Sunday, December 31, 2023

2023 in Retrospect

I'm still trying to come to terms that 2023 is about to end. The new year ends and beginning never mattered to me the most in the past as well but, this year has helped me to introspect in a deeper way. The more I look at 2023, the more I look at every event, the more I feel it's happening for me, rather than to me. Traveling, meeting people, learning more about myself, grieving for the loss and being grateful for everything has been the journey of 2023.

January: I've decided to stay at home for long time. Given the style of my work, I didn't know how things worked but, I wished to stay at home no matter what and I did. I seemed to move my base location from Jaipur to Hyderabad but, the travel hasn't stopped. In the hustle of traveling, I managed to apply for IHIED. I travelled to Bangalore University for couple of times, caught up with Shubha, Rakesh, Rajneesh and many other friends whom I was bonding with. Swathi was getting engaged. I managed to attend her engagement and fly to Bangalore over night. Dyu and Sneha were getting married. Attended their marriage. Got a chance to spend time with Azhar, Shankar in Mumbai. At the end of the month, I attended Hyderabad Literary fest with Harry, Jaya, Syam, Anjali, Anthony, Karan, Kalpana, Harini and many other friends. Met a speaker at the fest,  who hails from Sathupalli, a place where I studied 1st grade. Attended a ghazal workshop hosted by a young poet. Had a conversation with authors, Harry, Jerry Pinto, Gita Ramaswamy. All through out, was catching up with friends especially Jaya, Bala, Syam, Veda, Sai. 

February: Traveled to Chennai for Dad's health check up. I hardly do any of the travel trips with family these years. Visited beach and museum with mom and Dad. Returned home, stayed for a bit and traveled to Yadgir and Gulbarga. I felt that would be my last trips to those lovely campuses for that year. I was alone and enjoyed my stay at Gulbarga and Yadgir. Got a chance to catch up with all the teachers and students. I informed my boss about leaving the organisation to attend family and focus on other goals. 

March: I spent the first half at home and the next half in Rajasthan. Days at home just passed by and remember the last days I spent with mom, trying to be as present as possible. As soon as I moved to Rajasthan after 3 months, I began to attend theatre plays, met some amazing people, tried to focus on the work and planned to travel Uttarakhand and finish the work trips and headed to Udham Singh Nagar. All the while, got selected for IHIED. Caught up with Malavika, Abhishek. 

April: Spent the first week in Uttarakhand, catching up with friends at workplace. Moved to home to catch up with friends and family. Moved to Bangalore for a few meetings, caught up with Rajashri, Shubha, Deepu. Also managed to attend Thaikudam Bridge concert at L B Stadium. 

May: Visited Bihar to attend Azhar's wedding. Moved to Univeristy and spent the whole time there catching up with colleagues, friends and everyone for one last time as I was about to leave the foundation. It was very special and had a beautiful 4 years journey. Colourless got published and had a launch at Azim Premji Univeristy. Met Vaishnavi before I left Bangalore. A very happening and momentous month. At the end, left from Shubha's place. A very special place in Bangalore I'll resort to whenever I have a chance. 

June: Returned to Jaipur and did a road trip from Delhi to Hyderabad with Prudhvi. Caught up with friends in Hyderabad, Jaipur and office colleagues. Also, began to pack to move things from Jaipur to Kadapa. Was also preparing for Colourless exhibition at Maah, Jaipur. 

July: Had colourless book launch and exhibition at Jaipur. Moved to home soon after that. Shailija arrived from Delhi to support me for the exhibition. Means a lot. Also, Pooja, Somesh, Ashish, Gaurav, Vritika, Chandrika, Shreya, Kajol, Abhishek, Ambika ji, and a lot more friends supported me all through out the journey. Left Jaipur for one last. Ashish dropped me at the airport. Met Shailja, Abhishek & Ashish before I left Jaipur. Spent good time at home preparing for the trip. 

August: Was anxious of the whole journey on one night. After that night, there was a sense of peace all through out. Left home via train. Dropped dad at airport and I gave him send off instead of receiving his send off. Mom cried as I was leaving. Stayed with Dyu and Sneha before I leave India. Celebrated the moment with Joey's pizza and Sooraj Santosh songs. Landed in Geneva. Caught up with Sanket and Simran on the first day. As days passed, I began to find my rhythm in Geneva. 

