You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2012.

Alexandria the place where my heart belongs.The little township has expanded but still carries the images of the past( historical look). Especially the Potomac River which still houses the once Torpedo factory.where number of important people were supposed to have made their presence know. Like Abraham Lincolin and George Washington.

Alexandria is about 10 minutes run to Washington DC.The once Torpedo factory which uses to make Torpedos for the 1st world war has now become a museum and part of it has become an Arts college or as we call it the School of Arts. Everything about that area still stands the way it use to be .The cobbled roads,the french windows and the old buildings of years ago still voice their opinions of the remnants of the years past.

That particular area of Alexandria is very laid back.People just spend their time at starbucks,starting at 5.00 am.Taking their dogs for a walk,jogging ,cycling name it.I happened to spend 2 very interesting days their .Sketching on the Potomac River Front and watching cruisers takeoff at that point. Trust me when i say, that it is the most fascinating place i have ever been too.I wish i could down load some pictures. I am still new to this

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The other day my spiritual Guru asked me to define the word ‘God’? How could one possibly have a definition for the Supreme Personality? Anyhow, it got me thinking and I asked myself what the first thing was that would come to my mind when I think of him.
Just the sound of his magical name brings a tear to my eye- sad? no, a happy tear for I have the privilege of taking his name from my cunning and ruthless tongue; the sound of his name reminds me of a soft bell that rings in my ears and soothens every nerve of my body; it makes me realise where I was wrong and helps me to correct myself by making me feel the aura of having the Lord’s blessings around me at all times; it’s the smile on a little baby’s face and the twinkle in his eyes that reminds me of him; it’s those reassuring thoughts which come to me out of the blue in times of depression;it’s the word, which when taken, makes one feel like a winner when everyone around you calls you a loser; it’s that peaceful and serene look on his face which forces you to find that inner peace and calm.

The Lord- The beginning of everything with no end to it. Why are we all running after immaterial things which only give stress and heartache? Why don’t we chase his love and attention which is for free and the returns are huge? How many of us actually sit down to thank him at the Altar without asking for something in return?

So, let’s put ourselves together and try to be happy, healthy and wise, thereby being accountable for our own actions, whether good or bad.

This topic really has no end to it but I would like to stop here with a very popular quote that most of you might have heard:
‘Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.’
But for a true devotee of the Lord, we could rephrase this quote as :
‘Smile and the Lord smiles with you, cry and he comes to wipe your tears.’
God Bless.

Note : My creative Hat is a poem regarding a art director thoughts.

I am holding a hat where ideas are filled

I am holding a book where my figures speak

I am holding a pen where it makes me to run

 

I draw with imaginations in my stage of ground

I give life to it and express around the colors

I move around to find out a letter with wings

Which makes me to think what I should?

 

I love to draw and love to be with drawing

I love to get things all around and be with it

I love to collect and make it all in joy

I love to be with colors so as to make colorful

 

My life is full of threads which connects all the heads

I create it around the heads and surround it with life

I reach to everyone’s mind and explore it with thoughts

I play with lights and hang up on like a bulb

I will never end up with a how and makes it a bow

I design all up the days and

Still moves around with my hat.

 

I can’t love life until it starts raining, for that is when life prevails. People scurry in every direction, as raindrops fall like mortar shells. They hide under tattered awnings and in cracked walls, with only the brave walking the streets. Their existence is slowly washed away. Few people survive, and even fewer press on. Souls are swept along the road. Cobblestone, made from the skulls of the weak. People who were stepped on in life, now lead your steps to death. A quiet fellow. Old, embodied in a young boy. He sits on a bench, it’s the end of the road. He has many acquaintances, but few friends. They meet him everyday, here, on this bench. They don’t stay long. He fears that he’s pushing them away. He has always had a soft heart, which leads most to say that he isn’t fit for this world. He’s grateful for what he has, though. He lives through the people who visit him, trying to capture as much of them as he can. But, alas, it is time for them to leave. With a slender finger, he etches their initials into the wooden slat as they disappear into the distance. And he sits there, waiting for his next visitor. The longer it takes for one of them to show up, the more he thinks that his time has finally come.

“But Papa, what would have happened if the thirsty crow wouldn’t have spotted any stones close by?”

