Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Coma.. and the wife.

Short Story: (a meaningless one )
“An angel must’ve saved you!” joked his sister, as she bought light coffee for her brother who had just awoken from coma.
“No… It wasn’t an angel, it was my wife.”
“Wife? We were here all night Mithun, and your wife did not come here last night. She went home 6 months ago, and she said she won’t come back. Maybe it was her dreams that woke you up, but not the real girl”, said his mother.
“NO.. I know the difference between a dream and reality. She was here, right here. I don’t know how she woke me from my coma, that you must ask her” said Mithun, completely convinced that she had come the night before.
“Alka is in Pune, not in Kashmir; and even if she were in Kashmir, she wouldn’t come back. No. It was your fault that she left, and I doubt she would ever forgive you”
Mithun sighed. How would he ever convince them that if she hadn’t called his name in her own sweet voice, he wouldn’t have woken up? How would he explain the touch of her hand on his forehead, how would he explain the words she had said to him, wearing the purple saree that was his favourite?
He decided to let it be. Sooner than later, they’d know.

 And now that he had drunk a spoon of the light coffee and had orders from the doctor to sleep, he recollected the night’s happenings:
“Mithun. Wake up. I thought you lied to me, or worse, cheated me. I thought you found someone else. I thought you had forgotten home. I thought you were everything I should detest and hate, and I left for good. And what did you do? You didn’t lie, or cheat. You didn’t find anyone else. You definitely didn’t forget your home, and you were the last person I would hate if I knew. But you didn’t tell. Why? You didn’t inform, not one letter. For 6 months. What should we think? Nobody stopped me when I left home, for they longer knew why they had to stop me.” She placed her hand on his forehead, and it was soaking with sweat.
His head was throbbing, he wanted to answer her, but it seemed that he was sleeping and she was talking to him when he was asleep. Why would she disturb his sound sleep? She knew he was injured, and he needed rest.
She continued.. “Do you remember the lunches you promised to take me on? The dinner we were supposed to have in the lightless restaurant in Swiss? Do you remember that we had to visit the Wat Poh, to pray for a happy life? The long vacation to Tahiti?”
OH! He had forgotten. He had forgotten his dreams, his wishes.. He listened.
“What about your friends who are waiting to meet you? What about your sister? What about your parents, and what about me? Don’t you want to get up and talk?”
He didn’t remember this either. That his friends were waiting for him, and that his family missed him. He thought to himself as to why he didn’t remember. But there she was, his beloved wife, reminding him of all the wonderful things he seemed to not remember about.
“Do you remember the midnight coffees and the long drives, and the beach trips and the group hangouts? No, I’m sure you don’t remember. But most of all, do you remember that you promised to spend a lifetime with me, not just 1 year and 6 months? No, I don’t think you do.”
He was angry. At himself. Because he couldn’t remember talking to his wife in a long time, and now though his sleep was so deep and comforting, he needed to wake up that moment and reply—
“Yes. Yes I remember”
His voice sounded rough, even to himself, and his vision seemed blurred.
“Actually no, I don’t remember. I didn’t remember. If not for you, I would have never remembered” he smiled.
His lips cracked, and it started bleeding.
His lovely wife, draped in his favourite purple saree, couldn’t believe her eyes it seemed. She was too overwhelmed to speak, she had suddenly lost her words, and had tears flowing down her cheeks.
“Alka? Alka!”
“Thank God!” she screamed, with the rare display of intense emotions she always felt, kissed him on the forehead.
“Take care, I’ll be back”, she said, and left.
“Why are you leaving?”
She didn’t answer. She simply left, and he couldn’t do anything, not even speak a little louder. He felt weak.


