Monday, October 17, 2011

The Itch


My hands are feeling it again.

The itch - my mother thinks I am about to spend more money, but only I know that they're itching to create something new.

Do I want to create a product - am not sure, I always feel scared of doing 'art work' - but then I have realized I really love it and I'm good at it.

Maybe I want to write - my mind is beginning to get flooded with ideas. Sheeeesh - that proposal is glaring at me, and bullying me into choosing that over any story-writing.

I have been re-inspired ever since I visited the People Tree Studio and went through the Dewarists episode. That line 'Because some things are just worth doing' -- has been my heart's answer to everyone who asks me why I do what I do.

I realized my problem is that my hands cannot work as fast as my brain, and every goddamned idea is so exciting that my hands feel confused - and itch to do a little of everything.

And all I end up doing is paying for a plate of Chicken Momos.

Moral of the story: Mothers are (annoyingly) always right. Itching hands = spend money.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Childhood songs

When I was a kid, my grandmother taught me a bengali song:

"Jodi tor daak shune kyeu na aashe tobe aikla cholo re..."
(If no-one beckons to your call, you might as well set off alone...)

And after all these years, it makes sense.

Okay, I miss her more now.


Friday, September 23, 2011

A Conversation. A Realization.

The boy and I usually have conversations that are funny, and some we can tag as mindless. Amidst one of these mindless conversations today, we realized something - and I don't know how that makes me feel.

When we were in schools, we studied about civilizations - the Harappan... Indus Valley..there was the time of the Mahabharata and Ramayan... the Mughal period - and a thought occurred - someday, we will be a part of these "History" lessons. They'd probably excavate some Blackberry's and try and figure what we did with them.

I wonder what language they'll use - what they would term our regional dialects - and I am not talking India - the world has some thousands of languages.

Movies like the Dark Knight might not be archived with a "forever" tag. The Taj in Mumbai will perhaps become a protected Monument ---!! The generations to come, might never know about global movements - or Google for that matter.

Perhaps this is why I have emphasized on crafts being a part of identity - maybe some Historian would be able to differentiate between an African soapstone, and Indian marble work!

And in the light of this huge realization, humans to me appear a small speck. And those things we call desire - sigh. Lets save that for another post.

I've heard a new civilization comes up every 600-650 years. I really want to live that long. #wishful thinking.

Because I am having trouble writing the last line - I will put it simply - The next civilization might never know about Harappa.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Little Prince : my sketch

I've written about the book earlier, and why it's my favorite. Read about it here.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Nutty Life.


The best part of life I think, is having a companion who wouldn't mind being up at 2 am to teach you how to sketch.

I get these ticks - to play the guitar, or to swim - and now its sketching.

My first as a part of the 30-day drawing challenge. I've taken this challenge many a times, but flunked it an equal number of times. This time however, I am determined. Its an empowering feeling - pretty much like the first time you drive on your own - to imagine something, and put it down on paper.

My First : These are a few of my favorite things.

O The Little Prince: A book every kid, every adult should read.
O Air India : Has defined my childhood. Continues to fund my travel. And I love traveling.
O Punyaat Aaple Swagat Aahe: How I wish to see this sign atleast once a year now. Pune, my favorite city in the world. Yes, I have been to a lot of cities in the world.
O Symbiosis, 501 : The classroom that has a boxful of memories. Of Teacher Walk-outs and presentations and unfinished homework.
O Dairy Milk : I am not even beginning to explain this one.
O My Laptop : The device my life has become very dependent on.
O Jo : Not just a car. Its my little kid. The one I teach how to be a bully - to bikers atleast. Sometimes it flies.
O Magnifying/Search Glass: Yes, I like to explore. To read too deep into things. Messes me up sometimes, but its me.
O 94.3 Radio One : Other stations are crappy. This one has good music, and less talkative RJs.
O Chicken : Do I need say more?
O Clothes and Either Or : This is synonymous. This store, Either Or, in Pune - its like Chicken during Lent. You really crave for the stuff they have. And only they have.
O The Ambi : a sad representation of my awesome work life : Indian arts and crafts - there's nothing more fun.
O The pencil and paper - two very good friends of mine!
O Sleep - something I love. something I test myself on. something I don't fall into easily, but when I do, you really don't poke me. Its not on. Just not on.

And yaawwnnn. Now I am calling it a day. No a night. Sad one. Thats all for now, folks :)

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Just Jilling!


There's finally a road to heaven. And a fun one at that. Jilling is located 7200 ft above sea level, in Uttaranchal.
A beautiful trek leading up to a set of 4 cottages, is completely worth it when you see the welcoming mountains and wild flowers.

