Saturday, October 20, 2012

My "Inception" Moment

I was in my sleep….dreaming ..now of course I know that …but in the dream I didn’t know obviously that it’s dream. My dream goes like this….(dreams are really weird) my husband and I were talking to a little girl…whats your name, age..school…blah blah. And every time she answered her front tooth which was shaky would point out…it almost was hanging by her gums with a small tissue…and she would pull it in and place it back with her tongue. So I say to my husband that her tooth is going to fall off…and just so she doesn’t panic we should tell her that….so we go ahead and tell her that oh your tooth is gonna fall off…and apparently I have a shaky incisor tooth from the upper jaw and I too push it off with my tongue….and we both lose one tooth each…kinda like giving her company so she doesn’t feel lonely…at this point I am very calm about my broken tooth…
But after few seconds …as I am just rolling my tongue in my mouth another tooth from the lower jaw unexpectedly falls off too, into 2 pieces….one piece is fine the other one is pretty much a crumble. At this point I panic…thinking..woah! I need my teeth to be fine…when I smile…the lower jaw is not visible but the upper jaw is clearly visible with a tooth missing…and I realize that I  need to have a good smile on my wedding day (wonder when my husband sitting next to me was not a husband anymore!)
At this point as my mind is so scared of my missing teeth and I am already thinking of my Dentist doc and  the visits and the expenditure…I tell myself in the dream…that wait! “This can be a dream, wake up and check Shilpa”. And I literally opened my eyes like the dead open in those horror movies…and I rolled my tongue to realize that it indeed is a dream; that I have all  my regular teeth and I can peacefully sleep than take myself through a long mental thought process of my broken smile. I actually smiled and rolled back to sleep!
When I woke up in the morning, I mentioned the entire dream to my husband saying it’s like the movie Inception…where I wake up from the dream by a nudge…to which he said where is your totem….like a jerk or a fall that wakes you up from the dream….I think my conscience is my totem that asked me to wake up! The more I thought of it, I found it spooky or eerie or strange – ‘to tell you in the dream that this could be a dream’. Does that happen often to people?

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Brits we miss!!!

Last week on the occasion of Ganesh Chathurthi, I was visiting my grandparents at my uncle’s place. My grandma had specially called me as she was planning to prepare some old delicacies especially for me. I have missed so many dishes that my mom used to make before I got married. Now I really don’t have the time and energy to make those.I finished my decoration, celebrations and prayers quickly.
Rangoli outside my house for Ganesha :)
Frankly Ganesh Chathurthi is such a grand celebration in Pune. I would start to decorate the Pooja room the previous night, with glittering party streamers, lightings, rangoli’s at each entrance…etc. I miss the loud celebration of Ganpati festival from Pune. Bringing the Ganesha idol in grand style from the store to your home, with the face covered, chanting Ganesha prayers. I am not a very religious person, but the only prayer I know is the Ganesh Aarti. I love it, the Sanskrit words and the tune of it! Miss all this now in Bangalore.
I reached my uncle’s place and they were close to finishing the entire menu for the day. My grandparents were making Kadabu, it’s a spicy item. Kinda like rice dumpling with spicy filling inside. For my husband it was new item. He has always eaten only the sweet version of it we call Modak  J.
After a delicious meal of varied items, we sat down just talking. Suddenly for some reason, I asked my grandma how old was she….82 she said…and grandpa was 84. So we eagerly asked “You were there when the Britishers ruled us. How was it then? Did they really harass you like we read in history books and see in the movies? ”Grandma said, “It was good then! They were very systematic, they had their rules. If you break the rules they would punish, else it was just a normal life style; it really wasn’t that bothersome. OR may only in big cities where there was struggle on, may be those people faced harassment. But we pretty much had a good time. And definitely better than the times today! These politicians who are running the country now are looting us. At least it wasn’t this bad during the British time. The Britishers are better any day compared to what is happening now in our country”.
Through my childhood, my dad used to always say that the Britishers shouldn’t have left our country; for we would have been a much better developed country. It was a mistake to fight for freedom and then take our country to dooms. The leaders who fought for freedom never came up with a proper plan of how to run the country. We know, all the technology that came into India was because of the Britishers. Railways, post office, schools and hospitals, eradication of so many blind belief and bad social practices. They brought these facilities for their easy of life in India… and it stayed after they left. So imagine if they stayed a bit longer we’d be a much developed forward country. True eh!
Now when we look at our country we are in such a bad shape. There is no equality in society; we have extremes of everything – rich poor, educated-illiterate etc. We studied how the freedom fighters sacrificed their lives for this country. Name one politician now who wants to do that? The congress govt. is a deaf govt. who is not listening to any needs of the common man. My civics book taught the govt. is “of the people by the people for the people”. So if the people don’t want this govt. anymore, shouldn’t there be simple way to remove them? How can the ruling govt. overpower the people? So where is the democracy in this democratic country?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Greatest speech ever

