Friday, May 28, 2021

Thought of the day- What am I feeling?

"It's important to be in the question rather than find answers every time," suggested my friend. At a trice, I get an uneasy feeling and I'm unable to recognize what I'm feeling. Instead of trying to find, I stay in the question by repeating, "What am I feeling?" 

Soon after I repeat the question and tries to stay in the question, I feel at peace rather than anxious. Not because I found answer but, for, I'm peace in staying in the question for little more time. 

I may not seek an answer but, I may get patience to be in the search of answer by staying in the question. 



Movie- Maqbool

 Adaptation of Macbeth. Brilliant acting. Wonderful screenplay. Every actor were at their best in their roles. I'm glad I watched it. 


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Stories from Sirohi- Imagination




Whenever, I walk into 1st class, I find the kids with their slates, books, drawing a lot. Sometimes, a flower, and a car. They give out their slate and asks, "Draw me something nice." I never considered myself artistic so, I never obliged to their requests. I do what I assume I'm good at. I talk to them and tell some random stuff.  All the while, after rachana requested me to draw something and I rejected her. She came up with her drawings. A cake and a fish. I like her drawings. They have this free spirit to try out, imagine and draw. I wish I get this free spirit to get into drawing. 


 

Music- A wonderful experience


 

Wonderful. Watching this gem, I imagined of all the stalwarts of other industries at one places singing their melodies. Also, I imagined of all the hyderabad band singers at one place, singing their best covers and originals. What a lovely evening it'd be to listen to the heartfelt music and spend the whole night. 


Cheers to the Malayalam composers and KMF Karuna for hosting this concert. 


Thought of the day- Music declutters the mind

Whenever I want to be some space, I try to comfort myself through movies. I do not know what  kind of movies I want to watch and I spend most of the time in surfing the movies. Today, I've observed what solaces me whenever I'm exploring for 'some' mood. It's music. Either I watch songs or select a movie that has a good score. 

Enjoying the score of the movie, I watch the whole movie. I realized that I watch movie to listen to the score. 

Jodhaa Akbar, Maryan, Minnale are a few movies, I can watch again and again whenever I'm clueless of what to watch. All the movies have a great score and also a lot of drama. Worth checking these out. 



Monday, May 24, 2021

Art as Text: Bridging Literacy and the Arts


Interesting idea. Using art as text and all the subtleties that need to be observed when we practice art or work with children. 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Movie- 99 songs

Enthralling. With appealing visuals and uplifting music, 99 songs, a master piece has been created by A.R and team. Great work team. I enjoyed the story line. I had my own apprehensions. Will it be too idealistic? Will it be too dramatic? All my doubts were shattered by the brilliant story and screen play. 


With A.R songs, he never compromises to deliver the songs that share story by it selves. However, in the movie, the songs are used as per the need. The full length songs are not used in the movie. Highly watchable. 

In the movie, the way the protagonist takes up the 100 songs project is triggered from muse's love and it ends with mother's love. The way there's music in his life right from the beginning gives a proper ending. Also, the contextualizing of the illusions with psychosis is convincing. I enjoyed it. 
 

COVID19 Stories- Dinner with physical distancing

Usually, three of us gather at the table, sharing stories and discussing on various issues. At a side, we got everything we want. Over the chai, toasts and biscuits we spend most of our time at this place. However, in the recent times, when both my friends recovered from COVID. We developed this new habit of maintaining physical distancing even at this table. One started and the rest of us followed. We've not even moved the chairs further. This shows how dinner tables have been changed post COVID. 

Thought of the day- What's with the fear

At first when Dad was diagnosed with COVID. Akhila and mom took care of him. Mom shared what was running in her mind. "At first, I thought of the necessities. How do we manage water, vegetables and other stuff," she added what was bothering her much, "back in the mind, there was a fear. What will happen at the most. We may die. We don't die twice. Right?" she asserted. 



Surrendering to the fear seemed to be the key to think sanely. All the fears route to death. When we surrender to the idea of death, we have freedom to live. 

Movie- So B It

Heart warming. A young teen who used to live with autistic mother and agrophobic aunt,  travels in search of finding her roots. When she finally finds her family, she faces another hurdle. I enjoyed watching it. 




Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Anshu- Imaginative in her ways

Two-year-old nephew, Anshu plays joyfully at home. Whenever she is joined by her brother, there's a lot of ruckus at home. Whenever she's alone, she is contended with everything she gets and plays with it. No matter what artefacts she gets, she tries feeding them, selling them and do all the things she witnesses around her. 