The cottages: complete with a dining area, kitchen, sitting room (with a fireplace), and a very cosy bedroom - each one stacked up with books. Interesting ones ranging from R.K laxman cartoons to Nehru's India and Mythology...secrets of the Taj and what not! There's a caretaker assigned to the cottage, but you can experiment all you want in the kitchen. There's a dog too, to play with : Dhanno!
The food is very homely - just as the stay is. - Yes the caretaker will tell you interesting stories about Steve, Parvati Lall who the estate belongs to.. It would be better not to expect Mughlai/Chinese delicacies but, non-veg/veg options are abundant. Chestnuts as snacks are an altogether different high for some.

A good way to enjoy the beauty is a mini-trek up the ridge. You pass chestnut trees, a Glass house made by the British, and Tarun Tejpal's expansive property and will reach a point, where there's a huge drop if you took a step forward, and right in front are the Himalayas. The scenery has a tendency to make one feel as to how small a speck humans really are when it comes to the Creation.
The ridge is home to some brilliant Camping sites as well. So group travel is highly recommended.

The best part is the low connectivity to the outer world - there's no TV/Radio or Internet centers. An ideal getaway.

Must have's : Trek shoes, games, and maggi packs

Must leave behind: Smart phones, laptops and e-games.

Cottages are for 3400 a night inclusive of all the food. :D So yeah, heaven does not let you feel cheated.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

This is Me!!



Act II : Its been a long night.

"Who says I can't be free? From all of the things I used to be... Rewrite my history..Who says I can't be free?" - John Mayer

I think I have always lived life in phases. The phase of innocence, the phase of discovery, the phase of taking risks....the phase of doing it all. There came a phase when I realized my investment of faith and love in some people I held real close to my heart was just a farce. My childhood friend bitched about me - it hurt. It hurt to see she had a second face. She bitched about me with a friend who has known me so close and well - so it hurt more. But that's the thing about me : I have always held too many people too close, going out of the way for the world. And to finally decide that this was it - was a bit tough. Dented, not broken yet though.

I felt like running to another friend and crying - but I knew better; this wasn't a time to cry - it was a time to pick up some pieces around, and recycle them into something beautiful. Something that would be permanent - would stay. Illusion again, but then what's the harm in hoping? And I wasn't alone in picking pieces-- luckily, I never am. I had the Mouse, my very loving & caring guy, some other friends and my parents. Didn't really need anyone else.

For a day or two, I told myself I will change - not trust too much, tread careful --- but I was definitely kidding myself. The inherent nature of someone does not change. Ever. And neither can mine I suppose. I will always allow people close. Trust them, and take the risk.

The People's Project has always been my dream : only, I wasn't too clear on it. The other day I spoke to someone - and it felt bloody odd to say "its an independent project" --- but it felt good. It felt true. After two and a half years - there is clarity. We all make mistakes. Some of us learn.

I tag myself as Misunderstood. All the time. Somehow today I realize, I cannot give that tag to myself, for I know me, I know my intentions, and it does not matter what another person thinks.
I would have preferred a low-profile life, but turns out I don't get that. Too bad or too good - I don't know.

My decisions I know have some bearing on other people's life - but I feel it today : Who says I can't be free? I mean yes, I can move on to a new chapter of life with a blink of an eye, and nobody dared challenged that.

I am free today - from all the things expected of me, by anyone. Free from the responsibilities I had towards people. Free from the labels attached. Free from the attachments itself. Free from dialogue. Free. Just free. This blog is an example. I am perhaps not expected to write what I am in this post because I am expected to write fun, crazy, arty stuff. Who says that again? And I feel so happy that I can fly :)

These are just little pieces of experience, that someday I will tell my grandkids. After all, like Mr. Roberts said in the famous Shantaram : If Life didn't make you laugh, you just didn't get the joke!

Walking against the wind has never been so much fun
Than today, when the time you know that there's no destination to the journey.
There's a lot of love around, and I will pick it up as I go
Towards the place where love is all you need
Towards the being you want to be.

The night has been long. But the day is going to last longer.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Friday.. :)

So this was one more of the many Mouse stories my kids will hear.

The five of us were undecided on the kind of fun we wanted to have on a friday night. And after much thought, mind you - we decided to go clubbing. Yes, usually people our age think of this as the first option, but of course, by now everyone knows how strange we are. Come down to it, we're stranger than the thought.