I got this youtube link from a friend. Does it strike a chord? Does it shake you up? Does it make you say - I know....exactly! I say I agree!

I replayed it again and again to feel the rush!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Women and Cultures

Since I moved to Bangalore I have had a maid at home to do the daily cleaning; just like my Mysore days. But a much better experience than the super-smart maid Radha in Mysore. Here I have a Muslim lady coming to work. Actually they are a bunch of ladies that work around here in my locality. So all are related to each other like sisters-in-law (in Indian terms they are Bhabhi, Nanand, Devrani, Jethani to each other)My maid Salma, recently started to bring a little girl…by which I mean a short girl really. Chandni, damn adorable girl with a very very innocent smile..just about 4 feet or an inch. On day one I wasn’t sure how old she is and I really didn’t want a little girl (minor) to work in my house. So I quickly asked Salma if Chandni was her daughter. She said no, Chandni was her brother-in-law’s wife. I was so shocked to hear this little baby faced girl was a ‘married woman’. I asked Chandni how old she really was and she said she was 19. That relieved me! Next day she mentioned she had two kids. I was again shocked to know she was already a mom with TWO kids! So in my head was calculating that its fine..she might have got married when she was 17 and then had the babies…which I think is common in Muslim custom (but not generalizing).
A week later she hadn’t come with Salma. So I enquired if she was fine. Apparently her kids were not doing well. And I felt sorry for her thinking her little kids must be sick and this little girl is supposed to nurse her two kids. When she came back to work after couple of days, I enquired about the well-being of her kids. I just generally asked how older her kids were…”One is 5 and another is 2”! Shocked!! I didn’t take too long to ask her ‘How old were you when you got married’. 12 was the answer!!! I was totally speechless. In my head I was thinking when I was 12, how I must have been in 7th grade..with images of my 7th grade classroom flashing before my eyes…the fun we had..the small events from 7th grade suddenly coming alive after so many years! And this girl was married at that age!  In coming days…I have always been very fond of her; her innocence, her child-like face. One morning she was done with the dishes so I was washing Spinach in the kitchen sink. She asked me “Don’t you wear Bangles?” Embarrassed, I answered quite vaguely..”err…neah…no…not always…like if there is a celebration or special occasion…I wear them”. It somehow felt like I was such a bad ‘Indian’ woman! The next day my mom was with me at home. We were busy in the kitchen. After her work, Chandni was watching us, when she dropped another big question; “Don’t you wear a nose ring?” I was so very embarrassed this time. I laughed out and said..No dear, I don’t wear a nose ring!!!
She retorted back saying, “Your mother doesn’t wear either”. For this one I had an answer. I told her how my mom used to wear earlier, until it started to hurt her and she stopped wearing her nose ring. She also noticed my mom’ bare hands ..no bangles. My mom had a better convincing answer! Since we work at home and office…we try to maintain the bangles from water and stuff..we only wear it to work and remove it once we’re back home! Chandni nodded in acceptance and said..”Well in our community we have to wear bangles and nose rings compulsory…or else, we are scolded”. I told her that in our religion/community, there is no such hard and fast rule to follow such customs…at least not in my family.
I have always thought of how some religions or communities are so strict and strong on their rules…especially rules that are made for WOMEN! It makes me go back to the same old thoughts of how all the rules in the society are made for women…around women…and if there are any rules for men, they can always be broken and adjusted, right! I have grown up with couple of rules for being a girl too..safety wise..and I still hear even today from elders of some rules and ways of living for a woman! I choose to decide myself..what is required…what can be ignored! But little Chandni hardly has any choice to think or decide or ignore any rules! She does what she is told and thinks that is what life is all about!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Chicken tales

Fragile Chicken
My weekend was hectic travel one. I travelled from Bangalore to Salem to Mysore back to Bangalore. We went to visit my husband’s grandfather who is ill. My aunt-in-law who is taking care of him lives in a more village-like part of the Salem town. Like they actually have a well to draw water and have baskets of chickens.


