Tag Archives: Art

77: Pour Your Whiskey

18 Mar

and sink into the soul of this,

 

and this one, which hits the spot every single time.

 

 

Have a lovely Saturday. :)

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11: 60 Minutes

11 Jan

It was over a whatsapp conversation with V, a couple of weeks ago, which reinforced this very special and indulgent (almost) idea of me time. I’m all for it, to be honest. And I don’t care if the world thinks I’m being selfish, haha! Ever since I quit my job and relocated cities, I’ve had only time at hand, and a rather volatile idle mind to accompany it most times. Sometimes I read, sometimes I draw or paint, sometimes I go out for a walk if the weather permits one, sometimes I cook or bake, and sometimes I just be. These are conscious periods of time I take out to engage in these particular activities for my self. So while I do read, cook, bake, listen to music, or just do random other stuff to keep me occupied most of the time, I’d over time, I guess, forgotten to be conscious of the things I was doing for just my self; irrespective of whether whatsapp chats were bursting at their seams or if phone calls came in a dozen.

One day I sent a random message to V when my mind was foggier than I’d have liked it to be and I needed some distraction. Soon after, as is when chatting with my girls, a conversation ensued. I’m thankful and so grateful for some friendships, and my girlfriends of course. More often than not, these same girls I once shared not just a classroom bench with, make me realise with an almost breathtaking cognizance, that I’m never alone. Friends double your joy and halve your sorrow, they say, and so it is. Of course these are your pillars that don’t freeload off your energy and emotional pools leaving you parched and incomplete. Anyhoo, while we were conversing, she reminded me of this absolute therapy, that is, my time – to consciously take an hour or more if you can spare it, to do something only for yourself. And there we had it, eureka.

Ever since, I’ve very actively removed a small chunk of time for myself to do as I please – and the outcome of it has been miraculous. I’ve managed to read more books than I had during all of 2016, painted more paintings than I had all of 2016, and tried yoga after so, so many years. When V told me about her go-to, which is yoga, I promptly scoffed and said that’s not my thang; much the same way I tell ma this every time she recommends yoga, pranayam and meditation to me. But I tried it, and it left me feeling calm in a zen endorphin way. Ever since, I have lost my temper less, been calmer more often, taken the zen route more than the path of war, and of course, I think I’m feeling more healthy both mentally and emotionally.

She also told me jump 20 times, which I’ve conveniently ignored.

This isn’t a yoga promotion by any means, as much as it is about the significance of giving to oneself what we give so freely and abundantly to others – a lot of ourselves. Because I also am addicted to my phone, and to thinking, it’s an enormous challenge to pick stillness and stay with it for that chosen period of time. It’s astounding how absolutely stubborn and restless my mind really is. There’s so much to patch up from the immense healing powers we have within ourselves, and while the first few days have been difficult and painful (because yoga is not for pussies), the discipline to give my mind and body this time is making itself felt, and heard (oh my joints!).

Namaste!

Validation

26 Feb

It is so easy for someone like me to pinpoint the negatives, to put under spotlight all that isn’t going as per plan or to even channelize my energies into brooding over anything and everything. A true cynic and brooder, it really isn’t hard to wallow in the have-nots of my life rather than celebrate the many things I am, in fact, blessed to have. Let’s not even go down the road of how these constant existential quotes and memes out there make me feel; because no, they do not make me feel sunshiney or motivated or even remotely unicornish. They just lead me to question two very simple things – a) how much spare time do people really for this sort of stuff, and b) is this world really so sad and demotivated and high-strung that it turns to no one else but the internet to get itself gratified, so to speak? Anyway. It’s a real wonder.

Sometimes it’s unimaginable how time flies and where my day goes. Having worked or kept myself occupied with some routine or the other all my life so far, this new break of sorts is sometimes welcome and mostly questioned. No, I haven’t walked down the (very discouraging) what is wrong with me path and I’m trying to stay very far away from it since that is a black-hole to avoid. Neither have I asked what’s taking so long for a routine to fall in place. What I have, however, pondered and brooded over is why this is such a bother to me. When did having free time become a bad thing? When did not being employed (yet) become a question of one’s worth or talent or capabilities? Most of all, why are we so quick to be this harsh on ourselves?

It really isn’t easy, especially if you are someone who always wants to have something to do; something you automatically seek validation from. It really is hard. And it is so easy to begin that blame-game and throw oneself into the throes of negativity. It is a task that I indulge in on an almost daily basis to inform myself about the vagaries of time and its effects; that everything definitely has a meaning and a reason behind it. I do believe in that sort of stuff so it makes it a little easier to tide the waves of panic that sometimes wash over me. However, in the midst of it all, I do have my conscience ringing its bell as and when it pleases, because complacency was never really a favourite and not something to be tolerated in the least.

