Sorry about the length of this article but its been millenia since I wrote something. I have been contemplating with the idea of this post but today (13.12.2017), its completely instinctual. I had been feeling guilty about publishing my old poems just to keep the site alive but now I want to get back to being an active participant…
Also the title might seem a bit overboard and you might think that I’m about to write a boring long autobiography (There might even be a few who might freak out, thinking they might have to learn my life as chapters and mug-em-up for exams to score marks….JUST LIKE ME).
1) I am not going to publish an autobiographical novella EVER!
2) In case if I do, I’m quite sure you wouldn’t have my life (of all things to learn *rolls eyes*) to learn as a chapter.
3) These are a few hilarious but extremely serious (did I just use contradicting ideas here? *thinks*) moments out of my new phase in life: College.
Its been a while since I have left school (and my home) to settle down in a completely alien place to me (again contradictory since I have reached my “home land”….get it? Anybody?). I used to come here as a school going girl during my vacations when I spend a 2 months here. I am currently pursuing a degree in English Language and Literature with Journalism.
Now to settle in Kerala was not my choice. It was out of options (again..I’m solely responsible) that I landed up in my current college scenario. Its a sort of “Extended Schooling” phase that I’m going through. Albeit being in my current life was not even in my wildest dreams…Its a reality now.
Gotta face this but life might not always the party you wanted but while you are here, you might as well enjoy it.
I have almost 80% adapted to my present atmosphere (the rest 20% might take a lil while longer). I have completed a semester successfully (with no “run-away” or “escapes” attempts yet albeit I was tempted to several times ’cause its nothing like I imagined)
In this duration of 6 months, I have learnt a lot about my motherland and now I keep these points in my mind, I run and fall and run….well, its a cycle of life.
Presenting MY life “issues”
- Away from Home: As an NRI, I have never had the experience of studying in a school in Kerala (though I did my KG classes….I was too young to know anything) and this all of a sudden change in atmosphere lead me out of my “comfort zone”. I am away from my parents albeit being a day scholar….its still a new experience. There are times when I felt homesick and wanted to run back to my parents (‘Cause of the junk foods and of course, the unlimited data I enjoyed there 😜).
- Aliens Around me: Of course, I’m not literally surrounded by Outer Space Creations (aliens as we call them) but these people are all strange to me (and by strange I mean total wierdos (please don’t get offended so soon dear) with total wierd ways of thinking (sometimes even insane things can come from them. You Never Know). They are wonderful, I mean very encouraging and motivating but their way of expressing motivation might actually sound offensive at times, but they are not so always.
- Language issues: One of THE major issues I had to face here is Language. I had never in my life taken a “proper” course in Malayalam (Hereby going to refer it as M as I am too lazy to type). The only course I have had all along my schooling was Hindi, Sanskrit or French (to some extend). Its a fact that I can read M but can’t write a single sentence without making a dozen mistakes. I can speak quite fluently (one more thing I am thankful to my parents esp Mother as she was an M student albeit she teaches English. I owe her a lot for her strict rules of only M at home) but after coming to settle in Kerala, I feel insecure about my M vocab. Often trying to catch up with my classmates ultimately led to a mixture of accents and vocab that I ended up acquiring.
- Prejudice towards NRIs and lack of Communication: On my day-1 in class, I was given a task to introduce myself, family and other related backgrounds. So I had around 33 ears on me, I was nervous and also in a dilemma. Now I was warned of the fact that Keralites are Very Prejudiced (and by Very, I mean beyond your wildest dreams). I didn’t quite know whether I should hide the NRI fact and lie about my schooling or to reveal every single detail of my Background (which I eventually did and was of all The Best Decision Ever).
- My emotions going overboard: As a person with crazy and wild mood swings, I had the worst ever task of keeping my emtions under control. I was always the expressive extrovert and when my emotions mixed with my workload, I was a mess. I used to pick fights with people frequently (ended up knowing the people who would stay by me as a backbone and segregated those who aren’t worth my effort). I have a few people whom I gave the hardest time and yet they stood by me and they kept regular checks on my mental state. Thanking Nikku, AGK, Appu, Nemo, Mistry, (not new friend but still in contact) for all their support. I’d love to reveal their names but my privacy policies are to be checked.
Now I have had very bad experiences which are equal in number (or maybe more) to the good experiences. Those memories, those nightmares…..are never to be forgotten as long as I walk this Earth.
