Showing posts from 2012

Six Degrees of Narnia and a blessing spell

I read that everyone on this planet is separated only by 6 people. Be it President of America, Dalai Lama or your favorite celebrity, there are only 6 people separating them from you. The Hungarian author, Frigyes Karinthy named it, the 'Six degrees of separation'. With inclusion of internet and sites like Facebook and linkdn the degree of separation is lesser than 6. The average degree through Twitter is 4.6, the world is shrinking after all. However the flip side is you have to know the right connection to get to the right person.
This theory made me wonder about the most prime question of all. What is my worth? What makes me get something or succeed? does it solely depend on the people I know? or the qualities I posses? is it my abilities that count? or is it the law of attraction? Karma, luck or my blessings?
These question also comes from my current state of mind. Some of you might know that I left, 11 years of IT job to pursue a career in Design. I am graduating my Mast…

So be it

If you are living in Singapore for more than 6 months,  you probably would have walked into at least a dozen of tourist's pictures by accident. The city is so small that the boundary between the tourists attractions and everyday living space is paper thin.  Especially if you are travelling to centre of the city (like me) you walk through a maze of tourist attractions like buildings, churches, trees, stones or whatever.

The worst comes in the form of 'hop on bus' city tours. The other day I was shopping for flowers in little India, in my shorts and worn out t-shirt. It didn't took long to realize I was being photographed by bunch of cameras from the double-decker bus. I have no idea how an Indian buying flowers would be a holiday memory to cherish.  Whether you are having a bad hair day, or busy talking to yourself while walking, there is no escape from this paparazzi.
I didnot walk into this - Sam and Angel my flat mates :)
Singaporean tolerance levels are so high that i…

Wishing Luck, Love and Good bye

If you toss a coin, standing anywhere in the crowded place of your city , it is sure to hit someone who is either, loved, lost, or lonely (not necessarily in the same order though). The sheer amount of break up albums and movies that sold out last year is quite a proof.  People seem to be either fighting for love or fighting in the love. I once saw a scary movie where the hero is always walking around with neck pain. An instant photograph reveals to him that the ghost of his girlfriend is sitting on his shoulder all along.  The director couldn't have said it better about carrying past relationships.
According to Taoist Chinese tradition, The gates of the hell are open during the month of August every year(also known as ' hungry ghost festival') . Buddhist on the other hand believes that the gates of heaven are also open and the  deceased  ancestors are free to roam the lands of living.  In Singapore, any open ground near the Chinese home becomes offering place for the ghos…

Smell of love

My high school chemistry teacher, did not believe in love or celebrating festivals. He said love is merely an attraction and festivals are waste of time. That the sun rises and nature doesn't change, even if it were Christmas or Deepavali. Through his constant reminder, I was totally convinced about love being a mere attraction. Looking back now, I see why he said that to the 'hormone-haunted-biologically-charged' us.

I loved the festivals though.I secretly wished every week had one, so I can visit my mother's mom.  She is the perfect grandmother one could have. No matter how naughty I behaved, she always took my side and pampered me like a prince. She had a well maintained garden where I practised my archery skills on her bottle gourd and plantain trees.She loved feeding me with her hands.
This is the only photo I have of my grandmother, at my aunt's marriage.
She even baked cakes and biscuits using kitchen stove. She fills the pan with beach sand and keeps the b…

Where memories are made

" This is how we make clouds" said the gentleman in strong accent who was guiding our tour, and each one us turned our camera towards the glass window of the tourist bus. To our utter dismay there stood a factory with chimneys smoking to the sky. We all broke in to a chorus laugh. Amsterdam, a place just out of picture frame with windmills, tulips and cheese farms.

You might have read my earlier posts regarding my Europe tour in which I had the time of my life. I wore my best clothes, ate in best restaurants, had the perfect wines and took perfect pictures with my perfect camera. Now looking back it  feels like it belongs to my last birth, the one I had yesterday and woke up into the 'now'. It all started with a simple non technical support desk job, in India almost 11 years ago. Back then it was the job of my life for I had money in hands for the first time.And after sharing majority of the salary to my parents I still had some left for my own spendings.

