Monday, 29 December 2014

mundane monday - # 47 - my favourite five from this year


wow. somehow this year has already wound down and we are at the last monday of 2014 .

this has been a year that makes me glad its ending. less said about the year, the better. so goodbye 2014 - you started on a good note, and am grateful for the handful happy days you brought, but im so glad its time to bring down the curtains on you.
here's to hoping that 2015 will see better days.

to wind up the year, here are some of the mundane monday pics that are my personal favourites from this year -


here are the links to each of the posts which have the photos above -

mundane monday - # 36

mundane monday - # 37

mundane monday - # 38

mundane monday - # 42

mundane monday - # 43

one of my pet projects this year with respect to the blog was the complete makeover i gave it. though i took a lot of time, it left me immensely happy since i completed the entire redesign without knowing a single line of code and without any fancy expensive tools like photoshop.
you can see all the details about it in the post i made here .



Monday, 22 December 2014

mundane monday - #46

with just another monday left in the year, i thought it would be good to have a little pop of colour. maybe just to remind ourselves that there are still nice things to look forward to in life, despite it seeming quite bleak often.


this was one of the earliest pictures i took in the mundane monday series, but has not been posted on the blog so far, since i started posting them on the blog much later. its one of my personal favourites too.

Monday, 15 December 2014

mundane monday - # 45

i didnt think there would be a lot many people sailing in the same boat as i do, until i stumbled upon this japanese word called 'tsundoku' some weeks back. the japanese have really nailed it with this one, i should say.

i used to be a very fast reader in my younger days (even if i do say so myself), but the past so many years have seen me accumulate more books than i read. my friend's book which was lent to me has been sitting with me for more than a year and im sure its hope of seeing its owner has considerably faded by now :)

i dont know if i should attribute it to the general lethargy that plagues me or to the fact that i spend a big chunk of time reading online than offline. whatever be it, the desire to buy and stack up on books never ceases :) i've only curbed myself a lot in recent years because books are so heavy to move from place to place often - but still i keep dreaming of having a big book shelf and reading nook someday.









******
there are days when i think im too drained to write, or do anything else for that matter, but somehow posting even a little something on this blog takes my mind off the chaos and madness of life. i guess thats why i still keep up this blog, even if i dont frequently update it. its like having backup chocolate in the fridge .

Monday, 24 November 2014

mundane monday - # 44


sometimes some things seem like they were made with just me in mind.

no further words this week, since i believe the pic speaks for itself.

i rest my case.  :)


              
                       
From mundane monday

Monday, 17 November 2014

mundane monday - #43


the month gone by was not much different from what i had expected at the time of my previous post, with other things taking precedence over the blog. i think this is how things are going to be for the rest of the year, with so much stuff having my mind preoccupied. just doing what is absolutely necessary seems to be a big deal by itself.

today, however, i quickly grabbed my camera on a sudden whim. i happened to be catching up with some school friends after many years over whatsapp, and i was telling one of them that her family's native town was the same one in which my parents & aunts had spent their childhood - karaikudi, in tamilnadu, south india. (one of my aunts still lives there, while my dad moved out after he graduated and got a job.)

karaikudi is best known for the community of 'nagarathars' or 'nattukottai chettiars' who have made the region their home for centuries. traditionally traders and businessmen, their huge family homes and the antique treasures brought back from their travels that fill them, are sure to keep any vintage enthusiast happy for a lifetime. their unique customs and traditions, weddings, jewellery, food, hand-made tiles, architecture in their sprawling homes & temples, are all extremely fascinating. 

in recent times, the smaller nuclear families moving all over the world have resulted in many of the huge homes left empty for most of the year, and many of the heirlooms are sold away in antique shops. from palm leaf baskets to wood, glass, enamel, tin, brass, and lacquer - the variety of materials and the amount of stuff made out of them are simply mind boggling - some made closer to home by master craftsmen, others collected and brought home by the menfolk who travelled the world. chettinad antiques are a league of their own.

so - to cut short what could be an endless preamble, and come to today's picture - it is a small glass jar which i picked up in one of the antique stores in karaikudi some years back, during a visit. i generally dont pick up very huge pieces since we move a lot. (a lot, as in every year.) so this was just one of those perfect little knick-knacks which i could take wherever i wanted to. its an orange-amber coloured glass jar, just about 3 inches wide and almost similar in height. right now i use it hold some petroleum jelly on my nightstand (which i scoop out from the bigger container it came in) .