September: Caught up with alot of new people. Went to Annecy. Got to know a lot of people and their journeys to Geneva. 

October: Went to Zurich. Attended A R Rahman concert. Met him and also had the best time in Zurich, thanks to many people. Had my first exhibition in Geneva, Empty Spaces Mayanadhi. It was attended by a lot of friends and loved ones. 

November: Turned 29. Had a birthday celebration. Grateful to have a lot of lovedones celebrating my birthday. Balaji got engaged. Swathi got married. Caught up with Jaya, Syam, Bala, Vasu, Harry,Anjali, Shobha mam and other friends. 

December: Back to Geneva and spent good time reading and writing. Studied a lot about health and well being. Managed to catch up with semester endings. 

In two words, 2023 is all about grief and gratitude to me. Had an intense and eventful year. Couldn't ask anything better than this. 

Movies in 2023

This year, watched a few movies, whenever I got a chance. Last year, I watched 41 odd movies and this year it's 29. A lot of movies are worth watching again. Songs of Scorpion for Golshifteh Farahani and Irfan Khan, Thiruchitrambalam, Top Gun, Pretty Woman, Animal, Uncut Gems

  1. Monalisa Smile
  2. Songs of Scorpion
  3. Vicky and her Mystery
  4. Thiruchitrambalam
  5. Labor Day
  6. Nude
  7. Through the Eyes of a Painter
  8. Becoming Elizabeth
  9. Manmarziyan
  10. Viduthalai Part-1
  11. Ponniyan Selvan-2
  12. Paathu Thala
  13. Top Gun
  14. Balagam
  15. Yours Truly
  16. Love Story
  17. Chhatriwali
  18. Taxiwala
  19. Mission Majnu
  20. Bhramaram
  21. The Nambi Effect
  22. Pretty woman
  23. Animal
  24. Keeda Cola
  25. Uncut Gems
  26. Silverlinings Playbook
  27. Dry Day
  28. Kho Gaye Hum Kahan
  29. Shooting Stars

Books in 2023

This year, I read a lot of books by chance in the month of November and December. In the beginning of the year, I picked the gems like, Lands, Guns, Caste, Woman by Gita Ramaswamy, Em and the big Hoom by Jerry Pinto and at the end, a few books like Synchro Destiny by Deepak Chopra and book by Dr.Bruce D Perry helped me a lot to look into myself. I got a poetry book- Butterfly's Burden by Mahmood Darwish as a birthday gift presented by A. I bought couple of book as birthday gifts and continued buying a lot of books over the years. Gifted multiple copies of Em and The Big Hoom to different friends. Through books, this year has been more about trauma, health and well being. 

  1. What my Bones know by Stephanie Foo
  2. Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pint
  3. House of Light by Mary Oliver
  4. I want a poem by Jerry Pinto
  5. Weirdo by Zadie Smith
  6. Anya and her baby brother by Jerry Pinto
  7. Swan by Mary Oliver
  8. Synchro Destiny by Deepak Chopra
  9. A life in the Shadows by A S Dulat
  10. Asylum by Jerry Pinto
  11. You can heal your life by Louise L Hay
  12. What do you want to be when you Grow up by Jerry Pinto
  13. A comma in a sentence by R Goapala Krishnan
  14. Lands, Guns, Caste, Woman by Gita Ramaswamy
  15. What Happened to You by Bruce D Perry and Oprah Winfrey
  16. Tickle me, don't tickle me by Jerry Pinto
  17. Tales of the Open Road by Ruskin Bond
  18. Golden Years by Ruskin Bond

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Geneve Journals- Impressive Prof David Rodogno

I'm grateful to all my teachers who taught me in my life. There are a few who left a lasting impression by being themselves. The last prof who etched an impression is Dr.PSP, the one who taught me Engineering Mechanics. I loved the way he taught. He always wanted us to look beyond the problem on the pages. 

