many lovers

March, flowers bloomed through your toes.

June, I saw the sun kiss your cheeks,

August, the rain dripped down your neck,

October, the wind swayed through your hair.

December, tiny snowflakes danced around you,

So many lovers with a romance unmatched.

yet in January, you tell me how lonely you were last year.

Ideally a Humanitarian should make the best Environmentalist. To be truly concerned about human lives one would have to understand that their would be none without a healthy environment to support it. 

In a sea of gloom with a cup of cocoa

You walk around alone

with your head phones plugged in

with every song that plays

plays with your emotions

shuffles

soothes

clashes

like waves of a sea of gloom

 

At work

you open tabs

read nothing

scroll down, endlessly

see nothing

people gossip

hear nothing

 

the sea of gloom

floods your mind

you go home

 

you stumble across your room

trying to find purpose

shift things around

and then do ur laundry

your emotions spin

round

around

spinning

in that sea of gloom

 

you don’t want the day to end 

because you want to know why

you feel 

they way you did

 

but your body is tired 

from feeling too much

so you search for aspirin 

and find cocoa 

 

you make a cup

and in the first sip

you understand the day

 

how lovely it is to drown in the sea of gloom

and to be saved by a cup of cocoa

 

future now

Last week, I was troubled over some career related stuff. a.k.a mid-20’s crisis

I asked my friend over Skype. “Hey bae, why do I not feel excited about all this tech stuff. It’s where the money is, and where the big industry is moving towards. I know I’d be good if I tried. So why don’t I work towards it?”

My friend replied “Because its not the future you want to create for yourself. Its not your story, or the one you want to write. You don’t want to help build a world that is stuck to the screen and so you won’t ever be interested in it”

Fuck, my friend is genius. 

After the call, I shut my eyes, and tried to imagine the world I wanted to see my self in. It was a hilly landscape, not very high, but sleepy slopes. It was filled with grass and flowers. And there was lots of sunshine and breeze and there was me, like in a movie scene, with a big wide goofy smile.

Fuck, this is not helping, I need to think like “career wise”. What career world do I see my self in”

So, I shut my eyes and try once more. Again, I see that damn hill. But this time along with everything else I saw before I also see my dogs.

It kept getting better and with my eyes shut, I added all the awesomeness of my present and posted it in the image of my future. I just made sure I left my phone behind.

short story

Almost a month since i made an effort to write, or had the urge to type. I had my favorite tea this morning after six or seven years. Twinning's English Breakfast Tea after ages. The last time i enjoyed it so much was during my high school final examinations, when we would take tea breaks in the middle of our study sessions. In my boarding school, the 'baiji' (female helper/maid) would hammer a copper plate, ring a bell? Well thats how announcements were made, dinner was served and school was closed. The bell. How the same sound held so many different meanings, in the mornings, it was to wake up, before meals to say prayer, evenings, sports time, night time, time for bed. One sound, so many meanings. Amazing.

Anyway, I was sipping my favorite tea this morning, and I repeat, the last time I enjoyed it so much was during my high school final examinations, when we would take tea breaks in the middle of our study sessions. I remember squeezing out the flavour from the tea bags, sometimes even sucking on the tea bag, after re-using it twice. 

Sometime when I think of my fancy boarding school, I think of the good times, but the bad ones linger longer. There weren't any episodes as such, it was just this disgusting feeling of not being rich and royal enough in comparison to the other girls who came there, that subconsciously left a mark on me. There were so many royalties in my school, and super rich kids. Kids that were taught by their parents to flaunt. Now, when i look back, it wasn't the kids fault, their parents messes up, big time. And probably their parents parents messed up before that. So, whose fault is it really? 

These rich-flaunty kids unknowingly left such a mark on those who came from average middle class families. An impression I don't know if I can put in words. Or maybe I can, but after another cup of tea.

 

Fury

This year, I felt some people reject and disrespect me, only to realise that I led and let them. I have also let a lot of people say what they wanted and do who they wanted, without hitting back. And now that this year is near its end I find myself wondering if I got any wiser or weaker.
I talk to myself before I sleep. I dream before I sleep.

My swallowed aggression and pride tells me that I got weak. I din't fight back. I got soft. My assured sense of self tells me I was wise not to waste my aggression on futile people and events.

But inside, a side that takes no side reminds me of my wrath, my fury. The fighting, the aggression, the heat that I haven't felt in a while. The redness in my ears and the choke in my neck. As though a part of misses that side. The woman or the wolf.

I got weak basically. I have lost my strength to hold a fight. I have drifted to the sidelines and now I watch my self in the ring, lose battles I could have won with a stare. I feel weak. Not wise. Damn god.
This self pride.