 



Light colored babies

Water drawing from the well

Feisty Mommy!

It’s always been a small wish to hold chickens in my hand…and I did so this week..cute little black chickens…gosh! They are so adorable…and they are pretty loud when the squeak..and their tiny little wings! Very cute! When they were let out to roam..the view was beautiful; one black beauty – the mommy and 14 little baby chickens! All running and following their mom at all times. The mom would scratch the soil and dig out while the chickens would probably eat ants or something.


Artistically Dented
There was a moment when a dog came around…and man! The way the mom chased away the dog ….like in flash of a second…was a total Animal Planet scene. I always knew dogs are scared of cats, but this one was a shocker! A hen attacking a preying dog with open arms, literally! Poor dog..haha! Great motherly instincts!












 Life is quite simple in small town. I got to eat curry made from banana flowers; flowers that would eventually grow to become bananas! It tastes really good. The neighbors baby was laid on a simple cradle made of a long cloth..with a simple wooden seperator that also hold the twirling toy to keep the toddler busy! Super simple design!

Banana flowers for curry
 

 
And the well, I tried a few times to pull out water. Yes its fun J. But frankly these women using wells must have really good muscles! I mean really easy workout if you want to have toned arms! The little girl pulling our water performed a whole gymnastic activity with all her might pulling out a full vessel of water & picking and re-filling a pot. The vessel to dunk in was surely a piece of art! Still life art! The number of dents on it speaks of its journey! Totally funny to look though!




 Salem was hot as always, but not that bad. What’s surprising is how the temperatures across the border of Karnataka & Tamil Nadu change drastically! Like you suddenly have air conditioning the moment to leave Tamil Nadu and step into Karnataka. Bus ride to Mysore is beautiful. Mysore genuinely is beautiful with the green paddy fields, coconut trees, red Gulmohar trees, cool weather, less traffic and people (compared to Bangalore).  Visited the Nanjangud temple again with grandparents and uncle.  
Baby in the home made cradle
Life is quite simple in small town. I got to eat curry made from banana flowers; flowers that would eventually grow to become bananas! It tastes really good. The neighbors baby was laid on a simple cradle made of a long cloth..with a simple wooden seperator that also hold the twirling toy to keep the toddler busy! Super simple design!

Mysore Police....still living the Royal times!!!
Nanjanagud Temple

I think family get-togethers or short group trips are a good change for our routine life. It was a fun-filled weekend of travel, food, jokes and laughter. I wish travelling would be so easy w.r.t work days, leaves, transport availability, good company and good places. I wish we had a bus or train pass for lifetime and could travel anytime anywhere! What a fun life eh!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pope John Paul

Pope John Paul
I just learnt from a friend that this bunch of white roses is called Pope John Paul….My miss Nadya octomom is doing so well….7 blossomed roses…1 more to go. They look so beautiful. The first time I saw the buds…I was wondering how the little branch would bear the weight of 8 roses, because they looked like they will all bloom around the same time.

Acting like sunflowers....going out towards the light!!!!
The bunch of semi-blossomed roses looks so amazing. Since I migrated from Mysore to Bangalore, I decided to keep only floral plants than show plants that don’t bear any flowers. It always brings joy to see pretty flowers in my little garden placed in my gallery.
I wish these ‘octoplets’ would stay forever! That’s the sad part about flowers, they don’t last forever!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Octomom!!


