Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Geneva Journals- The New Empty Space

I found out this new place where people can gather and create art, share conversations and do workshops on ideas, crafts one is interested in. 

I walked in with my painting gear. So far, I've visited UN spaces, institute, galleries, clubs but this space reminded me of Lamakaan of Hyderabad. Artists from different walks of life gather and share their evening over food, drinks and colours. I had a bit of food whose name I'm not aware of. Just before I was leaving, I got a chance to interact with founders of this space. A year ago, it was started by four friends and are consistent at hosting this space. Interested to check this space and catch up with more people. 

Composed this piece in the new empty space

The New Empty Space

Geneva Journals- Nuit Electro Acoustique

When I found out about a night full of electro acoustic performances from 7PM to 4 AM. I was excited and went ahead to check it out and reached the 6 Roofs- The Laboratory of living arts. 

Zeynep Toraman's composition

As I walked in, got my ticket, a stamp on the wrist and reached into a dark room.  Musicians were behind the screen performing the piece composed by Zeynep Toraman. A lot of abstract visuals were played out infront of them. I noticed that none of them were recording it on their phone. They seemed to be attentive to the experience rather than rushing to make it as a memory. I was the only one trying to record a moment here and there. It was a melancholic ecstatic performance. 

The Solo Cellist

Halim El Dabh's session

After that performance, I walked to Athanor, to witness the performance of 4 cellist. Surrounded by 4 cellist on 4 sides, we sat around them and witnessed the performance. It was thunderous and therepeautic. I noticed that the average age group of attendees are 40. There are some outliers in the group like me and few other people. 

Raed Yassin's Disco
There were 3 other music installations under 3 different roofs. Halim El Dabh's compositions on vinyl record was being played out in the room with room full of summer/beach chairs. It got reminded me of equinox performance I attended in the month of september. 

Wassim Halal with his ensemble

Another two installations consisted of video with a lot of abstract visuals. Raed Yasin's installation consisted of several videos with one narrative. Narrative of artist's memories and his past. Soon after checking out the installations, we were ready for another live performance. While waiting for the performance, got a chance to catch up with one of the audience who's enthusiastic of art and culture. Stories were exchanged and we discussed our first year experience of Geneva. 

Thriller Performance

Concert by Wassim Halal along with music ensemble consisted of Harp, flute, violin, Darbuka, Japanese drums, percussion and a lot of electro synthesizers. This performance has pushed my imagination of rhythm and scale. Rhythm is dependent on time. In a stretch of 40 minute performance, a few snippets seemed noise but in a larger canvas, everything was rhythmic and had a melody. Witnessing this electro acoustic performance has stretched my imagination and perception of sound, music & noise. Glad I attended this. 

Checked in at the multiple venues

With 20 minute break, there was a repeat show of the same set. I couldn't stop myself from attending this. I took my front seat and waited to witness the magic trying to immerse myself and be as attentive as possible. 

Soon after the performance, I got a chance to catch up with a french speaking person who translated the words of Wassim and shared a bit about music ensemble, and about the music being played. She also helped me in moving to the other venue. 

Along with other participants we moved to Cave 12, a 20 minute walk from the first venue. It's a dingy warm cellar with a lot of bass and DJ sets. Right at 12:45 am, the musicians walked in with their bass, clarinet, horn and other instruments. Good evening Geneva, said the DJ at 1 am. The evening seemed to be started just now. 

I could imagine these musicians learning the instrument in a traditional classic way. The sound I hear is a challenge to the conditioning of the sounds we hear from these instruments. Very interesting experience. 

I was surprised to see the veterans and 40 year old of various genders partying all night. I didn't expect this age group to be this active at this hour. After spending an hour, I couldn't stay awake till 4 am and walked out of the venue, thrilled by this new immersive experience. 

The last set of the night,morning?

Geneva Journals- The Dinner Table Conversations

Ever since we got winter break, S became a regular kitchen companion, sharing stories and food. He walked into the room sharing what he's been upto. Over stories, we walked over Geneva to check out light festival. The play of light, sound through different mediums was intriguing. I was thrilled to see the possibility of developing aesthetic sense and public interaction through public spaces. 

Over a walk, we walked into Al-Amir and had a shawarma. Thanks S for walking along and treating me with good food. We treated ourselves with Baklawa to sweeten the dinner and reached home to cook chole. Over some science facts and stories, we cooked chole, rice and discussed what move us. Both of us agreed on 'stories.' Stories brings us together and stories create us. 

Abstract Sky

I feel contended. Good day. 

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Music- Soothing Melody

The soothing raw voice of Hardik Chauhan, accompanied with chorus and the church bells. Mesmerising. 

Art- The Emotional Suppression

Expression of Suppression.