Whenever she interacts with others, she often beats and tells them to cry. Two year old but, she has faced a lot of her mom's anger. She often cries, thanks to her mom's punishments. This little kid wants to know how it feels to make others cry.

I don't need to give her some fancy toys. Give her anything, she can play with them all. Good for her parents. They don't need to squander money on fancy toys. 

 

Monday, May 17, 2021

Interesting article - I-Curiosity and D- Curiosity

 https://ideas.ted.com/2-types-flavors-of-curiosity-help-with-anxiety/

It's interesting to know different types of curiosity. Interest open and deprivation closes. There's mention of the exercise in the blog. Worth trying out. 


Soliloquies- Stay Bored

I had no mood to do anything. I tried reading a book. I couldn't focus. I knew that I wasn't feeling to read a book. I tried watching a movie. I knew, I'm not into it. I was pushing myself to do something or the other rather than stay silent. I felt worse when I fiddled with phone every five ten minutes, as I wanted to indulge myself in something or the other. Defeated by the boredom I had, I sat on a swinging chair observing the chains. I  realized that I was trying to escape and I didn’t want to escape. I want to embrace the boredom. Let me be bored.  I told myself and stayed silent. 

Why do I have to be productive always? I don’t need to be frustrated for being bored. I can be in the  boredom and just be bored.



Stories from Home- Grand Ma's food

 It's been ages since I stayed home for a long time in my aunt's house. Grand ma's took over the kitchen as aunt needs the help. Everyone got their own style of cooking at house. The same dal tastes different when mom makes and Grand ma makes. I'm not here to compare and give the best tag. I enjoy everyone's food. After the Rajasthan stint, I appreciate food in a better way and I seldom complain and ask for more. Grand ma remembers my young self who had a lot of particulars in eating food. Now, whenever I come to the dining table, she asks, "I made dal, rasam and a curry. Hope you like it." Again, she says, "I couldn't make this as I didn't get time."

Looking at the dining table filled with a lot of dishes, I feel privileged and say, "You don't need to make this many. it's fine." 

Everyday, it's the same routine. She apologizes for all the food she makes thinking it's less. I feel grateful, privileged to eat this much of food and often say, "The food is great. I loved it."

Thinking of my child self, I remember how troublesome and stubborn I was at eating food. Glad I learnt about food and the effort all the people go through to bring it onto the table. 


Graphic Musings- Abstract attempts

Let's play with the shapes, I thought and kept on drawing one shape in different sizes. It's amusing to imagine without any constrictions consciously. 




 

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Movie- Karnan


 Youth in the village fight for their rights. Dhanush as Karnan confronts the oppression and the injustice he faces every time in the village. Set in 1990s, loosely based on Kodiyankulam caste violence, this movie depicts the nature of discrimination and the way the lives of the villagers are affected. 

Dhanush as Karnan and his pal Yeman were at their best. Background score has elevated the drama in the movie. I liked the way, this movie shows the issues that mattered in villager's lives. Like, the bus issue. Village has been struggling to have it's own bus stop. Also, the message of the movie is not loud. At the end, we get to see what the fight is all about. Dramatic. Rajisha's role in the movie could've been made more strong rather than just a girl who falls over the hero for his actions. 


Movie- The Great Indian Kitchen


A life of a married couple with a kitchen backdrop. Through the mundane reels, the movie depicts the nasty patriarchy that's prevailing through our great Indian kitchens. The wife tries her best to fit into the new house, following the usual customs. Everyone takes her for granted and also the arduous work, she takes up daily. 

Through engaging screen play, we can see how the wife gives it back to the egoistic husband and prideful father in law.  In this movie, there are a few female characters that bear the torch of patriarchy and oppression.  The mother in law walks away to serve her daughter. 

In this movie, there's a little girl who brings milk daily home. One week in month, she puts it outside and does not enter home. She's unaware of what's happening but, the conversation between the female protagonist and the little girl shows how natural is to care while the husband ignores her in day light but, teaches young children about family, customs and more knowledge. 

Highly watchable. 


Friday, May 14, 2021

Quote of the day- Master the habit

 "The most reliable way to change your life is by not changing your entire life.

If you try to change everything all at once, you will quickly find yourself pulled back into the same patterns as before. But if you merely focus on changing one specific habit and work on it until it becomes part of your normal day, you will find your life changes naturally as a side effect.

Improve the whole by mastering one thing."


                                                                                                                         -James Clear

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Experiment- Reflective Writing through Objects

Soon after I attended Vikram's workshop on object. I was kicked up to try out a few experiments that were done in the workshop. I shared the idea with Geetika. Impressed by the Geetika agreed to join the experiment. Both of us would be selecting an object for each other. We can write about the object, story based out of it, a piece or a poem. At first, selecting the objects for each other was a hectic task. Curious to know the stories behind a few artefacts, we picked those objects and asked each other to write. 

