Sunday, May 29, 2022

A visit to Champaca Book Store

Bangalore is the best place to hang around and hop on to places meeting strangers at strange places and to move on. As I got a chance to spend a day in leisure, I had a lot of options to choose. A even in Bangalore International Centre, a play and couple of events at Ranga Shankara and book stores to visit. Without thinking too much, I hitched a ride and got into the city. I walked through cubbon park to walk on Bengaluru broad pavements. Following through GPS, I decided to spend my afternoon at this cozy Champaca Bookstore. 

It's situated in a corner amidst a lot of huge buildings. I loved the way it's entreched with a lot of greenery. 
I walked through the book store. Picked a couple of books and began to read. Rather than going through Amazon suggestions, I like to go through the suggestions by the fellow readers. A fellow reader next to me was reading this interesting book. 

Lokesh suggested to pick the book, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Only one copy was there in the book store and it was picked by a foreign lady and yet to be billed. I thought for couple of minutes and walked to her  to request. I requested her, "I've been searching for this book from long time. I'd like to buy this, if you wish to give away."

She agreed and handed me the book. I was happy to have this copy. Further, I got couple of book marks and other books for gifts. There was a fellow reader with whom I shared Lang Leav's books. I picked a whole lot of Lang leave to glance through. She's been following her on Tumblr and never discovered Lang's books. Both of us enjoyed reading Lang Leav's poetry and went on to jot our thoughts in our journals. 

After spending 3-4 hours, I decided to return to leave the store, to carry on with my walks on Bengaluru streets. 
I wish to run one of these kinda book shops in future. Thanks Champaca bookstore for the good collection and opening up a place for a lot of readers and book lovers

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Bangalore Days- A good ending to the workshop

 After a strenuous workshop, a lot of us huddled in the cafeteria celebrating the end of the workshop. Cafeteria is always a hot place to hang around yet, we spend a lot of time there. Malavika, Rima and I decided to walk out of the cafeteria for a fresh breeze. Watching the tree silhouettes, we strolled out of the campus. Under a tree, we stopped and began to share what's happening in our lives. Rima recollected her old days and all of us joined the sharing. We spent 10 days together but, our conversations under the tree would be the most memorable conversations ever. 

We walked out of the campus at dawn and we continued our conversations until the LED lights of the campus turned on and the road got buzzed by the streaming vehicles. We took a side on the road and discussed how art business works and our love life is going on. 

Friday, May 27, 2022

In dialogue with Amman Madan

I attended a course on conflict resolution with Amman Madan. I learnt a lot on conflicts and how important is peace studies. Currently, as I'm in the university, I got a chance to catch up with him over a lunch. 

Over a lunch on a friday afternoon, Amman and I discussed on how I'm struggling to be aware of myself and my thoughts during conversations. 'I want to be there and actively listen but, my biases creep in and turn me impatient to respond' I shared. 

How can I work on this? I asked. 

Educating ourselves on these concepts and the logic of the concepts would helps us,' he suggested. It's just like, 'learning to dance. Practicing until we get the movement and step right.' We need to practice continuously, he shared. 

In Language, it's called Pragmatics. In sociology, it can be called as ethnomethodology. Just below our consciousness, we have our behavior embedded. We need to work on that, he  suggested. Need to study more on it. 

In the beginning for you, how difficult was it to practice to be there and listen? I asked. Was it easy? Was it comfortable? I further questioned. 

'I was always in the hostile mode,' he shared. Anyone who knows Amman Madan now would have hard time to imagine, how he can act in such way. 'Maintaining the low tone, I was attacking constantly. Identifying itself that I'm attacking itself, made me realize that I need to work on it.' he recollected his past. 'There are many things that I never identified. "The recent thing I could identify with myself is, as day passes, I'm getting tired easily. I'm thinking if I should take naps in between or take breaks. I'm still working on it." Need to continuously work on, he shared. 

Listening to Amman on how he struggles, I feel we're all in together. It's okay to be in the process. The person I look up to makes it more human to struggle by sharing his struggled. This gives immense confidence to work on my behavior without giving up. 

Thanks Amman for the time and conversations. 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Day-3 Puppetry Workshop

Five groups have come up with their stories, performing on the customised stage. All ther performers were changing their intonations according to the characters and the situations. 
These were the few suggestions from the facilitator. 

1. Movement in puppetry is critical. Moving the puppet unnecessarily and also making the puppet static most of the time is something we need to keep in mind. 
2. Cover the hand with a cloth and then handle the puppet.

Peri demonstrated the creation of 2-Dimension mask. Without  talking much about observation, he showed how important it is to observe and create the face mask accordingly. Adding a detail by detail, he created a beautiful mask. 

All of us shared our thoughts. Teachers mentioned how they're going to implement these creations in school. I shared how different I felt when I'm creating puppetry out of papers. It's like we're bring life out of papers. I can relate to how sculptors breathe life into a stone. 

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Writing is a lonely Journey

Working on the script, I wish to consider some suggestions and feedback from people. I don't know whom to share with. I have friends but, I do not have friends who'd read for me and give feedback. Harry is the only soul who encourages me on writing and reading. Vinod is other, whenever I get to meet him. Mounika is another pen friend. To talk about reading, I have friends but, to talk about writing, I have a very few friends. Sometimes, I push myself to continue the journey in this craft as I gotta live with the truth that writing is a lonely journey. 

