It’s always awesome to make wishes and them make said wishes public – in the hope they come true :D

  • books! of any sort :D
  • clothes (always!)
  • headphones / handsfree for my phone
  • bookmark
  • snowglobe
  • experiences (tickets for trips / shows / classes )
  • anything swarovski ;)
  • anything from zenpencils
  • personalised photos :)
  • starbucks gifts
  • earmuffs
  • waterproof / touchscreen gloves
  • scrabble
  • music playlists
  • funky trinkets (anything from etsy also!)

Reading Bill Bryson always makes me happy. and ambitious. Like looking at zenpencils does. Anyway, in this case, while starting to read “I’m a stranger here myself” – just starting,
mind you – a collection of Bills’ experiences on returning to America – my first thought was: why don’t I start writing a weekly column of my experiences in America – which quickly
deteriorated to on a biweekly/monthly/somewhat regular basis – even in my resolution, as soon as I had a coupla moments of reflection.

Now, if you managed to read this massive run-on sentence & made sense of it, you’ll know exactly why I’d make a horrible columnist. My one sentence takes up an entire paragraph and probably requires much hatcheted editing. That, coupled with frequent procrastinating stints and recurring writer’s blocks would make this a crazy challenge. Which would make this daydream of chronicling my experiences over the next twenty years in various countries fairly fanciful. Yet we shall plod on.

And as my ever so helpful audience of few, you can cheer me on by giving me prompts – for the privilege of reading my convoluted thoughts in run-on prose!

Starting off the new year, I saw a beautiful wish on my random trawls through the web

- to wish a person enough

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.”

Source: http://www.helpothers.org/story.php?sid=6704

A good approach, no? 

 

On this note, I shall start off yet another attempt to get my writing and my thoughts in order, another puff at breathing life into my blog.

 

Happy 2013!

 

 

Listening to a prof talking about his course on ‘Residential Development’ today, he  was going on about how he wants to see 35 hours of work per credit and see a
reflective critical thinking product. How he uses this expectation as a scare tactic to  ensure that not too many people take the class. He went on to expound on how he
filters students who have taken over 18 credits other than his course and then  proceeded to list off external jurors he brings in to critique his student’s projects.

Observing my reaction to this (which I unfortunately don’t seem to be able to control), he quipped “I’m cracking you up, aren’t I?”

Well, imagine that! I was far from cracking up.

As students, our favourite pastime was to crib about the sheer crazy amounts of work that profs seem to love to dish out. I remember one batch in my undergrad school
actually wrote out a list of all the submissions they were expected to make in a week and stuck it up on the noticeboard for all to see – a very clearly conflicting and
messed up schedule – just so that all the faculty could understand how crazy the demands were – the faculty were not amused, but they had to back down, for that
instance atleast. Our second favourite leisure time activity, almost every evening or in our late night craziness was tearing apart the critiques we received.

Listening to this prof’s joy in listing out his actions, I was pretty torn between appreciating his enthusiasm, his ‘vision’ if giving the students a dose of reality and
feeling outraged from the students p.o.v. about making it deliberately difficult, unnecessarily so.

Being both a student and instructor now, I keep veering b/w both, especially when it comes to student work, involvement and grades. Do we just become more holier-
than-thou as teachers or do we actually get more objective and have more clarity of thinking, once we remove ourself from the persona and pressures of being a student?

Do you feel like citrus smells better in the summer and cinnamon smells better in the winter?

Does black suddenly seem like too dark when the sun is so bright?

Why do pastels and white linen feel cool?

And of course why would you feel like eating casseroles in summer, when all you crave is salad…

And why the heck did I not feel all this so acutely when I was in a constantly hot and humid place? Now I feel like I should have, not just a separate wardrobe for the winter and summer but that I should change everything around the house to reflect my mood… Ah the vagaries of learning to live in a place with actual seasonal change. I feel like I can even understand why a people go blonde in the summer and brunette in winter. A bit much, maybe?

***woke up super-duper late and was out of the house in 25 minutes flat- feeling like I’d had tons of leisure time sipping coffee and swaying to music and what not… effects of awesome shahi paneer for breakfast?? wish for more mornings like this definitely!

***thinking that a ‘lil bit of music <courtesy my awesome assistant> before each lecture makes life awesome – I love even stepping into the classroom all upbeat and ready to lecture :P not that I’m not into lecturing anyway…

***listening to speeches on everything from medical marijuana, lowering drinking age, creationism in the classroom…

***missed my bus by just a minute – again! but ah well, getting used to it sometimes…

***feeling hot and cold at the same time – cursing silly heavy coat – sunny days with chilly winds – Oh Ithaca!

***super-hot airforce officer in sight… best entertainment while walking across campus – yay! for eyecandy and vaguely wistfully envious of awesomely dashing appearance

***being totally absent-minded and spilling chocolate milk all over bus stop floor and a random guy’s shoes – fervent apologies – then the awkward moment when you have to just sit there and not know what to say

***unintentionally listening in on conversations across the bus and trying not to laugh out loud

***seeing more people with randomly crazy hairstyles than usual – half shaven head with shoulder-length hair on the other side – really?? weaves starting 5 inches after your forehead o_O is it me or are those people weird???

