Monday, July 15, 2024

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 to health more than hydration & nutrition. So far, I've learnt that hydration, nutrition, exercise & rest are the basics for our wellbeing. Learning the nuances of these, I learnt that we need physical rest, emotional rest and rest in wholesome terms. To be at rest is to be still. To be still is to be aware of the present. Moving stillness seems to be a paradox I like to contemplate on. Interesting journey. 


Travel Diairies- Life with Lola- Day2

I began my day by a walk and reached Abbaye, a historical monument at Arles Sur Tech. I enjoyed soaking in the sun and wandered around. The place is so small that I do not feel I'm lost. Wherever I'm I see the mountains which bring a sense of familiarity. 

After a long walk, I got ready and had a breakfast. After a heavy breakfast- Pasta & Coffee, we went for a walk with Lola. Walks are always fast and short with Danesh. We began our day with clay plastering. Clay is a very environmental friendly and maintains temperature during all seasons. I mixed and plastered clay on the walls which seemed hard but fun. After 3 hours into clay plastering, I called it a day and rested serving myself a heavy lunch. While D went on for work, I rested a bit and went ahead for a hike. 











Before I began the hike, I was reading and writing a bit. As I began the Loop hike, I was recording a few moments. After a while, I was so lost in the woods, I continued walking without bothering about recording the moments. Got some pretty good views and hiked for 3 hours. 

After a nice shower, some time with books and journals.  I realised that physical work brings out a lot of balance in life. It's good to involve oneself in physical work. That keeps us healthy and fit.  I had my dinner and caught up with Danesh on wood carving and some stories.A long day. A good one. 

Travel Diairies- Life with Lola- Day 5

A morning walk towards the village, I enjoy the morning sun and the rumbling water. A long walk along the waters and the neighbourhood, I got interested at the doors and the letter boxes. Satisfied with the morning sun diet, I began my day. Along with Dan, we did some work with wood and Doradango. Rob mentioned about the music gig happening at  Le Moulin des Arts et de l'Artisanat. I wanted to have some solitude time at the river and got soaked under the sun. Time in the nature always helps us to be more aware of the moments. After spending hours reading a bit and writing some poetry, I walked down to the venue, hearing the rhythms. A lot of them on Darbukas and a couple on traditional drums. The place got a vibe and I sat there enjoying the music. As the musicians took a small break, I continued to stroll around and met a couple of kids enjoying their cotton candy at an old mill. While strolling in an old weaving mill, I found out how the government has renovated a lot of dilapadated buildings, mills and brought back them into life. 

While I continued to walk around and spend time, the musicians got back into the game and we enjoyed the night moving our feet to our own rhythms.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Memories- Colourless

It's been a year to the colourless journey. On July 2nd, I had my first solo exhibition in Jaipur at Maah Space. Reflecting on the journey, I got reminded of two people whom I dedicate my book Colourless to- Dyu and Vaishnavi. When I decided to move to Rajasthan, I never planned or thought how I'm going to take up this new journey. Dyu came along and has been there through out my Rajasthan journey, sharing a house, meals and conversations. Though I passed out of college in 2016, I was merely bheaving like a college kid living in a hostel when I moved to Rajasthan. I was impulsive, naive and active. When I picked a brush and paint, Dyu looked at me and never bothered to say a word. At nights, I would wake up and paint. At times, he was startled by my erratic randomness but, never expressed it outrightly. I could do a lot of things I did in Sirohi, because I had time. I had time because Dyu spent a bit of his time, managing the home and the daily cooking. Willingly or unwillingly, Dyu did a lot of house errands and was quite flexible with me being erratic in picking house errands.  I was spending most of my time with books, writing and painting while he was spending time to prepare meals and manage some shopping. I'm immensely grateful for his support throughout. I couldn't have spend most of my time in my creative pursuits, If I had to dedicate a lot of time to cooking or doing house errands. I wrote  a lot of poetry and painted a lot, during COVID, thanks to Dyu for helping me to have the right environment at home, to write and pursue my expressions.

I met Vaishnavi in Uttarakhand in 2021 and got a chance to meet her again in Jaipur. Engaging in conversations about colours, Vaishnavi shared a conversations on her life perspectives and creativity.  Talking of colours and perspectives, I penned a poem- Colourless. With colourless poem, began my journey of finding colours and colouring the gray memories I had from my childhood. Also, Dyu always tried out continental cuisines and treated me with delicious food. Vaishnavi helped me to appreciate the aroma of fried onions and tomatoes and treated me yummy food. In one way, both Dyu and Vaishnavi treated me with their exceptional culinary skills. Thanks Chefs! 

With the help of Dyu and Vaishnavi, I paved my colourless journey and went ahead with my creative pursuit. Grateful for their company, presence and words, the least I could do was to dedicate my work to them. Thanks Dyu & Vaishnavi for inspiring and helping throughout. 

Poetry- Silence

Sensing silence in sounds and slippery water

Sensing stirring stories in sublime & sunshine’s strolling

Sensing self in the stream of several slithering selves

Does one sense the silence and the melody it speaks through?

Friday, July 5, 2024

Soliloquies- Lessons I'm trying to reflect through Therapy

I'm amused of myself on how I felt I'm in control of my life until an event knocked me down to my knees and had me all over the place. Scared of the roller coaster ride, I sought help and began to look inwards. I realised that there's a lot that goes in our subconscious and unconscious minds. 

Body keeps the score- Body does remember a lot of events which we actively may not be conscious of. There are so many events which I do not remember until very recently. 

Expression is the way- Suppressing, repressing our emotions would not take us anywhere. Emotions needs to be expressed. All sorts of emotions. There is no positive and negative emotion. Every emotion needs to be accepted and expressed. 

Accepting one self- We need to create room for ourselves. We are everything.

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Thoughts- Turning down the knob


We all have positive and negative traits. Whenever we choose to act on one of those traits,  instead of unconsciously behave, we feel light and better. As long as the unconscious behaviour controls our life, we always fall into patterns and stay in the victimhood. 



Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Travel Diairies-Life with Lola- Day1

Little did I thought of what I've left in Geneva and moved into. I had a sound sleep and woke up in the natural darkness and went out for a walk. The morning fog embellished the old mountain ranges and I walked further enjoying the trees, morning breeze and the cold air. After a long walk, I caught up with Dan to have breakfast. Enjoying the breakfast and discussing the concepts of carnivore diets, one meal per day plans, I enjoyed the french breakfast, I made for myself, thanks to Danesh's instructions. Ham, bread and butter with a double shots of coffee. 

After a heavy breakfast, we began to work on the room Danesh is working on. We got on the plasterboards, lifted them, moved them and began to measure and cut the pieces. I realised that, I was very clumsy while I got working with tools. I got a chance to dabble with holesaw, driller and a lot of power tools. Together, we've set up plasterboarding, drilled a bit for electric lights, bolted the boards, a little bit of plastering. I was realising that my estimation skills on metres is not up-to-the mark. I enjoyed the day handling a lot of tools. After a little break, I got to try my hand at Dorodango- the japanese art form. I got two scoops of white sand, 3 scoops of clay and made a round ball out of it by adding little water. I had to let it dry for two days and then work on it. Excited for it. 

After that, I went out for a walk around the town where I've come across a library, a few monuments and trees. Strolling in the village which is very quite during the lunch hour, I've learnt that people shut all the shops from 12-2pm and stay indoors having lunch. The roads are deserted and hardly there's any human presence. I sat around a corner, on a bench and begant to journal my thoughts. 

I wrote for a long time, that the village got back from their lunch break and began their daily life. I continued writing and began to wander around. This time, I wanted to go where my feet took me and I continued a up hill path where I kept walking enjoying the nature. I got reminded of my walks in hills with Ashok Joseph. After a two hour walk, I returned home and rested for a while to have my dinner. At 6 PM, I had a my dinner and went on to catch up with Danesh. 

Talking of music, we begant to discuss how listening to music is an activity, one needs to engage and enjoy rather than listen to it passively. Everyone has their way of listening to it but, both of us seemed to enjoy music a bit more passionately. Talking of music, we began to listen to an album Dele Majnoon by Mohammadreza Shajarian. Danesh would be so lost and affected by music that he would fall short of words to explain the lyrics at times. He'd pause the music at times to not miss a beat and share the translation to me. Over the translation, we've shared some profound thoughts. 


Karen joined us for a while and she shared her travel tales- She visited India in 1997 to do her 10 day vipassana meditation. She also shared how she missed a train ride and ended up a 16 hour bus ride to Mysore. Before calling it a day, went on a walk with Lola to the woods and near by river- Tech. We skipped stones and walked a bit. Sometimes, in silence and sometimes through stories, we shared and I walked to my bed to write down all before I let it skip away. 


Sunday, June 30, 2024

Geneva Journals- Dinners and Conversations

When I arrived to GM, I met Yellow on my first day while she was cooking her dinner. The next day, I met teal blue and had a great dinners over these ten months. I cherish the dinners and conversations with these two lovely seniors. Feels like familiar comfort.  When I was about to leave GM, Teal Blue and Yellow decided to host a dinner before I leave. Teal Blue managed to arrive after a hectic travel trips and tight schedule. Yellow cooked the chicken, Teal Blue got the Bakarwadi and a lot of tales from Brussels to share with us. Food is arranged, stories are stacked and as we began our dinner, the stories flowed. Had a great time, thanks Yellow and Teal Blue for the food, company, stories. 


Monday, June 24, 2024

Geneva Journals- Fete De La Musique

Geneva canton has organised Fete De La Musique, a three day music festival across the town, welcoming the summer. The whole town is out attending cultural events. It's very well organised with a lot of volunteers focusing on waste management and keeping the city clean while encouraging people to engage and enjoy. 

The organisers were proactive and arranged predicting the erratic weather. Enjoyed it thoroughly. 

Sunday, June 23, 2024

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 disappointed when it's not attended. I'm learning to make space for other friends to have their own time. We always have tendency to always make it about us where in reality, it could be of different reasons. 

Geneva Journals- Dinners and Conversations

Jose invited me for the dinner where I got a chance to catch up with a few friends. Over butter chicken and rice, we had an interesting conversations. Thanks S for cooking all of us. 


Friday, June 21, 2024

Friends- Happy Birthday Aniruddha

Aniruddha called up and enquired if I'm free on 20th evening. "Yes" I responded. You are coming for a birthday dinner, he affirmed. I liked the way he invited me with affection and confidence to be part of his birthday gathering. While Grusha treated us with sumptuous food- dumplings, Lasagna, pizza, Tiramisu, ice cream. I sighed now and then enjoying every bit of food. I met Hushitha, Shilpa, Vrishalee, Alexis at the gathering. Sharing conversations on birthday, Ani shared his best birthday so far- a 10 day trip to Thailand without a phone. Shilpa recollected how simple it may seemed now but, the efforts her parents put to gift her an game set based on anime. Vrishalee shared how intentional birthday gathering with limited people was her favourite one. 

The Food Spread

Birthday boy spreading smiles

The Tiramisu Birthday Cake

Alexis, Hushitha shared their stories. While birthday boy played his favorite music- one song from one year, we recounted our birthday tales and were amused by the way we, Indians celebrate our birthdays. I was heart ful by the food, conversations and gathering. Happy birthday A. 

The heartful dessert


Grusha, Myself, Alexis, Vrishalee, Aniruddha, Hushitha, Shilpa




Thursday, June 20, 2024

Holidays with Harry- Learning Mindset

"I've started working on shadow consciousness and I'm learning a lot," I mentioned it to Harry. Nodding to my random tales, he stayed silent listening to me keenly.

Over a few months, I stopped accepting perspectives and began to behave like know-it-all. Over a conversation, one of my friends, by her curiosity showed growth mindset behaviour. Heartened by such curiosity, I began to introspect on my behaviour and be aware of those traits.

"I recently relearnt the importance of statement,'I don't know' and the concept of learning mindset," I shared these thoughts while I was sharing a few anecdotes with Harry.