What does help me are the things I love doing; things that take my mind off its thoughts; and things that channelize my energy into more productive and meaningful expressions. With a very supportive and encouraging family, I have indeed turned inward and sought that which makes me feel at peace with myself — because it comes from within me, is by me and is always going to be for me… those precious reserves that we stock up all our life but never open because we never give ourselves the time to look within them and experience ourselves for all that we are, and more. It is the stuff that is mine and encompasses all this time which is my time – something that sadly is such a rarity today. I’ve no idea when and how we started attributing free time and me time to being useless and jobless and worst of all, worthless.

It’s taken some effort and lots of coaxing, but I haven’t ever felt this sort of absolute peace with my own company before. It’s triply thrilling because it doesn’t involve the company of a second or even third party – just me and my self. Because of which, I’ve never drawn my heart and mind out like I am now. With every curve, with every bend, with every line, there is a release that’s hard to explain and a crime to control.

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So here’s what I’ve basically spent a lot of January, doing. Be it doodling, drawing or even just writing – this time used to let my inner self speak and this opportunity to mingle directly with it minus any interference, is, I have learnt, most satisfying and validating.

Becoming

20 Jan

I wasn’t prepared to write today. I was in bed just moments ago, trying to get through a book I’ve been savouring but prolonging beyond necessary. My Kindle says I’m about 30 minutes from completing it. And so I left it because 30 minutes isn’t much especially when something stirs you to get up from bed, haul yourself to the laptop and get back again; to write. It’s a blessing.

I’ve been reading Eat, Pray, Love (after having watched the movie first, in one of those rare switches that happens). It has agitated me from time to time which is why I’m unsure if 30 minutes will really be the 30 minutes the world of time knows. Perhaps. But then the book has left me in so many places at once – good places that make me put my book down and explore my new-found lands. Lands that have stars and contentment and peace and questions and sandy beaches and explorations and bicycle rides and magic and giving and taking… lands that make me think about the universe, of life, of sensibilities, of experiences, of exultation, of emotions. It’s all too much to find yourself amid. But it’s poetry nonetheless. And I’d like to use the word poetry because it’s as decipherable as the next enigma. There lie so many questions and so many answers and possibilities and so many chances and opportunities… it’s a marvelous place to be lost in and let go in, because it’s poetry.

Talking about poetry, I’m a part of this one group that sits a little at the edge of the others that fill in the spaces of my small universe. I’d like to think of it that way – just aptly situated at the edge of a starry universe where one talks about life, love, magic, the heart’s love affairs, the mind’s midnight walks, and beer. I’m not sure how the conversation began but it invariably led to poetry. I think we were discussing this concept Elizabeth Gilbert talks about in her book – something on the lines of “being a drop in the ocean and the ocean being in a drop” – which revolves around the concept of our soul and working on it, to some extent and in a singular perception, of course.

But isn’t that poetic? To think of us not just as a drop in the ocean but to realize that the ocean is in a drop too? How magnificent in its ability to change perspectives and highlight the beauty of the whole, the concept of infinity (which was also something we were simultaneously talking about on the group as well) and the image of a continuum.

I connect this to poetry because of its diverse ability to give as you wish to take; for who can be a poet except someone who allows those one-minded walls to free-fall and become fluid? I’m not sure if I’m making sense but you understand what encountering poetry does to you, right? It makes me levitate, to simply put it… it enables me to drift and explore meanings that tremble like leaves and flower petals waiting to be touched, smelt, felt.

Who else can be a poet but someone who can become and allow becoming? To manifest and to allow manifestation. To grow and to allow blossoming. To live and to allow life. What else can poetry be but sharing?

It was through this that one of them shared their poems which, when I chanced my senses on it, made me want to come here and write. And share. Because you should read it. And dive into it. And let it take you places you may like to visit but haven’t yet. I’m also giving you the music that took him to where he was when he wrote this and which could possibly do the same to you too. Thank you for allowing me to share this, A-man.

I LIVE AGAIN
(By ASP)

While the plastic bags do their dance in wind,
I bind, unbind and bind again.
For little mercies and Her mightiness,
I close my eyes and live again.

What one saw is what’s on the mind,
And there She was, sweet-singing glee.
I walked to Her and asked for me,
She sang her song and let me be!

Then a story and once more a song,
And this time I knew, she wasn’t just the sound or smell.
The ocean was a drop and dense as well,
Exploded, eroded, I let it dwell.

The time was when time stood still,
There was space and continuum too.
All I am is also a rock or hill,
I waited for light to dawn and fill.

In her tactful whisper she yelled at me,
Hey you, close your eyes and live again.

Now tell me, isn’t there poetry in sharing? And becoming?