So I came back after a week from my Pune visit and I found my white rose plant has 8 buds!! All on the same branch! Got an octomom in my garden….remembered the long lost octomom famed Nadya Suleman!!! Wonder what she does these days!
Now I patiently wait each day to see one white rose bloom at a time!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Travel to Pune

This week I am visiting my home…my parents’ home in Pune; after 1.5 years. They have visited me a bunch times in the past 1.5 years J. I planned my travel by bus as its still holiday season in India and you don’t get train reservations, unless you planned and booked 3 months ago! And well bus is much quicker than train too. I attended half day at work and my husband took me to my bus boarding place. Koramangla in Bangalore! As per Indian time schedule a bus came 5 mins late.
When we plan for a long journey of 14 hours..its understood your bus will be one of those huge Volvo bus; either ways my husband took care to find me the best luxurious AC bus. What came to pick me up was a small mini bus like from the 1970s but with the same name of the travels…I was speechless to comment about it. And I said to my husband ‘Are you sure I am supposed to travel 14 hours in this bus!’ And quickly he realized that this was just a pick up bus that would carry passengers from nearby locations and drop to the actual location from where the bus would start! Phew! What a relief! I didn’t know we have pick up services in India. And if so, they should at least upgrade their mini buses to newer versions!
The driver was one of us..typical Indian characters- who in their world are perfect while the rest of the people around are so stupid and should not be roaming out freely! We were going over a small bridge which was over the underground road. And a car in front of us was waiting carefully to drive through the incoming traffic. Our pickup driver got so annoyed that he is waiting for NOTHING! He popped his head out of his drivers’ window and screamed at the car driver “Yo Dude! You can go man! There no need to wait” (closest translation). The car moved on quickly while our driver mumbled to himself “Why do people buy expensive car when they can’t drive!” Yes sir, so true. This entire attitude while he himself was breaking every other road rule J.
We picked passengers to cover all 20 seats of the mini bus. It was quite suffocating each time it stopped for people. Big and large sizes of men and women travelling in a mini bus! Finally, when I reached the location after 40 mins. my real bus looked so much more convincing. Big, large, huge, gigantic regular VOLVO bus!!!! Phew!
When I got into the bus, I saw I had a window seat. We Indians do not ever let go a window seat, and if you’ve paid for one..then NO WAY! I was talking on the phone, passing the information of the location where the bus will stop in Pune, so my family can come to pick me up. I had a girl passenger next to me. My seat of 7W (w is window, clear identification); the girl asked me very smartly with a dirty expression, “Do you want to go in to the window seat or should I?” In other words, can I take the window seat! I asked her what is 7W? Window seat? She says…I think so! Like it isn’t obvious enough? So you are openly stealing my window seat??? I said hang on, let me take my seat! Window-seat-stealer!!! I got my window seat!  J
Then when they put on the TV, it was such a pleasant relief. I mean all through these 1.5 years I have travelled around only to Tamilnadu. So every time I board a bus, I have heard loud, harsh tamil songs or movies. To my pleasant surprise the bus guy put in a DVD that had only Hindi movies. So what if they are Salman Khan’s movies! It’s a good deal any day! Yaay! I ended up watching Ready (crappiest movie), Bodyguard (another stupid movie) and then Maine Pyar kyu kiya; which I am surprised that it’s the same story as Hollywood movie ‘Just go with it’ which released very recently. How can a new Hollywood movie be similar to an old Bollywood movie? Isn’t it the other way round?
Anyways, I am home now. Back to the town I grew up in and it changes every time I come here. New roads, new stores, new malls, lots of traffic etc. It sure is much hotter than Bangalore right now. I am missing the cool Bangalore showers! More to come about Pune visit!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Twirl away….

Channapatna is a small town in Karnataka, which is famous for wooden toys and artifacts. They have some of the finest, oldest and simplest designs; be it toys or kitchenware, show pieces. It’s a world of wood. I mean they could probably build a small world out of wooden things.


I have this desire from a long time to buy different kinds of artifacts from there, just for a collection! Over the weekend we went out for a drive..not to Channapatna though, but came across a small store of the wooden items. Actually, you find such stores all over the state. But for the first time I have actually bought a top…not the regular design. It’s a much smarter and easier version of the top.

And the design actually looks like a girl twirling away with joy…yeah! I am not a kid anymore..but it really makes me smile every time I see it rotate.
video

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Shooting the Moon

My first ever attempt to click the full moon. After a series of 4-5 blurry, white solid ball, I finally figured out how to get the grey spots on the moon. A clear picture of the moon! Yaaaay! I finally can click a moon with my Nikon Coolpix L100.

