Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Karma

My friend was just telling me that her young niece was being bullied in school. When her brother went to speak to the senior authorities in the school, the kids actually taunted him, asking him what he hopes to achieve by complainng in school. This seemed like a scene from a movie for me. I was wondering how this came to pass. How are privileged kids able to misuse their freedom? What do they think is their entitlement?

I am so sad when I think about it and I keep thinking that some day their Karma would catch up with them and what they give is what they would receive. I wonder why parents encourage such things by being silent about it. But parenting seems to be such a difficult task that I wonder what they can actually do to stop it. I can only empathize with my friend and hope that her niece is ok sometime soon.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Creating a living

When I was in college, my dream was to start an orphanage. I really wanted to save children who are abandoned. Once I started working, I did not forget the dream, but it was banished to the recesses of my mind. Recently, I have started wondering about what the purpose of my life is. I have spent a lot of time thinking about it and yesterday, over a cup of tea, we thought of starting something that would help us realise these dreams and many more.

Hopefully by the end of the year, I might be able to share details around what we hope to do, but until then, there is going to be a lot of work and I promise myself to dedicate some time every day for this activity, one way or the other. :)

In a few years, we should be able to create a living and be happy with the impact we have on the world. Lofty ambitions perhaps, but we need to reach for the stars.

The charming quirks of others - Alexander McCall Smith

I like reading off beat books once in a while. When I find a McCall Smith in any second hand bookshop, i jump on it. I liked the idea of a philosopher solving crimes and hence, I picked up this novel which has philosopher Isabel Dalhousie in the lead.

It was interesting in places as her contemplations were quite different from what I was used to reading in most of my books. Some of the items were things that I had discussed with people when I was in one of my philosophical modes. But if you are not a fan of random ramblings, you should stay away from this book. The plot is not strong and there is not much relevant action around the mystery she is trying to solve - ie - what is wrong with one of the candidates for principalship in a school. Is there any truth to the anonymous letter received?

Her insecurities about her partner border on crazy in a few places and I wonder how someone who is so philosophical and seemingly mature feels so insecure about a man you should never doubt. The book is very shallow in places and a lot of contemplations seem ridiculous. The relationship of Isabel with her niece Cat, her partner Jamie and even her kid are not shown in much depth. Perhaps, I would have liked the book better then.

However, one thing I really liked about the book was how much Scotland was praised. I felt a certain kinship with that country and wanted to go and visit it. McCall Smith had pulled it off even with Botswana in the Ladies Detective Agency series and I hope that sometime in my life I can travel and visit the places in my books. :)

Revisiting the past

I was looking at some old pictures and stumbled across a few clicked in Pondicherry when we went there last year with Laika. I just love how she looks and I thought I would post it here. We have come a long way from then. :)

She is still scared of the water, but I really want to take her to Kerala or Goa and enjoy the beach with her. Perhaps Pondicherry was too windy for madam.


Traffic woes

I love spending weekends at home, preferably curled up with a book. However, on Saturday, we had to really buy something and we headed to Phoenix market city. We moved to the right lane as we were going to take a U Turn and we spent close to 45 minutes waiting for the turn. Finally, we gave up and decided to go straight, which was also blocked as a lot of people were trying to take a U Turn from the other lane as well. I wonder why some of these busy malls dont have a dedicated staff to redirect visitors if there is going to be such a jam. I am not talking about them standing inside the mall, but outside, in the roads. I will never go back to the mall again unless there is no other option and they have lost a pretty good customer as we went to M G Road yesterday and bought all that we wanted.

Similarly, in a lot of big restaurants as well, i have seen an uncaring attitude to where people park, when they dont have a valet. If you dont make the life of your visitors easy, why will they visit you going forward? Or do these guys not think like that? I dont know. I just know that my city has unbearable, unpredictable traffic.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Back to the water

Two things have made me go back to the water I so love.

