Monday, 29 April 2013

Open Road

Finally made the submission for my first assignment on Venture Labs. Just to recap, the task was to design the book cover for my autobiography. So I did, and here it is. It's meant to include my big loves in life - animals, music, books, travelling. I missed adding a little tree for the environment :(. The footsteps signify me. If I really had to write the autobiography itself, I'm guessing I'd have little sections of short stories for each of them.   

This was made using Adobe InDesign (InDesign is not as user friendly as Photoshop, and perhaps not really the best software to use to make a simple poster type thing). The images are mostly free vector images I got off the net. The font (which I absolutely love) is Curlz MT. I also love the image of the fat cat on the top right; he looks so damn smug! 

In retrospect, I wish I had paid a little more attention to detail - removed the white space from the suitcase, extended the red and the squiggly lines a bit more to the left and things like that. Would also like to figure out how the red thing happened; I honestly don't know how I did that :)

In any case, I quite like it.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Happy Monday

Typically a Monday does not call for too much celebration. 

The weekend is over. You're still nursing a mild hangover from the mild partying that you did Sunday night. You have to go to work for five, maybe six continuous days before the weekend comes around again. You know that you will reach at least 5 minutes late to that very important meeting that's been set up first thing in the morning. And honestly it wasn't your fault; it really was the traffic. And did I forget to mention, you're in such a tearing hurry to get out of the house that you have missed that oh so important cup of coffee, that beautiful black brew which will kick start your brain into action. 

Also did you notice how I said You? So yes, this was pretty much what my Monday morning looked like for many, many months. And honestly I didn't have too much of a problem with it, because I was unstoppable and I loved my job and the people that came with it and the after-work extra curricular activities that would ensure. 

I have been masquerading as a freelance writer for 6 months now. So when I was working in the corporate world, I would think that if I had free time apart from the weekend, I would do a million, million things - bake, work with animals, go to the planetarium, finish the driving lessons, travel and so on. 

This doesn't really happen - not all the things that you put on your "When I'm on a break list" actually materialize. It's actually alright. You have the time and opportunity to completely unwind. Travel does happen and how; so much so that I have learnt the art of travelling light. I've been reading a lot, discovering some kickass and I mean KICKASS books along the way - The Book Thief, 1Q84, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, 84 Charing Cross - happiness and joy. I have more time for friends and family, and I do them the honour of grazing their homes with my presence more often than before. Exercising has come to the fore once again. On a mostly (un)related note, I apparently burnt 497 calories yesterday! Woo hoo!  

While a lot gets done, a good number of things don't get done too. I know they eventually will, maybe some after I starting working again even. But some days you are left with the bitter taste in your mouth - and you know it reeks of the time that's been wasted. This is especially true if you have slept for most part of the day or if you have been putting away brushing your teeth till you need to get out of the house to buy instant noodles. 

This morning was a little different. Actually so was the rest of the day. I would actually say today has been quite productive, very indeed and here's why.
  • I got a call from an animal magazine to write for them. The excitement is killing me. I only hope my quote for the pieces doesn't kill them. 
  • I signed up for a 6 week online course on creativity on Venture Lab. My first assignment is to design the book cover for my autobiography. Will post it here once I 'design' it. Design - it makes me feel cooler than I am supposed to, more arty-farty than usual. As an aside, if someone cannot dance, you say they have 2 left feet. In that case, are they accused of having 2 left hands if they can't draw? If so, I am blessed with an excess of left limbs. 
  • I also signed up for a 3 day cooking course at Secret Garden. I learned to make mayonnaise from scratch today and also got to carry home what I made in a little doggy bag. It's a little salty, but I'm sure with a little dill and a lot of potato, it will be perfect. I also believe I can make Vegetable Stock and Vinaigrette. Tomorrow I will be making pasta from scratch - the dough, rolling it, the sauces, et al. Yum! Day after is desserts - Lemon Curd and Choco Lava Cake. I would also very much like to have Choco Lava Cake NOW!
  • I now know how to spell Vinaigrette. I honestly though it was Vinegarette.      
  • I have created a profile on Khan Academy to study science. So I was one of the few people from my generation who was allowed to drop Science as a subject in my 8th standard. Why I did, I can't fathom now; I constantly berate myself about it. But back then my reasoning was sound. I think. My big brother was studying Commerce and anything he did was the best thing in the world. I would have more free hours - 10 more per week than the poor Science students. The once that cinched the deal was having to study for only 1 subject, aka Commerce as opposed to 3 - Chemistry, Biology and Physics. For the past couple of years, I have felt the need to have stimulating scientific conversations thanks to the DG and his friends who are engineers. And yes, also not to feel stupid when I can't or won't be able to quote and explain what Newton's Laws of Motion are. 
  • I went to the parlour for a mint pedicure and came out with Bright Orange toe nails. I think they may just glow in the dark and send a signal to my alien doppelganger on Pluto. I also really preferred it when Pluto was classified as a planet. Now it is only a dwarf planet. 
  • It rained today and it felt right! I too feel as right as rain
  • I will be dog-sitting for a friend tomorrow and the day after and I can't wait for those two mutts to come home. I'm going to love them to bits. 2 concerns on this front - that they don't poop in my house (dear god, please please please please) and walking them while Humper is lurking around. Humper or Humpoo as I fondly call him is the humping street dog who loves me dearly; his tale I will reserve for another day
  • Finally my dinner was Kappa Biryani - steamed tapioca and beef fry, from the land of coconut oil and toddy and superb food. Delish it was! For dessert there was Bibinca and Badam Halwa, from other lands. Delish once again! 
So yes, my Monday has been superb. And if I had to write more than a thousand words due to an unstoppable bout of verbal diarrhea, it really was something! So to the rest of YOU, hope you had a Happy Monday too. 

