Thank you to everyone who made this day memorable! I had a wonderful day despite the controls exam and despite my vow not to celebrate this year. I am still mourning the loss of a brilliant man and had decided to abstain from merrymaking until Christmas.
New clothes from my family. My mother has sent a beautiful frock (which I dare not wear unless I am in virtuous company due to the dangerous fact that it slips off my shoulders). I also got a brilliant forest-green frock (chosen by my mother and endorsed by my brother and father) which I wore today. Have a pocketful of compliments too! It made my day. I love forest-green. Also, they have sent me coconut-milk powder, which constitutes the core of my culinary adventures these days. And chocolates! Five Stars (the best part of my childhood) and rich, bitter chocolate (which woos me to its boudoir every time it is around).
DP gave me a ticket to Itzhak Perlman’s concert scheduled in April next year. I look forward to attending that. It is going to be the experience of a lifetime!
Sibelius took me out on Friday night for the Firebird concert at Atlanta Symphony. Mozart, Stravinsky and Pintscher’s Osiris all made it memorable. The violin solo was beautiful. My concert partner also treated me to excellent food and wine, made all the more appetising due to the company I was in.
Made it to church too this morning.
I also have an important reunion. Something I have been looking forward to for quite some time now! It deserves a post all of its own. So I will save the story for later.
A group of friends from college surprised me at the stroke of midnight when I was sitting down to my Controls preparation. It was nice. Our China Girl‘s room-mate was there and thank God for that. She was a bright beacon of decorum in that group. Harish, as ever, was obsessed with what made women tick. I had the chance to finally meet someone everyone here talks about all the time. A very pleasant gentleman. Kautilya was in a good mood. Tushar was Tushar, though sans the Georgia Tech wardrobe he usually favours. There were coffee-flavoured chocolates, thanks to Kautilya. I loved them. I hope I have the restraint required to leave some for G when she gets back from her travels. The cake-smearing still baffles me as badly as it used to in my undergrad days!
Mike, whose flat is still in the pre-historic era, and his sister, who is organised to the point of giving a grad student headache, have given me a lovely present. I am not one for jewelry in general, but I truly cherish the gift. Amethysts seem to be the theme of my life.
My previous Nano partner, who celebrated his marriage to his long-time partner recently, has also sent a lovely gift which will keep me warm. It was a surprise, but it is a surprise I am very glad to be on the receiving end of.
Had excellent Kimchi thanks to my Korean friend. She said she wanted to take me out for a proper dinner, but then relented and made me the only dish I eat merrily without prompting and coaxing. Enjoyed the eve with tiramisu, a friend and fine wine. My parents felt I was so out of it that both of them warily told me not to fall asleep during the exam after the indulgence.
Ex-project mate has also sent something very useful, though the joy was marred by her very harsh email about my silliness and procrastination. I am sure she will be the death of me before she will be the death of her husband. We are both her poor, poor victims.
Also, thank you to everyone who gave me gift cards for Amazon. My library certainly could use some additions!
Thank you to everyone who phoned me this week. And to everyone who emailed me. Uprooted as I am from the places I have lived most of my life in, I felt very cherished when I read your emails and spoke to you via Skype or phone.
Hyacinth, of course. Thank you. My mother reminded me earlier this week how important you are in my life and how that importance will not fade. I hadn’t needed to be reminded. Every correspondence of ours, every conversation we have and everything we embarked on together are reminders all.
He whose moon is still made of cheese also sent a touching, pensive email that evoked nostalgia of our younger days.
And thank you to everyone who wished me, via cards, in person or on social networking sites. I am sure that the notification process of those sites had something to do with why you remembered, but that is fine. I am often guilty of the same.
Gratitude owed to those who have had a part in how I made it through grief, loss and helplessness this year as I was buffeted by fate and misfortune. Thank you for that.
Most importantly, I need to thank an artist who had once made each day a celebration for me. My work will always have shades of him. My life will always have memories of him entwined. We enjoyed an excellent working relationship and a beautiful friendship. Bless him. Without him, this year could certainly have been much worse than it turned out to be. It is easy to love me when I am at my best. I am exceptionally independent and resourceful then. In fact, I have heard many say it is hard not to love me when I am in that phase. But it is very, very difficult to reconcile that person with the broken shell I can be at times. That shell is not very lovable. This artist loved me even then. He taught me that love and friendship shouldn’t be tainted by seasons or selfishness. To him, an argument didn’t mean that a relationship should be broken, buried and forgotten.
So this year held for me three men who taught me the same lesson in three different ways. Babylon taught me how life shouldn’t be. The coder taught me how life is. The artist taught me how life should be. In their own way, one cruel, one practical and one compassionate, each of them peeled off the solid foundation of the world I had made for myself and brought me face to face with my greatest fears, fears that I hadn’t acknowledged even to myself. I am yet to reach an equilibrium point, yet to recover from the tumult they sowed in my life, yet to come to terms with my weaknesses and yet to come to terms with the losses I have suffered this year. But I will. Meanwhile, life goes on, with a willowy hyacinth as the compass.
In other news, I am older today than I was yesterday. This is certainly a cause for worry, though my mother assures my vain self that I take after my father and neither time nor oxidants shall touch me until I reach fifty. Fifty, according to her, will age me badly and make me a rotund, bald crone. A female Chinese Buddha I shall be then, and good Feng Shui to those who keep me. I am gleeful at the prospect of scaring little children then and very much looking forward to the time when everyone will stop commenting rudely about hair that cannot stand to be combed.
Last year, for my birthday, the artist gave me verses based on one of my scribbles. It was one of the reasons why I loved him so, I think. I write for everyone I care about. Rarely anyone writes to me, or about me. I like it when they do. I like poetry written to me as much as I like writing poetry for those I love. I like being on the receiving end of words and art spun of love as I much as I like to gift my words to those I love. As a person, I am capable of going to great lengths to protect, cherish and stay faithful to those I love. In return, I expect the same. The artist knew that. He gave me that. Unless you have known what it means to be on the receiving end of such affection, you will find it hard to understand, regardless of how insightful you might be.
Prometheus, Prometheus, dare I bind thee?
To keep thee safe, and enshrined in me,
In the holiness of my heart’s affections.
Well, onwards I fly, to craft new songs under a new sun.