Harry shared,"as a writer, it's important to always find a new perspective, through out our journey. To be on the path is the key."he continued hinting me to stay with the lesson- Learning mindset.

Showing me the incentive of learning mindset in a writer's life, Harry helped me to get back onto my learning path. Thanks Harry

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Geneva Journals- Evening hike

This time, I went for a hike with a little preparation by carrying a bottle of water and a lot of nuts-Pista. My favorite snack whenever I go low on energy. Walking over a familiar distance, I decided to take a new path and kept walking around. I got across few fields and horses. It was a 20+km hike. I'm happy to keep myself in good spirits by walking. Walking helps a lot when you're cluttered with a lot of not-so-positive thoughts. A walk in the woods is definitely a good stress buster. I often stopped a while, to stare at the trees and take it all in with long breathes. I'm grateful to live in the nature. While returning from the hike, I came across two tiny dogs as well- Milo, Zemo. A good day. 

Thoughts- The self image and the missing pieces

We see the world as we are. 

Learning about projection and how it works, I was happy to find all the negative and positive traits of mine through the help of others. Why couldn't I own all of it? Well, it takes time and effort and consciousness to own ourselves and live in this world. Whenever I'm upset by other's actions I could see myself in them and I choose to act rather than react.



Learnings- Neurophilosophy of Global Security

Geneva Centre for Security and Policy hosted a two day course on Neurophilosophy on Global Security. 

Al-Rodhan hosted the course, welcoming a lot of esteemed professors to facilitate the course. A few points that were discussed during the course- 

1) The role of emotions in cognitive process 

2) A neurophilosophy of fake news, disinformation and digital citizenship

3) Neurochemistry of Power

4) Ocean Model of Civilisation

George Northoff discussed the distinction of 'Self' with the environment while Professor Shapiro discussed the role of emotions in negotiations and conflict resolutions. 

It's intersting to learn more about 'self' and how relational is self to environment, cultures, and a lot more. 


 

Geneva Journals- The long walks

I wore my shoes and got outside to enjoy a long walk. Over a walk, I look at the trees I pass every day. Watching the walkers pass by and wishing them bonsoir, I continued walking. Sometimes, you need to trust the path and continue the walk. I trust the process and the path and continued my walk. A general perception of space, I walked and walked. Crossed the canals, bridges, creeks, forests, neighbourhoods. Walking for 2 hours, I ended up on a familiar path that's taking me home. This evening walk has reinstated my spirits to believe in the statement, trust the process of life. Sometimes, the words are mere words until we give power to them through our experiences, perceptions and intentions. A long walk on a sunny night. A good walk. 


Saturday, June 15, 2024

365 Days of Gratitude - The random gift


Next door neighbour visited India for a holiday. 'I do not know if people will like random gifts but, I got this for you.' she said and handed out the packet of mango candies. I love the fact that she put a thought and effort to get this for me. I remember running into her at random times and catching up over food, books and things to do in Geneva. Thanks Neighbour for the sweet gift.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Geneva Journals- Dinner and Conversations

Over a dinner, I caught up with a friend who always introduces a new sweet whenever we meet. This time, she baked a sweet called - Leitaria Da Quinta Do Paco. Over sumptuous chicken and rice, we shared what's happening in our lives. I love people who talk with a learning mindset keen to share ideas and opinions on what they're passionate about. Talking of emerging technologies, we wondered what would the upcoming 5 years would be like. As the conversations continued over music, books and art, I had received a few book suggestion - The Covenant of the Water by Abraham Verghese and few other topics to learn more about AI. 

As I visited Van Gogh's museum, I got a lot of copies of his work, keen to share with people who are open to enjoy art and learn a bit about Van Gogh. I hosted a lot of friends and I couldn't find anyone being open to listening and sharing about art. As I found a good listener with growth mindset in her, I gifted her the painting which she liked to have. Talking of names and objects, I shared the names I love using the most- Amrutha and Karthick. As every object has a story, we shared what a few objects means to us and how they travel with us. 


Sunday, June 9, 2024

Thoughts- The cost of Shadow

Studying about shadow concsicousness, I wondered how we never get a chance to meet our shadow till certain age and then get triggered as we hit certain age. I realised that we've a lot of energy in our youth and unconsciously we utilise the energy to cover up our shadows. Different people get triggered by different stances and learn at different stages in their own ways. The more we are aware, the better we can steer our life rather than our unconscious controlling our life. 


Saturday, June 8, 2024

Thoughts- I am

Perception of self is one aspect I navigate easily, thanks to my ignorance of how loaded are the words that arrive when we associate our perceptions with self and also the perspectives I'm keen to look through. 

I am everything I see myself as and also I'm everything others see me as. My one set of friends from college has seen me at my worst. My one set of friends from college has seen me from a different lens. I am everything. Such a powerful space to be in I feel. 


Friday, June 7, 2024

Geneva Journals- The Pianos are in town

Fast walker mentioned about the public pianos set up in the town. In no time, we decided to check out the piano scene and hopped on the bus to make some noise in the town. Fast walker is a seasoned pianist. She's been playing the piano since the age of 5. Over conversations, we headed to Bain des Paqui. Experience by Ludovico was played by the miss while a couple of walkers stood by to witness the performance. As we walked to Mont Blanc bridge, at the sight of the Jet d'eau, miss played Interstellar theme on piano. There was a veteran who stoody by to enjoy the performance. He shared about his favorite composer- Chopin in the french he knows. I understood little by the french I know. We hopped onto the one at Jardin Anglais. Thanks to Tako association set by Dan Acher, the artivist. Quite an interesting project to foster social communication and community building. There are a couple of public concerts as well in the coming week.  



https://www.pianos-egares.ch/

Quote of the hour

 "There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and this is your own self."


                                                                                                                         -Aldous Huxley




Travel Tales- Bastogne

Reaching Bastogne is altogether another story for another day. Leaving Bastogne is a story I ponder upon.

