Friday, March 31, 2017

Hidden


I think its a her.. she was sitting by herself. Then saw me and hid in a hole. Watching me very carefully. Curious but cautious. Beauty in least expected places. Central Park, NYC

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Silver linings

Simple streaks..
Elaborate perhaps, from a certain angle
Non existent perhaps, from another one

I always look for them - the exception,
Maybe, not accepting that from somewhere else,
they become the rule.

Silver streaks on a dark sky
Silver streaks on a white cloud
I look for the linings,
hoping that they can define, 
that which cannot be defined.

Hoping they can defend,
that which can stand by itself..

Silver linings on a non existent black cloud..

Home

Despite the risk of sounding like a broken record, I am going to say this.. Home is not one place. It is a feeling. I am home now. A year ago, I would have never called this place so. But now, I can say that. I carry my home with me wherever I go, because after a long journey, I have made peace with who I am and who I want to be.

I have spent my whole life, not being at peace with some aspects of my personality which is an essential part of who I am. Some of it because of how the world perceives it, some because of how I think the world perceives it and a lot largely because I have not been able to accept everything is relative and there is no right answer.

The last couple of months have really made me re-look at my life and change it in ways I never thought possible. I am the same person, but not the same. Sometimes, I think, my life is like this ice cube.. 

You can protect it all you want by keeping it in an environment where it retains the shape you think it ought to have.. or you can keep it in room temperature and watch it change its shape and reach steady state. Is it destruction or is it just adaptation?

I would like to believe it to be the latter. I am placing the ice cube now and watching the fun that unfolds. I am more like the water I guess - can take the shape of any container and I want to be comfortable in any state of being. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Random thoughts in a crowded airport

I used to love airports.. then hated them for a few months. Now, I am back to loving them again. Probably, I should learn to use less severe words when I refer to something as frivolous as an airport. But then, if I am not going to be the opinionated me, I don't think i would recognize myself. (In fact, I think I need to be a lot more decisive and stop seeming indecisive. I make up my mind but think I should be a little more lax and then just keep circling an idea which is not worth the circling around in the first place. So much for being able to see both sides of any situation)

Coming back to the airports across the world, I have never seen one as busy as JFK. It is like there are literally thousands of people looking around but not really seeing, walking towards their destinations. That makes me wonder, are people here more introverted than in other places I have been to? Could a place attract certain type of people more than the rest? Is that even a right assessment to make? How is that any better than making a generic statement about women lets say..

I find stereotypes easier to handle ( given my new obsession with MBTI) though I know fully well that people seldom, if ever confirm to them. 

I managed to walk around the streets of NYC for the last three days. I did enjoy it, but I did not feel at home. Probably because of the crowds. Rather the really busy, speed walking crowds. So purposeful and fast. I couldn't help but compare it to the city I really love - SFO. I can spend hours walking around, taking in the sights and just watching life go by there. Somehow, could not do that here. Perhaps this city will grow on me.. Or maybe it won't. I don't know. I am already out of here, headed to another place.

I have been very lucky this past year (when it comest to traveling) and have managed to really experience a few countries. I have experienced things I never thought I would and also more than ever, come to accept that while some drugs can give you a high, they can kill you when you over dose. No matter how perfect it seems. Perfection is more often than not, a perfect illusion. Nothing is perfect and if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. As i come to terms with the illusion of perfection and the loss of something that was probably better off lost, I watch the thousands milling around me and feel a strong connection with the world that i am very grateful for.

I see the threads connecting, though the tapestry is still not very clear. Soon, it will become clearer. Till then, I will be grateful for a change. 

Thank you for everything. Another grateful post even if it sounds like gibberish. I am trying to grow up.. Thank you for your patience and your undying love, my dear God..


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The lost peacock

I finished this today evening. Coloring is really helping me destress. The mindlessness and mindfulness of it is such a comforting contrast. My multi colored lost peacock, you are so pretty. At least in my eyes. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Van Gogh love

I spent an afternoon at the Met yesterday. I didn't spend as long as I wanted, but I loved the van Gogh collection I saw. How is someone able to produce something so beautiful when he is in an asylum? Is pain and suffering essential for an artist? Irises.. I love you. Across centuries, I could connect to someone. 

