Thursday, February 26, 2015

The music lover

It never fails to surprise me when laika listens to music. She has an ear for the tone and she loves carnatic music. The day we got her home, she was listening to m.s in the car. Till date, whenever she is cranky and can't sleep or is loafing around after a fight, I just start singing and she comes and sits next to me.
Maybe Its because I'm calm when I sing or maybe she really likes the song, I don't know. I just like connecting with her through music.

The demanding mistress

She walks up to me
Slowly, with those silent footsteps
Ah, Dont I know how noisy silence can be
Dont I know how much you notice
Someone who doesnt want to be
but wants to be

I feel her touch
I feel her silent pleas
I cannot refuse
I cannot look away
I am mesmerized
and slowly I fall for her charm
forgetting everything
forgetting everyone

Sleep - my lovely demanding mistress
How I love thee


Often I do see, very clearly in my mind,
Carrions feeding on bodies let to rot
Bodies who stopped functioning
just because the mind was dead
Minds killed by mindlessness
Minds killed so slowly
and so beautifully
with poisons so potent
and very wonderfully undetectable.

The wise see,
The wise smell,
The wise just avoid
They warn not,
They whisper not,
They just walk away

Leaving the rest to a slow, sweet death
Creating a wonderful feast
For these Carrions
All ready to swoop down and savor
the guts, the dead brains and the million bodies
rotten and decayed
Made as though it was just for the feast

Why the silence?
Is it fear of a rabid mob?
A mob, ready to kill preachers and forget the message?
Is it fear of a fast death
Fast and very painful
with kicked stomachs,
bleeding faces and lost teeth?

Or is it just lack of concern?
Lack of any concern for death
Lack of any concern for life
and lack of any concern beyond themselves?
Or maybe, the morbid me thinks
They are here,
just to feed the carrion birds
They are here
because everything dies someday
The gore is to scare the living.
The dead dont care
Their story, is over anyway.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The unspoken

We all give weight and importance to the spoken word. But more often than not, words unspoken are far scarier than those that are. Emotions that never get expressed properly, are just waiting for a chance - to get out through words that are spoken to mean something else, than what they are supposed to convey. It is sad, it is scary, it is unintentional but it is always real. I don't know when I am going to understand more about all that's unsaid. Unsaid to me, more like it. I want to be able to get down to the tone, and understand the larger picture that sometimes gets so fragmented, that part of a black hole, looks like an eye.
I want to pray for common sense to see over and beyond me and accept that folks are perhaps more stressed and more tensed than I am, and there is no excuse for my not accepting it. There is perhaps some forgiveness for missing the unspoken, but more often than not, non verbal cues are right there, waiting for me to interpret. I just have to pay true attention and listen, not just hear.

Food for the soul

I have been experimenting with cooking recently and I managed to make tawa pizza and pasta (with white sauce). It was such a wonderful feeling to reproduce a dish I love and the money I ended up saving by making it at home was just an added bonus. In a lot of ways, what we eat gives us much more than just energy. It helps us regulate even our emotions and I feel that I should focus on creating more food for the soul. Cook and eat local produce and stay healthy. Let me continue experimenting and also post pictures the next time I do something different. :)

Friday, February 20, 2015

The first fifteen lives of Harry August

A pretty good read. Imagine if you can live your life after death all over again. You're born in the same place with the memories of your previous life and you get to watch life unfold again and again. You can change your choices, you can do what you want. Imagine few more like you all over the world. You are all part of a close knit community and you can pass message across generations. You are told on one of your deaths that the world is ending fast and you have to find out what's causing it. That's in short the plot of this book.
Its very well written and gripping. Harry August is an initially confused and later very determined protagonist who goes through denial, later,attempts to understand and finally accepts his weird situation as a matter of fact. He tries a lot if things to get by and accumulate wealth in each birth. Gambling, using his knowledge of things to come, languages etc. You start tolerating and then liking the guy. His fight against the end of the world is touching and you start cheering him on though you don't know who's right and who's wrong.
Another interesting science fiction which explores our soul and its multiple aspects we know nothing of.