She came the next night, and the third. And she left, every day, after spending those two precious, joyful hours with him. He was too weak to stop her, and she was too stubborn to tell him why she did this.
So he contented himself with the two hour daily visit, and promised himself that he wouldn’t let her go once he became stronger.
He had promised her not to mention of her daily visits to his parents, though he didn’t know why she was hiding from his parents.
It was five days since, and they were talking about travel. Whether a vagabond life would be good, or whether it would be better to call some place home. She said she would love a bit of both, being a sort of a vagabond and yet having a place to call home.
“Imagine living in the deserts of Rajasthan for a month. It would strengthen our souls, and make us appreciate life in Kashmir so much more. We don’t have to suffer the wrath of the hot sun like in the desert, we don’t have to search for water like people there, nor do we have to cover every inch of our skin from the fear of having sun burns. And yet they live, the locals, with just as much happiness, if not more, than us Kashmir locals, who have been truly blessed by God”
“Yes” he agreed. He imagined himself in a turban and dhoti, and his wife wearing bangles right up to her arms just like the Rajasthani women. He smiled, that would be lovely.
The clock turned four, and she got up to leave.
“STOP!” he screamed, as much as his voice would allow his injured self to.
Alka continued to walk, she was almost at the door.
“Stop”, he whispered. She controlled the tears that had welled up in her big, sad eyes, and opened the door.
“Alka. Alka! ” her father in law froze.
Her father in law had just arrived at the door of his son’s hospital ward, and he made so sign of allowing Alka to go. She didn’t know what to do, she couldn’t go now, it was too late.
“So it is true.”
She stood without saying a word, without knowing what he would say to her.
He said nothing either, and silence followed.
She recollected her words of the last day at Mithun’s place:
“I have waited more than any of you for his letters, and it has been a long while since we heard from him. You had convinced me that he would come back, that you knew your son well, he loves his family and me, yes I also believed so. But it has been way too long, 6 years is a long time, and I believe your son has no intention of coming back, and he’s very well not dead, because if he was, we would’ve been informed. He hasn’t replied to any of the mails, and no correspondence from his colleagues either. Does this mean anything to all of you? Every minute here reminds me of him, and his betrayal, and I can stand it no more, which is why I must leave this place, the blessed land of Kashmir, and try to find peace. I know none of you will stop me, which makes it all the more worse. Know that I will remember my family, I can never forget you all, but to find peace, I must walk away.”
And she had left.
She had imagined the worst, and fled. She didn’t have anything to prove her wrong. His family also didn’t know what to think, they only prayed for his welfare, and wished he would return home some day. They didn’t know if they should stop Alka from leaving, but they hadn’t stopped her, because it was killing her more than them in that house, the house that had become hers because of him.


And that day, when she found him, fate decided to intervene.
She was forced to get admitted to a hospital for a day for wart removal, and she had come to the one in Kashmir because this was one hospital she knew. This was the closest she had come to home (rather Mithun’s home) in the past 6 months, and it pained her just the same. And when she was getting discharged, there was this register at the desk, and only one name caught her eye. Her heart skipped a beat, and with nothing but a ray of hope had she gone up to his ward, only to find his sister next to him. She had decided to come back the next day, and she came. And spoke, and woke him out of his dream.


Mithun’s family were proud to know that their son took a bullet and was in coma for 6 years, and he hadn’t betrayed them the way they had assumed, but it only caused them more grief that the doctor said he would be that way for life. They didn’t want to put Alka through this misery and hadn’t informed her about it, and yet, here Mithun awoke, and claimed that she had come.
His father wanted to find her, tell her that all was forgiven and she can come back home, but it took him a while to figure out when she came to the hospital, because they were there round the clock. After Mithun’s sister confessed to sleeping from 2 to 4 – it was impossible to stay up whole night—he figured it might be true, and came to find out.
And there she stood, his daughter in law, just like his son had said. It was true.
“I’m sorry”, they both blurted together, father and daughter in law, and then at that moment, she knew she’d found her home again.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Speech about silence!

This was a post written long, long ago; when I had just finished reading "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a world that cannot stop talking"

Susan Cain is her name.
Quiet is her book's name.
And whatte book it is.


Well, a name is an identity mapping, and it plays a prominent role in how you look at people (this happens at a subconscious level, so many of your reactions might have been plain surprise, and some of you who have consciously changed this subconscious pattern can laud yourselves- for you are the people regarded as open by nature (most of the times).

And the reason Quiet is the quite at the main focus of my mind is that homo sapiens inhabit this world, and as humans, each one of you has been labelled an extrovert or an introvert at some point in our lives,and each of you, dear readers, can imagine how you felt the first time someone said to your introverted college self, "Speak up, dear boy. You need to speak to get noticed", or someone commenting to the extroverted teen you were a decade ago, "Speaking up is a great habit, keep it up!"

