- Spies- Russian Web Series
- Fishbowl Wives
- Ponniyan Selvan -Maniratnam
- Roja -Maniratnam
- Kantara- Rishab Shetty
- Palthu Janwar
- Inglorious Basterds
- The Green Book
- Virata Parvam
- Ante Sundaraniki
- Rasan Piya
- Honey Cigar
- The Diving Bell and Butterfly
- Swallows of Kabul
- Arab Blues
- Minnal Murali
- Red Notice
- Superman of Malegaon
- A journal for Jordan
- Tashi and Monk
- Life of Muthu
- Manjhi- The Mountain Man
- The Terminal
- Sita Ramam (Telugu)
- Hridayam (Malayalam)
- Jaya Jaya Jaya he (Malayalam)
- Love Today (Tamil)
- Blood Sex & Royalty (Series)
- Saakini Daakini (Telugu)
- The Billion Dollar Code (Series)
- No Limit
- Darlings (Hindi)
- Ante Sundaraniki (Telugu)
- GanguBhai Katiyawadi
- She (Series)
- Hey Sinamika
I write about what affects me, enthralls me. I write my experiences, I write my emotions. To grow, to learn, to live, to celebrate Life. I write.
Friday, December 30, 2022
Movies in 2022
Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Books in 2022
Starting the year, I had a slight feeling that I may not be bit regular at reading books. Like I anticipated, I stuck to very few books this year. Though I started reading a lot of books, I didn't finish all those books within this year. I ended up completing 9 books this year.
1) Byculla to Bangkok by Hussain Zaidi
2) The reluctant mother by Zehra Naqvi
3) The red haired woman by Orhan Pamuk
4) Cuckold by Kiran Nagarkar
5) Conversations with friends by Sally Rooney
6) On Reading by Steve Mc Curry
7) The Book Thief by Marcus Suzak
8) My Father Baliah by Y B Satyanarayana
9) Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
2022 in Months
It's nice to reflect, wrap, review, close,reveal, 2022 in many different ways. Let me look at 2022 through months
Jan- Back to Jaipur. Worked on Travelers' University
Feb- Traveled to Karnataka, Chhatissgarh
Mar- Met Vaishnavi, got to learn about Soft Pastels.
Apr- Traveled to Uttarakhand. Began to work on Colorless.
May- Traveled to Bangalore. Perfomed 'The Art of Conversation'
June- Elli got married. Mohan mama passed away.
July- Traveled to Karnataka. Attended a play at Hyderabad with Shyam & Jaya. Thought of 629 KM walking expedition idea with Malavika.
Aug- Traveled to Sirohi, Pali. Caught up with Shankar, Azhar
Sep- Finished the first draft of Colorless at Uttarkashi. Traveled to Nepal. Caught up with Ruchi, Prateesh, Prashasti,
Oct- Attended Lok Rang festival.
Nov- Traveled to Jodhpur with Harry & Vasu. Celebrated birthday with Maah Space
Dec- Pratyusha got married. Met Aishwarya, Srujana, Yashwanty after 12 years. Met Padmaja mam & Ratnamala mam too. Caught up with Jaya, Prudhvi, Bala, Shyam Swami, Chinmay, Sandy bhai, Hemanth, Naveen.
Holidays with Harry - Storywriting
Travel Diaries- The familiar taste palette
Daylight Train Journeys
Sunday, December 18, 2022
Friends- Pratyusha's marriage Story-1
Pratyusha called up on the mobile number we have exchanged sometime after our 10th, to invite for the wedding. So happy to hear that she's getting hitched. We caught up on who all would attend her wedding.
Planned to attend her wedding, I reflected on our connection.
2010. Gowtam Model School.
Aishwarya was the first person I met in a classroom. While she sat in the last bench, Varun, Santosh were sitting in third bench from backwards. I sat behind Varun, Santosh and ahead of Aishwarya. I struck a conversation with Aishwarya on the first day in my last school.
After attending school for couple of days, sections were divided for 10th Class. Varun, Santosh, Abhishek, Abhilash C.V, Pradeep, Manish, Sandeep and most of us got into one class.
In the beginning of my 10th, I hardly know Pratyusha. Without saying much, there are many gangs in the class. After spending a month, I could sense who's who. Pratyusha's girl gang comprises of Sushmitha, Aishwarya, Srujana, Sneha, Aishwarya, Akhila, Ramani & Yashwanty. Ajay, Moses, Sadgun, Romello, Rizwan are a few who are allies to this gang. All of them are in other section of the class. Hence, I hardly had interaction with them at the beginning.
Sushmita Byra, I call her tennis player for she played tennis in her life at some point of time and that's how I could relate to her. Aishwarya Rupula- I think Jaydeep borrowed her MP3 player, and I borrowed it from him for couple of days. Listening to Saathiya songs through MP3 player was my favourite past time. I wonder if Aishwarya ever know that I had her MP3 player for couple of days. With others, in one way or the other, I had a conversation here and there and acknowledged their presence all through out the 10th class.
After completing 10th class syllabus, a series of tests were conducted. Whoever performed well were put in a different classroom. Cream batch, they called it. Cream batch comprised of the legends, Sruthi, Sandhya, Neelima, Swathi Mansabdar, Bharadwaj, Nagendar Sai, Ravi and other studious students who enjoyed studying. In the same room, we had Susmitha, Swathi who are pretty chilled out as well as bright at studies. Pratyusha also belong to the same tribe.
After one particular test, Pratyusha, myself and few others were asked to pack our bags and shift into that room. Santosh, Yashwanty and few others were also selected. I couldn't act rebel at that time by not shifting. I was obliged to the instructions and shifted. Others managed to escape from getting into the cream batch.
Getting tagged to cream batch was a bad thing in the gang, as too much of studies would bring a distance between friends.
Pratyusha and I got into the cream batch. Spending time in a same class for couple of weeks, we became acquaintances. She used to hang out with her gang soon after the classes, I used to go with my gang and managed to spend time with everyone.
