Sunday, December 25, 2011

Feathered shoes and Gloria in excelsis deo

U smile !  that's what you do when someone takes a photograph of you, unless there is a good reason behind it, perhaps a death ( although I wonder who would take a picture of in that moment) or if you have made a eternal pact, not to smile at the person behind the camera.

On the other side, why to smile while being photographed ? cant we own the weirdest-custom-made expression that we carry on our face ? I pondered on it, while my photo was taken last night in the Christmas mass at a church here. The photographer is a warden in her early 40 , dressed elegantly in black gown , lush red lipstick and a hair clip and shoes that had feathers in it .she must be from the high class. She seem to be interested to capture the patrons who turned up for the special mass. As she made her way back to her seat her heals drummed the floor, It was loud enough to be heard in the packed church.  Before I could reach a conclusion about smiling,  the choir started singing, Gloria in excelsis deo filled the room.

There is definitely something about the choir echoing in the church. At the wee hours of yesterday  the rain bathed the church  and the warmth of  hundreds of people gathered to welcome hope, happiness and peace  only added to the wholesome experience.  I was tired (from standing) and hungry by the time the pastor cleared his throat to deliver the message of The Holy Night.  To my surprise he didnot say anything arbitrary that a common non-christian wouldn't understand. He spoke of financial burdens, the loneliness created by the distance from your loved ones and being an outcast. In short All that I am.

As much as I tell everyone that I am a freethinker, I sometimes take the comfort in believing something. Like what the pastor said hours ago. The god choose to be born in a place like cattle shed , in association with Shepard, the lowest and outcast of that time. No air freshener, clean towels or medical care on cotton soft mattress,  for he lived like one of us, so people like me can identify with him. A kinship that taught there is always hope and joy no matter what the present looks like.

"Peace be to you" He said,  and people around me greeted each other "peace" with a christmasy smile . Without any hesitation I greeted them back with smiles of course.  A kid next to me felt comfortable enough to hug me :) I so wished the entire world were these people at church.  Where the feather shoes of chinese Christian and bata shoes of Indian hindu can smile and say peace to each other.

Then it hit me, We smile at pictures because we are thinking about all those who are going to see this photograph, now and ever. We are making a snapshot of our lives that might end up living , staring at people more than we do. That  it needs to portray , happiness , hope and conviction. A kinship to a happily ever after. Needless to say I smiled at all those who made eye contact at me, as I walked out of the church - I still do.



Tuesday, August 09, 2011

In a heart beat

Happy birthday Singapore, thanks for enriching my life in many ways.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lMeihSWbxs


Sunday, August 07, 2011

Miles beneath the smile


2 am saturday night
sitting awake with laptop on
I have thoughts to fight and gauge whats right
So I keep thinking on and on tonight.

Projects to be done
and books to be read
but I gaze on
cause there are things to be said.

cheerful as gay
and a smile ear to ear
thats what people say
but they dont see it clear.



My heart is full
but my valet is light
for love is all i can give at will
till my time is right.

I keep forgetting its the material world
I still keep believing that love could mend
and all we need is some time to spend.

I walk with dreams
and sleep with nightmares
I chase them all day like a dog
and they croak all night like a frog.

With millions friends to help
and million hearts to cheer
I keep hoping things would be better

Its not easy when u give it all up
for what u love
may not fill today's cup

I am tired and may lose
to those black thoughts on the loose

for words killed my smiles today
and laughing so loud,
but behold you demon
here comes another day.


Thursday, August 04, 2011

Funny faces and come soon

"Chichu mama, eppo enna pannum" ( uncle whats now ?)
"nee school ponum " ( you must go to school)
"Appo evening collage okya" (can we do collage in the evening ?)
"ok for sure"
"Ok chichu mama, bye poren" , and after the exchange of ample amount of flying kiss.
" come soon ok ? "

It doesn't matter whether he is leaving for school or I am going out, its always come soon for him.

"chichu mama down poi tata pannanum"  (say bye when I go down).

We live in 10th floor and his day care is nearby. The view to the long road is quite clear from lobby and vice verse. So  for the next few minutes we keep waving to each other making funny faces.

The bittersweet feeling of watching him go is hard to explain. Back home, Everytime I leave my home, my parents would make it a point to send me off  from the gate. They would wait patiently until I walk the whole street. The good bye is never complete without a waving from the end of the street. Sometimes my dad would walk in , but my mom would stay there pretending as casual as she can get, by talking to neighbor. 

Sometimes I take a cab but the routine is same. For It doesn't matter whether she could see me or not. If she has an option to see me till rail station or airport, I bet she would. This is by far the guiltiest feeling I ever get. Even though I know I have all the more reasons to travel, to provide for them and hopefully soon enough we would be together. Watching her face as I bid goodbye is the most human emotion i possess. For it tells me I am part of her, for it tell me no matter where this body goes the umbilical cord is still intact.