Walking on a long road without the internet, without much navigation aide, I have a sense of direction to the railway station. I do not have fear of any harm nor worry about what's gonna happen. I did what I could do. Ask. And a gentleman in the car stopped and offered me help. A little conversation, I learnt I'm being offered help by historian who narrated me tales of Bastogne. Amidst stories he told me there's no functional railway station at Bastogne. Buses operate from the railway station but I don't have a pass for buses. It was demolished during the World War-2. Clueless of how I had to head home, I looked at the road. He looked at me and looked at the map and decided to drop me at the nearest station which is 40 KM away. En route we talked and talked and missed looking at the map and travelled extra 20 km to reach the station. Will I drive 60KM extra for a stranger? Yes. Do I expect a stranger in Europe to help me a brown person who can't speak dutch? Yes. What it takes to trust oneself? What it takes to trust others?

Poem- Light at the Tunnel

Look at the light at the end of the tunnel.
There's you. 
There's you who is basking in it's light.
Walk towards yourself. 
You're there. 
You're here. 
You're meant to be everywhere you are. 

 

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Friends- Lively Shawarma Day


Teal Blue proposed an outing for Shawarma. In no time, Yellow and I got ready and three of us headed out on a cloudy day. Talking of sleep and deadlines, we reached cornavin and went to Al-Amir. The cheerful person at Al-Amir offered us place and service. As the shawarma arrives, we focused on the main business- enjoying the shawarma while we talk of random stories. 

After a heavy meal, we closed it with Baklawa and headed to sweeten our day further with Gelato. As we headed to Fior-di-llate which is translated as Flower of Milk. We tried out different gelatos. 

Teal Blue comes up with interesting games to play without involvement of any gadget. 

The first game went like this- If you've to describe all of us in colour, what would you describe?

I mentioned both of them as Teal Blue, Yellow and gave my reasons.  

I was described as Rich Blue and Rich Grey with alot of tones. 'You've depth' I was described. Thank you dear teal blue and yellow for the description. 

The questions went on like this- If you've to describe us through Indian Cities

I saw Teal Blue as happening, chill Bengaluru, Yellow as exclusive, exquisite Banswara. 

Q- If you've to describe us through seasons

Teal Blue- Bangalore Winters. Cozy and Warm. Yellow- Uttarakhand March Winters. Cold and Sunny. 

I was described as rainy season. 

The questions flowed as we strolled across the lake with stories and few pauses, enjoying the weather and calm waters. 

We described ourselves through objects, feelings and a lot more. Interesting game Teal Blue!

As we continued our conversations, in no time, we got onto the bus at the bus stop and reached home. A good day. Thanks to the reel that tempted Teal Blue to initiate an outing for Shawarma. 


Inspired by the day and discussion with these two lively people, I jot down these lines- 

We're colours. We're seasons. 
We're flavours of fruits and feelings. 
We're cities. We're objects spreading our own liveliness. 

Poem- Light at the end of the Tunnel.


Look at the light at the end of the tunnel.
There's you. 
There's you who is basking in it's light.
Walk towards yourself. 
You're there. 
You're here. 
You're meant to be everywhere you are. 

 

Every Object has a story- The Etihad Boarding Pass



I always wondered what would be the name of the driver who drives the bus, what would be the name of the locopilot who steers the train and the pilot who navigates the plane. Luckily, in flights, there's announcement of names and I write down the names of the Captain, 1st officer and cabin crew, in a hope to meet them again. 

Geneva Journals- Spring Concert


Paul, Celine have started the idea of having music inititative. I like the way they wanted to institutionalise the idea and carry it forward. After few months, here we are with the new inititative at the institute. 

James encouraged me to be part of it. I don't know why he wanted to encourage me. Despite a lot of criticism, I took a step and enrolled for the performance. Adhira, at the end pushed a bit to decide if I want to perform or not. At the end of the day, I walked in with alot of jitters and parched throat. I read out the translation and performed. 

Glad to have Snigdha, Sanjna, Shruti, Poorvi, Wangchuk, Gayatri, Adhira, Anjali & Epsa cheering up(or atleast I believe) with their smiles. Will sing and hum more often that I do now, thanks to the new confidence I got now. 

Also, I met an artist, who shared the art project he was working on. He shared a book with a few pens, colours, stickers and asked me to fill the space. Also, he requested, if he can click a picture of mine while I"m at the task. He wanted to interact with public and also ask them to creat art in his book. Interesting idea to work on. Thanks Music Initiative, had a great time. 


Saturday, June 1, 2024

Quote of the day- Shelja Sen

 "The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voices, the way we talk about them becomes their life stories."

    

                                                                                                                    -Shelja Sen 



Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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 to trust others than trust ourselves. However, I realised that we can trust others only to the extent of how much we trust ourselves. We reflect our inner life in the outer world. Trust yourself and the world will trust you. 





Monday, May 27, 2024

Geneva Journals- The Open Wine Cellar Day

My next door neighbour, T was up for a wine tasting experience at Geneva. Geneva Canton, along with few partners hosted a Open wine cellar day where we can walk into the wine cellars and try out different wine at different places in Geneva Canton. 

At ease, we started day and headed to Cornavin to get onto the train. It seemed like whole Geneva is on it's way to the wine cellars. We got down at Satigny and walked to register ourselves and received an engraved wine glass- Swiss Wine. We walked down and tried out different wine. Over a walk, we went to a cellar. Sometimes with a conversations and some silences, we walked across sharing our lives. We tried out different wines, trying to get the texture, taste and fragrance of it. The attentive and attuned you are, the differences one could experience in different wine. Sometimes by colour, sometimes by name, we tried  out white, red and rose wine. 

A few wine barrels seemed vintage. The vintage barrels got a feel where as the iron breweries have a stern feel to it. 

Over the slim french fries under a sunny afternoon, we talked and talked. I like how the conversations were just flowing. Returned and headed to Al Beyrouth for a shawarma. After having a nice shawarma, we got back to home, greeting each other to finish the all the work before the deadlines. Good day. 

