Category Archives: Art

Three more days to go !!

If the holiday season was all about having a hectic time, then mine has topped the list this time. ( Shudder!!) So much for relaxation and having a quiet winter !!

And to make matters worse, I’m dead tired to get all festive for the New Year; which I may not have to do with being on-call throughout the next week. Plus a trip to Mumbai in early January and then shuttling to and forth places in Kerala, I guess my “new year” will start off with a bang !! But that’s the fun of fusing work and travel; though I must say that everything comes at a price including time and the network availability !!

So today when I finally put my feet up, my gaze falls on a row of black lettered numbers marked with a few red in between; a.k.a. the calendar. Yikes, three days left !!

Funny how the year flew by, or at least the last five months did. This will be my second new year of my mission work break; though this time I’ll be in the hospital. Looking forward to see the surprises in store !! Speaking of which here are a few new year thoughts,

New_Quotes_thankful-quotes-happy-thanksgiving-quotes-

One thing I know for sure, I’m too tired to make resolutions, or even think about them. Plus, I have to head back to the hills ( my code for rural or rather out-of-range areas !!) tomorrow, so that means an early evening and up at four tomorrow morning. (Who says that life never gets busy out here ?!!)

Adding the good and the bad, one thing that this year has robbed me of, or I think that I deprived myself of, is the my blogging hours; which got sidelined thanks to my pre-post graduate preparation. To console myself, I can say I’ll start over after all these exams are over.

Happy New Year 2013

And fast forward to three days ahead, before the clock strikes twelve, a happy new year to all my readers;  who have the patience to lend an eye and the time, to read my ramblings.

Good luck with the resolutions. 

Rock the New Year’s eve and the grand day too; have a great and fabulous start !!

Salute !!

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Gazing up….twinkle, twinkle little star !!

Many a time, even words fail to describe the splendor of the skies; from the time the sun rises to sets; the breaking of the dawn and the whispering of the moon in the night. Though tonight, what has kept me in awe of are, the night skies. Sitting on the lawn and gazing up, the skies are speckled with glistening dots arrayed randomly and in patterns.

Today Orion winked above, and so did Little Dipper!! Though what makes it most fascinating to watch the night sky are the two favorite stars of the navigators and sky-watchers, are the Polaris and less commonly known, Sigma Octantis. Both are never together but, the best part is that, either one of them are always there to give a hand.

And for an experimental photography, I tried out a star trail. Unfortunately, it’s not yet perfect, but it’s fun. It is supposed to look something like the shot below.

Getting immersed in the skies is fun. Think of the large number of explorers, adventurers, hikers; think of the known and unknown, the skies have a lot to teach us.

Especially the belief that we can always find our way back even in the stormy seas and the windy days.

All we need to look for are our familiar indicators, our goals, dreams and hopes; and the people who love us and have put their faith in us, and then eventually get back on track.

And that’s what I say, Life and the skies are all about!!

Enjoy the starry skies !!


What I have learnt by mid-spring….

Nearing the mid-spring days and looking back over the days ( more like weeks) passed, there are a couple of things that I have realized. And after last night’s contemplations, I have decided to pen them down….

No matter what happens or how bad today is, there is always a tomorrow to look forward to. Life just goes on. No matter how hard I try, I can’t slow down the tick-tock of the clock. The needle hands move, the sand falls down and so another try comes along.


Even though they say that  “life” and “living” are essentially the same, I beg to differ. It’s never the same. Somehow, life holds a more potent feel to it. I guess when you add the meaning or substance to living, that’s when I could call it life.

And of second chances, life is full of it. It’s just that they keep on hiding in the nooks and crannies, and that unless you are looking for them with an open mind and try to hope ; they won’t come out of the shadows. But if you hunt them down, you would find them.

And opportunities, when they knock it’s not only about opening the door but ushering it in and making something out of it. Placidity is an admirable trait but staying too placid, such that it equates with “stagnancy” is not life’s way. After every catcher’s mitt has a dual role; to catch at the curve or bend and then throw it back!!

And I have learnt that life always has its fair share of pains and gains. Though at some points, it feels like there is more of the pain than the fun. That’s when I realize that it’s not just me, but most of us. And the beauty of it is how we carry on, in spite of the tears and worries that we are holding within.

As far as making the tough decisions go, I have realized that making my fears and apprehensions a white board helps. And when I close my eyes, believing in hope, faith and an open mind; I am able to make the right call.