Rebel

Look at the expression on the face of the bird.. no fear, no doubt, just staring at the camera to pose for me. So beautiful. I loved the fearlessness of the birds in NYC, especially in the Central Park.

Finally

I finally got to see her yesterday.. in a ferry on a dreary Sunday noon. A symbol of hope

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Frozen kisses

What do I say about, the gentle kiss that lingers?
The kiss frozen, given by time
A blessing meant for me..
It will always be, a pleasant memory..
Perhaps always just one, meant for me
To immortalize,
Meant for me to remember and relish
The beauty and joy I derive,
In unexpected corners..

Life opens avenues everyday,
So don't go looking at just the sky,
Bend down and find, the path that unfolds,
Right in front of you..
When you truly let go!

There is beauty everywhere in ways you cannot fathom..
There is joy waiting to be seized once you open up,
Your limited imagination..

Thursday, March 23, 2017

To believe or not to believe

My new area of interest is actually user profiling. Professionally with data and personally through personality tests. I have been making people I know take the MBTI test (16personalities.com) ever since I took mine (trying to remember why I did that again, think it was a training effect) and found out i was an ENTJ

Now, my question is, should I believe in them or not? Is it possible that there are only 16 personality types in the world? I find that a little difficult to fully accept. I mean, think about it like this. I can say that all of us are one. How we interact might be different, but fundamentally we all want the same things, just in different ways. So when I think about that, I am unable to accept that there is some sense in the types.

But when I read the personality type, I am able to relate to quite a few things. Not so much so in other types, especially the IS ones. So perhaps from experience, I am able to accept that yes, there is a difference. Probably this is an interesting measure, even if not the most fool proof one. ( For e.g, ENTJs are least likely to believe in a higher power, but I truly believe in God and in the connectedness of things)

Combine this experience with reading Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, I have to admit, I am understanding a lot of things and making peace with whatever has been let go or is being let go.. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Times Square - here I come!

I am going to be in the Times Square this weekend. For work on Monday and for pleasure over the weekend. How did this even happen?! Thank you god! Met, Empire State building and my favorite Ms.Liberty.. will I get my fill of everything? 

Someday i will do a road trip across the US. Until then, i will keep myself happy (no, ecstatic) counting my blessings and thanking him up above for all that he gives me. J'aime Dieu.

Picture Perfect



My third attempt.. I love coloring, I think I am not consistent enough, but I don't know if this is because of my usual over expectation from myself to do a lot and do something all the time.. (Can blame it on being an ENTJ now in my new profiling avatar)  or if it is because I am not doing it everyday. 

Whatever it was, this was a nice experience. I think I have started liking purple a lot now, though blue has always been my favorite color. (My Wardrobe will wail someday)

My friend has recommended i get these felt tip pens. I am adding it to my US shopping list.

An old old dream

It was 2002. I started learning high school French. I remember those amazing classes with one of the best teachers I have ever had. We participated in a French Dumb charades and I sang a French song and we won both competitions. ( I love singing and I still do.. My team mate remarks - "How do we learn to live with the sudden singing?")

Anyway, from 2002, I wanted to visit Paris. It was the city of my dreams. Probably because i fell in love with the language. To cut a long story short, I have finally booked my tickets to my dream destination as my birthday treat.. :) Let me see how it works out and whether my duo lingo trained French is going to help me save the day.

Paris, Je t'aime.. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Indulged

Today, I spent the afternoon in a beauty parlor. This is something very new for me. I've never really given much importance to visiting a beauty parlor for anything except cutting my hair. I got my usual boy cut today and also decided to indulge myself in an afternoon of pedicure and manicure. This is the second time in my life that I'm trying both (first was a couple of months ago). I loved it. 

I never could understand why people spent so much time in parlors( this took an hour and a half after my usual hair cut) but I got it today. The outlet to totally disconnect yourself from everything and just get to care for your own self. 

I was reminded of my grandma and her long baths. She used to oil herself leisurely and then spend quite sometime in the bathroom. Why did I ever think that time spent in taking care of myself is not important?

It's an investment towards the one asset that's always yours. Your body. I'm lucky enough to have the time to be able to indulge in it. Lots of people don't. Thank you God. 