In dialogue with Mr.Sim

Narasimha generally called as Mr. Sim is moving to Finland in a few months. It was great fun to work with him and travel along. Sim is the cool chap who doesn't get shaken up by anything in life. 'Why to worry? What's the point?' he shrugs off his shoulder and laughs away like a kid. 

Energetic yet poised. Calm but very naughty. Erratic but disciplined. The energetic Narasimha can spend hours playing. He's always active to play and get into action but, he's poised in conversations and very polite. 

He looks calm but he's very naughty. He finds fun in silliest things. A good sense of humor but, not everyone gets a chance to witness it. He picks on a few things and he's very addictive about it. Currently, he's quite a  Chaiholic. Any day, he can come out and say he has quit Chai and he'd never touch it again. 'Everything is in mind.' I don't let anything get into my head, he says. 

Interacting with Narasimha, I had great time understanding his perspective on life and the way he receives it. 

"There's no control on future, you never had control in the past, why dwelling in both. Be there. Be present. Live," states Mr.Sim 

Sim worked in Border Security Force and he got a lot of tales to share. I'm always intrigued with War & Spy craft. I do not understand the point of wars and also the people in it and the way people are dragged into it. Also the spy craft where there are no clear rules to play the game. It's always an unending dirty game. Sim worked for Border Security Force for a long time. On being asked on how his life in BSF has shaped him. 

It worked in both good and bad ways, he explained. 

Sim lost his father at the age of 11. At the age of 11, he had to support his family. His family included mother, his brother.  Three of them struggled a lot. In the hope of finding some support system, they left their quarters and moved to Rajendra Nagar where their relatives lived. After sensing the way the relatives distanced from the family, they realised, they're good on their own. Sim, his brother were working from the age of 11. 'I used to wake up early, rent a cycle, get the milk and newspaper, drop them at home, attend school and then come home again. I didn't had time for anything. I didn't even had a cycle to do the work.  Back then, a first hand cycle costed 1500rs. After saving some money,  I bought a cycle in second hand worth 180rs to put paper and milk in the neighborhood."

He finished his 10th and never gave enough time to pursue his studies seriously, as he had a lot of responsibility to support his family. After 10th, when his friend was applying for BSF, he prodded Mr.Sim to apply. What to lose, he thought and applied. 

We didn't had money to even go to the selections as it was near HAL, the other corner from which they live. Sim's mother went along with the Sim and his friend for the selection. Both Sim and his friend participated in all the running and other exercises. During the medical test, his friend couldn't get selected for his height. Sim was underweight and police official said, 'It's okay, he'll gain weight as he grow.' and got him selected. And put him in further rounds. 

Sim's friend got rejected and returned home along with Mr.Sim's mother as they do not know how long the selection process would go. Even the officials instructed others to leave. The mother and his friend went away for their home. Sim was left alone  in the selection process.  "I was selected and asked me to get the documents. I was happy but, I didn't had money to go home." Narasimha narrated. 

He got selected but, had no money to go to his home. As he was figuring out, he met another person who came for the selection and got selected. He came in his auto for the exam.  "Come with me, i'll drop you," the auto person suggested. Tomorrow, I also have to come again to submit the documents. You can also join me." He mentioned.  That's how Narasimha's journey into Border Security Force got started. 

Narasimha worked in Barmer, Haryana, Kashmir & Bengal. He worked on all fronts. 'How is to be taught to be violent? How it affected your life?' I asked. 

'Being taught to be aggressive, you become another person. All who are trained to be violent can't handle it. It's very hard to get back into civilian environment.' He explained. 

Narasimha lost a couple of  jobs because of his aggressiveness. Despite watching Sim fail in a lot of jobs, his favourite cousin- uncle's third son always found jobs for him. Finally after a lot of futile attempts, cousin's friend introduced Sim to rock climbing, the sport he really enjoyed. Getting into outdoors and playing brought a change in Sim's life. 

As time passed by, he began to work with outdoor companies, got trained at National Mountaineering Academy and continued in Physical Education. 

"How did you meet your love?" I asked.  

"I met her during climbing. The friend who introduced me to her is in Germany." he recalled. My wife got selected to National Geographic Mt.Everest Climb. She's one of the five people who got selected, he started sharing about his love. 

As she was into it, I motivated her to join fitness with me and we went along for a lot of runs together, that's how we began to know each other well. 

Later, when both decided to marry, they faced the gir's family who were against the marriage. Together, they were sure of their relation and managed to convince everyone and got married. 

Narasimha and his partner enjoy sports very much. Like father, like mother, their daughter also into sports. "We did a lot of marathons in Canada as well." Narasimha shared how they enjoy sports. 

As the family is moving to Finland, I wish Sim and his family to have the best time and do what they love to do-Play

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Not about writing at all- Walks

 New experiences pave us for more expressions.

I went for a long walk under the night lights in the campus. A silent slow stroll. I took 20 minutes to walk a small stretch watching for the darkness in the bright lit campus. There’s beauty in low light. There’s beauty in the night. I continued walking. Two young couple lied on the road watching the sky, a little far from them was the enthusiastic crowd singing songs loud. I liked the way these people are enjoying their nights. Some are craving for silent time, some for loud expressions.  