Being aware of our own emotions is journey that's so rich and fulfilling. Suppressing emotions seems to block the flow of life. How often do we suppress our emotions? How often do we get confused between expressing emotions and being aware of our own emotions. How often do we get confused in what emotions we are exactly feeling?

Soliloquies- Technology Hygiene

Just like health hygiene, there could be technology hygiene for well being. There are a lot of hard and fast tips out there but, we can be aware of what we are badly affected with and follow what suits us rather than try following hard and fast tips. A few basic technology hygiene stuff I practice:

1) Turn the screen grayscale. I'm very much affected by the digital colours on phone. With one toggle, I can turn the phone screen grayscale to colour. So, the default mode of my phone is grayscale and whenever I want to click pictures or use financial applications. 

2) In and Out Home Screen: I have only few apps on my home screen where I use them for functional purposes and get out of the apps afte use. Like Maps, Recorder, Notes and a few other essential apps I presume(Music player). I avoid app which has the function of browsing through and surfing through (photo galleries, browser, social media apps etc..)

3) Turn off Notifications: I do not have notifications for any social media ,mail & messenger apps. The only notifications are of finanical apps and normal messaging app. 

4)Black Background: Any shift in this makes me go crazy. It's been 6 years and my background is still the same. 

5)Single Ringtone: It's been more than 14 years since I hadn't changed my ringtone. Pray for me brother by A R Rahman has been my ringtone for more than a decade. Just to distinct the personal and professional calls, I've added another tune- Antonia Vivaldi Primavera. Haven't changed it since 6 years. 

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Geneva Journals- The Trio's long Walk

 Last year, on January 15, I was at home applying for ihied and stressing on the payment and deadlines. Flashforward to this year, I'm in Geneva. A lot happens in a year. Being grateful about it, I wished to celebrate this day. Also, it happened to be pongal. I invited Luana, Shivam, Ann to celebrate this day. Ann got stuck in work and there at GM, Luana, Shivam and I were celebrating pongal by relishing on pongal, mango pickle, banana chips and some other side dishes. Over the conversations on mangoes, rubber plantations and some other stories, we finished the lunch. After a long time, we were welcomed by Sun for a while. 

As i suggested for a long walk, being nice guests, Luana and Shivam agreed and walked with me to Sunflower field. Picking on the snow fights and appreciating the poetics of leafless trees, we walked till the sunflower field. Though, it's an empty field, I always call it a sunflower field as I first saw it as sunflower field. 

We walked past the field, having Shivam in between Luana and myself, hitting each other with snow. Strolling across the field, we walked to another snowy field with a beautiful sunrise point. Having Shivam as the silent listener, Luana and I talked incessantly and decided to walk across the creeks. Over the walks, the snow fights continued and captured the visuals of a few poetree and leafless trees. 

We walked past two cute dogs, one named, Yaiki and other dog with a blue nose. During the last leg of the walk, we played counting colours game where we had to spot the artefacts with the colour that's suggested by one of them. It was almost a 6 km walk. I wonder if Luana and Shivam ever show up with me for a walk. 

Movie- Three of Us

 Shailaja, at the onset of her dementia wishes to visit a city or town, in which she studied for 4 years. Along with her husband, she visits this small town and relives the old memories and catch up with her childhood love, Pradeep and gets a closure after 28 years. With the constant sounds of sea in the background, shailaja reveals her life in depth- the death of her sister, movement in life, the tension between the couple. I got reminded of the documentary- A man with seven second memory. After every seven seconds, he forgets whatever he remembers. He constantly tells himself that he's alive. Nevertheless he remembers the music composition he wrote and composed decades ago. 

What do we keep alive, thanks to our unforgetfulness?

What do we wish to forget but our bodies remember?

A good movie to contemplate on memories and forgetfulness and the life that happens in between the dichotomy. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Geneva Journals- Day 16- The France Haul

Shivam suggested to visit france to check out the biggest market where everything is cheap. I was curious to find out these new places but, alas he took me to my weekly grocery store- Carrefour. Excited Shivam was keen to buy a lot of things. Luana was curious but was sure of her purchases. I was excited to find the journals I wanted were back in stock. I got a plenty of them and suggested Luana and Shivam to pick one for them. Further, we walked around searching for french pharamacies and walked across the cute french ferney mairie, named after the philosopher Ferney Voltaire. 

Geneva Journals- Mireille- The Opera

I've attended my first ever french opera show in Geneva. A 3 hour musical show in the grand Victoria Hall. As I collected my ticket from the counter and walked to the gallery, I was escorted to my seat. Caught up with a data scientist who spent 2 years in Geneva and said, 'it was not easy to settle in' when I asked his first year Geneva experience. Wondering how everyone finds their way to settle in a new place. 