My problem with the world

Why does our work have to start with looking for a problem? Why can’t we reset our goals in life in such a way that we did not create those problems. Almost all my design courses, begin with a soul searching process, looking for problem in the world. So I can work to create solutions for it. bleh.

Isn't there a way to just provide a solution for a problem less world? Too far reaching? Ya well, maybe thats the job for a saint or some holy man to come out with a new briefing for a problem less world. Some new kind of universal religion that takes into account all faiths and rights for all people and species.

So back to me and my problem with world. ugh.

Feeling of helplessness to certain world problems. Where I can see and hear about them but do nothing, because I am in no position to, or because my I have smaller but in a way relevant problems closer to me that I must deal with first in order to be in a position to deal with the greater problems with the world. phew!

The guilt of succumbing to social media. Trying to be this person who has balance in her life. A balance between virtuality and reality. Contemplating on these crazy new lifestyle changes and needs. The anxiety that comes with being a social media person. The transformation of the world and systems around changing rapidly to feed these new ways of life.

Consumerfuckingism. Yes, always bothers me to see people go out of their ways to prove to the world that they have been sold to advertisements. Fucking douchebags. There needs to be a subject in our classical eduction system that helps you to not be brainwashed by media.

The Wildlife Wipeout Again that feeling of guilt and helplessness. You don’t know what to do, but you know your existence and carbon footprint is rapidly wiping out some beautiful species of the world. You want to give up everything, go to the mountains and live a life that doesn’t take lives. But mommy said I need to make a living otherwise my life is pointless. WTF

Hypocrisy. Back to india, and its people and their hypocritical lives. No, they don’t know how to live and let live. That is just a quote in a book. How I wish there was a way to upgrade an orthodox mindset every once in a year like a software update on ur android phones. Like a "Mindset update 2.0." Kindly install and get new a outlook of the world. Improve your features and stale medieval views of the world. Get more space in your memory by removing some trashy beliefs. Install for a better life for all mankind.

And some more rants.

If advertisements sold simple lives instead of sexy bodies and fast cars, maybe our world would have been much different. If politicians and priests stopped lying, maybe we wouldn’t have so much mistrust between countries and faiths. If waste was not produced in the first place, we wouldn’t have to create the best possible solutions to trash it.

If only I could find the perfect problem with the world right now, maybe I would be motivated to work on my class assignment. 

Sprain brain

Haven't written for a while. Maybe because I was happy all this while. Now I am strapped up, with a broken ankle and I feel horrible about it. But what the hell, I did dance till I dropped, literally.

So lying down on my bed with a ice pack on my foot, watching BBC documentaries, listening to David Attenborough say persuasive things, effortlessly, I begin to wonder. One, How can a voice be so hypnotic? Two, If David Attenborough one day told me in his deep voice that the earth is a triangle, I will believe him. I repeat, I will believe him. Three, Why did I not become a wildlife photographer.

And then my thoughts drift to other things. When I was little, I used to believe that by the time I grew up, man would figure out a way or a language to talk to animals. I thought that is what ‘technological growth’ meant and it really excited me to imagine the future back then. Also imagined scientists wearing these techie headgears with neuron-like wires, doing this crazy research, analysing data to decode their langauge. I really did believe that the biggest advancement or the achievement for science would be to figure a way out to communicated to other species. 

How childish of me.

 

same pinch

One person does it and everyone starts doing the same.

Is this how to trend? To be a part of the happening? 

 

Seen those crazy mouth watering tasty videos?

They make all the good old cooking shows look so lame.

 

They are so good, you’d never think of them as bad.

They make you drool between work, and then you tag your friends. 

“We have to try this!” And you do.

And it never turns out they way you expected. Like life.

 

So what is really going on and why do I have a problem with this?

 

umm, maybe because…

 

Cooking is so much about patience, something this age truly lacks, 

and everything those 10 second tasty recipe videos don't respect.

 

I don’t mean to sit around and criticise all the time,

But while I am doing that, I want to say this is about patience and

not some new trend that Buzzfeed started, which I agree is awesome.

 

But, this is about 'patience', a.k.a 'the zen', a.k.a 'calm the fuck down everybody.'

We can’t master ‘A’ skill because ‘B’ is already trending, so we must move on.

And the world will applaud you for that. Yes, you will be rewarded. 

 

It takes a really long time to get good at something. 

Today we don’t have time for that, because ‘OMG did you check that out?’

‘We totally need to do that too, everyones doing it, its trending like cray.’

Changes

Clean, pollutant free air.

Minimal sound of traffic and vehicles.

Grown ups, very civilised with a non interfering social conduct.

Lovers safe to love openly. Mother free to feed openly.

Teen kids, giving the impression they want to mess around, but really, don’t do shit. 