Geneva Journals- The Dinner Table Conversations

There are a very few people with whom I have confidence to share the food I cook. I called S & T over a dinner and the conversations flowed. I love the naturality they bring in the conversations and the ease with which we talk of anything and everything under the sun. Talking of vivid dreams to what it takes to grow as a person we spoke for hours. I go back and forth in stories, sometimes narrating a decade old stories with vivid details. As I'm currently inspired by the concept of time. It's interesting how we visualise 'time' with or without bringing numbers into the imagination. 


Music- Preme Pora Baron

I have no discrimination amongst languages. Thanks to my Dad who showed great enthusiasm when he was trasnferred to Tamil Nadu. He learned the language quickly and got imbibed with people, culture and their customs. Embracing a new language, I got introduced to it's songs, culture and alot more about stories revolving around it. I do not remember how I picked interest in Bangla. I had interest in the life of Rabindranath Tagore. To know more about him, I wanted to know about the land he lived. Eventually, I invested my time in Bangla stories and songs. I got introduced to Ray movies and watched a few classics. Over the years, I met a lot of friends who introduced me to some good music, movies and stories. I was happy to receive a bangla suggestion from a friend and I began to listen to a few of my favorites from Bangla. Today's Bangla song of the day is Preme Pora Baron.




Sunday, May 26, 2024

Book- Saphar- A culinary adventure through Afghanistan

Shabon has this book and lent me generously to check it out. As I glanced through this book, I was swept away by the photographs. I'm amused by the lands of Afghanistan. I get reminded of the stories I read of Afghanistan and the people I met. As I went through the recipes, there's a lot of similar food we share. Be it the Shami kabab, Sambosa,Pakwara, Zarda Palaw, Simyan, and a lot. I enjoyed reading this book thoroughly. One way to keep the recipes alive. 

The way one keeps the recipes alive is through oral tradition. As people move, I also contemplated on the thought of helping each other in cooking food. When we ask for help, I always get the suggestion of source- Youtube. I am not averse to the idea of learning through Youtube but, learning other's way and through shared experience really enhances the way we learn. So thanks to all people who give an advice of youtube. 

Along with dishes, author takes us to the places of Afghanistan with the tales from her childhood and the tales she listened from those places. Be it the about the orange orchards of Jalalabad, the fairy tale of Band-e-Amir. A good read


Geneva Journals- Walk the Talk by WHO

World Health Organisation is organising Walk the Talk- Health for all challenge, a walk event joined by UN family, people from Geneva and all walks of life. I met Arabelle, Franc and found familiar faces at the run. The walk began after Tedro's speech. Tedros was mentioning how his team members make him look good by all their work. Good to see him appreciating his teammates at the big stage. I walked around and found many stalls promoting their work in the health field. I was impressed by 1.8 billion for change- PMNCH, the world’s largest alliance for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and well-being. I tried my hand at hoop, shooting basketball. 

As the walk began, the drummers walked along, cheering people with their beats. These percussionists cheered the crowd, walking along. Psycodrummers, they are called. Loved their percussion. 

Pumped up by the beats, we walked across and reached WHO head quarters. There, I tried my hand at boxing and was excited to throw some punches. After a quick run, returned home with a few goodies. Thanks WHO for the run, enjoyed it. 

Friday, May 24, 2024

Thoughts- Solitude and Boredom

How does one stay in boredom? To be able to entertain oneself by an observer of one's own thoughts, one can be bored. To be bored, one needs to enjoy their own thoughts. Even if it's shallow or negative or wild or positive thoughts. If one can sit and witness their own thoughts and get entertained by it. One can be bored for long time. And to stay bored is not easy. Right now in this world, we have everything to beat the boredom. 


Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Thoughts- Time and Priorities

The lesson I learnt early in my college days is about not complaining that 'I don't have time.' I still learning to practice this. I stop myself whenever I tell myself, I don't have time. 

It's all about priorities. When I find a lot of people complaining 'I don't have time,' what it really means is, they don't have priority for what they don't have time. 

We prioritse tasks, people, events, work based on different reasons. When we get our priorities right, we get our time for the tasks we wish to do. For all the things we don't have time for are not on our priority list. It's time to look at our priorities than the clock. 


 

Music- Find You by Pineapple Express



Balaji and Veda got this music curated in one of their wedding video. I missed attending their wedding and whenever I watch this, I feel very warm recollecting a lot of memories. I love the sargam portion of this song a lot. Now on loop. Find you by Pineapple express. 

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Geneva Journals- The Biryani Night

Rayana and Khanh planned for Biryani and invited me for the party. Since december we've been planning to catching up over dinners and finally I could make it. 

R always brings out the question of which is the best biryani? Question which doesnt' have one answer. She feels, it's Kolkata Biryani. I say, 'we can talk about it.' Without talking much, we delved into the dinner. Mahnoor got Raita, Rayana along with Khanh cooked the biryani.

James, Angello, Khanh, Advaita, Ann, Shalaka, Sohini, Christian, Michael, Jenny, Mahnoor, Anthony and others joined. Great fun. 

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Soliloquies- The memorable day

The moment I saw the date 18.May.2024 I felt that there's a lot of importance to this day. I was struggling to recollect the exact details. I began the day with writing, painting and headed to the institute. Also, today is the day, I was clearing up my Empty Spaces-Flow exhibtion from the venue. 

Exactly, last year, My 4th book- Colourless was published by Indialog Publishers and was out in the market. 18.May.2023 was the day when I had my 4th book out for the world to witness. A memorable day indeed. 

I remember sharing the news with the lovedones and being grateful throughout for the journey it took me since 2022. 

Flash forward to May.18.2024 I was clearing out my art works from the venue. Closing up the exhibition, I could recollect all the memories that were associated with this exhibition. In october, I hosted my first exhibition and in subsequent months, I hosted another one and created all the works in Geneva. 

How did I do it? I don't know. Grateful to Ann who walked in on the first day to support me and helped me in setting it up. When I felt I need help, I could reach out to her and she graciously joined and helped me in clearing it out. 

The act of leaving things gives a silence. The empty space again. The journey continues. Grateful. 