I had a good time talking to Jyoti and Savithri, the ladies that took care of me. I spoke to them in my Rusty Telugu and average kannada, so perhaps they ended up speaking quite a bit to me. 

One has a husband that's not able to work as he's had an accident. Her mom in law watches over her children and she only sees them once a month as they live in tirupati. She told this to me matter of factly. (bad English)

She's glad to be able to work and support them. How do people surmount such odds and remain positive? She wore a beautiful hue of nail polish and had such a well made up face. A few minutes of conversations can help us break that preconceived notions we effortlessly make about people. 

The other is getting married next month. She is not going to be able to have her friends at the wedding as it happens on a Sunday and all of them work on Sundays. She's using the money they could have spent on a reception in buying a house for her children to grow up in. 

Behind the different faces we wear, we are all trying our own ways to arrive at the same happiness. I've been so privileged all my life. Even on the days I work the same 12 hours they do, my rewards are far more. Should I thank God or doubt his existence? I should thank him because he has taken care of me, been there for me. But I should also doubt his existence because life is unfair to so many. A second or even a nano second here or there in my entry to the universe, who knows where I'd have been, who I'd have been? Perhaps I'd have been the one adding the cupcake shaped cream to the hot water for someone else's pedicure. 

I'm so glad for this afternoon as it reminded me again how the world is just a point of view. I've been indulged by life. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Oli padaitha kanninai

I was doing my usual Youtube surfing today. It started with listening to Annamacharya Kirtanais (I love MS. I don't think I enjoy listening to anyone else so much) and somewhere, I got to listen to Oli Padaitha Kanninai. I haven't listened to that song in ages, but I could sing along - such is the power of the words and the lyrical quality of the poem. 

I remembered my Bharathanatyam performance in school to this song ( I do not dance any more). Playing parts again and again the tape recorder, planning different versions of va, va, va (Which means come, come, come) and emoting to the lyrics. I did have fun then..

Listening to Bharathiyar's lyrics through the divine voice of MS really got me into this great mood. Words can take on a different flavor when it is set in tune and sung with emotion. Words from Mahakavi which are already so full of emotion, are no exception. 

I am now going to dig up and listen to a few more of my childhood favorites in this combination. Paarukulle nalla naadu. (I learnt this song for a music competition..)

Music is eternal. Someday, I wish someone will set tune to something i write and some one eons away will enjoy it, even if they did not know who wrote it. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The frozen clock

The numbers in front of me, merge together..
They make sense and they dont
For the meaning I seek, can not be found there.

I identify with the broken clock on the wall,
Stuck like me in a time, 
Perhaps hoping to never lose what has already been
A lost cause..

Could I freeze those moments forever?
The tired glances,
the furtive whispers
The seemingly endless conversations

I watch the bubble form, slow but sure
Have i become a taxidermist now?
One that mummifies memories
Holding on to something,
That would otherwise decay effortlessly..

What is fate?
The preservation?
Or the inevitable decay?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Bye bye fb

I deactivated my Facebook account a few weeks ago (i think it has been more than 21 days now... or not) for the second time and to be honest, I don't miss it at all. I have a lot of friends in FB. I seldom add people, that was one vice i did have. I did not want to collect friends like how i collect books. (There have been exceptions. People I wanted to stay in touch with) But then, the different phases of my life don't have many people that overlap. Eg, nobody from school was in college, folks from college are all over, but maybe 2-3 were in the same companies as me, I shifted across domains and hence the friends from my companies are also quite different. There were a lot of people though. Quite a few as I am social and cannot keep quiet if i am with another person. FB asked me quite a few times - showing a random list of people - they will not be able to contact you, are you ok? My answer was a yes, one day.

Facebook is like a window. It is a window through which you peek into someone's life. Usually, like with windows, it is orchestrated in such a way that you only see the image they want you to see. Sometimes, you might be careless enough to reveal something ugly, but mostly it reminds me of the double sided curtains people are so fond of. Beautiful to a stranger you don't even know, that is jobless enough to look at your window from outside. You might have liked another pattern better, but you picked the double sided one as that was the image you wanted to portray.