One of the most important things that I have learnt over the dawn of spring is that; we are not alone. We are a part of a bigger existence. Everyone has fears but what makes them numb, is the human connections. That’s what keeps the spirit going even through the troubled times.

Each time I reach out and lend a shoulder or a helping hand, a kind word or just a huge hug; it makes me feel happy. Happy that someone’s day has been brightened and unknowingly, my load feels light on seeing their smile. Words may be forgotten or even actions may be forgotten after a while; but the feelings experienced shall always remain. They make the special moments and memories. And they are what should be passed on. Making someone feel special is a gift that even time can’t erase.

 

And the final thought is that , I learnt that I can never stop learning. Till the music ends, new notes have to be grasped and translated into the vibes of life. After all, though life may not be the party that I had hoped for, the least I could do is to dance to the music and bring in the new steps.

And so here ends my train of words. Come Monday morning, it’s time for me to grab my sneakers and be on the run again. Here’s to a wonderful week to all of you.


So far, a lil’ bit of fun…

Phew !! Can’t believe it’s past mid-March day already. With the current fiasco of events, I guess the change of colours was one of the last things on my mind. Well, time to rectify it. Here comes the spring in its full glory….

One of the main festivals in India was celebrated over the last week. The festival wherein a riot of colours are thrown, even at the unsuspecting passers-by (that’s the fun….the festival spirit!!); to mark the beginning of basant i.e. spring and it marks the love and brotherhood ( and sisterhood !!) of the season. And so we all said hello to “vibgyor” !!

If there is one thing that is welcome before the hot dry days set in, is the rain. Yes, it’s been the fresh spring rains here, more of a drizzle actually. Quite pleasant compared to the downpour of the monsoons.

Well that was quite a bit of the weather talk…Can’t avoid mentioning it, especially after hours were spent cleaning up the colours !!

On a different track, with my experiments in the kitchen ongoing; I have so far managed to bake a batch of biscuits, a little crumbly but home-made.

And yes, currently I have taken up karate, on full swing. (I gave a miss on yoga; somehow I can’t imagine myself sitting down for long!!) Due to the hectic work schedule (as always, nothing new in that!!), I have been allotted my own instructor and shorter training hours (did I mention about the privileges which goes with the job!!)

It feels nice to get rid of all the stress, even though the sessions are only twice a week. Earlier I used to take up walking, but hey breaking a board and throwing someone down sounds more destructive and more fun!! On a second thought, I could do with a little bit of self-defense. It’s not Goldilocks’ land anymore; these days one can’t even afford to open their doors to a salesman (sorry guys, better safe than sorry!!). Anyways, since I have just started with the training, I must say there is more to karate than just self-defense. Goes for all the martial arts too, I guess. (Need to ponder over that bit…)

Changing tracks again, I guess it’s time to wind up for this evening. Not before, you pour over this story…

and yes, to wind with the last say, Happy St. Patrick’s Day !!

That’s all for now I guess, need to do some thought-gathering….


Good ol’ Kodak snaps – now ancient ?!!

As I was sitting in the early noon sun, pouring over the photos in my collection of family and pre-univ days; a sense of nostalgia came over.

The feel of the plastic of different size and shapes, running over the outline of people, the first days, the baby steps, the family get-together and many more; seeing the on-the-spot photography in hard print – brings back fond memories and yes, they all remind me of the good ol’ pre-digital days.

It’s not that I am at war with the digital era, it’s kind of a necessity these days (but not a compulsion !!). Photos get shared globally, better clarity and not to forget, the huge amount of editing and re-editing that can be done. Yet something that I feel is real lacking is that, no one can feel the digital pictures. I mean, I look at the jpg image, and then yes I remember the day, the time and what had happened. But no laptop and no cell phone, I won’t get to the pictures. Instead give me a hard copy, and then I can treasure, put it up on my wall, carry it where ever I go. I don’t necessarily need my laptop or cell phone with me then. Just imagine what happens when they run out of charge, virus-ed, hacked or even worse, lost. All contacts and photos…wiped out, lost !! Yikes !!

Maybe the best way is to get an assortment of my favorite digital snaps on hard copy, and that way I can have my memories by the fire in the woods.

Speaking of which, Kodak moments do live on. Even though camera films have become vintage, I guess  I’ll still use them occasionally, just for fun.


Optical illusions n’ real life illusions !!