A new KO-FI Journey

If I knew that I'd never fail, what would I do?

I'd write, paint, share stories. Believing in it, I've decided to sign up on the platform, Ko-Fi and see where this journey takes me. Here's the link to my profile. 

https://ko-fi.com/abhinayrenny

Friday, May 17, 2024

Thoughts- The time, trends and the trails

 As I've been over stimulated by the information load through Instagram, I deactivated from the application for good time. This is not the first time, I am out of the application. Back in 2019, I was away from it for nearly 6 months and life was simple and great. As I got out of the application, a lot of conversations seemed to be on what they've seen on the social media screens. Oblivious of the stories, I had to come up with a lot of basic questions to the people. 

Talking about my absence on social media, I mentioned that I'm regular at blogging. 'That's so 2005' remarked a friend. Instagram and TikTok is the trend now! suggested friend. 

I do not have any fear of missing out on those applications and especially, I pondered on how medium matters. With new applications, there's a lot demand for our attention. At this point of time, I realised that I'm very sensitive to information over load through these social mediums which is affecting my thought patterns. I strongly believe that there's going to be a dialogue on technology hygiene in coming years. 200 years ago, health hygiene in hospitals was a new concept and now we take it as a granted one. 

For the sake of my technology hygiene, I've deactivated my social media accounts, started spending more time on my art pursuits and other physical activities. 




Movie- Manjummel Boys

Malayalam.2024. 

Spending time at home, very casually, I scrolled through the apps and got onto this movie. Manjummel Boys is a survival thriller based out of a real story. In 2006, a group of boys from arts club visit Kodaikanal from Kochi. On suggestion, they visit Guna Caves- caves which got famous after Kamal Hassan's movie shooting. One of them in the group suggests to enter the prohibited area. As they explore the prohibited areas, one of them fall into a hole by accident. That place also had another name- The Devil's kitchen. Whoever has fallen never survived as it's a steep cave. and how the group saves them is the movie. It was a difficult one to watch as I got reminded of all my friends who gave up their lives to save the other friends. Very moving. 



Music- Lakshminarayana Shankar - All for you (India Fusion)


S shared a piece on Saxophone. Amused by the instrument, I was browsing music that comprises of Saxophone and got stumbled by this piece from the album- Vision. 

Got hooked to this piece and L Shankar's music.  

Soliloquies - Decluttering the Space

There's no rigid version of oneself. As I wake up every day, I feel there's a new moment. In the past few days, I observe myself to keep places organised. I like my studio to be functional with all the art supplies in hand where as I wish my writing desk to be clear of any clutter. It's okay to keep the art studio messy and it's okay to keep the writing desk organised. Picking inspiration to be okay with all versions of myself, I decluttered my wardrobe and kitchen space. 

I realised that there's space for every version of our selves. There's no point in rejecting any version of ourselves due to any reason.

Geneva Journals- LaFarce Haul

After several weeks, I'm back to LaFarce. Over a cloudy day, I headed to LaFarce, walking across the streets to the library. I went to the library and found some nice children literature. A few hardcovers and as well as Trevor Noah's- Born a Crime. Headed to LaFarce and was welcomed by a whole new orientation of the place. Had a quick errands, picked Crepe and headed to Lidl. A few veggies, I was out greeting people who came across my way. Under the rainy weather, I carried my groceries, veggies and got down at Place De Neuve. Boarded the bus and walked home, sharing a conversation with Jian, french class friend. Good day. 



Thursday, May 16, 2024

Soliloquies- Attention

I contemplated on the question of what's the best gift one can give to others and themselves?

I realised, it's attention. Being attentive to others and to ourselves is the big act, gift we have. I felt that there's a lot that I'm missing out by not being attentive. Do we need to be attentive to everything that's out there? How do we learn to be attentive to what needs to be attended? 

For me, for now, my body, my thoughts, my emotions, the flower, the sky, the rain, the lake, the water, the bed, the food I eat, the house I live in needs my attention. 

Let me see where I'm paying my attention during the beginning and ending of the day. 




Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Conversations - Amman Madan with Avijith Pathak

 



I know Amman Madan through a few conflict resolution courses I've attended. I'm grateful to spend some time and listen to him sharing his thoughts. Through this conversation, I got introduced to intellectual, Avijith Pathak. I'm so happy to hear them speak how art and sciences are so intertwined rather than seperate silos. 

Speaking of Avijith's education journey, I'm amused how he emphasizes on the quest of learning throughout life rather than study merely for some exams or validation from the society. 



Movie- Matti Kusthi


Aishwarya Lekshmi as Keerthi is starred as a wrestler in the movie. Everyone are afraid to get hitched to Keerthi. As her father struggles with ill health and emotionally blackmails for a marriage, she agrees to confirm to few lies and gets married to the Veera acted by Vishnu Vishal. He wants an obedient, illiterate woman as his wife. Quite contrasting to the well educated, wrestler Keerthi. They get married and how they manage to keep up with the lies and confront themselves is the movie. Enjoyed watching it.

Geneva Journals- The Badminton Hustle

End of the semester, deadlines of thesis submissions and a lot more. However, Shruti, Snigdha, Varun, Wangchuk, Bhhavya walked into play badminton. I like it when people balance it out and play games rather than fretting out for nothing.  Played couple of games and enjoyed the hustle. 

As the days are getting longer, I didn't realise that it's 8pm when we began to play. Good way to call it a day.


Saturday, May 4, 2024

Soliloquies- The Termites treat

A shared how much she reads daily as a part of her reading. The number is always a double digit and some times hits three digits as well. I pondered on how academia has the power to nurture and also kill the act of reading for pleasure. One can either derive pleasure from the act of reading irrespective of what they're reading. Also, one can approach reading as a pursuit to gain something out of it. 

Thinking on reading, I approached to my shelves wondering what books I would pick up to read, glance through. I reached out to the books to find that termites had eaten a lot of my books. Noticing Lang Leave's poetry completely eaten by termites, I couldn't feel a thing. As I began to look at the books, The ivory throne, a big bulky book is completely gone. A.R.Rahman's Spirit of Music is eaten out, Charles Bukowski's poems is gone, All the light we cannot see, Emma Davis poetry and alot more is gone. 

