Friday, March 30, 2007

Watercolour or Watercolor.I love it!!

What a splendid thing watercolor is to express atmosphere and distance, so that the figure is surrounded by air and can breathe in it”
--Vincent Van Gogh



Water colours have always fascinated me.I love it for its sheer brilliance of colours, and the speed with which, you have to work.It is so difficult to capture that play of light.This is a simple landscape that I completed yesterday.I have used ONLY 5 colours, in the whole painting.

Have been staring at it, ever since. Still not tired!



Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Roaring twenties??

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TS’s comment and a friend’s post prompted me to write this post.

When you are in your twenties, getting older is probably the last thing you worry about. There are so many more things that are confusing enough, without adding to it, what seems a certain but distant probability of being in your thirties, or forties or fifties.

You want to get rich. You want to find your partner. You want someone to come home to. You want to get married. You want that cool job paying big bucks. If you are still studying, you can’t wait to start earning. If you are earning, you want to have a lovely house and lovelier person to spend your days with. Maybe kids. Some day. You are not sure if he or she is THE one for you.You are perhaps, spoilt for choices. Every single person (more so if that person is a ‘cutie’) seems a prospective partner, till you discover that they are not. There always seems to be something that is missing.

You try to discover your identity. Maybe even your sexuality. Nothing that you want seems impossible. You are beginning to discover what it is like, to be responsible for the choices you make.

Somewhere along living this chasing-the-dream-life, you forget to take care of your body. Where is the time? You don’t exercise, you drink too much at too many late night parties. Smoke like there is no tomorrow. (heck—you are young only once, you might as well live it up or maybe you are just plain addicted to what you think is ‘the good life’) A proper diet is probably the last thing on your mind.

Slowly you discover that there always was a price to pay. It manifests itself in that slightly visibly paunch which you hide with well designed clothes. The few extra pounds are beginning to show around your waistline. Your face is beginning to have that slightly older look.

And suddenly, you are not as young and ‘cool’ as you thought you were. It is going to take a hell of a lot of effort to get back those six pack abs (if you had them or aspired to have them) or anything remotely like it.

Thirties and forties are different. But I’ll leave that for another day.

I don't know about you, but I'm sure glad that my twenties are over!! :-)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Farewells

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fare·well Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[fair-wel]

–interjection
1.goodbye; may you fare well: Farewell, and may we meet again in happier times.
–noun
2.an expression of good wishes at parting: They made their farewells and left.
3.leave-taking; departure: a fond farewell.
4.a party given to a person who is about to embark on a long journey, retire, leave an organization, etc.

–adjective
5.parting; valedictory; final: a farewell performance.
___________________________________________

Farewells seem to be the order of this week. TS blogged about it.So did Misti .

My turn now. Because in a few hours from now, a good friend is leaving for the US of A. Some months back another good friend did.But he will be coming back in a few months. The best thing about farewells is that, there is always something to look forward to!

That is why farewells do not affect me anymore. Not much anyway.

Maybe I have seen too many. Maybe it is because, I feel that distances are only in the head. Or maybe it is simply because I have moved every four years, my whole life and I know that there is always a farewell, lurking there, waiting to emerge. And it just means that you now have friends in more places than you did earlier.

Meeting and Parting. That is the only way of life that I have known. Orson Welles said We are born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.” It might seem like a pessimistic view. But I tend to agree. It makes you want to cherish those moments of love.Of friendship. Of long meaningless chats. Of laughter. Of fun. Of serious discussions and the silly fights.

In 1992, a friend of mine wrote in my book (yes, I had a book of friendship,back then.I used to ask the really special friends to write in it, when we parted. I still have the book.But now I don’t ask people to write in it anymore.)
“We meet to part and part to meet”. We are still in touch—and we are still good friends.

There is something to look forward to, when you part—the hope of meeting. The waiting. And finally reunions. The love and friendship reinforced—emphatic and strong. It knows the pain of being away.