The bone clocks

I just finished this book today. I was told it was a little complex and warned away from it. Still, I persisted. It's a very engaging read. That much I have to tell you. It follows the life of Holly Skyes and the fate of a few people who play a crucial part in it. The writing is brilliant and I couldn't put down the book. My late nights and sun burns are worth the experience this book was.
Holly is very admirable, spunky and a character who can hold her own in a book like this. The plot is a lot like the maze she's given as a kid to solve. Tiny shreds connect what I like to think of as multiple short stories. Parts of the book that deal with rebirth remind me of " The first fifteen lives of Harry August" and reading these two books almost back to back has got me thinking about the soul and what being alive actually means.
Almost all characters seem deceptively simple but watching their relationship to Holly come out like a tapestry whose parts look nothing like the whole is a very interesting experience. This 600 page book is not for the faint hearted and I'd like to reiterate that its better to think of it as a collection of short stories that have a tiny common thread connecting them all. Its a heady mix of fantasy, mystery, dystopia  (hated that bit maybe cos it seems so possible) and of course romance and family fiction.  Worth a read if you want to try something different.
I am going to check out other books of David Mitchell.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

How can I not fall in love

With someone who finds windchimes amusing :
With someone who gives me a sleepy, what now look:

 With someone who looks for me when I am gone
With someone who adopts the most ridiculous postures to get a rub:
 I just cant help falling and being in love. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Learning to lose

Accepting defeat and learning to lose is an important life skill a lot of us don't learn for a very long time. Especially the privileged, hard-working few who spend hours and months working towards goals that are easier to attain like marks in school or winning an extempore or playing a game that comes naturally to them. These very prodigies or successful people succeed half the time because they cant bear the idea of defeat. So what happens when you lose? When it is something big or something very minor - are we able to live with it? Most of the times no. You see traces of it. In the inability of people to even lose in a simple game and to take it way too seriously. In the inability to cope with situations they had not planned for. It is then that I realize that learning to lose and accepting defeat is an art by itself which all of us must learn well. It is as important as learning to not let success get to your head. A few situations I cannot elaborate here has led me introspecting quite a bit.

I was not very good at losing. I have learnt to accept defeat thanks to the many years in college where I learnt that there are things you just cannot win easily and it is not so bad to lose in the first place. I am still learning to lose, for my earlier strategy of picking battles where the odds are in my favor doesnt seem to be the best one. I have picked more difficult battles and clawed my way to a different definition of a victory, but losing is so damn difficult. I have to grow up and learn to battle, even losing battles as I believe in the cause. I am not sure if I can change my ideology so easily, but let me give it a shot.

Watching the light

Today, I woke up at 630 ( I did not get out of the bed till much later, but thats a longer story) and I was looking out through the curtains. I saw tiny specks of light enter the room and watched as the room grew gradually brighter. It was a beautiful sight. One, that I would not forget for sometime and one I am glad I had a chance to see today morning thanks to Laika waking us up. The world is a beautiful place.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Locked out

Friday, we forgot our keys. We were on a walking expedition around Indra nagar and came home pretty later than usual. The dogs were raving hungry and we realized that both of us had forgotten our keys. My neighbors who have a spare were out and we were stuck outside the house. Zoyas friends owner gave us food for them and we were walking all around after they ate. It was eerily quiet and we did a lot of things we'd been thinking about for a long time.

We slept in the car, played in a swing meant for kids, we tried multiple tactics to break into the house and we walked around our community in the dead of the night. It was a nice experience with the mosquitoes being the only spoil sport. Adventures seem to be found in the most unlikely places!

A gesture

Yesterday we were walking in marathahalli. I was thirsty and stopped to have tender coconut in a very small shop. We realized I didn't have enough change to pay the lady and she didn't have change for 500. She gave me a sweet smile and asked me to pay her later. The way she spoke was so nice and it made my day.