I continued my walk, thinking how important it is to be in present. Being barefoot makes me feel the ground. And as I’m on the ground, I feel each and every step of mine. A lot of thoughts were flashing and I had a lot of thoughts to write about. I thought a lot and I also wanted to walk a little bit more to be in the experience of being in present. 

I had to drag myself to my room to write as I can’t just keep walking and think about writing rather than writing. 

 I remember Ruskin Bond telling that it’s easy to lie on the grass and watch the cherry blossom tree than to pick yourself up from that beautiful mood to sit and write about lying on the grass and watching the cherry blossom tree.

 It’s beautiful to spend an afternoon in the hills watching birds. But, it’s also important to get up from that tree and from that chair to pick a pen and book to jot down the thoughts. Sometimes, we love experience so much that we post pone our writing but, it’s also important to pick our book and pen to write rather than tell ourselves,  let’s experience more. 

When do we take a call to write about an experience rather than continuing to experience.  An interesting question to stay with. 

Bangalore Days- Rainy Summer again

In Uttarkashi, I experienced my first rainy summer. I landed in Bangalore and got welcomed with slight drizzle. Haven't expected such cloudy days during summer. Well, welcome to retro Bangalore. This reminds me of 2000s Bangalore.

Sarjapura cabs were prompt with calls and mails, the message is clear on where I'll be picked up. 

A gentle man picked me up from Point no. 4. When I tried speaking to him in Kannada, Only English or Hindi sir, he replied. What other languages do you speak I enquired. As he said, Telugu, we began to speak in Telugu. 

Over 2.5 hours, listening to his stories and watching the Bangalore on the move, I enjoyed the morning clouds, drizzle and drive. 

When we're certain of our destination this services seems to be helpful. Thanks Sarjapura Cabs.

Bangalore Days- Barefoot again

 It's been ages since I walked barefoot all day. The last time I remember walking barefoot for most of the days was in Goa. Living on the beaches and on BITS college campus, I went barefoot and it was fun. As I entered Azim Premji University, I fell in love with the campus. It's maintained really well and though it rains, the foot path is well paved that I hardly get my feet dirty if I have to shift between buildings. 

At morning I woke up and I decided to go for a morning walk. Walk I did on barefoot. I enjoyed it. Later, as I had to visit Cafeteria, I chose not to wear anything. At first, everyone who saw me quickly noticed and asked but, as I began to roam around the campus, barefoot no one gave me any looks. I love the times where people don't bother about what others are up to. I walk barefoot, I walk in shorts, I walk in boxers. As long as I'm comfortable, others should be comfortable I guess. 

I walked in between buildings, attended some in-person meetings, visited library, met many people- everything on barefoot. I enjoy barefoot as feeling the ground through the feet is another sensorial experience. I walked on hard floor, on pebbles, on pricky stones, on muddy ground, on soft mushy ground. Tried to be immersed in the whole experience of feeling the ground beneath. 

Hopefully, I'll try to go barefoot whenever I can. 

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Thought of the day


The journey is worth sharing. 

Cycling Diaries- Office Ride

Aware of the scorching heat, I've decided to go slow and take my own time to reach the office. These days, I'm selecting one track in loop for the whole ride. This time, it's A.R.Rahman's new song.

I was observing everything I pass on the road and rode to the office. I chanced upon a camel cart where the rider was setting the cart onto the camel. The wood was carved in such a curve that it fits according the figure of camel. On a bright day, I noticed a man sitting on a small red wall with two bottles open. Mountain dew and the other transparent bottle with alcohol in it. He got a glass to mix and sip. What made him to drink alone on a bright sunny day mixing alcohol and mountain dew without anything to munch on. I find it sad when people don't have company to drink. 

I took my own time to ride and I 24 minutes to reach the office. In general, I reach in 20 minutes. It's a matter of 4 minutes, I avoided drenching in sweat, avoided the panting and the tiredness. Good start to the day. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Jaipur Journals- What's in a name?

 I was discussing with a person who recently became father of twins. What's their name? I asked. 

Aranya & Hiranya, he replied.  Curious to know the story of their names, I asked 'What do they mean?'

Aranya means Forest and Hiranya means 'Earth'. He began to explain how earth is called Hiranya Garba. 

Why Aranya and Hiranya? I asked. 

I love Nature and I wanted to keep this names. 

Why not any name related to the Sea or mountains, I enquired further. 

I don't like Sea as much as I like the tree and mountains. He began to explain. And as he explained, he shared, "I waited for 16 years to personalize this name in my life. It's been 16 years since he got married.  Watching him share about  how much he love the names, I was keen to listen to him about what he has to say about these names. 

Not only that, I have pet names for my children, 'Ibu' and 'Ija' he shared. 

Ibu from Indonesian language and Ija from Pahadi lanugage. Both means, 'Mother' in respective languages. 

It's interesting how a few names carry so much of emotion, memories and thoughts. 

Poetry- Kisses and nostalgia

 Meera Ganapati has written this beautiful poem titled, "Every Kiss before 1983."

