Tag Archives: Photography

In Time

31 Mar

  
You live in your world, I live in mine;

Where do our paths merge, on this road of time?

Memories, moods, emotions in brine;

When do we uncork them, from this bottle of time?

  
Falling leaves and summers with wine;

Will we meet again, in this journey of time?

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Domestication

28 Mar

 

It happens. It happens when one moves out of home. It’s natural. It’s one of those things that astounds even the most tomboyish tomboys who never thought themselves capable of making tea, forget anything more “complicated”, in their words. I think we’re born with it because that innate button in us switches on when we decide to shift gears and take on newer roles in our life. It’s something a lot of us enjoy, to a large extent, irrespective of what a headache it might actually be. Because there’s a sect of us that will spend that last waking moment dusting those last dust particles off or doing whatever it is that keeps you from the need to just snuggle in bed and pass out, or pass out minus the frills of even changing. Right? I for sure know more than just a few who do, indeed belong to this category, and my mum’s right on top of that list. But I just don’t get it. I think that dust particle will eventually perch right back to where you uprooted it from and so, yes, I’d rather hit the sack than go teary-eyed on dust particles at odd hours. No, I don’t think I have a domestication problem. No, I don’t think I’m dirty, even though my mum may think otherwise (clearly). And no, I’m not apologetic about sharing my space with dust particles or unfilled water bottles for the night. Of course, needless to say, it’s the sense of absolute freedom that allows us to run our homes the way we want them run by creating a new sense of order and a set of rules that helps the entity of what our idea of a home should be, stay intact. It’s the joy in running the show that gets headily addictive, so much so, that we crave to get back to our home and routine after visiting parents. Or so I’ve seen and heard.

But there’s another case of forced domestication that occurs as well. It happens when your folks travel and leave you in charge of the scene, so to speak. While this is a good mix of newness amid the existing structure, it still comes as a rude shock because it’s forced. For lazy people like me, it’s one of those forced domesticated cases that keeps crawling up my back unannounced. Don’t get me wrong. It’s exciting. Because for someone who hasn’t lived on her own, it’s quite the welcome change. However, its welcome in my life is ever so short-lived. It’s exciting from Day 2 onwards because it’s weird on Day 1 when ma travels. She takes quite a bit of all our sunshine with her. So it’s a better time for all of us (the sibling, the pigs, the plants and even the maids) from Day 2. But come Day 5 and the concept gets a bit old. Because really, is there anything better than coming back to a spic and span home that smells so amazing and looks so spotless (I don’t know how–maybe ma dusts when she’s not dusting as well) and has food and groceries and feels alive, laden with sunshine and functional in general? I know, I’m pathetic. Very pathetic.

Anyway, so this forced domestication is on right now. The brother and I have quite some experience in this field because you just have to become domestic-smart if you have a mother who works and travels, you know? And I think we do okay. Except maybe at keeping those dust particles at bay because that’s the first thing that stands out to my mother when she steps in. Moms just have microscopic vision for this sort of stuff. I think that’s what it is.

So this Friday has been one of those days that I’ve waited to have in the longest time because I really do thrive on alone-time. But so much had to be juggled and I’m all set, which is why I’m here, writing my woes out to you because I won’t blame you if that’s what you think this is; some lame woeful rant. The laundry’s been done, the clothes hung out to dry, the house swept and swabbed (by the maid), bathrooms cleaned, piggies fed, plants watered, surfaces (and crevices) dusted, and everything in between. I also had just about enough seconds to manage to a quick run to the terrace because the sky decided to be prettier at sunset. At first I thought I’d skip it and focus on what was at hand but then, after a while, that run to the terrace was beyond my control. I think their theme for today was watercolours on canvas. Anyway, let’s see how long this getting work done streak lasts.

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This is why it’s the perfect evening. We’re all doing our own thing before we (the brother, pigs and I) settle in for the night. There’s manchow soup so apt for the soul. It’s a complete mood lifter as I have a burst of pickled green chilies pop in my mouth, accompanied by just the right amount of salt in a lovely, light, garlicky broth. That goes with a side order of music and writing – I’m pretty set. There’s more Chinese food waiting for a bit later. The pigs more or less spend their time being passed out and not batting an eyelid because we’re family and they have the luxury of time to do so. It’s summer. It’s what I would do if I lived under the shade of plants and was coated in fur.

