September 18, 2011

The Brain Button !

Hellooo...its an awesome Sunday evening, nothing to do but just sit back and reeelax..! Before you start wondering about what i have to say this sorry to disappoint you that it won't be me doing the rambling today! Nope. Uh uh.

At the same time, am very happy to introduce to you all a very very close friend, who believes this:

"My idea of fun,
Is good conversation.
My drug of choice, my poison,
Is good conversation.
My mental peace, my salvation,
Is good conversation.
Love, I’m certain,
Is good conversation."

And the person who said Meghna Kannan! At first glance, she comes across as a person full of energy and crazyness! An awesome artist, she lets her hands and words do the talking! And so the day before she left to France (last week), i said "Megz why don't you write on my blog?! and she was like "ummmmm..." After numerous attempts to convince her to write, she finally said "Ok Ju, i'm not really sure about this, il think about it!"

But am happy that she came around, and this is what she has to say....


.....Sitting at Frankfurt airport is as good time as any to start working on my “guest” post on friend’s blog. I honestly have no intention of bragging about the fancy-ass airport, but this is the first thing I thought of doing to kill the 2 hrs time I’ve got till I catch my bus from here to my destination.

An Indian at an airport is always a peculiar sight to people here. I’m not generalizing our infamous habits of being the only one with 3 HUGE bags or our legendary white sneakers-blue jean style statement, not at all. We can be cool too. But I do generalize our quality of winning raised eyebrows, 2nd looks and occasionally a jaw-dropped gawk.

So I perched myself on this sort of maroon marble blocks, randomly placed to form a seating area, which I swear is no different from our kitchen thinnai material, surrounded by coffee shops, a mobile charging port, money exchange counter, information desk, ATM, escalators starting and ending erratically from all directions and directly across the exit gate from where I catch my bus. I started off by being just some regular colourful-attired person sitting there until my Indian-ness started crawling into me. There’s only so much I can sit with my legs dangling before which my legs automatically fold into a chaplaankuti.

And then of course this is followed by the very scrupulous procedure of finding that comfort zone. Mine involved a mini bag fort and changing my slightly greasy pinnal into a kondai. As I carefully remove my DELL, like it’s worth its weight in gold from my very cool broken-zipped, strapless HCL bag, I well up looking at the water stains on the top, clearly a fruitless attempt of Amma’s to keep my laptop dust-free and open it to find 3 of Tulsi’s (my dog) hair on my keys, just a few zillion finger prints and a neat layer dust on the keys. Trust me, I needed to literally lift my computer to chin-level and blow, like one would do with an old book! When I looked up I found three people gaping at me like I was some sort of performing monkey. I pretended not to notice and dug my head into my laptop.

The transition slowly begins. From loose, airy salwars to snuggle-fit jeans, chappals to sneakers, from Vodafone prepaid sim to the French sim, (10 paise/min to 1€/min), from blaring noise to absolute deafening silence to the point where I can hear my anklets ‘jill-jill-jill’ echo while I walk the streets at 10 am! Before I continue, for the record, I do love Europe and I actually am slowly getting pumped to get started with the new year (also ‘cos the sooner it begins, the sooner it ends ;)) Only that my love for this place is sometimes, ok yes, more often than rare, clouded by my love for home. I’m not calling it homesickness, nope not this time. It’s just going to take a few days* to tune my brain to Europe. I wonder whether there’s a neuroscience theory to it. When love can be explained as a simple chemical reaction, desiness to non-desiness might just be switch-on/switch-off mechanism. All it takes is will power as I’m told!

* subjected to change without notice

I was just passed by a Tulsi replica and I was ignored!!! (Oh the heartbreak of not being slobbered over, getting muddy paw-prints and hair all over my clothes) Ok so this switch on/off thing maybe more complex than I thought!


So, welcome to the first of its kind, a Guest blog! Before you begin judging, give me a chance to defend this silly idea. For a person like me, who’s always thought of blogging but never broke out of that “personal writing” shell, I think this is a perfect start. And for people like Jayanth Kashyap, who could use the publicity of an awesome blog entry, its pretty prefect too! C’est parfait! :P It’s a wonder that I haven’t been kicked out of France for raping their language!

Switching Homes
Well, apart from the language murder, I recently realised I have done total injustice to this beautiful place I’ve stayed in for a year already. Last year’s lonely, gloomy gullies are today’s gorgeous cobblestone pathways decked with lush green canopies dancing to the gentle chilly breeze, with the sun playing hide and seek with the whipped-cream like clouds in the baby blue skies. It’s no wonder whichever tiny gully in some remote Indian village our bollywood/kollywood heroes hail from, and however localll they may be, they dance with their heroines only in European gullies. I honestly felt like bursting out into a song and was hoping for a hero to appear suddenly from behind a tree and twirl me around, with our costumes constantly changing as we danced.

