Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The enclosed conch {Terrarium}

My dear blog-peers, 

I have been away from this space for a while but this space always comes along with me wherever I go. It is sacred for me and the people who come here to see me are sacred to me as well. I mean every single word of it. It’s the quietness of being here that makes me write more and say more. Lately I have been sharing visuals on an old but ‘new for me’ platform that of Instagram. Within a click I get to converse with so many likeminded people or rather people who seem to be like minded.

It gets life back on the same page as others and quietly whispers in my ears, “The world is huge, with bigger dreams; little betrayals; tiny shadows and much larger expressions.”
                                                                   *  *  *  *  *

So unlike the end of last year when I told you stories about different people, places and expressions, in the next few days I have a mixed platter for you. A visual platter on which you can sprinkle as much salt, pepper and olive oil as you wish to.

I am letting you drift away with some drawings and floating words that have been traveling with me since I spoke to you last. So come on board and I shall tell you lots of short stories, one of them is of Ankit.

I know Ankit for the last few years, rather our introduction was uncanny. A mutual friend of ours introduced us over a social networking site saying that we look alike. That time I had just entered design school and Ankit was about to join an art school. His work was very expressive then. I would often wonder how he spoke to colors so boldly and why I related to someone’s work I had never seen in person and was it because I took extra efforts to see someone’s work because we are look-alikes.

Every person we meet comes with a riddle. Today after knowing him for over five years, I finally saw him in flesh and blood at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Vadodara, Gujarat. Now we laughed loudly for the first few minutes and spoke like we had always known each other. When I opened my travel journals, Ankit seemed familiar with them because he had seen the blog quite carefully and he would point at things in the book and say, “Hey this is on the blog, I have seen this!”

How lines have an identity, they are like people. Colours are like confidants; mutual friends in today’s lingo. How sometimes words are less mighty than elements of a painting. How sometimes…

I was in Vadodara for a short while and before I could sit with Ankit and see his work, which I was very keen to see; it was time for me to leave. As I walked with my bag at the Fine Arts campus, Ankit came running with a beautiful little plant in a glass bottle. There were shells and conches peeping out of the soil and colorful stones stood still in the firm but loose soil. A little plant shyly emerged from the uneven surface and as I turned the bottle around to see what all was there inside; my eyes caught this little note hanging from coiled threads, it said ‘inspire’.

There was so much synergy in this whole situation; someone whose work inspired me; himself gave me a note saying ‘inspire’. Someone who is supposedly a look-alike takes the effort to make something for someone he is meeting for the first time in person. All we knew about each other were strokes, colors and expressions.

We are look-alikes, perhaps. And if I was not able to see his work this time maybe there is another time planned for it. Who knows!

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Here’s what Ankit told me about the plant;  its called a Terrarium, its a mini ecosystem and functions exactly like one. The leaves release the water vapour which condense on the walls of the glass and goes back to the soil, and the process of photosynthesis makes the plant get the air it wants within the enclosure.Ii love these and am tying to learn better what plants and what arrangements work best for them...

                                            Much love and more to tell soon in the March sun

Monday, February 24, 2014

The maximum city with little words; worlds.

The ‘beeping’ city rises to a quiet sea,
With the mighty ship floating in the clouds.
The city celebrates it's physique,
And blooms to the 'beeps'.
The moon hides;
For the sun to kiss the go-getters.

The wide screen; a confidant,
Speaks to the minimalistic country,
As the aroma of lemon grass;
Dissolves in the bustling aspirations.

The warps and wefts,
Speak for the dreamer;
The go-getter.
Chic prints flaunt their way,
In the conditioned commute.
The minimalistic city;
Celebrates its physique yet again.

The aroma of lemon grass,
The brewing coffee,
And the draft beer,
Compliments the weathered corridors;
Running with the go-getters.
The ship still floating in the clouds;
And the streets full of themselves.

Why this maximum city with little words,
Has so many words and worlds?

Singapore 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

It's a win win situation "Winning! #Conclave14"

It's a win win situation

The country I was born in wins when it loses;
Celebrates when it loses to win,
Where winning the first spot in 
any incongruous queue is winning,
Where a ‘like’ button, an overwhelming ‘emoticon’
, a ‘re-tweet’ reassures winning.

