I spent an entire day without whats-app and Facebook, not a big deal but its day one of the sixteen days I plan to stay away from all digital forms of communication except emails. E-mail because there is something beautiful about writing to people and receiving their responses. I’m still trying to figure out what is so beautiful about emails and why I’m choosing to stay away from communications.
I’ve planned to spontaneously spend each one of these sixteen days doing something I’ve never done before and I started it with a bang, but I needed my phone for making calls, only calls.
My morning started with a ride to K R Market in Bangalore. An NGO (Green Peace) had organised a cleanup drive of the market streets. I never would have done it. I don’t litter and I make an attempt at stopping people I know from littering. I am environmentally conscious but I don’t go around with NGOs cleaning streets. When Stalin (a friend) invited me, I knew this is something I should do.
I had to skip breakfast to reach the bus stop early because I offered Sowmya a ride. We had a fairly good ride and at a signal I saw a friend walking by and I told Sowmya. Sowmya just screamed her name out. Awkward, but we exchanged pleasantries and spoke about our plans in quick two sentences then bid goodbye. I gave Sowmya a dirty look and we rode away to the market.
Two hours after I reached the clean-up drive, I took a shovel and picked up the garbage on the street I saw half decomposed cow dung (shit), a watermelon slice that had been devoured mid-way till the rot was exposed and hay acting as garnish, a sight that’s stuck in my head like gum from under a college desk. The pungent smell was so strong, even axe would fail at getting it attention. Now, I’m even reconsidering my opinion on the worst smell I’ve ever come across.
I skipped breakfast and during the cleaning I knew I’d skip lunch. But the people I spoke to as I cleaned made me forget the stink or the dirt. The conversations we had about how this should be the start at maintaining a cleaner market left me feeling good about myself for doing something so selfless. This might be my first selfless act and I feel extremely proud of it. Then various heads of the city Municipality showed up and we spoke to them about what the stall owners in the market told us and gave the officials our feedback and suggestion.
The cleaning ended and we went to wash our hands where BBMP (City Municipality) officials provide drinking water and some aerated drinks. All the volunteers who cleaned felt it was very generous of the BBMP and they even let us rest in an office for over half hour. We also went on to take more pictures in the office.
Then I took Sowmya back home and this was when the day started going south. So I was sitting and listening to things I do wrong and how I’m very rude and that I don’t know her. Obviously I don’t know her because we never spent time or hung out or did anything together. We met once and spent half maybe three-fourth an hour talking and then just something. We have met at two or three social events and we have exchanged hardly any messages.
I don’t think she was wrong, a lot of things she said were true but it was all her opinions, where I was a criminal and thus it was one sided. I felt unheard in the conversation and yet I listened, something I never usually do because at that point I’m usually shouting and making my point. I listened to her and waited for her to calm down. We then stopped at a samosa place and started to eat, this is when I made my point of view of things surprisingly calm with a smile. Things calmed down, I dropped her at the bus stop and got home.
I spent over an hour just playing Pokémon ruby, which I started to play from the beginning for the millionth time. That is when my dad calls and tells my driving instructor is waiting outside and that I should get out with the car keys. I was out of excuses and had no window for escape. I have anxiety disorder that scares me like crazy by just sitting in front of the wheel and my parents don’t know about it! I probably screwed up most or all of my exams because of this. The driving was fairly fine and I felt like I’d die or kill someone or do all of it, the whole time I drove the car. The instructor was a fairly polite man, who made sure I drove around or in front of all my ex’s houses. But I’m thankfully to bust freaking to care if any of them were around.
I parked the car in front of my house and my phone started ringing. It was my peeps from Jain College, Punit and Naman who were going to show up in thirty minutes. We planned to eat momos and drink lemon tea and we also ended up eating a baby corn Manchurian not in that order but all of them from three different places. As we munched on good food, we went on talking about college and what we have been doing with life and all sorts of rubbish. Rubbish that teenagers like me enjoy and cherish. Some twenty odd years from now I’d probably sit and think about all these memories and smile like an infant and tell it to my grandkids.
The day went high and low, but now I plan to write back to all those people who sat in front of a screen and wrote to me with love.