Rizwan, Pratyusha, Abhilash C V, myself and few others were put in some government school in Bhaglingampally as 10th board examination centre. For couple of weeks, we attended that school to write our 10th exams.
After those exams, I visited Pratyusha once at her home, along with Akhila & other friends. I never expected that she'd take up CA then, as it was very new to me. All my friends whom I know were picking either planning to become engineers or doctors. After 10th class, we parted ways through different colleges.
Most of my gang got into Narayana college, Narayanaguda. Susmita got into Tarnaka campus, Swathi to Narayana Gokul Chat Campus, Nagendar Sai was planning for IIT and Sruthi and others were also in the same group.
All of us were connected through Facebook and never failed to comment on each other statuses, posts and photos.
Regularly connected through social media, I caught up with Pratyusha when I wanted some help from her sister Niharika, who was working at Royal Enfield Company then. In the past, we used to catch up infrequently showing off our Tamil language proficiency to each other.
Finally, I get a call from her, inviting me for a wedding. I was excited to catch up with whom I didn't meet after 2010.
Sunday, December 4, 2022
Movie Screening- The Swallows of Kabul
Thursday, December 1, 2022
Anjali & I- Anjalis' Science Project
Friday, November 25, 2022
Thursday, November 24, 2022
Book- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah begins by sharing two pieces of Law. It's a crime when a white man sleeps with black woman and black man sleeps with white woman-vice versa. A Xhosa woman meets Noah's father who is from Swiss. Voila, Noah born out of crime.
Through the history of South Africa, tribes and religion, we get to read the story of Trevor Noah that talks of racism, religion, survival, pre and post apartheid days of South Africa.
Trevor lived through the times when Nelson Mandela brought democracy and freedom to a lot of his people in South Africa. It's interesting how there are whites, Afrikaans, blacks, Xhosa, Zulus and many more tribes. No wonder, South Africa had to come up with 11 official languages post apartheid.
Apartheid can be one interesting subject to study how oppressors rule. The rules are for those who go against the oppressors. For oppressors, there are no rules or law, atleast in action. Japanese are considered whites where as Chinese as colored. Trevor wonders how South African policeman can differentiate both by their faces and check if they are following the rules.
Nombuyiselo Noah, mother of Trevor Noah is a brave woman who survived hardships, lived through the extreme poverty and has seen it all. Her story gives us a glimpse of what poverty can taste like. You mix water and mud to eat the milky clay just to stay out of hunger. She survived the hardships and tried to live in this oppressing system. She decided to have baby with white man, even if it was forbidden. She wanted someone whom she can love unconditionally and live for. She wanted a baby! Thus, she asked out a swiss white man, whom she trusted to help her in this whole process. She had Trevor who is neither black nor white, a colored child. Thus begins Trevor's story.
Trevor is clueless about his identity, all throughout his life. He is not too white to hang out with whites. Neither he is too black to be called blacks. He's colored, a rarity, who has tough time being accepted wherever he goes.
Describing the struggle to find his group, he talks of his schooling, his skill of speaking many language opened many gates for him. He got a lot of places to go but, not a place to call his own!.
"I became chameleon. My color didn't change but, I could change your perception of my color. If you spoke to me in Zulu, I replied to you in Zulu. If you spoke to me in Tswana, I replied to you in Tswana. Maybe, I didn't look like you, but If I spoke like you, I was you."
He talked about his friends, Teddy, partner in crime and his stint as tuck shop guy. He takes us to the places he lived and survived as a teen. It's interesting how he saw hustling and how it took over good time of his life.
During his childhood, he mostly spent his time at home. He's both mischevious and hungry. He burnt a house down by a magnifying glass and match sticks. He ended up in Jail for stealing a car. There's other side of him who struggles to have his way with girls. He talked about girls and his stints at love in his life. Enjoyed reading the funny story of how language disrupted his prom dance.
I could imagine the hood he lived through his 20s and how the life went. It's quite a page turner and it's well written. Thanks Jishan for gifting me this. Enjoyed it totally!
Jaipur Journals- How I ended up in Jaipur Part2
After moving to Rajasthan. I seriously thought to settle in the small town of Sirohi. A sense of silence and slow life inspired me to just not move anywhere from the town. Romantic it seemed but, the stay for a year was quite unforgettable with all the lows and highs.
As COVID hit the world, I continued to stay in Sirohi and never pondered on moving out of this town. It was this pace of the life that called me to stay some more time and spend the day watching the sun rise through the hills, take a stroll in the ground that's deserted by 7 PM, chat with the Sandeep who sells Dabeli on a stall, Call Altaf by night, to keep the chicken ready and remind him time and again to drop two leg pieces in the cover.
As I continued to spend time in the small town, I discovered that I miss giving my time to family, friends and other people in my life. For a year, there's no romance in the life, neither in small town. I was realising what I was leaving for what I'm living for. I continued to live in the small town. It all began when Dyu decided to leave. Until he shared that he'd be leaving, I didn't realize that my stay was cozy, comfortable only because of him. His presence made a lot of difference in the life.I was still a kid and was acting impulsive and never cared to buy groceries, vegetables, house cleaning or anything that's house chore. He did it all. I'm grateful to his support and never complained for once on my behaviour. If I was him, I'd be cribbing a lot. He never ever pointed out or said a word to do my work in the house.
After Dyu left in April. I was intuitive that I may also have to leave Sirohi. I left Sirohi for Jaipur in June.
On the last day of my stay at Sirohi, Shankar and Azhar bid me a farewell.
Monday, November 21, 2022
Jaipur Journals- Table Top Games
I was late by an hour, only to find Puneet with one more person, Diwakar, who showed up for the board games. Together, we played sequence, a game where we are meant to make sequences. The one who does the first sequence wins the game.
Later, Diwakar and I played it and I lost the game. Maitrey joined us and we played a board game, carcassonne, named after a walled city in France. This game spanned around 40-50 minutes and it was not so boring, not so interesting either.
At last, we played The Mind game, the first game I ever played at Table Top. I enjoyed working with the numbers. As soon as we closed the game, we bid bye and left. Thanks Puneet, for hosting this at this beautiful space, Maah.
