Thursday, January 26, 2023

Books on the Rails

This time I picked up the book- Tales of the Open Road by Ruskin Bond. Through this travelogue, I got a chance to read Traveling in India in 1960s. Along with it, I picked up soft pastels to colour my journal. I find myself totally inspired to make art, read and write more on the trains. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

A visit to Opthalmologist

 I accompanied dad when he wanted to visit an ENT hospital. Looking at the options we had, I wanted to go for an eye check up. I did not feel any issue, however, self-care doesn't harm at all, I told myself and paid the consultation fee. 

I was escorted into an AC room. I like the doctor rooms which are bright. Dr.Sunita, already got my name, age and other details. She made me sit in the special that has a lot of light and eye equipment attached to it. I was asked to look through all those machines. The doctor looked into my eyes with that equipment. One after the other, I was asked to keep my head in and out of the machines and stare into oblivion.  

It'd be great, if patients get a chance to see what doctors see- A peak into your own body.

I like doctors who try to communicate & listen to what patients have to say. A quick prescription and few suggestions, I was out of the room with a happy feeling that I've taken enough steps to take care of my eyes for a bit.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Thoughts- Art tells more about us than itself

Our impressions, opinions on movies, songs, art reflect more about us rather than the pieces itself. We appreciate what we identify. We identify what’s known to us. There can be a chance of learning/getting new insights through our interacting experiences with the art. Again, we need to reflect on our experiences to get those new insights and it’s a constant give and take process.  

Monday, January 23, 2023

Movie- Mission Majnu


A Spy (Siddarth) is assigned the job of finding Nuclear facility site. With a little back story, without revealing much, we get to know that spy's father kills himself out of guilt, that he traited his country by selling some confidential documents to Pakistan. Son wants to redeems fathers' sins. As the time comes, he steps up to do the job.  Before the opening credits, the little love story of Siddarth and Rashmika, turns into marriage. Rashmika acted as a blind wife. I couldn't find the element of surprise or suspense in the movie. However, it didn't disappoint as I didn't had any high expectations for the movie. 

Book Haul at Blossoms

Visited blossoms along with Naveen, with no particular planning on what to buy. As I began to chek the film studies section, I saw a lot of books on John Steinbeck. Slowly, I browsed the sections  and ended up buying mostly fiction and some non-fiction. Wanted to buy some Art Books but, didn't get a chance to go through.  Bought Last Lecture and gifted it to Naveen. Eric Clapton reminded me of Mr.Nikhil Vanam, the guitarist. I thought either I'll read it or gift him. In the past, Harry lent me Dongri to Dubai to read. I loved and wanted to own the copy, hence bought that book also. Julian Cameron's an Angel of creativity. Quickly grabbed it as I saw it. At the end of the day, I was happy with the haul. 

At the end of the day bought these titles
  1. What the Days owes to the Night by Yasmin,  
  2. U.R.Ananthmurthy novels, 
  3. Julia Cameron's Right to write, 
  4. A comma in sentence by R.Gopalakrishnan, 
  5. Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry,
  6. Stranger to History by Aatish Taseer,
  7. Smell by Radhika Jha, 
  8. Dongri to Dubai by Hussain Zaidi, 
  9. Viewpoint:Key to Fiction Writing, 
  10. Arabia by Leslie Wood, 
  11. The Seashell on the Mountain Top, 
  12. Ordinary Life by Elizabeth Berg, 
  13. Friend of my Youth by Amit Chaudhuri, 
  14. Finding your element by Ken Robinson, 
  15. Seven Summers-Memoir by Mulk Raj Anand
  16. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
  17. Eric Clapton Auto Biography

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Friends- Catching up with Kashyap

Kashyap is from E.I.E and I belong to Mechanical branch. We became friends when we began to work on art. Chetan Chavan was our mutual friend. Back in my 3rd year, I was attempting 3D art and sought Kashyap's help on how to go about it. He was happy and encouraging. From then on, we developed friendship and spent good time discussing stories, movies and art. A few memories are the play I attended with him and his short film screening at his apartments. Coincidentally, both of us attended a session by P.Sainath at Annapurna Film School.  That was the meet when Kashyap and I were venturing into new sectors. Kashyap into films and I into social sector. Later Kashyap worked on a project for his degree on a theme he picked from PARI Stories.  