Once, a wise person I know told me a tamil poem about the hunter. The hunter goes into the wild leaving his loved one (the poem says lover but lets suit our selves) for the catch of the day. As you may know, finding a prey and shooting it down is not like bowling in the east coast park.  But he does get it right, always!  not just because of his abilities, but because of the love. The one that waits by the door wants him to come home soon and that loving thought is enough to make him succeed. I was flabbergasted the first time I heard this poem! Beautiful! 

I think of this every time I wonder about the future. While I stand in the end of the cross roads, I see her face for I know her love is good enough to make me succeed. 
Come soon Amma 


Friday, July 29, 2011

Can Cannot la

Singapore is..

Where Chinese who lives in Malaysia, and Malay who lives in Singapore have similar customs.

Its safe to drink tap water and yet most of them buy mineral water bottle (which now believed to have harmful chemicals)

Tipping a taxi driver or anyone is considered an insult!

People get pissed off when train takes a second or two to open the doors to the platform.

Pedestrian thinks pressing the signal umpteen times would make it green soon.

Rickshaw tours are still popular.

-----------you can find public toilet almost anywhere :)-----------

you can see devoted chinese in Ganapathi temples and Indians in Budda temple . The second part mostly involves cannon camera (those with big lenses which looks exactly like the big cannons at war) shutterbugs.

People take part in walking, running and sometimes shaving the head ,not to win but only to donate money to charities.

Men walk around completely "free" in swimming pool shower rooms.

Milo can be declared as national drink.

Senior citizens watch youtube videos in national library computers.

Usage of simple statements like , can can or cannot la, or no ice in drink (dont say dont put ice or dont want ice ) , no need no need - are much appreciated and understood.

People look at you with strange expression if you are not hooked onto ipod/Iphone/ PSP or tab.

Where little India feels just like India, crowded and dirty!



Friday, July 22, 2011

Thou shall always count thy blessings

Dear you,

Cant believe I am writing this from Singapore. At one point i really packed my dream in a big suitcase and kept it  in the loft. Was walking around with clown over my head. The visa , the students loan, I couldn't wrap my mind around the whole thing.

I am now a Master degree student in Raffles Singapore! Feels great to say it, even more to write it.  The feeling is bittersweet, still settling. Change of country and new college , new syllabus, profs, class mates whoaaa!

And the best thing that happened to me is the feeling of being loved by my Friends! I am really amazed by the generosity and kindness they have showed me. I had to show a bank balance of the total fee required to finish the course for the visa process.  I was depending on the loan to come , which would take days to finish.

I made few phone calls and money just flowed into my account from everywhere. In matter of few days I have become a privileged customer of ICICI Bank :P  can you believe that ? not to shabby for someone who hasn't earned for a year and half!

Some even floored me with support that I didn't expect at all.  This gentleman took out his time and counselled me on the implication of finance and this person  and this person is still helping me to find a accommodation in Singapore!

The best came in the form of four year old joy bundle , Junior " S ". I am staying at my cousin's in Singapore. S is her kid and we became instant hit. He enjoys reading stories, drawing, collage and occasional dancing ( its very funny to see him shaking his bum ) . You got to see him to believe how lively he is.  Sometimes he hugs me and tells me " chichu mama i love u" in his sweet toddler voice, and I just melt away.


While my cousin pampers me with home cooking, he fills my time with fun and frolic. To be in presence of a child is to be in presence of love. Kids don't really need fancy gifts, they just need you to be around, to be with them and to listen to them. And when u do that u get more than what you give.

Here is to the love that surrounds me! dreams do come true in its presence.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Time to haste

Dear you,

My final exams have started today, seems like yesterday , that I started talking about quiting my IT job. Its been one hell of a ride and I already see that this is what I meant to do. It feels so natural! As much as I enjoyed working in IT, i think i missed this life. Where I can wake up and sleep on my own schedule and do very crazy stuff.

Being designer is looking for beauty and inspiration in all that I see, and this has increased my spectrum of taste.The need to experience new stuff and enjoy all that is different is so interesting.  Its been more than a year and few months now and I am passing out my diploma this month.

Being wild dreamer , I have applied for one of the best design schools to do masters. Yes! if I am going to do something, I am going to do it right.  To affirm that ,  The Raffles design school - singapore, has evaluated my portfolio and have accepted my application. My teachers are proud and so am I.

Since my dad is priest I am having troubles in getting loan for the education. But I believe and hope things would fall in place. Fingers crossed :)

This is one of my exam work, I have to see and design a poster,corporate ID for the movie, Amores Perros. Unlike other exams u can very well know the result of your design paper right away, Its just on your face isnt ? :)







Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dump your Gramophone

Remember the time someone said something to you and you couldn't get it out of your head. Probably you will end up all night thinking about why he/she said that in the first place. Like a old gramophone record it goes on and on, and every time you would try to come up with better answers or insults you could have possibly given to the other party. Yeah thats exactly I am talking about!

