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Updated: Feb 21, 2021

"I belong to you" that is how Art of living workshops start. I could not understand the motive really back then. I understand that the movement had realized the crisis of belonging that the world is going through. "Crisis of Belonging" is also the title of 3rd or 4th topic that Charles talks about in his political hope course. I am feeling my belonging to this city.

I have felt belonging to Delhi before this. "The city holds my heart" when I hear that song, Delhi comes to my mind. Is the belonging really towards the city or the people that you are with? What is the identity of the city if not through its people? I am not sure. I am looking outside the opened doors of the R train right now and I read all the familiar stations of N train on a newly installed digital screen. I have seen the number of screens growing over the last 1.5 years. I have felt growth in my belonging toward this city in the meantime.

"You glow the best when you are loved by your people to the fullest", said Shivani today. I am not sure if that is exactly what she said or I am just vaguely rephrasing. Anyway. I am happy since yesterday. I can feel it in my bones. I have not been this free and happy for a sustained amount of time like this one. My expressions show up on my face. There is a drastic decrease in the number of compliments I get on my smile after I have come here. Yesterday and today are different. People told me that I looked nice, four people to be precise. That is a huge number. Shivani M. told me that this nose ring looked nice on my face. Which is not new for me actually. "You carry it so well" I hear that a lot. I mean, it is just...not that heavy to carry you know, literally and metaphorically. It doesn't hurt my masculinity, not that fragile.

"You move your hands so much", Simran had once pointed out. Oh yes, I do. I am not an alpha male. Wait, we are distracting from the topic. Compliments. Shivani, told me multiple times that I looked nice yesterday, did I dress up or something? Well, I wear this shirt all the time. However, my calling for shirts began after Ashu got me one. Decathlon. We used to go to Decathlon a lot. I would get complimented all the time as I started wearing shirts to the office. Vikram complimented me. This is probably the first time ever that I heard a positive thing from him about how I look. I remember how he would mock my hair all the time in the 2016 trip. "Bhara bhara lagg reya bada, smart lagg reya bada" Thank you, I think it is just the lighting. It was, right? I really do not know how to take compliments. The lighting in Samaya's room was really nice.

Sukannyaa complimented me too. She also said that she could not believe that I do not get right-swiped at all on my online dating profiles. I am not lying. Its been forever and ever. It is a cold plain truth that I do not get right-swiped at all. It is fine. I have never been on an official date also, ever. I along with people. I am happy today and I am happy right now. Maybe, it is because of my birthday. Maybe, it is because of the fact that for one of the exceptional times, my belongingness is not external. It is coming from within.

I want to spend my 27th Birthday today with myself. I am planning to meditate in the morning and go to Iscon on Jay street. I also plan to distribute some Bananas to people in need. Later in the day, I look forward to spending my time in MoMA.


14:03, 24 January 2021

I am sitting on the N train. I have shared a lot of emotions with the benches here. Anxiety, laughter, butterflies and sweetness of emotion today. "Flock of O" by Coldplay playing in headphones right now.

Talked to Mumma. Does she talk this nicely to me on all my birthdays? She was very sweet today and last night. I was very sweet to her too. Guess, I'd just video call her from now on. Can't I? No issues with taking off my nose ring and putting it on again. I can clip it on quite smoothly these days. She glows so much when I video call her. So Do I. I cannot believe what glow are people seeing on my face. Chachi and Chacha also commented that I was looking smart. Didi and Anvesha complimented too. Umm, does my emotion matter so much how my face looks? Is it the exercise that I have been doing? or being content at the moment? Smiling.

After talking to people, I did yoga. I had a burst of laughter from the gut in the end. Lied down for a long time after that. Well, 15 minutes felt like a bit long time. I am heading towards ISCON now. I also heard Krishna Das in the morning to fall back to sleep and continued to have a sweetness of emotion. I had some rough weird dreams. There was blood involved. There was violence. I do not remember much. I am glad.