I went to a beautiful coffee shop and then came back to pay her an hour later. She was happy to see me and I gave her an extra 10 rs for her gesture.

I realize that these small things make the world a better place. No matter how many big things seem screwed, these smaller things more than make up.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The unknown

I know life is going to change
I know the change is gonna come by soon
I am scared
I am alone and I am just so confused
I wonder what will happen
and I wonder how soon change will embrace me

Then, I hear a voice - pretty clear and loud
I pause and turn back
to meet the ghost of my past
The happy girl - a lot like me
just a little lighter
just a little more confused
and just a little different

I hardly notice her company
They seem familiar but so far away
She smiles and waves her hand
Remember me, she tells me
you from not too long ago

"This is your life my dear - the one you left behind.
You were so scared of letting this life go
This very life, you hardly recognise,
These very activities, that mean so little to you now
and these very people who you dont remember
The unknown was the only friend you had.
The unknown you embraced
and the unknown which has made you so happy.
Move on! Run! Jog! Kiss the wind that greets you.
Be ready to greet a future you soon."

She fades away leaving a smile on my face

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The animal chain

I walked the jokers alone today. Took them to their play area and brought them back home. Usually, we take one dog each. While we're pretty used to their individual behaviour, walking them together helps me understand their personalities even better. Laika is a warrior a princess and Zoya, an eternal damsel in distress. I've seen enough examples for this.

Best example is the case of the road roller. Now since there are still some houses under construction, we have a few of these huge devices left standing. Laika always pulls towards it. To go and sniff at peace. Zoya, always pulls away from it. Slinks away is a better term. Slinks like it's going to come to life and eat her up alive. Imagine me holding both of them. Of course they listen and move on, but the reaction the moment it's seen is interesting and funny.

Zoya barks at smaller things. Laika, at any human being who dares come close to us. Zoya always rolls over for any male dog we meet. Laika wags her tail and moves to bond with the owner. It's unbelievable to see their differences and similarities and love them both so much.

Lost in the mass

Yesterday evening, we went to the Shivaji Nagar Market. I have not gone there in ages and we went in search of the "Bamboo Bazaar". We walked around a lot and a few things are stuck in my head as images that refuse to leave :

1. The number of people in the road. It is mind blowing. This is India at its crowded best and worst. Motorcycles and Pedestrians interact with each other in tiny winding roads

2. Shops - there are just millions of shops in those roads. Some of them have space for just one person to stand and there are a lot of people waiting in the roads.
3. Weird images - this shop had tights hanging from the ceiling. It looked extraordinarily weird and I have captured the same in a picture. There are a few other things that looked equally different, but I did not have the luxury of space to capture those pictures. (like the cat jumping into the mitai shop, the shop selling zillions of milk products etc. )
4. Noise and deals : There are crowds calling out deals and shouting out for people to come and buy. The noise is deafening and absent at the same time and it was very different for me to walk in the middle of all that
5. Another world : This was another world. The people, the language they speak, the mix of backgrounds, the clothes they wear (in a way mimicking what i see in malls and in another completely different from them - you will not get 3 tops for Rs.100 in any mall or material like this anywhere there), the way they interact with the shop keepers (when was the last time you bargained in a shop you went? you usually buy and walk out unless its with a vegetable vendor) - everything about the place in short. I did not mind the filth, there wasnt much of it for a place so crowded.

I did like the experience and I know i would not look forward to repeating it again, but a part of me is very grateful after my one and half hour sojourn in the belly of Shivaji Nagar.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The food court effect

Today, I went to the food court near office as I was feeling really sleepy during the day. I saw a Mast Kalandar there and was pretty happy as I like their snacks. I ordered a Samosa and a Chai. The order was served pretty quick. But well, disaster struck with the taste. The chai was watery at best. I felt  like I was drinking the diluted milk i give my dogs with a little flavor and a lot of sugar (well - hello! diabetes). The samosa was even weird - it was hot outside and ice cold inside. I had to eat it as I detest wasting food.

