Mappings has been absent for very good reasons. While he’s been sulking and cribbing that he’s been out of the limelight for far too long, I have chosen for us to be out of the limelight. For very good reasons. Things have been happening. Good things, memorable things, things to be taken note of. A lot of things.
I went to Jammu and Kashmir.
I wrote a book.
I met my ex after 2-odd years.
Things like that are bound to keep you busy.
1. When people ask me how J&K was, there are a few words to describe the experience: Cold. Omar Abdullah. Mexican waves at the LOC. Virginia Slims. Brandy. Buses and Trains. Of three years of Industrial visits, of Aurangabad, of Chennai and Pondicherry, this will be the one that will be imprinted on the class’s memory the longest. Firstly, it was the last time we’d ever come together as a class. Secondly, its KASHMIR and how many groups of 60 plus people can say they went to Kashmir, shook the CM’s hand, danced at the LOC and survived – breathfully and beautifully. Yes, I know breathfully isnt a word. But it is apt. We breathed Kashmir, perhaps through the window of a bus a lot of the time. But, we breathed. Its people, its art, its pain, its indifference. In 10 days, we got a pinprick of what it means to be Kashmir – and how many 19/20 year olds can say that?
2. A book. A collection of 6 stories that are more mine than anything has ever been. Bound together with one of the things I love most – tea – whenever I look at it, or hold it in my hands, I feel an overwhelming gush of i-dont-know-what. Not pride, for like most writers, I know there is better and bigger inside me somewhere. Not even joy, because I know there is so much more to come. Just disbelief, that I finally found myself the discipline to create something so me. Sometimes I read the stories, and I trace my fingers around the characters I’ve weaved and I ask myself where on earth they came from. Whether Maan came from my heart, Maia from my pain, Arundhati from my temperament, Mehul from my mind. Whether the other many characters came from limbs, from strands of hair, from fragments of my soul. And then I stop caring, and go back to loving them the way I’d love my child when he/she, you know. Pops out.
3. Graduation. The day the two people I can never get enough of came. They, the people who made me, made the night perfect, made it complete. For the first time in 3 years, they were finally a part of my everyday, my BMM hell and heaven, my people of projects, of pleasure. While some might say graduation is a milestone, I didnt see that night as that. (What kind of milestone is followed by lectures, by yet another set of Board exams, God only knows) I saw it as the one day when all 60 or so of us, would love each other, unconditionally. We’d forget about Polaris, about politics, about projects, and become the BMM batch of 2009, the last chosen ones of Sudhakar.
4. Yes, this makes it on the list. Faithful followers of Mappings, knows that the enigmatic ex, F has been a source of much pain and pride. When F stopped talking to me in my Second Year, exactly a year after breaking up with me, I knew I wouldnt dissolve in self-pity and a sense of being abandoned, but I would move on. Move on I did. Through nights with Aamir, walks with Pumpkin, everything with SS and the hand of Hobo. Through the moving on however, there was always a part of me that didn’t feel quite right. A part that pissed me off whenever I’d fiddle around on Photoshop, or hear a really funny joke, or see someone wearing linen. Meeting F after so long was so…normal. I met him with no expectations, and no thoughts in my head whatsoever, and it was like we had never stopped talking. Bad romantic comedies and cheesy chick-lit always made me think that meeting the ex would be fraught with the tension. Which it wasn’t. Not in the least.
Things. They keep you busy everytime. Of course, now that Boards are around the corner, Im guessing Mappings will be writing much more frequently.