Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sounds of beauty

If you are reading this blog, then you probably see beauty in everyday life than experience it in other forms. But at times, the sounds of world do have their own ways of creating goosebumps in your brain. Try these sounds, you may like them.

The low rumbling of imminent rain, which after a few seconds transfer into a rainstorm.

Best heard when you are sitting in a courtyard with three open sides, just a roof to protect you from the rain, earth and plants all around in breathless anticipation. Drink to have in hand is kanji (rice brew) , coffee, spice tea or hot soup. For better experience, sit somewhere where the rain droplets can just miss you. The best companion is someone silent, like a dog or a cat.

Best experienced during Kerala monsoons, India- 2006.

The namaz from a mosque.

There is nothing as pure, or as hard hitting produced by humans as listening to the namaz which come to you from nowhere. Though I don't understand Arabic, any rendition beginning with Allah Akbar instantly transports me back to my childhood. The best place would be a desolate area, with just the prayer connecting you to humanity.

Best experienced in Bhubaneswar, India - 2007.

Wind washing the leaves.

Best heard when hiking through a forest, thick fog making it difficult to see anything one feet away from you. For added adrenalin rush, make sure that you are trekking through unknown mountain foot-wide path which drop down to a deep valley.

Best Experienced in Yerkadu, India - 2002.

A single church Bell.

Best when coupled with antique churches which stand in solitude. The single bell provides an experience that a cascade of them cannot match. Also listen to the echoes die away for the complete experience.

Best heard in Goa & Kerala.

The inner depths of an old palace courtyard / temple / museum.

It is not about the sound, but the lack of it. If we really listen in these places when the clatter and clutter is over, we can hear our body. The thumps, the wheezes, the ringings and the rumbles - all voices and noises real and imaginary is great to listen to; and if really lucky, we can have a good chat with ourselves without any agenda.

Any other sounds I should be listening to? Don't tell me about songs - song lists and instrumental music list will be up in sometime.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Food for thought

The one time when I realized that I do not have an iron stomach was when prawns caused me to puff up. The my juniors were being placed for their summer internships, and I had went to partake a meal offered by a company for my help to run their process smoothly. Never mind that they are on the other side of the fence now.

Being a mallu brought up on everything that lives on water, I did not think twice about eating as many shrimps as I can. However, that night I woke up from my sleep feeling choked. My entire body ballooned up, my oxygen supply was cut off. Just like that, my love story with prawns came to an end.

You win some, you lose some. Jamshedpur also exposed me to my first taste of olives. Pickled olives; to be more precise. I love both the black and green ones. Ironically, I started loving olives as they reminded me of the ten-for-50-paise packs of pickled wild berries which used to entice me on my way back from school.

Caviar was very much looked forward to - as I was brought up on regular encounters with cod liver oil and fish eggs from childhood, I did not have any enemity towards it. Also, the umpteen English short stories that I read from childhood made me realize that caviar was it. So when I had the chance, I had it with gusto, much to the awe and disgust ( in equal parts ) of my friends.

Paani puri will always have South Indian memories associated with them. It was a Tam who has introduced me to them, converting them to lunch from the lowly status of a snack. I was beyond my impressionable years; but Macchan gulping down one after another as if there is no tomorrow made me want them. Years later, I have not yet converted them to lunch, but hey; they are good for dinner.

Corn on the cob was another western dream. I don't really remember the first time I enjoyed it, but it is an all-time favorite now. Its cousin pop-corn - now him I loved so much that my early years at the movie theater was not complete without a few packs of the same. Movies, for a long long time, were incidental images which provided an occasion for me to eat popcorn. At the age when some kid learn that there is no Santa, I learned that you can buy pop corn from places other than movie halls.

Candy floss was a guilty pleasure as it was deemed everything bad. All the more reason for it to hold special significance for me - the first time I bought it without hiding it from the powers that be was when I was living away from home, and earning on my own. Freedom tastes sweet, with a hint of artificial colors.

However, there is always one western food I never took a shine to. An unexpected windfall through a competition gave me some serious money. Not so subtle hints from my mother dictated that I take my cousin out for lunch. She - my mother, not my cousin - wanted to go to one of the better places in town. They had just introduced burgers, the first in town. When my mother and me - two of the sincerest wannabes ever born - tucked into the burger, my cousin; all of four years pronounced " This is just a cutlet between two pieces of bun!"

That wisdom of four years was lost and he is not an addict of the same cutlet between buns. However, whenever I see a hamburger, before I can salivate at it, a little boy tells me with incredulous, aint-you-fools-to-fall-for-it eyes:

"Its just a cutlet between buns."

Bon Appetite!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Nothing but the truth...

Why did I not blog for almost a month?

I was making a note of all pubs I will visit in a few months time...

In a beautiful country which may adopt me...

After discovering infinite shades of blue and green,

I went to a dusty place in Mumbai, where monkeys chased me and my friends like vampires in some B grade movie...

We had to run shout and throw stones at the simians. Sorry SPCA; it was either fight or flight.

Then sleep, eat, sleep, gossip... some days of lazing around with one's gal pals...

Oh... did I tell you about the rafting days thanks to my employer? Bless them all!

After the travel, it was back to work... some more meetings, catching up with friends, some good and not so good movies...

Now after another trip to College Street where second hand book sellers invite me to ferret into their hordes and hand me their mobile numbers; where they had me profiled so much that they know exactly what price I will give them,

I guess I have answered life's call.

Let me have those experiences for myself. I wont be sharing them with you; well - atleast for now.

You want to see more pics, let me know.

And yeah, I know the formatting sux. :-)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Virtue of Selfishness

It is always difficult to type the first word, letter. Often your heart pulls you back, telling you not to kill or maim others and to thread softly so as not to disturb them. As a result, the anger and rage get suppressed somewhere within.

But someday, I dream take time out to be offhandedly cruel as per the society norms. Someday, I will stroll to my own rythm, think about myself, my happiness, my life.

I am happy when I am free. When I am not bogged down by the proclamations of love which family and friends use - often unknowingly - to send me on a guilt trip. I keep returning the favours which I never asked for in the first place; keep holding a candle for friendships that I know had withered away. In order to own the goody tag, I end up imprisoning myself.

One piece of advice which I always give my friends is to be selfish. Unashamedly. Gloriously. I want them to look into themselves and find their happiness, their piece of heaven without worrying about anything or anyone else in the world.

But why am I not forcing myself to do the same?

It is okay to think about my happiness. It is okay to say no to people when they are ch****ya kataoing me. It is okay to accept the love and affection that others give me. I dont have to be the person who give more in any relationship. Hell, I can choose not to give at all, if it is not to my liking. I can define my own morality.

I can be selfish. I can cancel out on people without giving any reasons. I can say no when people ask me for my time and money. I can not call up those who will spoil my day or week. I can ignore missed calls or missed buzzes if there is no follow up sms or message. I can ignore the pleas to help and choose not to even remotely think of people who never cared for me anyway. I can walk away frome the mindgames people play without even a goodbye, much less an explanation.

I can think about myself. I can splurge the money that I earn on things that I want to experience. I can dance to my own song. I need not care about looking like a wannabe. The entire world is a wannabe, in one way or other.

I can dream. I dont have to share my dreams with others. I can kick out of my life those people who do not believe in my life and choose to make fun of them. I can get out of dead relationships that do not work for me anymore.

Then I can become a dreamchaser. I can believe that I am God's dearest chils, that I am special. I can be confident that I will get what I want, and can say no to the offers on my quest to Atlantis. Less luggage, faster I travel.

I can do all of these.

Then why dont I?