September 29, 2014

The rights and the wrongs....

Sometimes what seems like the worst thing to have happened to someone may after all not be all that bad....
...Like a politician convicted and sentenced on corruption charges may actually get the time she never got all those years (say - to think and introspect about stuff that were pulling her like a juggernaut). Or just enjoy simple pleasures of existence like pause and enjoy the smell of some filter coffee! 

...Or like an actor’s marriage falling apart may give him a  chance to introspect about why he chose infidelity or how stressful his pretentious existence was...

When something has to fall apart Murphy's law is bound to follow, if it is important to the person, one should take effort to preserve what matters.. although sometimes it may require more than effort...
if on the other hand one goes behind the “wrong” things hoping the “right” things can anyway wait, sooner or later it turns out the “right” things cannot be in the same place as the “wrong” things although the “right” things wouldn’t mind waiting…


It seems easy judging people of how they went behind the “wrong” things…anyone can fall for the bait of power, money or adventure…sometimes it is just luck (or the lack of it at the times these “opportunities” showed up!) that kept you or me from following them and therefore giving us our “righteous” positions to judge others when they falter at their attempts to pursue these! 

Time takes its course, Luck takes its sides and then it turns out that the "Wrong" was what had to happen and that was what was "Right"...Rights turn out to be not-so-rights and wrongs may turn out to be not-so-wrongs...things get turbulent and then there is peace, revealing true nature of things and changed perspectives...It is a strange world, it is all about how we see things...isn’t it?

July 19, 2014

Happyness 45

July 16:

A healed cut!

Happyness 44

July 15 :

Rasam!


Happyness 43

July 14:


Happyness 42

Cooking experiments :


Happyness 41

July 12 :

Late evening walk...what a sight was the Moon! :)


Happyness 40

A hot cup of late evening tea that I make once in a bluemoon...

Happyness 39

July 10 :


Happyness 38

July 9:

Sitting by the window and watching @11pm 

Happyness 37

July 8 :

Clocking more than 8 hours of sleep! :)

Happyness 36

July 7 :

Sketching...

Happyness 35

July 6 :

Singing aloud "Tera rasta chodu na...." when its playing on the tab...
This song for some reason I find is hauntingly beautiful and I can hum it like a trained singer! hehehe :D

June 22, 2014

Happyness 20

June 21 :
Having a wonderful friend who knows I love stories - and shared this with me today. Thank you buddy! :)


Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers.. This was in the initial days. While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, "I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there."

The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, "How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!"

So he came back and told Buddha, "The water in there is very muddy. I don't think it is fit to drink." After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake.

This time too he found that the lake was muddy. He returned and informed Buddha about the same. After sometime, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back. The disciple reached the lake to find the lake absolutely clean and clear with pure water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said," See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be ... . and the mud settled down on its own - and you got clear water. Your mind is also like that! When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don't have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless."

And I was clearly asked to remember this story. Always. Will do :)

Happyness 19

June 20

I love stories, I guess that is why I enjoy watching movies and reading books.

In the last fortnight I watched these movies:
1. Catch me if you can - wonderful Tom Hanks movie, cant believe hadnt watched it so long.
2. Lakshmi - This 2014 release is directed by Nagesh Kuknoor. Deeply disturbing.The very end leaves you with a smile.
3. Snitch - Liked it.
4. The internship - The idea behind the story line is great, execution of it seems diluted at times.

And there were some amazing TED talks I watched. When I listen to talks, interviews, watch movies, read books - there is a stillness in my mind, with all the focus on what is being said and it gives me a pleasure loosing myself like that.





June 17, 2014

Happyness 16

June 17 :

Walk in the park...cool breeze, awesome weather!

Happyness - 15

June 16 :


Yalakki bananas!
Yalakki bananas are smaller versions of bananas that are very sweet and tasty! :)

June 11, 2014

May 30, 2014

August Osage County

There is a moving story of an aging couple coping with health issues and addictions. Their middle aged children are not around. And then one fine day the old man goes missing. The children come home to support their elderly mother and then the a string of stories unfold. Dysfunctional families, sad childhood stories make it intense. The performances are brilliant. The beautiful landscapes of the mid west are just wow.

May 24, 2014

Plans...

Its a fancy task planning and imagining how one would be in the future. Most people seem to invest a good amount of time doing it, but I sometimes wonder if we are really equipped to do it well enough to make it such a worthy occupation. To an extent plans are needed - like if you are planning an event or a vacation. But that is just about where plans seem to work. :) It may be best to live in the here and now. 

May 22, 2014

Some movies...

Over the last couple of  weeks, have watched 3 movies -
1. Bhootnath returns - Did not look like "my type" of a movie. But then I felt like watching. It has a message that every vote in an election counts. Hmm cant agree more.

2. A perfect storm - Watched this movie on a rainy evening and it felt I was on the rough seas as well. Based on a real life story about fishermen braving a storm. It gave me a rare insight into what drives some people to extreme conditions, to take those risks, despite knowing the odds. Very engaging.

3. Disconnect - What happens to victims of cyber crimes? What is the cost of putting yourself out there a little too much on the internet? Money seems the cheapest of them - there is self respect, jobs, identity and lives of loved ones that may be at stake. And what were these people(victims) looking for? Ironically connection, some human connection. Kind of intense. Good watch.

