Saturday, May 20, 2023

Bengaluru Days- The Rameshwaram Cafe

 After a late night sleep, Naveen and I somehow woke up very early and were ready to get out of the home. Both of us took a walk, spotted some Yulus and headed to Indira Nagar for breakfast. Naveen suggested breakfast at The Rameshwaram Cafe. 

As we reached the place, there was a long queue by the friday party goers. They ended the party quite early on Saturday morning and managed to stand in the queue. Also, there seemed to be more of North Indians who love South Indian Breakfast. 

After some time, we got the hot idlies, kesari baat & pongal. They offered the food in nice bio degradable plates and cups. I found the food mediocre. Just because of high number turn out doesn't mean the merit of it.

After the breakfast, we found Yulu again to return home. No sooner we reached home, then we crashed on beds and slept till noon. A good way to start the weekend. 

Books- The Saturday Haul at Blossoms

Whenever I'm in Bangalore, there are two places I'd like to visit. Sapna Book House Kormangla for art supplies and Blossoms for some interesting titles. This time, I got onto the roads and tried asking for a ride. Interestingly, this person offered me a ride. He neither asked me my destination, nor shared his destination. He stopped at the bus stop, helping me to go wherever I want. Thanks mate, I mentioned and headed to Church Street. 

As soon as I walked into Blossooms, I read this book of Indian rhymes, a Tulika publication. We have a treasure of rhymes from different Indian languages. Further, I checked this book, Sebastian & Sons. I chose a corner and almost read 50 pages, sitting there. Will pick up this title in future. 

Later, I began to check out some books. I tried my best to not buy a lot of books, however, I ended up buying 8 titles. 3 of Italo Calvino, 2 books on Letters from Authors, one Pearl S Buck novel, one Charles Bukowski's title and other book is of a play.  

There were so many expensive titles of Charles Bukowski, as 100th year edition. I need to look out for his second hand books.  There are other titles that I bookmarked to buy in future. 

Colourless by Abhinay Renny- The Journey

 In 2018, I decided to write a book and put a lot of thought to start it. A writing here and there, I was waiting for the 'right' moment and 'right' time to start it. I even thought of moving to a new place so that it'd inspire me to write.As events turned out in the next few months, I had to move to a new place as well. 

March 2019. This is the time, I told myself- Since I'm moving to a new place, I'd definitely work on the book. I moved to 2019, I waited for the 'right' moment. In the series of new place and new people, I took my own sweet time of 4 months to finally remind myself about the book I wanted to write. Still, I was waiting for the 'right' time. In August 2019, I wanted to begin writing the book after meeting Mr.Ruskin Bond. 

I met Ruskin Bond and began the book however, the next few months were too hectic to do anything else. Again in  Nov 2019, is when I reminded myself about this idea and became so disciplined suddenly and began to write daily for half an hour. 

The daily writing for half an hour, without judging what I wrote, helped me to complete the first rough draft. Within 4-5 months, I was ready with my first rough draft. The first rough draft was all that I wanted to begin with. I was very confident to work ahead on this. 

I sought help and reached out to editor and got all the suggestions to work on. And then COVID happened. I was not in a space to work on it and the procrastinating it, I  always made tiny attempts to work on the project. 

In April 2022, I suddenly had a strong impulse to work on colors and some poetry around it. So strong was my impulse that I thought I'll complete the script within a month. Alas, I couldn't finish it in a month but took 7 months to work on it. 

By Oct 2022, I had my first rough draft. Since then, I was struggling to reach out to the script, only because, I was very much attached to the project. After 3 months, I reached out to it again, being very objective to the writings and began to edit them. Harry helped me in round of editing and it gave a good sense on how to cruise through the editing phase of a first draft. By March 2023, I felt, I have done enough on the work that I can no more make my publisher wait. Publisher has been waiting since Oct 2022. I felt awkward to give excuses and reasons for the delay. Finally, the work got expedited after both, Publisher and I decided that the time has come for this book to see the light of the day. 