A green signal is victory,
Winning is twice loosing,
Loosing is just a consolation prize for winning.

Don’t laugh my friend;
It takes a bit, quite a bit to feel you have won.
In a country like mine,
A drunken husband who beats up his wife and wins,
A wife, who burns her obtrusive husband alive; wins,
A news channel wins when it intimidates 
the next prime-ministerial candidate,
Yes, it wins a million ‘hit’ on YouTube.

That is winning.
So win my boy; win little girl,
In a country of million conditionings,
You shall learn to loose, sorry; win.
Win what wins you wins,
Win the ‘hashtags’, win the ‘likes’, win
 the YouTube hits,
Because that is winning in todays wins.

Express to win; crib to loose,
Fight for the winner, the lost ones anyway fight.
But no my friend; win because you want to win,
Win what makes you feel you have won,
Don’t hide behind an intimidating emoticon,
Don’t demean what it means to win,
Win and go ahead to loose,

In a country like ours,
You win in the morning, loose by evening,
Go to bed smiling,
Only to win a new day;
Hoping to see the new day.

And that’s when you know you have won,

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

That a man as beautiful had touched our lives for years

A man who held seven grandchildren together with unbiased love, made each one feel that he belongs to them. His customized attire that made him distinctive, his thoughts that made him relevant even in changing times, the wines he made and the beers he celebrated, the conversations he evoked and the smiles that danced on our face when we saw him.

To a man who never feared death and looked at it just as another beginning to an end.

Mothe baba, my grandfather designed his own clothes. He had once got a coat designed in a way that the pockets of the coat matched the fabric of his trousers. When I saw it as a child it mesmerized me. Although my grandmother would often target him with her unmatched sarcasm for his attire, the coat would always draw compliments from the young.  He would wear it for most of the family celebrations and it would look new every time. The secret behind the magic was not the coat; it was his persona beaming modesty through his eyes, his mellow voice and his ability to strike a conversation with the quietest soul in the crowd.

A year has passed since his demise but his warmth lingers in our heart, his stories are told to the little ones in the family and I wish to tell them more when they grow up; that a man as beautiful had touched our lives for years.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Solitary crawling

A story of a time where time is the most expensive luxury, no more a necessity.And when this luxury comes knocking at your door, can you really embrace it and call it yours? You know you have to pay a price for it.

May you find a lot time for yourself in this long and bright year ahead, the rest shall always be there; the chaos, the inhibitions and more!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Precarious edges

My second youngest niece, Neeva will turn a year old soon. There is something unique about each one of my nephews and nieces. Whenever I think of them, that one special thing pop’s up in my mind and brings a wide smile to my face.


As we all were thinking about the gifts we could give her on her first birthday, I wanted to personally make something with my hands for her. Children will play and interact with whatever you give them, then they would start relating to it, cuddle it, tear it apart or just stare at it; in a short while that something would have a name; a story. At times the most joyful thing is to see a child break something you gave him/her into bits and pieces because what matters is that the child interacted with it.

I like the precarious edges of the doll; the raw stitches, the na├»ve hands and the expressive eyes just like little Neeva. The best thing about making a gift yourself is the warmth hidden in it and the secret story between you and the person you are giving it to. If that someone is a child, then it’s the icing on the cake!

So this perhaps is the last blog from the magical year of 2013. As much as the year seemed challenging in the beginning, it turned out to be quite an intriguing journey. Hope you have a beautiful and safe New Year's Eve. I have some stories in a new medium for you early in the new year. 


Friday, November 1, 2013

The Obsolete Acquaintance

As we raise our heels and stretch our little hands to touch the sky, there are some old friends we forget on our way. Very soon or sometimes never do we realize that the sky is actually very very far from us, and when we feel we are close to it, we are actually still far away.

In this festival of lights there is one old acquaintance who is not around anymore; a sprawling mango tree I woke up to every morning.

Goodbye Acquaintance...

Hope you are having the brightest and most beautiful week of the year, for my readers who are not from India, Diwali is a week long festival of lights we celebrate during this time of the year. It is believed that Lord Ram returned after fourteen years of exile and he was welcomed with lit ghee lamps.