21!

 

People, a reason to cheer up – I’ve turned 21 today! I thought why not write a blog and post it to, you know, commemorate this special day, on which the weird me entered the even-weirder planet earth.
So this is basically the 18-year-old me writing a letter to the 21-year-old me. There will be lots of pleading, ordering, convincing, advises thrown in, prep talks, some funny stuff and drama. Buckle up, and prepare yourselves to listen to the rant of 18-year-old Jess!

 

Dear 21-year-old Jess….                                                                                 8th July 2018

Heartiest wishes – upon turning 21.
I know it’s tough out there for people like you. So yeah, Congratulations – for 21 years of successful existence. And though your journey until now has been a roller coaster ride(it’s like that for everyone, so don’t make a fuss out of it), I must say, you’ve done a good job. There were happy times, there were tragic moments, a dash of confusion and chaos, and mess (It’s you, so of course), and there have been times when you barely managed to scrape through – and after being through all this, you’ve landed here today.

And although you have seen the world three years more than I have, I would still love to bring to your notice a few things which you should keep intact and a few other things where you should let go. So here we go…

First of all, stop singing Taylor Swift’s 22. You’re 21 – have the patience to wait for another year rather than conveniently altering the lyrics to
“I don’t know ‘bout you,
I’m feeling 21….”
Doesn’t rhyme and sounds stupid. So stop right now.

You are different. So be that way. Do whatever it takes to keep your weird quotient intact. And you need to accept the fact that it’s perfectly alright to not like what everyone else likes, or does( they may not understand, but you needn’t care). Be #Dhaasu in your own way.

It’s okay if you prefer Fifty shades of Faber Castell Sketchpens over Fifty shades of Grey. It’s fine if you’re colourful – if you don’t follow norms. Remember why you chose Bohemian Blues as your blog name right? Because that is exactly who you are – a free bohemian soul, who finds joy in doing things which the world may find boring. “MAY”.

Stop being paranoid about crows, especially when you haven’t done anything to piss them off. Not every crow or wait, no crow flying past you is going to peck you. You have this stupid habit of ducking when you sense the presence of a crow near you. Grow up, please?
(This grow up was applicable only for this issue)

After a string of unsuccessful friendships, which taught you many lessons, you’ve finally managed to forge some friendships in your graduation years, who you know will stand by you for the rest of your life. Don’t let them go. Treasure these special people. I remember how, when you were me, how friendships terribly failed. It wasn’t your fault always, but it’s okay. You learnt your lessons and moved on.

Don’t give a dime to people who worry about your career more than you do. You maybe confused, and that’s perfectly normal. It’s okay not to know. It’s okay to take your time. Don’t succumb to any pressures and create a mess.

Don’t let anyone define “ beauty” for you. You’re beautiful only if you can see the beauty in others. Inner beauty. This is what you’ve been listening to when you were growing up, so make sure it sticks with you for the rest of your life.

Please learn to put on your swimming goggles properly. They have a catapult effect (which you must have realised the last time they hit your eye) and if you don’t want to go blind, for God’s sake put them on carefully.

Remember how I would always carry a novel with me everywhere I went? What happened now? Grew big enough to not feel alone even among a huge crowd? Start off with it again. It’s an order. There has to be a novel in your backpack or handbag everywhere you go.

Family. These are the ones you are going to treasure the most. Because at the end of it all, it’s going to be one of these shoulders you’ll be crying upon. They are your backbone, your cornerstone, your crutches when your legs stop moving ( Yep you got it right, Gone Gone Gone – Phillip Phillips). So hold them closest to your heart. Remember how they don’t sleep when you are upset and crying over another ruined friendship (as usual)? That’s what fam is. They’ll be with you when the rest turn their backs against you.

You laugh loudly. Many even bring it to your notice. But I won’t ask you to stop doing it. Because the way you laugh makes others laugh. Spreads cheer in this dull world. So, continue.

Also, you talk loudly. Only know when to keep your decibel low. Otherwise, talk as loudly as you want. Not everyone has that khanak in their voice which automatically makes people take heed of what you’re saying. You have it. Don’t let it go.

