Soft breath, in and out

beat of your heart, of the car

all that quiets me

 

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Happiness of the ordinary kind

My friend asked me to write about my most recent happy day and I decided that that would be good fun. What with all the 100 Days of Happiness loving that was going around, writing about it would only make me happier, right?

And the memory of a happy day sprang almost immediately to mind, as well. This particular day wasn’t one of those days where everything goes magically well and you befriend your worst enemy and have the yummiest lunch at a ridiculous price and also find your dream boy just around the corner. Not that any of that would make me happy right now. Pfft, of course not.

This day made me happy because I managed to carve out a little time of happiness for myself, from what was not a very pleasant day.

My beloved Sunday morning had started with a bucket load of icky work about which I was absolutely clueless. I didn’t know how to construct emails that should have been sent the previous day, compile a questionnaire that should have been sent out weeks ago and whatnot.

Sunday afternoon saw me in a hot mess, stuffing my face with all sorts of unhealthy junk food and snivelling like a three year old.

“Oh, lovely college years!”, someone said?

Enough was enough, I thought, deciding that a nice break was what would fix everything in my life. I managed to pull myself out of bed, and got dressed quickly. Usually, I would be proud of myself at this point itself, shattering my warm, sock clad, lazy happiness, on a vile cold winter day, in favour of productivity! But this dressing up had an agenda. You see, I was off to one of my favourite places, the bookstore. All my farfetched dreams of meeting THE man? Nine times out of ten, they take place in a book store. So of course, I had to put in a little more effort and dig out my prettier clothes, and use some extra kajal and mist myself in my better perfume. On the way out, I also coerced a friend of mine to join me. A friend who I’d been wanting to spend some time with, and who I knew would make for a lovelier evening.

I already knew that Sunday evening was going to be very different from my Sunday afternoon.

The happy mood induced by our impulsiveness quickly subsided when we realised that neither of us knew the way to the bookstore. And to use technology to find the way to the bookstore just seemed to ruin the magic of going to one. Thankfully, the practical side of out nineteen year old selves took charge here and the phone was duly questioned and our destination was quickly arrived at.

This visit to the bookstore had a purpose other than just cheering the both of us up. My Mum had asked me to purchase a collection of books that I deemed suitable for the young children at her school.

It might be slightly obvious to point out now that books make me happy. They always have. Big collections of books excite me like nothing and no one else can. And I know a lot of other people out there feel the same way. The friend I was with, for example.  This was evident to me from the way she heaved a huge sigh of relief, just as I did, the moment we walked in to the bookstore.

Since we had a job at hand however, we hurried past all the enticing piles of books just lying around and headed straight for the kids section. Though we didn’t particularly want to spend too much time looking for books for someone else, we couldn’t help but fangirl for a considerable amount of time at the Roald Dahl section, earning us irritated glances from the handful of little readers around.

Our mission accomplished, we happily giggled our way back to the adults section. There, to my joy, I managed to find some interesting new reads, a few books I’ve been wanting to read for a while, and a book I knew I should read. It was then that life intervened and that I realised that I unfortunately had enough money just for one book. Needless to say, this threatened to ruin my carefully constructed happiness as I do rank indecisiveness as one of my top talents. The presence of my friend however, and her marvellous ability to soothe frayed nerves, worked wonders and I managed to reach a decision relatively quickly and without any major mishap. I walked out of the bookstore clutching a book I’ve had my eye on for a long while. There’s something special and incredibly delightful about finally buying a book you’ve been wanting to for a long while.

We then walked around Kemps Corner, which is amongst the prettier parts of town, singing songs from The Sound of Music at the top of our voices. You know sometimes when you’re having a good day but you’re constantly worrying about how something is going to swoop down and ruin it? This day though? It was the opposite! Just as we were starting to feel hungry and cold, and our throats were beginning to get sore from all the singing, we discovered a little Theobrama’s, comfortably nestled away from the main street, warm and empty, just waiting for us to walk in. They were unabashedly out of stock of much of their star food, but we settled for some hot coffee and a slice of red velvet cake. Now, I had an account to settle with red velvet cake. I’ve always been wary of its suspicious colour and the reason behind it. Is it strawberry flavoured? Or is it just colouring? Why does everyone think it’s so magical? The cake and coffee soon arrived, and I relented the slightest bit towards red velvet. The mystery though, is far from solved.

