Posted by: Kaushik | December 22, 2006

Lawndon calling

As the title indicates, this is my first post since I’ve moved to the Lawndon to pursue a masters. Today as I write, it has been three months to the day I boarded 9W 120 watching the brightly lit Bombay skyline stand out and wondering if I was actually going through with this. The Lawndon (nobody says London anymore) in all it’s cliched entirety has been the ‘experience’ of a lifetime. A new city filled with foreigners,  an  staunchly anti- Republican institution never passing up the oppurtunity to make fun of good ol’ Dubya and memories not to be forgotten soon.

Things have changed. From a Saturday or a Sunday drink at Mojos, Legends of Rock( insert local Bangalore pub as felt appropriate), it’s been replaced by a Friday drink at the Beavers Retreat or the Three Tuns. Wednesday dinners at Koshy followed by kulfi at Bowring Tea Stall is a trip I take often down Nostalgia Drive but those joyous times have in turn given rise to grabbing a quick hot chocolate at Wright’s Bar before class. This blog too has seen some changes. I deleted lots of my old posts because I wasn’t happy with some of them and I just wanted a change.

Living in this city has been an experience of getting used to the place, the people, the culture. I live in an area populated primarily by Bangladeshis and Pakistanis. The Ten Bells is a pub which is equivalent to my backyard. It is also the place where Jack the Ripper supposedly picked up his women and the movie ‘From Hell’ was shot. Quite an inviting propsect as you can see! A 5 minute walk from my place is the setting for the novel ‘Brick Lane’ by Monica Ali. Interesting read and definitely an interesting area. I live in a college dorm, a far cry from the good ol’ days in Xavier’s where I had a room the size of a shoe cupboard, a horrible mess facility, no hot water among many other things. But things are different now. My room’s bigger and I have it all to myself. I share a kitchen with 7 other people who I only meet in the kitchen(ok fine, we go out for drinks quite often :P). But my flatmates are a lot friendlier and more sociable compared to some of the other flats in my dorm I’ve been told. In my 3 years in Bombay, my hostel room was open to everyone and it is argued that my hostel mates spent more time in my room than I actually did! But it’s a lot different. I’m finding it hard to get used to the fact that people like to keep to themselves and not wanting people to knock on their doors randomly at 1 a.m. just to muck around for a little bit. But, things are better now. Solitude is well, overrated really but what the hell.

Walking to college is an extremely enjoyable experience. With enough eye candy and interesting sights, the walk to college is something I look forward to. From cutting through BTM traffic jams in an auto last year at the same time to passing by St. Paul’s Cathedral and The Bank of England every day is a sea shift. The Lawndon is a lovely city to walk in and a place steeped in history which makes it all the more enjoyable. Being a grad student as I can see now merits all the bitching and moaning it gets. It’s intense. It’s really a matter of being able to manage your time properly. But the last 3 months have been great. Meeting interesting people, trying as many different types of beer as I can. I must say the Germans really know how to make beer! I’ve told my mother that drinking at the pub is my way to imbibe British culture. I’m doing a great job by the way if anyone asks! But it’s the little things which are making it all worth it yet again. Sunday all-you- can Indian buffets, trips to Wembley to gorge on South Indian food and filter coffee and midnight dashes to Russell Square to meet friends.

I’m trying to stay in touch with most people I know. I’m not doing a great job but I’m redoubling my efforts over again.Being away from home hasn’t really sunk in till now when I’ve had vacations and taking a break from essay writing and noone to talk to for most of the time. I miss my family, friends, Troy and Bangalore above all else. But if this 3 months in the Lawndon have taught me anything, it is unlikely that I will find my calling in the city of Bangalore. But, also new friendships have been formed, some old ones have faded and yet life goes on. But diversions like new movies, new TV shows, undiscovered indie rock bands and cookies every week baked by a flatmate have indeed put the perspective back into life. Late nights till 4 am, junk food and a 100 gb hard disk. It’s the stuff grad school dreams are made of!

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Responses

  1. No comments? No worries…you still have readers 🙂

  2. I miss my family, friends, Troy and Bangalore above all else.
    I don’t even get a mention??!!!


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