No sooner we began, we shared about the objects as well as our lives. By the third or fourth task, we were reflecting on our lives through objects. Sometimes talking to objects and sometimes, talking about the object, we reflected our lives easily and in a comfort way. I tried many a times to consciously reflect through writing. This task paved a way to reflect in a better way. 

I was given a picture to write on. I couldn't write anything except poem. In this way, we were becoming better at expressing ourselves. Geetika humanized most of her objects. She got a humor in her writing style. At first, she warmed up with few writings and later, she went on expressing in a better way. Cruising through past and wishing for better future, she wrote about the objects in a interesting way, revealing her life whenever needed.  Thanks Geetika for listening to the experiment and for agreeing to work along with me. 




A Friendly Conversation Over a Flight

 Staying at Rajasthan, it takes 2 hours to fly down to home. In the course of two hours, I like reading books or journaling. This time, I got my journal and book, Why we sleep.  Being on the flights frequently, I know the pattern. First, air hostess' announcements, take off, a little waiting time and air hostesses are back on work, providing food, a little silent time, collect the trash and finally land. 

In the course of all these tasks, I put on my headphones and went on to write a little bit and then sketch. One of the airhostess, Sameera (Changed name) was curious watching me write and then sketch. 

"Do you draw?" She leaned and look into my journal. I removed my headphones and allowed her to look into my drawings. 


"What kind of drawings do you do?" She enquired.

"I do abstract drawing. I keep playing with lines."

"You were writing before. Right?"

"Yeah. I keep writing my thoughts." I shrugged and waited to see if she's further interested in my activities. 

"It's nice that you write and keep doing what you want." she complemented. 

Interested in both of our stories, "What do you love to do?" I asked. 

Sameera shared her story. Both of us went on sharing what's happening in our lives. Stories flowed and very easily, we poured out what's bothering us. I was touched by the way she walked in and appreciated the work I was doing. Thanks Sameera for your warmth words. Had a great time sharing a word with you. 



Thought of the day- Death and the news

 Every second person I talk, there's a news of loved ones suffering through COVID. Everyone of us process death and pain in a different way. The closer, the worst is the pain. I was disturbed for a day when I heard about my friends' demise. How does one need to break out the news to others? When can we break the news? Do we need to share death news to the ones who are already suffering? 




Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Soliloquies- The Brutally Honest Feelings

Whenever I'm upset with any loved ones, I realize that it's important to share what I feel and how an act or incident made me feel rather than just criticize them of their acts. I feel so and so because of so and so act. 

Instead of simply communicating that we're hurt, we can be brutally honest and share what we're feeling and what others have made us feel. 






Traveling during COVID Times

 As the family turned COVID Positive. Sister suggested me to fly down to home. A month in Lockdown at Rajasthan. I had to follow a few protocols. I got RT-PCR test done. Booked the tickets to Hyderabad but, flights got cancelled in the last moment. I had to change the destination to Bangalore and book the flight. Planning to travel safely, I booked the cab from Bangalore to Kadapa via Goibibo. Before I board the flight, I was asked if I had e-pass to travel interstate. I was told about the process. I signed up and applied the e-pass and pushed to police through twitter to fasten the process. No sooner  I boarded the flight, than Goibibo had cancelled my cab as I do not have an approved e-pass. 

Quickly, I updated my status and reached out to a few friends to seek help to travel from Bangalore to Kadapa. Most of my friends were ready to help and spread the word to help me in anyway possible. Through various leads, I found a cab who was ready to drop me at home despite not having an e-pass. I was up for the game as I didn't had any other alternative. I applied for the documents but, it was still in the process. 

Imran and other person got their Etios Toyota. While I ate my packed food, they revved the engine and sped through the highways. Just near the border, we took a right turn and got into villages. Through Kadiri, Pulivendula, we reached Kadapa. 

Enroute, car was changed as the car we boarded was an white plated car. "Yellow plated cars get ceased immediately." Imran explained, "That's why we do not use them. Here we change them." We got the luggage out and got shifted in another. Through deserted roads and scenic views, we travelled for five hours and reached home safe. 

Both Imran and the other driver weren't wearing the mask properly. That put me at unease. Except for that, I had a good time travelling through these tough times and reach the home safely. I was touched when all my friends reached out to me to help and do their bit. Thanks everyone. 



Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Thought of the day- Caregiving

Care givers struggle a lot to keep up with the needy. As the whole family turned COVID Positive, everyone are trying to step up and take care of each other. Sister being the doctor by herself, is treating everyone at home. It's tough to be sick and also treat the others. 

I get reminded of the lines when I speak to Akhila, "when the going gets toughthe tough get going."

Because of the helplessness situation and unable to go out anywhere, Dad is struggling, angry, stubborn and at times demanding.   Putting up with all these and nursing him needs a lot of patience. Talking to caregivers, listening to them, reminding them to eat and offering food, fruit are a few things that would matter a lot in these tough situations. 

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Movie- Children of the Republic

Children of the Republic is a story of a child, Santosh in India. When director Ram was planning to record something, he ran into Santosh. The conversation got recorded naturally.  This raw documentary leaves us to think of the child Santosh and his life way forward. In this 21 minute documentary, Ram showed him at the age of 19, who was dealing the pain by guarding it with addiction. How many children are deprived of normal life? How many families are affected because of this addiction? 

There's a lot to ponder over addiction, pain and how our children of republic are coping with it. 





Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Workshop with Vikram- Every Object has a story

Vikram, the storyteller hosted the workshop, "Every object tells a story" on Zoom. Thanks to these online platforms, I'm able to attend a lot of workshops hosted by wonderful practitioners. With 20 curated participants on the zoom platform, we began the workshop. As the title says, it was all about objects, to explore the stories around them.

Host went on with a survey of how we connect with various objects based on five senses. At first, a bowl picture was presented. How do we see it, feel it, taste it, smell it, hear it? Talking about the sounds, host steered us to perceive the value of an object. if we break a bowl at other's house, we have a different reaction. If we break our own bowl at our house, we get a different reaction. It reminded me of A.S. Neil’s anecdote from Summerhill.

If a child breaks a glass, for him it’s a round glass that’s broken into a lot of other pieces. For adults, it’s a glass worth 1000rs that takes a lot of effort to go, buy and maintain it.

The way we value certain objects differs.

We talked about how we possess objects. How do we add value to the objects?  Probed to observe the objects closely, we observed two-three objects basing on the senses. 

Later, host encouraged us to look around the objects we have around us. We were asked to pick any three objects that were around us. 

I picked a portable speaker, charger and a hard disk cable. What stories would I make out of this, I wondered. 

We were put in different break out rooms to create anything based out of the four objects we got in our hands.  I met Aditi Mangal, Priyanka Sagar Maheshwari, Bharti Motwani in the breakout room. Four of us decided to create a play. Aditi had a clip, Priyanka had a plant, Bharti had a board-marker and I had a portable speaker. 

Vikram's workshops are fun as there's a lot we get to explore. There's no compulsion to create some work of some dimensions. We can play around, have fun, create stories and enjoy the time. As we began, Priyanka turned plant as a human being, Aditi turned clip as butterfly, Bharti turned marker as a missile, and I turned speaker as a spaceship. 

Quickly perceiving the objects into a lively being and of a different value, we began working on the story. As we discussed we created a beautiful narrative of going inside when we can't go outside- lockdown context and presented with everyone. 

Others came up with a song, poem, dialogues, narrative. Archana used oximeter as a butterfly, the object that reminded others of dreadfulness and fear.  Another turned Indigo- cashew-nut box as pup. Our imagination churned and went everywhere creating a lot of artwork. 


Later, we were asked to add a superpower to the object. “As Spiderman got a superpower of scaling walls, what our object can do?” 

Pushing us to be more imaginative and creative, we were motivated to fiddle with a lot of ideas. This time, we were told to go for a different breakout rooms but, to our surprises, Aditi, Bharti, Priyanka and I got into a same room. We were elated to re-join virtually. 

This time, four of us went in four dimensions adding superpowers from various walks of life. Aditi's clip also, a butterfly became Garuda, the bird from mythology. Priyanka's plant, also a human turned into Arjuna, character from Mahabharata. Bharti's missile turned into a tree. My speaker turned into a superpower named Lyra who changes emotions into visuals and paint them on the sky. Four of us, created another story adding a lot of dialogue and emotions in it.

In this way, three hours just flew by and we were getting used to perceive the objects in a different way. 

After the whole sharing session, we were asked to look around us as we see what we consider as more than an object. It can be an object to others but, for us it's a treasure, memory, and an experience. 

Smita shared how her pillow was there with her for fifteen years witnessing her roller coaster ride. She shared how she treasures it maintaining it well. Bharti shared her kindle, the machine that transports her into a dreamy world, 50-year-old Dimple shared the nada her mother gifted her. 