After this incident and a few similar ones where perfectly decent food chains screw up when they are part of a court, I have coined a term - the food court effect. This is what happens to food from whichever cuisine, when it is sold in a food court. It inevitably, looks inviting, smells interesting and tastes worse than plastic. There is some weird charm to the food as it continues to attract the ignorant masses. Perhaps its the feeling of sitting in the middle of a huge populace and feeling that you cannot make a mistake eating the food as so many others are perfectly happy (as denoted by their smiling faces and bad jokes) eating yummy things. You cannot let them and yourself down by finding something wrong with perfectly good food.

I avoid food courts and I only visit the one near office for the neer dosa (you cannot screw it up). But I am thinking that my days of visiting them are numbered. God save humanity from the food court effect. We need to rebel. We need to make people give us good food for the money we pay. It is a sad state of affairs.

Monday, February 09, 2015

The case of the Accidental quizzers

Last weekend was a time for new experiences and I got one more to add to that on Sunday morning. We participated in the bookends quiz in St.Josephs College. I usually avoid quizzes as I am not really one for remembering numbers or even too many things from the books I read. I havent watched a quiz in a long time and it has been even longer since I participated in one. I was a little unprepared and we decided to call ourselves " Accidental quizzers". I have to admit it, the quiz was actually fun. I did not get too many answers right in the prelims and I missed on a few obvious questions (I remembered Rebecca and not Jane Eyre and I forgot Great expectations of all books and I missed on Christmas Carol - like an idiot) but got a few I did not realise could be right (based on Oscar Wilde - the crazy author I love.

This quizzing experience pointed out a few obvious misses in my experience and I have decided to watch/participate in more quizzes going forward. I have to subscribe for the KQA emails soon. :) I know I am not going to be as good at it as a few others, but I really have to try to be better.

Under the moonlit sky

Ever since we moved into this house, my husband has been trying to sleep in the terrace. The villain in this case (me) has never allowed that to happen stating multiple reasons - mosquitos, thieves, too cold etc. etc. while the real reason was my fear of the open sky.

I finally admitted it to him and we came to a compromise. We decided to pitch a tent in the terrace and we did that on Saturday night. It was an experience I am not going to forget easily. The tent was initially uncomfortable and over time I adjusted and was starting to fall asleep, when Zoya decided it was not to be. She snuggled in between us and went peacefully to sleep. Laika, missing her companion got very worked up and was restless as she usually sets her limits and she couldnt bring herself to come and sleep inside the tent.

After a few minutes of running around, she gave in and came and slept at my feet. Funnily, I slept peacefully after that as I was confident Laika would kill anyone who dared to come near me. It was a very different experience and I think I like it and would definitely try it again this weekend. Gettnig away from the routine with things like this usually has its advantages. (Even if it means some mosquito bites)

The moonlit sky, the fresh breeze and the stars made the experience seem pretty heavenly. Also, sharing my bed with the dogs (which I never have done before and which I will not do inside the house) was also a different experience as it showed me again how much they trust me.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Music and noise

I love music. I spend a lot of time listening to music. But I never watch videos in YouTube or even songs in TV. Usually CDs and other audio devices satisfy my craving.

Today, I'm watching a live concert from a balcony while eating chat by a strange coincidence. We landed in phoenix mall after buying some sports stuff and decided to eat chat. The chat place has a balcony facing an open auditorium where a concert is happening. I found it very noisy at first and wanted to leave. Since my companions had already ordered, we couldn't vacate and I sat with a long face (I sulk a lot). Gradually something strange happened.  I got used to the noise and started enjoying the bong singer whose name I don't know. His little dance steps and his energy is infectious.