As soon as I see the title, I perceive that there's time for all romance in 80s. Hope my dad's generation people spent more time being in love and expressing love. 

That must be the time for long walks and the silent nights to spend together and talk in between pauses and affirmations, I guess. 

What is romance to us? How do we define intimacy? Interesting questions to ponder on. 

This poem takes us through the whole journey of frenzy kisses, passionate kisses, shy kisses and kisses that are etched on our hearts, reeling through the mind as one reads Meera's words.

Good one Meera.

Thoughts- Writing is a lonely journey

Writing a book is synonymous with spending hours and hours with papers, drafts and the blank screens. As I'm struggling with my poetry collection and memoir, I'm at the verge of giving up on memoir. Sadly, I'm too attached to that memoir. I see my life dangled up as I'm scared to touch the draft.  One would call themselves lucky, if they continue dealing with all the frustration one get while writing a book. As I'm working on a book, I spend hours with it, trying to tweak a line here and there. 

Most of us love writing but don't write because, we love to talk about writing rather than doing the real act, 'writing. Now I got into a difficult position. I'm in need of a people to talk about writing because, that'd atleast keep me on my track of  'writing,' or 'thinking about writing.' I do not want to totally give up on writing the stories, I always wanted to write.  Harry is one soul whom I always reach out to, whenever I want to share my thoughts on writing. I don't want to burden him with a lot of my confusion. 

I've couple of my friends with whom I try sharing just the ideas as I hardly have friends who read. When I share the ideas, I get responses like, 'you're crazy, too romantic, poetic.' 

Yes, I'm all that, I know it. Despite being all that, I can still work on my stories. 

Cycling Diaries- Five KM Ride

 After a long time, I rode to office on cycle during hot summers. Listening to Ali Sethi's Chaandni Raat, I cycled through the streets of my colony and then the slight down slopes of airport road. As the bright sun was shining, I was listening to man who was talking about the moon. I took it slow as I know I was being drained out of energy just by being exposed to the sun. 

Took around half an hour to ride 5 KM. Glad to pick up  the cycle after a long time. I may not dare to get out with cycle, anytime soon when sun is out there. Exhausted. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Music- Ada- A way of Life

One of the album which is close to my heart. Back in 2009, the effort of visiting internet cafe and browsing for new A.R.Rahman songs was a journey I cherish. There's a lot of effort that goes in the whole process of listening to the new music. 

Back in those days, We gotta walk to the nearby cafe. Walking to a shop and buying a toffee was a big task for a 6 year old.  Similarly, walking to Internet Cafe for a 15 year old was an exciting time. Back then  orkut, gmail, Yahoo Chatrooms, were the usual goto sites. 

The experience of walking to the place and waiting for our chance to get the system is still vivid in my memory.  In 2009, Satya had a computer in a seperate room with an internet connection. Walking to his house and downloading the songs was a feat. Also, I had to carry a DVD to write the songs on it. After writing Ghajini, Ada, Surya S/o Krishnan songs on one DVD, I get back to home. Play it on DVD. There's no visuals to distract. 

Adjusting volume to the type of the song. Not so loud, not so low. Listening to Meherbaan on a  sunny afternoon in a lonely house was a memory that's still as fresh as daily morning walk in a low light. 

Conversations- The little Things

Talking to a friend, we discussed what makes us happy. "Our standards and ambitions to feel happy is a lot high." he pointed out. 

"During our childhood, we used to boast about our toys. Now we boast about our cars." I commented. Discussing how materialistic we're and how we're not satisfied with what he have, he share when was the last time, he deeply felt happy. 

During the times of Kaho na Pyaar hai, Hrithik Roshan wore a net white T-Shirt. That was a big thing to own. My friend, from UP  state called his uncle who stays in Mumbai from PCO, requested him to get a shirt. As uncle got him what he asked for. He felt extremely happy to own that shirt. Something which he badly wanted. 

"I bought a lot of things but, never felt as happy as I felt then." he shared. 

I think, we're trying to find happiness in big things rather than the little things. If I've to write 100 little things that make me happy, will I write? I guess so. Lemme pick my journal. 

Cycling Diaries- A ride after a long time

After a long trip from Uttarkhand, I didn't get a chance to lay my hands on my Road Runner Pro. I had to send it for a general service and oil check. 

I procrastinated a lot to get the bike and as i'm getting ready to travel to Bangalore, I thought I'll get it home. Watching the bike in it's best condition, I was so happy to get back on it. Thanks Shree Ram Cycle Enterprises for the best service.  Thanks Rajesh for capturing the moment.

After filling air as I walked out of the store, I wanted to treat myself for having the best cycle to ride.

I checked out a near food joint, exotic Aravalli. Had a decent Dosa and noodles. I was happily eating a lot as I knew I was going to burn everything by riding for a long time. 

Spent an hour cycling from one corner to other corner of the city, listening to A.R.Rahman songs. 

I thoroughly enjoy these leisurely rides rather than trying to speed up all the time.  A good day. 

The Morning Walk

These summers I've developed a new morning routine. It began with buying a handful of vegetables early in the morning . Every day, even if I have to buy or not, I'm walking around the neighborhood, talking through and trying to walk, sometimes listening to songs, sometimes watching people around. 