1. My attempts at staying fit after being reminded that life is not something you take for granted
2. My sister moving to Bangalore to stay in the house next door

I have swum thrice in the last two weeks and I hope that I continue to increase the frequency. I so love the water and the feeling of just looking at the sky when floating on my back is amazing. It reminds me of how insignificant I am and how all my worries will be taken care of. I feel so light, cared for and at peace. Swimming is truly something that brings your mind and body together in a way you never expected it to in the first place. :)

I love the water and looking at it for hours gives me contentment like nothing else.

A picture of a random stranger I took in Om beach. We all are connected in one way or the other with water. The bottles on the beach represent the sad reality of how we return Mother Earth's favor

The simple joys

Another doggy post

Look at how the two devils are lost in their simple toys. One is nothing but string or cloth rope tied together and the other used to be a ball. :)



The story behind the next photo is heart warming. Someone abandoned a blind female dog in my maid's village. She could not bring herself to see it suffer and she took it home and fed and took care of it. Now, the dog has given birth to a litter. These are two pups from the same. Isnt that grand? :) When I think about the hopelessness in life, a few of these incidents give me hope and joy.


Adele

Sometimes, songs remind us of incidents or people ( a longer post on that soon). To me, Adele has become someone whose album 21 reminds me of some of the best days of my life. I remember hearing her first in the US when I was out with a friend of mine, who was very patiently carting me around in a strange country I developed a liking for. Then, I remember finishing something very difficult listening to 21 again.
Now, my cousin is staying with me and though we have not been in constant touch, I am surprised to see how much our tastes are similar. I guess one more pleasant memory to add to Adele's credit.

The facebook effect

I am what I like to call a facebook snooper. I hardly interact with content, but I do check my account even on days when I dont even express a like. I see these guys who share a lot of absolutely useless information online. Sometimes, I wonder if this is how they validate their life - "No of facebook posts this month" "No of new random people I met online" "No of likes and comments"

I find it a little irritating to see their posts every single day. I know that I am no better as i keep looking and browsing and in a few cases sending private messages. But this is seriously infuriating and I am wondering if I should do the inevitable and just trim my friends list.

I am very social when I want to be and so, I find it rude to decline a request. This explains my huge friend list and I seriously think I ought to reduce the number of my "friends". Funnily, a few of my closest friends are not even in my friends list. :)

Now that I have successfully ranted, I can go back to browsing. :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Matsya - sneak peek

The first few lines from Matsya :

Manu walked along the river side just like every other day. "When will I see you my dear Hari? I search for you every day. I walk along the river and offer my prayers to you. I think about nothing but you all day. Still, you have not blessed me with the sight of you. When will I get to see you? All I want to do is see your lotus feet and look up from my namaskara and see the love you have for me and all the creatures in your eyes. I want to drown in them and I want to become one with you. Bless me my dear Narayana. Please come for me. I am waiting like I always have been" This was the prayer that played over and over in his head throughout the day.  

There were people in the shore, walking hurriedly towards whatever tasks they had in mind. A few spoke amongst themselves, enlightening the new comers about the man walking all alone, dressed in minimal clothing, preoccupied about something and still looking calm. "That is Manu, the rishi who follows the scriptures and is supposed to be wise and just. Just look at him pray like there is nothing better to do"


Hunger pangs

I am extremely hungry! Waking up for a call at 7 in the morning seems to make me hungry. I had a very nice breakfast at 8 and then by 1030 i was raving hungry! It doesnt usually happen because i eat at 9, 1230 and so on. I am wolfing down grapes as i type hoping that my hunger is taken care of.

Waking up early does seem to have its advantages and disadvantages. I love the sun, i love that I get to water my plants and I love that I can make an early breakfast. But, this hunger pangs are murdering me. :)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Bye bye baby

So today we gave cyber away. I felt very sad to see him go. He'd become a part of my life so effortlessly. The way he used to demand attention, how much he loved being petted and scratched and how he won over our two devils. So many small things that make me nostalgic. I am already missing him. But I'm happy he's gone to a place where hell be loved.

