thought for the day. peace made.
There two kinds of people in this world, those who understands Miyazaki films and the others who don’t but fortunate are the ones who understand that it is not important to understand his films. These people know life a little better.
Miyazaki’s work is not meant to be for children, it is a beautiful expression of human emotions which they might understand it only much later. This makes his work mysterious, even though he tries to emphasis on reality through depiction of little human gestures that film maker generally avoid.
People can’t relate to perfection, its unsettling for most. Miyazaki creates a world where morality is complex. Its not all black and white. The protagonist doesn’t have to win, he has to adapt, much like in real life.
Disney can never be a Miyazaki even if it tried. Hayao has never studied screenwriting and perhaps that is why it is so different and honest. He reach out through empathy that the audience projects on his character. He doesn’t try hard, its subtle yet leave an undeniable impact. But perhaps that most beautiful aspect about Miyazaki’s films is that they end when the characters overcome an emotional aspect and not with a tangible reward.
what is this strange life we are living
every beautiful moment
all smart things spoken
every place visited
be checked in
be nicely composed
all events created
what is this strange life we are living
for a pose
what is this strange life we are living
what is this strange life we are living
what is this strange life we are living
what is this strange life we are living?
You know Biomimicry?
I did a course on it last year.
They asked us look at nature and observe.
Then they said see what you can learn from the ecosystem.
How it works and how we can apply it through design.
So we observed and came back with these awesome concepts.
From studying insulation in ant hills to communication between fungi.
Today, I went out for a run. It was drizzling so I walked.
I saw how at least thirty varieties of plants that were growing in one place.
Freaking unity in diversity!
This for me is one of the best examples of Biomimicry.
How different plants, with different colors, size, type and needs
all thrive together.
And then look at us, different people with so much variety
in race, color, ethnicity, religion and just look at us.
So much to learn from them, yet we suck at mimicking the best from nature.
ya ya, to you it sounds all flowery. Then fuck you.
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 there would be none without a healthy environment to support it.
I admire India for how it makes my mind churn into a whirlpool of thoughts and ideas. I know that people who find beauty in its flaws, find a way into themselves.
I travelled through Rajasthan, Jaisalmer - Pokhran - Jodhpur - Pushkar - Jaipur in over a week. I met some wonderful people and learned a lot about my life from theirs. From jewellery craftsmen in Pushkar, pottery artisans and cotton weavers in Pokhran, to an Oud player from Israel, this week has been a gift to me. Thoughts filtered and took shape without me trying very hard. All the reading and random contemplation since months found a direction in this short but memorable solo trip.
I have been reading and reflecting on craftsmanship, storytelling and drifting to arts and sustainability along the way. If India was a subject, it would be hard to give it a label because it teaches life. It is everything excessive, everything lacking, it touches all your sense and I struggle to put it in a sentence. It is art.
When a place lacks ‘Art’ or the ‘Appreciation for Arts’, it lacks the opportunity for culture. Storytelling and its visual representations along with ritual practices build culture. When you don’t have people to represent a verbal story in a visual form or in ritual, culture will cease at its creation. Culture requires an artistic mindset to express its self. When a place shuts down to artists, its shuts down to expression. Expression is freedom and what is life without it.
People who are not exposed to Art, see very little. These people to their disadvantage have a linear way of thinking. They judge situations easily and stay away from what is different. What is different will often scare them or pose a threat. Whereas people who have seen different are intrigued by the different. They will approach it and try to understand it and maybe eventually accept it.
Indian states like West Bengal and Rajasthan are two places that are extremely rich in arts and crafts. They have a long history of acceptance and explorations with Arts and Crafts, hence their cultural identity is extremely strong. In personal encounters with people from these two states, I have found that them to be very fluid in perception. There is openness in thought because arts are welcomed in the society. And if not acceptance, there is always space for a debate.
Where I come from is Haryana, an agricultural state in India. It has been so busy feeding India post independence that it has not been able to make space for Art. Before Independence, Haryana was the battlefield for many historic battles in Indian history, hence you can hear a dialect here that is more shrewd and harsh in its tone. There has not been much development in the ‘Arts’ front and the existing ‘Crafts’ are slowly dying.
When a place lacks Art, it lacks culture, it lacks fluidity in perception and flexibility in belief systems. Arts and crafts are important in formulating the cultural story of a place. When they die, so does culture and hence the vibrant story of a place and its people.
Storytelling sets the ground work for culture, visual arts, crafts and other forms of expression spread it and finally ritual practices and traditions sustain it.