Writing and a Cheese Omelette

28 Apr

I swear I haven’t seen the face of this portal since I last wrote. I don’t know if it was a conscious or unconscious choice. But I do know that I’ve this weird knack of absconding as and when and I don’t particularly enjoy maintaining that tag per se.

Do I write every day? No. Do I need to write every day? No. I mean, yes. Do I want to write every day? Yes. Is it easy to come up with or have a lineup of things to write about on a daily basis? You answer that for me. I’m sure my answer is below the pit of pits compared to yours. I assure you.

But does that still motivate me to write? Yes. Because I do know how I look at the world and how I see the world unfurl in front of me every single moment; in pictures, in stories, in a storyboard that makes sense to the way I think, perceive and live my life. Can I translate that with ease here? I think the evidence is answer enough. But I’d like to believe that I can try.

This weird amount of optimism and inspiration is not a one-off Monday shot of life’s dose that happened to me. Although it has been a different Monday because I haven’t felt as inspired in a very, very long time, that does not, of course, mean that I’m going to give you a Pulitzer-worthy piece of writing because I am the same old me who does have her rather non-flashy blog still in place, doing its own thing. I just know that a lot has to happen here and in order for that to happen, I need to instill a certain sense of structure and discipline. And that’s where the catch lies because I rather dislike adding the word ‘compulsion’ to anything I enjoy doing. Don’t most of us? Or am I the only odd one out here?

That apart, not that I’m laying down a red carpet of excuses to take control of my abysmal writing practice, there seriously is that long list of distractions that just makes it impossible to create a sense of continuity writing really requires. I thrive on alone time not because I’m an anti-social specimen (which I can be more often than not), but because I find that that best allows me to think and process my thoughts. Isn’t it most irritating to have your maid ring the bell just when you’re trying to put things together, and then have her hover all around (even while she really is doing her own thing)? I hate it. I hate not having a designated space to write because I think that is imperative.

Of course, there are so many criteria that ought to be met for any creative process to take place and efficiently so. But I find some, if not most of them, as fleeting as can be. And therefore, it is difficult. I won’t deny having to keep my thoughts within and explore them later only to realize they’ve all dissipated and died. It is disheartening. But really, this isn’t a rant about how I have no space or how it is hard to find the space to do my own thing with whatever I may be blessed to have. Maybe I sound like a spoiled brat who wants it all. And yes, I do. Judge me. But that’s another story for another time and irrespective of whether that happens or not, I know I have to find a way. Therefore I don’t necessarily have to write every day but I do, because I believe writing; being a talent apart; needs to be inculcated, needs to be practiced. It is important to have that time, space and habit. That’s how I see it and that’s how I intend to keep it.

And so, in lieu of feeling pent up and being completely unable to write for xyz reasons, today was one of those days that, I think, the universe conspired to happen. Because I’m here, writing, despite having been steamrolled by Facebook, an alarmingly low spaced memory card on my phone which beeped red all over my face, my hunger, my forever hungry pigs, the strange summer heat which my body can tolerate but which my hormones are making sure I cannot, and being rung and intruded upon by my maid (who is quite sweet but whom I cannot like because of this sole reason. I’d really like my space, lady. Really!!). I’m trying. Who knows if I’ll disappear indefinitely after writing this post. But I prefer thinking about today. That’s been a top lesson this year. Think about today. Tomorrow is another day.

The blog also needs a revamp, I think. Maybe I will. But all the gosh darn awesome themes I like are beyond what I think I would like to pay for a blog theme, even if I was earning in USD. Bleargh. I’d really rather buy three fancy pairs of shoes with that amount. I’m not joking. But here’s what I did in the meantime.

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Am I on the right track to finding a new blog theme and doing up my blog and writing more often? I think so. I made myself an omelette. It was what made most sense in that moment when I was caught between writing about feeling inspired in general or between really, really feeling inspired while I wrote about feeling inspired. See? Also, I was feeling hungry. Or rather, I was feeling most hungry at that moment. So I had to break my thought flow and go make this very simple but totally gorgeous piece of art.

I love making art with my food. I think food is magic and the art that results from it, sublime. I do not have any other way of putting that across because that is how I feel about cooking and food. It makes me happy beyond belief. It’s that soul-satisfying moment that makes me believe in why I’m here and doing what I’m doing, which is actually confusing because I do not cook, do photography or write for a living. But yeah, you get what I’m talking about.

In keeping with feeling inspired, I decided to make this and enhance the experience + use it as a medium through which to further channel just how awesome I’m feeling. I’ve been listening to John Legend’s ‘All of Me’ (Tiesto’s remix) for a while now and the one line in it that hits the spot for me, after a slight edit is, “my head’s under water (inspiration) but I’m breathing fine…”. I’m not sure that made sense but that is exactly how I feel… that experience of feeling completely swallowed in, drowned and inundated in something so good that even though it’s so hard to breathe, you do it with so much ease… I guess they also call it feeling overwhelmed by something so good… you know?