I am quite blank in my head right now. Apart from the fact that I need to read and submit my discussion post by 6pm tomorrow and reflection paper for another class. It is okay, it is well planned and sorted. Monday is the day to work on it. Not today :)

Anjaly wrote a beautiful long email to me in the morning. She told me that it snowed there. I am so glad that she loved it *moist eyes. It is indeed peaceful amidst the chaos. As if it is a nature's call to absorb all that is happening out there to induce calmness in the system. What is rain then? Is rain a sound mechanism to cut the clutter sounds inside out?

Anjaly gifted me a beautiful playlist and knows what I would love. Cherathukal is playing right now. There was a time when this song would give me peace in times of anxiety. Then came the time that I could only relate to the trauma that I was going through. I started getting afraid of the song. Until I saw the movie. This movie made me cry. Not like I do not cry watching movies. I am just so overwhelmed to cry all the time. It is like I am carrying a tear-filled container all the time. But I have balanced it enough that it doesn't fall even if I want it to.

Anjaly makes me feel content. I feel strange if I do not talk to her as well. Yesterday, while walking in -4 degrees (feels like -11 degrees), I was thinking that our relationship is so differently stable and gives me a feeling of content. It is not brittle as my previous close relationships. Of course, there is no romantic angle to it. But the caring part, conversation and vulnerability still exists. I can choose to not talk to her when I am myself not feeling well or occupied and she does not blame me for it. She is such a strong woman. All the credit for not so brittle and fragile relationship goes to her. Strong. We are each other's diaries since last year and months. Except these diaries speak to each other.

Shivani asked me yesterday about three things that I am thankful for in the last year. I said that I am grateful for moving on from one of my girlfriends, I am grateful for confronting another of my girlfriends, and I am grateful for a strong academic relationship with myself. And all of these would not have been possible if Anjaly was not by my side with her safety net. I did not say the last part. However, it came naturally to me in my head.

I am sitting in ISCON right now. The temple arti is going to happen at 16:20. It is almost three right now and I think it is time to head out to MoMA now. Srestha messaged me that she wants to have a heart to heart conversation with me in her morning and my night.

Bowing my head in front of Krishna and Radha at ISCON was very meditating. I was asking for the wellbeing of my mother, my sister, my niece and myself. I asked for happiness for us all. I asked for blessings from the god for all the hard work I and my mother have put in for me to be here today. These thoughts were on repeat in my head for a long time until someone came in from the back door and I got up shockingly. "The temple opens at four twenty", "Would you be here for the pooja", they asked me. I told them that it is my birthday and I was planning to go to Manhattan after this. ISCON and Hinduism believe that everyone has Prabhu inside them. That must be Prabhu giving me their blessings.


16:34, 24th January

The best part of being an Indian and having a birthday in the US is that you can celebrate your birthday for 1.5 days now.

When Anvesha asked Mumma what she is giving me on my birthday, Mumma exclaimed that this education is her gift only. I do not deny that at all. My education is such a beautiful gift from my mother that I cannot match a return gift to this one ever. Oh, I have tears in my eyes now. Uhh, why can't I just cry and take this all out at once? I am overwhelmed all the time.


18:23, 24th January 2020

Magnolia's banana pudding is really good. I judged the pudding before buying it.

"Why would I want it"

*Le I eats a spoon

"why da faq did I not have this before?!"

I also got a Chocolate Cheesecake. This is my gift to self. I kind of started feeling alone at the night. So, I have taken the train to come back home. Only outdoor dining is open. And I am not really a fan of outdoor dining right now. It is not as aesthetic as I would want it to be. Manhattan's outdoor aesthetics are not that great. Although, I could do some effort to go to an outdoor boat or something for a self-treat. Too much effort and money. I have had a beautiful day until now. I would go back home and watch a nice Malayalam movie.

Last year, I went to an Indian restaurant, ate good food and slept early evening. I was jet-lagged. I am not jet-lagged today, although I feel happy sleepy right now as well. Happy Sleepy. Is that a thing with me? Must be. I sleep well when I am happy. And I sleep a lot like I want to escape to a parallel dreamt world.

And I have turned Twenty Seven.


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