Relationships. They’ve become essential to validate existence and identity (sense the sarcasm) Thankfully, I don’t need to lecture you on this because you and I are on the same page with this. Live your life, free of any bondage. The right things will set in at the right time.

And yeah, don’t let anyone’s fashion sense influence yours. I know you won’t, but still, better to put it down,na? If you are comfortable in your jeans and plain tee, so be it. No one’s opinions as to how you dress should affect you.

And it’s okay if seeing the poor little kittens soaking in pouring rain breaks your heart. And if flowers blooming in your garden lights you up. For others, they may not be things to be sad or happy about, but they are for you. And that’s perfectly alright.

You seriously need to stop paying attention to petty issues. Learn to let go. It’s not going to help you, you’ll end up getting exhausted. So categorise what needs your attention and what doesn’t.

And yeah, you always had this dream of leaving a mark on this earth right? A mark which will make you immortal? While you’re still struggling to find out what it is that will help you do it, let me tell you – your blog has already done it. You have left your mark – before the age of 21.

And before that temper of yours flares up, let me take leave.

Happy Birthday, dear….And all the best for your journey ahead.

 

Love,
18-year-old Jess.

 

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My tryst with Public Transport!

I desperately wanted to get into BMCC (my senior college) right away after my 10th. With my 10th score, I would have easily made it into the college in the first merit list itself. But as per my dear  family, I was still not prepared to sustain the atmosphere of a “City College”.
So from their side it was :
“We’re not sending you ‘so far’ ‘so soon’. You can go there after 12th
Like I was going to evolve in those two years 😛

To be honest, I always felt that it was a cunning saazish – to ensure that I studied hard enough in my 12th boards to make it to the high cut-off of my desired college…which I did anyway…so that’s okay. Win-win situation for both. 🙂

Now. My college is right in the heart of Pune city, which is quite far from my home. So naturally, this question came up:

“Ma, how will I travel? It’s far na…”
“By bus, beta” (She probably knew it would come as a minor blow to me, hence the usage of “beta”)
“But Ma..I don’t really know that side of the city well..”
“It’s okay. Initially no one knows a thing. You’ll learn”

I braced myself for 4 hours of travel every day.
And did I learn? Hell, yeah!! Not only ‘that side of the city’, but also what travelling by public transport exactly is!

I’ve tried to bring to paper my kaleidoscopic experiences and lessons learnt as a public transport commuter for three years! Read on to know…. 😀

  • The virtue of Patience :
    Endless hours of waiting at bus stops….has definitely taught the impatient me the virtue of patience. In 3 years, public transport managed to teach me something that my family couldn’t in 17 years of co-existence. XD.

    Keep calm…the bus will arrive at its own sweet time any which ways  🙂

    This is the magical chant. You need to keep repeating this to yourself. It works.

    And do not commit the cardinal sin of learning up a bus time-table. That will only bring in more disappointment and frustration and aid you to lose your cool. 🙂

 

  • Unagi – the state of complete awareness :
    I can safely say that I’ve achieved Unagi. Maybe not completely, but enough for my survival!
    Three things to keep in mind:
    – Don’t fall
    -Keep yourself safe from falling people (apparently people lose their grip and stability in a bus)
    -If someone falls on you….two options are available: Save them from falling or Dodge.

    Pick-pockets around. At all times, keep one eye on your bags, backpacks, handbags, polythene bags, paper bags, all kinds of bags.(Unless you want to get out of the bus feeling lighter)
    And in case lady luck favours you, and you manage to get a seat, doze off, but better beware of the drivers and their thrilling brake applying skills. You sure don’t want to get out of the bus with something broken or swollen. 😛

 

  • Men will be men :
    No matter how you dress up, at all times, there will be those few idiots who will keep gawking at every woman who passes by. -_-  Comments will be passed, nudges…and the same old story…

    Funny incident: This drunk guy got into the bus. Fell on one lady. She started yelling, “He fell on me intentionally” This drama continued until someone realised the guy was drunk and he reeked of alcohol. The conductor took things in his hand and told the guy to get out of the bus. While he agreed after hurling few abuses, the comic part was when he fell on two more women while exiting the bus! The women were fuming, half the passengers were angry and other half, laughing!