The moon on Good friday - 6th April 2012


Friday, April 6, 2012

Adipa – beautiful and easy

Design 1
Now since I have shared out the news – I have bought a house, let’s talk about decorating and furnishingJ. The best and the fun part (ignoring the expense part for now!). I have colleague at work who also recently bought a house too and did furnishing and stuff. So we generally discuss ideas and things that we want to do…places to buy from, brands, models, stores etc.
She shared her Facebook pictures to show me her new house with the final look. I noticed the nameplate she had on her door and I enquired about it. It was a custom made nameplate and she directed me to Landmark store in Forum mall, Bangalore.
I went there today to finish the nameplate task. So the company that makes these is “Adipa”. They have handmade tiles and wooden frames to make any kind of combination you’d like. It’s like a jig-saw puzzle.
I really loved their stuff. We made random 4-5 combinations, but finally didn’t give the order as they didn’t have the frame size we wanted and some of the tiles we wanted ere over. It’s going to take them a month to get the new stockL.

Design 2
So I noted their website www.adipa.com. Though some of the tiles I saw in the store are not displayed on the website, it’s still good to design the nameplate online. So since the last hour I have been trying couple of designs and I have come up with 2. It’s as easy as dragging the tiles you want, select and delete the ones you don’t want. I totally loved this concept and had to share it with all.
Now once I show it to my husband in the morning and he agrees, I think I can make an online order to make sure it comes in time for the house warming ceremony!
Do share your comments and let me know which one looks betterJ. Try them and have fun making cool nameplates!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Still here....

It's been a while since I have posted on my blog. Frankly, work has been keeping very very busy. I have always wanted to be loaded with work so I am actually liking it. But it almost feels like I have forgotten to blog. Since most of day I spend at work, I meet or see very few interesting people.

I thought about writing my experience of working in one of the largest company in India, but then got bored of the thought! Yeah, its a huge company and I was never a fan of it. Not even today, when I work for it. But at this stage of life, there are very different priorities, work is still important but other personal matter are taking precedence too.

Working in a big company, where you lose your identity - I have never liked to work like this. The crowd I see everyday is like a herd...herd of sheep and cattle that follow blindly; most of the talks I hear around in the cafeteria sound so stupid that I am glad I dont have a gossip group. Actually, my husband also works in the same company so we have lunch togther :) Which still I am glad about; I dont have to make friends who gossip and chitchat on meaningless things.

The dressing sense is still a shock to date; sick of seeing girls wearing weird clothes that don't suit them, women who blindly follow latest fashion regardless of how they look like, can they even carry it off? Girls wear western attire but not with the elegance that the western girls wear! Pretty much a chaos in the fashion area.

Amongst all this chaos, we have been hunting for a house which is finally coming to an end. We have chose an apartment close to our workplace that takes care of the endless commute time of Bangalore.

All those paintings I did since couple of months were for my future house, I still have to get them framed. It's all happening at its pace. But soon I will have my OWN house. The first one. It's still out of my understanding how people make multiple properties but for now I will own one property.

And yes, it makes my parents very proud. Most of the relatives are in awe. Well, in their times they took a lifetime to own a house. These days we are reaching that milestone a bit early..may be a lot early. But looking at the property rates in India you always feel, Man! I wish I had bought a property 5 years ago...you could have been in college then! Still that thought does cross your mind.

I feel a good sense of achievement. It's not out of the world I know. But it's good to know we are on a good track.

The house hunt part of my past months....will be another article probably..Just wanted to share something for now.

Belated Ugadi/ Gudi Padwa to all ...hope everyone had happy long weekend....And advanced wishes for the next one - Happy Good Friday friends :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Agam The Band

Yeah, I got a wonderful chance to listen to this band. In my company they arrange such events for free…entertaining the employees. So as far as I know..the band is a group of 6-8 boys..regular IT guys..with the knowledge of traditional classical Carnatic music. Carnatic music is the traditional music from South India…very old…and very complicated with ragas! 
These guys are mixing the traditional music with new age rock music! They are a Carnatic Rock band…with the record of being chosen as the best band in South India by none other than Oscar winning Mozart from Madras…. A.R Rehman.

