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Showing posts from 2017

Tete-a-Tete with life

I severely despise drama, melodrama, malaise of all kinds. And yet here I am spending an October Saturday in misery over the way people can't deal with their problems. Anger and Anxiety are going to be the death of this world. Just last night the news reported a survey of 31% officegoers suffering from office related stress in my city. I actually feel that number is at least 91%! If only all of us learnt to live (and, lie alternately) in harmony and in unison, there would be no stress and participation in such grizly surveys. But, this is life and we are the saddest lot in it. Unfortunately, I am not in my very best spirits to write here, but in the hopes that writing shall cure me of my endless suffering, here I unleash my fury at the world (and, myself!). 
Just today morning, I told a friend that "all conditioned things are impermanent," and while it is true generally, today it doesn't feel so. Somehow, hatred and anger and vile things have become a permanence in …

Joys of being

Hurray! Your postcard has arrived!! This message in my inbox makes me smile invariably. :) Received an email last night and I went back four years ago into that cold october night when I first ventured into this amazing world of Postcrossing- sending postcards across the world. I don't quite remember how I stumbled upon the website but it quickly became a source of great joy to me. It brought me stories from many countries on postcards that took my breath away. Some of them were sending their first postcards to India and it was so wonderful to read their stories. Amidst a not so very good time in my life, I kept receiving postcards that lifted my sullen spirits, gave me amazing insights into human psychology of being from different cultures and geographies and yet being the same people, everywhere. I realised that Russians, Dutch, Germans are avid postcrossers. I tried to keep up with the hectic schedule of my life and sending postcards while lamenting the lack of finding cards, t…

Tick Tock

There's a LIVE timebomb ticking within all of us. Isn't it slightly infuriating to be at the helm of such anxiety and nervousness? A number of things that could make us miserable, change our cheery demeanour to a sullen state of chaos, unable to comprehend the workings of this complicated system. We are all beings in a fixed mechanism of state and individual power. We are controlled by forces we live with daily. They include our people from our families, workspace, acquainting lifesphere. The set of rules bogs me down each time I look at a detached view of this being. Since I am alive in this great era of science, modernity and opportunities, why does it still seem inadequate?
Like every other parent-children disagreements, I am seething with one too over the most mundane and silliest of topics. Such is life. I think it was Anais Nin who wrote that "I am a series of moods and sensations. I play a thousand roles...My real self is unknown." How I so appropriately feel…

Justice, at last!

Nothing is less likely to inform the ignorance of their basking than telling them it is abysmal. - George Bernard Shaw
A few days ago, I read something about Cultural Appropriation and I honestly can't to my utter embarrasment remember anything more about the article. Today, on 28th August 2017, Judiciary in India delivered a powerful prison sentence to a fake godman who dominated the news for his notoriety for years. 20 years in prison for two sexual assault cases pending since the last fifteen years. It is indeed a big victory apart from the cynicism of few who moan the delay in justice but they forget that in India, justice delayed is often justice denied! I read the original letter written by one of the sexual abuse victims to the then PM, Vajpayee. That letter is chilling in details, giving a detailed account of Ram Rahim's many crimes that includes raping 35-40 sadhvis (nuns), murdering people and abusing women in his so called dera- place of worship. Unfortunately for In…

In other worlds, other wonders!

I have never till date felt so defenseless over a headache! In fact, I have never given power to my body to enslave me with sickness. I have always been healthy for years. My last bout of sickness was in 2005 when I was bed ridden for a week apparently from exhaustion of travelling to and fro from college. Architecture as academics was exhausting. Instead of expanding my health issues anyfuther here, I would like to write about my recent disinterest in blogging. 
On one hand, I have been reading excessively like a mad(wo)man, devouring couple of hundred pages every day or so, and yet I find myself bereft of words to write here. I have also met some new people, readers who have turned their passion into business, which is too cool, I think! The more I look at people who have developed this trangression from reading and owning books and then, selling them, the more subconscious I have become about my books at home. My Dad and me share a common giant wall bookshelf with about Ten granite …