On a completely (and maybe not so) different note, today has also been a day of eating out from start to finish.

IMG_9549 IMG_9548There were rava dosa cravings so Adigas happened for breakfast. And then, I think Mexican food is my newfound love because this is the third Friday in this month that I’ve snarfed Mehican food down. Because I’d had my share of burritos the past two weeks, I figured I’d have tacos today. And so I had not one, but two. Vegetarian ones, but still.

God help me. And this beautiful budding relationship between Mexican food and me. Or maybe I think we’ve decided to commit to each other already. *shrugs*

I guess this comes in with the forced domestication bit as well; the thrill of eating the world of junk from outside minus having to feel guilty about not having home food because you never really got off your ass and made that homemade food.

All said and done, I don’t think there will ever be better Domestic Goddesses than our mums. Ever. No matter how tomboyishly tomboyish they may have been once upon a time. ;)

Summer Treats

26 Mar

It’s hot. It’s bloody, bloody hot. My weather app told me it was 38 degrees yesterday. 38 degrees centigrade at 4pm is insane. But as dumbfounded as I was at seeing the weather update, I was also told to not rely entirely on it since it isn’t always accurate. But give or take a few degrees, it’s still shocking to see the city reach such scary levels. I know I talked about it in my last post, but evidentally, I’m still not quite over it.

Having said that, I don’t quite feel the summer (or any season) that much during the day thanks to the sterility of a concrete and glass airconditioned building. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or not, but I’m sure as hell blessed in many ways because there are so, so many people out there who’re exposed to the rather harsh elements of nature, when she decides to be at her harshest, and otherwise. So I cannot complain. Not just yet.

I can, however, get back home and throw my bag and rush to the fridge to see what I can wrangle out to take on the weather. More often than not, that would indicate getting my hands on a cold bottle of water I can have the pleasure of sipping till my teeth go numb or hurt. To digress ever so slightly, do you also think that cold water doesn’t really really quench your thirst as much as regular temperature water does? I love cold water, I do. But I think it’s that perfect mix of regular and cold temperature water that hits the spot. That’s all one really ever needs.

But today, I decided I wanted this.

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Banana milkshake.

Of course, I’m never really just satisfied by adding two and two together to get what I want. When it comes to food, I like it all. And I don’t believe in ever holding back. I frankly find it most (almost) apalling (if I may use the word) when I’m told I “shouldn’t” have a certain thing. It’s like not knowing what “little butter on my toast” ever means. Smidgens of melted butter on your fingers while you eat buttered toast, now that I know. :D In this case, I’ve heard a million times over that bananas and green grapes are perhaps the most avoided fruits if you wish to lose weight. I’m sure there are reasons why such nasty things are said about these fruits.

But today warranted a banana milkshake and so nothing but a banana milkshake would do. Also, much to my horror (or fortune), I happened to open the freezer (in retrospect, I wonder why) and find and almost empty pack of ice cream that was left open. Now we know what happens to ice cream in open packs in freezers. So, I took it as a sign and emptied that into my blender jar as well. There. I’d done it. In there was banana, milk and now ice cream…watcha gonna do now calorie killer?

Needless to say, I added that chocolate sauce on it because I wanted it to look purrrty. I have absolutely no regrets. I feel most refreshed, alive and recharged. I think my body needed that and so it had that. I figure I could, if I ever decide to have the K words, keep small little surprises waiting for them in the fridge when they get back from school. This is perhaps the one and only time I’d think of something like this not because I’m dying to have them or get married or what have you, but because banana milkshakes always, always remind me of summer mornings we’d be served large glasses of them by my masi (aunt) back in Delhi. Summer treats. Special summer treats, always.

In this case, I’ll assume the K is my K brother for now. Because I know he’d whoop around on finding his share in the fridge, this evening. Small joys.