Jaipur Journals- Move Your City by Maah Space
Shreeya & Kamaakshi were present at Patrika Gate, writing down numbers on papers. I was happy to see them and was excited for the event we were going to participate.
Maah Space began to organise this Move your City, to experience the space and claim the public spaces in a new way rather than visitng them and memorising the places visually.
Claiming spaces seemed to be an interesting idea. Slowly people walked in and joined. As we formed a circle, a audio file was shared and asked to begin the journey at once.
We put our headphones on, turned on the audio and on to our own journey at this space. Imagine 15 people with their head phones on listening to one voice that's narrating the story about the night. Claiming the night.
How does the night evoke you? What does it mean? Look at the stars, look at the clouds and wind that's driving all the vehicles.
Slowly, we began to walk, dance, move to the music of the audio and the stories that flowed through the nigght. As the darkness descends, we were asked to meet a partner. I looked across and met this person with poised face on her, keeping hands in our pockets. We shook our hands. We were told to either choose and ask one person to close their eyes and the other should guide the place physically. I held her hand and invited her for a walk. As she closed eyes, she was completely dependent on me and I had to take her for a walk without causing any hurt. We went through stairs, places, and shifted hands letting her touch the walls and feel the texture.
As it was my turn, I closed my eyes and walked as I was guided. Though I was letting myself to trust, my body was bit reluctant at first. As I took some time to let it through my body, I had a cathartic feeling to trust an individual and walk with the help.
How beautiful a society would turn out with high trust amongst everyone. This is one attempt creating a high-trust society, I thought.
Later we had to choose one of the arches to enter and pick a message for us. I got this message on the night. The text was apt capturing the night with t he moon.
The moon unfurled and it reminded me of the times I saw a moon through the leafless trees.
We gathered in a cirlce and read out our messages. All through out the event, Kamaakshi participated with us. Shreeya took a corner and observed us folding her hands with a smile just to witness. Why do we do this?
The happiness of seeing people creating art, being themselves. That's something that drives us.
At the end, we all gathered to share our thoughts and experiences. One gentlman was in a hurry and hustled others to introduce themselves and bid bye.
Sad that we couldn't bring a closure to the beautiful experience we got. As a part of introductions, I got to know that the stranger whom I met is Tanvi.
Thanks Shreeya, Kamaakshi for this experience.
I'm glad, I met Saad, Mohit, Tanvi, Kamaakshi and others.
Thanks again for this beautiful intitiative.
Thursday, November 17, 2022
Jaipur Journals- The Birthday Haul
Jaipur Journals- How I ended up in Jaipur-Part1
To discuss about my Jaipur journey, I’ve to discuss how I came to Rajasthan. Why did you come to Rajasthan, is the first question, everyone ask?
Why not? Is my response. Everyone of my age group were behind the position, money and some entertainment. I’m no different. I enjoy the position, money and a lot of entertainment. Earning 20K in single shot by publishing a novel made me believe that money can’t bring everything.
I had more fun in publishing rather than selling. Being in college, in a single shot, I had 20,000 cheque who bought a lot of books in bulk. I never prioritized money from then. I love money. I’ll use it for what I want to do rather than earning money for no reasons, I decided.
In my first job, I was taught Mainframe coding and I approached HR, to give me a role where I could work at my best. I was given Project Management & Operations role where I had the responsibility of setting up the account and help my delivery partner. I took baby steps in that process and learnt the work. The designation sounded fancy. I loved the work. People gave me respect as they hear my designation without knowing what I actually do. Manager of something. Management of something is always a fancy. Working for two years with the way I want to work, I thought, I can do this MBA or management at any point of time because, that’s the obvious thing in life. Leaving the money and career, I wanted entertainment. Everyday, evening I used to attend events related to art in the city. My flexible work hours helped me to attend the events whereever or whenever.
I want to spend time learning something about this world which runs on different rules, I began to ponder. It’s not completely run by money, it’s not completely run by this social standings of the society. There’s something beyond it. Or may be there’s a mix of everything, I want to learn and understand. I want to travel and learn. I decided. That’s when I got to know about Azim Premji Foundation.
Movie Suggestions by Gautam
Even though, I'm watching a few movies in this year, I'm trying to pick some unusual cinema suggestions by movie buffs. This time, Gautam has suggested me some russian movies. I've watched SPIES series, suggested by him and I had great time watching it. Here's the next suggestion list.
- The Irony of Fate
- The Tenth Man
- Stalingrad-When the War Began
Theatre Plays- Mann se Manch Tak by Natak Toli
Stories in Frames - Pages and Screens
Theatre Plays- Qisse Soojh-Boojh Ke
On the occasion of Children's Day, Jawahar Kala Kendr has hosted a play at Rangayan by National Shool of Drama,Delhi, a TIE company-Sanskar Rang Toli. I just learned that Sanskar Rang Toli is a Hindi version of Theatre in Education. I wish they came up with simpler words.
Back to the play, this play has some 15 odd actors wearing different hats at different times to narrate the storie of Birbal, Tenali Raman, and many other personalities who displayed their wits and won the praises of Kings and their Lords.
It was fun to solve the math riddles in between the play, engaging the audience.
With little live performance of songs by actors, there's so many tracks that were blaring through the speakers, all through out the play. The tracks weren't equalised well as well. A few were coming out through left, a few from right in incoherent way. There wasn't sync between the actors either at times,hence the visuals they're trying to form weren't impactful. There's high expectations from Sanskar Rang Toli! Wish they up their game!
Monday, November 14, 2022
Thoughts- Asking and what it takes!
Many call me opportunist. Many call me free loader. May be I'm all that as well. Hitchhiking on roads for days has taught me a lot about asking which I could never learn in my school or anywhere during my childhood.
The act of asking puts me out in a place where I have to be open to all judgements, open to all the responses. A few may acknowledge my requests, a few may ignore them, a few may mock me, a few may laugh at me, a few may ridicule me, a few may have no idea what I'm upto.