Evidently, last year’s nostalgia-inducing songs on my playlist, where every song had its own history, are today’s regular sing-along songs. Last year’s committed, undeterred relationship with my computer (or rather skype) is today’s relationship with this place. Last year’s grumble-filled, whiny, polambifying foreign oor-kadhais are today’s overseas adventures and alien-land escapades. Last year’s loneliness is today’s individualism. Yes, it did take me a LONG time to find my “switch”.

For example – Me being highly loyal and unfalteringly biased to my mother’s mouth-watering food, the separation was initially unbearable. My first ever saambar was literally emosanal attyachar and I blamed France for it! *SWITCH* Meghna’s Special Sunday Saambar. All you need is patience and adaptable or better yet dead taste buds. :D

At the French grocery store - “3,90 for a watermelon??! –brain gears start grinding... processing... 3,70 × 65 = Rs.253.50??!!!!- beep beep *curse* how will I gullet the fruit?”  *SWITCH* At the roadside besant nagar chappal shop, “Uncle, woh chappal kitne ka hai?” “Beta, woh chappal, 320 rupees, with 20 rupees discount, final rate Rs.300” “300??? –brain gears start grinding... processing... Rs. 300 = 4 € “Bas? Teekh hai Uncle”

In this ever-changing world and the sheer unpredictability of life, circumstances and situations, the magnitude of the “switch” is fascinating. The comfort of familiarity is beautiful, no doubt. But the weird and wonderful adrenalin-rush and the challenge of new, however daunting and overwhelming can be quite enjoyable when “switch”ed to discover the comfort in the unfamiliar.

Short circuit those hard-wired habits! *SWITCH!*
♪Wayyy ay ay way ay ay! Turn it over now, turn around now! ♪ ♫

For the uninitiated,

Thinnai – Table top
Chaplaankutti – Seated with folded legs
Pinnal – Braid/Plait
Kondai – The hair rolled into a bun
Salwars – The baggy Indian style pants
Chappal – Flip-flops
Polambifying – complaining
Oor kadhai – Story
Saambar – A south Indian delicacy (like a vegetable-lentil broth)
Emosanal attyachaar – emotional brutality

is currently pursuing her Joint Masters in Neuroscience at the University of Strasbourg. And she is waiting with bated breadth to run back to the warmth of India, Chennai especially, as soon as possible!!


Praveena said...

Meghs Its Awesome!!!! It potrays everyone's personal experience!!!
Continue this & give us such beautiful blogs for ever...
bhaad mein jaaye JMN!!!!

preethi nedumaran said...

hey megs !! great post!!!!!!!!!! the kondai was classic!!!

Jayanth said...

funny commenting for a post in my own blog! but i held my comments till i published this :) fab stuff megz! to me, the glossary is the icing on the cake!

Murali said...

Haha! Epic. I'm going to post this on my twitter! You really should get down to writing, you know. And thanks for making her do it, J man!

Swetha Sundar said...

Yes, thanks J man! Actually its really really funny that she never has blogged till now! :O

Meg, You know how I feel about you love. (and your optimism and your creativity). Im not going to repeat. :*

Viyoma said...

Awesome, i did not require the glossary but liked the concept of adding it as a part of the post.
Infact i would say, its the language culmination, that made this entry exciting.

Red Handed said...

HAHAHHHAHAH Epic...can soo relate to this :P

Meghna said...

I'm extremely overwhelmed by all the responses! Thankyou guys,so so much! :)
Prav, First comment here as well! You are the best! :)
Preethi, Thanks babe! Yes the kondai is my favourite too :)
Ju, thank YOU for all this! Love u!
Mu, coming from you, a huge HUGE HUGE compliment! I'm honoured!
Swe,*lous lous*
Dear Viyoma, Red handed - Your comments are invaluable. As a first timer, I'm thrilled to receive any sort of appreciation. Thankyou!

Chandu said...

Great Job Meghna!

Vishnu said...

Brilliance, actually felt like I was in France and stuck in an airport full of strangers. . whatte feel!

Meghna said...

Chandu Bhaiyya, Thankyouuu :)
Vish, :D I'm glad you liked it!

Dr.Rekha Jithin said...

Great writing

Anonymous said...

he dear its ammma here. fantastic piece keep the dreams alive always. Sambar is food for thought sweets. luv that. proud of u nd blessed that u r my doll luv u.