                                                                                                           More mundane monday pics 

one of the most unique characteristics about chettinad antiques is that they would have the family initials engraved on it - whether its their most expensive item of silverware or the smallest item in daily use. so you can see the initials, in tamil script on this one too - (it says "mu. mu. thu")

antique glass jar, chettinad, india.


if you are in the mood for a visual treat, click on the image search result for "chettinad antiques" and prepared to be spell bound :)







Monday, 13 October 2014

mundane monday - #42

highs and lows, up and downs... in many ways life is like a ferris wheel... where your position changes from high to low in a blink. where the view keeps changing. where its as much pointless to worry about the lows, as it is to gloat over the highs, and the only thing one can do is to enjoy the ride, as a whole.

yeah, life changes before you know it. its one roller-coaster ride where you feel powerless as it takes you up and down, round and round, and cant do much except hang on tight. and hope you go back home safe and sound, even if shaken and stirred. hope. its all we have, isn't it ? its what keeps us going each day.


this is a picture of a ferris wheel (or giant wheel as its sometimes called) toy - it belongs to a variety of indian wooden toys called channapatna toys, made in the indian state of karnataka. i got this on a trip to mysore. these are handmade and vibrantly colourful. read one my earlier posts on channapatna toys here.

i think im using my camera today after a long gap of more than two months... and the next couple of months will probably find me quite busy, with my finger in many pies... so im expecting posts to be very sporadic again here. hmmm... (unless of course by some miracle i turn really proactive and schedule them in advance or become very organised enough, that i find time to blog in the midst of chaos. which has hardly ever been the case, going by past evidence.)

Friday, 10 October 2014

my love/hate relationship with september/october...


there is something about september and october - i seem to be having a love-hate relationship with these months for quite some years now. 
the love part is that it brings one of india's most colourful festivals - navrathri or dussehra - which is celebrated in different ways in different parts of the country, but each no less festive and colourful than the others. the 9 night/10 day festival came to an end last weekend. 

in tamilnadu, which is my home state, it is celebrated with a colourful 'golu/kolu' - a display of dolls over the 10-day period, arranged in odd-numbered steps. girls and women dress up in their finest, and daily rounds to visit neighbours, friends, and family are common, where they are given a snack of sundal , along with the traditional offerings of turmeric, sandal & kumkum, betel leaves, coconuts/bananas, and often, a small return gift or favour.  

seen above, part of a set of nesting dolls

new dolls are often added to the family's collection, with the more creative women coming up with 'themes' for their displays each year ! the dolls are lovingly and carefully wrapped and packed off at the end of 10 days until next year. this is one of my most favourite festivals, with fond memories from my younger days... 

the dolls above are called the 'chettiar dolls' - the chettiar doll and his wife are traditionally considered shopkeepers/grocers, and are usually displayed with rice and lentils spread out in little containers before them, signifying the 'shop'. this particular version has a detachable head, so that you can turn them to face any direction !


and now, whats the hate part, you ask ? in the past several years, september/october has also been the month in which we invariably move or inevitably travel, every year. which has not only resulted in me not having a golu of my own, but also makes me end up very stressed these months. 
so while everyone everywhere is either in the midst of festivities or enjoying the beauty of fall/autumn around them, i am running around clueless with a house looking like this- 



yeah, i know, not pretty to show in public. but thats how it is. clothes. cartons. bubblewrap. packingtape. everywhere. not something that i particularly look forward to, but have come to accept as a part of my lifestyle :) and i have every reason to believe that i'll be going through the same again, in a few weeks.


