Home and Away.

My last post was about the journey back. It’s been a little over eight weeks since then. Of course, not actually being at uni does mean less uni updates, but a couple of things.

• Officially passed first year! I’m not ecstatic, but I did better than I expected and passed the French Oral and aced the written and politics was amazing and history was disappointing, but overall, I seem to have made sense of the system. Which is reassuring.
• Liberal Arts conference in October! Inviting students from other unis to that and working on a roundtable discussion of some sort.
• liberalartsatkcl.tumblr.com is up and running, so if by some stroke of luck we’ve got any of our incoming freshers on tumblr, that should be fun.
• Been doing piecemeal internships which are very much reinforcing the idea of wanting to come back, post-degree, because there’s just so much to do.


But this summer has felt much more like being away, than being home. Maybe it’s been the random travelling or not having enough nothing-to-do time at home or not doing the reading I’d intended to, but consciously and subconsciously, I am very much looking forward to being back. Having dreamt of my new room at Connaught is probably a little much, but uni love exists in extremes.

Can’t wait to be back home.

10AM BST to 12.30PM IST.

That’s 22 hours from one home to the other (arduous waits at immigration and baggage collection included) The journey was uneventful. It was nice to have a whole section of HP films on the first flight and then discover a Ben’s Cookies at DXB.

Handing in my Connaught keys was emotional, but I’ll be back soon.
And arriving to a ballon filled room just had my mind on loop तू चाहे कहीं जाये, तू लौट के आएगी। I will always come back home.

London feels like a parallel universe away. It already feels like I’ve been back home for years or never left at all. It’s almost as if the two lives are so dramatically different that they cannot coexist.
The only proof that my other life even existed is the internet and we have been taught not to trust the internet.
This is going to be an interesting summer.

Well, this is sad. And stressful. And emotional. I’m swinging between really wanting to go home and eat and sleep and relax and write all my backlogged posts and desperately yearning to stay here and wander and explore and discover and be awake for the 4am sunrises.

Well, this is sad. And stressful. And emotional. I’m swinging between really wanting to go home and eat and sleep and relax and write all my backlogged posts and desperately yearning to stay here and wander and explore and discover and be awake for the 4am sunrises.

acciohappiness:

Extremely delayed upload but this was mine and Megha’s (extraordinaryeyes) attempt for the ‘Meet in the Middle’ Art Assignment! Even though she was sick then, Megha came to meet me at the mid point between our two respective dorm/current homes and we then headed to My Old Dutch for some much needed pancakes! 

What a great day that was (: 

Sometime in March.

At Southbank.

Yesterday was the first edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival in London at Southbank Centre.

I left with apprehensions and a caramel frapuccino buzz and came home, close to 12 hours later, with pages and pages of notes, an original 1810 map of India, two small poetry anthologies, a much longer summer reading list and reassurance.

I remember being frustrated in my last year of high school because ‘there’s nothing I know better than Harry Potter.’ I don’t remember if it was on New Year, but I had at some point, resolved to change that. Yesterday, sitting in Dalrymple’s session on The Last Mughal and listening to Priyamvada Gopal argue impassionedly about empire and capitalism, I realised that I was familiar with the ideas and lines of argument. I don’t know anywhere close to as much as I’d like to, but I do know something. In a year of university education, empire has replaced fantasy fiction as ‘my thing’.

Having sessions with Girish Karnad and Mary Beard and so many fantastic writers at once getting together to talk about myth, religion, language and identity was just awesome, in the true sense.

Taking breaks to stroll around Southbank in the glorious sunshine was just as essential to the experience as the discussions. The book market under Waterloo Bridge went perfectly with the feel of the day and I spent an hour there but know I could have spent days. I also had a ‘cactus burrito’ which was an interesting and surprisingly delicious experience. A cone of mint chocolate chip from the ice cream van was the chocolatiest mint I’ve ever had- so drool worthy.

