Saturday, December 06, 2014

Hushha, abushha, They all got married

I wonder how many of you have similar experiences with friends.

Ascent and King of Blue are two people I've known since I was two. I've always felt very close to them, though not always been very close to them. Different classes and schools will do that to you. And yet, I really feel they're my brothers from other mothers. I haven't spent that much time with them in the past decade and yet whenever we meet we devolve into the same pubescent jokes and silly laughter that we always have. 

In college all of us hung out a lot. Ghodi was this regal figure with rich tastes and expensive upbringing. Brightness was warm on the inside but scorched people within earshot on the outside. Good-peaceful was never ever at peace. The Patient One has to be the most restless man I have ever seen. J and J were completely different personalities and joint at the hip for some reason. Similarly Twilight and Jasmine stemmed from the same pot. Mind truly had a mind of her own and shared heart with a lot of people. Strawberry was a sweet flower who kept her magnificence to her self at most times. Star was the nicest person I have known...

Later there was another Star who I spent a lot of time with. Branchette was one of these forceful personalities who wouldn't let you into her space. Shiva was always a jolly drunk. Point was a tiny ball of laughter. Little lamp was always Ms Diligence Goodytwoshoes. Stud laughed louder than I ever have. Another Brightness was there a year and gone the next... 

Another Krish worked his charm and kept busy. Drey is another brother from an other mother. General Moon had had a long distance relationship for half a decade...

Then they all got married.

Their worlds don't seem to extend beyond home anymore. Which is good in some ways. One wants that: to be lost in your own world with greater predictability, at least for some time. That world seems to change people. They aren't part of my world anymore.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

वेलापन (Joblessness)

The past couple of months have had there ups and downs. People equate this feeling with being on a roller coaster. I'm not sure the analogy fits. Roller coasters are fun at all times if your core packs intestines tightly. At least, there is the assurance of a stable end. My ride began with defending my thesis, meeting Noshi, going to the Grand Canyon. My figurative cart stood poised on that high, at that point. Since then, I applied for Post Doc jobs, got turned down on all of them; stepped out of a life; drove to Michigan for an interview, did well, met with good friends; got told in Michigan that any funding for my possible post doc position might be available only February; decided to join a local lab where a position was offered; that offer was retracted; and now, I've started fresh applications again.
So as it stands, I have three letters at the end of my name, but no job: an unfortunate circumstance which a lot of people share these days. My strategy to stay sane has been to keep myself occupied at all time. To fend off thoughts that might seed disappointment, hopelessness, frustration, resentment and remorse, I've become a Netflix and NPR podcast glutton. Books help but nothing beats complete audio visual immersion, as any eight year old will demonstrate. I rationalize such indolence by calling movies and TV series, audio visual books. I started working out again which brings peace to a storm-ravaged mindscape.
One such storm hit on the sly. On the second of October I got called into the boss's office. He tells me "I cannot pay you any longer and University rules are that if you can't be paid, you can't work. So you're welcome to visit the lab and hangout but I'll finish the remaining experiments on your paper." That very afternoon, the lab went for lunch that we planned in advance. At the end of lunch I was given a Goodbye/^&*% off gift. I was blindsided. And thus at the end of six years, I felt discarded as a चुस्की mango seed.
It's easy to lose it with such thoughts flitting about. And this was just one such thought. It's hard to talk to people outside the inner sanctum of your best friends, however long you've known them. What's to be said? No one likes to hear glum and sombre non-events. 
I find a routine helps me get through the day. Waking up at a fixed hour, having a morning ritual of making coffee and a curious fruit smoothie, checking email and then getting back to an activity that makes you happy and helps with your future. These could be applications, workouts, books, podcasts, netflix, cooking, cleaning and so on. Amma's obsession with keeping the house clean suddenly makes complete sense. I'm disabused of gender role preference stereotypes. I think of this time as a forced, unpaid vacation. I have no idea how people deal with solitary confinement lasting years in prisons. The very thought is mildly traumatizing. It's traumatizing because suddenly you have time to imagine and live out a thought in your mind. It's as close to experiencing a situation without physically doing so. It becomes so easy to make one's mind the proverbial 'Devil's workshop'. 
Nietzsche says solitude needs to be spent in self improvement. Preserving sanity becomes key to this endeavor. I hope this stage of वेलापन ends soon. I'm dying to be productively occupied once more. I'd much rather be working for free than sitting at home jobless. It's funny how one starts with a wishlist of things to do, with things that just won't be considered penned in in invisible ink, and as time passes the shades of ink reverse themselves. Just one item on that wishlist needs to materialize. We'll see when it happens.