Maybe I should take out my book again. And ask the special people to write. It helps so much.
Especially if farewells do not affect you.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The onion field

Allium Cepa is its scientific name. It is edible,available the world over and used in an array of dishes.The humble onion.

The onion field is a book by Joseph Wambaugh, a sergeant for the Los Angeles Police Department,published in 1974.It is about the kidnapping of two plainclothes LAPD officers,Campbell and Hettinger, by a pair of criminals,pulled over for a routine traffic violation. The two officers were forced into the car,driven to an onion field,where Campbell was fatally shot. Hettinger was able to escape, but later became scorned by his fellow officers, fired from the force, and eventually a police training video was made using his experience as example of what not to do when stopping and approaching a vehicle. Hettinger suffered severe emotional trauma as a result and people who knew him said he was never the same afterwards. He was forced to resign from the LAPD after committing some acts of petty shoplifting and developing a drinking problem. Later in life, Hettinger was appointed to serve as a county supervisor; he died of a liver disease in 1994.Later, the book was made into a
movie in 1979.

The children and I stumbled across an onion field, just a little away from from our home.The excitement on their faces was palpable.

“Mama, look.There are onions growing here” said my son


“Wow.Do they really grow under the ground?” asked my daughter.


“Its so cool Mama,let me click a picture” said my son, the budding photographer with the discerning eye.

This is what he clicked.
He was pleased. I was too.






City living sometimes makes you forget that an onion field can be more than a movie.You can actually walk through one,and enjoy the uncomplicated joys of re- discovering simple pleasures.

Sometimes, as W.H Davies said, you forget how important it is to stand and stare.And look at the world through the eyes of a child.



Here are more pictures clicked by Atul, aged 9.














Monday, March 19, 2007

Age and Prejudice.A tribute to Dad’s best friend.

Age is something that creeps up on every single one of us. As you read this, you are a few seconds older. Some people just exist, dragging their weary souls behind them. And some people really live life to the fullest. Age does not get in their way, obstacles do not get them down for long and they emerge stronger, happier and they have grown.

What is it that separates these go-getters from the others? Why is it that some people are so weary and down-in-the dumps where as some people are bubbly, positive, cheerful and great to be around? I had mentioned this in my post radiators and drains.’(in case you do not know what it is please do click on link)



Mr. Prabhu is one such radiator. I feel so fortunate that he came into my life and feel very enriched that I share a close relationship with him. He is an amazing person. He is so energetic, dynamic, lively, spirited, tireless, vivacious ,zippy and so full of life. He is one of those very few who have really succeeded in cocking a snook at so called ‘age’. He is a total non-conformist and a bachelor-boy at 73.Also my parents' best friend. He and my dad used to get along like a house on fire and were inseparable. (see the picture showing dad and Mr.Prabhu)


If I wasn’t already married (with two kids as well!) he is definitely the kind of man I would have fallen in love with!

He left a small village in Kerala when he was just 23, and moved to the big bad city of Mumbai, where he lived for 48 years, and worked for a British company, at a senior management position. After that, partly because of my dad and partly because of his own reasons, he moved back to Kerala—a kind of ‘returning to the roots’.

After observing many people, I have realized that it is just attitude and thinking, that makes all the difference. You can be old at 22 or you can be young at 73.You can either accept defeat, and get plagued with self-doubt and ‘what-will-people-say’ or you can sport a ‘this-is-how-i-am-take-it-or leave-it’ attitude. You can dare be different—or you can choose to confirm.

The important thing is to have an alert and open mind. The quest to keep learning. A child is always curious. The child’s desire for knowing is unsatiable—he loves to explore, he discovers and is pleased with new things. It helps to cultivate those qualities .(It also helps to have regular exercise and a healthy life style—but I shall leave that for another post!) You grow old when you feel you have seen it all and you know it all.

After all, as Mark Twain said “ Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you do not mind, it does not matter.”

And in the end, it’s the chutzpah that you have that makes all the difference. If you had met my dad or Mr.Prabhu you would agree. One hundred percent.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Two kinds of people

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There are two kinds of people in this world. The ones who put away their shoes in the shoe rack, as soon as they enter their homes and ones who kick them off and let them be.