Mithi’s Papa looked at his adorable four-year-old; all wrapped up in her Winnie the Pooh bed cover up to her chin. Only her tiny hands were visible that had clenched the bed cover with all the strength that they could muster. But it was her question that stumped him. How on earth did she start thinking about the “Thirsty Crow” story while he read her the “Three little pigs” story from her handsome, fully illustrated, sparkly fairy tale book? He garnered all the patience that he had since this was the tenth time she had interrupted his flow of words by her unrelated innocent questions. It suddenly worried him whether, his daughter, whom he had thought of being unusually imaginative and smart was having trouble focussing on the activity at hand. But he dispelled the baseless thought away when he looked  at the probing eyes waiting for his answer. He knew he had to invent one like the countless others he had before. But this time he decided to give her some logic to test whether she understood reason or not.

“Errr, baby, had the crow not found the stones to put in the pot, the story wouldn’t have existed in the first place!”

This answer seemed to please Mithi and she quickly indicated that he should continue with the rest of his story about the “The Three Little Pigs”.  By the time, he had reached the middle of the story, the tiny eyes had closed. Mithi’s Papa, got up slowly and placed her favourite dolly, Lola next to her and caressed her forehead before turning out the light in the pretty pink room. He closed the door after him and called it a day.

Mithi had an active imagination. So active that she enacted her imagination to see if it could come true. Most of all, she wanted to see if all the stories that Papa told her were actually true or not. She had asked him innumerable times whether these were only stories or was there really any ounce of truth. Each time, her father confirmed and assured her that these were true tales. She constantly endeavoured to put his hypothesis to test. She dressed up most of the times to be the part in question and enacted the whole story the way she understood it to be. She requested her Papa that she wanted to be the “Red Riding Hood” who out-smarted the wicked wolf. Her Papa, on the very same day, on his way back from his work, stopped at the General Stores in the local market and picked what had the closest resemblance to Red Riding Hood’s attire  – A bright red raincoat. For the next few days, Mithi was seen strutting her red raincoat and talking to herself in front of the mirror, being the best Red Riding Hood, her Papa had ever seen. Mithi even buried a few beans in their backyard, to see if they were magical and turned into a giant creeper like that  in the Fairy Tale “Jack and the bean stalk”. She watered it every day and turned the spot into a muddy puddle and patiently waited for the creeper to grow. When nothing happened, she was disappointed but not for long as she would have found some other story to test. She even placed a pot of water near the Gulmohar tree  in her front yard. She strategically placed a few stones around the pot for any crow who was thirsty to drink out of the shallow pot. Crows did come around but flew away when they realized there was nothing of importance in the pot. After a few days, a silly crow managed to push the pot down to break it into many pieces.

Mithi’s belief that her Papa would only tell her the truth, made her stubborn when none of her ploys seemed to take effect. As a part of her afternoon play time, she and her dolly, Lola, put pieces of bread to form a trail so that “Hansel and Gretel” could find their way to her home and into her room. She waited for hours in her room playing with her doll house but Hansel and Gretel did not turn up. She then decided, it might be because they would have thought she was the wicked witch and wouldn’t want to make the same mistake again.  So she dressed up as a Princess with her tiara and got about playing the next story.

Mithi’s Papa watched her closely after he came back from work and worried that she was getting bored. Soon she might say that the stories were all untrue. What would he do then to put her to sleep. Surely, he couldn’t sing her to sleep. She might never let him into her room if he tried singing, he thought and chuckled to himself. He realized that Mithi did not have any companion apart from her dolly, Lola. The place where they lived did not have many children around and so did not have any community playground. Mithi had to be content playing by herself in the garden, in front of their house.  He made a note to himself that he needed to look for another neighbourhood where Mithi could play with other children.  Anyways, in a couple of months she was going to start school so things would fall in place. He felt much better after that thought. That night he told her the story of ” Goldilocks and the Three bears”. This time she did not ask any questions but he could sense that she was actually visualizing the whole story in front her eyes. He wouldn’t be surprised if she asked for three teddy bears or for that matter a blonde wig to play Goldilocks. He only dreaded that she might try to paint her hair to look the part. Before that he needed to make sure she had the wig and the three teddy bears!