Monday, May 16, 2022

Thoughts- Cognition and Emotions over 5KM Walk

One song. One hour of walk from work place to home. I enjoyed listening to Ali Sethi's song, observing thoughts as they flash. Sometimes with the music, sometimes with the thoughts, sometimes watching people who take a stop to drink the sugar cane juice, the people who are making sugar cane juice at the corner of the roads as well as  people who are rushing across the city, hurrying to reach their destination in cars, bikes, e-rickshaws, cycles.

Watching moon at times who seemed sober and peaceful at it's place, I continued walking. Back to the song, I didn't want to understand what Ali Sethi was saying. Neither was it simple to understand. Lemme try to feel the emotions that are being carried by Ali Sethi's voice, I thought. 

I wonder what it is to experience. Why do we want to map our experience to meaningful connections? We listen to music and we want to understand it. We want to watch art and want to understand it. The whole pursuit is behind understanding. There's always a battle between cognition and emotion. Why do we want to understand and what state do we live in when we don't understand what we're in. Can't we just take things as they're without understanding?

Thinking about all these, I ended up walking more than 5 KM from workplace to home at my own pace listening to one song. Thanks Aishwarya for the song suggestion. Good Day

Theatre Play- Palimpsest by IISU Theatrical Society

Mumal is working as a faculty of performing arts at IIS University. Her advanced Diploma students Mansi and Niharika has developed a play on 'choices.' Mansi has come up with this 'choice' concept as she has been witnessing these in her life. "Is it really my choice or is it a choice influenced by the society, parents, and many more?" is her question. Glad she began to think on free-will and choice.  
The write up of the play gives a good gist of it. 

"When we look down the memory lane, we find ourselves crawling, standing, speaking words ultimately to be able to make choices. Life gradually takes shape but in a conditioned way and a path is already laid. Even before we could for a concrete understanding of things, world and life, an already structured understanding is given to us and we walk in given boxes, on those fixated lines, not n=knowing what we really want....."

This play is about how a child begins to learn from her environment and how adults try to teach her or mold her into however they want. It begins with the struggle of working mother and then the struggle of child to follow a certain path and be restricted in it. As a child grows and thinks, she can do anything, society throws up  their opinions, values, judgements and try to guide her making her feel hopeless and as confused as she was in the first place. At the end, she takes up her mom's position and the cycle continues.

Developed from real life situations ,the students have developed this play.  Niharika and Mansi are the main protagonists of the play. Right from beginning of the life, they see how a child is influenced to set into the template of life which is created by many authors. 

Here, working woman is portrayed by Mansi. Niharika as a child. Niharika's captive performance didn't let me take an eye off from the stage.  Maybe, I was resonating more with the child rather than the adult. Some times, I found it difficult to take a phone and record as I didn't wanted to miss one moment of the performance. 

At the end as Niharika gets onto the ladder taking up her mom's role, the play ends. No sooner, she stays silent for five seconds, she couldn't stop breaking into overwhelming smiles. She covered her face with the paper in her hand. Mumal got onto the stage and began to share gratitude. I enjoyed witnessing those warmth raw emotions dwelled up in this promising artists. 

Everyone who were part of the play got on to the stage. Aditi mam, a supportive faculty shared how she could see her life in the play. "I've to live up  to the expectations of my parents and also help kids to live up to my expectations." It's very interesting how people juggle between daughter, mother roles and keep the ball rolling, I thought. 

In one way, she is striving to live up to the expectations and on another way, she's slowly trying to be a better mother but, still have some expectations, which a society has conditioned her in. Interesting paradox.

Mumal broke into happy tears as she witnessed people receiving it well and feel connected. Fabulous and wonderful efforts Mumal. Great work. 

It was nice sight to see Mansi and Niharika congratulating each other and sharing those warm moments of creating a piece which effected a lot of audience. Minutes passed and they were sharing the moments. A happy sight to see these young lads cherishing their experiences. 
More way to  go. This play would go places. 

On 16th, the same group is trying to perform a classic theatre piece. Excited to watch. Good one IIS 

Inquisitive of how these young chapess have got interest in theatre and pursued it. I asked, how they're pursuing it? 

To my surprise, I was told, they're pursuing some other major degrees(BBA, MBA, BSc and have a course called Career Oriented Skill Developement Course, in which they chose Theatre to pursue. 

It's good that IIS University has come up with such interesting courses exposing students to dabble with a lot of things in life rather than pushing them to be specialists in life. 

There are a few students who have excelled in it. Sad that their parents are not at all informed of what their children are good at. I was told that one student chose Fashion as COSD and made career in it. 
You never know what you love until you explore. Good initiative IIS University. Keep it up 

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Happy Birthday Sharayu

 May 15 2013

Message: HAPPY B.DAY!!!!!!!!! :)

Over a few years, the message never got changed to the same recipient,Sharayu, my favorite artist(Senior). I never met her in my first years of the college but, had a lot of interest to know her well. I never bothered to begin a conversation but, on her birthday, I always wanted to share my wishes with her.

As years passed by, she left the college and I was in my final year of the college. I met her by chance and we broke the ice by A.R.Rahman tune. And the rest is the story I cherish upon. 

