Saturday, 25 May 2013

The Little Match Girl

Tanya had an unusual hobby; she collected matchboxes. She had matchboxes of all sizes and shapes, which she picked up from every city she travelled to, every bar she went to. She even asked her friends to keep a look out for unusual match boxes to add to her collection.

One day, she heaped them up in a big pile, and set fire to them. 

Thursday, 23 May 2013


I am an extremely shy singer. The minute I have to sing in front of people, my voice gets really small. I rarely sing alone. In a group too, I make sure that my voice is not loud enough for people to notice it much. And horror of horrors, if someone says, "OMG! You're singing!", I shut up. 

But I love to sing. I was in the choir at school and took part in group competitions in college. Thanks to many years of convent education, I can belt out carols and 'God songs'. When I am alone, I sing loudly. I can afford to screw up when I am alone and I certainly am not judging myself. If anything I am practicing. I can also make up songs on the spur of the moment, about things that are happening right then. Here is a prime example of the aforesaid phenomenon. 

"My mother is sleeping and I'm so bored. 
I would like to marry an Italian toad.
Why am I doing this?
I don't know, give me a kiss.
'Tis such sweet rhyming,
With such impeccable timing."

Despite possessing such talent, it's all this modern day music scene that makes me clam up; where a friend picks up the guitar and another keeps beat and yet another sings like a god/goddess. I so badly want to sing along loudly (and secretly steal the singer's voice like Ursula, the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid). I am however terrified that I will be judged  - my voice, the pitch and timing (which really sucks, like really!). So I continue to sing, so softly that I sometimes cannot hear myself. 

Right now, the DG is in town after a while. We've never really performed together. He plays the guitar like a mad man; he is very, very good. So good! I normally keep belting out rhymes and carols and Christian songs and spur of the moment numbers to bug him. The past 2 days, he's been letting me sing to his playing. And I've been singing loudly and liking it. 

Today's session included Green Day's Holiday (with the little speech that includes Gasbag and Eiffel Tower), Beat It and Come Together. While I honestly think my singing was not up to scratch, the man is so bloody encouraging. *full love* He recorded  some part of the session, secretly at first and I sound good. In parts. So I have now decided to sing louder. I will continue will my private practicing till some neighbour complains and asks me to shut up. But till then, I am going to sing my heart out, till I am not so shy anymore. 

He's out of town for 2 days. In the interim period, I plan to practice for better quality sessions and also learn to play something on the guitar. Right now the only things I can play are 2 chords - F and C, and a rendition of Prayer of Saint Francis. Till then, ta. You'll hear from me when I am musically more sound. 

Also a blog is such a brilliant place to brag about yourself and not feel like an idiot. Thank the Lord (from my convent school days) for small mercies! 

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Chingum Menagerie

My latest assignment on the Venture Labs course on creativity was with chewing gum. We had to find an alternate use for chewing gum. It was certainly difficult for me to think from a new business point of view, so I applied a more creative aspect to it. In the process, I also figured that I am blessed with more creative skills than I credit myself with. 

I made a bunch of animal faces with various types of chewing gum. These I think will make for a lovely gift to an animal loving, sweet toothed friend or as illustrations for a picture book for children. I used them as "An ode to poetry in chewing gum" (mostly to Ogden Nash). 

The Dog 

The truth I do not stretch or shove
When I state that the dog is full of love. 
I've also found, by actual test,
A wet dog is the lovingest.

- by Ogden Nash

The Pig

The pig, if I am not mistaken, 
Supplies us sausage, ham and bacon, 
Let others say his heart is big-- 
I call it stupid of the pig. 

- by Ogden Nash

And here's the rest of my gum menagerie.  

The Rabbit

The Octopus/Spider

The Cat

The Fish

This was so, so, so much fun! I really had a ball. My favourites are the dog and the fish. I also tried making a snake and failed miserably, and I proceeded to eat it. :)

Just in case you want to try this out yourself, here's some info.

Things you'll need:
  • Chewing gum in different colours and shapes. I used Big Babol (yes, it still is manufactured and it's still not yum ), Wrigley's Spearmint, Orbit and Mentos (not really gum, but certainly chewy)
  • Thin tipped markers for drawing out features
  • Rolling or cutting board to roll out the gum on
  • Knife 
Word of advice, don't chew the gum before you work with it. While it becomes soft and pliable, it is extremely sticky and quite a task to scrape off your hands. It's also gross!