On similar lines, I could find Prof David Rodogno, being himself, communicates to look beyond what's in front of us. On the first day, he talks about doing what one really loves. Introduces course that has a very different approach to learning outcomes, pedagogy and other aspects. 

"There are too many numbers and measurement. For once, we want to do the other way. There are no assignments, no questions, no exam. Just attend and participate." Trusting the process for once to see the results is a daring task in the world of academia where people are often behind the tangible learning outcomes, to the level that one can plot the learning points on graph. 

He also curated the list which is very close to his heart. Firstly, he loves and wants all of those speakers on the list. Being very passionate about it makes me curious to learn more from his session. 

He began his first session by bursting myths of International Geneva and pushed us to stay in the question of What's International Geneve, how international is Geneve and also the other dark, bright sides of Geneva

Shared few books on Geneve, songs written on Geneve. Impressive. Looking forward to catch up more in these classes. 

Geneva Journals- The Long Walks

Finding rhythm in the fallen stems and falling leaves, I walked the path my feet took me. Sometimes, the body knows where to head. Sometimes, it's to futile to rely on thoughts. I began to walk towards the other side of the Geneva, crossed bridges, walked across the fields and strolled across the cemeteries. Without a worry of time, distance and speed, I strolled and strolled. 

Book- You can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

I picked this book at Shubha's place. I have always wanted to read Louise Hay's work, understand about positive affirmations and the way our body works. Harry once gifted me a set of cards with affirmations. Shobha mam has helped me to understand the power of affirmations and how to work with them. I was positive to receive some food for thought from this book.  

This books is full of affirmations that can help us change the mental patterns and change our life. I observed the change in my mental patterns when I got my first smart phone in 2016. I attributed the change to the smart phone and observed how my way of thinking has clearly shifted along with the frequency of changes.  

Sometimes we're always supsecting of simple and easy ways of life. We wish to create a convoluted path for happines, prosperity, love and a lot more in our life. Change your thoughts and change your life is the basic element of this book. 

Thoughts indeed work. My body reacts differntly when I say out few affirmations. I could experience how my limiting beliefs are affecting my life. I'm glad I picked this book. It's time to put things in practice. 

A few main takeaways for me from this book as of now are- 

Willing to forgive ourselves and others.

Avoiding the word 'should' in life

Stop being critical of our selves

Willing to understand parents and their behaviour

Loving the Self

Every chapter of the book begins with an affirmation- 

"It is safe to look within."

"The Past has no power over me."

"Truth is unchangeable part of me."

"I see my patterns and I choose to make changes."

"I am in the rhthym and flow of ever changing life."

"I cross bridges with joy and with ease."

"The answers within me come to my awareness with ease."

"I enjoy practicing my new mental skills."

"All my relationships are harmonious."

"I am deeply fulfilled by all that i do."

"Every experience is a success."

"I deserve the best and I accept the best now."

"I listen with love to my body's messages."

"I am healthy, whole and complete."

At the end there's a list of diseases, associated with mental patterns and affirmations to bring the ease. Very helpful list.

One book, I'd suggest to check whoever is willing to understand holistic health. 

Friday, December 29, 2023

Book- I want a poem by Jerry Pinto

Like all other poems, Pinto's poems need to be read aloud with rigor. Despite being at Hyderabad Literary festival, I couldn't witness Pinto reciting one of his poems at Festival. I read this poem aloud with a lot of joy. A lot of poems are about poems, colours, anger, window, his father, mother and much more. Definitely a book to revisit and read aloud whenever one wishes to savour the magic of words and poetry. 

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Music in 2023

Spotify Wrapped is sharing a lot of numbers and analysis on what I listened to. But, what about the downloaded songs I listened to and the songs I listen in live and songs I play on other platforms?

Just like Books, movies in 2023, I've decided to write about Music in 2023. 

In the first few months of 2023, living in Rajasthan, folk music has been my regular go-to music. 

Manganyiar Classroom by Roysten Abel's is the first song that flashes as I think of folk music. 

Ponniyan Selvan & Pathu Thala albums were on loop for long time in the beginning of 2023

Mayakkama Kalakkama is one more song that stayed for a long while. 