Meanderings

There is this thing about reading that is unique and personal to each. It awakens feelings and thoughts that one could not have conjured while sitting idly. Although that is too much of an overstatement to be true. But whenever I share my reads on a public platform like Goodreads or Instagram where book stories are put under the hashtag of bookstagram, I feel the result is pretty much the same as sharing them with someone in person. There are so many amazing people who are bold, uninhibited and clear while speaking their mind especially on the internet. Some of them have become such good friends of mine even though we haven't met or have no possibility of meeting in the near future. I am sounding more like the pessimist but it is true, sadly. 
One can't live on books and thus is effectively proved in a book I read two days ago. It's called, The House of Paper written by Carlos Dominguez. It came as a very timely shocker and reminder to me since I was drifting in a dangero…

Much Ado About Nothing

Doesn't that happen with all of us? At some point in our lives, there comes a moment when everything seems to dissipate into nothingness, without any meaning and further direction. There are these mocking days and then there are good ones!
And sometimes there's a delightful feeling when one thing leads to another... Today evening, I immersed in one such serendipity. It started with Ezra Pound's poem that got me and an acquaintance talking for a long hour and then I got hooked further on Homer's Illiad, Garcia Lorca's verses, Blake's Songs of Innocence and the very surprisingly lyrical Anne Bronte. I have an utterly beautiful hard back copy of Anne Bronte's Agnes Grey, and I haven't read it yet. It sits on a low shelf in my drawing room surrounded by David Copperfield and The Yearling. Anne Bronte truly took me by surprise. One of her poems, A Reminiscence tugged at my heart strings. She died very young, aged 29. Somehow I feel a close bond with writers…

Something

Best to meet in poems:
cool speckled shells in which one hears
a sad but distant sea.  
When writers go to some dark spaces and then pull out of them to unravel the brightness specking the surroundings, that's when we enter this happy sojourn into their world.
How many times have we heard about everything that has a reason, a time, a place? Somedays my nights are spent excessively dwelling upon this reasoning of time. How do we really get into and out of this catacomb of emotions so frequently and so easily? I just finished reading two works of fiction, both intense emotional dramas and my heart couldn't stop from beating hard for the people in them. I shipped them when they fell down and struggled to move on in their fictional lives. No comparing our complex lives on hand, but isn't fiction the escape from reality? 
The more I think about necessities and lost opportunities, the more I revel in the knowledge of self evaluation. Anyway, this is the last blog post of July. How…

The Storyteller

SO TODAY has been a very mixed productive work day. I believe I have absolutely tired my eyes out staring at the computer screen so much in 9 hours. More than that actually. Do we ever stop working by the clock? I envisaged two lines of a story throughout the day just to keep up on my energies for some creative output for the day. 
I was very happy in the morning after my dance class and decided to paint something today. The morning breeze and slight drizzle on the way back home put me into high spirits. I felt charged and every atom within me bounced with endless energy. Something about witnessing the bright day and chaos on the streets had me unexpectantly cheery for my usual self. There is a madness in routine and habits. Anthony Trollope is said to have written meticulously every day. He wrote everyday for three hours, 250 words in 15 minutes and 66 pages per week was his decided course for a book draft. This kind of routine is sure to produce good writing habits. I have read in …

Wednesday Book Musings

Should we be apologetic for what we read? Could it be embarrasing to admit that some of us do read YA fiction because some of it offers great advice on life! It was with such thoughts when I read this article on why reading fiction has become more important than ever. On Kindle, I have had access to some great fiction books that I would have otherwise not read as paperbacks. One among them is Love in the Present Tense by Catherine Ryan Hyde whose other book, Pay it Forward  was made into a movie. The reasons about explaining our literature choices are more important these days is because all of us get labelled and categorized by our literary tastes in a book club. On Goodreads, when I see a healthy mix of fiction, non-fiction, history and sociology books it makes me realise this variation in our reading is essential for our thinking caps to grow and expand so as to behave sensibly in public. The moral code for behaviour is set pretty hard for people who read a multitude of subjects a…