So yes, please go make yourself an amazing cheese omelette and allow it to take you on a joyride to places your soul wants to go to because really, this dish has the strength to.

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I don’t know if you can feel my sense of positivism from this post. I’m telling you it’s part omelette, part this universe doing its thing. Look at that. Look at that hot mushy cheese sauce inside that custardy but cooked egg. Of course, if you aren’t a fan of runny eggs, please cook it through by all means. We’re all here to float (and soar), so please do what floats (or soars) your boat.

I wasn’t fond of and still can be iffy about runny eggs because a) I don’t like the smell of eggs (cue to laugh at me), b) I don’t like cold eggs and c) I always equate runny eggs with raw eggs meaning they stink. But that isn’t the case as much, today. Cook it as you wish and let the rest of it show you its magic. It’s that perfect snack to snarf down on any given evening and can be washed down with anything chilled considering it’s summer. My poison of choice was cocoa milk today because I had to get dairy and eggs into my diet for the day and I hadn’t. Yes, I do eat. No, I don’t diet = I do not not eat what is meant to be eaten to stay alive, healthy and amazingly insane.

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I added cheese if I haven’t already mentioned that (am I supposed to erm, feel guilty?). And for that extra bite, I added a few jalapenos slices but not too much because I don’t like them overpowering the flavour of my dish. And seasoning, of course. Plus I cooked it just enough so that the inside could hold minus running helter-skelter (pun intended) but was loose enough to be held together by that gorgeous melted cheese inside. Therefore it wasn’t uncooked or raw, didn’t stink of egg and didn’t make me feel icky + was perfectly brown.

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Give it a try sometime. Add whatever fancies your heart and soul because soul food deserves all that and more. I was too lazy to thaw meat and wanted to keep it light enough for an evening snack. It sure lifted my spirits further this evening and helped me power through all these gnatty obstacles to come here and write, ever so randomly about life, writing and erm, eggs. Miracles can happen. And for good measure, here’s what it looked like on my plate, once again.

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More power to you! And if you’re a complete vegetarian, well, lots more power to you, always! :)

Thank you for listening. See you soon, fingers crossed.

Weekends Part II

7 Oct

Having begun the sojourn of the many weekend updates I’ve missed over here, I went on to do something I’ve never ever done before; i.e. participate in a crafts bazaar. Dastakar had its Nature Bazaar at the beginning of last month and I mentioned over here, how the aunt was participating in it. It was her first time in the Bangalore market.

So before I knew it, I was out there helping her team and her with their stall Srijani. I mean I was more the flunky who stood by and handed stuff over, wrote bills, decorated the place when stocks sold out, took photographs of everything and so on. I did a lot of that. Click photographs, i.e. You can check a select few here at A Day at a Crafts Bazaar.

However, being part of a crafts mela from the point of a seller was quite eye-opening. It’s a pretty darn hard job to market your stuff, take everything out for people to see, be patient while they ponder over what to buy and whether to buy, conceal your frustration when they tell you the much heard “I’ll have a look around and be back.”, watch how the numbers rise and fall in your balance sheet apart from so much more. It also shows you what it takes to get out there in the world and do what you really want to do. It shows you what it takes to be brave, come with your minds and heart wide open to new experiences and learn. It shows you what it feels like to earn those profits and it certainly shows you how it feels when the figures don’t match; when you don’t get your ROI. It’s interesting how customers have you by their fingers, how your customers are nothing short of royalty and how buying trends vary from person to person. However, at the end of the day, everyone is just the same. You want good stuff that is great value for money. And social class or status don’t deter one from bargaining – loudly or crudely – irrespective of how many no bargain signs there may be. I also learnt this, which I mentioned in another post and how awesome I feel to be that middle-class girl.

So that was a very interesting weekend that taught me stuff I was so blissfully unaware of. Having said that, I can only wish for more such weekends that let me soak into time spent with family + art and craft + pushing and gunning for those women somewhere in Bihar who depend on us to get their stories told. It matters. Big time. Here are some snapshots of the stall and the pretty, pretty aunt. :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some of the prettiest bookmarks I have ever seen courtesy Srijani.

Our stall :) :)

And my gorgeous shopping-crazy, uber-talented aunt <3

Saturday

15 Sep

Here’s my Saturday I’m spending making superhero masks. Apart from being an extra-curricular work thing, I’m sticking to them because somewhere deep in the recesses of my child’s mind, I believe that they’re the only ones who never give up on you. I’m going to be that child today. And it’s oddly therapeutic.

PS> I’m more a Batman girl :)