It's been 6 years since we bonded our coffee, conversations and music. Thinking of gifting her on birthday, I tried creating a scrap book with full of photographs. Book, I did but, never gifted her. I still cherish the gift I have for her. May be, a few gifts are meant to treasure but not to share. 

The never sent gift

On this special day, I read all the writings, poems I wrote on her and celebrated in my own way listening to all her covers and recordings.

Happy birthday Sharayu! Have a blast. 


Thursday, May 12, 2022

Thoughts- What's in a name?

Talking of names with colleagues, we discussed how adults should ask children, if they like their name or not. We can't give opportunity to change the name at very young age though but, they should be asked if they'd like to change the name at some point of life. 

Will I change my name now? May be not. In the past(when I was 7 year old) I felt like changing my name, as people hardly pronounce my name right. Even now, people struggle to pronounce it right. I just accepted that people call it in their own way. 

A colleague shared the conversation of how it went with 3rd class students when he talked of names with them. 

"If you've to change your names, what will you change your name into?," he asked the children. 

"I'll change from Bhawani Ram to Bhawani Singh." one kid expressed his wish. Apparently the kid finds power in Singh, I thought. 

Other kid shared, "I'll change my name into 'Payal.'" The whole class laughed. On being asked, why? he said, "Long time ago, one girl came to my class named 'Payal' and she left. That's why I want my name to Payal.  

Listening to the Amit's anecdote, Ambika, Amit & I discussed how we include names we love and names of the persons we love wherever we find an opportunity. 

Amrutha, Samhita are my character names. Will share the story behind this on some day. 

Amit shared how he included name 'Aranya' in the academic handbook where he had to write an example. We never lose an opportunity to express the love, right?

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Friends- A call after a long time

 Rahul called up saying he has reached Bowrampet. During our engineering days, Rahul spent more time in Bowrampet than at his home or the classrooms. I believed him immediately and began to scold him for not sharing about his arrival from US. A quick shift to Video call, he is standing in front of his new red car, Dodge challenger. Glad to see him sharing about his new possession. 

Slowly, we discussed what we're upto in our lives. Talking of friends, we included Sunny, Sachin, Jaya, Naveen(ding). After a long time, we caught up in a call and spent hour discussing what we're dealing with. We discussed how screwed up we're in being aware of our emotions. With these people, it's easy to share our struggles, our worries and all our doubts. Glad to have these people around. 

Music- Twenty Minute Car Drives

 Jagjit's Chaand ke Saath continues to stay on loop. Discussing the lyrics of the song, we realised that the writer has tried capturing the human psyche in this ghazal. 

How do we map all our struggles to one thought/person and make our life a big struggle? Ambika pondered. Identifying that we're doing such act itself is a big achievement, I thought. 

Looking at how deep the writer has thought, I feel that Arts is Science. One cannot keep arts and science exclusive. Without understanding human psyche, biology, and much more, one can't identify or feel the human emotions. Even if one process the emotions, they need words to articulate in such manner. We feel that Arts is very elusive,out of the world and science is what makes lives better. I feel, we need both and personally, I feel we need more art for a better world to live in. 

Thanks Jagjit again for the words.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Thoughts- Involved in the conversations

 How do we listen to others?

I realized that we need to be involved in the conversations to actively listen. It's not just about listening, it's more about being self aware of what state are we in. We are always in a rush to respond. I recollect words which got publicized as Garcia's. 

Anyway, I could resonate with these lines. 

"I would not say everything that I think but I would definitely think everything that I say."

Music-Twenty Minute Car Drives

The song was already selected. The artist as well. The young Jagjit Singh's live recording on Chaand ke Raat. 

We hardly spoke in the car, as we were keen on listening to how Jagjit Singh was singing. A little bit of Wah, Woah in between and there's only Jagjit's voice being played in the car. 

As we were nearing the office, Ambika played the version where Old Jagjit sang the same song in his own style. 

Talking about her favourite lines, she recited,

 Dil ne ek eent se tameer kiya Taj Mahal , Tumne ek baat kahi,lakh fasane nikle!!

How often our imaginations go grand with a small hint/hope shared by our love. I could totally relate to it. Thanks Jagjit for penning these words. 

Monday, May 9, 2022

Jaipur Journals- Daylight journeys

On an Easter Sunday, I hurried to clean the house and dropped Shankar, Azhar & Aman to reach their destinations. In the journey of dropping everyone, I got late and J waited for me at the bus.  A Govt. Volvo bus ride to Delhi. It's a five hour bus ride.

With J, it's never a silent ride. We often talk during our traveling. As both of us were deprived of sleep, we decided to nap for a bit. In between naps and calls, we reached Delhi. 

We got down at Dhola Kuan and walked to the nearest metro station, where we had to meet Malavika. 
While Malavika was yet to come, we did some shopping. Delhi Metro Stations are well equipped and resourced. 

As soon as we met Malavika, we walked through the metro stations and caught up with Sandeep who was driving us to Udham Singh Nagar. As three of us got into the car, the conversations flowed, we discussed the Delhi muncipal corporation has developed learning environment through mobile classrooms

I shared the stories about Story Corps and the position of Chief Storytelling Officer, when we were brainstorming ideas of story bank and other options to assist teachers in picking stories quickly and efficiently.  We talked a bit about Wipro Book and Anurag Behar's notes in it and began to share stories on PARI, a casteless collective band. 

