Archive for the ‘life’ Category

The Evolution of a Legacy

September 26, 2009

I’ve always been meaning to write post after post for my blog, but somehow or the other it just keeps slipping out of my mind. I never have the time to sit down and write what I want to. This post will perhaps do justice to everything I ever wanted to write about since a long time ago.

I don’t know how it happened, but it just seems to me like my life was put on fast-forward. I don’t have any time to actually sit down and do something I want to. Everything, and I mean everything, has been rushed for the past four years.

Every day I dream of going back in time. To the very moment I was born. To re live those days once again. I would die for it. This post is going to be really disorganized and cluttered with memories of my past, and nothing else. My memory is something I never really could understand. Whether it is a blessing or a curse, I’ll never know.

Throughout my life, I was fascinated by many many things. Every phase of my life saw me lose the obsession I had over something that kept me going. Cartoons and video games. The Internet and pro wrestling. Probably the four things that still hold their place on a once populated list.

I was brought up in a way like none other. My parents gave me every freedom possible, and I am grateful for that. You could even say that they spoilt me too much. Irrespective of what way you look at it, I am what I am today because of how I was brought up.

I was playing on Atari home consoles when I wasn’t even able to walk or talk. I’m exaggerating a bit, cause sitting on my cousins’ laps when they played doesn’t really count. But I had the exposure. Maybe that’s what put the passion inside me.

By the age of two, I began to sit and watch TV whenever it was on. I’d watch just about anything. Back then, I used to live in Mandaveli. My grandma was bedridden, and her house was a few streets away. My mom and aunts would only take care of her. So I used to shuttle between both houses daily. My grandma’s house had the VCR and the computer (my very first) while my house had a cable connection. So, at home, I watched Cartoon Network and every Tamil mega serial that aired and at my grandma’s I saw rented movies with my cousins.

Two and a quarter was when my mom decided I was too mischievous to stay indoors. February 3rd, 1993. I joined PS Senior Secondary School. Admission number 7252. I’ll come to that later.

I realize now how drastically I have changed in life. As a kid, I was very attached to my family. I used to long for company. I always wanted a sibling. Even though that wish was never fulfilled, I had cousins. A lot of them. Whenever any of my uncles or aunts visited, I would make sure they stayed at least for two days. Hell, I used to hide their slippers so that they wouldn’t leave. I’ve thrown those slippers into the water tank, the chimney and all. Of the plenty of cousins I have, four of them really shaped my life.

Sindhu and Suman were the first two.

Every year was clearly divided into two for me. The first half, when I was home for majority of the days, sitting and watching Cartoon Network, and going to school. The second half, during my vacation, was spent completely at my grandma’s with Suman and Sindhu.

They would visit Madras every time they had their vacations. I actually used to eat a lot then. Cakes and buns from the bakery outside my street. Ice creams from Arun Ice creams, at least thrice per day. And how much ever chocolate I could eat and not get bored of, from the seemingly endless stash I had thanks to relatives living in the US. I used to fight a lot with Sindhu, for no reason at all, while I looked up to Suman like a mentor. We rented video tapes from a store called PicPac daily. In the afternoons, Suman would watch a cartoon with me, and in the evenings, the whole family would watch a Tamil movie, while after I slept, late into the night, Suman and Sindhu would watch English movies.

I began watching Tamil movies with them after a mean trick. Only five year old mini me would’ve believed that Michael Madana Kama Rajan was the Tamil remake of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I got my first Internet connection then. My aunt was showing the three of us how to use Netscape Navigator and google stuff. I wanted to read about cartoons. Sindhu wanted to read about Princess Diana. I still have not forgotten that because she got her wish because she was older.

In 1997, it was decided that we would move to Adyar, where we would live on the first floor while my grandmother would live in the ground floor with my aunt. This was done so that she could be taken better care of. I was dead against the move. I had too many fond memories of my childhood there and I was unwilling to move away from it. Ironically, the only person who shared the same feeling was my grandmother, seeing she spent decades there raising her children up. The move was never substantiated, because hardly a year later, my grandma fell terribly ill. She got her last wish fulfilled; to come back to Mandaveli. She was admitted and died in the very same BSS hospital which was opposite to the street she lived in.