As the clock inched closer to seven hostel beckoned us and we began our mad dash back home. There’s something ridiculously amusing about running down a street in full abandon. It’s something I know far too well.

The day ended with me realising that while running back, I had managed to shed my favourite scarf somewhere along the way. This sea blue and bright pink scarf with butterflies all over happened to be one of my favourites and I was quite dismayed. Hostel being hostel, locks up at eight so I couldn’t even go out, retrace my steps and look for it.

Trust hostel for an abrupt ending to your happy day.

Still. We had our McDonalds dinners to make the end a little easier. Fries are so much better than red velvet cake.

P.S. Thanks for the wonderful company, Krupa! ūüôā

Instalovin’

New Year’s break found me more or less holed up at home, ¬†sprawled out on a sunny sofa with a book or two and multiple containers of food lying around me.¬† Many of these vegetating sessions were spent ruminating over various topics, from life stories to ranking favourite chocolate bars to future plans to sartorial decisions. It’s pretty safe to say that much was pondered upon. And in between all the random puzzles that my brain deemed interesting enough to decode, something important I realised was that Instagram has got to be not just the social network that I use the most, but also that my love for it was scarily intense.

Most mornings, the first thing I do, still cosily curled up, is to open Instagram, sighing if there aren’t any notifications, and then proceeding to go through all the photographs that have been uploaded since the previous night, right before I fell asleep. Might be slightly needless to point out here that the last thing I almost always do before I fall asleep is to check Instagram.

Through out the day, I check Instagram, whenever I get a moment to myself. Bored in class (perpetual state of existence)? Instagram! Social obligations getting too tiring in the canteen? Instagram! Finally an empty seat on the trains? Instagram! Waiting at a queue in a shop? Instagram! Going up the long flight of stairs to my hostel room? Instagram!

It’s not just the incessant checking of Instagram, it’s also that I’ve started to see the world around me in terms of what would make for a pretty picture in Mayfair or in Low Fi. Both great favourites, by the way.And if I haven’t Instagrammed some interesting sight I chanced upon, or a picture of one of my friends in a particularly appealing moment, I start to see potential Instagram pictures in cups of coffee, cats sunning themselves on pavements, note book doodles, and any other random every day object that falls into my path.

¬†So far I’ve contorted myself to fit into ledges and shelves, chosen seats on the train just for the light, googled pictures of favourite fictional characters, stalked people for candids,¬† and done much stranger things. For I MUST have an Instagram that’s quirky and interesting and screams out, “I’M A FUN, COOL PERSON, I REALLY AM.”

But it’s not just about uploading pictures. The photographs I take are usually of the happy kind, serving as some sort of memoir of joy, or a token of appreciation and uploading them on Instagram¬† and being able to share these photographs and sentiments with my friends and family does make me happy. And if I can make a pretty picture prettier, why not?

Instagram also shows me pictures taken by people around the world. It shows me how they live and what they value and what they deem interesting. This broadens my perspective on what can fall under the category of beautiful, and makes me realise how flimsy that concept is really. And it isn’t just breath taking sceneries, it’s also art and ideas from all corners of the world. That’s something that fascinates me to no end.

I suppose nothing about Instagram would be complete without a mention, if not rant, about selfies and food pictures. All the unnecessarily judgemental people out there make me grateful that I have very few of either. Not that I see anything wrong in them. My lack of selfies and food pictures stem from the fact that I’m almost always too broke to be eating beautiful food (and even if I weren’t, the glutton in me wouldn’t wait long enough to compose a decent photograph), and that I simply do not know how to take a selfie. What face do you make? What if your front camera is unbelievably crappy? What if someone sees you? God knows that privacy is a rare, rare commodity in hostel. And worth far too much to spend it on 243 selfies out of which I’d be lucky to find ONE decent one.

Coming back to Instagram, (digressing from original point is much fun-ner on Instagram), my addiction, if it can be termed that, is probably laughable and ever so slightly pathetic. But I couldn’t care less. I’ve always been somewhat of a visual person, drinking in beautiful and interesting sights ever since I was a little child. I’m quite sure lots of other people are. Instagram engulfs us with photographs that make us happy, sad, think, laugh and even inspired. And if in uploading a photograph I have taken, I could do that for another person, I think it’s kind of cool.