***experiencing a burst of joy everytime I see the cherry blossom (I think that’s it anyway) trees in full bloom as I walk home

***deciding to blog and then having a million phrases running in my head thoroughly distracting me from every other *essential* task I have to do. # bursts-of-enthusiasm

AND ONLY HALF MY DAY IS OVER – YAY!

actually my day started at 11 p.m. last night. so here goes that part…

*** slept off at a crazy 630 p.m. and woke up at 11 going – oh ****! what just happened

*** feeling strangely disconnected from the world and home after hearing about the ‘earthquake’ and not having a clue!

***not being able to fall asleep again and obviously not in any mood to work – lots of timepass seemed to loom on the horizon – screwy sleep cycles!

***midnight mad laundry dash – need clothes to pack off for weekend trip i forgot all about!

***super-productive 2 a.m. madness – wrote tons n tons of stuff,  didn’t realize time pass till 4:30 – the best part of all-nighters

So I guess I’m supposed to start reposting with a whine about lack of time and motivation and writer’s block or sheer laziness… Now that we have that out of the way, let the posts begin! Again, with a fervent hope that I’m regular or my version of it anyway at least this time around! <Excited – momentarily and hopefully for longer than my usual short-term attention span> I love writing – when I know I can :D

P.S. I also tend to back-date posts based on where I think they “fit” in better, so very soon this post is gonna be in a funny place chronologically, but whatever…

It is often said that Change is inevitable. That may be one of the Immutable Facts of Life, but really, Stodgy acceptance, is that how you want to look at it?

I agree I’d much rather keep myself firmly parked in my couch at home doing nothing rather than take 2 buses across town to go out and meet someone. The well known, well-worn blah-ness is obviously more comforting than any change/ break if only for the so called safety in familiarity factor. But you know what, it’s when I’m taking the new metro route and then a bus and then haggle with an auto guy, all for a coffee’s sake (ok, with a friend! ), I realize that my routine of taking a single a/c Volvo bus happily is what defines my evening.

Similarly, it’s only when you meet a new person (Oh my God! Doesn’t he, like, ever stop talking!), you realize something about your friends circle, even if you’re all the type to chat incessantly over the TV din as well as over each other conversations. Or even is this how the guy in the next cubicle feels when I come to work everyday?

There are always those moments when you suddenly recall someone you used to talk to everyday not even a week ago, even if only when you are deleting your text msg inbox. Sometimes nostalgically, sometimes a “was I that jobless” phase. Nothing much would have happened, save a minor change in your schedule, a new friend, or even a TV show you started watching at that that specific time. <Currently I’m contemplating rewatching Big Bang Theory :P>

Anyway its change in whatever form that keeps things moving. A new face to smile/scowl at is always welcome. So change is not just inevitable, its invited, exciting, vibrant and in a way life itself.

 

A whirl of colours, atrocious loads of jewellery, swinging grannies, botched first attempts at dandiya, tireless tiny tots, yummy Gujju food, catching on to the beat finally, icy drippy Gola, crazy photo sessions…

Topped off by a great drive on empty Bangalore roads, cool night air, lovely music on the radio, chatting with friends, crazy stunts hanging outside car windows, midnight craziness…

A brilliant Dussehra night :D

Writers, are a strange breed of people.
Some are peacocks, some are ostriches, some are penguins and yet others our oh-so friendly neighborhood crows.
They find an incessant need to capture anyone and anything in their words. Every incident, every experience, whether their own or someone else’s is grist for their creative factory.
“This is purely a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.” Really?
Some writers pat themselves on their backs saying “Really”. It’s just a PURE product of their imagination. Yet others pride themselves “Really (wink, wink)”.
In the end, it’s just a matter of discernment – some are subtle, others not so; whether consciously or not is anybody’s guess. You can even say it’s like the debate on Tabula Rasa: Are human beings born as blank slates waiting to be conditioned by life? We can only ponder how it is that a work can be created purely out of a person’s imagination.
But coming back to our observations on writers, there are also those who are clearly proud of their creative caricature skills. I can very honestly say, these are the ones I like best. Isn’t it awesome to find hidden depths and references in a narrative sequence, giving layers of meaning, just waiting to be discovered? And this utterly lovely experience would be lost without context (i.e. from real life).
Take the case of the average potboiler Indian movie. A majority of its entertainment factor relies on such tongue-in-cheek references, possibly from past movies (which we trip over ourselves to identify), be it mannerisms, dialogues or scene settings (especially those that scream DRAMA).
Also a case in point, Samit Basu who’s taken this as the basis of the Gameworld Trilogy of books which is a beautifully written hodgepodge satire of a mishmash of mythological and pop-culture references that will hold a special appeal to the current generation of readers.
For every writer, the next great idea is just around the corner, waiting to be happened upon. This is where I wonder why people are entirely willing, even flattered to be an artist’s muse, to pose for portraits, are proud to be the inspiration for the next great abstract artistic masterpiece (even if they have no clue how to interpret it!) but are extremely reluctant to identify themselves with a writer’s work. Conceit, ego or fear of a honest-to-goodness representation?
Writers are a strange breed of people indeed, and they appropriately provoke strange reactions. But we (or atleast people like me) owe all our entertainment to them.

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