Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Come Back

Hi! whoever is reading this. I don't know how many come backs I have made to this blog but here is to another attempt. Lack of motivation and general laziness are the two reasons why I take these looong pauses. I am done with formal schooling (for the time being) and feel grown up enough to be formally employed, draw a (small) salary and receive some decent benefits. Having said that I do miss the carefree days of being a student. Yes, interestingly those days seem carefree in comparison. Anyways long story short, I have relocated to a new place, working and interacting with a new set of people and so far its been good. I hope to be creative, constructive, cooperative and collaborative to the best of my ability. I am also hoping my income remains decent enough that it allows me some pleasures and indulgences and ultimately I am happy along with the rest of humanity and the world. Ah! simple wishes.



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


Friday, May 16, 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:

 

Thursday, May 08, 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

Friday, May 02, 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.

Thursday, May 01, 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).



Wednesday, April 30, 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.

Tuesday, April 08, 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. 

Monday, April 07, 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!

Saturday, March 29, 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?

Friday, March 28, 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.


Tuesday, March 04, 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!  








Saturday, February 22, 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).


Monday, February 17, 2014

A Rainy Weekend Morning

It's a four day weekend and since its been raining cats and dogs, it does not leave you with many options to overcome boredom. I can only imagine how it is to be snowed in and stuck indoors, with sometimes no power!!!! Yikes! I would become a raving lunatic under such circumstances unless of course I have awesome company, enough food and drinks, a few good books and board games to keep me occupied.

Anyways, since none of the above conditions apply to me, I made a rather elaborate breakfast today (for a change). Tried to make French crepes (Giada inspired) and it turned out to be perfect and  was declared decadent and delicious by all who ate. Now two more days to go and the rain's showing no signs of stopping! hmm..




Friday, February 14, 2014

Lazy Day

Spent a lazy day out. I was planning on catching a movie and then decided against it. Instead spent a few hours out window shopping and making a mental list of "must buy" and "would like to buy" items.
And it never surprises me how tiring window shopping can get! So, tried out a small, local pizza joint and finished off a slice of "Provençal pizza" (yes I know...very gourmet and fancy!!) and headed back home.





Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Picture and A Few Words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, how about a picture is worth a few words and a heart full of emotions?

Magical "fairy lights" for sparkling up a small, dull corner.


Pretty ring sealing a sweet promise

Magnificent machine for all that wild adventures

Thursday, February 06, 2014

String of Fate

It continues to rain and the weather is all cool and cozy. Although there is work to be done and I am getting quite a bit done, I am not completely ignoring the rains.
So today, while it rained outdoors, after finishing off some writing work, I stayed indoors, made myself some hot coffee and watched a lovely, sweet love story.

The movie is set in Naples, is fairly slow paced, oozes charm and has almost a poetic feel to it. Although I enjoyed watching it, the highlight for me was hearing about the Red String of Fate, something I never knew of before and the kind of things I love hearing about.

The movie is called While We Were Here and here is the official trailer





The East Asian version of soulmates: "The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, regardless of time, place or circumstances. This magical cord may stretch or tangle, but never break. This myth is similar to the Western concept of soulmates or a destined flame". Nice huh?


Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Rainy Days and Mondays

 Stealing a line from "The Carpenters" as it is what best describes today. I love a rainy day more than any other kind of day but today and of late, I've been feeling- a bit nostalgic, a bit forlorn , a bit hopeful and a bit restless. Quite a jumbled up state of mind. It has been five months since my last trip and I think its time for me to pack and wander again for a bit. The fact that I am overdosed on Antony Bourdain- Parts Unknown is definitely not helping matters!

Monday, February 03, 2014

Political Dialogues



He: New word in dictionary
RahulGandhi (verb): to talk nonsense, irrelevant to questions asked and make a complete fool of oneself.

Usage: "How was your engineering viva? I RahulGandied it".

Me: Was this put by people who got Modi-fied? ;)

He: Did yoou watch his  interview with Arnab? You will realize how idiotic Rahul baba is.

Me: I did. I could only watch for a few minutes though. He would make a terrible PM candidate or for any leadership position for that matter. This is something that has been asserted by liberal intellectuals whose words I trust, long before this Arnab interview...so I am really not surprised.

He: Well then maybe you should campaign for the BJP in the US

Me: I will campaign for BJP the day I get RahulGandhied ;). It is a democracy and people will vote (obviously I don't know whom to vote for because the choices at present are pretty pathetic). But there is the remaining 1 less than the 1.2 billion that makes our country who may vote and decide and lets hope whoever that person is does a good job of being a leader.

(PS: Yep! pretty elementary my political dialogues (between a cousin and me)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Just Funny



Found this car with the funniest set of bumper stickers parked at one of the grocery stores I visit regularly.
I think the price should go to the "Eve was framed" sticker. lol!




Monday, January 27, 2014

Defining Coolness

This dude I know




And this song he sent me



Peace out  :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

You Got To Hold On

A recent discovery of mine and I am thrilled to bits about it. If you have not heard of Americana music then read about it here. I am a recent fan and listening to this group over and over again. This song in particular. So much soul in her voice and singing!! Literally music to my ears and absolutely love'n it!





So, bless my heart and bless my mind.
I got so much to do, I ain't got much time
So, must be someone up above saying,
"come on, girl! Yeah, you got to get back up!
You got to hold on...
Yeah, you got to hold on..."

Come on now-lets Rock'n Roll through life! :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Today

It has been a particularly windy, rainy day. Just the kind of weather I love. Did nothing much other than write a bit..

Drool over these gorgeous spaces




Bake a cake, smother it with rich chocolate frosting and wish a wonderful, sweet  someone a Happy Birthday!