At last, we were encouraged to perceive objects beyond it’s purpose and reflect on them.

Inspired by the whole experience, I and my friend started out a writing exercise. We choose an object for each other. Reflect on it. Write and share. We are surprised to see how we perceive the objects in life.  I’m excited to work on the other exercises with my friend and create more stories out of them.

Ideas:

In this lockdown situation, students can be engaged in writing, reflecting and a lot more with this kind of exercises. We have to inspire them to work on these kind of exercises by showing but, rather not telling.

  

Soliloquy- The Roza Times

 Soon after Azhar left the house on 3rd May, he assumed, I'd break the roza and get on with my usual diet. I took upon the roza as an experiment.  I've never fasted in my life. I wanted to try out if I can keep up with the fast. I wanted to experience on how others feel when they're hungry. This is my 7th day of roza.  I realized that roza is more than mere fasting. As I do not have to think of food, I'm able to focus on whatever I'm doing. I feel a bit hungry now but, I'm more focused. I do not want to do anything in a distracted fashion. I feel to write more, reflect more rather than get onto distractions to kill time. I deprived myself from reading to not escape into books, stories. I'm trying to make a few conversations with the loved ones and reflect more on what I feel now.  

I'm confident that I'd keep up with this till Eid. 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Day 11 of 15. Lockdown Days

Deprived of sleep for thirty four hours, I’m surprised of how my body works. Biggest irony in my life is when I’m reading the book, Why we sleep, I’m unable to sleep of unknown reasons. Neither the book nor any other thing is helping me to sleep.

On this day, I’ve developed a back pain as well. Besides all this, there’s no mental fatigue. I began my day to get the groceries. No sooner, I got into the house, I filled up the fridge with all the basics.  I jumped on to clean the kitchen. I cleared the kitchen floor, put every utensil in the basin, cleaned the dirty oil stains and the dried watermelon seeds lying on the floor. I began to clean the kitchen. Eventually, I developed a focus in cleaning and went on cleaning the whole kitchen. Next, I went to the  bedroom, clearing the bed and cleared all the books, laptops, cables lying on the floor. I began to sweep, mop, organize the house for hours. Watching the hours pass by, I put music and began to mop the floor. As the Sun was turning mild, I realized, I had neither sleep nor food.

Looking at Azhar, I shared my wish, “I want to fast like you in this Ramadan.” Azhar eyebrows were raised.  “How many days are left?” I asked with an assertion. “Do you really want to fast?” He asked.

“Yes.” I stated. I went on  to clean the house decided to not sip even water until Iftaar time. My mouth went dry, I was feeling tired. I lied on the bed for a while and went on to wash all the utensils.

Three more hours to break the fast, I got onto couple of calls with friends. Went out on a ride enjoying the orange hued sky. In no time, we were preparing lassi, cutting fruits for iftaar. My stomach was rumbling. My mouth was dry as sand. I was waiting for Azhar’s nod to sip the lassi. I walked in to distract myself till we get into the Iftaar time. Seven ten. The usual time, we break the fast, we prepared the mat. Set the lassi, put the plates and sat infront of each other. Two minutes more, Azhar mentioned. "Why do you this?" I told him. I couldn’t wait on. I raised and walked, grabbing my phone to distract myself.

There in those two minutes is where I felt, I can reflect on and observe what’s happening in my body and mind. I can learn patience. I sat on the floor, watching Azhar listening to the Naath. The Naath got ended, we raised the glasses. With the clinkering of glasses, we sipped the lassi, that seemed like the nectar that gives life.

Deprived of food and sleep, my body was reacting as I had the fluids after a long time. I could feel my body being hot. My hands and feet turned hot. My head is reeling. I’ll fast no matter what. I’ve decided. I’ll try to reflect more and work, I decided.

 I grabbed a bottle walking out on the terrace. I was welcomed by the drizzling and the blue sky, that I love. I went onto observe the clouds while the rain drops hit my skin. My hands were hot, and the feet was hot. The cold rain drops and hot body was reacting and I stood still, bracing  the harsh air, while Azhar was performing Namaz in the open sky.

God bless the world, I told myself. I sipped water and told myself to stay hydrated in the mean time I got to eat and drink.  Eighteen more days to go. A new challenge and out of comfort zone experiences.

Never have I ever fasted in my life. Not for religious reasons or health reasons. I want to experience it for the sake of experience and observe how my body reacts to it. Looking forward to reflect more on it.

Italo Calvino- The Black Sheep

https://blog.aladin.co.kr/common/popup/printPopup/print_Paper.aspx?PaperId=742005 Interesting story. Once lived a country full of thieves. E...