There are two kinds of people in this world. The ones who never misplace car keys (or any other keys for that matter) and the ones who never find them until they search for 6 and a half minutes (or more) on an average.

There are two kinds of people in this world. The ones who plan what they will be having for breakfast, lunch and dinner the next day, and stock up on the necessary ingredients, and the ones who just rummage through the fridge and rustle up a quick meal.

There are two kinds of people in this world. The ones who think before they speak and say politically correct things, and ones who do not think but speak the truth and are very funny. Usually.

There are two kinds of people in this world. The ones who read others blog and do not leave comments and the ones who blog, read others blogs and also leave comments.

There are two kinds of people in this world. The ones who find it very difficult to laugh heartily and the ones who find it difficult to stop laughing.


There are two kinds of people in this world. The ones whose wardrobes are organized (summer is here—winter clothes are dry cleaned, wrapped and put away) and the ones whose wardrobes are stuffed and overflowing with colourful mish mashes . A lot like their lives.

There are two kinds of people in this world. The ones who care about what people say, the conformists and the ones who have a devil-may-care attitude, the non-conformists. The square pegs in round holes—or round pegs in square hole—either ways they don’t fit (and they don’t care)

There are two kinds of people in this world. The ones like the meticulous, organized, proper others and then, others just like me!!

I could go on and on—but you get the point :-)



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Monday, March 12, 2007

Please hug me.I'm just like you.


Really sorry--I have had to remove this post as it will soon appear in a book. Making it available online would have been very unfair to my publisher who has placed so much trust in me. I hope you enjoy the other posts as much as you enjoyed this one. A heartfelt thanks for your support and understanding.Thanks for continuing to read what I write.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Avalon Sunset


“I didn’t ask for it to be over, but then again, I never asked for it to begin. For that’s the way it is with life, as some of of the most beautiful days come completely by chance. But even the most beautiful days, eventually have their sunsets

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I want to get on that train.

100 Years From Now

One hundred years from now
It will not matter
What kind of car I drove,
What kind of house I lived in,
How much I had in my bank
Nor what my clothes looked like.
One hundred years from now
It will not matter
What kind of school I attended,
What kind of typewriter I used,
How large or small my church,
But the world may be ...
a little better because...
I was important in the life of a child.

--Forest.E.Witcraft

The minds of children are really like clay. They can be moulded into whatever you want. You, as an adult, a role model, a care giver have infinite power, to shape them into beautiful, warm , kind, positive and sensitive human beings. Or you can fill them up with bitterness, resentment intolerance and violence.

Many a time I feel that the mindless acts of violence, terrorism and abuse goes on, simply because somebody did not spend enough time with their children—or maybe they did.But the twisted way.

Children believe adults. For them, their world is what you make it out to be.
It took me weeks to recover after watching the movie “Life is beautiful”.
I still cry when I watch it, though I blink away my tears quickly.Here is a scene from it. This is just after the little boy's father has been killed in the concentration camp.




Tag line is: An unforgettable fable that proves love, family and imagination conquer all.
Plot Outline is :A Jewish man has a wonderful romance with the help of his humour, but must use that same quality to protect his son in a Nazi death camp.

Here are quotes which capture the essence of this post.

Guido: [being shipped to a concentration camp] You've never ridden on a train, have you? They're fantastic! Everybody stands up, close together, and there are no seats!

Giosué Orefice(his son): There aren't any seats?

Guido: Seats? On a train? It's obvious you've never ridden one before! No, everybody's packed in, standing up. Look at this line to get on! Hey, we've got tickets, save room for us!
Dora: My husband and son are on that train. I want to get on that train. Did you hear me? I want to get on that train.


The words you say to a child makes a world of a difference. Literally.
That’s why parenting is so important. Even if you do not have children of your own.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Number three--My first tagged meme post

Myspace LayoutsMyspace Codes, Myspace GraphicsMyspace BackgroundsMyspace CodesMyspace Layouts


There was something else that I was going to blog about. I had the picture ready and the post too (in my head) when I got tagged by Roshan to do this meme.
I usually don’t do memes. But this one made me think.