That one year was one of my hardest. Getting adjusted to a new life in Adyar. Far far away from the place I used to call home. My time on the TV and computer rose exponentially. The only other thing that remained was school. I had demanded my parents not to change my school. Even back in my first standard, my mom wanted to put me in CV. I attended the interview or whatever it was, and told the principal that I did not want to leave my school whatsoever.

By then, Suman and Sindhu were in their senior years in school. So that was the last time I saw them for a couple of years. During our vacation, we went to Singapore. I remember staying up till 3 AM to watch a cartoon that had stopped airing in India when we had a flight to catch at 6 AM. I bought my first ever Pokemon card deck there. Life was changing.

I didn’t feel the absence of Sindhu and Suman in my life because of the other two cousins who shaped my life. Vinoth and Ramya. I spent most of my later childhood with them. We played video games like crazy. I learnt to be street smart from them. I learnt how to play cards from them. I learnt Dumb C from them. I learnt Madras Tamil from them. Beat that. Every single Diwali I can remember, I spent it with them.

Till 1999, I was a very very quiet boy in school. The opposite of what I was at home. I kept to myself. I barely spoke. I just sat in school, took in everything that was taught and everything that happened around me and came back. I was very weak and sickly. I missed most of my school classes because of various diseases. I hadn’t written entire exams. I used to be a REALLY adamant kid when I was young, and the only way to get me to eat medicine was to bribe me. The sheer number of GI Joes and He-Man action figures I have is a testimony to the number of times I’ve fallen ill.

But 2000 was the dawning of a new millennium for me. My health was improving, after finding the cause of my weakness. I was under medication to remove a bacteria in my throat that was sucking my immunity. I had also changed sections because I chose Sanskrit over Tamil as my second language.

7th June 2000 was when I stepped into 5D. I don’t want to start talking about school in detail here. School is something that deserves a post of its own here. If I start talking about it, this post won’t end, so I’ll summarize bits and pieces wherever necessary. In short, I had people I could call friends for the first time, and began to enjoy school a lot more than I already did.

I spent the summer of 2001 in the US. A lot of things happened there. I realized what high-speed Internet was. I finished reading the entire Asterix & Obelix and Adventures of Tintin collection at my uncle’s. I saw a cartoon that I would soon begin to obsess over; DragonBallZ. I came back with a cable modem and had broadband installed at home.

This changed my life more than anything else. I used this new found Internet to browse through Wikipedia. To collect information. I started downloading cartoons, movies and video games like crazy. My experiences with the computer advanced. From learning how to use PKZIP in DOS at the age of seven, I had now reached a stage where I could make the maximum use of an aged Pentium MMX 133 MHz processor with 32 MB Ram.

The next few years went really quick. It was this time when Sindhu left for the US. She stayed for a long time with us in Madras when she prepared for her TOEFL and GRE. Videotapes had become outdated. We rented VCDs and saw every Tamil movie that released during that period. After Sindhu, Suman also left for the US.

2003 was not a very good year for me. I had just begun watching WWE, something I mentioned earlier, during the beginning of this post. After barely six months, the CAS system came into existence, and the TV became virtually worthless to me. My parents had always gotten me whatever I had asked for. The only thing they had denied me was a video game console, but they had a valid reason of addiction. The Set Top Box was next. I was no longer in middle school. Exams became more and more important. My parents refused to get a Set Top Box fearing that I would not concentrate on my studies. How very wrong they were.

I still think that the loss of TV in 2003 was the last straw for me. It affected me in a mental level that has left me permanently scarred. I began sitting in front of the computer full time now that TV was of little significance. The exams in my 8th std. were the worst I had ever performed. My mom decided to put me in tuitions at the end of 8th.

My school life in 9th and 10th were perhaps the best. I finally had some motivation to study, after years of vettiness. My only motivation was to get into the first list of the now non-existent list system. I worked a bit in school and worked harder in my tuitions and more than that, had fun while doing so. I was the thirteenth person in my class on the first list. By this time, both Suman and Sindhu were studying in the US, Vinoth was working and Ramya got married and moved to the UK.