The Miracles of Pub Food

25 Mar

I doubt I need to say any more about what this blog post is going to be about. :)

For one, I’m here again, drinking tea on a weekday evening because life this month can safely be categorised in the FML section, without a doubt. I’m not going to bitch about it because I hear it’s going to get worse, so maybe you’ll be witness to my rants and hair-tearing sessions in sometime, worry not. It’s uncanny whoever came up with these random sayings and thoughts, the one of their’s I choose to use right now is “when it rains, it pours.” However, Bangalore’s pouring in that summer heat on her denizens, alright. I never thought the city would see this day and that even if she did, it would be in some God-forsaken era when I’d be long dead. But here are those rather brutal 38 centigrades beaming down on us strong and steady, and here are you and I. Peachy.

Since the weekend seems so far away, I figured I’d talk about the one that went past us most recently because I really have to. And before I begin, I must remind you that I (still) am on Lent.

If you’re a resident of Bangalore, have you visited the good ol’ Windsor Pub? If you haven’t, I’d recommend a visit. We started going there quite young because back in the day when parents and their friends liked their pints of beer, you’d tag along as well, because times back in those days were amazing. It certainly wasn’t as messed up, complicated or difficult enough to warrant IDs. (Not that I think IDs are bad at all. In fact, I’m glad there’s some semblance of checking, if there is any.) So we’d tag along and get to eat all the good food because when parents drink, they’re happy. And when parents drink their chilled draught, they can be the best parents ever. Right? :D

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Pub food has always fascinated me because it’s so unapologetic about the way it is. And by this I mean that it never really has to meet any particular gourmet standard. Therefore I like using the adjective unapologetic because it’s there, and you enjoy it. There’s no pretence, there’s no fakeness, there’s just some God-awesome food. And each and every pub has such a characteristic array of foods signature to it, even if all of them serve you that plate of french fries.

I’m not a pub-hopper because most of them are either too loud or too garish (music/ambience/crowd-wise) for me. But I’ve had some of the best foods at these places and I’d go back for seconds without a doubt. Heck, I’d take in that extra loud music and kids acting crazy just so I can eat. But I cannot imagine a pub without that loud music and loudness in general. I don’t think it’d be a pub if it were sombre and played piano classics in the background. That’d make it a lounge bar, I guess. So yes, it’s crazy, but I’d take all that a pub has to offer so I can eat and eat and eat.

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It’s obvious that Murphy’s still alive and kicking because I happened to visit Windsor Pub over the weekend. The mother quite likes the place and so we decided to give it a visit. My only grouse with that place is that it’s so hard to find a table. But that apart, I think it’s pretty much up our alley of pubs we’d return to any day. So I was at a pub and I was (still am) a vegetarian and a non-drinkard. Fancy situation to be in. But then I decided I was being too harsh on myself and decided to order what can only ever be one of the best things I’ve had at any given pub, anywhere. You may laugh all you want, but the magic I ordered that night was this.

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Crab Rasam.

Rasam is and always has been such a Tamilian thing. I have no memories of rasam being any other way, forget being non-vegetarian. But given all the amazing food that was doing the rounds, I may have broken Lent by ordering myself crab rasam. And it was absolutely worth it all. For those of you who can digest the thought of a non-vegetarian rasam, do please have it. Don’t have the chicken rasam. Have the crab one. It also gives me a reason to go to a pub when sick. How beautiful is that?

This is one of the most mind-blowing rasams I have ever, ever, ever had. It’s tangy, spicy, peppery, light, warm, crazy, explosive and of course, magical. It’s everything you want a rasam to have, and with crab! It can not get better than that. It just cannot. Like I said, if you’re willing to go past the boundary lines of rasam, give this a shot. But I wonder how it’d go with beer. If you’re a non-vegetarian teetotaller at this pub, this should be on your list. Crab makes everything magical. I don’t think I fared bad for being in a pub during Lent. The mother and brother had this and they thought it could do better. The other dish of theirs I look forward to snarfing right down is the Andhra Curry Leaf Chicken. Delish!

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Vegetable and Chicken Stews with Appams.

The one thing I love about pubs here is that they serve some of the most magnificent curries with dosas. I’ve gorged on the dosa+chicken curry combo at Pecos and the absolute bomb of dosa+crab curry/masala combo at Stones. Mind-blowing.

