practiced nonchalance and other almost-oxymorons

I miss you, practiced nonchalance.

You used to feel so good.

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the summer

The summer of ’10 was the kind of summer that makes you conscious and yet unconscious of every moment that passes by. It was the summer before college. The summer after school. The in-between. The months where nothing mattered and yet everything did. From college applications to lazing around and reading and watching movies and spending so much money eating out in the same cheapass place. From Queensland (the amusement park, not the place in Australia) to small and huge reunions and texting and watching TV and doing all of the above at once.

Spending afternoons at Oxford Bookstore reading comics you didn’t plan to buy, meeting people you’d last seen and heard of years ago, and Movie Premieres and unplanned sleepovers you just ended up in without a toothbrush or change of clothes (and you remember the you in seventh standard, the miniature version of you who meticulously packed and overpacked for sleepovers: the bulging bag that contained soap, paste, toothbrush, change of clothes, pyjamas). It was the kind of summer that was easy to take for granted until college came along.

driving

I go for driving class everyday. I’m supposed to get there by 7.30AM but I’m usually there only at eight. I’m a natural at underachievement and showing no enthusiasm at anything whatsoever. I signed up for driving because I thought it would be cool to be able to drive to college (once I am allowed to get my license, that is (November 16th 2010)), but I found the third gear scary and just couldn’t drive in this long stretch without swerving left and right all unneccessarily like a bad game of Juiced (can you see the sparks fly as the car hits the edges of the sidewalk?).

Y feared the world would end and the Chennai population wouldn’t be safe and X was all, “You’re gonna drive? Hahaha.” My hand-eye, leg-eye, leg-hand coordination is just- hahaha. We’ll leave it at that.

Surprisingly, driving classes were okay and the passersby were safe. But I was too scared and wary of the traffic and cars nearby and drove so so slowly.

Today, though, for some reason, I felt this urge to drive. I wasn’t part-dreaming about going home and checking out the first page of the  MetroPlus or whatever I had planned for the afternoon or anything. I was itching to start the engine and hit the accelerator even before the driving instructor got there.

Without the fear and with this strange desire to just drive, and not hoping the next half an hour got over before I knew it, the next half an hour did fly. Bridges, the morning air, the dumpsters, Cute guy in uniform (wasn’t school over? Why did he have school?) running across the road, the gray-blue-ness of the morning sky, the cars honking and autos whistling past the bumpy road… Speed morphed these things into nothing more than flashes which I savoured.

There’s nothing nicer than going for a morning drive.

closure.

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.