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Pictures from my past

Faded pictures
Pasted on a door
Talking of a time 
From sometime ago 

Bent at the edges
Falling away 
Talking of a time 
From June to May 

Faded pictures
Weary and forlorn 
Talking of a time 
Together, never alone 

I'll set them straight
The pictures from my past
Talking of a time
With memories to last

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Animal Spotting

The forest plays tricks on your mind. Especially when you are driving through with the anticipation that you might spot some wild animal in its natural habitat. A fallen bark looks like a gaur that is lying down. A rock in the distance resembles an elephant. If someone convinces you enough, you'll swear that you could see the ear move. The ant hives on the branches of tress; they become small animals sitting high up. Maybe the Giant Malabar Squirrel. But no, this one's still. You cannot see the fiery orange tail flit between the branches. 

Whether I see any animals or not, I still like driving through the forest. The trees make for a pretty sight. Yes, you do feel exultant if you can rattle off a number of species that you have spotted when you get out of the forest. But even if you don't, you have still seen them all in your head. And they will be waiting for you the next time you go back as well. 

And since I am feeling exultant at this point, I will make a list. 

  • Elephants -  at least 10
  • Chital/Spotted Deer - 3 herds
  • Monkeys - many, many, many
  • Peahen - 1
  • Giant Malabar Squirrel - 1 
  • Gaur - 1 + 5
Also, in case you saw only the trees, HAH! 

Much love,

Window Seat

Holiday clothes with anklet et al
Candy striped bag to rest my back on 
Legs stretched on a bed that's called a sleeper
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society to keep me company 
So begins my weekend to Goa
The window open to let all the air in 
Buses and trucks whiz past
Our tyre goes bust and a one hour stopover 
Slumber, sweet slumber
And then another stop, another tyre gives way
Slumber, sweet slumber once again
The cool night breeze ushers my holiday in 
My dreams call for yet another vacation 
A music fest in Jaisalmer
Next year perhaps
Light creeps in 
What a sight to wake up to
Bare trees shrouded in mist
I sit up to take in the wonder
Another hour of sleep 
I once again wake up to the forest
Thick with trees, with branches branching everywhere
The first sight of the shore
Fishy smells assault my senses
Going up my nose to my brain
My mouth waters at the thoguht of the fruit the sea will bear
My head moves to the right to dodge 
Some branches longer than others
Trying to poke me in the eye
Through my window
Ear phones on
Grooving to The Bare Necessities and Home and Freedom
Waiting to arrive, but not really wanting to get off 
And change the view

The window seat is my favourite place in the world
At my home, in a car, in class, at work
Especially on a holiday
It's my window to the world

Friday, 5 April 2013

Comforting Sounds

So this is Comforting Sounds by Mew. Each time I listen to it, it moves me. Makes me feel a myriad of feelings. It appeals to my innermost being. 

And right now, as I listen to it for probably what is the 157th time, I realised something. This is could be my turn to piece of music for pretty much anything I find myself in the midst of. I've imagined a number of scenarios. 

If I was being tossed about by the churning waters of the sea on a rainy day, I would die happy if this was playing in the background. When I bungee jump off a really high bridge, where it takes forever for me to spring back up, it fits. In fact, the song would pick up, just as I sprang back up. If I was sobbing after a heart wrenching incident, the song would play along as if it knew exactly how I felt. When I am driving through wide open spaces, chasing a dream, this would be the very song that I played over and over again on my stereo. If I was lost in a jungle, the build-up would start just as I found the trail that would lead me back to civilisation. When I hop around on my future farm with my cats and dogs and cows and chickens, it would keep the beat. When I discover a book among a thousand, one that was written for me to read, it would fill the room. 

It is perfect right now too; I sit by my window seat, watching the trees go by as I make my way to the sea. This could be the soundtrack of my life.