After finishing his degree, Kashyap moved to Mumbai and I continued to stay in Rajasthan. Now, as I visited Mumbai, thought to catch up with Kashyap. Both of us met at KFC and got indulged in conversations. I love the way, our conversations went across routines, stories, career, romance, solitude and traveling. After a while, we moved out to head to our own destinations. As ever, clicked a picture for the memories. Wishing the best for Kashyap. Good times. 

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Travel Diaries- Mumbai Urban Art Festival

I found some visuals from Sasoon Dock Art Project appealing. When I got a chance to be in Mumbai, I planned to attend the festival. Walking away from Gateway of India, I walked through the thrift shop lanes, watching the consumers and the sellers. 

I spotted a Kaali Peeli and hopped into it. A mother daughter duo also stopped the taxi, asking for same destination. All three of us ended up at Sasoon Dock Yard. The Dock yard welcomed with a hit of strong fish smell. I strolled across spotting unending queue to visit the installations. 

I walked till the end, hoping to find a way. I found out the ways to enter the installation. 
1) You need a stamp of art festival
2) You should get registered. 

I signed up the free registration watching the long queue. I stood near the entrance hoping for some miracle to skip the queue. The security guard was stamping in batches. I asked for one and she stamped on my wrist. Voila, I got stamped and I'm in. 

I walked into one multi storeyed rooms which got ample of installations. The first installation that grabbed my attention was by this artist, which had mirrors on the floors and text on the walls. Very intriguing and well communicated. 

There were a lot of installations. The one that stayed with me are the video set up on how water and urban cities are mingled. I was surprised by the way, everyone interacting with art. Selfies, selfies, photo shoots everywhere. I was judging everyone who were clicking selfies, pictures with the art and treating it as background. Who am I say, how to treat the art?, another question floated around. 

Walked across a lot of video installations, along with the sweeping crowd. Very few people were able to sit and watch it completely amidst a lot of noise andd commotion. Other than that, a few other installations were also interesting. 

I got into one more colorful building with series of installations across the floors. At one end of the building, there were water pipes maze under which, one had to  walk through. On the dry dull walls were two huge figures that moved all the audience. As we climbed up, a quote stretched on 40 ft wall. 

I sat there, trying to spend time with that art. Later, a series of structures were built over the fish boxes depicting the divide & discrimination of classes. 

Watching a lot of  installations, the Mumbai Urban art festival throw some light on Urban landscapes and the reality of it. No one is happy with how urban cities are evolving. Are villages better? I'm not sure. 

At the end, I bought some souvenirs, journal, photographs of all the installations I enjoyed. Clicked a lot of pictures of the art. Interacted them with the little time I got in my hand. If anyone wants to attend the festival, I suggest them to attend during the weekdays rather than weekends. 

Friday, January 20, 2023

Friends- Surprise & Short catch up

It's tough to catch up with friends in Bangalore thanks, to it's traffic. However, I decided to catch up with few, if possible. 

On the last day of my trip, I visited Sapna Book store to buy some art supplies. Busy in selecting the canvas sheets and colors, I missed a few phone calls. Glad I opened my phone for some reason. After a little chat, we decided we'll catch up over coffee in-person. 

V had a long holiday in the hills and returned Bangalore recently. As we met, we immediately headed to a small Udupi Grand Hotel for a coffee. V shared about the new internship she took in Bangalore. Both of us met, thanks to Azim Premji Foundation. We talked a little about Foundation and then went on with our traveling stories. 

V went to Himachal Pradesh during monsoons and traveled a lot there. I think the traveling has done it's job. V is more merrier and at peace. So happy to see her being herself. Discussing creative lives, she shared her writing journey and her decision to go through all her old journals. Good to know.  We walked a bit and had dinner. She had done the big task, selecting things from the menu. 

We walked further discussing new interests, Dapostar, songs, and books. Didn't expect that I'd meet her. Glad to catch up with her. Looking forward for more visits to Bangalore

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Art dialogues with Oorja

After a long time, I caught up with Oorja. Oorja pursued design in Woxsen school and is currently working for Telangana Government weaving Chamber. She has a lot of stories to share on her 1st job. 