    But again, there will also be these chivalrous men. They will be like:
    “You can occupy my seat if you want to”
    Some will oblige. Others will give them the ‘why is he offering his seat to me’ look.

 

  • The conductor keeps the show going :
    “Pudhe chala, pudhe chala” (Keep moving ahead, keep moving ahead)
    “Pudhche pudhe sarkat raha!” (People ahead keep moving ahead)

    Yep. That’s the conductor. Especially in a crowded bus, locating the conductor can be a task. But thanks to this war-cry of his, he’s easily detected.
    But on a serious note, the conductor can literally make the bus dance to his tunes (Ting-ting). 😛

    There was this funny incident, when a guy’s backpack got entangled with the conductor’s money pouch. Both parties didn’t notice. The guy’s stop arrived. He hurriedly made his way through the crowd, dragging the conductor along with him!!
    The conductor, almost out of the bus, half-irked half- smiling, said “Kick me itself out of the bus…that’s all that is remaining now!” Poor fella!
    But the laugh we passengers had!! 😀

 

  • Vacant seats are vacant for a reason :
    In a crowded bus if your eyes fall upon a seat that is vacant, DO NOT get excited to place yourself upon it! It’s vacant for a reason.Reasons may vary from:
    -Technical issues (screws may be loose)
    -It may be wet
    -Gross reasons like someone may have spat or puked on it. Don’t squirm. It happens.

 

  • Arguments add the required tadka :
    You will get to witness a whole range of arguments. Starting from minor bickering to verbal squabbles to full-blown brawls – we have it all on the menu!

    Agendas for the arguments will generally be:-
    -This is ladies seat (Ladies vs. One ignorant man/men)
    -This is senior citizen’s seat (Senior citizen vs. Some adamant youngster or fake Sr. Citizen)
    -Shift to the men’s side and don’t stick to the ladies! (Ladies vs. Men)
    -I don’t have change. (Big shots with no chutta vs. conductors)

 

  • Monsoons…..well…. :
    Wading from flooded bus stops to make your way into a cramped bus that has a leaking roof (which by the way, makes you feel like you’re still outside)….is annoying.The stairs of the bus will be slippery. Even if you get into the bus, you yourself will wonder how you managed to do it…There will be leaking umbrellas all around.
    And yes…that one big fat uncle, who prefers not to take off his dripping raincoat (even if it means soaking the people around).Also, people gleefully step on your foot/feet/footwear, painting it in the plush colours of the monsoon slush. -_-

 

  • Women will be…err….women! :
    Women have this ability  of calling their seats from ten miles away. They’ll fling whatever they have in hand – handkerchiefs, handbags, purses and even phones (the Smart ones) just to reserve their seats…Well..I’ve witnessed this too!

 

  • Last row seats should come with a caution :
    I’m saying this because the very first time I had occupied one of those seats, I had almost got flung outside the bus from the back door. Thanks to the excellent speed breakers and the driver’s toofani driving skills.

 

  • The joy of sighting the direct-home-bus :
    You’ll understand this only if you have had to switch buses to get home. And the mere sight of the bus that will take you home directly calls for a mini-celebration!
    The joy of watching that bus arrive and the motive to get into it no matter how crowded it is….is unexplainable! 😀

 

 

This journey of three years was indeed filled with bitter-sweet experiences and memories. At times ,any of this comes to my mind, it makes me smile. Travelling by bus has left me with so many incidents funny, scary, weird….I have treasure load of stories to narrate! When I look back, I realise that I learnt so many things. I came across situations where I had to make a call… defend myself…raise my voice. All of this has only made me stronger…and of course smarter 🙂

And I do realise what Ma actually meant when she said “You’ll learn” 🙂