I missed the first two songs, but after that I got to hear the remaining 7-8 songs. The singer Harish is really really good at Carnatic singing! The next best guy is the drummer Ganesh….wow! He is just so so good! Their songs were more about rock music with mix of folk carnatic singing….but really a great band.
I have downloaded their logo…it’s quite an interesting logo. It looks quite scary at first look..but they are a band that will go onto succeed.
I went and enquired about any CD release…and they are on their way to launch their CDs. J Some of their songs were Malhar Jam, Rudra. They also played couple of Rehman’s song…in their rock style…Dilse and Hamma Hamma.
Sharing one of their videos I found.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kareena’s Mujra

Every morning while I get ready to work, I have my TV on with MTV channel playing…listening to songs…rather latest songs…it’s better than the quiet atmosphere. Since couple of days the songs of movie Agent Vinod are doing rounds on the channel. With Kareena doing her own “Mujra style”. We belong to the generation that grew up watching brilliant and beautiful actress like Rekha doing Mujra…more recent may be Madhuri…who have so much grace in their dance and moves…who perform so effortlessly to the old royal dance style.
Today watching Kareena doing Mujra…is so very painful to the eyes! Some things should just not change..Mujra should be done in the same old delicate feminine style! Displaying a 2 inch of cleavage and doing your regular bollywood steps is NOT MUJRA! She is good at her chammak challo style and should just stick to that! All in all, the song she is dancing to and her new-found style of Mujra both suck big time! Blame the choreographer, I guess!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Eager to make 2012 happen...

What the hell is wrong with all the countries? I feel like the politicians of the world have taken the “2012 end of world” too seriously so they are making every effort to kill everyone…be it their people or the neighbors! “If we are dying anyway, we might as well kill all and go !!!!”
Reading Syrian news is very depressing. There is another new Hitler massacring his people in Syria and really, none of the countries can interfere, so the innocent, unarmed people are left to die with no food, medicine, water! What times are we living in? What have we achieved with the science and development and technology? There is no sign of HUMANITY anywhere! Arab countries are going through their fight against age old rulers, Europe is dying of debt, European countries are having their financial crisis, China is becoming arrogant, cunning, powerful country and Koreans are waiting to bomb each other.
Everyone country is going through a deadly crisis! I read only protests, rebels, bombs, nuclear power expansion, nuclear tests blah blah…with all this Indian politicians cashing in their pockets to make 10 generations happy! Are there really going to be TEN generations within 2012???Where is the human race heading to? It feels like a very very long run from the times human race came on this planet, grew, flourished, made discoveries .. discoveries that are killing us!
In my opinion the earth is just too heavily crowded and it’s really time we are erased now! We have taken the planet for granted for very long now and looking at the current situation we only intent to blow it up! The plant is just going to end up laughing at the stupid human race! Is there any point in dreaming of a future …coming years..if we are not gonna survive!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My very own.... Taj Mahal

In my schooling days, we had a common drawing teacher..specifically sir from 5th grade till 10th grade! He was pretty good an artist; there were some master pieces hung up in the school. Lele Sir…if I have any of my school buddies reading my blog would remember. I had many assignments with A+ grade. There is this particular drawing style I remember all through these years that I chose to re-do even today after so many years.  It was as simple as drawing slant lines across the sheet and coloring them with different crayon colors…looking somewhat like a rainbow. Then you paint it with black POSTER color. When it dries off, all you do is scrap of with a blade to draw your idea/scenery/ object.
Back then I think I drew a village, which still looked great! I had this idea in my head for a while and didn’t know exactly what should be the art! So I got the idea of the sand animation videos that we’ve seen before…I got numerous ideas such as the two flamingoes, butterflies, tiger face etc….but this Taj Mahal idea seemed magnificent. Looking through how to draw Taj Mahal, I realized drawing Taj Mahal is so easy! Never thought of drawing a Taj Mahal before!
Here is a snapshot of the final piece! My husband is in total awe at this style of art, so Thank You Lele Sir J

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Time travelling via Google maps

How cool is Google….I have a new found love for Google maps today. I always liked it even before, when I lived in the US where it’s so easy to travel from one place to another thanks to Google. There you don’t stop on the road to ask a paanwala or a random person to ask directions – no paanwala’s or frankly it’s not as crowded as India J But seriously, travelling is so easy there with efficient devices like GPS or new mobiles that have Google maps. In our first few months we’d just get directions on Google maps..note down the lefts and rights and drive down to new places. Travelling used to be sooo much FUN!
Then we bought the GPS device in a sale and had a full refund of the money we spent on it by going to tens of places!
At work yesterday, I was reading news about Syria and the events happening there. I went to Google maps to confirm my knowledge of how Syria is a small country caught up in age old border and religion conflicts. I had seen a foreign movie once from the Redmond public library, showing how common people across the borders are caught up in conflicts due political games! It is very miserable and unfortunate for innocent people to be caught in such environments! L
Anyways, read enough about the ongoing Syrian crisis and then for some reason I dragged the maps to see USA. And soon I was browsing the streets on which we lived…turned on the satellite view and a whole different experience. I took a snapshot of the apartments where we lived in Spokane. The satellite view is so clear and feels real. The yellow colored children nursery in front our apartment is visible so clearly! The community we lived in, neighboring church parking, opposite street and apartments, the super market down the street, Manito park etc….all visible clearly on GMAPS! I had a great refreshing experience of walking down the same old streets of Spokane, Bellevue.
Our home in Spokane, WA
GMAPS is like a time machine, where I can go back in time to places I lived in. And really, times FLIES! Looking through these satellite images made me feel like I was there YESTERDAY! Google your rock!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Elephants at sunset

I have drawn similar sunset drawings earlier....last time I had drawn camels in the sand dunes with sunset in the background...its one of the lost pictures now!  L
Lately, it seems my blog is turning into an art blog....but this is what I am doing on weekends now.
Before - The sketch
After - Final paint


Fav sketch

This is my sketch I drew when I lived in Spokane, 2008 . I drew it on a drawing book that was presented by my American neighbor Tracy. She gave it to me seeing my art hobby. I made a colored pencil sketch of it and gave her as a gift. I still preciously use this Christmas gift - drawing book for special drawings.

I drew the sketch just once, but I copied and painted them to gift a few friends..It’s one of my finest pieces. As you see I am not perfect in drawing human figures, what should have been a Japanese woman looks like Aishwarya Rai to my mom J I just love to color her and gift her to as many friends as I can. And now after all these years, this time she is freshly painted to be framed to go in my house!!!

Facebook in India

Facebook is used in different ways in different places. When I lived in Seattle, I had colleagues who would be surprised when their bosses or team mates added them on FB. For Americans, Facebook is very private and personal. In fact at each new release of the social network, I see my American friends post about some particular privacy setting that will prohibit certain information on your profile to unknown or unwanted visitors! I mean they take the website so seriously! They take their PRIVACY so seriously!
Well we Indians!!! We love to brag and tell and update every small bit in our life to the whole world. It could be the smallest purchase to the biggest party or trip. And we have to have the largest number of friends on FB, gotta keep that friends count running up like the stock market! Even if you just met someone the first time at work, you are added to FB right away! Everyone is curious to see your pictures, your Info, your wall, your posts and then your replies!
And if someone adds me and I don’t respond then it’s perceived in the wrong way..like I am snotty! It’s the simplest thing that "I want to keep my privacy!" Why is it mandatory that I MUST accept a friend invite? And sometimes, I might be nice and add ONE colleague, but that then starts a chain of add request of his/her friends! So I add a colleague X and now I have to add X’s 5-10 friends too because we are all colleagues! Baaah!
It’s good to share news and info but how many of us think who is using the info we share. I see people displaying their Aadhar card snapshot on FB! Are you crazy! Aadhar card is the equivalent of SSN in USA. Everything is tracked through your SSN and it’s the most important number that you don’t share with anybody everrrrr! I know we are not sure how good Aadhar card is going to be..but at least until we know how it works, we should not be sharing it in public so carelessly!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

General…Blah!

