Thursday, September 08, 2005

Festival Follies or What I Do When At Home

Well, I'm home for Vinayaka Chaturthi. I'm hardly what you would call the religious type, but I'm all for celebrating festivals like this. For one, they afford opportunities for going absolutely overboard on the culinary front. For two, well, I guess there isn't anything else. Just the food. But if you're the sentimental type, I suppose you would like the festive air that pervades all of Bangalore around this time. Apparently, this particular festival is big in Kanduland. One of the things that make Bangalore so charming, I suppose, is the propensity of people to just go out and have a good time. No inhibitions, just total masti.
Man, I love this song. Dire Straits. Private Investigations. Unfathomably profound. Corny, I know, but that's the phrase that popped into my mind.
Right, back to Vinayaka Chaturthi (VC for short). My mom was, as usual, up since 5 AM preparing the culinary extravaganza that is mandatory on these festival days. I, having slept at the ungodly hour of 3 AM the previous night (?), woke up bleary eyed at 11 AM only to find four of my cousins, all clad in their festive finest, standing around my bed staring at me. Not exactly a pleasant sight to wake up to, I must say; nothing compared to waking up on the hostel terrace to birds making weird noises and a view of people crapping on the banks of the Lapis lake. After enduring a thousand (or so it seemed) wisecracks about how indisciplined how I was, I finally got down to breakfast. I must mention, these cousins are nothing like me; having been brought up by an iron hand, they are quite the epitomes of discipline, actually bathing before 10 in the morning, even on weekends. It took me three helpings of the traditional pongal and four even more traditional kadabus before I could fully assimilate the taste and the texture of the food and finally pronounce my judgement, which, as usual, was ignored. However, my exploits at the table failed to go unnoticed. As a result, after breakfast came another session wherein I was taunted for coming home from college only to eat. I maintained, as I'm sure becomes me, a dignified silence throughout. Properly chastened, however, I resolved to fast until the next meal.
After a delicious lunch, the memory of which still sends me into raptures, we settled down to watch a movie. Let me dispel a notion which might have crept into the minds of most of you: I do NOT come home only to eat, though it is always in the top 3 of my things-to-do-at-home list. I catch up on movies, since in Trichy the Hollywood presence is limited mainly to movies such as Night of the Vampire Queens and Pleasure Island. I also spend a lot of quality time bonding with my PC, listening to music, reading Calvin & Hobbes and out-plotting nasty Nazis. I also spend a lot of time on Wikipedia; one article leads to another and before you know it, it's 3 in the morning. Ah, what would I do without broadband? And of course, loaf around 4th Block, contemplating the mysteries of the universe (which appear to me to take the form of denim clad pretty young things that seem to abound in this particular nook of the universe) over grilled sandwiches and filter coffee. Finally, discuss philosophy and sports and what-not with my father, Harry Potter with my sister and continually reassure my mother that I maintain high standards of hygiene and cleanliness in the hostel. So you see, I manage to pack in quite a bit in my limited time at home (ladies, take particular note of the above passage, for it brings out my multifaceted personality; I also play cricket, basketball and badminton, though not much at home).
One of the questions that I keep getting asked by friends and family is whether I get homesick [I sound like a bloody celebrity, don't I; one of the questions I keep getting asked]. It is a difficult thing to explain to non-hostelers, but being at college and being at home are two very different things, not comparable. In the hostel, you're living with your friends; with like-minded people. It is an amazing experience, a huge amount of fun. You're never homesick, unless the conditions in the hostel are really bad, which they aren't in NITT. At the same time, this is precisely what makes being at home special. I spend the first couple of days just soaking up the feeling of being home, taking in (and I don't mean just food) all the little things that make home what it is. At the risk of sounding too academic, both experiences, merely by coexisting, enhance each other.
Well, it's nearly 2 AM and I have an appointment to keep with Galahad & Co. at Blandings Castle, Shropshire. I mustn't keep them waiting.
P.S: As mentioned earlier in a previous post, I suck at conclusions.
P.P.S: And the title can do with improvement, too. Any suggestions?