New World Order

It's one of those days, you know, when you are feeling low and your self-esteem is at a real zero, that the universe provides hope in unexpected forms. With me this happened in the form of postcards, not one, two or three but ELEVEN of them. My Dad bought the post on his way back home and I almost cried with joy to see them all. 
What makes a random activity like postcrossing really click with people and invest their time in sending postcards with messages to strangers all over the world? I believe, it is the necessity to claim humanity, to claim the love that is lost in the vast sea pool of hatred, discrimination and diversity. The more connected the world has become, the faster we have lost our shroud of humanity. We are increasingly being divided on the basis of race, color, religion, economy, culture, geography and politics, of course! Our conscious collaborative is not working amidst high powered business economies and commercial profit ventures. People who come from diverse…

PIE Love

In a writing workshop conducted in IIT-B on Saturday, we were asked to write about our favourite food memory. What I couldn't conjure then, I shall write here today. My earliest pie memory is from reciting nursery rhymes from childhood. A porcelain bowl with dripping dark chocolate over sugar glazed green apples later baked with a caramelised crust, hot from the oven had my mouth watering many years ago when I saw it in a movie on Pies titled Waitress. Years later, I tried recreating it in my home with a not-so-same effect other than enjoying the bitter chocolate in my mouth. Each new pie recipe inspired me to go through Crawford Market on friday evenings looking through fresh fruit stalls. The mounds and colorful assortments of juicy, ripe peaches and apples sent a surge of happiness through me. I started imagining baking pies in my head like Jenna did. Unlike her, I did not have names for my pie but I did imagine colors and fruits of all kinds in mine. Vanilla and Pineapple fra…

Heart Song

A flute chimes an endless melody in the house as I open the door and step in, crossing the reflecting floor tiles with drapes around the window fluttering in a constant breeze on this summer day.... And then I hear Doris Day's voice singing Que Sera Sera. Is this a wistful dream from stormy nights or my many thoughts that wrap themselves in music and summer light? The very first thoughts when I enter my house are of the light that streams through those windows next to our library. The books bathe in a shiny gleam of yellow and sombre tones warming my heart every moment I see them. There's a different emotion while penning thoughts about a heart song that lingers for a while, extending its stay for a long time far in the future. For a long time since acquiring a new phone, I did not have music in it. I would hum in my head while travelling with my head buried in books. And then one day, I heard a group of women sing some classics from my childhood in the train. It evoked nosta…

My friday musings

Some days the only text messages I receive on my phone are from the Zumba group I happily and dare say, religiously dance with five days a week. They are not even directed towards me, only some regular forwards, jokes, some promotional jewellery and meditation cum well-being workshop events. At times, I really detach myself from everything that goes around. DO we ever realise the information overload we are sending back into the universe every single minute, all of us 7 billion people? I may have expressed this thought here before and I am doing it yet again. A very random stranger who has become a familiar acquaintance on Instagram texted me the other day urging me to write a bestseller and that I am a genius. These words coming from someone who only knows me from some regular interaction virtually over books, photographs and rants, separated by a physical distance of thousands of miles and oceans betwen us, humbled me. Happiness comes unexpectedly. Her words made me happy, gave me …

Moonlight and the prickle of stars

It's close to midnight, raining, the tenants living upstairs are creating some ruckus and here I am, pondering over my disastrous cupcake kitchen adventure from the evening. My head hurts badly with a splitting pain throughtout my temples and perhaps, I need to pay a visit to my ENT doctor tomorrow. Each year, atleast once I suffer from these splitting headaches which are usually only warning me about my ear infections. I am a very healthy person. I seldom miss appointments or work assignments or social committments due to sickness. But that's because I am really scared of illness and the pain that follows it. As a kid, most of my doctor visits were due to ear infections only. For the past couple of years, I have been relatively healthy and fit with no major or minor sicknesses ever, not even cold or fever that warranted a visit from me to the doctor. 
Last Sunday, I was travelling through a mountain pass in my car and happened to witness a magical moonlit night that seemed to …

RISE!