On one such night he had tucked her and retired to his room. He switched on the television to catch up on some World News. After sometime he felt weary and drifted off to sleep. It would have been little after midnight that he woke up with a start. He realized he had forgotten to switch off the lights in his bedroom. But before he did that, he had a strong urge to check up on Mithi. He strode to her room as silently as he could and crossed the hallway to reach the lavender painted door.

He was taken aback to see a faint glow coming from underneath the door. He recalled having switched off the lights before stepping out but the faint glow did not look like the one from the lights. He slowly opened the door and then he stopped on his tracks.

He felt his knees go weak and felt paralysed. The sight in front of him made his face go white with fear. He tried to enter the room but felt like a force was pulling him back. He called out to her but felt as if she couldn’t hear him at all.

He saw her hoisted in the air and bobbing up and down. He could see that she was still asleep and had no cognition of what was happening to her. That eery glow was coming off the space around her and it was as if she was in a bubble. His trepidation filled eyes observed that a long and almost endless creeper had broken the window glass panes entered her room to surround it from all sides. He felt he was going mad when he noticed three tiny pigs dressed up in a suit and prancing about on their hind legs. Just when he thought that the tiny black flying things were flies, one of them just flapped their wings right in front on him. To his dismay he realized what it was. It was a crow from his stories. The crow flapped a few more times and flew close to Mithi’s floating body. He screamed and screamed for her to wake up and run to the safety of his arms. It was then he saw two shadows in the darkest corner of the room. He saw a cloaked figure that he instantly recognized from the faint red silhouette as Red Riding Hood only that she was faceless. The hood was hollow and only darkness seeped out of it. He didn’t have to think twice before he understood whom the gleaming green mean looking eyes belonged to.

Meanwhile the one of the miniature crows came back flapping its wings wildly.  It screamed the most blood curling screech which made the hair at the back of his neck stand. Suddenly he felt a cold wave wash his face and he woke up in cold sweat.

He immediately realized that he was dreaming. But his heart felt like lead and it hammered inside dangerously. He was unable to move for several minutes and sat upright in his bed thinking of the bizarre dream. He decided he wouldn’t be reading any mean bedtime stories to Mithi anymore since they had started to even affect him now. He felt he needed to check on her after the nightmare to make sure she was tucked in well. He silently made his way to her room and open the door. He saw her sleeping peacefully on one side holding Lola snugly. Quickly he made a survey of her room and felt silly about his nightmare. He took one more look at her and felt a deep wave of love engulf him. Not wanting to disturb her, he closed her door and walked towards his.

While he switched off the lights to his room and snuggled under this bedcover he felt he had missed seeing something. But he again pushed that thought behind and closed his eyes. It must be his nightmare, he decided. Certainly there was nothing in her room that he should worry himself with. With this he drifted off to another fitful sleep.

Back in Mithi’s room, as she slept soundly with Lola in one hand, she was unaware of the presence in her room. In the darkest corner, there sat a hooded faceless figure and a pair of gleaming green eyes keeping a watchful eye on their protégée.

I looked at the mirror.

I  turned towards left and then right.   Noticed my popped out paunch,   which was more visible as I was wearing the blue-colored T-shirt.

“Don’t blame the mirror!   For how many days I have been asking you to go for a morning walk?  You become angry whenever I remind you of your cholesterol counts”,  it was my sweet wife who was also there in my room!

“OK!  I have decided to start my morning walk from next Wednesday”, I tried stopping a debate on a combustible topic.  I knew that Wednesday was far off and moreover, my wife would be going to India on a short vacation the Monday prior!

“Don’t fool yourself! “, not budging in to my tantrums, my wife left the room abruptly.

***********************

To avoid getting up early and forcing myself for a morning walk, I decided to buy a treadmill and surprise my wife before her return.  I also wanted to prove a point that I was health-conscious.

I was thrilled, as I was going to use a fitness-machine for the first time ever!    I surfed many sports shops in search of a classy treadmill.   The treadmills were available everywhere, but the lead time for home delivery was a concern.  Eventually, I could spot one dealer who promised to deliver the treadmill the next day.