For some of you who have stumbled across the post with tired weary eyes, this could be a really wrong time. Then again, for the chirpy ones, there is a never wrong time.  Take a look below and tell me what do you see?

Can you tell, is this picture showing a man playing a saxophone or a lady’s face?


What you can figure out in this picture? Is it simply a design or you can find out two faces. Different people can see different things some might see the faces at first instance while some may take it a bit longer and have to concentrate more.

If you check carefully you will see that all the things are being sucked inwards. Also on the edges you can feel that its revolving.

How many faces can you see in the above picture?

The real beauty in this crazy picture is the attention to detail that the artist, Octavio Ocampo took. Try this: squint your eyes a little and you’ll see that the man with the guitar fades away, and the old man staring into the old woman’s eyes really starts to pop out at you. Perhaps the scariest part of this illusion is that the younger woman has some really mean sideburns! Look out!Also, keep looking until you find: the young girl, the tequila bottle, and the giant vase! Quite a crazy optical illusion painting!

Faces Illusion

The image above is a static, the beans are NOT moving

I found these seven images pretty fascinating. Check out the entire set on http://www.thedesignwork.com/65-amazing-optical-illusion-pictures/. Some of them are real spooky !!

When I asked initially, “What do you see?” ; it is a very relative terminology used here. Each one sees something different. For instance, I saw the musician first and not the woman in the first illusion.

Though when I came across this site, these illusions brought something to my rusted gray cells. What these eye-teasers reminded me of, was the adage, something that one of my professors loved to quote, “the eyes see what the mind wants it to see.”

Metaphorically speaking, in a way, our daily life evolves a lot around the way we see things. More importantly, the way we interpret what we see.

Many a time, our judgment or rather, our inference is flawed unless we get the full picture. What I have learnt from my experiences so far, is that it is way more convenient to keep all options open, take a good look from different angles and perspective and, to then decide or draw a conclusion.

After all, words spoken or reactions made are like the wind; difficult to control and instead, like the wind, it travels many miles, leaving behind after-effects (…or “word-effects”). Believe me; it can cause damage as worse as Irene.

On lighter terms, take a look, a real look, observe, (…no don’t jump yet!!) think and then (tada!!…) voice your thoughts, reactions, inference; whatever it may be.

Please note: The seven illusions including the description below each one of them are all, courtesy of the site, www.thedesignwork.com .


“If you can….”

Whenever we get off track, there should always be something that kind of puts us back on course. Maybe it could be some one who you admire, a personality, an album or even a really good movie. Something that reminds you that dreams still do exist. That new beginnings can always be made. That endings will come of their own accord, especially when you give it time.

One of the works that has always given me an inspiration to get back in line, has been “If”. The first time I read it, was for the recital in middle school. Since then, the words have been echoing in my mind. And this is what Rudyard Kipling wrote to his son, If-

“If you can keep your head when all about you 
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”

…..or as would apply to me “a Woman, my daughter!”          

If—” is a poem written in 1895by British Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling. First published in the “Brother Square Toes” chapter of Rewards and Fairies, Kipling’s 1910 collection of short stories and poems. The lines have found their way in various artworks and creative forms of expressions. For Wimbledon followers, the poem’s line, “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same” is written on the wall of the Centre Court players’ entrance.

In Kipling’s autobiography, Something Of Myself, published in 1937, the year after his death at the age of 70, he acknowledges the inspiration for If in a single reference: ‘Among the verses in Rewards was one set called If – they were drawn from Jameson’s character, and contained counsels of perfection most easy to give.’ [Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1146109/The-remarkable-story-Rudyard-Kiplings-If–swashbuckling-renegade-inspired-it.html#ixzz1ValrlTpA]

Through the years, these lines still have a powerful hold on me. It gets me going through the tough days and aids in getting myself on track.

On a different track for a minute, who ever said that poetry doesn’t demand creativity !! Below is If by Communication Design studentTrysten Coblenz in the Emily Carr University Grad 2009 Catalogue.

 

 

"If" as a wordle..

Above, was If as a “wordle”.

And an “If” tattoo by Cam von Cook of Osborne Village Ink (including some misspellings).

There are many more various representations of “If”. More than half a century old, it still holds true and has a profound meaning. And even till my hair grays, it shall be one of my favorite poems.

Meanwhile, what inspires you to get back on track ? What are your inspirational lines ? What keeps you going through the difficult days?