From stories, we went on to discuss movies. Where Friends Home is one movie, we discussed and also the movie- The Bell and the Butterfly. 

I'm sure there are so many lil stories and anecdotes that I missed writing here. Every journey is a memorable one. 

Thoughts- Writing is as easy as difficult it is

I was writing to my friend and I felt a strong urge to tell her, "Writing is not easy! Writing is super difficult as it demands to be brutally honest to ourselves." 

It's very easy to write, I told myself all the time and kept writing but, there are times where I don't write at all. I knew that I had to drag myself and jot the words. There's a lot of self doubt, fear of audience, fear of excellence. I realised, the narrative, I tell myself that, "It's very easy to write." is not helping in anyway. 

I'm trying to accept that, writing is difficult as it's takes to be honest. If being honest is easy to us, writing will become easy. Being honest with  what's happening in our mind and body, will help us to write. Being an observer rather than the controller of what's happening within ourselves will give us a back seat to observe and write rather than believing we control everything. we try to excel to write and if we don't get those words right, we stop writing.  

First, accepting that writing demands a lot of  honesty worked for me. May be  different narrative can work for different people. 

Movie- Marina Abramović & Ulay's "No Predicted End"

 If I have to meet any of my love again after 30 years with whom I departed, loved, hated, trusted, believed,  spent time, made memories? Will I? Yes, I would!

Similarly, Marina Abramovic and late Ulay decided to catch up for a conversation , recollecting their journey after 30 years of break. They've a legacy that the world would never forget for, the way they've created life experiences. 

Conversations between Marina and Ulay shows how they've started their creative journey and went on to perform pushing themselves to explore the ideas of performance. 

When they wanted to end their 12 year relation, they chose to walk over the great wall of China, to end it, to say Good bye. I got to know how 'performance' is perceived. These days, 'Movement' has become a trendy thing on social media. It's interesting to see how they've created time-based art which could only be witnessed in-person. The recording, the footage are again the duplicity of the art. 

Watching them recollect their earlier days, it's nice to see how their love was flourished, seasoned and evolved in many ways. 

At the end, they talk about death. 'Let's have great death, as we had great life,' mentions Marina. 

A must watch. Loved the documentary.

Movie- Vanaprastham

1999. Malayalam

A brilliant masterpiece. Kunhikuttan, a kathakali dancer during 1950s has an illicit relationship with a lady from aristocratic family. The story goes on with how the lady perceives the protagonist and how the protagonist struggles to persuade the love.

Mohan lal and Suhasini are brilliant in their acting. The storytelling is musically, visually a master piece. I can't believe that in 1999, Indian Cinema has got such master pieces. 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

A Stroll during the Sunset

Walks are the best time to be ourselves and observe our thoughts and emotions. As I got out of the theater workshop, I decided to spend sometime on the grass. I walked along the Jawahar Circle, watching the trees. I've walked a lot of times but, every walk helps me to be in the moment. It doesn't remind me of the past memories or doesn't give me ideas on what I'm going to do. 

I walked along processing the complex emotions I got. Over the strolls, I was not into other people. Everyone are trying to get lost in their minds while walking, I got lost in my mind.  

I walked and ended up at a  place where I first walked and sat on the grass, when I came to Jaipur for the first time in 2020. The same spot where I visited during the evening and saw the moon in blue evening sky. The canopies obstruct the LED lights. There's a bit darkness and also a low light. 

Sleeping on the grass changed the way I feel. My body responded to the grounding.  The head feels tingly and the hands have the goosebumps. The idea of being relaxed is to sleep on the grass without thinking of what people would think on the road. The road is for the vehicles and the grass is for the humans to rest. I  rested staring at the sky. 

It was much needed. Thanks Jaipur for maintaining good places like this to rejuvenate at times.  

Friday, May 6, 2022

Jaipur Journals- Handful of Vegetables

 I like eating healthy food. It's just that I don't cook healthy food. For that matter, I don't cook junk food either. 

I always hosted parties and friends cooked chicken and a lot of exotic dishes. Dyu always cooked spanish omelette, chicken & rice, noodles, pasta and more continental dishes. Azhar cooks mutton, dal and Baat. Other friend recently cooked Dal and rice. Simple Dal and rice. Dal and rice is what I always tried to cook but, I always dumped everything in the cooker, boil it and try to eat it. For the first time, witnessing someone cooking in a simple way, I could appreciate it as well as seemed possible for me. 

Today, I got a handful of veggies, which I never do. I always buys in Kgs. Yeah, I got poor estimation skills. Today, I bought handful of tomatoes, Ivy gourd and some chilli. 

I soaked dal first and I finely chop the onions, tomatoes. The whole process seemed to be in flow. Years of struggle and also little inspiration, I could find myself doing better in the kitchen. 

I fried the onions, then tomatoes. Finally, I added dal and all the needed powders and waited for the whistles. Along with it, cooking rice was easy peasy, thanks to electric rice cooker. 