I'm striving to be equanimous with the all kinds of responses I receive. More to delve and introspect as I go through this whole asking journey.
Theatre Plays- Chor
Chor is adapated play of Virtuous Burglar by Dario. Vijay, Kalpana & Kamlesh worked on this Play. Somesh, Pooja, Anurag and few others acted in this play.
Vijay and Kalpana walked in asking for my views about the play. It's been weeks since I watched this play. I recollected what stayed with me. In that way, I could realise what affected me the most and what didn't give me any impression. The stage and the silhouettes were quite impressive. Apart from it, the casting of the actors could've been better as it took time for me to believe the chemistry of the characters. Pooja, Anurag were quite natural. The lighting of the space was too much to create the ambience of the night. If only, this play is performed at any prosenium theatre, the effect would be quite different.
Birthday Experiment- Remind the loved ones about the birthday-2022
Last year, I reminded most of my friends' about my birthday and shared a birthday wish list that had the list of books I wanted. Many friends had more questions on how does this process work. What if many buy the same book? What if I get multiple copies at the end. Interacting with friends, I realised I'll have more questions gifted than books. Glad it turned out to be wrong. I got most of the books I asked.
Arrives November and here I am with a new wish list, reminding the loved ones about my birthday and the gifts they can send me.
Let's see how 2022 birthday is going to roll out!
Sunday, November 13, 2022
Jaipur Journals- Painting Lessons with Malavika
I never learnt painting. Neither I picked any Youtube channel or any digital source to learn painting. I bought brushes, paint and am off to create pieces. Malavika visited home and in the act of showing her my work, I realised I painted alot of pieces. This is complete. This is interesting, she'd quickly appreciate and put the pieces aside.
She looks at few pieces and told me to work on it. She didn't tell me what to do but, she suggested me to spend time. Just like how I paint, I realised, I don't need to go technical and do some cover-up work. I sit with paintings and I may get to know what to do with them.
Also she looked at few colors and series of paintings and quickly pointed out the time I spent on the paintings. I could closely observe my paintings and see how they're communicating to me, in one sense.
Geetika was also accompanying us. She asked, what do you see in this painting? For that question, Malavika replied, "I can't put it in words. If there was something that could've been expressed in words, Abhinay could've done it already. Instead, I can respond sensorially, rather than articulate it. For articulation purpose, if I say, it'll be only for articulation purpose and that could be nonsense."
There's no need to look for meanings in specific, I realised.
I never clean my brushes post my paintings. For that, I've accumulated a lot of dry paint brushes. I need to clean them all. These days, I was wondering that I have no canvases to paint. Looking at my work, I realised that I have enough canvases to work on.
Malavika's suggestions and feedback was quite rejuvenating to get back on the canvas and spend time in painting.
Thanks Malavika & Geetika for coming. Had a great time.
Monday, November 7, 2022
Thoughts- The evolving relations
I met a couple who walked into an event. Everyone were introducing in our own ways. There was a couple who walked in and said, I'm married, but not to him. He's my friend. The other person also said the same, I'm married but, not her. We met recently. Our partners are not interested in these kinda events so we came together. The host was curious about marriage. Both are newly married. It's been less than 18 months since their marriage. It's interesting how we're not confining to single person for all our expectations. Am I hitting towards Polyamory? No. It's important to have friends beyond our romantic relations. There's a lot of mobility in our lives. That's bringing a lot of different relations in our lives.
It's interesting to see how we'd manage our romantic, emotional relationships in place shifting and switching the values we observed in our elders.
Sunday, November 6, 2022
Jaipur Journals- Indie Gig by Fiddle Craft
Gaurav Kadoo, local to Pune has come to Jaipur to perform at Maah Space. Awaaz Studio has organised this intimate Gig. I met Ankush, who heads Awaaz, and introduced me to his teammate, Palaasha. Had an interesting conversation with her on how she is exploring the space of art and communities. She's working on creating a community that share ideas & passions. A lovely vision to work on. Good work Palaasha.
The show was opened by Manas Teja, who shared a bit about his songs and played 3-4 songs. Then arrived Gaurav bringing out a whole new energy. I loved the way he interacted with us and made part of the performance.
In one sense, he was the performer but, in retrospective, I realised that we were also performing with him, adding beats and vibing along with him. The listeners make the talk complete. The audience make the performance complete.
Gaurav shared story behind each and every song. How he wrote Zindagi, Kyu Jaana hai, secular song, awaaz Yaad Rakhna, Sohbat and a lot more.
Gaurav also shared the story of how his friend Golu, gifted him guitar and made a difference in his life and how he's continuing his life as a musician.
He wrote more than 200 songs and is an active indpendent musician. He also shared that he's a music producer for Family Man Season-2. That brought him a lot of cheer in the house, for which, he rightly pointed out that, kya hai bhai, bada movie certification jaroori hai kya, to respect a musician. If you like any music and the musician, you like the music and her/him. You don't need other validations to respect, he rightly shared the message.
He wrote one song, Bakri ki Amma, which became viral for many reasons. He claim it as one of the poor quality songs, he put it out on internet. He said, I'm only connected to places where I have people who belong to me in various ways, living there. Other places, I have no business with it. I wonder, how we look at places and spaces.
He's from Bhopal but became local to Pune and performed at many places. That kept me thinking about places and spaces. How do we own spaces and places that makes us and moulds us.
Overall, I felt, i traveled a bit in the Journey of Fiddle craft through Gaurav's songs and stories. Thanks Gaurav for visiting Jaipur and performing for us.
Awaaz, keep it up for hosting such a nice gig. Maah Space is the right place for the events that rejuvenates and bring out life in us. Good Show everyone.
Jaipur Journals- Table Top Board Games' Host
Over a indie Gig, I met Puneet, who is a psychotherapist and hosts meet ups bringing people together to play board games. I signed up for the event and was pretty late to the venue. It was hosted in Central Park. Sprawling over the lush grass, Puneet found a nice gazebo with intriguing archs and patterns. Puneet was sitting with one more person, who walked all over the central searching for the venue.
