Thursday, September 21, 2017

My favorite time of the year

My favorite time of the year is here. I go all happy crazy when it is Navrathri.

I was quite doubtful if i should have a golu this year, but then I realized that I would never not be able to keep a golu (Even if it is only with my super hero collection, I would set it up).

Here is why I think this is the best festival ever:

1. It celebrates the victory of a woman over an idiot who didnt think to protect himself from women when asking for a boon. (The version I celebrate that is. :) )
2. It is celebrated across India, so I have different versions to enjoy ( I even danced Dandiya last year in the US of all places and I ensure I hop to multiple Pandals in Bangalore and enjoy the ambience with my Bengali friends, while I go to watch Ram killing Ravan as well and call people home to see my golu)
3. The socializing possible during golu - Meeting and interacting with people who matter. Especially if you have not seen them in sometime. I once had a really elaborate Golu and once I had a very no frills one with a handful of guests. The memories are priceless
4. It is 9 days!! Thats a nice long time to celebrate no?

I think I will post pictures of my golu here.. Starting here with just 2 really arbit pics.

Thank you God. For giving me the idea in 2011 to start keeping my own golu. This is the 7th year and I am probably going to keep it for more than 9 days and enjoy the experience. I already had a surprise visitor help me set the whole thing up. I am truly blessed. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hello old friend

I managed to get to my lake after what felt like ages today. I love the rains usually. They transport me to a different world. But this time around the rains really drove me nuts as all my roads were inaccessible (not much extra effort required btw) 

The two jokers were also restless without their walks and today after wading through slush I reached the beautiful lake (and after a mini fight with my mom) 

Hello old friend. You know not how much I love you and how much I missed yo

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Who AM I?

I have been going through this really major self discovery phase. Like gaining weight, I didnt realize how much the changes have actually kicked in. Few things happened over the last week or so which has made me wonder who I am.

1. Someone who hardly knows me at work, told me that I am fashionable. OK, I almost had a heart attack when I heard that. Fashionable is the last word I would have used to describe myself. Hard working, smart, intelligent, creative.. blah blah blah would have been the words of choice.. always.

I have looked down upon the need for the modern woman to groom herself to look presentable. I didnt look like a cave woman of course, (the world is not ready for it) but I did not consciously pay attention to how I looked. Until recently, when I got a few really amazing friends who introduced me to the world of manicures, nail paints and designer clothing & accessories. (I can see my sister rolling my eyes if she ever reads it. All her well meaning efforts to get me to accessorize were met with a glare a few years ago). I can type this from a Mac which I take out of a Michael kors bag (That, my dear is showing off, more for effect. I would rather write substance than junk, but given a preference, would like to write from a Mac that I love)

2. I ran into a friend last week and one of the comments she made was, "I have to redefine the Harini I know in my head. What you would do on an evening is not the same any more." The context was quite positive and I think I surprised her and me with the slightly upgraded version (maybe iphone x vs. 7+ - perhaps only a true geek can understand and also be aware that things will only get better from there. )

3. Today, I was out with my nephews and I saw this picture of me with them and their mom and honestly, for a few minutes, I wondered who that girl in the picture was. Firstly, that dress is so not something I would have picked a few years ago. Secondly, the accessories and even the usage of cosmetics shocked me. (I dont look like a painted doll ok? From not wearing any make up to carrying stuff around that I can use to quickly touch up has been an enormous change in me)

A couple of years ago, i lost oodles of weight ( I have gained back some of it) and that really changed how I perceived clothing and the type of clothes I wore, but it did not really change me.

Who am I? Will I ever have an answer to that question? More importantly do I want to? Am I not enjoying the process of defining it everyday? Am I not enjoying singing Brochevarevarura wearing shorts and listening to Dire straits when I am wearing my saree? Am I not really enjoying the mixed bag of life and confusing everyone who wants a stereo type when they look at me? Should I really try to define myself? Have I not always been in love with art and logic at the same time? Enjoyed a really creative novel that describes life as much as a user profile that my numbers show me?

When I started thinking about who I was and if that person has fundamentally changed, the answer is no, I think. In the evenings, whether I am wearing branded clothes or really faded shorts or those baggy pyjamas, I walk my dogs and stare down on anyone who dares give them a dirty look. There have been days when I have gone out to the dirtiest of roads in the morning with my dogs, wearing a saree. (I try to wear a saree once a week to work) Despite what I wear, what I do, does not change.

I moved into an empty house a few months ago. There was nothing except the bare necessities then. (definition of necessities varies of course) I didnt even think I wanted anything more then. A sofa, a fridge, a microwave and a washing machine. Plus some vessels and a bed of course. That was what I had. It slowly evolved. I got a recliner, I got some bedsheets so my friends who come home have a place to sit. I moved my books (I loooove my books), my board games and a few paintings.. I got more books of course.

Now, as I take stock of the house today, I can see the changes. It looks more fuller, alive.

My house has started filling up now.. Some old, some new.. Memories, books, board games and of course, so much of joy and love, that it feels different and still the same.

I have come to conclude that what I have can never truly define who I am. It can perhaps help those that want to look at the surface to come up with a definition. But more than that, it is just all a mirage. I have just learnt to be more at peace with the fact that, who I am cannot be set in stone, and that is ok.

I feel so blessed and thankful for the life that is and when I am not singing songs about it, I thank my God for everything and everyone.. Thank you. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Ripples in reality

In things which made me smile,
I see you
Not you rather, just a fragmented reflection,
One I can try to reconstruct the face,
purely from my memory.

Mostly, it is the drama I love.
The drama of the loss, the longing,
lest i feel sans emotion.

In things that will never be,
I see you not.
I wish I could
See you in the ripples caused,
by stones I throw into the pool of water.

It is just the ripples I see,
the disturbance and the beauty in it.
Much like the chaos in my life,
The chaos caused by the change..
The ripples become their own being.
Sometimes more beautiful than the forced serenity,
the statelessness of being.

Wish I could bid you adieu,
I know not when you disappeared,
to never be remembered.
I still want to cater to the drama,
to the impossible emotions that I think I ought to feel,
But i defer.

Central Park

A few more pictures from Central Park. 

This little squirrel was eating something on an unmanned magnet stand. Unfortunately, I was done with most of my shopping by the time I hit this spot, else would have definitely bought these cheap magnets, just for this darling shop keeper. 

Love all around.. So many couples walking around with held hands.

I have recently started liking taking pictures of people taking pictures. This is at 130 on a Thursday noon.. Can you believe it?!

An isolated corner.. I felt this was a place built just for me.

Buildings from the Park

I was walking down the Central Park today.. Then I thought I would take pictures of the buildings but from inside the park. This was the outcome.. Just a few unedited pictures. 

First I tried with the branches in the foreground.. People walking down a road with sunshine streaming on them. From where I am, they looked pretty blessed. 
I noticed the two cranes on top of the buildings, so i wanted to try getting the buildings on top of the trees and the cranes even on top of them.. :) 

An empty ground surrounded by trees, then huge buildings with white clouds in the middle. As a kid, I loved drawing this picture of two mountains with a sun coming from between them. This white cloud between the two buildings reminded me of those times.. from long long ago. 

One thing I will always remember about Central Park is how many people I saw there at 1 in the afternoon.. Just relaxing and hanging out.. This is definitely my favorite picture.. the clouds, the buildings, the trees and the green grass, beautiful..

Crowds Galore

That, was at 9pm last night at Times Square. Unbelievable but true - full of light, life and people.. I felt so safe and watching people there was so much fun!

This was in a road a little further away. You could see a part of the road that says ONLY BUS.. but there is a bus on the opposite side of the road... :)