"Oh Captains, My Captains!"

I shamelessly agree that I watch a LOT of movies. And that I cry every time a Danny Archer calls a Maddy Bowen to say 'Wish you were here Maddy..' before he dies or the moment when Marley is put to a permanent sleep with a shaking John beside him, whispering in his ears 'You're a great dog Marley.. you're a great dog!' or whenever Mufasa is thrown off the cliff by his brother Scar, after he whispers 'Long. Live. The King.' on his horrified face or when Forrest Gump meets his son for the first time and asks 'Is he.. Is he smart?' or when Ellie gets fatally ill as Carl gets ready for their 'dream adventure' to the Paradise Falls in the movie Up.

Sniff. I've been moved, repeatedly, by movies and movie scenes and by the fictional characters and personalities that govern the directions they usually go.

So when Robin Williams died a couple of weeks back, I shut the door for my room upstairs, climbed up the chair and silently whispered 'Oh captain, my captain' into the air. Just before I drowned my face into the pillow and slept off, depressed. But that depression was nothing in comparison to the one that Williams must have felt.

Robin Williams has been a big inspiration to me through his movie Dead Poets Society. I think the timing of my watching the movie was perfect. I was 19 years old and in my first year at the university in Vellore. I saw the Dead Poets Society illegally, on the internet, as is the general trend in India. I'm not proud of it now. The film – directed by Peter Weir – depicted a world very similar to mine. It was set in Vermont in 1959 at an elite private boys school named Welton Academy – which reminded me repeatedly of the middle and the high school I attended.

Independence Day, Remembered..

It's that time of the year when I wake up and find the dorm chummy walk into the room with a laddoo in his hand. Before you brace yourself, his geeky face that otherwise has a permanent creepy smile on it, opens up to shout a 'Vande Mataram!' (a senseless 'Inquilab Zindabad!' if he's a communist) on your unsuspecting face. You turn the other way around and try to go back to sleep again. What's the point? You don't get any laddoos now anyway!

Happy Independence Day guys. Yes, today's the day you get those 'Mere des ki dharti sona ugle, ugle heere-moti' feels. Are you done posting your patriotic update on Facebook yet? Go on now, don't let me delay you. Do it and come back to read me.

Independence Day has only one memory for me. Okay, two.
Stew and Silver Linings.


It had rained the previous night, so the grounds were water-logged. I wondered, as we walked into the mess, of what will happen to the parade if the grounds were too wet to do it. Maybe now they'll use the concrete road in front of the auditorium as a replacement. All these thoughts, views and concerns were to evaporate however, as I see the breakfast menu at the mess.

"Stew?" I asked the mess manager, defiantly.
"Yes, stew.. put forward your plate and pass on quickly!"
"I'm not eating that.." I stomped my foot.

I'm Shamelessly Going Places

Last few weeks have been such a whirlwind that I've been all like Whaaa-?! Okay, so I really dunno and I'm also kind of clueless about what to fill you guys in with.. except.. that suddenly one day I decided to pack up my things back in Kolkata, and shove everything to the back of that giant thing they call an aeroplane (and hop in to like 4 of them - connecting flights) to travel halfway around the globe to this place named Tallahassee, in Florida. Unlike back home in India, where a state-capital city is like a big bustling, marginally chaotic city (usually the biggest in the state), the quiet and slow college-town of Tallahassee is the state capital of Florida.

Not Miami, as you'd have perhaps thought. Don't worry, same mistake was made there!

Nothing could've prepared me for that REALLY LONG journey than perhaps the craziness of American college football (which you get only here, so there goes that plan)! It was something like this: Kolkata to Delhi (2:30 hours), transit at Delhi (5 hours - or a little bit more perhaps, because it was that one exceptional time when my plane decided to break the usual rules and reach early), Delhi to London (9:30 hours - yawn), transit at London (4 hours - God save the Queen), London to Miami (9:30 hours - yawn, but interesting American Airlines in-flight entertainment), transit-immigration-and-customs stop at Miami (4 hours), followed lastly by this 1:30 hours' flight from Miami to Tallahassee.

I met some really interesting people on the flight.