I have nothing to write about. 


Daddy's turn.

Scene 1: Before my trip to KL and Bali.

Dad: Now remember, if you're going to sleep with someone there, make sure you use a condom. 


Dad: Yeah right.


Dad: That's okay. 

Scene 2: On the phone.

Dad: Zaev's got a job in Prague. 

Me: I know. 

Dad: You should go to Prague.

Me: Why would I go to Prague? 

Dad: You could do your post-grad there. 

Me: In Prague?

Dad: It's in Europe and you like Europe. Your brother will be there to keep an eye on you. Think about it.

Me: ...

Dad: Always keep your options open. 

Scene 3: In Madras. 

Dad: So. Have you ever smoked weed before?

Me: Yeah.

Dad: Hash?

Me: Yeah. 

Dad: What do you prefer?

Me: Alcohol. 

Dad: Me too. Want a drink?

Me: It's not yet noon.

Dad: It's Sunday.

Me: Okay. 

Scene 4: Cigarettes.

Dad: It's those bloody Americans. They're obese and popping it left right and centre, but instead of their food, they blame cigarettes.


Dad: Look at Europeans. A lot of them smoke and they're long lived.

Me: YEAH! 

Dad: I'm not saying smoking's good for you, obviously it's not, but those Americans blew it out of proportion and now they've got the whole world panicking. 

Me: YEAH! 

Scene 5: Talking about my mother.

Dad: You know, your mother used to be fun.

Me: Really?

Dad: Mm. She was pretty wild once. 

Me: What happened?

Dad: She had you.

Scene 6: On the phone.

Dad: What did you have for lunch?

Me: Chappati and dal.

Dad: Guess what I'm having?

Me: What?

Dad: Steak with a fried egg on top, broccoli, mushrooms, and sauteed potatoes.

Me: That's so unfair.

Dad: I know. You poor little thing. Go out into the garden and eat worms. Bwahahahahaha. Okay, love you. Bye.

Me: ...



Choosing, consciously, to not think about Consequences and Futures and You'll Regret It Laters. The present has never been this important before.

A waste of time, perhaps. A mistake.

How can it be when the sun and the wind hit you sharper than they ever have before, slicing through you and pushing their way into secret corners, when even the most mundane things - a bottle, a lighter, a leaf - are suffused with colour and shimmering with light, when with every step that's taken, you feel so incredibly alive that there is no other word to describe how you feel. 

It's an education of a different sort, and when it's offered - grasp it and cling on. 


The rosemary.

You know how it is. You know how it goes.

The lights. Not very pleasing, could be less harsh, but pleasant enough. They look better near the bar but that's not the reason people are standing there.

Familiar faces.

"Hi, hello. How's college? Fine. How's yours? Good. Do you like Delhi? I do now." An awkward pause and a forced smile. "It was lovely seeing you. You too. Keep in touch. Yeah."

Things get a bit better after a while because everyone's still at the bar and now most people are talking in capitals. The conversation is smoother. Or maybe it's because the hellos have been done with and now people are talking to the people they want to talk to. Shared inkblots?

It's strange being back. It's night, and you're not used to being here at night. You're used to the not-really-imposing white building being exposed to hot sun and you're used to the fields being peppered with girls - hair escaping despite the forty clips and the forced, false discipline - not with twenty and thirty something year olds, wandering around in ties and jackets and painted with red lipstick.

It's strange smoking a cigarette in the very same place you, not too long ago, leaped across in exchange for a certificate that has long been lost.

The night goes on, and most people look happy now. The conversation, predictably, shifts to remembrance. A surprising amount of people remember. You thought you'd forgotten but there you are, standing with them, clutching a sprig of rosemary in your fist. It doesn't really make a difference though. Things once were and now they aren't and that's all there is to it.

"I miss it," someone tells you.


"Things aren't the same anymore."

That's the point, you think. Things aren't supposed to be the same anymore, things are supposed to be different. But you don't say anything, you just tilt your head slightly and tighten your grip on the rosemary.

Stumbling out at midnight. Stumbling home. Stumbling. The rosemary falls somewhere along the way, unnoticed and forgotten, until next time.

Did you ever stumble when you were inside those gates? Difficult to tell, difficult to know, but either way, you're happier on the street.


He's Dead.

I honestly though that there was no part of history that could ever bore me.

Until today.

Instead of the usual consequences of the Revolt of 1857, I'm studying about how it physically affected Delhi. Most of the essay I'm reading talks about the epitaphs of the graves of British soldiers who fell.

There was one who died of cholera so they didn't mention his cause of death. Felt it wasn't grand enough.

A gun. A water borne disease.

No one cares anymore anyway. Assuming they did in the first place.


A mistake is supposed to be forgivable if you make it once.

Deliberate mistakes are different because they don't stem from ignorance, do they, they stem from stubbornness. Knowing that what you're doing is stupid and wrong, but doing it anyway because it's easier (in a way) than the alternative. Not comfortable, no, because there is a feeling inside you that refuses to go away. It pokes you a little, that feeling, and it grows and it changes size and sometimes it becomes more important and sometimes it becomes less important, but it's never so important that you give into it.

Does pride enter the picture? Getting nothing at all, rather than something? Something isn't good enough, something is humiliating, so how can nothing be less humiliating? Perhaps it has something to do with the tried-and-tested method. You have been tested and found wanting. Sometimes it's easier to avoid that test completely.

I think it boils down to choosing between failure and cowardice, to choosing between being found wanting and avoiding judgement completely because you know you won't have what is wanted - what you want rather than what they want - anyway.

I have a feeling the logic I've used here is very flawed. How ironic.



Okay, my exams start on the 4th. 

I reach Delhi tomorrow night. I haven't studied anything. Like, not a single thing. All my books are still in my suitcase. It doesn't matter. I can do this. 

It's the first paper I'm worried about because that paper's the first. If I start studying by nine - I'll bring five cans of Red Bull back with me - and I study non stop till six, I should manage. Three hours for Chaucer, an hour and a half for Othello, and three hours for poetry. That's seven and a half hours. Plus extra time for panicking and pacing up and down my room, calling Min and whining about how I'm going to fail, throwing tantrums, and taking a ten minute nap. It's sorted. 

I'm going to ace that paper. Or at least pass. Yeah. 

Anyway today's my birthday so I'm not going to think about that. Today I'm going to enjoy the specialness of being twenty (eek. It doesn't seem possible) and drink until I drop. 

Tomorrow, I will worry. Tomorrow, I will turn over a new leaf.