The maid who worked in the same house he used to be earlier, took him to her place. It is funny that somebody who has so little is ready to give so much love and comfort to another soul that needs it and somebody who has so much doesn't have the intent or the interest. I wonder if they'd have given him away so easily if cybie was a so called breed. I don't want to go down the road of moralizing behavior because there'll be no coming back from that path. I'll be happy that I got a chance to hold him and watch him grow.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A series of unfortunate events

We had a very adventurous weekend. To call it a series of unfortunate events would be an understantement. To say we had fun despite it, would also be one.

Our original intention was to go to Munnar after staying for a night in Cochin. We landed in Cochin on a very sunny afternoon. The cab to take us to Munnar and the resort were both booked for us. We went to the Cherai beach near Cochin and stood watching the waves, feeling the setting rays of the sun in our faces. Then, we got to know of a Hartal in Kerala. Everything would be closed the next day and any vehicle silly enough to  be in the roads from 6 to 6 would be stoned.

We bought groceries and headed home. I was looking forward to Munnar. Funnily, sitting at home was so calming and I started to write. The place was beautiful and I felt inspired. I spent a lot of time the next day writing. The extra day home put me back in touch with the writer I had lost. It brought forth a story I feel had been waiting to get out for a very long time.

The next day morning dawned bright. I wanted to check into the resort we had booked. The pictures were stunning. We reached Munnar without much incident. The driver was ok and I slept when I felt pukish. We had to take a diversion before hitting Munnar to head to the resort. The roads were narrow and as we went down the path, the driver's confidence dropped steeper than the incline we were in. :)

We decided to head back to the main road after he paused on seeing three consecutive perpendicular drops. My resort dreams gone, we went back all the 8km we came looking for a hotel. We found one right next to the town and fell in love with their garden. The bench in the middle clinched the deal.



Our tour of Munnar started and the flower show was our first stop. The sheer variety of the flowers and the beauty of the place was mesmerizing. Our next destination was the dam. We got in all energized and the vehicle refused to start. Five people pushed the car and still, nothing happened.



An empty auto came by and that became our mode of transport for the rest of the trip.The dam was peaceful and I felt like a heroine in one of those tamil songs. :)

The iravikulam sanctuary was closed as the mountain goats were giving birth. We visited the tea museum and were quite impressed with the person explaining about tea to us.

The driver called and he told us that the car had major repairs. He was towing it back to Cochin.

We found a cab from the hotel. It was unfortunately a non A/C car and I spent my return journey puking and sleeping. We rushed to an empty airport as we thought the flight was at 3. The flight was at 3.30 and we had some time to eat burnt toast. The flight started early and we were in Bangalore by 4.15.

I came home to four crazy wagging tails and hot food. A very adventurous trip, but still an enjoyable one. I loved that I could write, see the sights, find a nice place to stay and even come back in time for my flight.

Canine Investigators Inc

Any dog lover would know how much dogs love to sniff. They act like there is nothing better to do all day and at all times. I have two who seem to think its their only responsibility. They make me wonder if they are actually private detectives in disguise. I am thinking of writing a series of books called "Canine Investigators Inc." dedicated to my darlings for children. I dont know if i will ever get down to it, but this is just a thought i wanted to document. :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A world of opportunities

I wrote around 15k words. Matsya is almost done. I've to rewrite the last chapter and I wonder where it's going to take me. I loved the experience and the joy I felt when I wrote. I was delighted to be able to create and I see a world of opportunities for myself.