Never ending columns in super markets and rows to enter night clubs.

Everything low on spice. Nothing is 'khatta'. Puddings are not desserts. 

 

Everything you already know, but some more.

 

The painful silence when you wake up.

Clean, bright, cold daylight. Not warm, cold daylight.

 

First week it is just eggs, bread and cheese,

for all three meals. 

 

Unlock your rickety second-hand bicycle

and get on with the day, 

stay on the ‘left’ side 

and on the cycle lanes, marked in red.

 

University, with almost too proper class rooms, 

even the mess feels, beautifully kept.

 

Real cool class coordinators and head of departments,

that you will meet now at the end of the semester. 

Real cool.

 

Courses so unstructured you miss the constraints you grew up in.

Too much freedom that suddenly does not seem so utopian.

 

All your youtube ads are now in a foreign language.

Even the sponsored facebook ones.

Your feed now is filled with new information by people from everywhere.

(Columbia, Korea, Canada, Indonesia, Bolivia, Germany and etc)

You see the likes and dislikes of your new friends and trust me 

its all very enlightening. All of it.

 

You start to follow traffic rules as a pedestrian for the first time in your life,

and within a few weeks you give dirts to the ones who break it.

 

Changes.

 

In the beginning, supermarkets are a maze and you a lost cause.

In a few months, you know your way through the shelfs, and your products.

 

Drinking is great, beer is cheaper than water,

Wine is cheaper than vodka and whiskey. 

Works for me. Drinking is great.

Its not sweaty or sticky like it can get in India. 

But then it is also not as loud or eventful.

 

I remember drinking late into the nights, into the early mornings, 

when the morning namaz would start to play out of loud speakers.

We finally knew we had to call it a day, or maybe head for chai.

 

But hey, after all the drinking, I can cycle back to my place,

in the middle of the night, without fear. 

I can’t remember the one time in the last few months 

when I felt I was being surveyed by the eyes of men or women.

Not once in these strange new changes have I been questioned or remarked for anything, 

because I am woman. Its so fresh and liberating. 

 

Work is easy. life is relaxed

but the struggle is real, when you don’t belong.

You finally understand the pricelessness of being at home,

when you are not at one. Its so bloody ironic.

 

No howling of street dogs (where did they all go?)

No all nighter bhajans. No noise from street brawls.

And that painful silence when you are about to sleep.

Most Likely

I am going to wake up in the morning and check my phone, with eyes struggling to open through the rheum. I will check my Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Gmail and the likes. Most likely, I am going to have great start to the day if I see a lot of likes on my posts. And most likely, I am going to have cranky start to the day if I got tagged in some shitty pictures.

Okay confession, but a very obvious one. I like to look cool on Facebook, I monitor the content I get tagged in, definitely cautious about my status and think twice before sharing something. Everybody does that, some people keep shut and watch, the others do things, make noise and get watched.

I remember in the beginning, we didn’t care, we posted without giving a fuck, we wrote shit on people’s walls. There were no likes in those days. Nothing felt monitored. Just had to keep a cool profile pic tho. Now the game is changed, its become a big deal. Like shit gets taken seriously up there. Its like a hanging out in a club, checking people out, saying the right things and playing it cool and getting liked.

I feel like talking about this because there are days I feel guilty. There are days I forget what I used to do when I did not have my laptop or phone around. There are times I calculate my time and realise I spent most of my day in front of damn screen. I switch from my laptop to my phone and back. I am conscious about it. Most people don’t give shit about the habits they are unconsciously forming. I just am more of reminiscent person. So I question myself a lot. It kinda sucks but Socrates said ‘the life unexamined is not worth living.’ Well, something like that, so, I find it strange when I get more screen time than I asked for. 

I am trying to recall what I used to do when it wasn’t like this. I was much younger, I would wake up, rub my eyes, yawn, stretch, laze in my bed for a while and start a new day. Now it is like I wake up with replies from last nights left over conversations or hazy memories of some stupid video I watched before sleeping.

It is not a fresh start! It is a continuation of yesterday. It is not a new day. I am still plugged into yesterday. 

I don’t know if there are people analysing these rapid changes we are going through. I am doing things today, I would have never done few years back. There is this digital addiction nobody is ready to address. Yes, there are all these posts on the internet about how people need to get of their phones and switch off the screens and get outside. Live in the reality and not virtuality. There has been a lot of talk about what we ought to be doing and how offline is the new luxury and so on. 

I really want someone to trend forecast this issue. Like what is going to happen to us next. Are we going to stay more glued to screens in the future. Is life really going to shift on the inter web. And are we as designers, artists and creators going to build things that look good on screens and not off it?

Most likely? oh god, please no. 

live it down.

