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... :)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Spotted On Sixth

I loved this picture. Obviously the doggy got to me. 

Not to mention the these two who were trying to pose in front of it.. I realize i actually love watching people between their perfectly crafted poses.

This article, made me realize i got a glimpse into history being made.

Empire lights up

The empire state building was lit up in red today. I would like to think for me (as my world does revolve around me. :P ) but well it was for women's health magazine's run 10 feed 10. I loved the view from Bryant Park..

This was the first view I saw.. 

After spending an hour without adult supervision at a disney store (More about my new captain america and the gifts i got for my nephews later) I was inspired enough to name this star wars style..

Street view from NYC

 Street view, afternoon in NYC.

Notice the guy walking in an area without a zebra crossing and the others walking right on the crossing over there. Reminded me of India. This guy. In general here i have seen people breaking the rules, so it is not very new either. :)

This picture below, reminds me of the silly vehicles here that look like Omni but have seats only on one side. The one on the far end. Plus, the hoardings everywhere talk about new TV series, not jewelry.. That reminds me, I have to watch the Tick if i can.

Sky scrapers

I am in NYC and the sky scrapers here truly have got my attention. The shape, color and of course the awesome hoardings on the times square. 

The view from the hotel where I am staying

A view from inside another hotel, I like this angle, where one is in light (just one part of it rather) and another is in the dark..

Times square @ night. I love the colors!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

An ode to a sunglass

I remember you as I open the balcony door,
Unprotected, unprepared for that blast of sun.
I instinctively close my eyes and inevitably you pop in.
Nostalgia, always a sweet dish.

That security checkin and the long queue,
as I bid you farewell..
Ah, the after effects of new love,
Those savored, stored moments, that never disappear,
For they are as rare as getting to sip fresh dew
off a green, unpolluted blade of grass.

I remember your smile, slightly sad, I like to imagine
and then your long fingers, as you crown me,
with a pair of sunglasses, your favorite..

I am sure you missed them more than you missed me,
A few months after..
Or perhaps even an hour later.
I imagine you driving, pulling down the sun shade
and maybe, fondly remembering what you lost.

That sun glass, I gave away,
Hid away rather, for the world through your eyes,
Was not really my style.
I remember them though,
and I guess I always will,
Romanticized more often than they will deserve,
If not them, what else?

In love with love

I am just another girl,
Walking around with a bent head
and that really random smile..
Assuming the world rotates,
Just for her.

I am just another girl,
Mostly with an inflated
and also ofcourse with a deflated sense of self.

I walk away, I run towards,
The pace and the number of steps,
always leaning towards,
the impossible, idealistic love.

Starstruck eyes, I watch you walk past,
Tall, short, fat, thin, silly, serious
and I fall inevitably in love.
I love your walk,
I love your talk,
I make up meanings,
I read into meaningless conversations
and I fall in love..
Hopelessly, every other day.

I am just another girl,
In love with love,
Not with you, my love,
So wipe that smile off your face and walk by,
Just in time for my next love,
to waltz in.

Inspired by Caitlin Moran's how to be a woman.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Starlit Skies

I see the clouds, coming together
In that congregation of black,
I see hope, even in the dark,
For where is life, without the rain?
The cold chills me as much as it wakes me up.

I close my eyes and I see the stars in broad daylight..
Always one for the dreams, they laugh at me.
The cynical romantic,
watching, my desires unfold
under a star lit sky.

They lean not down to kiss me,
For I know, they are but hot masses of gas.
I love the beauty, still.

They light not my path, an efficient torch does,
For I know that clouds can turn up.
I love their sparkle, still.

They give me no illusion, not one that I am aware of,
For I love the truth
and it gives me peace, still.

The stars ask me,
(a voice from my subconscious perhaps, )
How do you find what you seek,
when you know not what you seek?

How can you know,
When, what you dont know,
Can be far more beautiful?

When the unexpected, is beyond dreams,
Beyond desires,
The unknown, is always a friend to be made. 

A short goodbye!

The expectant and slightly lost look (You leaving me, now?!) as I pull over outside the kennel that will be their home for a few weeks. 

She just looked away. Sigh..

It is difficult to leave them somewhere different and travel. :)


So this was my evening view. I was delighted to be back in the lake and so were the two devils. 

Then the skies slowly changed.

And ended with this brilliant orange by the time I came back to my house. A beautiful transformation.

Random street photography

I read somewhere that Street Photography is an in thing. I thought I would try it out in Singapore. So here you go, street art from the China town.

Bags, Bags all around:

The buildings look like they are trying to fly away. The after effects of the rain with people waiting to cross the road. I am at a metaphoric cross road now and this clash of colors with the predominant blue (my favorite color) makes this special. 

The false roof, with the false sense of security we all crave in life. The folks in the foreground walk around unaware of someone trying to immortalize them that second, that place.

Singapore Zoo

I loved the Singapore zoo. Some of the pictures were just beautiful to look at today, over a month after my trip. The world is full of so many stories that I can craft in my head.

The thoughtful lioness:

The puma waiting with an angry scowl:

The proboscis monkey staring at the camera while another one just looks to clean up the poser. I cant help but think of this one as a fashion model with his stylist:

There is the almost yoda or maybe oogway from Kung Fu Panda is more appropriate. Swimming around, looking for a heaven of sorts.

A majestic tiger reclining and thoughtful, maybe restful after a full meal.

The last picture of this woman who was delighted to be holding this huge huge snake in the night safari.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Jurong Bird Park

Jurong Bird Park is a sight to behold. We got a combined ticket for the bird park, zoo, river safari and night safari. 

Flamingos, meditating and just contemplating life..

Crested Crane - Love their pose and their crowns

Dunno why this is called the common crowned pigeon. Nothing common about it:

The beautiful hornbills. Dont miss the show each morning. It is a sight to behold and the birds actually demo how a hornbill seals his mate inside the nest.

Were these ducks?

The crazy Lory.. This one climbed on my sister and refused to leave her.

My current wall paper. Hail Google photos and the auto effects!!

Marina Bay

A walk around the pier at night.. Beautiful images

The lit up Singapore Flyer

The ever popular Marina Bay Sands:

Merlion and my first employer..
 A very serene night

I felt so safe walking around as the sun set and the city became dark. That comfort is not something that is very easy to come by in India. The clean roads (sometime even a little too much if you ask me. :)) the really preoccupied population and the crisp air stayed with me. 

Gardens by the bay

Purple is one of my favorite colors. A random picture in Gardens by the bay, flower dome: 

I tried an aerial shot from a higher level as I walked through the clouds:

A view outside gardens by the bay:

Another view in the gardens: