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22 Feb

Odd, the sense of relief when Saturday approaches! The rest of the week is just the same as Saturday for me, and yet it feels different. It is loaded with the awareness that I need to work, salted with the guilt of not being able to work. As the weekend rolls around I can make the imaginary transition to the two days which are almost universally regarded as days of do-what-you-like.

February ought to have been a month in which I churned out a chapter and a half, but it’s coincided with weeks of poor mental health, and an inability to fight it. It’s also been a no-meditation, no-Kriya month. I’ve only managed a few readings from Paramahansa Yogananda’s words, an evening walk or two, and a session or two of non-technique meditation. One day I cooked, and felt so grateful for the home-made food on my plate and the ability to actually get up and cook. One of the immediate casualties of poor mental health, especially for me, is the ability to eat healthily. It’s a state of mind that racks up the expenses very quickly, and I’m so grateful and blessed that I have the resources to help me tide over it.

I left my audio recorder/mp3 player behind in Delhi accidentally, and so despite my desire to plug into healing music while I’m out and about (of which I have moderately… been so?), I’m making do with my older Chinese mp3 player which has lain unused for over four and a half years. Despite its merits-one of which includes a scrolling bye-bye from a unicorn when you switch it off-it’s become a battery guzzler with age. One brand new AAA cell gave me a little over an hour’s playtime, a second one gave me a half-hour, if that.

My creative website project, however, is almost ready to be quietly unveiled and released into the public. I’ll have a few close friends beta-read through it before ofcourse. I’m avoiding the hassle and expense of owning my own domain, and going with a wordpress.com blog for now. The amount of customisation it allows is more than enough for now. I’m contemplating printing out a few visiting cards and attaching my credentials to it, so that I can hand it out when the opportunity arises. I can visualise the look already- orange and blue with a circle in the middle. I’m quietly hopeful of expanding my creative engagement in the future.

The next month will be dusty and debris-filled as construction work commences in my building. Drastic functional repairs are on the menu necessitating work both on the outside of the building as well as inside all flats. A deep blessing it is indeed that my mother will be able to be here during it all and undertake the responsibility of supervision. Her being here will also be a blessing in terms of the support she inevitably provides with her presence- she’ll take on all responsibilities of housework and meals, while I write, write, write. That has got me through so many crunch-times in the past- exams, previous dissertation deadlines.I wonder if it will be as easy for me to accept this help, this complete surrendering of my personal responsibilities towards domestic chores this time around: I’m older and I now understand better the cost of shouldering such tasks single-handedly. My parents have parented and been the adults for decades: who parents them? How can I better ease their days, and make their retirement a little bit free-er of responsibilities?

Had life followed the narrative they had imagined of the future, perhaps they would have been in that space of contentment and lightness of being. They had imagined a future in which the circle of life would turn by now, and myself and my sibling would have set up households of our own, married with spouses, and with perhaps a grandchild or two along. Some people are born to be parents and grandparents, and my parents are two of them. Their ability to give their selves towards the care of children, uncomplainingly and with genuine delight,  is rare, and I say that not as a daughter, but as a researcher who has keenly observed society around me. Childcare is a burden for many parents and grandparents I see around me, which is fair enough, it is labourious, endless and often thankless, but it would be a gift and source of energy for them, I’m sure of it.

However, the circle turned differently, as it often happens. My dreams are different, though in a stroke of luck, my sibling’s are similar to my parents. We are all negotiating uncharted territories in this season of our lives. We are all exactly where we need to be.

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16 Nov

Yesterday I drew something that came right from the heart. I can’t remember when I felt this satisfied with a creative end-product and, if I say so myself, the painting looks damn good! This is where I want to take myself creatively- I want to express the truest parts of me through the three mediums I use- the written word, drawings and photography. I want them to be true, I want them to be good, and I want them to be filled with light.

I’ve been thinking recently about what it means to ‘speak your truth’. I thought I knew what that meant and I was sure I was doing it. Turns out, I was only partially right. There’s more for me to figure out about my truth, andt I don’t always realise that I’m not speaking it.

And this has all got something to do with the throat chakra, which I’m figuring out.

In which I bitch about the improper drinking of tea

5 Apr

For a person who doesn’t have a daily tea (or coffee) habit, I sure do have strong feelings on the subject!

I just read a beautifully designed blog post on the tradition of drinking tea, illustrated with famous pieces of art depicting tea or tea drinking. There was also a section on the hour long formal tea ceremonies of China. This led me to think the author was a tea connoisseur. The post, however, ends with her talking about her favourite cup of tea. This involves.

A teabag.

A heaping spoonful of sugar.

And milk.

It’s the quantity of sugar that upsets me the most. Anybody who puts a heaping spoonful of sugar in a cup of tea isn’t drinking tea, they are drinking sharbat, and should say so.

 

 

Batti Jal Gayi moment

28 Mar

TIL that Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon are different people. I had registered the ‘Jimmy’ and ‘talk show host’ bits and wondered why Jimmy looked so different sometimes.

This is in stark contrast to the time in senior school when I knew one of my batchmates (in a different section, not mine) played competitive football but wondered why his friends sometimes called him A and sometimes H. A year later I realised they were two different people. In my defense- they were identical twins.

Some gratuitous Park Street Photos

21 Feb

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Street Art acknowledging Arathoon Stephen: rich Armenian dude and builder of things. And flute man.

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Park Mansions: Home of Alliance Francaise, Goethe Bhavan, miscellaneous offices and 36 residential units

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Also, the doors and windows are painted red, yellow, blue, violet

A shoutout to the Inspiron 1525 circa 2008

8 Feb

I recently read an opinion piece by a technology expert that advised people to keep hard copies of all their digital data-writings, photographs, everything. Why? Because technology changes at such a rapid rate that there is a real risk that you could lose your data several times in one lifetime as the form in which you store everything WILL become obsolete every few years. You would still have it-your floppy disks, your CDs, your DVDs, your external hard disks-but there won’t be anything in the market that will allow you to read the data on it.

This technological obsolescence is a pain in the behind. I object to how frequently it happens, and because it happens for no good reason, as I see it. I have a Windows phone and I LOVE it! The User Interface is fantastic, it is more secure than android phones (when you download an app, it doesn’t ask for permission to access irrelevant things on your phone like your contacts, photographs etc.), stable etc etc. And yet Windows phones have been discontinued, meaning sooner or later I will have to say bye bye to my perfectly functional Lumia 535. Why were they discontinued? Because there wasn’t enough demand. Why didn’t people want Windows phones? One of the biggest reasons seemed to be the lesser variety of apps in the market (Android has a free for all thing going-anybody can upload an app in Google play store. Windows had a screening process of sorts I hear) and app developers not updating the Windows version of apps. The death of Windows phones did not come about because of poor design or performance, but because enough people did not take to it because app developers did not devote sufficient time to it because enough people did not use it. Kind of circular, that logic.

And again, Windows Vista. People panned it almost as soon as it came out; it was supposed to be far too heavy. My experience with it was fantastic and it remains my favourite version of Windows till date. Ofcourse, my laptop had a processor that was equal to it (a core 2 duo! 2Ghz!TXXXX top of the line in 2008!); running it on a dual core processor that I tried in a repair shop some months back was a different story. Windows has moved on, and now not one internet browser supports Vista any more. So my old spring green Inspiron 1525 (top of the line! 2008!) had to be retired ONLY because I can’t access the internet on it anymore or run an antivirus on it (no internet, no updates).

Which is a pity because my Inspiron 1525 still out performs many contemporary laptops. That machine came with one heck of a motherboard. Dell doesn’t do ’em like that any more. Nor do other companies building mid-range laptops. In terms of design, colour, PERFORMANCE and fancypantsness, it beats my present computer hollow (an older machine abandoned by my brother, which is several years newer than my 1525).

I switched on the Inspiron 1525 today after several months, full of trepidation, afraid that it would have died on me out of lack of use. But it sprang back to life as if I’d used it just yesterday, and booted in better time than my present laptop! That only amplified the regrets I already have about not being able to use it for all my needs. I mean! It had one of the last non-chicklet keyboards on laptops. I dislike chicklet keyboards, although I have no complaints about Chicklets themselves.

Technology, I don’t like you man. You change for the sake of change. Such a poser you are!

***Gets off the soapbox***

 

 

 

20 Jan

A question prompted by a quote read today morning:

(“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention”)

Is prayer an act?