Why did we begin in the first place to complete something?
Always go back to the reasons we started doing something we liked. Very straightforward, isn't it? We are what we think! My many musings these days apart from the random chaos that plagues my mind found me reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Joan Didion, simultaneously. As I went through Marquez's words, it dawned upon me of the many vices that reside within us, which have a better hold than we think they do. It's all part of our making and our inner being the way it is. I once read somewhere that "Your mind will always believe everything you tell it. Feed it faith. Feed it truth. Feed it with love." How then do we still end up belittling ourselves to such an extent that it harms us? Words have the potent power of endangering minds and souls into a deep abyss of destruction. I am filled with a mad rage at the world. We give ourselves to the world, its avarices and end up empty handed, figuratively speaking.…

At peace!

Sometimes I’m afraid I’m happy, but because I expect it to be something else, I question the experience. So now, when in doubt, she shrugged with true bravado, I’ll assume I’m happy. ― Carrie Fisher, Postcards from the Edge. Something happened and all the happiness and positive spirits I was feeling are drained now. Sometimes my mind scares me with the dire things it thinks. I cannot give up. I don't give up easily. I mustn't now too. It helps to ponder over things that trouble us over a span of couple of hours. A few hours earlier I felt extremely dejected at my failure of attaining something I was confident I had in my kitty. Then, I started talking to myself about the futility of unnecessary freaking over the unoccurred and voila! I feel fit as a fiddle, not drained emotionally nor depressed at all. This only makes my resolve to seek the higher transformative powers of creating change within myself and embracing it too more stronger than ever. It's true that within our o…

This is us!

I was going through an emotional turmoil last night and used this blog to vent out my grief. Sometimes, well, only a few times, I wonder if my understanding of grief, misery and sorrow is the same that everyone goes through or I am severly meddling these confused emotions I can't seem to word out. Whichever way it is, I felt incredibly better after writing everything here, and I am trying to assert my mind into believing that THAT which hasn't happened yet and perhaps won't take place shan't worry me and cause me distress or unncesarry panic. I suppose I already should be alert at the use of such negative energy bubbles into my conversation here. I am throwing caution to the wind and deciding not to think about anything at all. My heart goes into a ballistic mode once I conjure too many multiple scenarios in my brain and then as if ticking on a machine, it starts weaving these elaborate sequences I deem fit only for fictional accounts. Hemingway wrote A Moveable Feast

आयुष्याशी बोलू काही...

मला उगाचच पटकन मनाला लावून घ्यायची सवय झालीय. फार लवकर वाईट वाटून घेते मी. यात तोटा माझाच होतो शेवटी. प्रचंड मानसिक तणाव राहतो मनावर बरेच दिवस, कधी कधी आठवडे देखील. मागच्या वर्षी तर खूप महिने प्रचंड दडपण आलं होतं मला. अभ्यासात देखील मग मन रमत नव्हतं. त्यामुळे एक फायदा असा झाला कि इथे मी ब्लॉग मात्र नियमितपणे करायला शिकले तेवढ्या अवधीत. आज घरातला पुस्तकांचा आणि वर्तमानपत्रांचा पसारा आवरताना मला बरीचशी जुनी कात्रणं सापडली. मी पार हरखून गेले सगळंच अधाशीपणे वाचण्याच्या नादात. लोकसत्ताच्या लोकरंग तसेच चतुरंग पुरवण्यांमधले अगणित लेख, टिपणं, आणि संग्रही केलेले भरमसाठ विशेष पुरवण्यांचे गठ्ठे! माझी आई नेहमीप्रमाणे मला ओरडली कि सगळं टाकून दे, गरजेपुरतच आता संग्रह आवरता घे. तेवढ्यात माझे डॅडी घरी आले आणि मी काढलेल्या मासिकांच्या गट्ठ्यांना ढूंढाळू लागले. मग काय आम्ही दोघं त्यात गर्क झालो तासभर. शेवटी हो नाही म्हणता म्हणता परत मोठा ढीग झालाच परत. मग जेवणानंतर मी मला वाचावेसे वाटणारे कात्रणं नि पुरवण्या हाताशी धरल्या आणि गुंगून गेले सगळ्यात. खरंच! आपण आयुष्यात किती गोष्टींचा संग्रह करतो. कधी आनंद…