I curated some paintings for this book but, I couldn't digitize them in better manner. I was okay to live with it. Hence I moved ahead without giving another excuse to myself to postpone the work. 

Monday, May 15, 2023

Sirohi to Switzerland - The Kadapa Passport Office Visit

Little lately, I got to know that I need a police clearance certificate(PCC) in order to apply for VISA. I did a basic search on google and got to know that we can get the PCC from a local police station. I got to know that it'd take 40-50 days and I took the second route, through passport office.

Passport office has made a lot of things digital. Submitting the form, attaching the needed documents, paying the fee. Everything was online and had to visit Passport office for verification of the form. 

Took an appointment. Even that was easy. As I entered the passport, I could see shabby place with stickers on air conditioners- "Donated by the local MLA."

I wonder how come central office do not have funds to get an air conditioner. Even if the sitting MLA funds it, how does he take it to branding it rather than considering it as his service.

Even if there are airconditioners, people are not using it. 

As far as the passport related work, there are three desks with no clear instructions on what those desks are far. There's nothing mentioned in the form. 
I went to the first desk and an application form is handed out, asking me to take a photo copy of it and fill in the form.  Can't passport office provide a single application form? Is it one of the cost cutting process? 

Please consider the cost in the fee you collect but it's ridiculous to hand out a fadely printed Xerox to get photo copied. 

Then a photo copy of Aadhar, passport to be verified by an officer. Once it's done, a photograph is taken, the details are verified and re verified by another officer.

Half of them who enter the passport office for the work, are clueless of what to do and where to go in the limited space. I spent nearly 2 hours for 15 minutes process. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Sirohi to Switzerland- The Crowdfunding

I initiated crowd funding for my studies and I encountered different kind of people reacting differently to my initiative. There are people who reached out to me, pointing out that there are facing technical issues while funding. There are people who encountered a lot of issues but still made an attempt to donate. Others were curious and asked a lot of questions on why I'm choosing this way. Others made a joke about it. A few ridiculed infront of me, others behind me. 

In the act of asking, I had to work on my conditioning that asking is not an inferior act. I could realise that a lot of them have their own judgements due to their past and history. 

Book Suggestions- Poetry

There are some  book suggestions I got on poetry. I do not remember who suggested but, here are some books I'd like to read. 

1) The Absent Traveler by Arvind Mehrotra

2) Poetry of Kamala Das

3) Balutha, an auto biography.  

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Colorless- The journey

The journey began with an impulse drive to compile a poetry collection based on the poem "Colorless", I wrote.

Many of us have our own stories in differentiating the colors like Violet from Blue, Purple from Violet. It started as a random conversation and triggered me to think about the perceptions and the stories we carry on colors. Every color in our life has story. Inspired by these thoughts and conversations on colors and lines, I penned down the poem, Colorless on April.9.2022

A week after writing down this poem, I had an intense drive to work on a poetry collection that comprises of words and colors.

I went ahead sharing about this idea with everyone I met in April, May & June. Within a month, I was ready with set of poems written. I was very positive on it despite the work is scattered all over. It's just a compilation of poems, there's no theme, no order. I began to travel with the poems. I badly needed someone to talk to, about these poems. Harry was always there listening to my excitement on this project. He suggested me couple of publishers with whom I can pitch this project. Before thinking of Publishers, I was trying my best to work on the first draft. 

After three months, the impulse got wavered and I was overwhelmed by a lot of things happening in life. At the right time, it's Harry again, who gently pushed me to pursue this book. I started again to work on the poems. 

In the month of August, Vikram came to Jaipur for his storytelling session and spent a day with me. As I shared my thoughts on this draft, his only suggestion was "One piece at a time, one line at atime. Spend time with it. That's gonna make a huge difference."