That was t…

The life of a death

In a place called 'kasi' in India, people pray to dead bodies. People who visit and live there are constantly in the radar for the chants of 'ram ram', made by the men who carry the diseased. People then rush to their doorsteps with folded hands to pray at, what's-left-by-the-life that walked the earth. 'this is insane' I told my dad who was excited, to narrate this from his recent pilgrimage.

The train jerked and I almost dropped my not-so-smart phone. With another jerk the train gave up in the midway between two stations. This is the umpteenth time the metro is breaking down in the middle of the transit. In a few seconds, lights went off. 'Dad I'll call you back' and I cut the call without waiting for his answer. I always took him for granted. To be honest I don't treat him as well as my mother and though I love him, I never told him so. I looked up to see a compartment full of glowing faces lit by their smart phones. It's not a freaky …

And she was enough

If someone makes a contest of all those things that we take for granted, the first place goes to mothers.
You may try all your life, but I bet you wont be able to love her more than she loves you. Every year I  treat her around this special day , we go on a date to a movie, to restaurant or go saree shopping spree. Just us, its our ritual.

This year is year of many firsts, the first time since college I received money from her and did not treat her on mothers day. No date, no black forest cake and no saree shopping spree. In fact I received some money from her for my expense last month. When  the whole world judged me for my action to leave a steady career to study, The only person who stood by my side is her.

She never questioned my decision, she never ever have!  I have taken many decisions that affected me personally and my family for the past few years, and she always found the courage and strength to love me no matter what, from bottom of her heart. Its doubtful whether I would …

Fountain grass gooseberries

You know the feeling you get in the morning, waking up from a dream to find your surrounding is totally different and undesirable?  Your own room feels like a different place and all you want is to crawl back into that black hole and go back to that dream.  Yes I am in that mood today, now.
It was a beautiful summer dream. The time must be late evening, The whole scene is lit with reddish-yellow gradient haze.  Like the kind of lighting that happens once in a while during twilight -  due to strange cosmic phenomenon. I am standing in the terrace at my grandma's place, looking down,with my hands resting on the wall. The garden at the front yard is filled with lush, dark fountain grass. There is a small pathway made of fine beach sand that separates the sea of fountain grass. Like a thin line when a women's hair is neatly combed to two parts.
There are two kids lying in the sand. Everything is in shades of red-yellow-orange except for green gooseberries which are sprinkled ev…

Jellyfish grandmas and Christmas lights

In the world of, LAP full of technical TOPS and HAND full of PHONES, it is no wonder some of us feel so far away from ourselves.  Well we live together with machines, it's only true as the saying goes "couple who lives together long starts to look the same".
Have you seen Jellyfish swimming ? They glow in dark and it's the most magical and mesmerizing scene to witness. Like a luminous aqua blue Christmas lamp dancing in rhythm. For all we know they are here for more than 600 million years,  outdating even dinosaurs!  Remember we use to consult our grandparents for all the biggest decisions in the family? well it's time we consult our great great grandmother of all, the Jellyfish! This is one of my submission for a design contest for a food restaurant called "Jumbo Crab" for their 25th anniversary. Can you spot the jellyfishes in the surrealistic background?
95% of Jellyfish is made up of water! We are essentially made up of five elements, more of one elemen…

Soyamilk Rice balls, Tourists and a live in relationship

Sitting at front of City hall metro station with a cup of rice balls in soya milk, I am watching people walk by.  It's about half past five in the evening and air is crisp. The shoppers, the commuters, the suited men and the ladies with baby stroller. They all seem to have one thing in common. They seem to be in their own world, confined to their own private aura.   In my 3 plus years of live in relationship with Singapore, I found it challenging to start a decent conversation with a localite here.
A smile, or a hello are usually responded with a god-knows-what-weird expression.  On the other hand, it's easy to talk to expats, tourists and young hearted seniors. You can talk about weather, their work, ask for direction, guide them for direction or in my case even share a meal.  Being single here, I mostly end up sharing the dinning table at Kopitiams (food courts of Singapore). And invariable say hello and start a conversation with the person attending to hunger.  By now you w…