Spotify says, I played 1804 songs through it's platform in this year. 15930 minutes ~ 11days. Thanks Spotify for letting me know. Listened to 1286 artists, out of which the most I listened to was, A.R.Rahman. 0.05% fans, 3227 minutes together.  Does all these numbers really tell the stories I have for each song?

Again, Spotify rated the top 5 songs for me. 

Matwari- I discovered Samahita in January and ever since I listened to her rendition of Ehi Thaiyya Motiya, I was spell bounded by her mellow voice. 

Yele Ilanchingamey- I discovered this gem latetly. I didn't listen to Cobra album fully when it got released, that's how I missed listening to it. I remember the long flights I spent only listening to this song. 

River Flows in You- Played this song in Colourless Poetry Performance. 

Mayaanadhi- This is another gem I discovered, suggested by a friend. This became the song for my 2nd exhibition. Empty Spaces- Mayanadhi. 

Kanna Varuvaayo- Another song suggestion by another friend. PRI Akhila's rendition of this classic is very impressive. 

Other than these, Hardik Chauhan's compositions, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's songs and western classical music 

Geneva Journals- The Chores

Ever since I moved out of home, chores has been part of life. Sometimes, I'm efficient at it, sometimes I struggle at it. I do not think I hated doing chores ever. I deprioritsed them over other tasks like writing, traveling, painting.

Till 2019 I lived alone and I was responsible for my space, work, chores. I had my way of doing them. After moving to Rajasthan, I had to share chores with Dyu and I had to say, he was very accomodative to me. He put up with me on a lot of things. We shared work and I always did the minimum I could do. When I moved to Jaipur, I struggled to get a rhythm for doing my chores. I'm grateful for all the services I had, thanks to my organisation and people around me. 

As I moved to Geneva, I could only find abundance in all the amenities and services. I need to find rhythm and little bit of planning to efficiently work on my chores. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Movie- Pretty Woman

A suggested this movie long back in one of the trivia nights. As I opened Netflix, Pretty Woman was streaming on the platform. I decided to watch and I'm glad I watched it. Julia Roberts as Vivian, a hooker meets the business tycoon, Edward Lewis acted by Richard Gere. And how they fall in love is the story. I loved few compositions of the visuals. Very aesthetic and balanced. There are a few one word dialogues that came with a lot of bang. Would love to watch it again for Julia Roberts. 

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Geneve Journals- The long walks

I always got amused by the act of walking and movement. Today, I decided to spend time outdoors and walked out of my room. Comfortable clothing, a bottle of water, a few bananas and overloaded thoughts in mind that I'm unable to bear. I was all set for a stroll. I walked down to the lake and spent some time watching ducks, swans and the rippling water. In general, Geneva is quiet near the lake despite the hustle-bustle. We had a few passengers with portable speakers bringing in some rhtyhm and loudness into Geneva's atmosphere. Over a boat ride, I crossed the lake and continued my walk. 

Walking up the hill, I reached Cologny. Overlooking a church built in 1800s, there are some interesting scultpures and fountain structures near by. I continued my walk and reached a cemetry. I tried spotting a century lived graves but I contemplated on what's with the number. How much of life is well lived. Continuing to look through the numbers, I spent some time. After a long break, I continued my walk over the green fields and spacious neighborhoods. I spotted an old man cycling hands free, I spotted a squirrel in big sized statue. I continued my walk and passed through Parc La Grange and went near the  trees where there are swings under the open sky, tied to the trees. Swining is very helpful for brain regulation. I always loved swininging as a child. Though the swing is of low height, I continued to swing and spent some time. Along the lake, I continued walking. Walked till my legs were pleading me to rest. Thoughts were floating by and after a few bottles of water and rest, I feel better. Movement indeed makes life move forward. Good day. 

Friday, December 22, 2023

Geneva Journals- The Kitchen and Kachori Stories

Whenever I feel lost, I walk into kitchen and spend time either by reading or writing. Most of the times, I run into my neighbour and other person who hail from the place I lived for long time. 

I learnt a lot of cooking, mostly by conversations with them. This time I learnt the art of roasting vegetables, preparing sauces. 

A few ways to roast the veggies.