Monday, 4 August 2014

mundane monday - # 41


India should probably be called the fried snack capital of the world. There are so many varieties of fried sweets and savoury snacks, that even if you have been living in india your whole life, you probably wouldnt have tasted them all. each state and region has so many varieties of its own. 

the photo below is an old one i took in 2012. it is a brass mould which is used to make different varieties of savoury snacks. it is in two cylindrical parts, with 4-5 changeable discs that go in the bottom cylinder. much like a piping/icing bag with different shaped nozzles for frosting cakes, the discs are of different shapes, with a star, small rounds, rectangle, etc. the dough in the bottom cylinder is pressed by the top cylinder into hot oil, to be fried. there are so many different varieties of snacks, like 'omapodi, thenkuzhal, mullu murukku/mullu thenkuzhal, ribbon pakoda' in tamil and 'chakli' in north india...

the moulds/press come in many variants these days, and more commonly in stainless steel, but i just have a major crush on brass :) 

the beginning of august generally marks the advent of the indian festival calendar, with summer fading away and the rainy months ahead. a steady stream of festivals begin from mid-or-end august usually, and everyone is in the mood for the aroma of a lot of fried oil and bubbling jaggery syrup :) thats one thing about traditional indian sweets - since most of them use jaggery instead of refined sugar, they are a much better option if you have a sweet-tooth. there should seriously be a movement for the revival of these sweets like kozhukkatai (modak), appam, adhirasam, seeyam (or suzhiyan), vella seedai, sojji appam, pori urundai, poli, etc etc. the only downside being many of these have to be fried. 

still, the months from august to december are the best time to be part of an indian household - it'll soon be time for the murukku mould to come out of hiding :)




murukku achu - murukku chakli mould - savoury mould - india

Monday, 28 July 2014

what was airtel thinking ?

whats up with ad film makers these days ? between a guy riding a bike across polar ice caps to catch the northern lights, and a woman who cooks a four course meal on a weeknight after coming home from work - i dont know which one is more improbable. in case you havent seen it yet, i'll let you have the epic-facepalm-experience without further spoilers. we'll catch up below the video.



yeah. that totally unexpected twist in the climax where the boss is the wife - i bet you did not see that coming. there are so many things that bother me about this that i dont know where to begin.

  • here is an indian couple where both obviously have well paying jobs, who have a driver but no cook at home.
  • ok, she decides to make it up to the husband for the extra work he is doing. the only way to do it is through food - because, you know, the usual heart-through-the-stomach thing. it never gets old. not even if you could afford to try sexy lingerie or expensive booze. all that is, ofcourse, against our 'kulchar'. 
  • so food it is. but it doesnt occur to her on a weeknight to get take-out on the way home. or order pizza. seriously, who made her the boss ?
  • goes home. doesnt pick something from the freezer and heat it up. not even a packet of MTR instant-something. nope. peeling, cutting, chopping, stirring, straining, steaming, all from scratch. oh, the lengths to which she goes for her man. on a weeknight. hence proving that she has lived up to the description her parents gave in her matrimonial ad, of being professionally qualified and domestically accomplished.
  • she video calls the poor fellow slogging away at work and asks him to come soon, when she knows very well that she was the one who insisted on getting things done just a short while ago. this woman seriously has some issues. or she takes the word 'bossy wife' very seriously.  
  • lastly, i hope the other guys working for her also have wives who are equally good cooks, since she has no plans of ordering the rest of her team food, despite having asked them to stay late. ( i dont know who'll do the work if all the guys in the team leave early, enticed by home-cooked food. i am bothered that that doesnt bother her as a boss.)
i fail to see the moral of the story here. what exactly were they trying to convey ? that if you have a smartphone, you can be/should be slipping effortlessly from devil-wears-prada to domestic-goddess mode ?



Sunday, 20 July 2014

how to while away a weekend...


its a crying shame how weekends always go by in a flash. im sure all of us agree that time travels fastest between friday evening and sunday night, regardless of what physicists around the world may say.

nevertheless, if your day feels a little slow, nothing better than to get on pinterest, and before you know, several hours would have gone down the drain. but its the best addiction to have, and one that has no cure.

and this weekend i indulged myself with - my new " i ♥ ikea " board on pinterest - :) i hope to keep adding more ikea products that i like, as well as ikea hacks, and spaces with ikea decor. so keep peeping in every now and then or follow the board if you are on pinterest !




Monday, 14 July 2014

mundane monday - # 40

its my belief that theres a bit of a francophile deep inside everyone. consciously or subconsciously, knowingly or unknowingly. it just varies by degree, in my opinion. if anyone claims that they have no interest in visiting france, well, they are just living life wrong.

today's  mundane monday pic is a mug from paris, because today, of course, is bastille day !