I'm going to try and find an illustrator. Its going to be fun. The fun has just begun.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Munnar again

We were in Munnar just today morning and I am back in Bangalore already. This has been a very adventurous trip, but more on that later. Right now, let me just post a few beautiful pictures and marvel at what I glimpsed. We also visited the Cherai beach in Cochin and that gave me the inspiration for writing.
My favorite snap from Cherai:

Munnar's dam :

Leaving this behind was anything but easy. :(

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Matsya - the tale of liberation

That my dears is the working title of my novella/short story. I've written 5800 words of the story today and I am continuing to write like I am possessed. I got the idea in the beach yesterday. I was thinking about Pratchett's death and watching a dog play with the waves when this idea stuck. It might never see the light of the day but I wanted to remember how I got the idea. I'm super excited. :)
And I owe the time I spent writing to the hartal in Kerala which made us drop our munnar plans today. God sure works in strange ways. Lol.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Yet another teaser

This is part of the book we are writing together. A he says, she says type one. We havent named it yet. I am still not done writing my part. But these are the first few lines (right now) of the book


"Naina, come lets go cycling." My younger sister called out, all set to go cycling. She had just changed out of our school uniform and stood outside the gate with the brand new cycle we had got.

"Have you finished your homework?"

"No. I have all evening, I will come back and do it."

"I haven't finished homework yet. I will come after that."

"You will not come. After homework, you will sit and read something. I am going to ask Amma to come with me instead"

My mom rather than correct my irresponsible sister, got all geared up to go cycling with her. Her argument, she loved cycling and she was the one who had taught us how to cycle. It was cruelty to deny a kid the pleasure of cycling. She was glad to accompany my sister.


The Know-it alls teaser

Thoughts are powerful. We as programmers should definitely know that. For that was the one program that started becoming self sustaining. An endless loop that was bound to crash one day miraculously started stabilizing and threw all our experiments for a toss. That is, until we found the magical controller called ambition. You place ambition in a human system and except in the case of few outliers, the thoughts die and they focus where we want them to. Now, i am sure that if i need to sustain your interest i have to tell you who we are. I or we, whichever way you look at it. We are a collective intelligence and we don't mind the singular or the collective noun. When you get down to it, what is the point in the singular one if you don't have a collective where you want to establish yourself in?

We are the KNOW-IT-ALLa

Monday, March 09, 2015

Cyber

My neighbour got a very cute pup last month. He is a very active and wonderfully friendly pup. He knows when the door to my house opens and I come out. He barks and waits for me in the mornings when I am watering my plants and he always rolls over for me when I go to him. He is very active and loves to play tug of war. I spend quite sometime with him everyday.

Today, I got to know that they want to give away the pup due to some personal reasons and I am so conflicted. A part of me wants to keep the pup who is such a darling and who is also getting along with my dogs. But the logical part of me knows that three dogs in a house is going to spell nothing but chaos. Add to it my work hours and I am not sure I can give him the attention he deserves.

I really don't have the heart to let him go either. Since my family lives right next door, we are hoping to foster him till we find him another house. I am just sad that I have to let him go.


The nut cases trying to play with him:

Look at the hope in his eyes:

Sleepless

I did not sleep on Friday night. There was no rhyme or reason. I was up till 6 in the morning. I ended up reading a series I wouldn't have picked up on any other day. I enjoyed the read as it was the only company I had (apart from Laika) on that very quiet night.

I was convinced I will be grumpy and sleepy on Saturday. But funnily apart from being cranky at 8 when Laika was running around crazily and kicking her out to sleep for 2 more hours, I was actually ok the rest of the day. We had a very interesting evening exploring Shivaji Nagar and eating dinner in Samarkhand. It was a lovely day.

I am still not sure why I did not sleep. I wish I knew. But atleast I did not screw up my day and those of those around me because of that. :)

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Evil eye

Indians believe in the evil eye. They believe that some of the bad things which happen are because of the ill will of those who are jealous. Dhrishti is a very interesting belief.
I like to think that when we start getting careless when good things happen to us, something is going to go wrong. Firstly because we are not noticing it and secondly because when there are other people involved, if someone has an evil eye, they will make it a point to spoil things for us and thirdly, our own actions which weren't that good in the past, come back to haunt us.
I have seen the evil in people. I have seen how ready some are to stoop to the lowest levels. It is not so difficult to extend that idea to what an evil eye can do. I trust in the goodness and wonder in all of us so I am not very petrified of all that can go wrong.
I can just pray, be careful and be very humble. Humble and thankful for all that god has given me.