I had come back home for the semester break, and my parents and I traveled to Muscat for the New Year. I remember I had just finished reading William Dalrymple's Nine Lives and my last blog post for 2010 was a review on the same. My new year resolution was to stop eating chocolates and ice cream (what was I even thinking!), and I determinedly refused the ice cream cake that we bought to celebrate my uncle's wedding anniversary, which was just a few days after New Year. A week later, I returned to Singapore, and fell into the routine of yet another rigorous semester.
My nineteenth birthday coincided with the Chinese New Year, so I was lucky enough to get a holiday- went shopping and had dinner out with a few friends. I don't seem to recollect anything else, apart from updating my resume and sending applications for my summer internship. Oh yes, I had a tough midterm and was pleased to find out that I hadn't done too badly as I thought.
This was one hectic month. I attended my first ever corporate interview in Singapore. I remember being extremely nervous and slightly overwhelmed. A few days later, I received an email stating that my summer internship had been confirmed. I was over the moon! In late March, my guru, Ammachi, had arrived in Singapore, and I went for darshan. As usual, it was a deeply moving experience and I felt blessed to simply be there at that time. Loads of projects and deadlines; I spent hours on group meetings, every Tuesday for an audit project and every Sunday for a tax project.
The month of exams. Nothing else to write about.
The exams were finally done, and I got a two week holiday. I came back home for a week, and we went shopping (as usual!). My cousin was getting married, and I was determined to get a sari for the occasion. After hours spent at the shop, contemplating which was the best of the lot, we finally zeroed in (to Appa's great relief) on a grey sari with a deep red border and another sparkly pink one. A week later, we traveled to India for the wedding. I met all my cousins together after years, and needless to say, we had a great time. I read Subroto Bagchi's Go, Kiss the World in a record three days' time. Before I knew it, the two weeks came to a close, and I had to return to Lah Lah Land for my internship.
The month sped really quickly, considering the fact that I kept myself incredibly busy, thanks to the internship. In fact, I don't think I really missed home during this phase. Most weekdays, I would be at the office in Shenton Way, or would be assigned to a client's office. I was allotted to one audit client for the entire duration of my internship, and juggled between Shenton Way and Hillview for most of the time. I got to meet a lot of people, and made new friends. I will always cherish the lunches I shared with my fellow interns at Lau Pa Sat, the busy food court in the middle of Singapore's major business hub, or at the ever bustling Amoy Street. Towards the end of June, we had an office picnic at Sentosa Island- I spent the entire afternoon with my intern friends, soaking in the sunshine and the warm waters of the beach; another beautiful experience that I continue to cherish. On weekends, I visited my cousin and began attending Sunday morning prayers. (satsang)
I began to make earnest visits to the NUS Library. Prior to the internship, my visits there had been sporadic, given that I always brought back a few of my own books from home, and didn't quite have the time to read during the semester. I began reading regularly again, during the bus trips, to and from office, and also after I came back from a busy day at work. I devoured quite a few books, but I liked Christina Lamb's The Sewing Circles of Herat and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Purple Hibiscus the best. I also read Simone Lazaroo's The Travel Writer- through this book I came to learn more about the Eurasian community in Singapore and Malaysia and found it quite interesting...Before I knew it, my ten week long internship came to an end. I had learnt a lot during these few weeks, and was feeling almost wistful on the last day.
Appa and Amma came to Singapore for a week, just before the new semester began. I spent more time with my two year old niece and we all had a whale of a time. My parents helped me change hostels, and I was a wee bit homesick after they left. And that was the start of my third year at NUS. I had six modules to deal with- five core modules, and a sixth writing module, as well as CCA commitments.
September and October
Busy months. ALL my modules were demanding, to say the least. Whilst the accounting modules were indeed tough, they all had group projects and it was through these projects that I got to make a lot of new friends. I thoroughly enjoyed my writing module- it dealt with Slang in Society and I came to discover many aspects of Singlish slang. One of the module requirements involved choosing a Singlish slang term, and writing a paper on its etymology, usage and how it has come to fit as slang. I remember coming across a lot of terms for the first time- terms such as Ya ya papaya (which refers to a pompous person; a show off), blur sotong (which is used for a person who is often lost) and shiok (which is a term used to denote a state of pleasure). I also began blogging and reading other blogs on a more regular basis.
Nothing more to talk about, apart from the fact that I got my first paper published! :)
End of semester and now, I'm back home! I started reading William Dalrymple again, first with The Age of Kali and right now, From the Holy Mountain. Currently, I'm also busy indulging in a lot of yummy food that only Amma can make, and watching Malayalam movies on TV after a long time. I began another audit internship the day before yesterday, this time in Dubai, and I'm looking forward to learning more in the New Year, before I go back to college in the end of January.
As I reflect on the past year, I realize that I have met a lot of people. Some were very nice and friendly, a few were unreasonably rude- I have learnt to take it all in my stride. I am comforted by the thought that I did my best in everything that I undertook, and that's what matters at the end of the day.
Thank you, Lord, for all Your infinite mercies. May Your Grace take us through 2012 and the rest of the years to come by. Happy New Year! :)