14th of july is bastille day, or the french national day. in 1790, it was a day which became a turning point in french history.
the french people had long been suffering under an unjust reign that burdened them with unfair taxes and left them starving, while the royalty and nobility were living off their labour.
resentment due to their grievances going unheard reached boiling point, and a group of people was formed to fight back, and to arm themselves, they decided to attack the prison of bastille. bastille was a prison in a fortress - it was a symbol of the monarchy's power, and had a large store of ammunition and gun powder. the group gathered outside and stormed the prison - starting a revolution that would result in overthrowing the reign of monarchy and establishing a republic of the people.

though the storming resulted in a lot of lives lost, the prison itself had only 7 inmates housed in it at the time.

bastille prison was later demolished and the unpopular king louis xvi and his wife marie antoinette were excecuted on the guillotine.



coming to the mug, i had bought it in paris airport when i had a connecting flight from there. i have always wanted to go to paris (and france in general) and ironically, paris-cdg was the first international airport i set foot in, outside india ! (sadly, i have not been inside the country yet. )
im pretty sure i was staring wide eyed at the sprawling airport and the never ending line of perfume shops - (no smartphone back then, and no selfies, so i just assume i was wide-eyed, anyway.) but i dont really care for expensive perfume, so settled on a mug instead. 
someday, though, i hope i eat my way through the numerous patisseries of the country and have my fill of buttery croissants and sinful macaroons. 

read more on the bastille day here and more on the background of the events leading to it, here .

Saturday, 12 July 2014

On Thoreau...

I learned that today (July 12th) is the birthday of Henry David Thoreau .Thoreau was an american author and philosopher, a lover of nature and a believer in simple living.



Thoreau is a name that should be of special significance to Indians, since it is by him that Gandhi was influenced in his civil disobedience movement. Gandhi read Thoreau's writing when he was imprisoned in south africa, and it strengthened his resolve to adopt the strategy of civil disobedience -  against the government there, and later in India, where he gave it the indian name of 'satyagraha'.

Gandhiji wrote to Roosevelt, "I have profited greatly by the writings of Thoreau and Emerson" .


read an excerpt from Throeau's writing here, which offers a glimpse into his philosophy. more on Gandhi and civil disobedience here.


Monday, 7 July 2014

mundane monday # 39


i dont get sports. i have no clue about most sports, and least of all football. but seeing this mug on my shelf just reminded me that this is the one opportunity i have, to write something using the words 'sao paulo' or 'brazil' in a sentence.


i received this mug from sao paulo, brazil, last year - and its apparently from a chocolate shop called cacau show and it came filled with truffle like chocolates.

apparently, the words on the mug 'pra vida ficar mais show' roughly mean 'let there be more show to life' - if google's portuguese translation skills are to be trusted. cant argue with that philosophy though, especially when it comes to chocolate. and if you are a sports fan, i do hope you are enjoying all the show thats going on in brazil right now, and having a great time.

so there, i (too!) made a topical post, and managed to bring in football, brazil, sao paolo and chocolate, all into a couple of sentences. everything sounds better when chocolate is involved, of course.

Friday, 20 June 2014

from 'powerless' to 'empowered', in 3 weeks.

i had ended up spending three whole weeks being 'powerless' - as a result of the power adapter of the laptop deciding to give up its life without any prior indication whatsoever of the impending horror. and owing to one thing or the other, somehow getting a new one had taken three weeks (rounding off to the nearest whole week).

considering that i am someone who likes to be left to my own devices, literally and otherwise, i feel like i should pat myself in the back for surviving three weeks or so without throwing a fit. it certainly feels good to have your own device back.

i did have a tab in the meanwhile, which i used for checking mails and a quick browse now and then, but its not something that i am comfortable with for extended periods of time. especially to write or create something - hugely annoying, to hold it in one hand and poke on the screen with another, all the time going back and forth to correct typos. it could come in handy for those looking to make brevity a habit though - you cant really keep typing long sentences without getting annoyed. at least, i cant. 

if there is one thing that such long breaks away from my pc make me do, its contemplate. i am always amazed by how so many people go about life being satisfied with just basic stuff like food, a roof, clothes and such... without the need for anything that is intellectual, artistic or even just plain fun. 
how do people survive on food alone, day in and day out, without feeding the brain anything ? it baffles me. im not a genius or a nerd by any stretch of imagination, but i just dont get how one can be educated and yet not have a curiosity to know new things, a craving to seek new experiences, or an urge to see new places. well, it does take all sorts to make the world. 

coming to other things, its june 21st already, the official beginning of summer. (though if you have lived in a country like india, you know that summer has practically ended in most places.) the longest day of the year, hmmm. and thats a reminder that half the year has sped by and you wonder what the other half has in store. 

you know i like to go through old pics - i happened to fish out this one taken on june 21st 2009. thats the apartment where i was that year. seems like it was a beautiful golden day :)

this was taken from a panasonic lumix i had back then.




Saturday, 24 May 2014

the existential crisis that is life.



there are happy days, and there are sad days. i think either of those are pretty much straight forward to deal with. 
but the most challenging kind are the days which seem to go off in an existential crisis. you know, the kind when you are neither too happy nor really sad, but just cant fathom why the days are grinding along in some dreary monotony. 

much of life seems to go off in trying to figure out if there is a purpose to life. why the hell am i here, really ? what am i supposed to do ? how to really 'live' life ?




sometimes (many times) everything seems meaningless, just a never ending cycle of the same set of chores.

lather, rinse, repeat. day after frickin day. 

the emotional stress and the physical pain seem to be so interlinked to one another, that you dont know which causes which, but all you know is you are caught in a cycle that you have no clue how to break.

there seem no answers to the whats and the whys in life... you think of a million ways to make yourself feel better, but at the end of it all, you just feel 'and then what ?' ... no matter what you try to do to escape, there is no escaping the fact that you have to come back to the suffocating grip that the tentacles of life hold over you. 

Monday, 5 May 2014

mundane monday - # 38

hi y'all ! how are things going... i had a not too bad, not too good weekend, though i wish there were some parts of it that could have gone better :)

and btw, did you see the details of the blog makeover that i had posted on friday ? it was one project that was long time in the works and finally got checked off the to-do list :)

coming to this week, this is a picture of a keychain made in india - it was something that i had bought when i had been to ahmedabad 8 years ago. after having moved my stuff in and out of almost 12 houses in these 8 years, i didnt even remember i had this, until i found it unopened in a bag a few weeks back ! so now, the little camel with his colourful hump carries my house key around :)


Friday, 2 May 2014

blog makeover - with detailed release notes !

In the 5 years that this blog has been in existence, i havent given it any great deal of attention beyond the basics. i have changed header images, fonts, colours here and there, and for some brief period had installed a third party theme.. that was pretty much it. but i had decided it was about time for a detailed overhaul, and this had been in the works for quite some months now. i wanted to do it in january, but couldn't then, so finally pulled together most of what i wanted now.

i spent more time on deciding what i wanted than the actual implementing part - whenever i saw blogs that i thought were looking beautiful, i looked around and noted what it was that i liked about them.

i'm not a techie and don't know a single word of code, so i always scroll down to the bottom of the pages to see what theme they are using, and i read up a lot of 'how-to' tutorials whenever i saw something but didnt know how to implement it.

i created another test blog, kept it private and made every change there to see how it would look. i spent a great deal of time deciding on colour and background patterns - it was as if i was painting a house ! - i made 'swatches' for so many colours( in google drawings), noted down hexcodes, changed them around a lot to see which combinations i liked. it was time consuming since i learnt many of the do's & dont's along the way, and you have to be either super talented with design stuff, or super-patient, to get the results you want - i can tell you that. (i'm the latter, of course.)

here's the before and after !


so, whats new in this version - :)

Blog Name - i had it named 'random rambles' for 5 years now, but decided to change it to 'simply sowpar', so that it matches the url, and is more a reflection of my real name. hopefully less confusing too :) there is no url change involved.

Theme - i had the 'picture window' theme for the past few years (and used one of my own pictures). i have now installed the 'simple' theme - it gives you a blank slate to work with and you can add so many customisations.

Header - the present header is an image made with a combination of google drawings and picmonkey - the fonts are from google webfonts and the motif design is a picmonkey overlay.