Monday, January 20, 2014

Uneventful Weekend

Yesterday, hanging out with a friend, a lovely set of wine glasses, a plate of Korean BBQ and watching RamLeela (movie by Sanjay Leela Bhansali) at the Academy of Arts made my day.

Today, sunday, besides a rather upsetting news from back home, so far its been super busy with some massive cleaning jobs at the house. Staying busy keeps your mind preoccupied but the minute you stop you are left to struggle and find a way to say focussed and inspired.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Fancy Them Things

When its a busy day of writing and reading you forget to blog but you still try and make it before the day is up. So here I am posting a few random things that caught my fancy


This idea of Happiness




















This Song




These cool windows

















Image src



This line
"Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies"- Aristotle

Friday, January 17, 2014

Pinning Dreams

I am engaged in an experiment. Not school related but life related. Let me try and explain.

You see I have been dreaming quite a bit lately. Dreaming of all kinds of possibilities. From that house on a misty hill top, to that cool job and to exploring the world with my "hippie" partner/friend/soulmate. I read or heard somewhere (I think it was Oprah) that having an inspiration board or something similar helps in achieving your dreams/aspirations or whatever you want to call it. I thought it was a good idea because it gives your dreams/aspirations a more concrete form which then allows you to visualize it and make your way towards it.The idea of having a paper chart stuck on my wall with my concretized  dreams pinned on it failed in terms of creative appeal. Instead, being tech savy and all (you can lol here because you would if you knew me well), I have been pinning my dreams on Pinterest.

Then I wondered if having two people with similar dreams, seeking them together, intensifies the experience and increases the likelihood of them happening? Well, we will see and I shall let you know. I have me dream partner, we have our dreams, we talked about them, we "pinned" them and now may the force be with us!







Thursday, January 16, 2014

Conversation

Conversation is a beautiful thing and that is what I had today. A large dose of it. It did not culminate in any path breaking discovery about self or the other person but it definitely did something to our spirits ( mine for sure). Also, we did not necessarily talk about uplifting ideas or strategies to improve our respective lives or make the world a better place. We just talked about anything and everything and it was silly, goofy, cerebral, emotional, mushy-sentimental and all that is there in between.
Image modified from iameduard.com 
I think in the end we both felt a bit more loved than before and that feeling can be pretty powerful. It gives you a certain courage and conviction to believe that everything will be OK.
Having said that, things wont happen on their own but requires effort. So, time to get back to work!





Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Stay Inspired

I am in a strange state of mind. It is due to a combination of issues rather than a singular issue. I suppose I should be rejoicing having accomplished a fairly challenging academic goal but irrespective of that a certain restlessness and sadness has descended upon me. I do not feel comfortable divulging the reasons in detail here, in this post, but let me just say I feel very let down by someone who is very dear to me. I wish for nothing more than to find a way to get over it sooner than later. And this is because I know feeling sad and let down can be really debilitating especially if you allow yourself to wander into hopelessness. I suppose one way to get over it would be to let go of expectations but that is easier said than done. I mean why bother building a relationship when you cannot expect anything from it?

So, as a way to get over this melancholic, sad state of mind, I have been distracting myself listening to lectures/interviews on you tube. Again, nothing particularly cheerful but surely inspiring and thought provoking which is good because then it helps you get over your personal maladies and focus on the larger picture with more profound issues that need desperate attention.

Leaving you with a short video of Prof. Jean Dreze explaining the state of poverty in India.



Clearly many solutions to be sought ..so stay inspired!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Happy New 2014!

I am back again with good intentions of staying put for a while longer than the last time. As much as I loved the idea of keeping my blog live and active with "deep", "meaningful",  "soul touching" posts, it was not possible considering how terribly busy I was trying to put together a dissertation of some value,with the remaining time spent obsessing and worrying about the same. A few personality traits realized over this long sabbatical from blogging- I am impatient and not really a procrastinator when it comes to things that are important (to me) and I cannot relax (I mean really relax) until a job is done.

So, since one job that took up a large part of my life (time) is sort of done I hope to put some time into this blog with frequent updates on anything that seem relevant to me. I suppose as  the first post of the "season",  a quick recap on what has happened since the last post and what has changed or not changed may be of interest? So here goes..

My association with the virtual world continues to evolve and thrive. I may have grown utterly bored of facebook but continue to be fascinated with blogging and therefore remain loyal to my favorite blogs.

My love for design persists and I have found new venues (a.k.a Pinterest) to quench my obsessive need to stare at beautiful design ideas. Pinterest -my new love!

Speaking of love- it remains a priority and it feels wonderful to experience it, to be ecstatically happy in the company of it and to be heartbroken when away from it. Also, while new friendships have been forged, some old ones seem to have faded away. However I feel assured that its only a matter of time when they will be rekindled or it was never true friendship to begin with.

Movies! movies! movies!  Watched a bunch of awesome, thought provoking movies/documentaries ( my only time pass that allows me to forget everything and simply get away). A few that I would recommend : The reluctant fundamentalist (English feature film) ; The world before her (English documentary film); Neelakasham, Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi (Malayalam feature film, literally translated- Blue sky, green sea and red earth) and last but not the least August-Osage county (English feature film) where its worth the money spent to simply stare at Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts who have meted out a ridiculously awesome performance (leaving me slightly perplexed as to why Meryl Streep missed out on receiving the Best Actress for the Golden Globe Awards!?!)

My  lust for wandering which continues to sustain and took me to a few places. With many invitations to visit and explore, it is just a matter of time people..just a matter of time before I am on the road again.

And last but not the least- made this awesome purchase with a friend. It has been a dream for how long I cannot remember but finally I can say a part of this belongs to me! It still feels a bit surreal.

bikeglam.com

More later..