Cut them into small and even size, they get roasted easily. How couldn't I apply total surface area concept here?

Keep it colorful. The diversity brings in alot of nutrients. 

Add bit of salt, pepper, a bit of garlic into youghurt. There we have the basic stuff. 

Time to hit the oven and roast some veggies. 

Geneva Journals- La Farce Haul

This time, I walked till the Nations and got onto the tram. I was the only person on the tram as it was the first station. Soon it got filled with people. I was lost reading the book, What my bones knew. I walked across and strolled to the bibliotechque. Talking about soundscapes to a friend, I began to notice the soundscapes of Geneva. I seemed to be really attuned to a place to listen to it's soundscape. There's very little humdrum in life. There's more space and silence. What does silence speak of? I'm yet to listen. 

I checked out the books and found two interesting titles. One was "What the dead can say" by author unseen and other book, "PRESENT through the END" by Kirsten DeLeo. Author Unseen has got an interesting cover design, title and the mystery of the unknown author. 

Went to Lafarce, picked vegetables, fruits and other dry groceries. Grateful for their service. I also noticed the reader volunteering at different section. A little Lidl errands. Walking through Lidl, I wanted to treat myself with Croissant. Picked a few veggies. I could recollect the times I was lost in the first days. Even now, I struggled to select the Jam, cheese. I stared at the aisle, looking at the options and felt very lost. It's not because of language but, I do not know which to choose. All through out mychildhood, I struggled at it. Choosing the right food for me. I felt bad for myself and walked away staring at the cheese and the jam. 

I went ahead with a tram and continued my journey. A few minutes, a few pages of What my bones knew, I reached my home. GM Student Residence. A good day. 

Soliloquies- Keep some kindness to yourself

 I've noticed that I'm being critical of myself for everythought of mine, every action of mine, every word of mine. I've been troubling people around me with too many sorrys and too many thank yous. I can go ahead with thankyous but, sorrys. I should not be sorry for myself and also for others if I haven't caused any inconvenience. I'm surprised by the way I'm being critical to myself. It's time to be kind to myself and also be kind to others by being myself. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Kattaleyalli | Kayakave Kailasa - Bhakti Republic OST | M. D. Pallavi an...

I'm so happy to see the work Foundation is initiating through Azim Premji University.  Do Listen to this Kannada song. 

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Geneva Journals- Merry Christmas

This friday, we had a christmas theme theatre session. This time, Anjali joined along with me. We strolled a bit and caught up with Sebastian, Constance on their studies and university life. 

Nyan walked in and then further, Sabine and Felix. Felix brought us cinnamon rolls. Gathered around the cinnamon rolls, we spoke about how 2023 was for us.

On January 15, I intended to move to Geneva and on December 15, I'm gathering around like minded individuals sharing our stories and the way we look at life. 

Nyan shared how he envision 2024 and his efforts to work through this theatre forum. Further, we worked on the play improved by Sabine, Felix, Sebastian & Constance. Slowly, one by one replaced each character in the play and improvised it well. I had fun playing with Sebastian. Elchin's improv is my favorite. 

Along with these, we had a lot of gifts to share. I received a keychain and a laminated four leaf clover.  Grateful to celebrate christmas early with these friends. At the end of the day, Elchin, Sebastian and I headed out sharing few conversations. 

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Geneva Journals- La Farce Haul & Sensing Places

I planned to visit wednesday but decided to spend time all by myself without getting out of my room. Afternoon, as ever, I took a Ziplo, the new destination and the name for the change of 15. 

I sat writing my journal and reading what I wrote. I teared up reading my written words from journal and looked sidewards- Butini Station. I had some best memories at Pickwicks, Butini station and now, I'll remember this memory. I wonder, how I sense places I live in. 

I walked to the Bibliotechque and picked a book Intimate Death- How the Dying teach us to live, by Marie De Hennezel. 

Off to Lafarce to pick up the veggies and fruits and returned home. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Thoughts- Writing for well-being

Writing has always helped. I picked writing when I was unable to communicate. Sounds Ironic!

