Tuesday, May 20, 2014

An Expedition Video

Speaking American (or I suppose the Valspeak ) - I like find this video so inspiring and so cool! Like, totally :) :P


Thursday, May 15, 2014

India Counting


Or I suppose is almost done counting and power shifts from "the parivar" to the "Sangh parivar"( as suggested by certain journalists). Also to be noted- all the pre-ordered laddoos have not gone waste and in fact, going to taste sweeter for a few.

Image Source:

 

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Restless

These words resonated with me..

"My soul is impatient with itself, as with a bothersome child; its restlessness keeps growing and is forever the same. Everything interests me, but nothing holds me. I attend to everything, dreaming all the while...[..]. I'm two and both keep their distance- Siamese twins that aren't attached".
Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disqueit

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Mid Week Blues and Cookbooks

Since the "dull week" refuses to end, I decided to venture out of the house and spend some time at one of the local book stores at the mall. Two hours of reading, three book purchases and a Peruvian plate lunch later I was back home feeling rather pleased with my accomplishments of the day.
Here is the evidence..


Books to read @ the Store
    Images below from Gwyneth Paltrow's Book-It's All Good

   Cook books @ the Book Store
 Images below from Rick Stein's book "India"





The final purchases

I never realized reading/going over cook books can be such a delightful experience. Most of the recipes are quite doable but more than that the images are incredibly gorgeous and beautifully styled! After approximately two hours of drooling (literally) I left the store famished, looking for food.
Regarding my purchases-I really wanted to buy the "India" book but at $40 it was rather expensive. The ones I got were on sale and has a good collection of easy recipes. Next POA(plan of action) - enter the kitchen......... :P.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Renewed

I  am in the middle of one of those slow weeks, where good ideas elude you, boredom drops in unannounced, time and surroundings feel like a drag and your general disposition is depressed and hopeless. During such times I try not to surrender to it completely. Instead I push myself and look for inspiration. Something creative, something uplifting, not necessarily something I would or could have done (because it then defeats the purpose), then stare at it in wonderment and allow all the positive emotions build up inside. Emotions synonymous with amazement, excitement, hopefulness, pride, nostalgia, energy, and positivity. Well, too many adjectives there but I am certain at least some of them will be accomplished. I personally think it as a good exercise.

For instance, today was a particularly bad day, because not only was I in a sour mood, I also snapped at a good friend (although not entirely my fault :P) and ended the conversation rather abruptly and unceremoniously ( as in no 'bye' or no 'catch you later' etc..).  So to get myself out of my mental rut and rather dull, irritable state of mind I went in search of something, anything "uplifting"and this is what I found. A video clip by my favorite wildlife photographer/film maker Sandesh Kadur).



I love everything about this video, the message it conveys (about his work, the nature of his work, the space, the thrill, the excitement, the tremendous hard work and patience that I can only imagine and, ofcourse, the larger purpose or the ultimate goal of the film), the visuals, and last but not the least the background score , all of which evokes an overwhelming emotion of nostalgia and excitement. It filled me up with renewed energy and faith and I feel like singing this now (and also pack my bags and take off somewhere :P).



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Musings

I wish for the days when you had to wait for the mail to arrive (delivered by the postman/woman) to receive any kind of news. It took a few days and until then you waited, patiently. The key being, you were patient- a calm patience, where you don't think about it until the news reaches you, taking its time. Instead, now, with the possibility of instantaneous communication, you would think how convenient it makes everything - no waiting and no worrying. Well, I am not so sure. I feel the reverse. The fact that communication has become so quick and convenient has made me more impatient and to some extent neurotic or obsessive compulsive, where every five minutes I am tempted to check my email or incoming messages, especially if I am expecting something. It makes me restless and worry unnecessarily and sometimes even imagine the worst possible scenarios when I do not receive a response or a message sooner than later. Simultaneously, I also feel pressured to respond immediately assuming the person at the other end is going through exactly the same emotions as I was (neurotic/obsessive compulsiveness). And for what ever reasons beyond my control, if I am unable to respond immediately I tend to be over apologetic for the "delay", feeling guilty to have put the other person through such an emotional ordeal. In retrospect all of it always feel utterly ridiculous and exhausting.

Hmm...just some musings.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Wishful Thinking of a Secular, Fairly Informed, Politically Engaged Citizen

The major threats to democracy are

(1) Pseudo seculars
(2) gullible tards, who blindly believe any propaganda without bothering to find the truth, and
(3) politically indifferent citizens.

These are not my lines but lines posted by an fb "friend" who is a hard core right wing supporter, an ardent Modi fan and a dedicated  campaign volunteer for the saffron colored Party who takes his task very seriously and therefore keeps updating his fb timeline with propaganda material issued by the Party, either glorifying the saffron clad saviour, all set to "transform" the world's largest democracy or trashing "the family" and its scion (who obviously bunked career counselling in  school and is now stuck in the wrong profession) or nitpicking on every move made or word uttered by the maverick activist turned politician.

Given this context, when I found his recent post on his fb timeline I was left a bit dumbfounded! Did he not realize that the three points he listed reflected no one but himself and his like minded pals? I mean, when you think about it -is there anyone more pseudo secular than these saffron flag swaying groupies of a party based on Hindutva ideology who are preparing to govern a secular and pluralistic nation? can there be anyone more gullible than these tards/ party followers who devour the Party's propaganda material and out of sheer ignorance label anyone who comes out with a decent informed piece of writing as pseudo intellectuals (this is writers like Ramachandra Guha, Arundhathi Roy! )? and can there be anyone more politically indifferent than these citizens who claim to be "upto date in Indian politics" but clueless on the policies or how skewed its outcomes are or going to be?