The cousins who were all more than ten years elder to me were not there for me anymore. But, a new set of cousins were there, only ten years younger. But it would never be the same, would it?

2006 was probably the worst year of my life. And trust me when I say it’s the worst, even when I got that damned Set Top Box in that very year. I began losing my mind. I had a lot of confidence in my friends that they would get into IIT, and for the sole reason that I wanted all of us to end up together in college, I went for IIT classes as well. They took quite a toll on my health, both physical and mental. My body is not built to withstand travel. And, I was never a person who could work hard. I decided to quit the classes. School became hell. I became disinterested in everything.

Why? I didn’t have people around me. My cousins weren’t there for me. My friends weren’t there for me, but I can’t blame them because they were busy preparing to become mindless drones and try their luck at entering into IIT. My parents were not there for me, and our relationship was straining further because of religious issues. I became so out of hand that I even threw away my poonal. I made a lot of bad decisions then.

2007 was a complete reverse. I had changed, yet again. Sure, my passion for cartoons or video games or the Internet or even WWE for that matter was not what it used to be. But now I had something that I had never had before. Hope. Strange things, which I will not explain in detail for the sole fact that people will not believe it and scoff at it, instilled a hope in me that led me to believe in a new realm known as metaphysics. Metaphysics meant that every crazy theory or dream I had over the past 16 years had a chance of turning out to be real. I fueled myself with this new found hope.

From being a silent nobody for 14 years, I made myself known to the entire school in one final year. I lived my dream. I wanted to accomplish something for my school, in return for being my home for those 15 years and I did my part. The tuitions helped, for I had now made a large social circle for myself consisting of people from other schools. It wasn’t an easy task, but becoming the editor of my school newsletter and help organize the farewell party helped. By this time, I had settled in Adyar very well, partly due to the tuitions, because I had friends there. But the farewell brought back memories of my past. Sivakumar sir tells me where to get the cake and ice creams. The very same bakery and the Arun ice creams shop where I used to eat when I was little. Was it pure coincidence? I’ll never know. Four months later, I had achieved my goal. I was the culsec. I did whatever I could for my school. I had cemented my legacy.

And now, two years later, I write this post. Every now and then, the ray of hope seems to flicker. College has severely reduced my level of tolerance. Although I am confident I will not revert back to my fully insane self, I am scared that a little bit of madness might try to show itself. I have come a long way from then. Having lost all four of the passions I once had, I’m living on only one now. My love for competition and culturals. One which stemmed out of the Dumb C I used to play as a kid. It has helped me fulfill childish desires. The PS2 I was denied as a child, I bought with the first timeย  I won cash at a cultural festival. Hope has a way of renewing itself, I learnt.

Prakash Raj says in Anniyan, that he always holds back his tears and doesn’t cry, because when you cry, you lose the anger and your focus. I don’t know when I will cry. I hope that hope will keep me going for the next two and a half years, or at least help me hang on until I find something else to keep me going.

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Countdown

August 1, 2008

I know my blog has never been updated regularly or even occasionally, but this is that once-in-a-blue-moon kind of day when it actually happens.

I’m officially no longer a student of PS and now my loyalties lie with Sastra. I’ve adjusted very well here, quite to my own astonishment, really. I can actually drink the water here without having second thoughts, and that’s saying something. Turns out I’m as good in oratory and jamming as I am in quiz and dumb c. ๐Ÿ˜€

It’s been exactly one month since I came here, and a LOT has changed in this one month. People, attitudes, schedules, almost everything I knew or thought I knew in my life.

Well there’s a lot to speak on that so I’ll save that for another day. This post is not about all that. This post is about time.

Ever since I was a little kid, I was very much intrigued about the concept of time and the fantasy which was time travel. I believed in it with blind faith and hoped that it would be possible someday. Hell, I even hoped that I would be the first to discover how to travel in time.

As I grew older and older, my obsession with time also grew. I did my fair share of research, I obtained a lot of info as I journeyed through life. I learnt a lot as time went by.