Introversion and Extroversion are both good in their own ways, and one thing I read in the book, I agree strongly- there is NO rule that Introverts hate public speaking, they might just get tired of it soon-not scared. And there is really no saying that all extroverts are good thinkers, so all the extroverts out there, time for a reality check. You all undoubtedly respond with oozing confidence, but how often are you accurate, how often are your ideas well thought and worthy?

I leave you with this thought: all you introverts, think of the times you've been labelled less creative, just because you didn't speak up. And all you extroverts, vice versa- all your imbecile ideas, acknowledged only because they were spoken.
None the worse, none the better. Starting today, give a little more credit (and respect if you already don't) to all those amazing contributions by the introverts to the world, and a little more thought to all the things extroverts really say. And oh, I am both an introvert and an extrovert to different degrees, an ambivert, aye. (And in the book, for the first time- in my life- I find the usage of the word ambivert, and am totally delighted by it!)

Insanity.. and my cousin.

NOTE: This is not an article written by me.This is a conversation I had with my cousin last night, and I don't guarantee you laughs or anything worthwhile, though both of us were in splits the whole time we were texting.


SR: What? Are you crazy or drunk?
(Well, this was, as you guessed, NOT the first thing she said to me. This was well after we'd spoken a few things which I cannot disclose here, and to my consistently crazy (or as per her, drunk) responses, this was what she said.)

(OK, I got permission to add this : The above response was in response to this statement of mine: Now that you both are putting the same dps and all, when are you going to get him to meet the family? :D  And no no, we can't backtrack beyond this, sorry :D)

SN: Which one do you think? 

SR: Drunk definitely.

SN: No amount of getting drunk can fetch you this. It's called Insanity, m'Lady.

SR: I totally agree :D
      Christmas was one crazy day, can't wait to tell you about it.

SN: When, after like 100 years?

SR: I sometimes feel everything is going so fast. Just too fast.

SN: Like what?

SR: Friends, crazy things. This year.

SN: Aww. I understand.

SR: I feel I have to stop to breathe.

SN: And then you wonder if you'll miss all this when you do.

SR: Yeah you just spoke my mind out. How's life with you?

SN: Life's good. I'm happy like happy happy. Can't ask for more. :)

SR: I think you're on drugs, no? You sound very perky.

SN: Think all you want :D Credits to my insanity.

SR: You're on steroids! Caught ya! :D

SN: No I just did weeed :D Anything to make you believe. Lol

SR: Your system is flushed with high levels of serotonin and estrogen. :D :D
       Weed, lol.

SN: Without weed or alcohol, if my system is flushed with high levels of serotonin and estrogen, can't imagine        what will happen if I actually did weed :D

SR: I wonder what you would do if you got drunk now. Jump off the building? :D

SN: Naah. I ain't suicidal, or depressed. I'm haappppppy. :) You know? :)

SR: You don't have to be suicidal to jump, you can even do it for an adrenaline rush.
       Similar to bunjee jumping.

SN: *An expression of shock* Now my turn. Are you drunk or on drugs?

SR: Why? *Suspiciously questioning*
       I think I'm sane. Much more than you are :D

SN: For thinking bunjee jumping and jumping off a building might give you the same "rush" :D

SR: Ha ha. I didnt mean it :D

SN: I'm insane, and yet sane enough to know that bunjee jumping and jumping off a building have two very          different endings :D You, on the otherhand.. Seems to have lost it :D

SR: Shut up.

SN: Sane people have no qualms in calling themselves insane, whereas the truly insane would go any             distance to prove their sanity... Aaaand for the record, go back and check, you said you're sane :D :D
Hence proved!!

SR: You should write a blog about insanity.

SN: Why a blog?

SR: You're writing really well. I appreciate your thought process going so much into our conversation five minutes old!

SN: You inspire me to simply copy paste this chat.
        Why, I might simply do that :D

SR: Best do that :D Hilarious stuff.

SN: I was just about to say "with your permission, of course". I'll really put it up, and my blog is not private.
       Okay? :D

SR: I don't mind :D
       Yes!

SN: What "sane" person would mind, right?

SR: Rofl. You nailed that. :D

SN: And that's how it ends. Ta da.