I remember talking to her when I was beginning to paint during COVID times. Both of us got on well with abstract art and shared our stories. When I met her in-person, she showed me all the drawings and infact, gifted me one. I failed to pick it up from her home. Next time, will definitely pick it up. While we were discussing art, Akanksha acted as spectator questioning the meaning behind each and every piece. It was great fun 

Oorja mentioned that absence of social media helped her to focus and prioritise things in life. Good for her. It's time to prioritse things in life. Both of us spent good time discussing stories behind many of her drawings.

Oorja's Drawings.

SwatsupAkku-Swathi got engaged

I met Swathi on Dec 18 2022, discussing what we're up to  in our lives. Not for once, we thought that she'd get engaged within a month.In a span of month, a lot of things happened. Happy for Swathi and Akshit. Also, got a chance to catch up with Celine, Edwin, Oorja, Akanksha, Nikhil.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Jaipur Journals- Plays and Characters

Mr.A walked and the way, he opened up the possibility of the story with a simple question and the way he probed actors to think more about the characters was interesting.

There was a son in the play who is aged 16. What would be the aspirations of a teen boy. What are his habits? What are his complexes? What does he wear? What does he carry in his pockets? How much thinking does he do for himself and for his family?

There’s a lot that goes in thinking. 

Watching the Mantr by Premchand play, what if you make this as contemporary and bring the COVID time. Imagine a doctor who worked in 2000s and now he is there his son suffering in COVID times. That’s what it is, I’m just thinking loudly and also imagining out of the box ideas.


Friends- Visit to Shuba's Home

Shubha and Deepu are extremely warm hosts. I love spending time with them and the two energy packed lil humans, Ananya & Advaith. Watching advaith jumping around, I wonder how his energy is handled by anyone. Advaith and I went out for a walk. He encouraged me to get into the playground and join him on all the slides, swings and see-saws. 

I enjoyed accompanying him and playing along. 
Once, Advaith began to make imaginary ice cream, selling around. He pursued me to buy his mango icecream. Asking for the price, he quoted five hundred forty eight two hundred rupees.

I don't have that much. I have one rupee. I told him. He quickly accepted my request and sold the icecream. 

It was fun to be playful and go creative in making different recipes of icecreams. After an hour of play, we went home, freshening  up with a  hot bath. 

While Advaitha binge watches youtube videos, Ananya is more sober and is always at her studies, trying to complete her homework and exams. 

We ordered food through zomato and chilled out till the late night, listening to Deepu's love tales while Advaitha craves in for sprite and more sprite. He's willing to eat healthy Anna Saaru for a  cup of sprite. Ananya joins in having her dinner, listening to her Dad's stories. While Deepu shared his latest fight, Advaitha walks in suddenly demanding for maple syrup pan cakes. No one at 11 pm could dare to treat him with the dishes he ask for. His elder sister, walks in, taking him a side, solacing to treat him on a sunday. 

Watching this lovely family, I feel grateful to listen to them and spend more time with them. 

Travel Diaries- Bangalore Days - Day1

My First work trip in 2023. 

Kadapa to Bangalore. I had to attend a meet at the university. I booked a bus journey through redbus. I picked APSRTC over private buses. With APS RTC, there's a sense of security that I'll reach the place safely. With private buses, there's always a sense of fear due to it's reckless driving. 

Comfort wise, the government buses has basic. They can upgrade a bit on this front. 

I was given a blanket and bottle. I put my eye mask on and dozed off. Right in the morning at 4 am, I was dropped at Bangalore. 

No sooner I got out than the auto drivers surrounded me speaking in Hindi at first, asking my destination. As I began to speak a bit in Kannada and Telugu, they switched their languages and proposed me to take me to my destination. 

Howmuch ever I politely reject them, they still persist to take a ride in their autos. As I began to book Ola Cab, they left me, trying to find business elsewhere. Reached Wipro Guest House at 5 am in the morning. 

Without any hassle, got into campus and was ready for the day. 

Friends- Bangalore Days

Naveen is currently working in a start up and I got a chance to catch up with him after a long time. I headed to Koramangla from Sarjapur on Sankranthi holiday. Other boys were on video call and got a chance to catch up with Vikas, Sachin, Karthik, Sam & Jaya. 