As no one showed up, Puneet and I caught up over conversation and shared our stories. Puneet did his masters in Psychology in Pune, worked their for good time and relocated to his home, Jaipur. He got introduced to board games in Pune and he wanted to introduce it in Jaipur. He met a person who had inclination towards board games and got ready to host him. Over a year, the board games meet up were hosted in that cafe and as it's being renovated, Puneet is experimenting with the places, times and other factors that affects bringing people together for the meet up.
When I host in cafe, people show up but, public venue like Central Park, people don't show up as they feel it's too hot to catch up in the park. I see some comfort creep there!
Puneet and i discussed a bit about what it is to be an employee and what it is to maintain work-life balance. Procrastination is a skill. Many a times, we tend to finish off things as quickly as possible stressing ourselves terribly. If we are able to procrastinate and execute it as decided, we may bring better productivity in our life, thinks Puneet. It's interesting to see Procrastination in new light.
Discussing with Puneet, I could reflect on how we're conditioned to respond immediately and seek responses immediately. It's time we set boundaries for ourselves on how we respond to people, giving time to ourselves rather than trying to be there for everyone at everytime.
Thursday, October 27, 2022
Jaipur Journals- Happy Deepavali
This time, as there's a long week of holidays, I decided to stay back at home rather than visiting friends or travel around and celebrate Diwali in my own way.
I always jumped to the idea of traveling but, I realised that I need to spend time for myself to get into this festive mood in my own way. How do we celebrate festivals? Do we need gatherings to call it festivals? How do we celebrate festivals. I had a lot of these questions and I decided to ponder over and figure out by this Diwali festival.
I got series of messages on WhatsApp. I decided to stay away from Social Media as it'd be filled with the festive posts. I'm not interested to check out how others are celebrating festival as I'm interested to celebrate the festival in my own way. What do Diwali mean to me? At certain age, I had certain notions of Diwali. Till I turned 13, Diwalis meant crackers, gifts and sweets. I always looked forward for the nights. As siblings began to move out and festivals no more felt like festivals, I wondered what are festivals for. Slowly with inclusion of environment into the festive picture, I slowly lost interest in crackers and never picked them after that.
I do not remember how I celebrated Diwali during my college days. I hardly had any interest in festivals during those times.
These days, this are the highlights of my festival.
Sleep without Alarm
For once, I switched off the alarm and slept whenever I felt sleepy and woke up whenever I felt awake. Sometimes I slept 12 hours and sometimes I slept only 8 hours. The quality of the sleep didn't seem to be proportional with the quantity of the sleep but matters a lot with the timing when I fall asleep. If I'm sleeping around 2 am and waking up at 12PM. I got 12 hours of sleep but I don't feel much active.
In an year, I make sure I have days where I do nothing except picking a book and reading it all day. These days were the same. As soon as I get up, I freshen up a bit and catch up with the books I picked to read. I finished Cuckold, Conversation with Friends, began Till Death Do Us Apart, The Ivory Throne & Body Keeps the Score.
I'm happy with the pace I have regarding reading. Other than reading, I paint a bit whenever I feel like.
This time I'm trying to spend more time on one piece rather than create various pieces in short span of time. Spending more time on drawing, painting is helping me to focus more and be mindful of my practice rather than venting out emotions intensely.
Cooking at Home
Cooking seemed to be fun when there's so much time to spend at home. I enjoyed making atleast one meal a day at home. I cooked chicken once and someother times, poha, tomato rice and some other dishes. I'm enjoying cooking as it has a lot to do with the colors, texture and the process. I'm enjoying the aromas, texture of vegetables and all the process that goes on with cooking. I may not enjoy this if someone asks me to do it daily. As I have a lot of time in hand, I'm enjoying these.
Jaipur Journals- Flaneur
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Web Series- Spies
Russian web series on espionage.
Thanks Gautam for the suggestion. I enjoyed watching this russian series on world war-2 espionage. While Britian is fighting German and German began to fight Russia, how did Russia respond? Through two main protagonists, Arina & Zoya, the series is spanned through 12 episodes depicting how diplomatic, cruel, cunning, idealistic the state can be.
The first rule in the game of espionage is to have no rules. It's a play of power and interest. As the state is need of resources, they give a chance to a robber and a espionage suspect. Two rivals begin their journey in a spy school and become succesful partners in crime.
In the beginning, it's all about state and operations, at the end, it boils down to these two main characters, Zoya and Arina. How do they win over all the obstacles and survive till the last even after their own state pins down for betrayal.
Gripping. Worth watching.
Book- Conversations with Friends by Salley Rooney
Last year, I got this book as birthday present by Archana. Thanks Archana for the book. I'm glad I picked this book now just before my birthday trying to finish all the birthday gifts I received earlier.
In this book, we've our narrator Frances, a college going student, lives with her ex-girlfriend Bobbi and does spoken word poetry performances together. They eventually meet Melissa who is also a writer and has an actor husband, Nick. In due course, France, Bobbi finds a bond with the married couple, Melissa and Nick. Frances and Nick get together and begins an affair. What happens after the love kindles between them and how it affects the inter relations amongst four of them is the story.
This book has set the stage for the modern relationships and explored a bit on non-monogamy and other instituitions. The character development seemed fine but not very touching to me. Especially the part where Frances gets affected by a strange disease. It all seemed boring after she is sick and it destroys other things in life.
The writing is good. I could imagine all the characters vividly, thanks to the crisp and show-but-not-tell writing.
I may pick one more book of her to check out how her stories.
Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Story of the day- Artificial Intelligence
In 1956, at conference in Darthmouth, a group of 100 people all over the world were working on the subject that's a buzz word in the current scenario, "Artificial Intelligence." There were handful of people who got the toughest job then - defining Artificial Intelligence.
Back then, it was defined as "intelligence that could be demonstrated by ability to play games, especially chess."
It all started with the ability to play a game of chess and now the artificial intelligence is getting redefined thanks to machine learning.