Blog Background - i made a design in picmonkey with a series of overlays alternating in two colours. (you do need a good deal of patience for this, and a word of caution- picmonkey doesnt have an option of saving- if you close it you lose it.)

Fonts - phew. if you are font crazy, it takes a lot of time to decide and settle on something :)
             Header - Blog name - Rogue script, Blog description - Satisfy.
             Tabs Text (the menu of pages below header) - PT Sans Narrow, 24px.
             Date header and sidebar headings - PT Sans Narrow, 21px.
             Post title - PT Sans Narrow, 30px
             Page text (main content of posts) - PT Sans, 15px

Colours - I took a white background, and used only two colours. the light blue that you see, is close to a 'robin's egg' blue, and is inspired from this pic which i had pinned -
(source of pin here ) 

the hex code of the robin blue i've used is #1fb7c4.  the hex code of the dark blue, close to navy, is #133165. i've used the same combination all over - in the fonts, in the header design, as well as the background design.

Social media icons - i downloaded and used the ones from this set - 28 vintage social icons from iconstoc.com . To use them, i referred to instructions from A typical english home.

About page - ha. after 5 years i finally decide to have an about page, people ! (i'm never that good or comfortable when it comes to describing myself, and for this one reason am thankful i havent had to attend too many interviews in life ! )
there are also links to two new pages in the header, one explaining a little about my pics and the other linking to all the mundane monday posts.

thats pretty much it, i hope i got all the major stuff covered. do let me know what you think, and if you like something you see, and need more info than what i've given here, feel free to ask !

keep peeping in every now and then - i'd love to see you often! (ok, as long as you dont stay for dinner.)



Monday, 21 April 2014

mundane monday - #37

this is another of those monday pic which comes after a long gap, but its very different - and in its own way ironic too - for this is the one that has produced all the other ones  - am sure the camera is very proud today :)

i was thinking of taking a picture of the camera, for some other reason, when i suddenly realised it would make such a great mundane monday pic !

this is the camera i use for all my photos - its a sony-h20 - its not an slr camera, but still does have a good amount of menu options to choose from, and i'm happy with the quality of the images it has always produced. i've had it for almost 5 years now.

since its a compact, i take it with me almost wherever i go - i very rarely take photos with a mobile (yeah i know, that sounds weird in the world we live in today :) ).
this photo of it was taken with a samsung galaxy tab. i did have some issues holding the tab steady while clicking on the screen :)


meanwhile, how have things been at your end ? i just seem to be staring at to-do lists that keep growing but very little gets checked-off ! im having sleep issues that leave me edgy most of the time. i am always wondering how better to manage my time, but reading about time management stuff just consumes more of my time and i havent put in any concrete plans in place :) 

i have in mind a lot of changes to the blog, and these have been in the pipeline for a few months now. i am hoping that i'll have it all done soon, but so many other things in life always end up jumping the priority queue ahead of the blog ! lets see... 

i wonder if people like me are a minority or do many of you have your finger in many pies and find a long list of chores and tasks staring at you always ? :)

Monday, 3 March 2014

mundane monday - #36

every now and then, we have to stop and remind ourselves that beauty exists even in the smallest of things -  things which we dont give much thought about, things which otherwise insignificantly fade into the background in the bustle of everyday life.

and this was one of the major reasons which i had in mind when i decided to start on the mundane mondays - that you dont need to step out, or make a big effort to see that you are surrounded by nice things in life. you just need an open mind.

coming to today's post, it is one of those things that i grab without much thought everyday and put it away when my job is done. a spice box. a 'masala' box, which is a permanent fixture in any indian home. something that doesnt get much attention once the initial stages of cooking are done.

looks nice, doesnt it ? one added bonus for me is the teal, which is a colour that i like a lot. i didnt even go out and buy this one, it was passed on to me by my mom (who in turn had received it from someone, and she had her own already). talk about coincidences.



for those who arent that familiar with indian spices - the round cup in the middle holds mustard seeds. the yellow powder right above is turmeric, clockwise from there being chana dal, spilt urad dal, jeera (cumin), fenugreek seeds and chilli powder.

you can also check out an earlier pic of some spices i had taken in 2012, here .