Anyways here are a few stuff I learnt of my 6 months in this college (most of which is associated with my seniors….the lovely ladies and Sooper Gentlemen):
- Seniors can be extreme polars: By that statement I mean they are like switches (the on-off machines we use daily…duh!). Like from the rude raggers to the best friend next door. I still remember my super seniors came off as nightmares to me during my initial month and now I almost hi-five them everyday. They do go from Friends to Enemies in a fraction of seconds occasionally, but most of the time, they are cool and awesome. They are quite good at heart and albeit my fear out of respect for them, treat them as my own siblings. My seniors are not that actively friendly and hence no comments about them. *zip*
- Pretentious People are everywhere: whether we keep it to just seniors or apply to all realms is left to you (The One Who Is Reading This). I came across a lot of people who pretend tough but are soft-core and those who pretend Soft-core turned out worst beyond imagination. Everybody has faces I realise that takes a lot of time to reveal. I have seen “flirtatious crocodiles” as well as “Pretentious backbiters”.
- Keep your emtions at bay: now controlling your emotions might seem like an “easier said than done” task to many (includes me). It will break eventually but no necessities for it to be broken at that specific moment. I have learnt that being angry with somebody, letting it affect my whole day, is tiring. It drains my energy overthinking stuff negatively and also it ruins the time that I could use for making memories that lasts longer than anger. So I let a few things go (I curse and swear in my mind when I feel pissed off) but I try to not let things affect me. For instance, I had a time when I used to be affected by link-up rumours about me and some boy (mostly seniors). Now everytime somebody takes his name or attempts to tease me, I used to react and get angry with them or go into desperate mode begging them to stop. I now have no time and energy that I waste for these things, albeit it annoys me (That’s permanent) but I laugh it out. I sit and laugh at the pairing or the rumour.
- Prejudice is inevitable: Let’s face it guys, everybody judges a book by its cover these days, ’cause it is the only thing we can do at first, only with furthur interactions with that person, can we know, the real nature of a person. For instance, That day I revealed my background, all my classmates were left with a notion that I will behave in such and such manner since “I am an NRI”. Later, I have had instances where my own classmates have told me that they thought I was a rich spoilt brat and hence the explanation to their indifferent behaviour. I do know a lot of rich spoilt brats in my life though. I belong to an upper middle class family where both parents work. My classmates later told me that I was, infact, more naïve than many of their friends here (wow…now that’s clear cut wierd. I’m not naïve…not really).
- People communicate less and comment more: I have been commented upon by my seniors several times as rude and misbehaving. Now I am misbehaving under certain circumstances but I do have my limits of being so. I prank, I am mischievious and that’s a part of my character. Its a means of fun to me and I enjoy being a lil misbehaving though not seriously offensively misbehaving. When it comes to being rude, I have a certain way of thinking that “if they are rude, I’ll most certainly be rude”. Yes, But I do be rude when false accusations are raised against me and am being abused on that matter. I don’t like to be penalized for something I haven’t been responsible for.
- “Respect” is a must: Coming from a mixed cultural background to a single cultural but various economic background, things have been hard upon me. I was used to calling seniors by addressing their name ’cause the last thing you want to do there (back at school) was embarass yourself by calling some Arab origin senior as chetta or chechi (an address of respect to older brother or sister in M). Now I still have a bad time with understanding and catering to people’s needs due to lack of communication factors. A few of my seniors don’t mind being adressed by their name and a few (and by few I mean almost every freaking body) likes to be addressed with the above mentioned “respect”. I don’t know about any other place in India, but in Kerala its a MUST. Else be ready to be called “disrespectful” (I have this title already upon me and don’t really know how to change that). Also, the absence of the above mentioned address is rude here. A Punishable Offence (for certain people). Just this evening, I have had a senior tell me in (hopefully not pretentious) politeness that he’s like to be addressed with the “respect” term. I was surprised he was polite, ’cause some can even go to the extend of begging for respect sadly. (Not to mention the fact that my age is the same as theirs just that I was a late admission and hence ended up their junior) *zip*
- Language is sacred: my mother tongue is Malayalam (M) and I have been taught to read and a lil write in this language by my mother (Thank you Amma) which turned out to be quite handy when it came to many areas I deal with these days. To travel by public (or private) bus, you need to read Sign Boards in M and to pay your ticket fare, you need to speak in M to the conductors (a person is appointed for this task specifically). Again, if more than 3-4 words slip out of your mouth in English, you are called person with “attitude” (its a slang) which in the above mentioned context is a person who is “filled till the brim with pride” (a.k.a rich spoilt brat). I have a classmate who finds it difficult to read and write in M and after seeing her struggles, I have sought to talk to her and explain stuff in Hindi (since she’s fluent with that) and I also have a beautiful title “Bengali” (According to Keralites, only Bengalis talk in Hindi in Kerala). Learn Malayalam before you touch Kerala’s soil.
In the above mentioned scenarios…in instances where I have used Kerala, I only and only mean my district, the one I belong to and am settled at present.
To my seniors who are going to read this: I have nothing against any of you and my only intention is to put my experience in a journal format and this is not to be taken seriously.
Ps: The above mentioned are my difficulties and struggles alone and this has nothing to do with anyone else. I have not intended to hurt anyone or anything. If you feel offended, its your guilty conscience ringing maybe.
Also I have changed my sign off as Desi Chinky.