The best new years ever

It was the best new years ever. 2010 came with the biggest ever rush, displacing 2003 by miles. The images of my cousins and new friends will remain ingrained in my memories. And the cold winter temperature of Jamshedpur was the icing on the cake.

I think I have an optimal operating temperature range, between 10C and 20C. Between 20C and 30C is the orange zone, where I will perform optimally, but I will complain. Between 30C and 40C is the red zone, where I cannot perform optimally with sufficient external cooling and excessive fluid intake. And above 40C is the melting zone, more like the “get-out-of-my-way,-I’m-taking-the-next-flight-to-the-North-Pole” zone. Incidentally, Bangalore has seen the highest recorded temperatures in its history in these last couple of days. While 38C is nowhere near the scorching temperatures of cities like Delhi, Bangaloreans are much too accustomed to the comfort of sub-30C dwelling.

As always, there’s a lot going on in life. A lot of what I don’t want. And too little of what I want. I’m not miserable any more. I’m ok, actually, for the most part, I’m happy. I’ve indulged in meditation, pranayam, Art of Living courses (or, discourses, as a friend says), homeopathy, acupressure, long walks, long talks, and just anything else that will keep my mind occupied. Even an hour of doing nothing leads to extended periods of nothingness. So I’ve prescribed myself the task of staying busy, and act it if required.

One of the biggest achievements in the recent past has been completing the French level A1. All the weekends for 6 months at Alliance Fran├žaise have brought more happiness than all the whisky in all of the last year put together. I am now doing level A2. As much as I enjoy the studying, it’s the friends in class and a cool professor who make it worth the while.

A recent incident in Bangalore had my head spinning for a several days. The fire at Carlton Towers, that killed 9 people. This is a building I visited often, because if houses some of the best restaurants and ice-cream parlor in close proximity to home. I drove past it the same night as the fire occurred, and noticed the sullen desolate look, as against the normalcy of bright lights and feverish crowds. The next morning, the front half page of the newspaper was a picture of a man falling from the Nth floor of the building. I was instantly in tears and needless to say, I couldn’t read at all. I can’t say that the image brought back haunting visuals of 9/11, but my reaction was no different. While tragedies will happen, and we will learn to live with them, I simply hate the fact that a newspaper is allowed to display such visuals. When I watch a movie or read a book, I’m conscious that it’s all an act, or fiction. But this is real life, and nobody, nobody must have to endure such images without their own explicit desire.

Mayur Poddar

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