It’s Sunday morning; I am watching Rangoli on my cable TV. I wonder how many Indians really still go back to Doordarshan channel; I watched this ONLY national channel until the first 6-8 months of my first job..i.e as recent as 2006…so 1986 – 2006! My father never introduced the Cable network of 100’s of channels to us while growing up. I think it was a great upbringing. J In fact, I feel we watched some good programs compared to what comes in Cable channels. Doordarshan would be an enforcement to watch whatever was shown, so we watched Surabhi, Turning Point, serial with no saas-bahu over-drama, Hum log, Mitti ke rang, Rangoli, Chitrahaar, Alif Laila, Chandrakanta, Nukkad, Bharat ek Khoj, Malgudi days, Street Hawk,  UGC, Interschool quiz competitions, Meri Awaaz Suno, Vyomkesh Bakshi, Captain Vyom, Shaktimaan!!!!
I vividly remember the Japanese show called Oshin, Kashmiri show Gul Gulshan Gulfham, Mungeri Lal and the infinite mythological serials on Shiva, Ganga, Hanuman, Ramayan, Mahabharat; historical serials Tipu Sultan, freedom struggle episodes!! It really was the golden period!
Listening to Rangoli songs is so peaceful when they play even today, “Takkat, Watan ki Humse hai”, “Dil Diya hai Jaan bhi denge…Aaye watan tere liye”, “Virasaat - Taare hai barati ….”
I haven’t had the encouragement to write much these days. News I read are so depressing; needless to say Indian politics is fallen to the lowest level ever, it makes me think why did we ever get freedom from the Brits if this is how the Indian politicians were to mis-use the precious freedom we achieved with so much of sacrifice! The standard of living is actually falling when we read news of West Bengal babies dying, Medical care comes without safety and responsibility, 68% of milk in India is adulterated! Thank god I have stopped buying milk a long time ago.
I was reading how children in Africa are forced to work in Cocoa fields and they have never eaten chocolate in their life! They have no idea what is cocoa used for, but they are chained and forced to work. As a fellow human, if I stop buying chocolate or buy only fare trade chocolate it’s not really going to help these children. It will just become another reason for business; companies doing fare trade of chocolate will just hike the prices of the chocolate under fair trade name and make money but these kids will still be into slavery. I feel their govt. or the companies should build strong rules to stop or at least reduce such custom. But it really breaks my heart to read about these children, makes me wonder how would I feel to do the same or my child to be forced to the same as these unfortunate children!
Another curiosity made me read articles on how soldiers coming back from war have post-war trauma..like Soldiers who would have returned back from Iraq must be having trouble settling back in their normal life after coming back from a country where people die every minute with a bullet or a bomb!
I am in the middle of being a grown-up and doing grown-up things. Have been house hunting and it’s almost done. It is very exciting to see houses, colors, tiles, kitchen designs, furniture and decorative pieces. I keep getting wonderful ideas of decorating my own houses with my own creations. But the amount of mental stress we have to buy a property in Bangalore city, it’s unbelievable. It makes me think what are we doing, why are we doing? Buy a piece of land, we’ll live for a span of 80 yrs and then we’ll be gone, empty handed. All that effort and emotions put in building a house or property will be gone!
Gotta get another painting done..to keep up my spirits and peace of mind!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bird of Paradise

The first time I got to know of this flower was from the movie – From Prada to Nada…a movie referring to Mexican culture and lifestyle. Since then I have been fascinated by this flower. It’s become a part of my routine life now as I see it at my workplace each day. Everyday they bring a smile and awe to me. How pretty can nature be!
So I thought, why not make a painting of it. Couple of hours of dedicated effort and I have it on my book now J

Sunday, January 8, 2012

..with a purpose!



Love to draw and paint :)
I have again, started painting. But this time with a purpose! When I used to draw in Spokane, my husband would say, “When we go back to India, I’ll frame all your paintings and sketches and put them on the wall”. Well, when I left US…I left my file full of art at my brother’s place and now I don’t have it anymore…and soon I want to start putting up my art on the walls. So here’s a fresh start again.



Buddha Sketch






Quickly drew my signature Ganesha sketch on a small scale that will be framed and hung above the door bell. Cool idea? In the past I had drawn too many Ganesha sketches. Today I tried drawing a Buddha face. I think it came out pretty well. Now I just need to be able to shade it like the original piece.







My Signature Ganesha sketch!




I want to prepare lots of art pieces and I somewhere feel I am running out of time…no idea why! I have always wanted to learn oil painting and I am yet to do something about it. I actually want to take a small introduction/basics course. I wish I had taken a class, by now I would have had some good oil paintings to display L.

So for now, it will just be pencil colors and water color art pieces!