When it happened, it felt like just another day.

It was my best friend’s friend’s birthday. We weren’t very close to the friend, but the best friend was insistent we be present to celebrate it. We had a Photo Cake ordered, and decided to cut it on the beach. I was skeptical about even coming for the whole thing, and so was another friend of mine. We didn’t mind, but at the same time, there were so many other things we had to do that day. It was during our final Semester of undergrad; there were practicals and project submissions that had all been piled up for the end.

I was tired. Most of the time, I felt unbelievably tired.

Anyway, we met as planned. We did the usual stuff required of a surprise: with gasps and “I DID NOT EXPECT THIS MUCH”, cake cutting, sitting around and talking, taking pictures (it was way before the Selfie craze though). We did not know this friend very well, but in that moment, all of us felt happy and connected. We gave away most of the cake to passersby, and proceeded to talk about things completely outside our routine. After talking about teachers and submissions nonstop, it felt refreshing.

Then, at that moment, I still don’t remember what caused me to drift away from the group- the group that felt way more cohesive than it had been an hour before and a group that I was happy to be a part of, but I did. I walked towards the sea, brimming with the energy that comes from being around people who are easy to talk to.

I was close enough to smell the saltiness of the seawater, but still a good distance away from getting drenched. It was getting dark by then, and that only made the waves seem fiercer and prettier at the same time. The scene ahead of me looked so…expansive. I felt so small in comparision, and that oddly felt amazing. It was like the sight of the waves washed away my petty fears, tucked it into a box labelled “irrelevant”. The universe seemed huge and my worries seemed so insignificant. I had finally, finally zoomed out of my small world and what lay ahead of me seemed both beautiful and terrifying at the same time.

My heart surged, as instead of figures and tables that made up my record, I thought of the magnificence of the relationships I’d forged over the years. I thought about how tenuous yet how important human connection was, as I simultaneously felt more in tune with everything than I had in ages. I had read about peak experiences but it wasn’t until that moment that I understood it. Looking back on that day still gives me strength and the will to move past tough times.

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When I write, I feel like I’m soaring.

Closest to what I felt that night at the beach when the tide was high, the ocean felt bluer, darker, fiercer… washing over me and washing away my fears, doubts and wishes as I felt one with the universe.

Like I finally understood what it meant to live outside my petty fears and feel like I was a part of a bigger plan. 


I read those old mails I sent and received back when I used gmail to actually keep in touch when D was vacationing abroad rather than for FP review alerts, school stuff and scanned notes and all that. The mails, chats and FB albums are all traces of the summer of ’08, the summer of FB, the summer of gtalk, the summer when those amazingamazing moments could be recorded like it never had been before.

The notes, doodles and phone numbers scrawled in my French books (for I’d taken my first French class then as everyone else had things like IIT coaching, I wanted something too), the saved chats and everything that imprinted that time used to give me pangsandpangsandpangs as that was one summer that seems picture perfect now as I had been in my element then, full of confidence that was temporary and sudden.

That summer paved way to new beginnings as I threw it all away and switched schools that June. I used to think it would’ve been easier if I hadn’t but I don’t think so anymore. That summer was convenient but there were awkward moments airbrushed from my memory (actual cringe, worthy moments with A ohmygodohmygodcrap and Pr‘s bday).

But All I can remember is the laughing, constantly texting B, K and P, the evenings at the beach, the hints of a crush I hid till I spilled it all to P who actually kept it to herself which I’m eternally thankful for, moments with my family, staying up till 3 chatting with D as I couldn’t sleep how much ever I tried, roaming around CV with P and listening to Imogen Heap (Useless, Speeding Cars) and Panic!AtThe Disco (Lying Is The Next Best Thing..) and falling asleep while reading Fountainhead and waking up to continue where I drifted off, devouring the moist and crumbly chocolate cake and chocolate mousse after French.. They were all unexplainably beautiful and are like shiny, perfect Kodak moments in my head.

Yet, as I finished reading those mails I started reading the chats with S and C right after the Summer of Perfection, my first friends in my new school. Exchanging music, talking about the randomest stuff, actually getting each other’s weirdass references.. moments that had slipped from my mind. Would life have been the same without them?

It’s funny how the pangs have vanished. How D and I are still as close as we were and how maybemaybe it’s even better now as there have been amazing moments after that all scattered which I have overlooked.

It took a random Sunday Morning to get this but I’m happy it did. I feel at home with who I am, where I’m at now. I feel okay being awkward and shy and whatever. No more I Don’t Know Who I Am and I Don’t Belong In This Sucky World Anymore. I think, I hope, I guess.