Once my professor asked us if we wanted to ‘live’ or ‘exist’.

Everyone said the wanted to live like existing was the choice made by some loser. When I said there was nothing wrong in existing, I remember everyone giving me the ‘she-is-again-trying-to-be-different-look’. I still don’t think there is anything wrong in existence but like conscious existence. If someone chooses to exist it does not mean that they stop living, or they live a life, uninspired. 

I think if they consciously choose to exist, they are very brave. It is easy to have the same dreams, to dream big and want more. You know, doing things that gives you a meaning in society. Everybody does that.

I think now the real rebels are those who choose to dream ‘small’. When someone decides to not want that fancy car, even when they can afford it, that to me shows courage. If people today can find peace in lifestyles that are humble and not defined by consumption, technology or economic developments, that to me is living it up!

I do have a problem with this tech-world and it is partly cynical of me because technology is good. I just wish it would slow down. Inventions today are not timeless and they create more waste than ever. A spoon is a timeless invention. People need to make things like spoons, they are useful, humble and they are timeless. 

I remember telling my parents in final design school years that I wanted to become a farmer, I felt in that way I would be able to live a sustained life and not clutter this world further, they laughed. And maybe that was not the path for me but I wish the society encouraged this. I wish it were cool to dream small.

(old post_probably 2 years old)

 

the sleeper compartment

My roommate from Bolivian, here in Germany just called me the “sleeper girl” because I am this late riser and big on afternoon siestas person.. but when she said the word ‘sleeper’ it reminded me of the Indian Railway sleepers.. and how I miss it ! how at every train station some random person would enter and wake you up to sell their stuff…from sweets, agra ka petha to nuts and nail cutters to kids dressed up as gods doing cartwheels. This one particular time on my way to Nagaland a total random person entered. He was carrying his mike and small speakers. He sang songs for hours. He was not there to make money. He was probably living his dreams. Singing and making people happy along the way. Priceless.

The five signs of ageing

Figured all the FIVE signs of ageing {Without OLAY selling it to me though an airbrushed campaign}

Dullness. When you learn to settle for things and situations around you and that lil rebel yell inside you dies. You stop taking a stand and start acting like you’re part of a stupid mob.  

Dryness. When you stop smiling or crying. You hide away real feelings and emotions to appear strong and this unaffected person.

Dark spots. When you think you are always right and stick to your point of view. Your ego does not give space for a different new opinion. Basically, when you become a stubborn asshole.

Lack of firmness. When you stop being a sport in life. Adrenaline rushes become a thing of the past. You don’t sit on airport luggage conveyor belts when your friend dares you. You get lazy to the point of no return.

Wrinkles. When your spunk start sagging. Unreal ideas and dreams don’t uplift you no more. You get ‘practical’ and keep believing its not possible in the ‘real world’. You’re not excited by the idea of 6 months of darkness in the Arctic or the thought of visiting an unexplored Mongolian village over California.

I am not saying ageing is bad thing. In fact, I wish people stopped making it look so damn dreadful. We just need to see what makes it so repulsive, just so we can do it right and embrace it beautifully.

coconut oil.

Today, I saw people in my class look at bottle of coconut oil with wonder.

One guy asked ‘what is it?’

The other one asked ‘where can you get it?’

and the third one asked ‘what does it do?’

Similar conversations followed over a bar of soap. Okay I might be exaggerating a little bit here and there, but the shock value is not being overstated. Seriously! WTF. 

This kind of ignorance is cute in a way but not when you come from the land of coconut champis and people here are trying to tell you about the greatness of this new western research.

Coconut oil dude. He is like the nice, simple friend from your neighbourhood. You grew up with him and he was always there for you, even if you did not always hang out with him. He was just there. Sometimes your mum would ask you to play with him instead of the notorious street kids and you would do it keep your mum happy. It was all okay but you just did not want your cool friends to see you with him because he was kinda sticky. But coconut oil dude, he'll aways be a part of the family.

So you know we don't need recognitions from the west to tell us we are awesome. We were awesome before it became mainstream. This is not just about coconut oil, its about everything, the design, art, music, film, entrepreneur, startup scene and all other scenes I know nothing about but I'm sure are doing an awesome job. Give yourself a pat on the back and stop waiting for a western website to feature your work. You are awesome and kicking ass and you don't need the west to see it to be grandiosely noticed and awarded. And yea, about time that whole 'copy from the west' stopped. It is pointless and ineffective. We are, through our work generating our own identity and it is already being reckoned with. Just have to work on staying authentic.

Back in India, cribbing about the government, the people, the hypocrisy is as common as the pan stained stairways. It's when you are far away from it, you appreciate the levels of beautifully crafted mess.