…The Musings of a Strange Guy

Well, the end of year is usually a period of introspection for me, when I take into account the positive and negative aspects of life lived throughout the year. I guess that the journals I keep both offline and online do help me in this self-assessment. But I’ve also been more in touch with my own thoughts this year, if that makes sense. One might consider it as a sort of mad dialogue between me (and I do actually talk to myself – imagine the looks I get from passers-by!), myself and I. For the first time in years, I didn’t come up with a list of resolutions on New Year’s first day. Why? Because I’ve been considering what to do and not to do during the whole of last month.

As such, I approach the coming year with a sense of having something to do. This January marks a full year since I’ve joined that school as teacher, and gosh, the things I’ve seen, heard, done and experienced! Definitely this year is going to be much different, because am starting the year not as a newcomer, but as someone who’s now used (to some extent) to the system – but as ever, I will be there to learn, since, as that venerable Rishi said to Ram on last Friday’s episode of the Ramayana TV series, the true student is one who forever yearns for knowledge.

My work environment is a very fascinating place to be in. For all my claims that I would like to be apolitical, I find myself always so much interested in the power struggles, shifts, manipulations, the camps, the sides taken or not taken, the things said or deliberately left unsaid in that institution. It is amazing how people react in such a closed environment, and I sometimes wish I had some popcorn with me – to sit down and enjoy the show, hehe… But being part of the staff means that you do get involved, whether you want it or not, and THAT i definitely do not like, especially when others drag you in. The question is: how to show some backbone and initiative and individuality without antagonising the rest. I have yet to see that person who can safely and confidently claim that he is apolitical. I keep seeing aspects of it in all avenues of life, and the workplace is a prime location where such tensions are acted out. But let’s not worry about work now. I resume work next Monday.

Brief note on books, expenses etc: Never, ever get a bookshelf. I did worse, I got two of them, and since then I’ve been filling them with books I already have – but I also have been compulsively buying this past month. My bookshelves seem to attract books… and if there is a resolution to be observed this year, it’s to spend less on books (in vain, in vain, this resolution!). Actually, to spend less on anything. Some of the big expenses in 2005 were the airconditioning I had installed in my room (which I refuse to leave, now that we are well into summer), the TV, my desktop PC (barely a month old now – we’ ve been running on a burnt out carcass of a PC for donkey’s years), of course the books, and the external spiral staircase I had someone set up outside, so I can have visitors without them passing through the lower floor of the house and disturbing my parents. This year, I intend to get my kitchen done upstairs in the former TV-room, and I am supposed to get the ceramic tiles for 3 of the rooms upstairs, to replace the old vinyl floor thingies. I suppose that this year will mark a transition to a more spatially-independent me; of course I still live in my parents’ house…most of us do so… but soon, more autonomy will be on the way. This comes at a price, certainly.

Anyway, with only a few days left to enjoy before school resumes, I’m a bit at a loss as to what to do. Maybe go to the beach, or do some necessary shopping; now that Christmas and New Year celebrations are over, I suppose that hawkers and traders might become more reasonable. Since I’ve been in holidays, during the last 3 to 4 weeks, I’ve been continuously reading at home. These days, I am reading Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time Series. I am finishing number 9 maybe tomorrow morning and starting number 10 tomorrow itself. The bookshops don’t have anything else beyond number 10, so I suppose, I’ll read something else. I recently purchased Ashok Banker’s first instalment of the Ramayana series that he is rewriting. I hope he doesn’t disappoint me with his treatment of the subject and material. I have definite ideas myself as to how some of the old myths, legends, and tales of ole Bharat should be retold or rewritten. We’ll see how the text turns out…

This coming Saturday, relatives ( my uncles, aunts, cousins) will be coming to our place for the annual New Year’s family gathering. I remember, not long ago, how my uncles and aunts would come from the very first day itself and stay over at my granma’s place for a few days. Now, of course, they all have their families and grown-up children. I guess it’s important for them to celebrate New Year with their nuclear family unit before coming to celebrate with the extended family. I suppose I still yearn for the days when I grew up in a real extended family, where we had so many family members instead of just parents and children. I still naively hope at times that the present situation might revert to that former way of life…but I know things have changed. I remember when I was about 6 or 7, my dad had finally had his own house built behind my grandma’s house. My parents and my sister had moved to the new house, and I had categorically refused to move! For a whole year and a half, I think , I stayed with my grandparents, in their house, because that was home for me. My parents didn’t forgive me for this for quite a while, I think, as I found out several years later. They were quite cool towards me after that, turning more towards my sister, as they had thought I had rejected them. These are things I keep in the diary in my head, things I see and hear and experience, but rarely think about. It’s nice to take them out and give them some fresh air, once in a while.

I need to get some new trousers and new shoes. Tomorrow or Friday, I’ll have to go and get these before school starts. Need to sort out my resources, books and stuff too. What fun.
That’s all for tonight. I am thirsty.

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