The other not so regular stuff I usually wouldn’t order when at a pub, but have had and thoroughly enjoyed is the Mushroom Manchurian at Purple Haze and the Chicken Tacos at Mojos. Of course, it’s needless to say that french fries are my weakness and that I’d wage a battle with you even in my sleep if you presented me with a plate of them.

I, unfortunately or fortunately do not have pictures of the beauties I’ve talked about. This only means many visits are impending. While Mojos looks like a new-age Pecos which I find rather chimney-like and therefore claustrophobic, let’s see what can be done to get my hands on the brilliance that is pub food. Some day, I’ll write about the magic of London’s pubs as well.

Are there dishes you’d recommend me to try? I’d love to. :)

Ending on a rather random but apt thought for the time-being, here’s what I found and thought.

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Even the yuckiest things have a sense of beauty to them.

Here’s wishing you a lovely Tuesday. And if you’re going to drink, cheers to you!

PS, this post is not an advertisement or a paid article.

Monday

24 Mar

There’s this month called March we all know too well. It really bodes nothing much to so, so many people because it’s just another month in this dozen bunch we’re blessed to see year after year. It could be a special month for those who have special occasions to celebrate during it. But that apart, it’s quite the whirlwind for every single other person on the planet who juggles numbers, at any level. Don’t you think? It’s a crazy, crazy month. It’s the month where you often forget what the difference between a weekend and a weekday really is. And it’s safe to say that that time of the year has well and truly arrived.

I don’t think that trend will ever, ever change. Here I am, post my work day, taking a short break, having consumed copious amounts of tea I wouldn’t even dare down on a weekend. I thought I’d write to you at the cost of staring at my laptop screen, but I’ll see what I can manage to squeeze out before I get back to more work.

I love being busy. Like I’ve mentioned before, being busy gives me that sure-shot green signal I need to escape, to floor that accelerator and vanish. It’s just me cruising or speeding down that road, all by myself, with that rush of adrenaline or whatever else it is that gives us the high of keeping up with work and getting ahead of it. I’m not sure about the getting ahead bit yet considering there’s an entire week before the month and quarter come to an end.

It’s a busy time. It always has been. That’s something I dread and look forward to. It’s that kick I get in knowing I’m working on the businesses I need to work on and give them advertisers exactly what they want. It’s that satisfaction knowing we succeeded, as a team. It’s the high knowing you’ve brought that dough home. But it’s also that nagging pain in the ass that lingers and reminds you just how slow time can really pace at. March has been like that. At least March 2014 has. It.just.doesn’t.seem.to.get.over.

So while there’s work and so much of it, I’m back from office, taking that break I was talking about before I deep-dive right in again. And here’s why I’m here; to share just ow I’m savouring this break of mine, savouring being the word in focus here.

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Isn’t it lovely when you really get to make the most of what you’ve got and feel the satisfaction of knowing you’ve done so? Here’s how I’m spending my break – drinking chai, having crispy toasts with butter and writing. And there’s music as well. It hits the spot. Today. It fits. It’s perfect for this moment. And I’ll take that, because I’m here, making the most of what I have. My manic Monday has given me a spot to take out my umbrella and sort of beach-bum till it’s time to get back. Except, if I were really at a beach, it wouldn’t be called tea time. :)

There’s so much to talk about the passed weekend and I sincerely hope I find the time to write about it because there are some interesting things to share with you. In the meantime, I do hope you’re having a not so manic Monday. If you are, I’m sure your beach-bum time’s around the corner too.

Here’s powering the last of Maddening March through. Cheers!

Intuition

22 Mar

Intuition. That’s what pushes us to surge forward or take that step back at that last millisecond. It’s what stays rock solid; unwavering through every single thought and emotion that may arise to conflict or fight it. It’s what stays unfaded way after the moment passes. It’s what comes into power when we need that last piece of advice, that last vote of confidence. It’s what appears from nowhere; unwarranted, unexpected, unapologetically uninhibited.