Every time, I feel I'm clumsy and struggle to do the basics. For the first time, I felt I got the hang of being in the kitchen. 

Good day, ending with dal, rice and some lemon pickle. Thanks friend for helping me to find happiness in simple meals. 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Music- Parvaaz in Bengaluru Town

 Thanks to Vaishnavi, I discovered Parvaaz Band. On April 3.2022, a whole playlist of Parvaaz was played. It started with Shaad and I listened to all the picks. Looking through their Instagram handle, I found that they're playing live in Bangalore on June 10th. I'd love to attend but, I'm not sure of my schedule. Hopefully, next time. 

Twenty Minute Car Drives

Whenever Ambika and I are in Jaipur, we go to office together at times. Most of the times, I’m on my cycle taking 40 minutes to reach the office, and Ambika spending 20 minutes to reach the office. I’m a tenant at Ambika’s place. Whenever we decide to go together in car. We go at ease, discussing what’s happening at home and life. Jaipur is not as busy as Hyderbad or any other big city. Hardly there's traffic during the peak hours as well. 

During our short drive, Ambika has the playlist curated for our drive. Often, the conversations go intense and music always works as pacifier and ice breaker to lighten the mood. 

I got introduced a lot of new artists. Mostly, we pick classical music. Rahul Deshpande and some other classic albums are my favourites.

Today, we were listening to Rahul Deshpande’s album 'Me Vasantrao'. 

At evening, Bade Acche Lagte hai was on loop. Today, we had an interesting conversation on trees as well. 

Why the tree shape is the way it is?

Depending on the delayed expression of the genes of the trees, the shape varies. Also, I got to know a few terms which are used in botany. Genotype and phenotype. 

Thinking of canopies, we spoke of the leave shedding. 

Leafless trees always seem poetic to me. It seems to be energy efficient mechanism of the trees. Trees need more energy to replenish the chlorophyll in present leaves than shedding the drying leaves and get a new. 

“The whole evolutionary process, trees took up can be seen through seasons,”Ambika explained.  Discussing the importance of night, we agreed who science should get into popular writing and bring awareness on many areas. 

Listening to Bade Acche Lagte Hai, we reached home at ease, without a worry. No traffic, no fuss. Four times of Bade Acche Lagte Hai. Thanks Ambika. Grateful for the drive and the company.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Colorless Diaries- How it all started

I took out all the journals to read out to a friend. Looking at the number of journals, I took out, I was surprised to see how much I wrote over the years. 

The act of reading out our inner most thoughts. 

I never thought that I'd read out my journal to any person. Journals and writer notebooks are some material that doesn't need any reader other than it's writer for, they can be dark, gloomy, happy, bright, confusing, condemning, foolish, futile, silly, and what not. 

To be vulnerable and read out what we think is one hell of an adventure. 

As I got out all the journals lying on the table, I began writing. 

I wrote a lot of poetry and realized, I've so much poetry in these journals which are unpublished and untouched. 

On April 15.2022, I got the idea of working on this project. May.3.2022, I'm happy with the basic draft I got. Following Stephen King's advice, will try to finish off this project within 3 months. 

Interesting Article- Anatomy of Night

Darkness needs better descriptions and metaphors to fight the light pollution and also the notion we carry collectively. 

I resonated with Emily Dickinson's words. 

                                                Either the Darkness alters —                                                Or something in the sight                                              Adjusts itself to Midnight —                                            And Life steps almost straight

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Poetry- A walk in the wind

 A walk in the wind

She’s light as the leaf that rustled to the tunes of the breeze

In blithe she wandered

Recontouring the times of the gushing wind

Monday, May 2, 2022

Jaipur Journals- The Barber's advice

Two decades ago, when I used to visit the saloon along with my Dad, I used to meet vibrant barber who easily catch up with strangers over the current affairs and also the local updates which everyone forgets once they walk out of saloon. It's been long time since I met such vibrant barbers as they got TVs to do the talking rather than them. Soon after that we got the music system that keeps playing some music. The music varies from devotional to EDM. Today, I visited a shop where the stylish barber has got some Baba's bhajan on youtube played. 

The youtube video: the baba is narrating a story in the form of lyrical way, a couple who adopts an orphan and gives him all the riches. Instead of being grateful, the adopted kid falls in love, gets addicted to alcohol and forsakes the parents. 

The barber took a break, opens the Ghutka packets and tells me, "sun rahe ho, the orphan got adopted and he's taking into the addiction path," while mixing the Ghutka. What are you doing stranger? I wanted to poke him. Quite an irony that an Ghutka eating person is judging an orphan who is taking an alcoholic addiction path. 

Later, he tells his story. " Maybe you begin your day with Chai, I used to begin it with a beer.  I was that kid. From morning 7 till night 12. I was high on alcohol and money. I had a lot of money.  My parents were worried that I earn money but, I spend them also without a thought. 

I went near my home but didn't go home. I spent 8-10 days but, didn't visit home. I was with friends and partied."

The smile he got in narrating his story, I wonder if that was pride or the regret. Hope he figures out what he's feeling on his life. 

Thoughts- Trust

Delving in the question of what it takes to trust others, I discovered that through trust, we evolve in our lives. Sometimes it's easy t...