Monday, 24 February 2014

mundane monday - # 35

so another monday had come and (almost)gone and i hadnt taken any pictures... was looking through some old albums to find something that i hadnt previously posted, and i found this ice-cream one. what better than ice cream, huh ? (that reminds me i havent had ice cream in so many days now :) )

this was taken sometime in 2011, when the mundane monday series had not even begun. so this had remained tucked away somewhere till now, unposted. 



somethings in life are a lot like ice-cream - so temptingly sweet when you have it around, but painfully sad when you think it'll be over soon. so should you enjoy it every moment while it lasts, or brace yourself in preparation for the moment that its no longer going to be in your hands ? 

as much as the optimist in our head will tell us to enjoy the moment, the realist in our heart will dread what is to come. havent we all got moments to relate to that feeling, however balanced we may be at other times ? 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

.....

Cant believe i just had the lousiest possible ending to the week.

Last weekend and the first few days of the week i was so stressed out, but eventually the things over which i had stressed seemed to be panning out fine, so i was beginning to feel kind of ok, despite tired days and sleepless nights. But tonight it all blew up again, bringing back memories of the worst nighmarish days of my childhood that im always trying to forget.

Maybe i should have expected it, given that i had my share of blame too - though my heart refuses to accept more than a little of the blame for the cause.
But all hell broke loose, and i lost control of myself too, shouting, swearing in retaliation.

It was one of those days when you have a blind rage of helplessness surging through you, which wants to make you hurt yourself as well as throw or destroy or hit something. Well atleast luckily i didnt do anything so bad... no  physical damage but for words.

Im always thinking im the one responsible for my happiness, and try not to let other things take me down... i have issues with my confidence and self esteem and it takes such a lot of effort to build it - and then there comes something like a stone thrown at a glass house and so many weeks and months of efforts go crashing down... just ending in a very messed up me all over again, in a flood of tears and guilt. Its going to be so difficult to pick up the pieces again, im just praying for every ounce of strength to get through the next week or so.

Maybe i do need an anti depressant .or anger management therapy. Or both. I dont know. My head hurts. I just want Sleep. This too shall pass - i hope.

Monday, 10 February 2014

mundane monday - # 34


so many people collect so many things.... i wonder if i should start a collection of pens from hotel chains !

mundane monday , pens, hotel chain


i'm so preoccupied the past few days that my head feels like its going to burst soon - absolutely unable to write anything or do anything significantly productive - i hope i calm myself soon before going totally crazy. 

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

chinese new year, and some rewind pictures from china town, san francisco

I didnt get anything posted yesterday for Mundane Monday - been feeling so drowsy and drained the past two days - if this spate continues for a few more days i might have to swap my morning tea with redbull, just to keep myself going.

anyways decided to make a quick post to give myself a break. last weekend (friday, jan 31st to be precise) was the chinese new year, the year of the horse. it made me go through some old pics taken in china town in SFO, in 2012. that was a whole sunny afternoon spent roaming the streets and looking at shop after shop of cheap chinese trinkets... made me want to buy the whole street :)

so here are the pics -

china town san francisco

chinatown, san francisco, chinese new year, year of the horse


now this is a china sea -  literally ! i was drowned in there for ages :)

china, chinese new year, year of the horse


and oh, on a funnier note, check out this epic gaffe by bbc when it wished its viewers for the year of the horse !

have a good week everyone, catch up with you soon :)

Monday, 27 January 2014

mundane monday - # 33

today's monday pic is that of  a wooden box with little hand painted drawers. i havent really found a specific use for it, and its just eye candy on one of the drawing room shelves.

i first saw a picture of a similar one on pinterest long back, and had been coveting it ever since. was so happy when i found one last year in a crafts exhibition near my parents's home when i was visiting.

as you can see in the picture, its a wooden chest with three little drawers which are made of ceramic, and hand painted. the cheerful colours and the bright glossiness of the ceramic is a beautiful contrast against the wood.

the drawers are small, you could probably use it to put your earrings etc. the wood and ceramic make it quite heavy for its size (which was one of the reasons i had to settle for a smaller one, though there were other sizes available). since they are hand painted, each piece looks unique and you can hardly find two that are exactly similar.

i didnt exactly like how the pic turned out though, it deserves a better one - maybe some other time :)


                      


Sunday, 26 January 2014

being 'Karna' in real life...

