December 18, 2010 § 6 Comments
for the first time in the history of happenings to me, what has happened to me is that curious thing, a PG. a Paying Guest accommodation, for those of you who think importance lies in capitalisation.
i have only ever stayed in hostels or in houses. some houses were like hostels, and this was nice. some hostels were like houses and this was not nice. it is a definite not-nice to be accountable to a set of respectably tragic nuns who are always three curfew-violations away from a heart attack.
but PGs are a different breed. they are littler and less rules-ey and more accommodating and more apathetic, and perhaps one flows from the other. my roommate is a young malayali accountant and she is i think one of the most beautiful people i have ever seen. she is thin and dark and has beautiful teeth and waves of shiny black hair and quick, jerky movements that loop endlessly and accomplish nothing. and she has a deep voice, a little hoarse, like velvet rubbed the wrong way, and a great handle on how to use to it to dramatic effect. she has a perfect gesture of dismissal, a sort of flick of the hand, a click of the teeth, a sweeping of hair off one shoulder, and ‘bullsheet’ she says, ‘it izall bullsheet!’, delivered in this delicious malayali accent. and in that accent she tells me why gordon brown is bullsheet, the british exchequer has gontodawgz, and why virginia ‘oolf is not so bullsheet.
another malayali girl lives opposite me. she has a soft, tinkly laughter and a voice like a foghorn. she undulates everywhere with the ponderous grace of an elephant. she carries herself like a goddamn queen. i don’t think she understands a single word i say to her.
the weather is beautiful and i am freezing. my uniform of shorts and cutoffs is not working for me here, so i am grumbly and possessed of an embarrassingly red nose. still, i love my work and i love walking to it. every morning i walk half the length of richmond road, and then some of residency road, and i remember, i used to live here. i can’t tell at all, but i can still tell a little. bangalore changes, but bangaloreans do not. and although i still want to push the occasional bangalorean in front of a bus, these days that sentiment is reserved for those with last name ‘yeddyurappa’.
today my head is throbbing and things look purpler than usual. i need sleep and a good sweater. my work timings have taken away my mealtimes, my sleeptimes and any sense of what day of the week it is, but the sense of organised purpose and unimpeded work is freeing. being pushed to my (admittedly modest) physical limits is freeing. exhaustion is freeing. it is the overwhelming sense of purposelessness that both attracts and frustrates me when i am in college; a strange twilight between inarticulate desire and mysterious impotence, a jelly-like stupor inside my mind and in my life that seduces me with its promise of absolute inaction and eventually leaves me dissatisfied for the exact same reason. happiness appears to lie in work for now, and perhaps my horizons are very narrow, but i will take them gratefully for what they are.
a couple of weeks ago i discovered what sthitapragnya actually translates to, and it makes me happy to have finally found the exact word for what i have spent years looking for.