SR: Yaayy yayy. :D

P.S: I don't write blog posts with the same language I use while texting. I hope the jargon is pardonable.

P.P.S: "Insanity.. and my cousin" when correctly decoded reads "Me.. and my cousin" (though it should be my cousin and I.. :D) 







Saturday, March 16, 2013

Shedding Skin

I was reading "Inheritance", Eragon's sequel 4 last week, and somewhere in between the story, the protagonist reaches a point where he needs to know his true name to open a vault (I did not say spoiler alert, because I think all of you would've read it way earlier than me, not to mention this is not a spoiler which people would want to kill me for.)

--Which reminds me of a very famous spoiler I was at the receiving end of--
In 2005, when Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince had just released, my friends and I stood in the queue from 6a.m to get hold of a copy, so that we'd read it before anyone else did, and so that nobody could spoil it for us. Sadly we had college to attend later, and no, Krupa and I didn't read novels in class-atleast in 11th std :D ( I think Krupa was preparing for NTSE that time, not entirely sure. :P) So I go to BASE in the evening, and Soumya enters. The very first thing she says: "Dumbledore dies!". I go like, "Whaaaaaaaaaaa!!" That was the worst spoiler ever. Worshtest.

I see that my digression has gone on longer the point I was trying to make. So coming back..
His true name. The protagonist needs his true name, and you will know your true name if you know who you truly are (So difficult, no?); so Eragon goes into thinking mode and thinks about who he truly is. And like most protagonists, he does what is required from him- he figures out his true name in a matter of a few days, and opens the vault.

Eragon's brother Murtagh's true name will be known to our beloved villian of the story Galbatorix, and anyone who knows your true name has complete control over you.

In the end, though Galbatorix knows Murtagh's true name, that will be the boy's old true name. Murtagh would've changed in course of time, and along with him changing, his true name; and that plays a major factor in the brothers' defeating Galbatorix. I've given away the whole novel, oops.

Case in point: The true names change as people change. Change is such a damned constant in life, whether you and I like it or not. We can scorn all we like, or embrace it like a dear friend.

I don't know if I scorn at change or embrace it, but that's not my point.
My point is my blog's title.
I'd titled this blog "Tranquility" years ago, with a picture in my mind.

Sitting on the sands of a beach, watching the waves crash and listening to the sound of the waves.. Being lost to the world, and only watching the vastness of the water expanding upto the horizon..
With some music and good food, and a good book to read..
And friends to laugh with, and live in oblivion to all else..
Coz the sea is second to Tranquility..
So quiet, so peaceful, so calm..

This was what my blog represented to me, a quiet retreat from the rest of the world where only traquility prevailed and the sea was my constant companion.. I longed for tranquility, for peace, for the calm of the sea; and hence the name..

And today I find the blog's purpose met, I find the sea's tranquility as my own,  and I find I have newer purposes- and hence I talk about shedding skin. Snakes shed their skin from time to time and grow new skins. I shed my blog's old skin and arise with whole new skin. Here's to the old name, I enjoyed writing to Tranquility. And here's to the new one, and to all the posts I'll put up under this name! As always, I welcome your comments.

Peace!
 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Flashback- of a Not so Distant Past..

There is jubilance in the air (and so are we – we haven’t landed yet :P), and the crowd breaks into applause. I’m surprised that anybody would express their joy for a mere phenomenon of landing, and turn to look at Amit in astonishment. He looks at me like as if their reaction is normal, and I begin to see reason. After a few pictures on the runway, the three of us walk to the bus stop, where we buy tickets to the Termini. The bus ride is unpleasant to the extreme, and I believe that if I had spent a minute longer inside, I would have suffocated to death. Rangit and Amit however, find the bus journey pleasant.


I haven’t had lunch and hence hungry (also to the extreme- it’s around 7.30 p.m), when I spot an Indian restaurant and exclaim loudly, “There’s an Indian restaurant here! Let’s go!” *Amit and Rangit’s comments for this will be a spoiler, and hence not included.* We walk in, and Rangit speaks Bengali with the Bangladeshi in the restaurant. One might think we’re taking a stroll on the streets of Kolkata, and have decided to stop for dinner.

I order a Vegetable Biryani (though the item doesn’t exist on their menu) and Rangit gets complimentary Dahi thanks to the common language.