It takes very little to adjust to higher noise levels I guess. If I get a headache today I know I'll never attempt it again. But right now, it seems enjoyable and different.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Caught in a time wrap

I watch you slowly unfold
I know then that
there is no present,
there is no past
and there is no future
There is only the awakening
The dawn of understanding
There is just this timelessness
This beautiful feeling as I reach out to you
When you embrace me
and shower me with that acceptance

All that was,
All that is,
All that ever will be
is so insignificant

I can see you
The one that surpasses time
The one who keeps track of time
and the one who helps time exist

I know the ask
The ask to become a part of this
Mere mortal that I am,
I know I am not ready yet.
I know I dont want to be
I want to experience time
Accept its ravage
Accept the illusion
Love the probabilities
and perhaps some day give up
and slip into this timelessness you invite me into

Till then, i bid you goodbye
Shine my dear love
Shine far away
Shine forever
and wait for me
I will join you
Perhaps I already am a part of it
this beautiful timeless consciousness

Dedicated to the moon and the stars I saw in the terrace today

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

The fall and the rise

I have been trying to run when I take my dogs to exercise. Now, don't imagine a marathon runner. Just someone who thinks there is some joy in running. When I start getting geared up and enjoying the sprint, two devils come running and hit me full speed. I fell down face front and scraped my knees. I did not want to get up at all and was in pain and embarrassed. Falling down is never graceful.

Still I couldn't stop myself and I got up and I finished my run. I was happy and sad. Happy I got up and sad that I've never pushed myself so much in the past. To the uninitiated I have pathetic pain tolerance and I get hurt easy. It is a big deal today and I'm hoping I continue to give myself a chance.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Adultery - the day i gave up on Coehlo

I think I will remember yesterday for a long time to come. It will be the day I finally gave up on Paulo Coehlo. After much thought I bought Adultery as his last outing was not very memorable. Still, the loyal reader in me wanted to give him a chance. The initial part of the book was slow. But then, his earlier books start slowly and then pick up pace. This one - it never picked up and the heroine, a wrapped version of a woman was a major disappointment to say the least.

The book is about a woman who is bored with her life. She decides to have an affair to alleviate boredom and she picks her college sweetheart for the same. She goes to extreme measures to make him hers, including risking her life by buying cocaine to implicate his wife so that he would love her more. Now, what makes it sad is the fact that she does not even love him or find him attractive. She does it for the heck of it. As she wants something to obsess over. I have obsessed over things because I have not had anything better to do. But here is the thing - there is some thing in the present that piques my interest. Some timelessness about it if it had been there in the past. Some thing small or something big. Not like this mad wanna be journalist who picks an ex because he is an ex. Some people remain in your past as that is the right place for them. You grow up and you grow away.

She had a picture perfect life with none of the typical issues I have heard most women speak about. She was depressed according to her diagnosis. She had no identifiable issue.  It was not patronization. It was not lack of appreciation. It was not lack of love. It was just plain boredom. I mean, there is no part of the book talking about her relationship with her children either. Most women I know love motherhood.

The book moves from bad to worse and I guess once Coehlo started writing, he just couldnt stop and it was a downward spiral. I doubt if I would read any of his books again. I cant believe it was the same man who wrote Veronica decides to Die and Devil and Miss Prym. I just cant wrap my head around that. I give it 2 stars of 5. Only because the loyal reader in me doesnt want to give this one 0.5.

Monday, February 02, 2015

My new writing space

So, we redid our terrace by moving pots etc. We got a lot of lovely paintings from a beautiful shop that was closing down and had a stock clearance sale. My neighbour came by yesterday and she liked our terrace and suggested a few modifications. It looks even better. The icing on the cake, doggies have more space to run and they already have learnt to not run into this area. I am so thankful for all the nice people i get to meet everyday. We spent considerable amount of time in the garden with a new gardener and finally, our buddha is visible and we have a completely new look. More pictures to come on that. For now, just presenting our new terrace and my new writing space. Hopefully, Naina will finish telling her story to the world soon. 

Sunday, February 01, 2015

This is how we roll

Look at the pure bliss in zoyas face. This is how she rolls and turns around whenever we go to pet her. If this isn't love then what is..