On a more serious note- I don't know what the fate of this "Democracy" is going to be but I really wish people made more informed decisions and those literate enough to read, read works of genuine scholars, whose scholarship is based on facts and reflective thinking and inclusivity and not doctored, propaganda material.

Hmm..I wonder if all this is wishful thinking on my part?


PS: Post written out of sheer anger and feeling of utter hopelessness. 

Sunday, April 06, 2014

My Architect On a Friday Evening

Poignant, inspiring, spiritual, emotional, artistic, romantic and an extraordinary journey undertaken by a son. I am talking about My Architect, a documentary on Louis Kahn- the greatest American architect, directed by his son Nathaniel Kahn. Last Friday evening there was a free screening of the movie at the campus, organized by the School of Architecture and I decided to go.


I was touched by  how emotionally invested the interviewer/director (Nathaniel Khan) was, to bring to life this intriguing artist/architect who is his father and in the process try and understand him and the person he was. The people he interviewed-his family, his friends and colleagues and all the interesting memories they had of him and their candid thoughts and insights about the man were brought out beautifully and were truly revealing. The movie is beautifully presented, with touching conversations with people who loved him(especially the one with the director's mother, one of the three women Louis Kahn had a relationship with) and stunning visuals of his architectural creations (The Salk Institute for e.g.). In the end you cannot but admire the man for his genius and convictions and forgive him for all his shortcomings. This clip below, from the movie, best articulates and sums up the man for you.



Below is another clip from the movie- a testimony by a fellow architect I.M Pei and the incredible architecture of the Salk Institute designed by Louis Kahn!




A fantastic movie and a must watch for anyone who loves, enjoys and is passionate about what they do. Louis Kahn- A truly inspiring personality well captured and presented by Nathaniel Kahn in My Architect. Also for me, a wonderful Friday evening well spent!

Friday, March 28, 2014

About A Movie Shot and Set in India

Have you seen the movie The Darjeeling Limited? Well, I just finished seeing it a second time. The first time was many years ago and so the second time felt almost like first time. I read somewhere that Wes Anderson the director/producer made the movie as a tribute to the great Satyajit Ray, who has been a great source of inspiration to him. I could detect elements of Ray's style and sensibilities in the movie, but more than that I liked the movie because it was entertaining, funny and  visually very, very interesting as expected of Wes Anderson movies. Check out these cool .gifs from the movie or better still, go watch the movie.







Have you seen the new Wes Anderson movie- The Grand Budapest Hotel?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Refuge

Yes, its been a while. I was bored and I did not have anything particular to say or show even if I had paid a visit and so I stayed away.

Time is flying and yet life seems a bit stagnant. It is strange juxtaposition of time to be at. I tell myself that I deserve a time off after what feels like years of constant work with a minor accomplishment in the end to boast of. Yet, the mind has a way of its own, in constant debate on the value of time and how best to use it. So as these debates carry on fully-fledged, I have taken refuge in books; books that are not directly related to school or my professional interests which is actually refreshing and wonderful! One is a fiction and the other is a non-fiction which I am reading simultaneously (yes! of course it is possible!) and takes me on these journeys, not just in terms of space from Europe to Asia, but in time as well and they are, simply stated, outstanding!
Here is a little bit about them..

Technically a novel, but once you get into it you wonder if you are reading a novel or a book of philosophy. An incredibly beautiful novel, where the characters are fascinating and the language is almost poetic!

A quote from the book -

"we can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come"..  And so..." there is no means of testing which decision is better,  because there is no basis for comparison. "

Technically not a novel, but the facts are so incredible you almost wish it were a novel so that your conscience can escape from feeling responsible. But no, I don't want to escape from anything. I am glad I am reading the book and feeling the gut wrenching  sadness and anger and simultaneously feeling  inspired and  motivated to react.

A quote from the book out of the many that stays with you and gnaws at your conscience, if you allow it to...

"Who constitutes the nation? Only the elite?Or do the hundreds of millions of poor in India also make up the nation? Are their interests never identified with national interest? Or is there more than one nation? That is the question you often run up against in some of India's poorest areas. Areas where extremely poor people go into destitution making way for firing ranges, jet fighter plants, coal mines, power projects, dams, sanctuaries, prawn and shrimp farms, even poultry farms. If the costs they bear are the 'price' of development, then the rest of the 'nation' is having one endless free lunch".


Well, now its your turn to read and let me know if you like.


Monday, March 03, 2014

An Evening

When you have nothing particular to do, you stop at the beach to watch the whales frolicking in the distance, spurting water, capture the surrounding landscape on camera while a crab lies dead getting  fossilized on a rock!  








Friday, February 21, 2014

Obsessing

I have been obsessively listening to this group the last two days. Shared a few of their songs with some friends via email and fb. But this one I thought deserved to be appreciated more and by a wider range of audiences. Although my blog is no high traffic zone, I figured it would still enable access to the song to a wider, international audience.

Believe in the universal language of music and enjoy this fantastic adaptation of an old malayalam folk song by Peethambara Menon and his son Govind Menon (a superbly talented musician and creator of the music group- Thaikkudam Bridge).