Once, in my 8th std. IIRC, I read about John Titor. This man’s claim was totally different than most others. He actually gave valid proofs for what he said. Though our timeline might have split into an altogether new one than the one he came from, we still experience a bit of what his would have if ours had progressed into its path. Too confusing for some, but not for me. I believe in his predictions and what he had to say.

One main thing he said was, in his time, the last Olympic games that took place was the 2004 one. His timeline was in the middle of war, so that was perfectly acceptable. But fortunately for us, ours is not. So the only thing with a slight chance of happening is some problem or controversy with this year’s Olympics so that it MAY appear to be cancelled of some sort. That brings us to my countdown to 888. August 8th, 2008, 08:08:08.
Also it’s when I will be returning to Chennai for the first time after coming here. For Scintillations. Something that I worked my entire last year in school for. Something that I hope continues to be a tradition and whose legacy will be carried on for generations to come.

PS: There is yet another reason for my countdown. Only one other person is aware of it I assume, and comparing my memory to anyone else’s is just plain insulting it. ๐Ÿ˜€

It’s My Life

July 29, 2006

I don’t know why or how, but I’m pretty sure I’ve become a mere shell of what I was a few years ago. Till my 13th birthday, I was just about average as the next human being on this Earth. But that fateful day, February 27th 2004, I lost all hope. It was exactly one year from that day that I began watching WWE. I became a fanatic of WWE since that day and the coming into power of the CAS made me go insane! There were rumours that it would return back to how it was for almost half a year. So I kept praying … praying to God that STBs would become obsolete. One of my friends even said it would happen on my 13th birthday, so I waited and waited. It never happened. I lost all my faith in God. I became a pawn to my emotions, I lost all control of my emotions. From that day, only 2 emotions governed me – happiness (which I rarely came accross) and grief. The rest was all an obsession.

I grew up with a lot of bad memories. My past is not one of good memories, the bad memories outweigh the good ones. My mother had 2 elder sisters and a younger sister and a younger brother, both of which whose children were born in 1999. My father was the second youngest of 8 children. The result —> I was the youngest in my family for several years.

Usually, the youngest child always had it’s way, but not me. I had to sacrifice a lot of things for the sake of my cousins (I have a lot of em). I remember very clearly, when I was 2 years old, my aunt introduced me to a computer, and I quickly became so used to it that it became my life. I was introduced to “The Net” when I was 4 or 5. Back in the day, I had a shitty slow dial-up connection and my aunt was showing me how to use it. My cousin sister wanted to look up something on Princess Diana while I wanted to see something about a cartoon. I never did get to see it.

I always longed for a sibling, but I had only my cousins to put up with. I’m not saying my cousins were mean to me or anything, infact they used to care for me a lot.

I lived a very sheltered life for a long, long time. I was a victim of so many diseases. I used to fall sick so very often. Believe me, I have never written more than 2 terminal exams in my 1st, 2nd and 4th stds. In my 3rd, I never wrote any of them. I also ate only rice and chips. Although I blame my mother for not correcting me when she had the chance, I know I am to blame. (reminds me of a tamil proverb – 5il valaiyadhadhu 50il valaiyadhu)

Since I barely got to go to school or even outside my house, I had no friends for a long time. I had no siblings either. I was alone. The year 2000 was like a gateway to me. The new millennium dawned in front of me like I always wished. During my 4th to 5th std. holidays, I was on medication for some strepto cocci bacteria that caused my repetetive illness. I was a lot better than I had ever been when I entered my 5th std.

The teacher made us stand in height order to arrange our seating. I remember so clearly, when I first made a friend, Shridhar. If you’re actually bothering to read this whole thing, thanks for being my friend. But good always comes with bad. Ironically, it was the guy standing between myself and Shridhar who introduced us to each other. That guy was Ashwin. I’ve never got along with him, and it continues to stay that way. We will only remain on the same side if we’re facing a greater evil which requires both of us coming together.

I had 5 amazing friends, Shridhar, Sharan, Gokul, Amogh and Arjun throughout the years of schooling. If you’re all reading this, thanks for all you’ve done. To quote Bryan Adams, “those were the best days of my life!”