I always had a bent for sounds, oration and speech. I always looked forward for an English class during my 4th grade, as I always get a chance to read the text aloud, with a lot of intonation, pauses and feel. Thanks Kiranmayi mam for never discouraging me on that. Since then, I was happy go lucky student, always participating in monologues, elocution, debates. I picked writing when I was unable to communicate my feelings. Very overwhelmed with adoloscence. That's when I wrote a dairy jotting my thoughts and shared it with my Dad and asked him to read it. He read it and got the whole text typed it for me. Back in 2008, typing the whole text that your 14 year old adoloscent son wrote in a diary. It means a lot. 

After that, I picked up writing diary as a regular task on Jan 4 2009, a friend's birthday and had something to write about. Since then, I continued writing. There were few instances where writing seemed to be a daunting task in life but, when I begin writing, It always helped. 

There's no sense of fear, no sense of judgement as you write. 

Quote of the day- Engaging-Relational

“The first demand any work of art makes upon us is surrender. Look. Listen. Receive. Get yourself out of the way. (There is no good asking first whether the work before you deserves such a surrender, for until you have surrendered you cannot possibly find out).” 

                                                                                 – C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism, 1961 

2023- 2023 in Months

As 2023 is paving way for 2024, let me see how 2023 flashed by in months. 

January- Swathi got engaged, Dyu got married. Attended HLF and caught up with harry & Jerry Pinto

February- Visited Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and spent in my favourite (Kalaburagi) campus for one last time for the year

March- Returned to Rajasthan, got admitted to Geneva Institute, caught up with Malavika

April- Visited Uttarakhand, Bangalore and returned to Jaipur.

May- Attended Azhar bhai's wedding. Spent the re
st of the month in Bangalore. Colourless got launched. Caught up with Vaishnavi, Priayatama, Rakesh, Rajneesh, Arddhendu, Sonia

June- Went on a long drive from Delhi to Hyderabad, caught up with Prudhvi, Jaya and all other friends.

July- Colourless art exhibition got hosted in Jaipur. Returned to Kadapa. 

August- Met Dyu, left for Geneva

September- Visited Annecy. Explored Geneva

October - Met A.R.Rahman. Hosted Empty Spaces- Mayanadhi exhibition in Geneva

November - Went on a 5 hour walk in Geneva. Swathi got married. Bala got engaged. 

December - Spent most of the time reading books and prioritised my health,  caught up with old & new friends

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Thoughts- What's in a name?

Most of the times, when I catch up with people whom I met once or twice in a heartful manner, I speak with a lot of familiarity, when I meet them again, as I remember a lot of details from our previous meets. The others struggle to recollect the details. Sometimes people get intimidated when I share with the details of dates, names and places from the past. Catching up with such one acquaintance, at first he got intimidated by such recollection. As we continued our co
nversation, I asked the meaning of his name. Freedom, he replied. Curious to know the story behind we continued our conversation. Later, we brainstormed on ideas like, if we have to name ourselves by verb, what would we name us?

It's interesting to name ourselves by verbs, adverbs rather than living upto our names, which may be the definition of us put by our parents. How much do we try to live by our parent's definition of us and how much do we try to define ourselves through the help of all the people we have in our life?

Geneva Journals- Snow and Sunflower Field

After a week break, I'm back and walked out of room witnessing the snow. After a two hour class, it was snowing heavily. I quickly went home, had lunch and went for a walk. 

To see the snow falling and melting. I noticed that everything was covered with snow. Leaves, trees. I held the snow and began to make shapes. I was interested to create a maze and structure rather than round balls of snow. Machine Drawing effects. Thanks Shivraj sir for influencing so much with machine drawing. 

As I saw the same landscape with snow all over, it was refreshing how places and people are resilient to all forms of nature. 

I went and looked at the sprawling land and heard the flights. I wonder how does pilots fly during a snowy day. 

I returned home watching the leafless trees filled with snow. It's aesthetic and poetic. The leaves seems to have shrouds filled by snow. Every leaf that has died falling from the tree has a shroud of snow, ready to put it in the place where it came from- Earth. 

Thought- Being healthy is a commitment

Being healthy is a life long commitment we need to give to ourselves. Many a times, many friends hinted me that there's a lot that goes ...