As the show started, the musicians were in place and the conductor swayed his hands- the start of the show. With Van gogh's paintings as background and subtitles in french and English, the actors played a brilliant show. I watched the show for 2 hours without a break. The actors managed to pull of the show with such intensity that I never felt it's too long. I loved the music and the transitions with a lot of chorus in between. I loved the attire of all the actors, musicians as well. Had a lovely time at Victoria Hall. Would love to catch up at more musical events in 2024. A great way to begin 2024. 

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Geneva Journals- Day14

It's so nice to have holidays after such a long time. The last time I had this stretch of holidays was during college. I do not remember how I used to spend holidays. These days, I'm trying to spend most of the time in bed and rest of the day goes into painting, writing and cooking. Today, I woke up at 11.24 am and managed to start the day. I've realised that as I begin my day,  I'm unable to stretch myself and go out for a walk due to cold. A to and fro walk in the little room I got, I started my day with songs, and breakfast. As soon as it's already past 12, I meditated for a while and began to paint. As an artist, how much time do I spend for myself and my art? How do I see my art? How do I let my art communicate with me? Delving in these questions and ideas, I continued to work on my art, caught up on few calls and began to write for a while. 

Before the days got darkened, the sky turned dark blue. I was there for a while witnessing the dark blue sky and humming my favourite songs. Lovely evening to witness the skies. An evening into writing and early dinner. Day well spent. 

My Art Manifesto- Empty Spaces Mayanadhi

My life has always been filled with a lot of synchrony. Thanks to dear friend S, who pointed out that in my life and helped me appreciate it in life. As my artistic endeavour, I hosted exhibition Empty Spaces Mayanadhi during my first semester and when I had to write a paper for one of my courses, my professor mentioned about my exhibition and asked me to write the creative process behind it and an art manifesto. Writing about my art process helped me to reflect on how I look at at my art and it's relation with myself.

Here's my art manifesto as of January 2024. 

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Movie- Ticket to Paradise

 Julia Roberts and George Clooney as divorced parents travel to Bali to sabotage their daughter's wedding. In return, they get reunited under right time, right place and right circumstances. Loved watching Julia and George on screen. Also, the Bali is so impressive and I wonder what it is to live on an island rather than visit it as tourist. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Thoughts- Writing heals

Whenever I felt intense, whenever I felt sad, whenever I felt I have guilt, i'm planning to write and actually spent a lot of time writing. Writing helps you to get our thoughts out of the mind and place it on the paper than revolve around with our thoughts which can sabotage us. As we keep writing, thoughts evolve and make peace with the past and our present. 

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Poem- Chains of Freedom


Listening to Aangan by Khwaab, I got reminded of these words I penned in 2017. Chains of Freedom. 

Geneva Journals- The Circus Noel

Argha invited me to catch up at Plainpalais for the fair. Both of us headed from our place and caught up with Luana, Ann, Shivam, Pratha & Ashish. All of us walked across the fair watching the glowy lights and childrens' smiles. I got reminded of the last time I went to such place with Srikanth in Jaipur. 

Strolling amidst the crowd, all of them decided to try some of the rides. All of us got onto the pendulum ride while Pratha waited for us from outside. I was not keen to get onto it but, later I decided to jump on risking my heart. Riding high and swinging up, I could only hum the song I've been listening to for days. I got reminded of A.R's birthday and hummed a bit of his tunes as well. Celebrating Rahman's birthday at peaks!

Later, we got onto bumper car, bumping to the other cars while doing head bangs to spanish and brazillian music. Spotted few lads, father-daughter duo and friends beaming with smiles to let go of themselves and play around. Fun stuff. 

With few minutes break, florida's music dragged us to another ride. Shivam and I spent the ride reciting our favourite shayari. A few of my favorite are- I stroll in your city of love. 

"Tumhari pyaar se guzar jaaye, isme raza kya hai
  Tu ek shyaam yu baatle, usme guna kya hai"

After headspinning words and ride, we walked around and called it a day. Fun day. 

Movie- Kho Gaye Hum Kahan

 Three friends, Neil, Aahana, Imaad in their 20s strive to make a life in Mumbai and are often lost in their phones, which affects their relations. Be it with the family, friends, loved ones. They struggle to be vulnerable yet wants to be connected and seek for the vulnerability. At the end, after all the ups and downs, they learn to be grateful and try to look within rather than seek validation. Good watch. 

Friday, January 5, 2024

Music- Sharing and Suggestions

To have people who love and appreciate art in your friend's circle is a blessing. I have friends who got different tastes in music. We love to catch up, just to listen and discuss them. My friends' music taste is changing and so are my friends. I'm meeting a lot of new people who got varied taste in music. To share and enjoy music is one task, I immensely enjoy. 