Civilizations are not remembered by their business people, their bankers or lawyers. They’re remembered by the arts" - Eli Broad
I have been pretty lost this year. I try to reason it out often. Maybe because I am away from home and familiarity. Maybe my heart is broken. Maybe its just 2016 and it sucked for everyone. But its been so foggy up my head, I have write to see clearly.
When a person is changing internally and it is not so apparent outwardly, it can drive you a little insane. You bottle up thoughts in incomplete sentences that wouldn’t make sense if spoken out loud. Them thoughts are everywhere and seem to be going no where. So you start from the beginning.
You know how the story goes, you go to school then to college and then that job and that life. You are made to believe that is how its done and this is what you want. Like everyone else I have the same linear story but half way through it I have sidetracked. And when I asked my self why? I replied “I never wanted this.” I worked hard to become a good designer but my conscious did not let me earn money. I could not commodify my art because still unfolding. I am still becoming.
Slowly reaching a point where my work is not work anymore. It is me. Its not just a bunch of great skills at work but it defines me as a person and the world I want to create. Being called a designer professionally makes me uncomfortable. Maybe because it limits me from being more. There needs to be a label that doesn’t restrict you to one professional identity. Is there one already?
I am so lost, I did not intend to write this. I wanted to write about holistic world views. Maybe next time.
You walk around alone
with your head phones plugged in
with every song that plays
plays with your emotions
like waves of a sea of gloom
you open tabs
scroll down, endlessly
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
in that sea of gloom
you don’t want the day to end
because you want to know why
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Too much time can drive you mad. And it is okay to have nothing to do. But we live in a time where nothingness is equated with lifelessness.
When you let your thoughts wonder everywhere, like meditation it will begin with everything, until you reach nothing. An emptiness and a blank spaces with only one constant, breathing.
Idleness pushes you into your corners but slowly you learn to make a home there. You tuck in and sip hot soup.
And I let my thoughts wonder around like helium balloons stuck under a ceiling, waiting for the open. Strange anxiety fills in.
If your own black cat crosses your path, is it still unlucky?
When we find love in each other through common hate. Is it still love?
Preparation and planning corrupts free flow. Can we ever bring ourselves to the unfamiliarity, like that of first love?
One more tea to wash it down, then its okay if I am not found.
To be continue.
Over chai, I scroll down my news feed. I stare at the screen, the people and their lives stare back at me. Talk to me, judge me, poke me, disturb me. I look at everything they have, everything I missed. There were opportunities that I din’t take, that my friends took instead. I watch their life change as they probably watch mine. At times I envy them and wonder if that could have been me. I see their lives and its sudden growth. Growth?
Do I mean salaries hikes?
Then I shift to my wall, my pictures and my posts and I smile to myself, sip my chai, enjoy my lil self stalking session. I feel good. My lil stalk session leaves me feeling thankful that I did not take the road to better salaries. And about growth? I see my needs our different. I don't aspire for the same things as most people are expected to do. My growth is not about climbing up a corporate ladder. It is in slow journeys that are full with new faces, old friends, strange people, un-blogged towns, fading cities, misty forests, shared meals, trains missed, buses taken, forever lovers and constant heartbreaks.
I feel good. I feel grateful at 25 and not figured it out. Still being lost and no where close to finding what lies ahead. Why should this scare us? When its all so exciting. The possibilities of what has to come or what we will chase. So many options because we still haven’t settled for ‘the safe and comforting life’. It is scary each day when thoughts drive you insane and but it feels so alive to not know where you are going. A feeling I will choose again and again over great salary packages.
Then I sip my tea again. And I wonder am if I making my self believe things. uh oh. hehe
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.
Yes, it has dawned on me, life is a burden.
I finally, fully accept that statement. Or wait,
was it a famous quote? or a popular film dialogue?
Anyway, Why now and how?
Well because, I understand discontentment and I know what it does.
What does it do?
It drives you insane, bipolar, depressed and chase what you think you want.
Do you mean chase your dreams?
Yea, that should have said that first.
(It is kind of weird that I am interviewing myself. But, I am kind of a big deal on my personal website.)
The cycle. We aspire, we dream and work for those dreams. We reach them but still don’t feel like we’ve arrived. We try to live in the moment and then dream again. We keep wanting more, expecting more, getting our hopes high and hearts broken. We get fail, we depressed and then find a way to get out and in again. Some where on our way, we realise that in a way it was discontentment all the way, that got you to achieve it all. The only problem with discontentment, is that it comes back after you have it all.
Oh no, I don’t like how this sounds!
Well, me neither, even though I just wrote it.
But, this is life and the burden really is that we will fall,
into potholes that were de-marked with a bright yellow caution tape.
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.’
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.
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.
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.
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.