***********************

With utmost curiosity, I impatiently waited while the technician assembled the treadmill  at the farthest  corner of my hall room.  He tested it out, certified its condition and left.

I believe in beauty & perfection.  For a look-good feeling, I wanted the treadmill to be placed facing the television, but the power cable length was insufficient.  In another ten minutes, I found an extension board, repositioned the treadmill and switched it on.    The owner of the treadmill stood on it and changed some settings.   With pride, the belt started to move, but it increased the speed drastically making me fly off the base and alas, in less than 3 minutes, it stopped abruptly!

After numerous persuasions, the technician agreed to come back from his way, to check the reasons for this irreversible blackout.  In spite of revival attempts, the treadmill  was declared dead, due to faulty extension board.   Thankfully, the dealer was magnanimous enough to give me a replacement.

After an initial surprise factor for my wife,   I continued the way I used to be.  In a month’s time, the treadmill  found its resting place near the bathroom to function as a manual cloth dryer, and to hang used clothes!

***********************

I looked at the mirror again.  My protruding potbelly has not reduced even half inch!

I got enthused by the teleshopping channels and bought AbCirclePro.   Because, the lady who appeared in the commercial used it in swing like action,  with much ease and marketed it for a 3-minute use everyday.

“3 minutes only?”, without any second thoughts, a lazy me, went in!

Four days into it, I realized that three minutes were too long.  To make matters worse, one day I used it so aggressively that  I ended up with bruises on my knees – lying on the floor!

When I write this, the AbCircle Pro is being used as a temporary teapoy, and sometimes as a stool to sit atop to pull up my socks.

***********************

I looked at the mirror again.  I turned left, right and center!

I have now ACCEPTED the fact that potbelly is inevitable for a handsome man.

How can I, who have seen so many summers, sunsets and sunrises, laughter and tears pick one memory from my kaleidoscopic life to write about? I pick one and the kaleidoscope turns bringing together different shards of glass, creating a new memory altogether, not the one I first sat down to write about. But I must hold this magical mutability still or else it will all break down and like this “too solid flesh may melt and thaw and resolve itself into a dew.”

So, abandoning Mr. Shakespeare, I address this daunting task of sifting through a life of chaff to find some seeds to share, to plant and hopefully to grow. Forgive me, if every now and then the kaleidoscope takes over and we go haring off down a path an uncooperative neuron may choose to chase because a word, a change in the light, or a forgotten taste awakens yet another memory.

Well then, here goes: Me sitting with a freshly sharpened pencil in my hands, a clean half white half red eraser on the table next to me and in front of me the empty, open page of my exercise book. The task – homework. Fortunately for me, it’s English homework and the pleasant assignment is to describe a rainy day. Now, I love the rain. Not an insipid drizzle but a good thundering monsoon rain. Angry black clouds clashing their heavenly cymbals with a chorus of smaller kettledrums setting up a regular percussion, interspersed with brilliant flashes of lightning. But this is April in Delhi, north India where the heat is setting up a practice run for some serious scorching yet to come in May and June. So it’s pretty hard to get in the mood to describe a rainy day. At the time I was eleven years old and didn’t have as many memories as I do today to draw on. So, in order to recreate the image I set my chin on my hands to imagine this wonderful scene.

I close my eyes and picture the coming of the storm. In my mind’s eye I can feel the little wisps of wind as they carry the message to the tops of the trees. Next I see the gradual darkening of the sky, the strange other-worldly light that portends this grand theatre of the heavens. I can actually see that first enormous flash of lightning as it rips the curtain of clouds with its brilliant white sword to announce the arrival in all its majesty and God-like grandeur, the hero of the show: Thunder. I can almost hear this amazing loud noise and in the sweltering heat of an April afternoon in Delhi I shiver until I actually feel a resounding clap on my back. This is all too real and I shake my head as I awaken from this daydream.

What greets me is some real thunder. My mother, who at that moment appeared to me as a screaming banshee. Wild eyes. Flaming tongue. “You’ve been sitting here for half an hour supposedly doing your homework and you haven’t written a word!”

I look down and sure enough, there it is, that pristine sheet of paper in my exercise book, untouched, unmarked. It is then that the page shows its first few drops of rain – my tears.

February 2012
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