Friday, 10 May 2013

As right as rain

i love everything about the rain 
the smell of wet earth after a long, dry spell
how it dispels the heat
making one believe that such a respite is worth the long wait
the clouds before the rain 
grey and menacing 
staring angrily, as if to say just you wait
the flash of lightning
illuminating everything in its way
the accompanying sound of thunder
rumbling sometimes like it's been satiated after a heavy meal
at others like it's angry and mean 
and wants to pour out its wrath on its minions below
the pitter patter of the rain when it's just setting in 
or the loud constant splatter when it pours
the many leaves and twigs that it brings down with it
pulling them away from the trees as they cling on it for dear life
as if on their last limbs
the light shower on the face sitting next to a window
getting drenched completely while standing under it
waiting to soak it all under the skin
how it quietens everything else
but the roar of its din 

i love the rain
when it drizzles, thin blunt needles of water dropping on the skin
when it comes for a fleeting moment and gives hope
i love it most, when it pours
it shuts out everything else

Sunday, 5 May 2013

A walk on the roads of Bangalore at 7 pm

A traffic signal as I step out of my apartment
Traffic doesn't really stop for lights
Garbage piled on the road
Some of it on fire
Many dogs and one cat
A short dog chases a cat
The cat is quicker 
A park
Kids playing
Street urchins pass by on a cycle
No older than 8 years
Teasing me
Calling me aunty and whistling
Small wonder that India’s men are growing up to be a bunch of rapists
They are conditioned to act so from the time they are infants
Walking on a pavement
Covered with stone slabs
Some shifting dangerously
Fuelling my 7 year fear of falling through one of them
Absent street lights
Fuelling my fear even more
The flashlight on my phone comes to the rescue
A rancid stink – probably a dead rat in the gutter
A man walks past
Spitting paan on the wall
I move to the road
Traffic whizzes past
An accident waiting to happen either way
The army compound
With freshly laid barbed wire
Takes away from the old stone walled charm
Housing colonies begin
With dogs on compound walls
Remnants of the Sindhi Colony that was
Old buildings
Some broken down
To give way to some ugly new apartment
Construction sites
With cement laden water flowing on the road
My shoes stick to them
Bloody idiots
Another dead rat on the road
Dissection of a rat in Biology class in school
Where we were taught that fleas feasting on dead rats cause plague
The crowd outside the corner chaat shop
Reminds me of a time when we had to give out the house as a public restroom
My destination arrives
House no 1
The place that has been my second home for the last 7 years
Eerie leaves from the empty compound in the next plot
Throwing shadows on the window
Psyching us out at one time
Making us believe that it was a creepy man curling his sinister fingers outside
A reminder of shady men who came in and moved underwear from the utility area to scare us
My friend opens the door
Ear bandaged from a recent surgery
House no 1
A reminder of good times for the past 7 years

This was the prep for Assignment No 2 on Venture Labs. I had to take a walk and make a note of the various things that I saw, felt and heard on the way. This will be used to make a Mind Map which I need to submit. 

Saturday, 4 May 2013

4th May will be a productive day

I love making lists. I keep a list for everything. When I need to tidy the house, I make a list of all the rooms that need to be cleaned; this sometimes even includes furniture like a certain study table that needs to be tidied up. I make a list when I have errands to run. I make a list of new music I should listen to, of books I should read, of movies to watch. Sometimes, even people I need to call :P 

From the time I've been in between jobs, for some reason (lets call it sloth), my errands list remains unfinished. So today I write this down, in the hope... actually to make sure that my errands for the day are accomplished. Here goes: 
  • Pick up coffee powder. I have lied to my mother about it and need to not feel guilty. Also crossing my fingers that it still is there. 
  • 30 minute walk for inspiration for my next assignment on Venture Labs. We're supposed to make/draw a mind map. I'm thinking either Ulsoor Lake or Blossoms. The submissions I've seen so far look so pretty and colourful. I'm terrified that my two left hands will let me down. 
  • Fix the guitar. It's an old, old one; one that I picked up when I was but 11 years old. The strings are now rusted, the guitar is obviously extremely out of tune, and none of the guitarists I know seem to be able to figure out how to restring it. So to the guitar shop I go with my antique piece. 
  • PAN Card reissue form to be couriered. Long pending.  
  • Wage a war against roaches. I see them every night and I find them killing them extremely distasteful. There's so much goop involved. I smashed one the other day and its white insides oozed out. YUCK!
Adding 2 more items that need to be done by Monday.
  • Fix the air conditioner. Thursday, 2nd May was apparently the hottest day in Bangalore in 10 years - 36 degrees apparently. So much for Bangalore's lovely weather. 
  • Call Sundar the electrician. I think the wiring on an entire wall has burned out, nothing comes on. Also because I've had to get out of bed just as I am drifting off to sleep, where my eyes refuse to open and my feet don't move. The switch for the only other light in the room is on the other side. 
Wish me luck!  A status update will be posted by end of day. 

Here's to killing my errands list! *War cry*

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Dementia, here I come.

I opened my fridge today to take out juice. 
I found my phone charger instead,  
The wire neatly rolled around the adapter. 
Early signs of future madness?