Urban Pind was hosting some private party. Delhi I tell you. And there aren't too many pocket-friendly places which don't leave you smelling of smoke (Tur.Cottage, for one). And right around the corner we spotted some club called Roxy...something of the sorts. We weren't drunk or anything but who the heck cares about names!

The terrace space was nice, but somehow, this was not a Club. The decor was like a Sheesha bar-cum-cafe...but the ambiance clearly suggested how badly they wanted to be called a club.
Moving on, the mouse and I owing to being girls had 2 free drinks each. Waste of life that I am, I already knew I would be passing my drinks. And the Mouse hardly has capacity.

In the meantime, our friend decided he will order some of the choicest starters on the menu (read explosive expensive) -- but well, like most of us are habituated to being crazy, he is habituated to be lavish. :)

Ages went by, and I swear another generation was about to crop up, when the waiter came up with our order. Cheeky. And his hairstyle sooooo labeled him that. Anyhooo, we had our fun, and then this second-to-God-like figure crops up, and takes away our drinks. Like from the guys because obviously we passed ours to them. And that always happens! I mean this club waiter behaved like this two year old who's slate was taken from his, his pig drawing erased to make way for a pretty pony-tailed girl.

Clearly, whoever taught him how to serve, did not teach him how to be smart and get the tips.

Of course we fought for our rights. Knowing Mouse and me, it was the thing to do. And we fought together..all four of us. We didn't hurt anyone, sadly didn't get to beat the waiter, except a gentle 'shove'....and then the Manager needing some peace of mind and heart, said it was ok to say goodbye without paying or tipping. :D

In case you're wondering why we said 'four' of us : The Lavish One scooted off before the starters showed up. He has a special gift for knowing what is about to happen. He sort of knew we were to be given free drinks and food, so he ordered all wholeheartedly. And I really hope you believe this line.

Jumped gates to get to our car (we park in areas where only Mercs get space). And then we headed to ....McDonalds. Globalization is a boon after all.

Till 3am the four of us were laughing our wits off. And I will explain that in some other posts to come.

Abhi ke liye itna hi. (That's all folks -Indie version to be read in the most annoying tone you can conjure)

Friday, August 05, 2011

"We are like this only" : Really, like WHAT?

Today, I seriously miss the US. The discipline is addictive, and so is the calm. I love my city, my country, but sometimes I cannot help but wonder WHY we cannot follow simple rules. The advertising law of continuous messaging, doesn't really impact people here - more so, it seems like there is a direct relation between how many times a rule is repeated and how ignored it is.

The Delhi Metro for one, strictly prohibits eating/drinking - its sort of simple to follow if one tried, but well - that's the question - do we try? The London and NYC sub-systems after so many years are well - a little dirty : so would it hurt to understand where we could reach if we all didn't try?

I'm writing this after a little introspection of the IVLP visit (story about that later). We were discussing, how infrastructure for the disabled was so well done in every part of US - be it buses or crossings, Auditoriums... anything. One could go for a dance performance and be blind, but be rest assured, the story behind the dance would be handed over to the person in braille. Offices accommodate special requirements for the disabled - it hardly lets you feel that you're missing out on something. In fact, when one crosses the road, the pedestrian signal is glorified by sound as well.

Now imagine the situation in Delhi. We don't follow lights. We honk like mad - okay so what if we have cattle straying across, we can avoid it! A disabled person in this light, would never be able to cross the road!!

I'm being a little partial towards Delhi, because Bombay, Calcutta...usually these cities follow rules. You stay in lanes. You do not jump lights. You do not blind others on the road with blue/green/orange flashy lights.

We all know that in the Capital, my father would know so-and so and yours would probably be the next PM...but just how does power-play matter if we cannot take responsibility for our own actions?

Some very brainy people will say, "I follow rules...others don't...so why should I be stupid"? - Ever heard of setting an example? I've tried, and believe me, it works.
If someone litters, pick it up, and throw it in the dustbin. Show it to the defaulter how it needs to be done. A city after all, isn't its infrastructure, but its people.

Gandhi did ask us to be the change we want to be....but when Obama stated it clearly over my IVLP Tshirt, it really became a little too much to ignore : We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Its going to be ages till we settled down, stopped and looked around, and decided to do our bit, but what's the harm in hoping for the time to come sooner!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The Boss's Life


Saw this a while back in the States. At that time I laughed it off - but suddenly today I thought about this, and dug up the image.

Perhaps its because I feel this way towards a lot of unnecessary crap (read people) around me. And I wholeheartedly admit, being Boss is tough job..correction, courageous work.