3 things you should know about the number 3

1. The number of men who are in love with me at any given point in time
2. The number of women who want to kill me at any given point in time
3. The number of people my husband would like to kill at any given point in time

3 things that scare me

1. Truth
2. Lies
3. Lies that cover up the truth

3 people who make me laugh

The ONE would have been my dad.I used to be so happy when he was around, and we used to laugh so much together.But he is dead now.So my answer would be

1.Tyler
2.Atul
3.Gawpo
4.Mr.Fab (yeah I know its a three meme--but how can I not mention mr.Fab?He is just fabulous)

3 things I love
1.spending time with my kids and husband
2.spending money with my husband without my kids
3.conversations that stimulate (my mind.Just clarifying)


3 things I hate
1.Fitting into Routine
2.Fitting into predefined modes
3.Not fitting into clothes



3 things I don’t understand

1. Insensitivity
2. Chemistry
3.My husband—oh sorry, he is not a thing. Well, make my answer ‘fetish for routine’

3 things on my desk

1. My daughter (yes that’s where she is right now)
2.My laptop
3.A knife (I use it for painting. Just clarifying)

3 things I’m doing right now

1. Trying to calm my fighting kids(if they weren't so cute I'd have thrown them out of the window)
2. Trying to finish a painting
3. Trying to appear cool and unruffled by the above two

3 things I want to do before I die

1. Read all the books in the world
2. Watch all the movies in the world
3. Visit Niall

3 things I can do

1. Shock people by talking outrageously so they don’t know what to say
2. Shoot a perfect basket from 90 degree and zero degree angles (in basket ball. Just clarifying)
3.Paint pictures that make no sense to anyone else till I explain it.

3 things you should never listen to

1.People who tell you that you cannot do it
2.People who tell you that you are crazy or weird
3.People who say “I’m too old for that”


3 things I’d like to learn

1. To be patient
2. To paraglide solo
3.To control my temper

3 favourite foods



1.Puttu-kadala(click on the word for recipe and description)

2.Pasta

3.Any kind of vegetarian salad

3 people I'd like to tag

I wasnt going to tag anybody, but couldnt resist the temptation of passing on a task.Besides,I'd really like to know what they have to say.

1.Niall (he has a great sense of humour)
2.Tyler (he doesn’t write enough in his blog)
3.Gawpo (he is simply amazing)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The curse that wasn't

Expressionism and Surrealism are two branches of Art that fascinate me.

Many of my friends tell me that they don’t understand surrealism or don’t see any talent in expressionism. I don’t understand how they don’t understand! I tell them that if the picture moves you or speaks to you, it is Art.You don’t have to like it just because everyone else says it is great. Art is what you feel—what makes you think, and perhaps take a second look.

Most people find it hard to believe that I have had absolutely no formal training in Arts whatsoever. I have never been ‘taught’ art. I don’t know any techniques of painting, nor do I know angles, perspectives etc.Whatever I create, I just do it as a way of expressing myself.
I go with my good friend Niall, who says “I favour the viewer/listener/reader to discern their own meanings.”




This painting (The curse that wasn’t) that I completed two days ago is very meaningful to me.I have used symbolism, surrealism and expressionism here.

Don’t worry about the terms—tell me if the picture ‘spoke’ to you? Did you take a second look?Did you like it? :-)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Pictures to bring you joy


“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”
--Ashley Smith



I clicked these pictures recently--some in my garden,some around the complex I live. I hope they bring you as much joy as it brought me.




As I sit on this bench in the evenings, the air is filled with chirpings of so many birds, all returning home,done for the day.There is so much peace.I take a deep breath and savour these moments. Oh--It is a such joy and a blessing to be alive and healthy.



I love this colour.It screams for attention.Makes you notice it.Makes me feel.Deep.

My garden fence is full of these.They live only for a day.By evening, they have wilted.The next day, they fall.Such a short life--but, so much beauty.