Sunday, June 22, 2014

Guess Who Has A Typewriter Now?

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, June 22, 2014 3 comments Links to this post

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
― Ray Bradbury

Oh God! 

Take a look at my typewriter. Isn't it a beauty?

I have been lusting for a typewriter ever since ever. And a vintage one, at that.

And look what I got this birthday? A beautiful typewriter. My joy knew no bounds when I saw it. 

As I sit in front of the typewriter and try to write, I couldn't fathom the number of typographical errors I was making. Little did I know Ms Word was making my job a lot easier. 

While technology has been making (and will make) our jobs feasible and more easier, the joy of holding on to the old fashioned methods of writing - the good old typewriters, a paper and a pen, and the smell of ink will drift you into a whole new world.

The best part is it reduces your typographical and grammatical errors too. More focus, eh?

Now, let us go back and look at that picture. Isn't it a beauty? 

http://site.xavier.edu/polt/typewriters/typers.html


Friday, June 13, 2014

Home: A Short Story

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Friday, June 13, 2014 1 comments Links to this post

As the plane took off, I kept staring down at the country I was leaving behind. Momentarily or forever.

"I am going home," I murmured in disbelief. How long has it been? A good fifteen years?

Home. India. Home. Hyderabad.

The very thought of home made me wince. It brought back all the unpleasant memories of my childhood, the awful moments spent anticipating the worst to come, evenings spent aimlessly along the Necklace road, the lonely youth, and all the days spent with books and copious amounts of coffee.

I found home in a continent far away from home. I found home in a place called Pasadena which was familiar only on a map fifteen years ago. I found family in a place I never thought I would end up in. The unforeseen circumstances life puts us in.

On a rather sunny day, when I was taking a stroll back from a friend's place, I received a call from my cousin bearing the news of my father's death. I was to go back to Hyderabad, he said. I am the only son, he convinced. And, I am the final fragment of the family that was left, he warned.

I sit back and think of all the dreadful moments I have spent with my father. I cannot forget the fact that he loathed my mother all her life - harassing and abusing her, making her life a hell to live in. I was no exception to the terrible treatment. I received my share. Everyday. Every evening. I recollect all the moments I spent envying my friends who had fathers who went cycling and made paper boats along with them, read stories to them in the night, and had dinners with them. I was deprived of the tiniest joys and festivities. 

I loved my mother dearly. I recollect the days she would come to pick me up from school, wearing a cotton saree with vermillion on her forehead. As we walked from the school to home, her bangles emanated a joyous jingle. It was that sound that I missed the past fifteen years, the jingle that used to tiptoe into my room to check if I was asleep well in the nights, the jingle that surrounded me as she cleaned my room, fed me, and giggled with me.

I fish out my wallet and look at her picture. My mother. I murmur, fondly. 

As a reclusive teenager, I felt lost when my mother died. The pain was excruciating. My mother was the only person who understood me and stood by my side in the whole wide world, and I saw her burn and reduce into ashes in front of my eyes. I still remember the way my father behaved on that day and my abhorrence for him increased to a whole new level and that was the moment I realized I had to leave India and look out for myself.

A new country. Different people. Cultural difference. Demanding course structures. And the pain of losing my mother.

The past fifteen years passed on as quickly as a whirlwind without a thought of my father. I have studied, travelled, met interesting people, travelled a little more, fell in love, got my heart broken, got on with my life, and made decent amount of money. My house is a mantel of memories that brought me an immense amount of joy yet there was something that gave me restless nights.

Was it the forgotten bond with my father? Or the home that I left behind more than a decade ago? Was it the responsibility that I left behind selfishly? I never figured it out all these years, but may be, it was the guilt of leaving my father - a punishment that was too severe.

I have maintained no forms of communication with him, and I wondered how he led the final stages of his life. Surely, the surly old man would have reformed! He would have repented for all the mistakes he has done. I will learn everything about the last fifteen years tomorrow. I will make up for all the time. I said it to myself, more or less out of guilt.

But as I lean back trying to get some sleep, I knew there will always be a part of me that will hate my father. 

Friday, June 06, 2014

And, It Was A Happy Birthday!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Friday, June 06, 2014 6 comments Links to this post


“The cake had a trick candle that wouldn't go out, so I didn't get my wish. Which was just that it would always be like this, that my life could be a party just for me.” 

― Janet Fitch

I turned 23 this Wednesday and I had one of the best birthdays ever. 

But let me warn you, it is not an extremely great feeling, you know? Just a while ago, I was a teenager listening to heavy rock music, and I blink my eyes and whoa, I am 23 now. Just for the record, I do not enjoy heavy rock music any longer.

It is a little scary to know that you are growing older and all that. I know some of you won't agree with me, some will, and those big 3 0s would literally roll their eyes at me and say, look at us and talk, kid. But yes, whatever. I am growing old.

While I am enjoying the afterglow of my birthday and stuffing myself with more cake, I wonder if there is any difference in me when I turned 22 and now. I wonder if I have done something worthwhile in the past one year. I wonder if I learned something - useful or not. Have I gained any experiences?

The answer to all - yes, I have. And I know for a fact that I will keep getting better. Also, I am sure I will get even better by the time I turn 24. 

As I look into the past one year, I think of all the things I have done. I met new people, I made new friends. I have visited a lot of new places, watched good movies, read some wonderful books, ate a lot of delicious food, got rid of some toxic people and reunited with some good old friends, experienced euphoria, bitter sadness, experienced vulnerability and strength, I have written a lot of things, and earned the much coveted freedom from corporate slavery. Touchwood!

I made memories. 

And, I know for a reason that with every passing birthday, we will always have a handful of things that we have done and will remain with you. I am glad I too have them.

Thanks to everyone who were a part of my life, and are a part of my life. You all have given me many stories and I will keep building many more.

Thank you Anirudh, Asisha, Sugumar, Supadha, Haritha, Harish, Kiriti, Amrutha, Anwesha, Suguna! You guys have seen the worst in me and let us just hope you won't see anything more horrible. The worst case scenario factor has reached a saturation point, right? And let me not forget, you guys are all part of the big, major memories I have made. 

Here's to growing old, feeling utterly weird about your age and all that, getting busier with your lives, partners, losing touch with the moronic side of the youth and oh, the carelessness. This too shall pass!

IT WAS ONE HELL OF A BIRTHDAY, PEOPLE!


 

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