What happens in the part you don't glimpse, the peek into the room beyond the window, you never get to know. How is that a good thing? You keep arranging the view from the window, forgetting to fix things that happen otherwise. Or you keep watching the view from the window, extrapolating and feeling bad at the dirty kitchen sink that is waiting for you to clean.

After they introduced personalization (I am sure an analyst like me is sitting somewhere and fixing new rules or perhaps it is a machine that does it) you end up seeing similar posts. Again, thanks to my diverse contact list, I get beauty tips, Trump rants, festival updates etc. etc. but I felt i never knew the entire picture. I hear only one side of the argument. All pro jallikattu, crazy dog lovers - opinions again, not facts.

I did not deactivate because of all these noble reasons. I deactivated because none of my really close friends, the ones i talk to for hours a day, connect with me through Fb. So, what is the point? I am better off learning french and Annamacharya kirtanas in that time. Yes, 5 mins a day can change your life.

I loved you fb. A lot more than you can ever know. Probably, I will login someday to get some contact or the other. But that probability is not very high. I am actually busy cleaning up the house right now to focus on a non existent window. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

One more down

I hate driving. My colleagues and friends have seen my Uber reliance on Uber. In fact I don't even own a car. 
Anyway, today after quite a long time, I drove to and fro from a place quite a bit away from home. Without causing any permanent damage to anyone and by taking two long routes to go and come back as I had to drop people. I embraced my fear of driving perhaps. Or fear of damaging someone else's car. I'm contemplating getting myself a car now.  ( I still have my Tesla dreams.. so should figure out a way..)

Being my own knight

When I was a kid, I always believed that there would be a knight in shining armor, who would storm in and solve my problems. I believed it from the bottom of my heart. 

It seemed to be such a nice thing. A magical solution to every single thing you can think of. 
I'm almost thirty now and I have finally come to accept, there are no knights any more. For one thing, thanks to global warming, the suits of armor are going to be quite uncomfortable to wear and for another, unless one was a lunatic, he wasn't going to go around wearing one. So, the logical conclusion is, the idea is outdated.
 
The second thing is even more simple. Life is either a series of problems or opportunities, depending on how you want to see it. So, even if a raging lunatic was running around being cruel to an unfortunate horse, by sitting on top of it wearing that ridiculous suit of armor, I'm just going to have one problem after another for him, that everything is going to be only about the problem. Definitely not worth it. 

I can see the stars in the eyes of the younger me. No matter how silly it might have been, i like it when dreams come true. I believe in magic, hope and what not. There has to be a knight. I didn't have to think much or look for long to find one. 

I have come to accept and appreciate, that I'm my own knight. I always come to my rescue. I love myself though I've not embraced narcism fully yet and I'm there with myself, every single day of my life. 

To honor this commitment, I got myself a diamond ring today. I look at it and I feel so happy. I can see a few people rise an eyebrow at the thought of me buying and donning jewelry, but then, this is the new me. I'm my own knight. Cheers to that. I take another sip of my wine and look at the Bangalore skyline as I type this. Cheers to life!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Masks and lenses

I remember your mask today..
That beautiful and intricate one,
Full of a million nuances
The many I enjoyed finding,
The thousands more I knew were there,
Waiting to be found.

The same lovely mask,
That finally melted and disappeared-
In the unfortunately light of reality.

Easier it was, then and now
To blame you for all that was..
To curse you for not seeing, what could have been..
For every single thing, we lost.

The non existent delusion..
This instant, I wonder
And perhaps even accept..
You wore not a mask,
I sketched it on you,
In my alternate reality,
The one in which, unwittingly,
I wore colored lenses.

Your mask was forced on you, by me,
For just me to see.

Maybe this vision of mine,
Is as colored and biased as the last one-
Maybe, awareness is all that's needed
To make peace with the transience.

And acceptance is the only thing I can spare,
To love the transience,
For what it is.

I close my eyes and savor,
This instant where we're frozen
And accept my delusion.
I just have to open my eyes and move on.
Maybe.. Somewhere else, I already have.
Hope is a good thing.

Musical memories

I guess I've rambled quite a few times about how some songs remind me of things that used to be. Even if they were ages ago. Today, I listened to a song and I enjoyed it for what it was. Without remembering what it meant. Is this what is called being dumb and happy?