It’s what sails us through. It’s what we all have but fail to give the importance it deserves. Sometimes. If you’ve been, or are, the intuitive sort who goes with your gut almost every single time, you’re an expert at gauging your senses or maybe you’ve just got a rock-solid faith in yourself. It’s applause-worthy.

Have you ever figured you ought to have listened to your inner voice earlier? Has that inner voice, no matter how soft or subtle, been right, been bang on? I’ve felt it every single time even if I didn’t heed it in the moment.

I’m here not to talk about the miracles of listening to your own self. Neither am I here to preach. I’m here to recognize its power and say just how grateful I am because I’m glad I listened. This one time, at least. Because I stuck to it from the very beginning.

Life has this weird way of making us meet all kinds of people. In retrospect, I guess these people walk our way because we need to realize just how much trash is out there and how important it is to listen to our inner voice. Maybe this is life’s way of helping us be more sensitive to what we’ve been blessed with; to recognize when it’s okay to be stupid and when it’s not, to know when it’s time to walk that path our intuition points towards even if that means having to walk it alone.

Have you ever made “friends” and walked each day with them with that itch knowing something isn’t as right as it should be or should feel like? Have you ever been faced head on with a moment where you trust and bare it all or hold back at the cost of straining relationships? And have you kept your guard up and felt nothing but confident, as opposed to guilt? Isn’t it exhilarating to know you really do not have to fit in at all times, that you can stand out and be pointed fingers at but that you kept your integrity intact, that you didn’t give in because it was the trend to give in?

Call it growing up or learning how to survive this world which is filled with trash where one man’s food is another man’s poison. While it comes at the very (so called) expensive cost of losing out on a lot, it’s reassuring to know that through it all, you managed just fine. That that one sense which probably has the most meek voice, is in fact what helps move mountains. And when you look back eventually, if you care to, you realize that the stuff you thought you missed out on was really just that trash’s trash.

It’s important to make that distinction. It’s important to know the difference between being alone and conforming for the sake of being “accepted”. It’s important to know when it’s alright and when it’s not alright. It’s absolutely okay. Because, in the end, you do emerge unscathed and untouched. There’s no wonder they call it the sixth sense; the one that powers through it all, that makes you rise, even if they’re ashes you’re rising from. Or trash cans, as it were.

Here’s more power to each and every one of us who’s walked the path not taken. Here’s keeping the faith. Here’s moving forward on the road we choose to walk on. Life is such a weird journey. Big love and gratitude all through. <3

IMG_7845 Goa 15 IMG_6143 Acceptance and Admittance My worldview

Simple Things

21 Mar

IMG_9345 IMG_9341 IMG_9343 IMG_9344 IMG_9361 IMG_9362 IMG_9363 IMG_9309To say that it’s been a hectic week is pushing it. Pinch me, I can’t believe the much awaited weekend’s finally here. It’s time to kick back and just be.

There isn’t much to say. I think my pictures will do all the talking that needs to be done. My head feels a tad bit overcrowded and maybe I need the caffeine to sort things out before I figure out what’s going on.

In the mean time, here’s what I’ve been hooked to ever since I heard it. It’s a track that played at the end credits of one of the episodes of this series called Girls. Have you watched it? I just about managed to catch up on its latest episodes and this one track stood out for everything it speaks of and of course, its placement in the episode. Give it a listen. It’s beautiful. It’s apt. It speaks my mind.

Smoke with me babe
And lay with me babe
Laugh with me babe
I just want (the) simple things
I just want you.

So simple. So powerful.

It’s been a week of indulgence all through. Which reminds me, I’ve been talking to my friends about randomly wanting a burrito loaded with goodness and that occasional cappuccino because sometimes you just want that random burrito and cappuccino. And from nowhere, both happened. It’s strange how things happen. Not that it’s hard to find these things today. It’s just strange how they come to you when they do.

You could give California Burrito a try, if you haven’t already. I can just about manage to finish (and by finish, I mean stuff my face beyond belief) a mini burrito. I still feel rather full from lunch, that’s the only hiccup. But I can’t bare to waste that mini burrito. It’s just wrong to do so. I quite like the spicy chicken one. My friends do have their rice bowl and they quite enjoy it. But I don’t think I have the stomach for it, not for the time being at least. Sigh.

Simple things.

That’s what the good life’s all about.

Thank you for listening to this random post.

Have a beautiful Friday.

PS, Mexican food is…rajma-centric and still so top notch!

The Real Deal

18 Mar

In-keeping with the desire to tackle challenges changes bring about, I’m beginning to recognise the importance of staying with a feeling that may come about your way; expected or unexpected, wanted or unwanted, conscious or subconscious. I’m an overthinker. I’d like to believe that I lean towards the intellectual spectrum of things. Like Bill Cosby so rightly says, intellectuals learn and/or think about things normal people do naturally. I felt like he was talking to me, and perhaps, pointing a finger at me and laughing while doing so. It’s so true. We overthink things that really do not need thinking. Of course, I doubt I’d ever be able to stop overthinking, unless of course, life keeps me that busy where I have no time to breathe, which could be both amazing and a tad much to ask for in substitution for (over) thinking. :P

Getting back to my point, both on the overthinking and intellectualizing bit, we’ve lost track or trace of something so much more basal, and carnal, if I may say so – emotions and feelings. They’re almost always clouded by thoughts we use to cloak them as and when we please. There hasn’t been any stopping ever since we learned to do that ever so naturally. If you’re an overthinker like me, or an intellectualizer, you know exactly what I’m talking about. How many times have we stayed with that raw feeling and let it consume us, no matter how negative or positive? How many times have we let it make us feel the way it’s meant to make us feel and leave us, consequently? I’m more of a person who dresses my feelings with my thoughts and then goes and shuts them up in her cupboard (or pressure cooker, as they commonly refer to it in this context). So neither do I reward myself with feeling the feeling I should be feeling or let it go when it’s supposed to be gone. What a twisted way of living. Really. I doubt this bodes well for me. But I’m aware of this stupidity I throw all around and really do hope to take baby steps towards the place I want to go to.

And so I have been doing for sometime now. I’ve stopped fighting my feelings. I’ve tried keeping my ego at bay and just letting my feelings take over. It’s been good. It’s been liberating. It’s been quite the experience. I feel lighter. Sometimes I feel like a complete idiot because when those same emotions get too strong to handle (thanks to all the hoarding), things do get out of control. But I’m not fighting that. I’m not putting up fences. I’m letting them go because I need to. It’s been interesting. I don’t know if I can say the same thing about those who’re in the presence of these rather intense and volatile emotions. But, needless to say, this doesn’t give me or anyone else an excuse to be nasty or irresponsible or even become passive/aggressive/a pushover. We’re looking at emotions and letting them take a free ride, not losing one’s sense of self and identity. Have you done that anytime? Were there any positive results? Or was it just a futile effort?

I don’t intend to do a Pablo Neruda where I write the saddest lines today evening. I don’t think I have any sadness in me at this very moment. I think I’m in love with the concept of something so strange that is as ignited pure emotions in me minus a single thought. It took the thinker in me completely by surprise, but I saw that coming sometime. If you’re all thought and no feeling, it’s a sad place to be in.

So yes, I’m in love. With what, I cannot say. I don’t know if it’s the actuality of it or the idea of it or if it’s just some random hallucination that’s made me feel so strongly in such a long time. Of course, the circumstances are such that it will always remain just this and I’ve grown to be okay with it over time. At first I fought the feelings as soon as I became aware of them catching fire. I tried putting them out so hard and I did succeed to a great extent. But that’s about it. Sometimes you’re just meant to feel all of what’s left to feel before you move on. Sometimes there really is no fighting it. You have to go through it to get past it. And that’s what I’ve been doing. I’m past it. But I’m here, still talking about it because for the first time in my entire life, I’ve felt emotions so strongly without my thoughts taking precedence. For the first time, post all the fighting, I’m past all thoughts, left with those embers that were born to keep me warm, still alive and burning steady. Why would embers born to keep you warm ever die before their time arrived? And for once, the outcome of letting these feeling loose isn’t even a threat.

