Saturday, October 31, 2009


I had a great deal of work to do today. In my optimism, I set an alarm for 4 am this morning and went cosily to sleep, intending to get an early start on the day. When the alarm rang, I woke, but in that half-conscious state between sleep and wakefulness. A chilly breeze blew in along with the night sounds, from my open window. All was dark and silent and my bed was very very cozy. I turned off the alarm and slowly, oh so slowly, drifted off to sleep again. 

I think I shall make a practice of waking myself halfway through the night, simply for the pleasure of drifting back to sleep all over again. I slept for two hours more, blissfully, guiltlessly. I had to scramble the rest of the day, to catch up. But it was worth it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Return to Reality

Today, I went for dinner to a very swank place. I wore expensive clothes and R, bless her, weathered a cold and fever to come over and iron my hair and give me the perfect handbag to match my swank looking outfit. I felt good, driving up in a car and clattering down a marble hallway in my high heeled shoes, to a swank dinner with some amazing people. I did my best to converse intelligently while trying not to drop my fork or let my heels sink too far into the manicured lawn. I played with my ironed hair all evening; I’m not used to it being so straight.

Finally, around midnight, my hair had begun curling again and it was time to leave. I came back to witness my room in utter disarray, with jewelry, clothes and makeup strewn all around. I changed back into t-shirt and sweats, grabbed a broom and proceeded to set it back into order. I couldn’t bring myself to tie up my hair though. As it curled back to its natural state in the humidity and I sorted earrings while the clock showed 1 am, I was happy.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pleasure and Pain

Today, I went to the beauty parlour and had my eyebrows shaped. I must confess, I didn’t even know people’s eyebrows could be shaped till I came to IIT. Only in 2nd year, and then on R’s insistence, did I first visit a beauty parlour and pay for the privilege of having someone pull out my eyebrows,  hair by hair. A visit to the parlour leaves me unfit for public display for at least three hours afterwards, as my skin turns bright and very noticeably pink after even the mildest threading.
Still, I do it month after month, because as I discovered in 2nd year, hairy eyebrows are gross. It’s amazing the amount of things you can have done to yourself at a beauty parlour. Torture aside, I really love my visits there. It is such an entirely female place. The one place when you actually talk about your defects and insecurities with your appearance and people, kind people, help you correct them or cover them up. 

So today, I went there, read a fashion magazine and had Pinky, my favourite beautician, shape my eyebrows while I winced. It helped that Pinky winced in sympathy with me, each time. Then she rubbed cream into my forehead and told me how delicate my skin was. Flattered and sore, I was happy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Where I get my geek on

Today, I sat on a stool in the electronics lab and sorted out resistors with a multimeter. I remember feeling disappointed when I first saw a resistor. It looked so different from the zigzag lines we drew in circuits, its brown, cylindrical body looked so commonplace. I forgot my disappointment soon though; things in real life are rarely what we imagine them to be. (And now, I can’t believe I made a philosophical statement based on the appearance of a resistor. How geeky am I?) But really, even though things are not what you picture them to be, it’s unfair to be disappointed in what they are. Very often, they are even better. (I defy you to extend the resistor analogy to this point.)

I love working in the Electronics lab. It has been the one place, these past few months, when I could smile and pretend I was fine and I actually was for a little while. When I did work and felt useful. So I sorted resistors and chattered, happy to be there. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


There’s an impudent black crow who picks through my dustbin each morning. He caws at me reproachfully whenever he finds I haven’t thrown out anything edible. He then proceeds to overturn my dustbin before moving on to the next one, and no amount of arm flapping or shouting discourages him for long.

This morning, I woke up before him to finish a report and caught him in the act of daintily picking out all my trash and flinging it on the floor. Feeling my stare upon him, he looked up and for a moment, I was subjected to a very disapproving, beady, black stare. Finally, he seemed to reach a decision about me, shook his head and proceeded to ignore me and fling out yesterday’s apple core.

Today, I was judged by a crow. 

Monday, October 26, 2009


Technically, my happy thing for today happened on Sunday itself. After watching Julie & Julia, R and I browsed about Shoppers Stop and I bought myself a gorgeous choker. It has a startlingly blue pendant, with silvery veins radiating from a heart of pearl.

After coming back though, distracted by work, I put it away. I took it out only just now, wore it and preened before the mirror. Who says you can't be shallow and still be happy.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Pleasure of Anticipation

I've been wanting to watch Julie & Julia ever since I first heard of the movie in May. Through my internship, I read Julie Powell's blog which in turns amused and inspired me all summer. I especially remember her proclamations, "I am Julie, hear me roar!" which would always make me smile.

So when the movie finally came to India, on October 23rd, I had to go watch it. Friday wasn't good, we had a wing thing planned. So after staying up till 6 in an intense cack session with the wingmates where we sampled sparkling wine and sang along to Aerosmith, I was up at 9 again, to take on the movie.

I had my popcorn, R for company and Meryl Streep with the rounded shoulders and fluty voice of Julia Child. There is so much pleasure in anticipation. Watching Ms. Streep proclain, "Bon Apetit!" I was happy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


This morning, I walked back from the department at my usual pace, pondering the idea I'd just had for my new blog. I wondered what my first post would be. This is a blog about happiness, born from the realization that it is something to be sought and won, not something that will simply fall into my lap. That being said, it is very easy to achieve.

So I slowed my steps and looked up to see the trees meet over my head. Thick branches diverged from the main trunks, each splitting into countless little twigs that looked black in the morning sunshine as it filtered through the leaves. The two trees from either side of the road formed an arch over me, so that I couldn't see which branches belonged to which tree anymore, rather like I was inside a giant emerald heart, with the branches like a system of arteries reaching for sunlight.

Then I thought, how lucky are trees? They live on sunshine.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Lying Down In Reality

I’m a keeper of sheep.
The sheep are my thoughts
And each thought a sensation.
I think with my eyes and my ears
And with my hands and feet
And with my nose and mouth.
To think a flower is to see and smell it,
And to eat a fruit is to know its meaning.
That is why on a hot day
When I enjoy it so much I feel sad,
And I lie down in the grass
And close my warm eyes,
Then I feel my whole body lying down in reality,
I know the truth, and I’m happy.

-Alberto Caeiro

I read this poem yesterday and it's been in my head ever since. It made me realise, I haven't felt this way in a while. I haven't felt happy. For a while now, I've simply been existing, not living. This poem reminded me of how I used to feel when I stopped for a moment and looked at the sky, or when I spoke to a friend for hours about life and ambition, or when I went to sleep, warm and contented. I want to feel that way again.

So this blog, where at least once a day, I write about something that made me happy, even if for a moment. The only rule is, that it can never be the same thing twice. I'm beginning today, let's see how it goes!