That's how I began to work on Colorless

Memories- College Days

Satvik shared this picture. It's been  more than 7 years since it got clicked. The 50s in the series. Me-56, Nishant57, Sathwik 58, Vikas 59. This seemed to be the last day of the college. 

I realise that I was never a fan of pictures in college. I never had a camera with me and never had a smart phone with me. So I hardly click pictures. Rahul was the one who always talked of memories, pictures but never succeeded to save the memories on phone. He lost his phone and so his memories as well. 

Even though, there are no pictures to document, there are some sights which are still fresh in my mind. Our first day in the college, Sathwik's first bench scenes, chemistry mam's lectures, PSP's advice and many more. 

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Day Light Train Journeys- The first long train journey to Bihar

First time I'm visiting the eastern India- Bihar. Many of my friends are from here, Ranjith Bhai, Shankar, Azhar, Navneet & many others. 

On the occasion of Azhar's wedding we booked tickets to travel to Bihar. A month ago, 8 of us booked and finally 3 of us are travelling. Shankar and Mudit boarded at Ajmer. I got onto the train at Jaipur at 2.30 AM. 

No sooner I began to sleep, then came the girls, filling the train to the fullest. Banasthali University declared holidays to their students. At once, the train turned into a ruckus. All 6 berths around me are filled by these college girls who got a huge packs of suitcases and bags. I tried sleeping by 3 am and got up by 10 am while the train stopped at Agra Cantonment. 

I freshed up and managed to caught up with Shankar and Mudit standing in middle of the train as everyone were sleeping. An hour passed and people in B5 coach woke up and we managed to sit on lower berth. Once in a while I went to my coach B6, to check if I get a chance to sit at my berth. Since it's 3AC, the middle berth had to be shelved but, the girls are sleeping to their hearts ful. 11 AM.12 PM. 1 PM. The girls are still sleeping. As Shankar, Mudit and I were muching on snacks and chatting with other students, we got to know a little about the university. 

There are students who study from 9th at Banasthali and manage to pursue their post graduation as well. Banasthali is women residential institute that offers Pre-primary to Post Graduate. It got founded by  Hira Lal Shastri in 1935. A very old and prestigious one indeed. 

After the ladies at my coach woke up at 2PM, I got a chance to sit at my berth and read Bird by Bird book by Anne Lammot. 

Six students pursuing their engineering in Computer Science are returning to home after one whole year. They were thinking of all they could do at home and also the comforts they get at home. Getting into conversations with them, I realised that they studied their engineering through online mode and passed two years, they stayed in the campus for a year and got internship for almost 8 months. They'll be out of college in no time. I wonder what college memories they'd cherish. 

Spending a whole day with them, we tried our best to not get bored. Stuti,Smriti, Manya and I played Ludo on smart phone. I was playing board game after a long time. LUDO, must be after 5-10 years for sure. Though it was painful to look into screen, the game was fun. Later, I resorted to the book for some time and eventually fell asleep after the pantry car lunch. 

All of us dozed off in their respective berths. I had a deep sleep with a lot of dreams. Feeling refreshed, I spent some time watching the  Sunset over the Central India belt. Later, spent some time with Shankar, Mudit and other people who were at their coach. 

After a long chat, I receded to my berth and caught up with some writing, reading and chat with the students. All of us are so bored that we got into storytelling. I shared some stories and realised that I lost the knack of holding audience with the suspense. I was not into it. I just wanted to tell them one single line and get done with it. I realised that to tell a story in one line is more tough than narrating a story for 10 minutes. 

Later, we played UNO, and then girls tried to play Truth or Dare at 12:30 AM and was causing a lot of noise. I noticed that a lot of other passengers were finding it too noisy. We called it a day at 1 AM. Three hours fast forward, we reached Patna. As everyone near me woke up, I rung Shankar, Mudit and got ready to get down at Danapur, a station near by Patna. 

Thoughts- Friends and Conversations

I never had to put a lot of efforts to catch up with friends. I'm glad I've decided to put efforts to reach out and not get disappoi...