And that fact really, actually, left me stumped in every sense of the word. It’s true when they say you don’t know what you hit you when you weren’t looking. Because I’m sure I was more than just guarded. For those of you who know me, know that I’m a walking-talking castle built with the tallest walls. People may call that snobbery, but really, let’s get past that. I don’t think you can be a snob with people you don’t know. It’s just the idea of making unnecessary small talk with strangers that’s unappealing. If that’s the definition of snobbery, then so be it. Sour grapes. Sorry for the digression.

To be stumped by pure, raw emotions and feelings without the invisibility cloak (hehehe) of thoughts is such a beautiful feeling. It’s so liberating, so refreshing, so untouched and not jaded. It’s invigorating. It’s that breath of so, so much fresh air we need. It’s that moment when you realize you’re breathing in the real deal minus any help, any support, any contraption. If you fall, you only get up knowing you breathed the stuff to give your book of life that page it needed. It’s truly something to let go to. It’s taken so much letting go, unlearning, trust and faith to get here. And sometimes, when it’s that good, you feel like it’s something you’ve been doing all your life; something that you were born to do over and over again.

The beauty of it is that we were, indeed, born to do exactly this. And the last thing you ever feel is incapable or handicapped. :)

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Picture courtesy: RAD :)

Sunlight

18 Mar

IMG_9306 IMG_9307 IMG_9308I feel like I’m stuck in some weird sort of continuum whose pace I can’t discern. It’s like time’s both flying and taking its sweet time to cruise along. Do you feel that way sometimes? It’s confusing. But I think the storm of the past few weeks, while still existent, is slowly showing signs of retreating. I only hope it makes its way out asap.

In the meanwhile, through these ups and downs, there have been constant reminders to guide and show me that I’m here because I’m here for a reason; that I’m here because there’s something I’ve done or not done, something I’ve said or not said, something I’ve felt or not felt that has brought me to where I am. While I do believe in the forces of destiny and fate, I don’t belong to the school of thought that overrides human contribution or the power of it to take you places. It helps believing that you can make a difference, that you’re a spoke in this ginormous wheel, irrespective of how minute or visible.

Life’s this journey, or so I see it to be. Sometimes you really just want to stop and take a look around or walk the detour. Everyone travels, but everyone sees different things. We’re all walking the walk in our way and sponging off that which we know gives us the elixir to move forward. Or go back and get more. The other day, I had the most pleasant of surprises when I got a call from a number I couldn’t recognize, and from a person whose voice I couldn’t initially recognize. The caller turned out to be my first mentor in my world of work, and now a friend, as we walked the journey of my first job, together.

It’s strange how you reconnect with people who were such an important part of your everyday life. It’s strange how the world has these most incredible ways of reminding you just what you’re blessed with. And it was something he said that, quite literally, floored me. There are no reasons to get in touch with something or someone that/who makes you feel good. Or who reminds you of the times that you’d never want to trade for the world. It was such a subtle and strong message. There’s so much beauty in reconnecting; in remembering those who really matter.

2014 has been such a roller coaster ride already. I’m half scared, half excited to see what the year still holds because the first three months have felt like I’ve journeyed to the moon and back. It’s been emotional, stressful and so bitter-sweet. There have been a lot of adjustments, a lot of breakups, a lot of re-learning that has taken place. It’s been insane. It’s been all about tackling one wave after the other. It’s also been an enlightening time; more so about my own self than about those I may have lost or gained through this period.

It matters to let go. It matters to not fight every single change that comes your way. It matters to just believe in yourself. There’s a power in independence, a new-found meaning that’s helped put things in perspective. You’re only ever really free of everything you want to be free of when it doesn’t matter any more; when you know you can clean that slate any which way you desire or make room for more writing. It helps to have these bitter-sweet experiences because how else will you ever know what it feels like to soar? That’s how I choose to see it because I like that blinding sunlight in my face; whether I choose to keep my eyes open or close. I like knowing that I can rise and face it all. Sunchaser, that’s who I am. :)

It’s a powerful feeling. Here’s staying with this feeling and powering through. Have a lovely Tuesday.