What price paradise?

If you have the words, there's always a chance that you'll find the way. So wrote Seamus Heaney.
This sweltering heat is making me go nuts. I have just come back home today after yet another two days of continuous travelling to a city I love with all my heart except the heat makes me want to slither into a cool cave and wait there until summer ends. I have also been strongly fighting against the urge of not being able to churn out words lately. Seems like my brain has melted all the thinking nerves. Right now, the news on TV is running a reel on water shortage and drought in villages not far from Mumbai's peripheral areas. Water from rivers and dams located in these villages was supplied via pipelines to the Greater Mumbai and Thane suburbs. Now, the residents there travel for miles and often into other villages in search of a pot of water. Borewells and groundwater reserves have long depleted and the only visible proof of an existence of a river are the remnants of the …

Unexpected gifts

My Dad misplaced some medical records in our house and we spent pretty much the entire day looking for them. Almost searched every nook and crany of our newly renovated house. It has been a taxing day more so for me because I had been travelling for two days straight in one of my  most uncomfortable & harrowing train travels ever prior to landing up in this search mission. Now, I've caught an allergic cold from all the dust and still no success in locating the records. So, it has been a very unexpected gift only because I was proudly boasting last week about my immune system and how healthy I am while my family fell ill with allergic cold and from the heat. Life has a way of getting back at us. Is it Karma? Who knows? I certainly don't believe in it. May be, a tiny part of my brain dwells on it but never with full faith. Another unexpected gift has been the surprising retrieval of two design manuals I'd misplaced and thought lost. One of them is an Accessibility Desig…

A Little Love

Penguin publishers first came up with a set of 80 books in 2015. Then, they published more and now the boxed set of poetry/prose/short stories has gone to 120. Today, on Instagram, while admiring another fellow reader's Little Black Books (LBB) collection, I lamented how in Indian currency the box set is still expensive. She gave me this wonderful idea to ship it from Book Depository and I promptly looked up the website. To my utter disappointment, Indian Currency transactions don't exist. There's Indonesian Rupiah but not Rupee. I got so excited at the prospect of seeing an entire boxed set for affordable prices, and would have bought the entire set but alas! These are just some disappointing moments and yet there are far greater trivial issues we need to address.
One of my closest friends is miserable and battling depression. She texted me about symptoms and the likely causes she's experiencing this. I hope to be able to help her out of this self-imposed misery. Whe…

Remodelling woes

My first post in March after such a lull and it has me ranting. I'm an Architect with no experience in Residential Architecture. So when we decided to remodel our house, I knew my parents would be looking for my inputs. I started by searching Home Designing websites and some blogs written by practising architects with more than 20 years of field experience. I have to say that redoing involves a lot of stress and lot of fact crunching. I have been looking at samples of flooring and wall tiles, kitchen designs and bathroom fittings and fixtures. All the building services lectures come back flitting to me. I was almost tempted to retrieve the building services drawing sheets and go over details. It's no wonder that building construction is in so much demand everywhere. Interior designing is way too overrated and over-hyped. I have witnessed as a layman prior to my architecture education, the enormous amount of treachery that goes with unassuming people who are conned by contract…