Monday, October 24, 2022
Movie- Ponniyan Selvan-1
After COVID, this seemed to be the movie I watched in a big theatre. It's Maniratnam and A.R.Rahman's movie, how can I miss this.
These are the movies I watch for the experience rather than watch it objectively. I already have an assumption of the movies made by these makers, it's going to be worth it. As I imagined, I enjoyed the visuals and listening to the songs, scores in particular environment. I wish I watched this in Imax theatre, rather than a small multiplex theatre in Jaipur.
This movie is about Cholas from the TamilNadu region. I know very less about Cholas, forget the Pandyas and their legacy. The first half of the movie is introduction of the characters, Aditya Karikalan(Vikram), his sister, Kunduvai(Trisha), his brother Arun Mozhi(Ravi) and his Ex- Nandini (Aishwarya) who gets married to one of the minister in his father's kingdom.
Vallavarayan Vandidevan (Karthi) is the commander in chief, who has his own ways to flirt with any women whom he comes across, gets on to his assigned job of finding out what's happening in the other part of the kingdom. The movie unravels, as he begins his journey.
Ash was absolutely gorgeous on screen, thanks to Maniratnam's magic with light and camera. The only memorable score in the film was the silence A.R created in the climax after thundrous anti climax score. A memorable one.
Looking forward to catch up with the second part. Will I get on to Kalki's books to find out the Chola's story? Maybe yes.
Series- Fishbowl Wives
Japanese webseries,titled, "Fishbowl Wives." is focused on the lives of people who live in high rise buildings. The more high they live, the more problematic, their life seemed to be.
Takuyo and Sakura-the main couple who doesn't live through a happy marriage but, showcases as a fancy happy couple to the outside world. At one birthday party, thrown by the fancy happy couple, a Feng Shui lady, comes in and suggests the ladies, to start caring pets like fish, to bring in such care and love in life.
Further episodes pivot through fish aquarium and it's owner, Haruto, the person whom Sakura meets after walking out of an abusive episode,
Through five episodes, there's a show of different wives through different lens. One interesting episode was about, a lady who forgot her husband after he cheated on her but, eventually runs into him, considering him as a stranger and develops a sexual relation. Her body finds him familiar whereas she doesn't have a single memory of him. A very interesting story on traumatic memory.
This webseries is heightened with a lot of drama and it's music. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Sunday, October 16, 2022
Jaipur Journals- Phone Maintenance in the middle of the Street
I was walking to my home in the streets of my colony, putting my big JBL headphones on, listening to Ponniyan Selvan songs with high volume.
“Bhai, jara, ye dekho na?” he called me out. A gentle man seemed to be in his late early 40s and has some issue with the Bluetooth ear phones he got. Ye liya hu, lekin nahi jud raha hai. The Bluetooth headphones needs to be coneected to the phone. I quickly opened the Bluetooth options and searched for the devices, couldn’t find the Bluetooth ear phones. I switched on the Bluetooth earphones by pressing the switch on Bluetooth switch. Boat bolke kuch bol raha hai, on hogaya, he signalled. After this confirmation, I searched for the headphones and got it connected. I said, it’s done.
Ek baar test karenge, I suggested as I wanted this man to have good experience with the ear phones. We opened the youtube and played some Youtube Shorts. It seemed to be working.
“Ye dekho na. bahut garam hotha hai phone.”
I really liked the way, he stopped the random stranger on the road for help and getting his phone sorted. Ye bahut aata rehta hai. Kuch karo na. he asked.
I glanced at his phone. He got a whole long list of unopened notifications and lot of apps like SnapChat, Snapbook, Share Chat, Khata book and some weird apps which I never heard of. A lot were opened in the background. I did the basic clean up, turned off all the unnecessary notifications. and realized, I’ve some tips to share on phone maintenance.
I realized that a lot of elderly people are struggling to maintain the phone. I’m sure the notifications are meddling with a lot of minds. I’m glad I controlled most of my notifications. Still, I feel I can’t control my phone as I want to do.I handed over the phone to the gentle man and wished him, “Ab thoda kam hosaktha hai.” I handed him his phone, “Lelijiye” and got back to the business of listening Ponniyan Selvan Songs.
Jaipur Journals- Lok Rang
I realised that it's 25th edition of Lok Rang. As it's Sunday, there was a lot of crowd to witness the programme. Artists were present from different states. Today there were performances by Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and many other states.
The musical instruments from Jammu and Himachal Pradesh were very interesting as the instruments were made of a different wood that seemed very old and strong.
Ghungroo, the Jammu song was performed by beautiful girls in their bright red, blue, green Kashmiri dresses with head bands and dangling ear rings.
Jhoomar from Punjab, as one audience put it, "Bhangra in slow motion" was also fun to watch as it had a very old person grooving to the rhythm of the Dol. As I keenly observed in the performance, I could spot the perfectionists as well as the newbies who are struggling to memorise the steps on stage.
Naati, a dance from the tribe Haati was also performed. In most of the folk dances, circle formation seemed to be one of the common elements. Fire also seemed to be one of the common elements in the folk dances.
A week of Lok Rang is done. I'm excited to witness the rest of the days.
I tried out Sonu's idea of dabbling with black ink. "It's very tough to visualise." I shared my experience with him as I worked with only black paint on some 10-12 pages.
"Continue working on it. It's very tough as hardly there's be space for you to compose. It'd be either black or white, what else will you do?. That's when you'll began to explore contrast and many shades of black. Try it out."
I got motivated by his words. Sonu is very excited whenever he talks about art and artists. He suggested me a few names, Vidya Sagar Upadhyay, Renu Bariwal, Jagmohan Mathodia. A lot of art to study.
Travel Diaries- A day with the Car Tinkerer
In Uttarakhand, I went to an automotive workshop to get my friend’s car tinkered. A little dent to work on. The workshop owner said, it involves, a painter, dent remover and some finishing touches by him, the workshop owner. I agreed to the deal and headed to the workshop at later afternoon.