Afterlife

I have fallen in love with this song. Called after life by Ingrid Michaelson. I love the lyrics, the music and the whole attitude of the song. 

Like there's no tomorrow because we're the after life. 

There is always a tomorrow. But the truth is, we forget the today for the tomorrow or the yesterday. Whenever I feel I'm doing that, I play this song. It wakes me up quite fast. Here's to life and to new beginnings which begin today and not in some random point in the future. 

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Run Lola run

This is not about the movie.  As with everything in my blog, this is about me. I'm documenting a minor achievement of sorts. 

I ran/jogged for a mile today without walking. To say I'm so proud is probably an understatement. 

My stamina is not great. I never used to play as a kid, preferring my books to any physical activity. So I didn't really think I'll continue with my experiments with running. However, I did. I like the rush it gives me. 

After deciding to run towards something and not run away, (which has been my usual strategy), I'm making steady progress. Maybe, when I run away fear accompanies me and when I run towards an unknown, I look forward to, anticipation does. So perhaps, that's why I was able to run. 

I don't know what will happen tomorrow. The sun will probably rise, but beyond that, I can't really say anything with certainty. Only thing I can try is as long as I'm able to, put one step before another and walk. Then jog. 

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Ils deviennent des hommes

A few things happened in unison today

1. My French class - I have been attempting to learn French for almost a month now. I used to love the language in school and i am rediscovering my love for it again. 

So, as part of the course, I was revising a few sentences  when this line came up - "Ils deviennent des hommes" - it translates to "they become men". (In a way I was annoyed as there was no sentence about women. I would have liked to write that translation.) It felt so powerful. This transition from one state to another. It is always gradual, so the become makes sense and it is usually painful so I wondered where the pain went. Is it inherently understood?

2. I was chatting with a friend of mine from college. We had not been in touch (I am not really that good at keeping in touch. Have a slight problem there) and when we started talking, I started rambling like it was just last week that we spoke. 

Given all this, I was reminded of the place where I started growing up to be this woman I am now. BITS - Pilani. 

To say that I loved the place would probably be an understatement. It was the first place I felt that i truly belonged in. (I sucked at making friends in school and really learnt to socialize much better in college) 

I always felt at home there and also met my best friends there. It changed me for the better. (Well, not enough, but growing up is a lifelong process, so i am going to be nice to myself now)

I never thought I would forget the time spent there.I had all this plans about going back to campus to recruit. (I also had plans to retire from my first company, but that is a story for another day) 

I was reminded of my last view of the gate when I left. I was in tears then. (I didnt want to turn back time though. I wanted to start working) An era over. A life so long ago. I have changed and I am still the same. I would like to think that i have hopefully become a little nicer and a lot more mature after making the same mistake in various forms again and again. 

I was so caught up in my present, that i never truly had time to pause and ponder about the past. Today, I took sometime off. To remember that naive and silly girl who was convinced she knew it all (who still thinks so. :) ) and to remember that place where I learnt that I was ok on my own and reconnected with the poet in me. 

BITS - Pilani - I will always love you. Thank you for everything. Thank you for everyone. The future can wait for a few more hours as I sit and remember a glorious past.

Monday, March 06, 2017

An innocent stroll

I attempt a stroll down memory lane,
A forced one, for the present is far more interesting
Than the past ever should be..

Countless images rush around my head
The runner in me, tries to break free,
Seeking actively for an outlet
A minor distraction to obsess over..

I pause and let the thoughts in,
The faces merge and I see it all-
The hope, the joy, the fantasy,
Never expecting the sorrow.
The sorrow is but another mirage
Just like the hope
Effervescent, transient and insane!

Why is it that in hindsight,
I see not the broken glass,
But the colorful rainbow -
The same one, I imagined then?
The images are prettier
The world is clearer
Nostalgia is a dangerous friend..

Now is not less than the then
Nor will it be replaced by the when..

I pull myself out and plug myself in
To the music of Dire straits..
I try to dance like no one is watching!
Nobody is anyway and I attempt to make peace

What never can be, will never be
And what has to be, will anyway be

No matter how out of tune my singing is
And how deaf the world is, to the beats, only my legs can hear.