The irony in life I guess is that we have a habit of poking our noses in everyone's life. And we give that priority over ourselves. Sad no? If someone is doing good, we will get together and find faults in the person. If someone is doing bad, we will obviously acknowledge that. And when sadly it is our TURN to really poke our noses, hands, and face into a situation, we will walk by nonchalantly and pretend we never saw/heard anything.

For the last couple of years, I have followed my dream, lived every moment of it - and quite stupidly, tried to include everyone on the ride to a happy life. Everyone around me feels how awesome it must be to be your own master. They're bloody right. I am lucky, and I feel super about myself. But to be the master to some others - well, its tiring. And honestly, the Boss Collective needs a break from identifying the working types and the squandering types.

The world around has always championed "Do what you love" for a simple reason --- so you enjoy it, and while you're enjoying something you get paid for, don't prove to be a pain in the ass.

There's a girl who works at my office - I think I adore her. She's much younger than many others who have worked for me, and perhaps the most mature. She works, indulges herself completely in it while she's at it and laughs with everyone. Does not gossip to waste time. Ideal employee me says.

And then there are employees who would be discussing your personal life...or better, they'd probably be discussing what a stupid job I gave to an intern. They would be the first people to come complain about the same intern, and then will be the very first to go offer their condolences towards the person. Tsk Tsk... If only we figured out the work that we could have done in the meantime. Such kinds, I consider pests. Termite types. Eat up what you invested in. Shooing away is perhaps the best thing to do. Of course, there will be more backbiting that will follow, but it will be for a happier future.

There's also a category of the one that pretends to be all ears to you, and tries their best to show you how you'd be miserable without them. You won't be - trust me. There are many in the world looking for jobs. And people need to realize that their pay-checks are signed by you at the end of the day. There is a certain respect the position commands.

We all at some point in life, crib about our bosses giving us more work, not granting us leaves - pause and think : If the boss humanly could, he would. Nobody loves torturing another unless they were born to go to hell. First we apply for B and C and D schools...fight for placements, try getting a competitive salary : and when we do, we throw it all away in a sentence or two : There's too much work....I don't get leave. How about counting what you do get?! Just what if your boss someday was to behave just like you?! Imagine them saying "Your appraisal? Umm... your reference letter... well..I have too much work, it will have to wait... or I need a break - my boyfriend's sister is in town...or well, apart from you darling, I have other considerations - so why don't you just get to your desk, prove your worth, and wait for me to acknowledge it!"

Personally, I know how good I am at my work - and that shows. So I don't really need to tuck away a well paying job to help people in remote villages. More so, I don't need to pay people to come and talk about me/my attitude or my life when they can be paid for the abilities they have to create change. My professor told me, that we're students for life. And I agreed with him. Today, I think I agree strongly with him... If its not work that we're learning about - its definitely people.

Thankfully for me, my project gives me enough happiness and satisfaction to get over the nuts I come across and hope that someday they will grow up and get a life. And because the kind of people can never ever reach the stage of being a Boss, I hope they will try in their least capacity to be decent employees the employers can be proud of.

Einstein Bola!

The Crazy Life...

So yes, being an Entrepreneur like they say, is super tough. Sometimes I wish life would go back to normal and be all about theatre, mindlessness and friends who you could call friends.

Somethings though have not changed. The other day, the Mouse and I played Scrabble. Even with words that don't make sense, she lost. Boohoo. Love these little sadistic moments.

Started driving. The upside to it is, I can entertain better : Delhi has too many inspiring cupcakes all around. The downside, #@^$&$*&%.

Keep meeting people who 'support' indian art. They host exhibits at fancy galleries over wine and cheese and make money for it. Its business I guess. Not my thing.

Hauz Khas Village : makes me realize, what you love should be frequented...everyday.

About Design, should have applied to a D school rather than a C school. B school was never on my list.

Travel is what sets me free : Coming up next is Jilling.

Choco Buddy is leaving for the States. Haven't caught up with her. She's about to axe me out.

After two years of a super work schedule, I am ready to launch an independent project. To hell with people and their complications. The art and design was always my cause.

Writing my book. But I already thought of another one, so my mind is overspilling, I can't write/type as fast as I think, so the second one will have to wait.

Delhi Metro: Well, it is surviving. It has scope for observing humankind at its best. Delhi especially has this attitude of saying "Thora side ho.."... well now!

Read recently: Folk Tales from Bengal, Great Indian Stories, and a collection of Roald Dahl's short stories is still midway. Need to get back to comics.

Friends: Devina and Kasturi are getting married. There's much madness. And Shubho is becoming a girl.