Originally written on Aug 17, 2012
For my last year of university, I lived at a co-op named WCRI. I actually didn’t know what a co-op was or how it is different from regular off-campus places. I had recently lived there for 4 months as a subletter and decided to take an apartment with one of my friends for the whole year. The apartment was at the best location for all purposes: doing laundry and going to office, university and social events. At that time, what I was most excited about however was not having to move out at the end of exams – which had been the drill for the earlier 2.5 years I had been living in residence. Finally, it was a relief from all that drama.
However, my favourite thing to do was to look at the sunset from the balcony! Every evening, the sun rays rushed into the rooms and made the apartment look like an antique. When I used to get home and look at this view, it would make me feel very happy. I would rush into the balcony and take lots of pictures. To date, I have about 80 pictures of the sunsets at WCRI, each with a different kind of feeling in it. At times I thought it was crazy. And at other times I thought I have countless pictures of this, why do I need to take more? But eventually after a few days or weeks, I would capture the sunset again. Why not? It made me happy!!! I feel that things that make you happy should be captured as much as possible, even more so than the ones which make you feel sad. That way we can remember that it is possible to be happy after every sad event in life.
While living there, I also had four favourite places: the CCK deck, Weaver’s Arms, the deck above Weaver’s and a secret place (:P).
CCK Deck was a famous place for BBQ parties, movie nights, drinking and smoking; it was something I just admired from a distance. It was a space between the 2 buildings with benches, shade, flowers. I don’t remember spending too much time there, other than walking by it when going to class. It was something I loved looking at from far away.
Weaver’s Arms was a closed-down pub and was now a place where social events were held. I spent a lot of time there, particularly for studying. I remember in Winter 2011, I had 5 or 6 assignments due on the last day of classes (which was a Monday) and I spent the entire weekend there (with the exception of sleeping in my apartment). Every moment was precious. I had to wake up, eat and then go to Weaver’s to study. I studied there often, even when people played board games, painted their nails or had any meetings. I was an existing non-existent human being when I was studying there. That is why I had a very emotional attachment to that place. I loved being there alone. It was a huge place; not the best for studying at that time due to lighting, but I found it better than the library which was always full of countless people and a smelly, quiet study area. Although getting access to Weaver’s was a pain in the ass as I had to sign out the key every time I needed to use the place, I took the effort anyway, rather than walking to school and having to walk back home to eat. At Weaver’s, I usually took my food with me, put it in the fridge and heated in the microwave when I needed to, without ever having to disturb my concentration. It was lovely, I did tell everyone that I was going to leave my ghost behind at that place just because I think that place needs my presence! haha! I think that every place needs a human to make it come alive.
The deck above Weaver’s was a place I had rarely seen anyone at. The only people that visited that place were the ones who needed to get into the next building to do their laundry. It wasn’t usually a place where people stopped their lives at. I usually stopped there when I came back from university late at night or when it was raining or snowing. In summer, sometimes I would sit there at night when I was unable to sleep and watch movies with myself, feeling the cool breeze under the sky.
Some of the most memorable memories were countless hours spent in Weaver’s talking with other club mates! There were quite a few clubs at WCRI and I was pretty much part of all of them :D. I participated in Cooking Club the most. A table full of different dishes made by different people? I am in. I love spreads of food, especially if they are homemade. Plus, I love cooking. Unfortunately, however, I didn’t always have time for cooking due to amount of time studies required. I loved being at the club meeting anyways. Often times, we would stay there for 4-5 hours and have (Jeff’s) tea parties on a Sunday afternoon or just hang out talking about random things on (Josephine’s) Friday evening.
Another club I actively participated in was Beauty club. We often painted our nails or tried different types of face masks during this time. It was the only time in my schedule that was specifically set for relaxation. Painting nails = relaxation. I did have nail art buddy in Fall 2011 since we were the only ones who were so passionate about nail painting, but we lost touch as she moved out of WCRI. Over the year, I learned quite a few techniques in nail art. For example, apparently the nail polish dries faster if you dip your hand in cold water. I never tried this! I just wasn’t up to ruining my nails with water after spending an hour painting them. Also, if you put drops of nail polish in water, swirl it around to make a design, dip your fingers in it and the design ends up on your fingers. Me and Cassey were quite unsuccessful at this technique but it was quite fascinating to see nail polish become a thin layer of plastic every time we drop in water. It was amazing! I recommend every person to try it. You will feel like you went back to your childhood days and just became excited because you noticed something was twinkling in the sky. haha! It’s the little joyful moments in life that matter, even if it means being a child again. 🙂 And one of the even more exciting things that I had been waiting to try for years was Nail Stamping!! Thanks to Josephine’s nail stamping kit, I was able to stamp my nails beautifully right in time for my trip to New York. Beautiful and sexy nails were all I needed to be in the city of New York!
One club that often had my presence but not so much my participation was the Games club. At Games club, members gathered to play board games, with the exception of me. I went there to study while everyone played games! This was unfortunate as Saturday was the only day I had to catch up on class or work on endless assignments. As Andy had said, “It wasn’t a Saturday if I didn’t study.” Regardless, I did manage to learn to play some board games during the year. They were addictive and fun. Before I met the board games club people, I had always shyed away from playing board games at any events that had them, particularly because I didn’t know how to play any and there weren’t many people patient enough to teach and to prevent you from feeling like you don’t know anything. Games club, however, had something I call Sarandy n Monjas effect. This effect influenced human beings to learn while smiling, drink lots of lemonade and eat lots of popcorn and Biryani. 😛 That is why people usually stayed there from 12pm-12am (or even past midnight at times) every Saturday. What I have learned from them is to always smile for no reason, be patient, think logically, connect with people and have fun. Thanks, gamers!! 😀
Another group of people who were indirectly part of my life were some members of the Board of Directors of WCRI. They often gathered feedback about changes are being seen by members, whether anything is having any effect, whether people are happy living here etc etc. They were passionate individuals who wanted to make a difference in WCRI’s future. It worried me to see them stress about WCRI every moment of their life. “Is passion for something in life too overwhelming?,” I often wondered. It was definitely difficult not being part of that bunch.
One of the most magical things about WCRI was that random events would suddenly be initiated by members. One of such initiatives was the Christmas Lights Competition initiated by the ICC Chair, Roham. I was definitely excited at the opportunity to decorate my balcony with Christmas Lights! I kept them on until 6 months after Christmas. 😛 They made the apartment look prettier in every single way. Snow and lights could only mean a fairy tale.
Another such magical moment was the discovery of the endless amounts of vegetables in Fall 2011, especially tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes meant only thing to me: it was time to learn how to make homemade pasta sauce. And heck, it was super easy! I can’t believe that all those years I thought that it must be very difficult to crush the tomatoes into such small pieces and make it into a sauce. I had imagined the level of difficulty to be the same as making saag. But it was nowhere near it. And oh, how can I forget the endless amounts of cherry tomatoes enjoyed with Jessica? One word – delicious!
(Added Sept 29, 2013)
And of course, none of this can match the time spent with my friend Jessica! Studying, cooking, eating, having fun, crazy talking, forgetting, forgiving…. Some how we did it all in one year.
To all my old roommates from WCRI – Janice, Angela, Alexis, Maoji and Jessica – I miss you all!! I hope life is going well for everyone.