Stomachs full, we walk out, calling thanks to the Bangladeshi for the good food. We reach our hotel, and the view from the window is Spectacular (with an S capital). We’ve gotten a hotel at a picturesque location at a price so reasonable ( the girl in the group is obviously delighted. Not that the guys are not, except they’re more conservative about expression). We speak to the owner if there is any time restriction for us coming back, and much to our delight, he says we might come and go as we please; we will have the keys to the main door, the keys to the door on our floor and the keys to our room (of course :P)

Strolling down the street, I cannot stop staring at the beautiful buildings adorning the streets; every turn I take gives me more eye candy, and it seems like the place is filled with unending candy!

Rome, as is said, was not built in a day.

Woot. Woot. Woot. :D

I now truly understand, why Rome, and not any other place on the planet, is said to have not been built in a day. The beauty of the place marvels you, and it has been a fortnight since I visited the place, but the aroma of the food tasted, the places visited remain etched in memory..

We return at 1:30 odd back to our floor, and try the key. It doesn’t work. The Chinese teacher has already taught Amit how to use the key, and she’s even made him try it. I’m too sleepy even to stand, so I just sit near the steps and wait for Amit to open the door. Second Attempt, No. Rangit takes the key and tries. Nope. I try. Nope. And then I remember the notice on the other side of the door: “Please do not lock the door from inside. Otherwise, the other people will knock on the door anytime, and you cannot sleep”.

Obviously, the lady/gentleman who has locked it cannot read English.

We now call the owner, and by the time he arrives, I have snoozed off.

I am awakened by loud shouts from the owner, “Hello? Please open the door! You have locked it from the inside”. No response.

3.30 am: I’m slightly aware of the happenings around.

The owner is almost screaming. “HELLO! I’M THE OWNER OF THE HOTEL! PLEASE OPEN THE DOOR”

I am worried. No alive soul can sleep with so much noise around. Or so I thought, until the next morning, when the hotel owner informs us that 6 people (all alive and seemingly normal) inhabited that floor and managed to sleep through all the noises we made! I still don’t believe it.

The next morning (afternoon rather), we set foot in Florence (Firenze) - a beautiful city, known as the heart of Renaissance and not for nothing. The city has the air of a bygone era, where horse carts pull the passengers (which totally reminds of the Kathryn of 1969- The Vampire Diaries) and yet does not seem to be backward in any case.

Preserving the look and feel of how cities might have been centuries ago , and yet being furnished with all facilities accustomed to the 21st century man, that’s what Firenze is all about.

Next on the list was a visit to Pisa. If you have never been drunk in life, you must visit the Pisa. You will know how anyone who’s sloshed feels, quite precisely. The tower leans 17cm every year, and the lean is actually felt once you enter, and that is just the beginning of the thrill.

Circumambulating around the tower (at the top) once was much more delightful (however scared I was, much to the amusement of the other two who claim to be brave souls… nah, just that they aren’t weightless like me :D) than the view from the top (remember? It leans!).

The visit to the Collosseum is like an orange juice extract of history, and if you haven’t opted for the guided tour (like us), you probably won’t appreciate it to it’s worth (unless you know all your facts before you get there). One of the present wonders, and definitely worth a visit. (But if you ever get there, take the guided tour!)

We visited an umpteen number of churches (all of which were beautiful in their own way), the private museum of Da Vinci (Woot), the Vatican City – the eponymous Sistine Chapel, Spanish steps, the Trevi Fountain and a beach over the next two days. And yes, we ate as much pizza and pasta as we could (which is a lot, believe me. Three humans, and one giant pizza. Humans and Giants, we are some match :D) After the 3 whole days- which went faster than we’d wanted- we did not want to return from the city that has so much to offer.

We boarded the flight to Dusseldorf (which is my temporary home), with the only consolation that we had tossed a coin over our left shoulders into the Fountain De Trevi- there is a saying that anyone who tosses a coin over their left shoulder into the Fountain De Trevi, shall return to Rome someday!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sailing a New Boat.. Germany!!!

Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing




So, here I am… Forgetting all rules, and forgetting about getting published.

Though I always write for myself (and there has been no exception to this rule), I don’t know about the ‘Celebrate Writing’ part. That, only the readers can tell- whether the writing brings out not just a part of myself, but also the joy or celebration in the action itself (perverted minds, concentrate :D)

Straight to topic, I have just read a few more pages of this world.