Having professor Khilnani introduce me to William Dalrymple as, “Megha, a student at King’s.” was surreal. I’m increasingly realised that the people I’m enamoured by are academics and intellectuals, rather than being by starstruck by glamour and I’m so glad things have changed in our Bollywood household from 6 years ago.

This is an unstructured, awkwardly written post, but it had to be written.

I spent a day being desi and studenty and booky, by myself, at Southbank. And it was such a good day.

"Undergrad."

I went to a King’s India Institute lecture yesterday thinking that the speaker would be interesting. Or if not, that the content would be educational. If all that I’d experienced last evening had been the lecture, I would have been sorely disappointed. (It was good, but not fantastic. Charisma is important, I learn time and time again, in life and in Dungeons and Dragons)

Instead, I met a group of Masters and PhD students and had a fantastic evening of conversation over dinner (real food, yay). it’s been far too long since I hung out with a group of Indian adults and talked politics and made stupid jokes about things. Being the youngest "Let’s give the undergrad a discount on dinner" and trying to hold my own in arguments and being invited to election analysis night and film screenings and talks and just so easily fitting in with DU alums, giving me advice on poetry and theatre and college involvement and the doctoral crowd, asking about my degree and wanting to help with my politics revision, was all just so warming.

It was a shitty, grey, rainy, stormy London evening, but I felt so warm. Spicy, Indian food and anti-Modi dinnertable conversation. I have missed the company of people around whom Hindi words fall into conversation and I have missed being ‘the kid’.

I will be seeing them tomorrow evening at a talk. Then on Friday at Southbank Centre and then election bar time and then the Tagore film and I feel like I’m learning so much and I’m so glad I’ve stumbled across this lovely group. I’m okay with the nickname “undergrad.”

extraordinaryeyes:

Tonight I went to my first poetry night.  Talking to strangers. Music (Roxanne De Bastion), stand up (David Bailey) and poetry- all sorts of words spoken. I almost read, but chickened out last minute. I made a friend. I got a CD and two lollipops.  I did a thing and I am so glad I did it.

extraordinaryeyes:

Tonight I went to my first poetry night.
Talking to strangers. Music (Roxanne De Bastion), stand up (David Bailey) and poetry- all sorts of words spoken. I almost read, but chickened out last minute. I made a friend. I got a CD and two lollipops.
I did a thing and I am so glad I did it.

"Don’t forget about your boyfriend or girlfriend. It is important."

Politics Professor (Exam Advice during Revision Class) 

"Happy Eater"

"Your first service in England and you’re in Westminster Abbey on Easter Sunday. You’re not doing too badly at all." 

This morning, I accompanied Thomas to the morning Eucharist. I’d never been inside Westminster Abbey before and certainly never put on my ‘Sunday best.’ It may not have been the emotional experience that some churches have been before, but it was certainly a new and exciting one. The Abbey looked oddly familiar, from having watched the wedding and it it definitely one of the most gorgeous and magnificent buildings I’ve ever been inside. It’s also a little eerie to think of all the famous bodies you’re ‘stepping over.’

Mid-way through the service, there was a thundering noise that echoed from the ceilings. And of course, it had to be rain. England is back. 

After the service, we walked through the dreariness to a pub on the Mall and settled down for a Sunday Pub Lunch. (which means I’ve officially crossed three things off my to-do list today!) We looked at our phones and Thomas had received a text that said "Happy Eater!" and gosh, it couldn’t have been more appropriate. 

After lunch, we decided to take the 91 home, because walking in my sort-of heels and the weather probably wasn’t the best idea. We chased the bus down Trafalgar Sqaure and Charing Cross and caught it at the stop, through the puddles and things and it was just one of those happy things.

Also, someone appears to have left an easter egg for Gandhi, which was amusing.

 

The day has been cold on the outside and warm on the inside and it isn’t even half over yet. KASIA’S BIRTHDAY. To be continued, but it should be eventful.