In the holidays between 5th and 6th std.s, I got a broadband connection. That turned my whole life around. Till that day, my computer’s sole purpose was for games, but then, it opened a portal to a whole new dimension. I used the net for so much research. I was hooked on to Wikipedia like a leech! I thrived on the info I got. My computer became an obsession, it became my life. My parents were seriously worried about me, so they locked my computer in a room. But “NOBODY COULD STOP ME”!!! I would somehow manage to find the key, wherever they hid it.

Being an only child, I had noone whom I could really converse with, seeing there’s a 10 year gap between me and the nearest cousin in terms of age. Chillu doesn’t count, he’s a second cousin. I treated my computer as a sibling, and my computer became my life. I don’t know what brought about the depression in my life. Was it the loss of TV, which was once my life? Or was it because I became all philosophical and started brooding over the ultimate question of life? My hatred for religion also butts in. Back when I was a little kid of 5 years, my aunt (who is VERY devoted and religious) used to make me sit with her and meditate and say all slokas. How could someone like that develop such an aversion to hatred?

The reason is quite simple… since I had nothing to do at home, I used to like going to school. My family always went to the temple at our native place every year atleast once. Invariably, atleast one day of school used to get cut by this.

If anyone still remembers this… I was absent on the first day of school of 7th std. The day when Iyer told our class the story of Jack The Ripper. From then on, I never went to that temple except once and that too only for my sister.

With my new found hatred towards religion to fuel me, I continued with my life. The eternal question of why I was destined to live and why couldn’t I just die lingered on. I believe that there’s a supreme force which shapes our destiny and all, but exaggerating it and celebrating it is out of the question. Just think of me like a Jedi.

I also vowed that if I knew that I was going to die, I’d kill myself before that happens… just to prove that I have my life in MY hands and not in that supreme power’s. I like debating a lot. I could argue and argue and argue for hours together, and that became my hobby when there was no proper TV. I’ve argued with my parents a lot of times just for the heck of it. I’ve got a really big ego and I believe that I am the king of all I see. So if you disagree with me, prepare for a verbal battle with me!

With no TV(not really no TV, but no worthwhile TV), I turned to music. Music is one of the things I still have interest in. I still can name a few songs that I’d never forget – … Baby One More Time, Bring Me To Life, Broken and It’s My Life. I don’t know if it’s because of my character that I like dark and emo songs or have the songs made my character. Pretty confusing. I can probably give the lyrics of a few songs, which alone would tell a lot of my life than this post could.

Maybe it’s due to my Piscean nature I’m so dreamy and out of this world, but I really tend to dream on and on. I practically live in the future and brood over my past, thinking nothing about the present. I don’t know why, but I always have a feeling of Deja Vu once in a while. I always get confused between my dreams and reality. It’s like I’m hanging on the thin line of reality and imagination. I don’t know how this thought came to me, but I have had this feeling that I’m really a time traveller who’s got his mind wiped by the people who sent me to this past and am waiting for some event to trigger my memories. Call me crazy, but that’s what I believe in.

I’ve lost all interest in life, and everything it had to offer. I’m hardly on the computer, and studies is the only thing keeping me going. I’m still waiting for something in the future that would set me right, back to the way I once was. I’m hoping for too much, but I’d really like to come face to face with myself, a self of mine who is travelling from my bleak future to set things right.

There are probably a lot more, but at present, these lyrics will suffice:


“We’ve been dreaming
But who can deny,
It’s the best way of living
Between the truth and the lies”
Within Temptation – See Who I Am

“I’ve been dreaming for so long,
To find a meaning
To understand.
The secret of life,
Why am I here
To try again?

Will I always,
Will you always
See the truth
When it stares you in the face?
Will I ever
Will I never free my self
Breaking these chains?”
Within Temptation – Jillian

“You took my heart
Deceived me right from the start
You showed me dreams
I wished they’d turn to real
You broke the promise
And made me realise
It was all just a lie”
Within Temptation – Angels

“I fear who I am becoming
I feel that I am losing, the struggle within
I can no longer restrain it
My strength it is fading
I have to give in

It’s the fear…
Fear of the dark
It’s growing inside of me
They won, they will come to life
Have to save…
Save my beloved
There is no escape
Because my fate is horror and doom”
Within Temptation – It’s The Fear