Month of Madness* Pt 1

*Sacrificing accuracy for alliteration

Since I now appear to have time to breathe, I’m going to (very very) slowly start writing about the past three or four weekends  that’ve comprised probably the busiest (and funnest!) period of my college life.

This has been the most packed weekend I can remember in recent times. It’s an awesome exercise not to do any work, but that sort of thing can be scholastically fatal sometimes (so what am I doing blogging?!)

Friday, 26th March, 9.30 pm

Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya was the one movie I told myself I wouldn’t watch, not in ten million years, not if you paid me, not if Simbu had plastic surgery, never. And of course I ended up watching it, mainly on the strength of N’s raving recommendation.

I think this sort of almost deserves a post by itself, but this movie actually left me feeling rather thoughtful. I thought about what the director wanted to do, I thought about the point of the movie after reading this absolutely amazing review, I thought about what we take out of experiences and what we put into them, and I thought about love in general.

I don’t believe in love at first sight (…how?!) and I don’t understand why Karthik falls in love with Jessie. How are you meant to be assured about love if you don’t know what it is about you that someone loves? But, reading Baradwaj Rangan, I understood the purpose of VTV – love isn’t a clean, neat Bollywood package with an antagonist to be overcome and a marriage to finish things up. Shit happens, in short – you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, you’re not sure you should be doing it, and you don’t know what to do about the things you’re feeling. Aside from the fact that a movie like VTV makes me feel like I should never fall in love, I think part of it might also be how much someone would identify with the movie, something N mentioned later. Is this a meandering plot, with maddeningly mismatched characters? Or is it a real characterization of a complicated tangle of emotions? As Rangan says, this is a new concept for Indian movies. But aesthetically speaking, those who couldn’t identify with the emotions or who are tough customers to draw in (especially people like me, who get attached to characters) might have felt let down.

One thing though – the ending was excellent. Half the point of the movie, from Karthik’s perspective, was that  pain can be transmuted into some other passion – a really meaningful point, and one that I thought rounded off the movie fairly well.

Saturday, 26th March, 10 am

Badmintonnnnnn! I really really wish we’d discovered this two years before, because we really only have a few more weeks before Is leaves for India and A graduates.  My body parts were, thankfully, all free of pain, so I had a lot of fun as G tried to be A’s drop-shot protege and we laughed at Is’s inability to serve while standing still.

I personally would play badminton five days a week if I could.

Saturday, 12 pm

Programming with Z didn’t work out nearly as perfectly as we wanted it to, and “in the middle of conducting a huge event”  is generally not the best programming environment either. “I’ll be right back!” she says, metaphorically tearing off her shirt to reveal the superwoman/MSA.VP togs underneath, and doesn’t reappear for an hour. After she did, we spent some time re-experiencing mega programming frustration. Yeah. Good times.

Saturday, 3 pm

So I’ve never celebrated Holi, ever. Apparently this is a serious issue, and this year I decided I was going to rectify it. It’s the last year where most of my friends are still in school, after all (I try not to think about it but it keeps creeping into conversations and occasions). I was, frankly, terrified – I don’t deal well with crowds or new experiences or people trying to smear things on me. But after we stood around listening to the music, and one of our non-desi friends became the main target or random Holi celebrants, I felt like I was getting into the spirit of things. The fact that A smeared a ton of red powder on my face, and then dumped a very cold cup of water over my head, certainly helped. His justification for this was that it was my first and last Holi with most of my friends around. And then I got my hands on some neon pink powder (some of which is still on my right hand) and got my revenge on several different people, so that was all right. Basically, a lot of fun. I liked walking back with my friends especially, because of all the looks we got 🙂

I'm the red-faced one.

Saturday, 5 pm – Sunday, March 28th, 3 am

In honor of  Y’s birthday, the plan was to go for dinner somewhere, and then head downtown to introduce her to various types of alcohol. After we ‘d finally washed out powder from our hair and various orifices, we had about an hour to coordinate clothing and makeup. Y pointed out that we girls never “do this kind of thing” – where you spend more than an hour getting ready to go out. I don’t know how girls do this multiple weekends, but Y suggested maybe, you know, they weren’t in engineering. It’s also probably the most fun I’ve had being girly in a long, long time.

We defaulted to Olive Garden (free awesome breadsticks!! we’re students, we think of things like this) and had a pretty great time overall: the boys tried to figure out the female crosstalk while we laughed at their inability to understand what we were saying; we contemplated the interesting cocktails (without actually ordering anything); and we had our usual pointless entertaining conversations. Y, being an awesome sport, left the table when it became obvious we had to sign the birthday card. “Do we need more time, guys?” said V wryly, when the card was only halfway around the table after ten minutes. “Do I need to go and keep her company?”

I think the most hilarious point of the evening was when Y finally got back and was just settling in. Olive Garden waiters had already come by and then pushed off again when it was clear the birthday girl wasn’t actually there, but as the door of the kitchen swung open, we heard someone yell “Hey, do we actually have to sing the birthday song?!” The side of the table closest to the kitchen exploded in laughter. Thankfully, Y claimed she heard nothing.

Downtown was, as usual, Interesting. We were all fine at the end of it, but I think it was definitely an education for Y. For me too, come to think of it, although at one point I found myself telling her very seriously that she needed to keep drinking water through the night to make sure she was dehydrated. Because, you know, I’m an expert.

I think we went to something like five different places in the space of two hours. I’d heard of bar hopping but I’d never done it, and I don’t really see the appeal, but it’s a sort of Survey of Downtown Hotspots, really. We spent most of the time specifically going in search of a Flaming Doctor Pepper, which I’d never heard of in my life. I think the girls just wanted to find somewhere to dance and be silly, but we eventually found a place that served it. The preparation is actually pretty impressive – you set a lot of alcohol on fire, and it turns out to be a small drink inside a big drink. When we asked Y what she was doing standing around with it instead of chugging it down, she explained that she was waiting for it to cool down.

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