Understanding :
I remember this story from a teacher who taught me meditation. A old man accompanied by two children was sitting in the railway station. The kids were making noises, jumping around, and fighting with each other. A disturbed commuter asked the old man to keep the kids silent. To which he replied, I dont know how to control them , they lost their mother this morning.  What seemed like a pure angry and irritation turned into sympathy and love for the kids.

Thats the power of understanding. As much as we want to put ourselves first and declare what a prick the other person is, there must be very good reason why he/she is so. The more we understand the more we can find easier to forgive. No one's perfect , just like us.

Forgiving ourself
You cannot make everyone happy :) Stop being hard on yourself.
More often we feel guilty about the whole thing. "why did i let him talk to me like that" , " why did i do that which invited such remarks" - you get the drift.  Say  to yourself "I forgive myself when i make mistakes" and move on.


Rituals 
When things are bad, communicating with the other person will only worsen it. But we can follow some rituals to reduce the pain. As crazy as it seems, it works!

  1. Pour down everything you have to say in a paper, Yes it HAS TO BE WRITTEN in paper.it symbolizes getting it out of your system.  Finish the writing by saying  " I forgive you (the person's name)" . Then either burn it, or tie it to the balloon and send it away.
  2. Take a hand full of salt , think about your bad memory, and drain it in sink.
  3. If you are lucky to have a beach in your town, stand in the water and wash of your hands, u dont even need salt.


Forgive for yourself.

The end result is, we want to move on and forgiving the other person will do it. Its not for them but for our own health and peace of mind. Carrying the bad memory is like carrying a baggage and trying to walk, sooner or later you get tired. Before sleeping bring their face and say" I forgive you" . Do it as many nights as you need.

I deduce this from the books i read and from my meditation gurus, please feel free to comment what you might do in the similar situation. It would help someone who is in need.

Peace!



ps: Pardon my writing skills, I would get better as time goes by :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stuttering thoughts


Its almost the 10th time I have opened this window to type a new post. The first line of the post is like the opening sentence to the girl in the bar. It might either go way better than you think or fall flat on your face. And then comes the second line, now that you got the attention, its important to say something smart.

Have you played angry birds ?  ( ok not so smart but questions do help). If you are not familiar with this iPhone game you might as well ask my mother ( she is yet to return my iPod touch, thanks to gaming addiction).  I always found the direct hit on the pigs or the castle wont help to finish the game. The trick lies in finding the exact point, when hit would start a domino type demolition effect. A catalyst shot for the ripple effect.

Many ideologies say your current state of life depends on your current state of mind , which is sum of your positive and negative thoughts. By tipping the scale of positive thoughts to jus 51% you can start the ripple effect of attracting all that is good for you. Imagine the time when everything suddenly started falling in place , yup thats what i am talking about. To let the good times roll all we need is that one single stroke of luck   vibrant positive thought  ( it can be a good karma, a affirmation or a simple selfless help.)

I have attended the Anna hazare protest in bangalore to support the cause. Although there are numerous controversies surrounding the lokpal movement, I feel good to have participated . For once I was not sitting at home complaining, I was out there , a common man putting his effort to make the nation a better place.  I think this is a good change, for the tipping scale of people wanting to change something is growing .

So next time you think about doing something small like switching off electricity or helping a visually challenged at the bus stop, or participating in cause that you feel right about, think this. You are not another small drop in the ocean, you could be the 51 man tipping the scale, starting the ripple effect to a whole new world.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Message from the stars

Hey there,

Two friends met after what seemed to be eternity. They both used to spend hours after hours chatting about each other's life and zillion things under the sun.  Not all  interests were similar, in fact the ones that arent made their conversation much more interesting. During some of their darkest time, both stuck to each other proving  friends are the best shrink anyone can get.

Then life happened.  The only thing to do was accept it and shuffle and recreate their priorities. What once a beautiful time together  became a distant, yet sweet memory in the heart.  There were million ways to be in touch yet they drifted apart carried by the strong current of life.

One fine day it happened, they met. There must be something in the stars, or perhaps sheer fate or just a random power cut in the evening. Like the one that happens during Indian summer, where watching stars in the terrace in the cooling breeze is the best thing to do. Humming a old song, or amusing about what life used to be before things became important than people.  Thats what happened to these two.

They sat next to each other, no one complained about not keeping touch, they are just happy to see each other and be in company. For words doesn't matter in friendship its the feeling of belonging to each other.

Thats us , you and me and I am happy to see you again.
Srivats