Holi

17 Mar

Today is Holi and I came to know that it’s one of the biggest festivals of the year, today. It’s strange when you stay so far away from a place that’s home, in the root sense of the word. I still haven’t discerned which is home; whether I’m from the north or south, but I’d like to believe that I’m an awesome mix of both, with a lot of me leaning towards the North-Indian side, in the root sense of the word, like I said earlier. I don’t know if that made any sense, because it sure as hell didn’t make any sense to me.

So today is Holi, one of those festivals we usher spring and summer (I guess) in with. There’s a lot of colour, water and food involved, of course. Memories of Holi, back when I lived in the north, were laden with it all beginning with that essence of it in the air. One just knew Holi was around the corner. And then we had quite obvious (and most often obnoxious) signs of a festival with loud speakers everywhere, with an effigy erected at almost every junction, to be lit at the eve of Holi to signify the triumph of good over evil. I don’t know much about the mythological aspect of this festival and maybe it’s time I read up about it. But since I’m so far removed from it, I feel like I’ll be excused for not knowing. :D

Holi was always welcomed in by our verandahs stocked with cans of oil, bags of ingredients and a large stove at the corner where I remember my paternal grandmother spending almost all her time, dishing out magical goodies after magical goodies. I don’t remember seeing her get up from there as she produced sweet and savory treats for the entire household, family, friends and neighbours, perhaps. That was a lot of cooking. It wasn’t me, it’s my genes. I blame my family. I blame them for throwing me head-on into this blissful world that completes my life so beautifully.

We’d always wake up before the sun to get an oil bath before we head out to watch the effigy ignite. And once the sun was up, we’d be out, laden with powdered colours, water guns, water balloons and buckets that didn’t ever speak of drying up. Balloons got thrown at each other, colour got splashed when you weren’t looking and there was never really a sign of stopping. We’d go back in to recharge with all that had been prepared over the days that led up to Holi, unwashed hands, too nonchalant because we’d race to go back to the terrace and keep the spirit of the festival going. The baths thereafter were painful, except we got bathed by our mothers, or aunts. So it wasn’t half bad.

The last time I celebrated Holi, if I can call that a celebration, because I stayed cooped up inside the grilled balcony of my uncle’s friend’s house, was in 2011. Here’s the thing with Holi; the more you hide or act coy about not “getting dirty”, the dirtier you’re bound to get. So you might as well throw your hands up in the air and ring in the spirit of this festival, with fists full of colour, while you’re at it. The great thing about Holi is the bhaang, a preparation made from cannabis leaves, that one gets to have, if you’re old enough to do so. I’ve never given it a try but rest assured, if I do get the chance to celebrate Holi back up north again, I will give that more than just a try. :) Why must one stray from the norm, right?

Here, in Bangalore, there are almost no signs of Holi. We had work as well, today. So, there’s no wonder I was oblivious of its arrival. Perhaps it’s a good thing because the festival really has begun to become dirty over the years and I’m quite glad to be away from it. As time progressed, Holi took a back-seat and wasn’t one of those festivals I really looked forward to. It’s not Diwali and only Diwali that I love so dearly. But, having said that, and keeping in mind the gene pool that I’m blessed with, I came back home to get a few things ready for Holi, because it’s the done thing. In my head, at least.

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I managed to make namkeen mathri (savory crisps), shakkar paare (sugar crisps) and gudd chawal ki kheer (rice and milk pudding seasoned with palm sugar), which was a first since I’ve never really ventured into the territory of rice kheer before. I feel happy. Because no matter what or where I’ll be or under what circumstances, it’s heartening to know that certain things remain the same. And that’s the beauty of tradition I thrive on because it happens, almost unknowingly. Things get passed on, unconsciously.

Holi will always remind me of sitting with my grandmothers and watching them cook. Sometimes, all you need is to just be there. The rest sort of takes care of itself. It really does. And memories supersede religion. Almost invariably. And so comfortably. There’s no doubting the power of associations, memories and experiences. They catapult us to places we’d never dream of. In the best ways possible, in this context. :)

I hope you have a lovely festival and a beautiful year ahead.

And here’s what I would dance to, today, even though this isn’t a track pictured on Holi. Turn it up, as always. :) ;)