As I’m sure you didn’t get what I meant, some great person has quoted so: “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”.

Allow me to bask in a moment’s glory, before I revert to my normal down-to-earth self. :D

As I’m sure many of you know, the girl has always claimed to be a travel enthusiast, and though she has hardly seen a part of India, she always has claimed that given an opportunity, she’d pack her bags and be off, without a second thought. Let me introduce you to that girl, the very same owner of the blog, Sandhya Nagaraj, aka Me.

So, the girl who never traveled alone even from Bengaluru to Hyderabad, had to travel from Bengaluru to Dusseldorf, Germany, and not so surprisingly, the girl was scared right out of her wits about how to go about.

And so the days passed by. July 27th, 2012. The thought was, It’s ok, I have to travel on 31st July, there’s a looooott of time left. Somewhere in the corner of my brain, a tiny neuron lit up, saying, “31st July is 4 days away”. I successfully managed to bury that thought and went to sleep in peace.

29th July: I was officially freaking out, and I had no qualms in letting the world know about it. Traveling alone to Germany, transit at Dubai, are you kidding me?! What girl in her right mind would agree to travel alone, even when her manager had asked repeatedly if she had any issues traveling alone? Me, apparently. I know I’m 22, and I must be completely capable of traveling alone and all that, but that was the very first time, and I do believe I get some consideration for that.

31st July came in no time, and I was at the airport, with mixed feelings. I tried to be extreme rational instead of becoming emotional, because once I get emotional, I’m gone and I wreck everything that comes my way. So I check in with a cool head and board the flight, one cute steward offered me vodka with orange juice, which I politely denied. (I don’t know my alcohol threshold, and I have no intentions of testing it on my first lone travel in air- I’m sure you empathize!) The steward looked at me in surprise, (I guess no one rejects a drink from him) I smiled stupidly; he nodded in understanding and walked away.

I had my meal – Rajma, Roti and Rice- I was totally surprised that they serve authentic Indian food (I expected Bread and Cheese when I opted for the vegetarian meal). I’d hardly finished my orange juice (just the orange juice, yeah), and we landed in Dubai. I was thrilled! Whoever said that traveling alone was difficult?

There was a waiting time of about an hour and a half (approx) which was welcome, and then a 7-9 hr flight to Dusseldorf.

And I was a little worried, because I don’t particularly enjoy the feeling of being in air. I don’t get sick, but that doesn’t mean I like it.

I was hoping I’d be able to distract myself… I found myself seated beside a German family (the father and mother were beside me, their son and daughter right behind). He told me that they were returning from a trip to Thailand, which they really enjoyed. I smiled and spoke a bit, all the while trying to find something to keep me distracted… and Voila!

I was browsing through the movie and soap collection the flight had, and found Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, and over a dozen comedy soaps, and that was exactly the kind of distraction I was looking for!

Time flew by, the flight was not as smooth as the one from Bengaluru to Dubai- but we were soon at Dusseldorf airport, and none the happier than me.

Now, you see, I had 30kg of luggage, and a cabin bag apart from the company laptop, and I thought it’d be pretty easy to just pull the two bags, while carrying the cabin and laptop bags. What was I thinking, really?

I struggled to reach the taxi port (which was just a few yards away), and was none the gladder when I got into the cab.

The accommodation blew me away. No, I don’t live in a 5-star with spa and gym facilities- like how Sunny does- but a 3-star with kitchen facilities and an hour’s worth free Wifi :P and a girl like me is happy with this much. Easy to please, eh? :D

The places I’ve seen, the food I’ve tasted, the people I’ve met and the things I’ve done.. All in the next post, and I promise, the quality will be better than this one.

I welcome your comments, be it on my writing, or the topic itself!

Peace!

P.S: It's when you care about something that the best in you comes out, because otherwise, there's no reason to bring out your best. I know this is not my best piece of writing, but something I checked this morning, gave me that drive to write. And that something I checked, is called IUquotes. The fact that the site is designed by a Friend was all the more the reason, considering I'm miles away. Even small things like reading a quote from a site designed by a friend makes me become emotional, well er, I'm human, too.