“I’m not alone” @ Gymkhana Grounds IIT Bombay

“I’m not alone” – the melody of Alan Walker plays in my ear as I begin my jog along the running track inside the gymkhana grounds. And I’m not alone indeed – men and women, boys and girls, teens and tweens – delightfully play in the vast quadrangle lined with trees wide open.

They are ahead of me and behind me, some playing, some exercising and some are just wandering around lost in the cool air that envelopes as together. As I approach the basketball arena, I amused by players maneuvering their hands and body to throw the sphere into the hoop. A hit and then two miss – and so it goes on. I tried throwing once in our hostel arena…I failed.

A light ball hits me in my reverie. It is a plastic air-filled ball. I look around and find a little boy coming towards me ever so slowly, yet as fast as his small steps allow. He smiles as he sees me kick the ball towards him. It misses him by a few inches. His face track the ball until it stops. He turns towards me, throws me another smile and runs towards the ball. I don’t know if he saw me smile back.

At one corner, a group of students are practicing some form of art or civil defence…I am not sure. I see them every day doing what they do with dedication. I wonder what it is but I soon find myself right in front of the pavilion approaching the football arena. Here I see some kids and men alike, trying to gain control of the one elusive ball. At the far end, some women are dong the same.

A guy, dressed in a jersey, pauses me requesting to jog outside of the cricket field. I notice that players have taken their positions as the cricket General Championship game is on. I happily oblige and go on. I see many toddlers and tweens playing with sand in a small square arena. I don’t really know the purpose of that sand area in one side of the field. But I am amused by the carelessness and activity that has descended on that rather little area, colonized by little frames. Their parents sit around chatting and gazing.

There is a hockey match going on too, beyond the small partition which seats many people, tired and refreshed alike. I see some men and women playing Frisbee beside the track. And boy, aren’t they loving it! Some men and a few kids practise cricket in the nets. I see some people sitting on the stair cases in pairs or groups of three, some are alone. I wonder what they are talking about, if they have come to cheer for their hostel in the cricket match.

The song in my ear has changed. “I’m afraid our aim is out of sight…” – I hear as a football comes towards me. I wonder if I should kick it back. I feel reluctant because I am not good at it. But I inevitable find myself kicking back the ball. A man, probably the goalkeeper, signals thumbs up as I look up. It makes me feel good…“Alive…” rings in my ear.

A few women have gathered near the metal stairs, furiously exercising as a group. One of them, lying apart, is doing pushups – I find myself counting. As she reaches ten, I realize I am about to step onto the field again. So, I change course and continue.

Last week, I had seen a professor from our department playing cricket with his daughter with a plastic bat and ball. The ball was mostly sliding along the ground, but her daughter hopped happily every time she would make contact. It was a bit amusing because I had mostly heard him talk about abstract scientific and engineering concepts till now. This, seeing him happy and vulnerable, was surprisingly refreshing.

Halfway through what I am sure would be the last round of today, I am beginning to feel a little tardy myself. I started this jogging just a few weeks ago. Before that I had not stepped here in the last two and a half years, other than for Mood Indigo PopularNite. But now that I come here regularly, this place refreshes me after a long day in lecture halls and labs. And  I can be fairly sure that I’m not alone. This place is the true microcosm of IITB community.

Blurred Vision…

Have you looked at a picture
Crisply focussed on an object,
Ever so enogmatic,
While many other details
Blur in the background?

It mystifies under your gaze
As your deciphering attempts turn futile
While you stand fascinated
Confused and frustrated.

I could sight the stranger
A few feet away from me.
But not find the friend
At the end of the street.

Time seemed sandwiched
Into an acute past-future subset
With little room to manoeuvre,
Neither clear memories nor vision

The trees seemed spread
Indistinct on a childish water painting
The people, silhouette
Sprinting all over the place.

I could still feel the wind
Puffing the curls of my hair,
While my eyes still searched
For a vision less blurred.
If only I could find it…

Pictures and Words…

There are moments when you see a picture and a rush of emotions flush your brain. After that rush, there is a sudden silence when you try to find words to explain those emotions to yourself. You know pretty much how futile that attempt is going to be. But you try anyway.

capture

Books

Where are you now…

2016

2016 was a very different year for me. I had no goals, as such, in mind. It started off as a year in which I wanted to leave my college to one in which I have more or less accepted being in college. I even became the Class Representative for my batch, where my job is to interface between students and professors.

I started reading books – 38 of them to be precise – and newspapers. I started working on a story (currently on hibernation), which has been sort of my crazy desire to get published. Not very invested though!

I started writing this blog in May and it has been a very encouraging experience.  During summer, I also wrote blogs for an online educational startup. I also started writing for an online news website which was very new thing for me. I  joined a non- profit as a volunteer while I teach students and coordinate.

Towards the end, I did a certificate course in policy making where I met a lot of interesting people. I learnt a lot about the intricacies of policymaking, about economics, our society etc. A winter internship has helped me groom into a slightly more disciplined lifestyle and exposed me to the enigmatic world of startups.

Overall, I think I have become more aware of who I am and who I want to be. Being part- shy -part- introvert, I think I am still very awkward with people, especially new ones. I think I want to be more open but feel to defensive/vulnerable to do so.

However, there is still 2017 to do a lot of stuff.

What are your takeaways from 2016? I would love to know!

Wondering Who I Am!

After a long day, as I walked down the streets, I can feel the shrillness of a cold wind, the raw smell of dust and smoke, and the fragrance emanating from a few eateries that pass by me. There are dull leaves scattered on the pathway, which must have withered through the day, that I tread on lightly as if trying not to crush them knowing fully well how futile even the thought of it is.

I turn at an intersection, my hands tucked inside my jeans pockets for some semblance of insulation. I can still feel the cold breeze at my surface. I can feel myself walking forward, I do not see where. For a moment, I forgot where I was coming from. But I can still feel my steps treading forward as I reach another turn. 

Now, I am confused where to go. And the chill it sends to my bones is overwhelming.