M's birthday gift, Musicophilia is gone. As I looked at the books, I prayed that my journals remain safe. I can buy the printed word but not my own written words. I kept removing the books and parents began to ponder on the utility of the books. I prioritsed books over clothes for all these years. I consider my books as basics and hoarded a lot of books. Losing them to termites, I was unable to respond to the situation. In the past, one of my friend was overwhelmed to find most of her books eaten by termites. I stay in the question of what it is to lose and how a mere object turns into a precious memory. I was sad to lose books that were gifted rather than bought on my own. A lot of my friends gifted books thoughtfully with lot of love. Parting ways with them reminded me of Anchal's book- Remnants of a Seperation. 

As I went through each book to find if it's spoiled by termites. 

We got a iron rack to place all the books at one place. The one that I had in Jaipur house. Books are placed at one place. Hope no visitors walk in and borrow the books and never return. 


Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Music- Vinyl Stories

S invited me over coffee to chat and share stories. As I walked in, I felt home. I pondered on the question of what makes us feel home? The familiar patterns, the familiar aesthetics. Does familiarity brings us closer to home? Also, as he got the Vinyl, he began to play Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Saab's music. 



Monday, April 22, 2024

Thoughts- Authenticity and flow

At every situation, we have a choice of being ourselves or block ourselves from being what we believe. I realised that it takes a lot of energy to not be ourselves and it doesn't even make us feel better. The world needs us and what we bring into this world rather than fit into other's expectations.  

Being authentic seems to be a presence of flow. There's no point of blocking the flow and suppressing ourselves. 





Sunday, April 21, 2024

Travel Tales- Flaneur

I have travelled a lot of places for a different reasons. And everytime I've been learning different ways of traveling. Just before I began to travel a bit of Europe, I attended a lecture by Brindusa on 'Contextualising ME in the world' by Brindusa. She emphasized on the concept of Flaneur, the act of strolling the spaces being an acute observer, without any other purpose. Also she suggested to create some rules on our own to follow and immerse onself in the act of strolling. 

I began to contemplate on the act of strolling and sensing the spaces in our own ways. When I landed in Leuven, I decided to create a rule on my own and stroll around. 

1) Turn Towards A- Whenver I notice the first alphabet of the word to be A, I turn towards it. 

I didn't think much about creating a rule and I began to contemplate on how I may immerse myself in noticing only the alphabets. In the beginning, I was always noticing the text and ignored anything around as I walked. As I began to notice the alphabet-A and turn towards it, I was wondering If i'd be missing out other places because of the rule I've created. As I turn towards new streets and look for the alphabet-'A' again, I was sensing the place, people, texture of the buildings with keen attention. After a little bit of distance I noticed 'A' again and turned. There were times where I had to turn thrice in less than a minute and such turns/changes were too fast to grasp. I was feeling my discomfort with the quick change. Where will this take me? Why can't I visit any famous monument and sit there? I thought. I continued walking and didn't force myself to look for A. I immersed myself to observe the place and ran into different sculptures, garden and got interested in it's stories. Eventually, I forgot the pressure of looking for A. As I kept walking, If I looked at A, I turned and if not, I continued to walk as my feet took me. There seems to be an act of surrender in this type of traveling. Had fun and explored the place in different way. 



2) Take a turn whenever there's one 

As I reached Ghent, a port and university city, it has a rich history as it was capital of flemish region. With port on it's side there are a lot of Canals in the town. With little bridges, there are a lot of junctions and connecting roads. Walking in the town, I came up with the rule- 'Take a turn whenever there's one' Spending some time on Ghent, the rule came very naturally sensing the turns and connecting roads. Following the rule, I visited a lot of bookshops, thrift shops, cafes and old buildings. I realised how our idea of success is always straight. All the rules seems to teach me the act of surrendering and navigating in life. I never felt I'm missing out experiences and important monuments due to this travel, as I embarked on the famous cathedral and market squares naturally. 

3) Song suggestions and Stations

I have a travel pass where I can get on any train in Belgium for a limited time. I had an option of traveling to a certain place and spending time or hop on trains and arrive at any town and stroll around. Why do we always have to reach the famous places, who makes places famous, I pondered. 

I hardly use social media when I'm traveling. To be more open rather than judgemental about anything, I decided to use social media in this trip. I asked my friends to share their favourite songs. Whenever, I notice the first alphabet of the song, I'd get off the train and take a new one. Seemed very interesting. I received my first suggestion and got off the train. I also realised, I can't spend much time waiting, I need to get on the next available train. Thanks to my data network, I was solely relying on the train wifi. Hence, I was not keen to check social media whenever I was on train between the stations. I checked my phone only when I reached any particular station. I changed 7 trains while I got a chance to meet my senior by coincidence. I got off the train,went ahead to meet my senior and spent 3 hours catching up on our journeys and resumed my journey. It seemed worthwhile rule as I met my senior, serendipituously. 

4) Don't wait too long. Move forward. 

I began my journey in the wallonia region of Belgium and was amused to travel through the hilly region. As I reached the border of Belgium and Luxembourg, I walked out of the station and got on to the bus provided by Luxembourg. In Luxembourg, the public transport is free for everyone. I got onto the bus at Gouvy and traveled through Luxembourg. I was amazed by the nature and weather. It's a small country with places that can reached within 40-50 minutes. Everywhere I went, I waited less than 4 minutes and got onto the bus that's heading to a different place. Like that, I ended up entering Germany as well. I met interesting people and travelers on my way. It's another story for another day. By evening, I ended up at Bastogne, the place where battle of bulge is fought. Watching Band of Brothers- HBO Mini series on war, I have a lot of affinity to these places. So happy to end up here. I'm glad I kept moving forward and embraced the experiences.

In retrospect, all the rules seem trivial but, they are very close and relatable to whatever is happening in my life. Very intuitively, listening to the inner voices, I came up with these rules and explored the places. Now, it's time to travel inwards and outwards trusting our voices rather than relying on some external fears and standards set by others. 