Taped python, personal foul and starless skies

I bet, If you take a Singapore train by hand and rattle it in the air, the number of electronic gadgets flying out would be at least twice the number of people on board. And I also bet if you have a python taped to the ceiling of the cabin, no one would notice, because everyone is busy looking down on Ipad,phone,pod or psp.

Occasionally you would find someone reading books, or handling their kids or adjusting a big bag from Mustafa. These are either housewives, old, Indians or all of the above.The good thing is no one cares about the business of other, and the bad thing is no one cares about the other. In the city where one can get happy meals at 2 in the morning and have wending machines to serve drinks all day long, no one needs anyone.

Last friday, I was walking home close to 11 in the night after a solo basket ball game. I heard weeping sound from the side walk and went closer to check. There she was, a 68 year old beautiful Chinese lady sitting and crying like a baby, eyes swolle…

The tomorrows of yesterday

Dear problems

You may had my yesterdays and today but I am refusing to give up my tomorrow.
For tomorrow is mine and I am going to be happy no matter what you do.


Lost clouds and unclee

Leaf succulent are plants that grow in extreme conditions of the dessert. To be precise, they stay dormant for most of their life, waiting for a random cloud to get lost and pour down some love. Within few hours of rain, they grow, bloom and store as much as water they can in their fleshy inside. A bed of colorful flowers in the middle of the dessert! Then again the dormant cycle begins, it could be weeks, months or even years until it can rain, yet they wait patiently. I came across this, in kid's encyclopedia that I was reading out to 6 year old Sam, my landlord's kid.

"Is the plant sick?" he asked me , tad worried. It took me couple of seconds to realise why he is asking me that. Sam's mom is a nurse and patient can only mean one thing. It's been just couple of weeks since I moved in here, but all it took for Sam and Angeline to befriend me was just a smile. Angeline is turning 3 tomorrow, and had little idea about the discussion, yet she enjoyed sittin…

Unspoken dreams and Unknown Eulogy

In a city where people couldn't wait few seconds before the signal turns green, Its only understandable that the body hanging from the tree, on the side of the road hardly got any attention. In the silent hours of today, an Indian worker in his twenties hanged himself  for unknown reason(s), I was told by my friend. Feelings are intangible but I could touch the sadness of death.For all we know this could be anyone related to us. Money? love? health? or sheer helplessness? Should I say, why the hell ?  or rest in heaven ? Unspoken nightmares? or failed dreams ?

I would be lying if I said I hadn't thought about jumping from high floor or slashing my own wrist at times. Believe me the luck I had in last several months can turn a good man bad. I was literally few events away  from turning bitter. But one good thing is that I always vocalised my problems.  I let them out, sometimes here, sometimes to my friends and mostly to my dear diary.

During my worst times, I only pray for two…

How long is one second ?

"How long is one second chichu mama?" my nephew asked me, without lifting his head from the jigsaw puzzle we were playing. I looked up wondering what to say.  "hmmm.. I dont know kutti, why dont you tell me how long it is?". He smiled at me, with his iam-gonna-make-something-up-look. He held his two tiny hands apart as if he is holding an invisible ball and said "this much". The next ten seconds were long enough to pick him up and swirl him around. He put his arms out and pretended to be a jet plane. We crash landed on the bed and giggled for long.

"NEXT.." the voice was loud enough to jolt me back to where I was. I was standing in the queue to student service at my college. It took one soft drink, 28 pages of Mitch albom's book and a day dream - in total a good two and half hours before I reached the counter.While the short Filipino lady waited impatiently, I fumbled through my valet and handed her my student ID.   " hi , I just finish…