beach. 

2016, the year where we moved into a new home, truly ours. Not rented, not any relative’s but ours. That feeling when you get to decorate your OWN room, is beautiful. 

2016 is the year I recognized my strengths from the weaknesses and working on being a better person everyday. It’s progressed, but still ongoing. 

2016, the year of pride when I got a call in the morning saying something I wrote was published in the paper. It would seem extremely insignificant to others, but to me it meant the world. 
2016, the year when I reunited with old friends for four magnificent days. Pure happiness. Literally. 

2016, the year I made amazing new friendships unexpectedly.  I don’t think I will ever forget that night, I stayed up talking till 4am with them. Finding solace with the last person you thought you would. #midnightbuddies. 



2016 is when I realized that putting myself first is not a bad thing some times. Treat yo self amiright. 

2016, the year I saw that same WB logo on screen after  almost 5 years and cried with happiness. Potterhead, always. 

2016, the year of new obsessions. Kinda ruined my life, but still worth it. 

2016, the year i learned being a positive and kind person costs nothing, but feels great. 

2016, the year I made amazing plans for 2017.

2016, you sucked for the whole world. But you sucked a little less, for me atleast.

And 2017 cannot be all that bad.  After all we are starting the year off with a new Sherlock episode! 

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A new year, a new me. 

A new year,  a new me!

I cried out to the world

But do you see

Do you see how vague was that phrase. 

I did too. 

However,  the most magical thing about adulthood is, 

You learn something new every moment, 

And so imagine;

Imagine what 366 days could do. 

A year ago, 

I was a different person. 

A person who was afraid, 

A person desperate to get out

A person unsatisfied. 

A year ago, 

My happiness did not  depend on my actions,

It was stuck in the hands of others

Friends, family all the same;

played hide and seek with it. 

My worth wasn’t determined by myself

I looked at them for approval

Needless to say, I didn’t think I was worth that much

In a world of diamonds and rubies, I was a pebble. 

But oh its a wonder

What 366 days can do to someone

A year ago, I gave up hope

I decided, I was destined to be mediocre,

But these 366  days was a wake up call

Not exactly a call; more of a slap in the face

Each of the 366 days taught me how to be a young adult in this world. 

It taught me to be passionate, 

Be adventurous, be spontaneous. 

I learnt to be kind to strangers, 

Show my affection and not bottle them up, 

To try new things, to take some risks. 

The past 366 days taught me to keep my happiness in myself

My happiness belonged to myself.

It taught me not everyone will love you and that’s okay

The important thing was that I loved myself. 

That everyday I looked in the mirror and said, 

I’m happy to be myself 

Finally,you see

It dawned on me, 

You needn’t wait for a new year, 

To turn your life around. 

My new year wasn’t January 1st

My new year is today, 

My new year is tomorrow

My new year starts whenever i make a change, 

My new year is everyday. 

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Dear younger me

Hello me. How are you? Probably super happy. That’s good.

I’ve got some things to say kid, listen up. 

You’ll never be society’s definition of beauty and you’ll be constantly reminded of that even when you’re 19. But learn to embrace yourself. It must be easier for you, because you’re young now. I’ve already grown up believing it was cool to hate myself. Don’t make that mistake again. 

Don’t turn into a socially inept person, please. Just because your favorite youtuber says that they’re socially awkward, doesn’t mean you have to be like that too. Well, you’ll learn that the hard way. 

Don’t avoid hugging people. You’ll just end up older and hug-less because people think you hate hugging. Stop denying hugs. 

Spend more time with mom and dad. You’ll end up moving away and missing them all the time, because no one is as understanding as they are. Remember that. No matter how “cool” and open minded they seem. 

Stop wanting to get away from where you grew up. It’s a wonderul city and you’ll yearn to come back AS SOON AS you leave. Enjoy the time you spend here, with your friends. 

Also,  don’t worry. You’ll have some great friends.

One of the most important thing I have to instill in you, is to trust yourself. I know its hard for you to trust anybody, but don’t include yourself in that. Trust your own decisions. 

People will leave, but better people will come along, so don’t be so melodramatic all the time. Chill. You’re a child.

Birthdays are Overrated. Don’t be a dudley. 

Be kind to everyone. Oh my God, you think being mean is so cool right now don’t you? It’s not. Please be kind to people. 

You keep growing up, you keep changing everyday. Don’t feel stupid for liking something you didn’t before or disliking something you liked. It’s not the end of the world. 

Express yourself well. Express your affections. It’s important. 

Life is not too difficult, especially for you, kid. Laugh it off. Toodles. 
(Inspired by Dodie Clark’s video.) 

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Someone recently told me how they hated feeling “down” /sad. And they needed some quick fixes.

-listen to some sad songs/watch sad videos. Cry it out. I usually do that.

-talk to friends/anybody.

-watch a rom-com.I feel like they are made for nights like these.

-watch FRIENDS.

-dance around for a bit. Works every time.

– have a talk with yourself. You should be your own best friend. Vv important.

-embrace your ‘sad feeling.’ don’t shun it away in pretense of being a “strong”  person. Been there, done that. Doesn’t end well.

-take a shower. Cold/hot whatevz. Just make yourself clean. Cleaning your body helps cleansing your mind.

-sometimes i make myself look nice by trying out different hairstyles etc and that distracts me and it works. (narcissism! It works!)

-write about it. Vent it out.

-hugs. I used to be a person who hated hugs. Now i want one on a regular basis. Hugs are #1 stress relievers.

-read your old facebook statuses/captions. Will make you cringe and happy that you’ve grown a lot from then.

-sleep it off.
Of course there isn’t a specific way to make yourself feel better. Some days, you won’t be able to feel better. Some days you wouldn’t WANT to feel better(been there).  That’s okay. As long as you keep trying, the next day. Being sad is not a disease. It isn’t a sign of weakness. Don’t treat it like one.

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