He quickly removed the fuel cap and sent it to the painting shop to get the right mixture of the paint. A grey jet black paint of 100 ml is bought. A young lad in early 20s came with another workshop owner, discussed the work and returned to their workshop to get the tools to work on.
While the painter is yet to arrive, the workshop owner, Sandeep got a hammer and some plastic screw caps. Screw caps are only useful, when we have screw driver to use them. “Arre screw driver kaha hai?” he shouts at his apprentices. I stayed there for 40 minutes and didn’t hear their name from their owner’s mouth.
Is it how they get the work done? Don’t anyone like their name to be called? Ye idhar aaja, udhar who lelo, tum mere saat aao. No names to refer. How does it feel to respond to not names but signals? I thought.
The young painter came in cycle with a white plastic cover and unpacked all his tools. His tools consists of two tubes, two aluminium sharp sheets, sand paper and some wooden block to put the wrap the sand paper and work on.
He quickly prepared the thick white paste and applied to the holes, made by Sandeep. Body filler, it’s called. I was still wondering, how they’re going to cover the whole dent and make it spotless. I waited to watch. As I was getting on my nerves. Sandeep looked and said, “Isliye boltha hu, gaadi chhodke chale jaayein.” Bahut mushkil hotha hai owners ko uska repair dekhe ke.
I’m more nervous, as it’s not mine but my friend’s car. I wanted to return the car in the shape I got it.
How did the dent happen, that’s another story for another day.
We waited for half an hour for body filler to get dried. We took the car to the other workshop to get it painted. Sandeep promised me that work would be done in the next one hour. As I didn’t had anything to do, I took my car and sat in the other workshop to see how the car would get painted.
“Painter” he’s referred. He’s amused by my accent and asked my whereabouts. The moment I told I’m from Hyderabad, he felt affined as he also spent some time in Sount. Precisely, in Kerala and some parts of Tamil Nadu. He feels, all the states are same and all speak similar language.
“Aap musalman ho?” he asked, trying to identify with me more. No, I’m not. I replied to him. Spending some time, he asked what do I eat and where do I lived, what I studied and the whole story behind arriving to Uttarakhand, and also especially to the Udham Singh Nagar, a plains area in Uttarakhand.
Mixing a bit of paints and trying it out on car, the painter suddenly asked, “Will I get this kind of work in Hyderabad, do you know if there’s any job opportunity for me in Hyderabad? He asked.
I was perplexed by how he assumed that I could get a job for him in Hyderabad. I do not work in automotive industry. I do not have any friends in that. Neither I told him I’m into painting nor I’m a mechanical Engineer.
The painting tools are plenty. The paint is prepared by mixing right amount of paint and oil and other chemicals and blended without any bubbles. Later, the pressure is mounted to the sprayer and sprayed on the car. I realised that if 80 % of the paint is coated on the car, then 20% of it is vanished in the air. I could imagine all the chemicals and other toxic particles flying around and settling on one’s body, chai and tandoori chicken and other places, since there was a dull hotel joint named, Kings Kitchen. Neither Kings can dine nor any normal person.
Monday, October 10, 2022
Jaipur Journals- Lok Rang
Jawahar Kala Kendr is hosting Lok Rang, a 10 day folk festival with various folk performance. I'm fortunate to just walk in and witness the dazzling & stunning folk performances by folk artists hailing from all places of India.
The show started with Langa Musician's performance. The host is an old man with a stubble wearing a white shirt and dhoti. On top of that, a yellow half coat and a subtle turban. A pleasant host, encouarging the audience to cheer rather than a pretentious loudy noisy hosts.
He welcomed all the performers with a slight introduction of the folk art and the artisit. However, it'd have been nice, if the host managed to pronounce Tamil folk art form, Koyilaatam, and Thapaatam.
I had tough time between recording and enjoying the performances. After few minutes of the show, I decided to watch the performances rather than record the performances to watch it later.
In total, I watched ten performances. Of all, most of the folk art forms had to do with fire and rhythm.
In Rajasthan chari's dance, women had pots on their head and in the pots was fire. There was a live band to which performers were dancing.
Bundel Khand's Badhai was a performance with a lot of swirls and happy faces.
Prachin Garba was splendid. In this performance, women in red and blue Ghagra, put one single brown pot in the middle and in cirlce formation, they performed Garba. They performed to a audio recording than a live musical performance.
Assamese Bihu had a flautist, drummers, women with red bindi and round faces. A charming performance. Truly these people were enjoying the rhythm. The smiles on their faces were infectious.
Oyilatam had a interesting story, it began when the crop is about to get harvested and had to drive a lot of birds. In the act of driving away birds, they perform with a cloth and later, women join in and also various instruments compliments the performance. Artists seemed bit lost. There was a single person who was leading and orchestrating everyone on the stage. Others were looking for the cues.
Thapaatam was the last peformance of the show. A big bass drum, along with the single face percussion instruments. Kalaimaani Raja was the leader of the troupe. He wasn't anxious or angry. With a confidence, he was gathering his team to perform. Most of them were looking for his cues.
Holi adiwasi dance from Gujarat was full of gymanstics- two formations that stayed with me, were of Krishna riding the chariot and another of him, chilling out with a flute.
Dhediya Dance from UttarPradesh was also a delightful one.
I enjoyed all the performances as it had gripping rhythm. Truly a delightful day to witness all these performances in person.
Sunday, October 9, 2022
Jaipur Journals- The round Dosas
The first time I tried making Dosas is when I got a little help from Vaishnavi about how to prepare the batter. I tried for the first time and I did a decent job. Next time, in Uttarkashi, I was asked to make Dosas, as I seemed to be authentic South Indian, who could get Dosas in real shape and taste.
Sonia & Monu encouraged me to try out. I mixed the proportions but, in revesre. Krishna walked in as the saviour, corrected the proportions and got the Dosas, right. The Golden brown Dosas. Thinking of the Dosas, I got reminded of Shreya who made Tomato Chutney and Dosa, when I was at her home last time.
