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Showing posts from August, 2015

A Tale of Loss

Years ago, when I first read 'A Tale of Two Cities' and last week when I re-read it, I realized this one feeling I had even then that no matter who you trust, however trustworthy and kind they seem, you'll end up getting betrayed and hurt. And, its very true even today. Human nature just hasn't evolved over time. These characteristics of Anger, Jealousy, Hatred are still pretty much alive and kicking us with their ugly heads more than ever. Dickens knew what he was writing. Us, humans- we've set up boundaries for everyone, even ourselves. We won't cross them even when we know we are wrong, or mistaken or that someone is in distress because of us. We love massaging our petty mindsets about our greatness and our potential when the only thing that should really matter is being a better human being. A better person to our own selves and to others. That would do a big service to the entire mankind than anything ever done. Of course, we are bound to get disappointed…

ZINES!!!

I confess I never knew what a ZINE meant! In fact, I even pronounced it wrong uttering 'Ziii-ne' instead of 'Zine' as in 'Magazine.' My very first Zine was from Bombay Underground. It's a non-profit organization that collects, stocks, sells, resells books, organizes second-hand book sales and a lot of other interesting things, one among which is publishing zines, in Mumbai. So, one August eve last year, I met my friend Shree just the next day after my gruesome exams at this cool place called The Hive. There was an exhibition and this place is located in Khar which was the basis of its appeal to both Shree and me. We entered The Hive and walked along this long tunnel-ish space adorned with black painted walls and some paintings. It gave way to a beautiful open space which had a small table with books spread on it, and a rack of books on the opposite side. The other corner across the room had a lovely Trellis covered seating space with a big table and small …

A pre-exam soliloquy

During my childhood, exams didn't seem to make much of a difference. Now they do. Now each exam is a survival point. Firstly, the pressure of getting past through preliminary exams, then the main exams and the last interview part. I admit, I haven't dreaded exams as much as I did during Architecture school. It was horrible back then. April and May felt like the longest months. The juries were terrible. All of them. Always. Now, one reason could be because I deterred the evaluation system and the other was, the jurors never seemed to like the designs. No matter how good the concept or the rendering or the technical details like including ramps throughout the building spaces. I used to be really miffed with the jury members because it seemed pointless that they would only always appreciate great scale models and not the design. Of course, there are exceptions. I really admire my first year Architecture Design teacher who looked beyond presentation and into the actual designing …

On death

I am scared of Death. Of losing my loved ones. And no matter how many articles I read about how it's the norm of human life and such, I can't shrug off the thoughts on death. The very first realisation or my encounter with death was witnessing my Great-grandmother's funeral. I was five then. I remember till this day, very clearly in my head and can see in front of my eyes her shrunken body on the floor decorated with flowers. Years later when I was nine and read an Amar Chitra Katha series book on Dr. B R Ambedkar, did I know what a funeral procession was and how big! The next gruesome account happened while reading Oliver Twist when I was eleven and I couldn't bear imagining Agnes dying in the old courthouse and images of Nancy bludgeoned to death. It all seemed so cruel and utterly disturbing. The very first thought of losing a beloved was when I was quite grown up. I was fifteen and had just witnessed the worst fight among my parents and I told them bitterly that t…

In-dependence

15th August, 1947- India gained Independence.
15th August, 2015- 69th Indian Independence Day.

Whose independence are we celebrating? Does singing patriotic songs, playing them loudly in public places, and posting the Tricolor laden pictures on social networking sites mean celebration? How do we qualify to celebrate this freedom? So many questions! Let's try attempting to answer them.

We are celebrating the day our nation got free from the shackles of a foreign establishment. We are celebrating the political freedom that we received on this day in 1947. All of us study the Indian National Freedom struggle in school history textbooks for at least two years. Yet political freedom is all that we cherish. What about the social freedom? Do we enjoy these rights? I think not. For majority of the population still living on the brink of poverty and hunger, this freedom doesn't hold meaning. Sure they've got rights and protection accorded in the constitution, are they being realis…

PERIOD revolution

Kiran Gandhi is all over the internet and for the right (err!) reasons. She ran the London Marathon without a tampon, bleeding but finished the race. Since it first got published, I've read several articles on her, lauding her actions and leading to a widespread debate on menstruation and period hygiene. While the articles and reports have been positive, the comments section reeks of misogyny and sexist opinions. Some call it 'ridiculous attention grabbing action', some say its unnecessary because tomorrow someone will run with poop and urinate and what not!
What exactly is Kiran's point in doing this? She ran the marathon bleeding because in her own words, "I ran with blood dripping down my legs for sisters who don't have access to tampons and sisters who, despite cramping and pain, hide it away and pretend like it doesn't exist." Now how can we and why must we criticise someone like her?! People don't think it's a taboo when girls as young …

The Reader speaks

I am a crazy reader.
Even while typing this sentence all that came to my mind were the book bags, book shelves and stacks perched on the sofa of the living room of my house. I am also a collector of antiquarian books. So I can't resist picking up two copies of the same book if they happen to be rare editions. Ever since I have known Ahalya, the librarian and bookstore owner of Trilogy I have been the happiest soul I was on the planet. This girl is exactly me. I saw myself in her. She is the mirror I must have been looking for. And, its no mean coincidence that our names take their form in an old Indian epic. That's particularly funny, even I think so.
These days, Ahalya and me have started communicating through a messenger app and its such a boon. I continuously bombard Ahalya's phone with book cover jpegs and she enthusiastically responds over it. Initially I thought it would be an imposition on her. I lost that dreadful thought soon enough. Its an absolute blessing to h…