Travel Tales- Amsterdam

Friends ask me how people strike a conversation deeply the minute, they cross paths with me. I don't have an answer but my experiences push me to continue to trust as I cross paths.

On a windy day, I strolled in the streets of Amsterdam, just returning from a windmill's place where I was intentional in celebrating friends' birthdays who are far away across the sea.

Passing the canals, I kept strolling, absorbing the space and the sounds it had to offer. There's a lot of hustle and crowd. I kept walking watching around. Suddenly, I saw an art gallery and entered it without a second thought.  I was awestruck by the paintings.An intimate experience to see the paintings all by myself without any distraction. Later, a lady walked in striking a conversation.

We began our conversation on how intimate and vulnerable the works are. Proud of her husband's work, she shared the stories behind the paintings. 10 minutes into conversation, Amy shared her teenage love story of how she met Tim when she was 19 and how she decided that he's her man.

Trying to be as attentive as possible, I listened to her and was keen to know her honestly.

She said,"you are the first person to witness these works of Tim before it's out for the exhibition. A lot of them are already sold. None of the buyers got to see the originals. You just saw the originals and read his words."

Besides being the kindest, humble soul, he's the art director of Imagine Dragons. Imagine Dragon's works and concerts has his works. An acclaimed artist. Having a chance to interact with his work in such a special way, Amy&i knew it's a special moment. Why did she trust me to check his work before the exhibition unveils? I don't know.

I felt grateful to have such an encounter. As Tim arrived when Amy and I were into conversation, we exchanged a lot of heartfelt conversations. We spoke about their early days, inspirations, frame hunts, lonely nights spent in paintings and a lot more. Before I left, I got the first copies of his works in print,signed.

Again, do they need to gift me before the exhibition even gets started? I don't know.

Having such heartfelt deep conversations, I intend to interact with utmost honesty and attention whenever I cross paths. It's sad to miss those in-person conversations with the loved ones for strange and range of reasons.

Geneva Journals- The Jardin Walk and Coppet Train

Over a leisure, we walked to the near by garden and got amused by the trees. Jardin Botanique has been my go to place whenever I have to unwind and stroll amidst the trees.  I got on train for the first time from the Graduate Institute, Geneva

Monday, April 15, 2024

Memories- April 15

Now a days, every date reminds me of a memory. On April 15,2022 I was heading to Uttarkhand and that's when I've decided to work on Colourless. A strong wish to publish the work. Azhar, Shankar, Aman were present at my place and before I leave my home, I was continuously painting and when I met Jeet to board bus for Uttarakhand, I shared my desire to create a work where my poems and paintings are published. He keenly listening and a year later, the dream became a reality. Grateful for these experiences. 

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Universe of Music- A R Rahman


 He's always evolving and emptying his cup. Grateful to have him and be a life long learner. 



Friday, March 29, 2024

Memories- This day.Those Years-What time is it?

As I look at the calendar, the date flashes a lot of memories. March.23.2024. As I try to spend each day counting the blessings and abundance, every day reminds me of special memory, meet, event that goes back all the way to till 2016. It's been 8 years. Eight different years, eight different memories. There's innate optimism that life becomes expansive as it always did in the month of march. 

23.March 2016 & the week

I got an invite to attend the TED anchorship program co-hosted by Infosys Mysore. I was in my last semester of college and I got a chance to be a guest at Infosys. This experience has helped me to connect with people from different industries. I got inspired by people who are committed to build communities, share ideas worth spreading. Behind every compelling talk one sees on youtube, there's a team and curators who are passionate about ideas and the urge to bring it out on a larger platform. I remember catching up with Sahil, Sharanya, Sahana, Venkat, Hetvee, Santosh, Shyam, Anthony, Ekta, Vivek, Ranjit bhai, Amanda and many more people. We played a lot of Mafia. I returned to Hyderabad with a lot of energy pushing people to play mafia rather than work for the D-day. Many moments were made. 

23.March 2017 & the week

I joined my first job at Tata Consultancy services. Living in Bangalore for long time, returning to Hyderabad to work was close to me. Also, this was first of a lot of things. First job. First paycheck. First training. Also, during this week, TEDx VNRVJIET 2nd edition was being hosted. It was special to walk through the journey. Vineeth, Samhita, Vijay, Shreya, Sloka, Sruthi, Samanvith, Vedavrath, Meghana pulled it off brilliantly. Way better than how I did it. I also get reminded of my first meet with my first boss-Aravind. I remember borrowing Man's search for Meaning by Victor Frank L book from him. 

23.March 2018 & the week

3rd edition of TEDxVNRVJIET was organised. One year into job, I was contemplating on what I love and what I like. I was learning alot in the job. Thanks to Aravind, I was picking on the lifelessons shared by him.Also, trying to sense the world in my own ways- hitchhiking, asking, traveling, talking. I was trying to do what I love and love what I do rather complain about it. I was learning to be contended with what I have and still seek for the abundance I desire. There seemed to be a slight difference in wanting things with a happy heart rather than a sense of lack-attitude. 

23.March 2019 & the week

A lot of important life events were happening as every year did. I quit the job and was traveling to Rajasthan for fellowship. 3rd book of mine- The Wordless Conversation after a gap of 3 years was getting released. 


Travel tales- The Last minute Preparation

Planning to travel is a very intense task as it takes a lot of energy to move. Wherever I live in a certain place, I call it a home. And leaving the home for certain time drained me a lot in the past as I've to change the routine once in 3 weeks. As I got ready to travel again for long time, I got reminded of the days when I clean my house before I leave. I used to wonder whom am I cleaning the home for. When I leave, I clean the home and return after two to three weeks. As there'd be people who clean the space I used to live for three weeks, I get used and I don't clean the home. The moment I had to leave, I realise that no one would clean the space and I have to clean it by myself and I hurry to clean it. 

The pattern just got repeated. I cleaned it and got late to bed and rushed to the airport. Hope I change the pattern soon. 


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 ...