We were catching up on where we left, discussing work, family, friends and life. We tried Meghana Biryani, which seemed to be a big hit in Bangalore. 

After hours of staying in his place, we decided to walk out into Bangalore Streets. I dragged naveen to Blossoms. He obliged and joined me. I left him in myriads of book shelves. I bought a whole basket of books. Out of which, I wanted Naveen to read The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. This book was suggested by Chemistry mam. Thanks Mam for the suggestion. This is one of the book I love. 

At blossoms, there was a talk on book publishing. Listening to it and walking through the shelves, we decided to walk out of it after Naveen had enough of books. 

Later, we walked through church street,MG road and chilled at Samsung Opera House a bit. 

In search of some juices to rehydrate us, we walked into Garuda Mall. In the mall, we landed at Lenskart before reaching out to juices. N began to try out  spects, while I was idling checking  out the setup and the spects and the whole business around it. 

Atlast, we walked to Koramangla, the bustling street with couples, friends, gangs and many more outsiders. We walked through the streets talking much about life and hygiene.  At the end, we had a dinner at A2B and called it a day, returning to N's place.

With few, you can start the conversation where you left. College gang seems to be constants in life. 

Movie- Bhramaram

Thanks Sneha for the suggestion. I picked this Old Malayalam movie to watch after a long time. Mohan Lal walks into his childhood's friend home. The childhood friend doesn't recognise him at first and then, feels uncomfortable about his presence. The story behind their relation is all the movie about. 

Watching too many digital 4K movies, the old movies and the print seemed to give a vintage feeling. I rarely watched malayalam movies during my childhood. Glad to catch up with some good stuff. 

Movie- The Nambi Effect

I do not remember how I picked the book, Ready to Fire but, I enjoyed reading cover to cover, as it was revealing a lot I could never imagine of. Gripping and thought provoking tale of ISRO scientist- Nambi Narayanan. When Madhavan was trying to make a movie out of this book, I was joyful that Nambi's story deserves to reach masses and spread awareness about world politics. After a long time, I got a chance to check out the movie. Not comparing it with the book,  the movie is well made with a good screen play. In the first half of the movie, I couldn't enjoy much of the background score. Later, when Madhavan reunites with his family, the background score was striking. Other than that, enjoyed the movie. 

I remember my professor, Jayashree Nair talking about Cryogenic engines with a lot of passion. If only she starts her class with the politics behind the chase of this technology and the technology's application, it'd be more etching and inspiring. The college classroom sessions flashed as Madhavan went on talking about fluid dynamics and thermodynamics in the movie. I do not remember a bit of what I studied in college but, listening to its applications are quite interesting.

Swimming Pool Sessions

During my last visit to home, I checked out the District Sports Authority Swimming Pool Complex. It had a lot of swimmers in the pool. This time, I went along with my cousin, to check it out. I also carried my swim wear to jump into pool, if possible. I approached the govt official. He tried to talk to me in Hindi. Naku Telugu vacchu, I had to show my mother tongue skills to validate being the local. 

Friendly official, shared the details and all the queries. 

If one would like to swim for an hour, they charge 100rs. One time Membership fee deposit is 3500, and then one has to pay monthly fee-700, if one wants to use the pool for month. 

Hourly fee made sense to me as I stay only for couple of days at home. The changing room was maintained well, so was the pool. I jumped into the clean pool and had a good time. Glad to see that Govt is providing good facilities & service at decent cost. Thanks District Sports Authority-Kadapa

2023- New Resolution

I've never worked on any resolutions at any new year. This time, I've decided to constantly work throughout the year on the WHY. That's my resolution for every day of the year.  

Working on Why would help me to focus my energy  to invest on. I could observe that I've spent energy on various little things, expecting a lot than what I can get, given the amount of energy, focus I put on those things. I've always felt that I need to be more focused in the present. Now, I realised that it's a need to live a sane life. I can't afford to be distracted all the time and expect high productivity in life. It's time, I prioritise and focus on few things in life. 

Majorly I could think of three things right now

1) Finish Travelers' University 

2) Work on Professional growth

3) Be Present

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...