One of the most famous characters in the indian epic of Mahabharata is Karna.

A fearless and brave warrior, known for his unparalleled generosity, his life was embroiled in controversy, confusion and curses right from his birth to his death.  (Having been born without a biologically consummated relationship, he would have been the poster boy of assisted reproduction clinics if he was living now. but thats not the point of this post.)

one of the curses on him, as a result of having lied to his guru Parasurama, was that he would forget how to use to the Bramhastra (one of the most powerful of weapons)  in the hour of his greatest need.

i was just thinking this afternoon that we all have our 'Karna' moments. not in our valour or generosity, but in the fact that we forget the most important things when we need them the most. how often do you try to recall a detail or remember where you kept something desperately, but cant in the least figure it out. nothing but a total blank.

had that frustrating feeling today, trying to find the data cable of the phone to transfer some pics and couldnt find it anywhere. despite one of those almost 'no-stone-unturned' searches, no luck.
the only consolation that makes you feel you're in a slightly better position than Karna is that you end up unearthing random stuff that you have otherwise long since forgotten or given up on. 

Monday, 20 January 2014

mundane monday - #32

i have been looking through the old pictures in the mundane monday album.... i had started taking pics and posting them in the picasa album from march 2012, and started posting them on the blog from october 2012.the blog posts started from the 25th mundane monday onwards, and there are quite a few from the first 24 that havent got posted on the blog.

so decided to post one of the early ones this week - the very first one is one of my favourites. i had all my spoons and forks in a white mug on my counter, and took the photo keeping it on a black coloured desk.

thinking back, i cant remember now if i took this pic and then decided to make it a weekly thing, or decided to have a weekly thing and then began with this pic !

also i can see i have captioned and tagged the early photos, and have quite detailed descriptions on the early ones posted on the blog. over time i can see the captions dwindled and the writing became brief. i suppose thats an indication of my mind becoming preoccupied and my time bogged down by other commitments. but i have been trying to keep this alive as best as i can, going on despite missing a few weeks here and there.it just gives me a nice feeling, to look back on all the pics once in a while.

                     

Friday, 17 January 2014

the weeks that went by...

After about 3 weeks of being away, i'm finally back to base camp. 

like i always say, its the little things which matter the most. being able to stretch your legs and take it easy, eat when you want, wear what you want, read or write whenever you want. these are what make us feel 'at home'. 

like Jane Austen says, these are the real comforts to me which mean 'home'. (below quote is from Emma - i havent read it though.) 


coming to other things, the upside to these past few weeks was that i got to try out two new restaurants, both of which had good food and ambience, and also happened to catch an excellent classical dance (bharatnatyam) recital of Jonathan Livingston Seagull - it was unusual for an english book with no song-lyrics to be presented in an indian classical dance form, and the result was delightful. 

more importantly, Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a metaphor of our lives. it is a message that life is not for eating and existing alone, but is a journey where anything is possible. we are limited only by our thought.

that is something to ponder upon, isnt it ?  i suggest you grab a copy if you havent read it already - its a great read, and takes very little time. 

Monday, 6 January 2014

mundane monday - # 31

So its the first monday of 2014, and what better way to start, than with a big, beaming smile ?

lets hope 2014 gives us lots of reasons to smile. better yet, to keep smiling whether it does or not. no matter what.

i am normally not much of a new year's resolution kind of person, but i've decided that one of my biggest priorities this year is to keep myself happy, love myself a lot more, and judge myself a lot less. because if we dont do it to ourselves, no one else is going to.

i'm keeping this post brief, but more on this later. as i find ways to motivate myself and keep myself cheerful and happy, i hope to share and talk about it more.

may 2014 be the year that sees us smile as wide as a cheshire cat :) or as big as clifford's buddy T-bone below :)

and among other things, i realised that the last post where i compiled my favourite mundane mondays from 2013, was the 100th post on the blog ! that was a nice thing to note, as i dont really keep count all the time. i know it has been a slower journey than that of a snail stuck in peak hour traffic, but hey,when i started the blog i had no intention of amassing numbers, either by way of post count, or page views, or anything else.
i had planned for a blog revamp in jan 2014, but things had to be put on hold the past couple of weeks... so not sure when i'll have it all completed, but do keep peeping in now and then !

have a good year !



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