I immediately got the batter and tomatoes. Fried them, put them in mixi jar and made a Tomato chutney. Opening the batter, I was optimistic about Dosas turning right. After 40 days break, I reentered the kitchen to cook. It's been long time since I cooked. I tried to put the batter and spread it round. Spreaded it right but, the batter got stuck to the pan.
First two attempts were a failure. After that, I got soft, golden brown Dosas. I had them with tomato chutney and I could think of the Dosas I ate at Shreya's home. Tasting Tomato Chutney, I could think of the Idlies, I used to eat in Vellore, in 2007.
What a way to end the day with tummy filling Dosas. Glad I started to cook again.
I realised that if we eat home cooked food, there's less chance of eating extra. I'll try my best to cook food rather than order food from outside.
jaipur Journals- Theatre and act
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
Music- Naiharwa by Kumar Gandharva
Kabir poetry is so intriguing only by the sounds it has. And it's so pleasing when it's sung by Kumar Gandharva. Thanks Ambika for introducing Kumar Gandharva.
Saturday, September 17, 2022
Jaipur journals- Own your Story
It’s my 12th day in the campus where I live with these people with whom I dine every night. And we gather talking about everything under the sun.
I began to share the insider stories of IT and there was doubt on how I ended up at IT. For every question on my journey, there’s always a 10 mark answer. As my friend tease me that I say 10 mark answer for every 1 mark question. That’s the art of practicing storytelling, I believe.
I began the story of how I got graduated and got through the interview process and got into a new job. The whole journey of getting into the first job and interacting with the mentor and the mafia games I played with my colleagues. From one episode to another episode, I shared a full long journey of how I met Aravind Unnikrishnan, Parveen, Sandeep HR. How I got offer to work in various projects and how I declined. The journey of Adibatla and the way I began hitchhiking and my tiff with Pavan and the leadership lessons I learnt from Aravind. The stories flowed and I stopped till the point where I reached Sirohi, a small town in Rajasthan. Ruchi, Prashasti, Sai Kripa were patiently listening. Juhi was more into what I wrote instead of what my journey was. Ruchi was the one who asked a 2mark question and I think, this time I answered her with 10 stories, a lot of journeys and also a little bit of insights from Hitchhiking.
At the end, they had a few questions on writing. We discussed on how writers make life through writing and also other jobs. I realized that I don’t have fancy things in my story according to my friends. But, to these lovely audience, Ruchi, Prateesh, Sai Kripa, it was fascinating. I realized that it’s time I own my story because, no one can tell my story the way I tell my stories. And if I don’t tell my stories, who’s going to tell?
Saturday, September 10, 2022
Books- The Original Wisdom by Robert Wolff
I got to know about this book through Harry's review.
I'm surprised to read about the tribe who has a way of knowing things around. Especially, I vividly remember this text and was sharing it one of my conversations with colleagues.
"Once Wolff takes the bomoh of a village to the main town with him and he sees the ocean for the first time. Wolff notices the bomoh watching the ocean intently the next day and after they return to the village, he holds a meeting and tells the rest of the village people about the ocean - details about how the ocean covers the land but not enough to pose danger, of how there's life inside the ocean, geography of the ocean and so much more that Wolff knows could not be known by merely watching the ocean from a distance. But the bomoh has seen an ocean for the first time and Wolff realises that there is a knowing in the universe if we are tuned into it. He asks the bomoh to teach him and he asks Wolff to join him on a walk - and they walk and walk in nature for days without any instruction and after many such, Wolff realises how to tune into the universe and its wisdom."
Original Wisdom by Robert Wolff is definitely a book on to-be-read list.
Friday, September 9, 2022
Jaipur Journals- The Zostel
|Painting at Zostel|
Thursday, September 8, 2022
Jaipur Journals- Empty Spaces
Udham Singh Nagar Diairies- Empty Spaces
This time, I'm staying in the room 105. Everytime, I come, I'm put up in some odd room. I began to notice the room numbers I'm staying in. The last room, I stayed doesn't have a number. I was curious why it doesn't had a number.
I caught up with the owner and asked about the room and the place. "We always had a plan of building a hotel beside this river but, we don't have sufficient land. Instead, we got an approval for a homestay. In homestay, there can be only 13 rooms. The room without number is showed as my personal room with the hall and kitchen to live in."
That's when I realised why the room in Uttarkashi doesn't have a number in a room.
Monday, September 5, 2022
Pages from Hills- Thank You S
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Empty Spaces- Hotel Emerald Green
In Dehradun, I got put up at Hotel Emerald Green. The hotel has a spacious reception to check in. I had a easy check in and got into room 405. This room have a smart lock which is accessed through card. This would be the space for a night.
It's has a balcony that has view of Mussorie. If we look down from the fourth floor, one can see the flowing traffic. Even though, I reached Dehradun all the way from Delhi, I didn't wanted to get down on to the road and indulge in the following traffic. The honks and vehicle sounds were so dissappointing. I couldn't wait to get into the hills and stay in peace.
This hotel has a swimming pool. Early morning, I got up for a swim and had 30 minute swim. Swimming seems to be the perfect work out for me to rebegin my fitness. I had a choice for complimentary breakfast at 7am in the morning. I got sandwich, juice packed and began my journey to Uttarkashi.
Saturday, August 27, 2022
Jaipur Journals- The usual preparation
This time It's Uttarkhand trip. I take my time to pack and everytime I assume that I'd pack swiftly but, I keep fiddling with clothes, paintings, books until I push myself to focus and work. I realised that I fiddle as I want to distract myself from the feelings I go through when I leave home. I leave home, not to return in a day or two. Whenever I leave home, I may return after 10 days or 15 days. It's almost half a month.
I like traveling but, somewhere just to behave like others, I try to nag. Actually, I don't need to nag about my lifestyle or my job. I love it. I don't need to compare my life with others and see what I'm missing. I can focus on what I'm living through.
Anyway, I parked my cycle inside. Threw away the trash. Cleaned the kitchen. Put the clothes in drawer. Time to sleep early and leave early for a early morning train.
Jaipur Journals- Transfers Window
Jaipur Journals- A find Dine at Gopala
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