Invictus

This is Pi. My new friend. Three legged, yet full of confidence and joy. Everytime I look at a dog, my hope goes up. How're they able to be how they are? Some would say it's cos we feed them. But I disagree. That love is genuine. In so far as I have felt.
I look at him and I see joy. He doesn't hang on to a past that led him to lose his leg. He just walks and runs with his three legs. Pausing for a cuddle or a kiss. Why can't I be a dog? Someday, I'd like to be one. 

Friday, March 03, 2017

Dealing with rejection

Dear Harini,

Thank you for your application for a Stegner Fellowship. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer you a place in the program. However, we wanted to let you know that your application was read with great care and appreciation. It is through the vibrancy and commitment of work like yours that the program is able to depend on an applicant pool of immense talent. Every year, after reading the submissions, all of us wish we had more fellowships to offer.

We want to thank you for your interest in the Stanford Creative Writing Program, and offer you our best wishes for your future work.

- Stanford University Creative Writing Program


I had applied for the Stegner fellowship for poetry. I knew I had very low chances of getting through, but I wanted to give it a shot. What it ended up achieving was, it made me write a lot of poetry in the last few months. Ok, let me backtrack. I had started writing a lot of poetry after a few interesting incidents and hence, i decided to apply for the Stegner fellowship to see if I can get a chance to just sit and write for a very long time. 

I felt sad when I did not get through, but I am not devastated. Yay Harini - you are learning to accept your limitations and your failures as just incidents..

When I was much younger, i thought i was invincible. Even now, i think my spirit is indomitable (my favorite lines from Invictus come to my head) Now, I just want to reiterate, I am a constantly evolving, changing, improving individual. If I was born perfect, where is the fun in that? So world, here i am, ready to try, knowing fully well that there are going to be more dents in my armor as I want things that are not easy. Ill learn to be kind to myself. 

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Time machine

White with a touch of red
She stands by the window,
Watching and waiting..
The bird had flown eons ago,
Carrying her heart,
The longing, a beautiful reminder of love.
The longing, an essential part.
It mattered not that the king,
Had his heart and body distributed across..
It mattered not at all
Or so she thought,
Ignoring infidelity, accepting it and waiting..

The time machine zooms and I watch you now..
Curled up in your bed, wearing those tiny shorts,
Staring at a white screen with hope,
Awaiting a message..
The quintessential modern woman,
Independent, confident and still longing..

How similar you are!

They wait not for you,
They long not for you,
They just seek temporary refuge,
Passion forgotten once outside the bed,
Memories largely ignored!

My lovely ladies,
When will you wake up and accept,
Romance is but a fantasy
That will remain unfulfilled, forever!
That will exist in another realm,
Crafted of desire and longing
Never in the one, fully conscious.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Small dreams

I've always liked colors. At school, I was told I am not very good at drawing. I guess in my craze to always be the best or not do something, i never made an attempt to color/paint/draw. 

I had made these water colors of apple and other fruits in 2011, which went to the dustbin when my maid asked me which kid had come home. 

In my mood to make changes, here is another one i made in my life. Got a coloring book for adults (yes, they exist) and i got beautiful color pencils and just kept coloring for two days. It was such a peaceful time, away from my phone and from distractions that would anyway keep me occupied. I hope this bird flies in some realm of fantasy..

Hate song



I am seemingly unconcerned

No, wait - Definitely, unconcerned!

The world is full of sugar, spice

And every damn thing nice.




Oh! Of what use is a demented lunatic?

A wildly delusional one, incapable of seeing beyond his vision?

An ass, with a nice one perhaps, but an ass still..

Coal black eyes, that can see not the obvious!

Razor sharp wit, that cannot comprehend a basic fact!




I want not your grand plans for conquest...

I remember not the details

Smitten I am not, depraved probably..




I dance not to Brahms,

I search not for my Krytonite,

I look not at a picture, of what was..




I march forward

I run along, throwing in a waltz and a skip,

Knowing you will hate the random mix.




Sappy poetry, you don't deserve

All the love in the world, you will not get..

Just get out of my head.

You need to vacate the throne you comfortably perch in..