Thinking of music and sharing a song I recently heard with a new friend, I recollected friends who used to share song suggestions whenever they discover some gems. 13 years ago, S used to share a lot of songs with me over messages. "Turning Page by Sleeping At last Listent to this."

I'd google it, listen to it, download the song and then talk about the song with S. I went through the conversations and was heartened to see the song suggestions and listened to all of them again. The cherry on the cake is that, I started my day with the song, Anuraaga Vilochananaayi randomly, a song suggested by S, a decade ago. Glad to walk through the memory lane after a long time. 

Geneva Journals- The Long Runs

I walked out of home and got on a road without taking any turns. Crossed bridges, ran up hill, down hill, after half an hour, I ended up at highway, looking at the buzzing cars. Speed confuses me now. Highways are not the best places to run. I remember walking along the highways but, running, couldn't do it. I walked to the near bus stop, got onto the bus that showed up and wished to reach the last stop. Witnessing the dark blue sky, I had no clue where to head and where to stop. I got onto the bus that takes me home and returned home stopping my run in between. 

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Short Story- Melancholy

I picked the book, The penguin book of Italian Short Stories from residence library. Flipping pages, I began to read the story translated by Jhumpa Lahiri. I like Jhumpa Lahiri's writing for the themes - longing and love for a language. 

Melancholy is a story written by Goffredo Parise, extracted from the collection- Silabari. It's a story of a girl, Shilvia, grand daughter of a clergy man and lives under the supervision of nun for a while and feels like crying now and then. At the end of the holiday, she's described as melancholic. Puzzled by the word, she asks her grandfather about it. 'The passage of time causes melancholy' he replies and the story ends. 

Well written short stories set the tone, environment really quick and leave space for a lot of imagination. Loved reading this short story over breakfast. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Geneva Journals- Welcoming 2024

I was not planning anything particular for 2024 and managed to remain indoors and was writing letters to the lovedones wishing them a prosperous new year,  until Argha invited me for a potluck. I joined Shivam, Prathit, Argha, Rayana and began to reflect on 2023 while having delicious dinner and brownies. 

I began to reflect 2023 in months and shared how happy and grateful I'm for all that was happening in my life. Others continued to share their reflections of 2023 in months. After the dinner, we began to head towards the lake to witness the fireworks. Ann, Amrutha joined us. All of us headed to the lake after several stints at various bus stops. Gangs and groups reminds me of the friends and the friends I lost. 2023 has been all about grief and gratitude. In split seconds, my brain gets disassociated with present moment and wavers into past, present throwing up different emotions. I hum, count colours and find a rhythm to regulate myself. 

Over the banter, we reached the Geneva plage. The canton hosted two stages, one with live band and other with DJ set up, lined up with a lot of food stalls. We got into the crowd and began to enjoy the music. Eventually we lost Argha, Prathit, Rayana in the crowd. We welcomed 2024 with music and fireworks. Fireworks reminded me of Philip Pulman's book- The Firework-Maker's Daughter. How I always perceived fireworks to Deepavali but, every country has their occasions and purposes to bring light amidst the darkness. After a band full of trumpet, trombone, french horn and drums entertained us with their music, spanish band walked in and brought rhythm into 2024 with their brilliant band. After an hour, all of us called it a day and planned to head home. After wandering a bit, we got onto the buses and headed to our own destinations. Ann to Cite, Shivam to vernier, Amrutha and I to GM.

Last year, I was at home and attended church on new year's eve. I never imagined that I'd be in Geneva celebrating new year's eve witnessing the fireworks. The way life is unfolding in it's own ways is itself a calling for me to surrender and see what 2024 has it for me.

2024. Looking forward to it. 

Geneva Journals- The Cold Showers again

I resorted to cold showers in the year of 2016 to avoid long hot baths and to shake me up from sleep. Over the years, I practiced it intermittently. I discovered another benefit of cold showers. Cold showers activate the nervous system which uplifts the mood. I found cold showers as the best means to activate my nervous system and avoid myself from being sluggish and unenergetic. I'm planning to continue cold showers even through the course of winters in Geneva. Looking forward for a healthy and active 2024. 

Geneva Journals- The New Year Run

I started my new year with a run. ran towards the sunflower field and strolled across other fields meeting a dog named, 'Jeddah.' Everytime, I walk through this path, there's a sense of spaciousness in body and mind. The trees are still leafless and the old constructions got transformed into 

Quote of the hour- Radical Forgiveness

 "The beauty of Radical Forgiveness lies in the fact that it does not require us to recognize what we project. We simply forgive the person for what is happening at the time. In doing so, we automatically undo the projection, no matter how complicated the situation. The reason for this is simple, in that the person represents the original pain that caused us to project in the first place. As we forgive him or her, we clear that original pain." 

                                                                                                                                            - Colin C.

Universe of Music- A R Rahman

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