May 14, 2014

Amazing Spiderman - 2

It is a new release and watched it in 3D because there aren't any other great options among the new releases.

I used to be a Spidy fan as a kid, when I was in school, he was in college and now it has been years since I graduated and Spidy still is in college! :P

The 3D effects are good. There seem to be a few changes from the original. Some are good, some not so much. The action is entertaining, some witty one-liners are amusing. Handling of some of the romantic scenes seem over the top for a Hollywood movie, it seemed a tad Indian in approach - there was a scene where Peter Parker is crossing the road looking at Gwen without paying any heed to the flowing traffic  - I thought the background score seemed sooo Bollywood, although it was not! :)... Am not complaining, just a feeling, it was nice anyway.

I love watching movies in the hall and in 3D, so yeah I had fun watching it!

May 13, 2014

Some musings on human bondage :)

There was a time when I thought bonding with friends was easier. It sometimes may be. As kids we are close to family first, then as we grow up we make friends in school and our interactions are no more confined to the safe environment of the home. As teenagers we start experimenting more with the kind of friends we make. Those are probably the times one feels that people you are not related to are easier to bond with!

But as one grows older, it seems rather easier to catch up with family. Even with siblings, moving on and with changed priorities(both of yourself and of the other), it never feels like there was a total disconnect or awkwardness of meeting someone after a while. Even if we do not meet all the time, somehow there is something that keeps that bond intact. - catching up on phone or chat and other family members keeping you updated on everybody else, somehow you know. There is no need to prove that you care, and these are the people who knew you as kids and so they are kind enough to overlook your not so pleasing idiosyncrasies. All the time you spent quarreling with your siblings or arguing with your parents was an investment well made! This would have lead to enrichment of mutual knowledge bases - of which buttons trigger what kinds of reactions and such things.

I had a friend in school, who would easily forget her school friends because of the number of cousins she had , they made up for most of her friend circle. Even with all the technology around to easily connect, she is totally off my radar, and I am guessing she is happy in her own world filled with family, first and second and third cousins, it may be too much to deal with friends from the outside world. In my growing up years I felt, she was missing out since she was not networking enough with friends, but now I feel she may have done a very smart thing investing so much of time in extended family. Since these people would be sharing same social and cultural backgrounds as her and have a history of knowing each other for so long, it must be rewarding to have a close knit extended family.

Many of the friends I made, during my growing up years and then in college are only in touch on FB. It is so superficial to even be called friendships, given that some of these people were very close during those times. It is too time consuming to have too many close friends, I know. But what am saying is my set of close friends also kept changing over years. People get practical and bond more with people who are part of their day to day lives and it takes immense effort from both sides to keep a friendship alive if this is not the case. And then one day the closest friends turned out to be family! Since they were the closest for the longest amount of time! While the thought makes me sad that some of those friends seem no longer as close as they once were(I can bet, if we meet for lunch or dinner I can get along with each one of these friends like a house on fire, but how often does it happen is what makes me sad), its heartening to know that the same people whom I had taken for granted for so long, just because they are my family, continue to be giving, loving, caring and having me in their prayers.

May 08, 2014

Ahaha weather...

The weather is so good in Bangalore today, overcast and dreamy, almost sleep inducing! How does one expect any work to get done in this weather, I wonder? It doesnt feel like it is May. Listening to nice music I had dozed off with the book in my lap, which I had picked up to read.

Am reading a book called "Stumbling on Happiness" and one the "Chicken soup for the soul" series books. This is the second helping of the Chicken soup series back to back that am reading. I like the fact that they are short stories written by regular people. I can pick up the book anytime, read one or more stories and feel good. And how I stumbled on this book -"Stumbling on happiness" was that I had heard the famous TED talk from the author sometime ago and happened to read something more about him recently on FB. I had made a mental note of the book name, then ofcourse forgotten. But during the last week or so I happened to read mentions of this book a couple of times and so checked with my library if they had it, voila, they did. I picked it up yesterday, and got started - so far, the only thing I dint like about the book was its font size. 

May 06, 2014

Nice place...huh?

Sometimes it feels like things aren't happening in life. At least not the things you are waiting for to happen, at the pace you would have liked.

But imagine the people during World Wars. All they hoped was for peace. For the world to be restored to a place where young people can fall in love, children can play around, men and women could go to back to their regular jobs and lives, where all the world hoped was for the usual stuff to happen. There were people in those times who hoped against all odds that the world would go back to what it once was, despite the wars, the holocaust, concentration camps, nuclear bombs...

And the world went back to being peaceful, although it took years of human misery and suffering before the wars finally ended.

And today most people think and wonder if the world is becoming a far less nicer place to be in. Life may not be kind or easy. May be it never was, so no reason it may soon become otherwise..
But people never gave up, either on themselves or on love and peace. So hang in there, things take a while to get better. :)

April 04, 2014

"Her"

Watched the movie "Her"(2013 release).
A man falls in love with an OS. :) It is nice and engrossing in a way I cant explain. Watch it.


April 01, 2014

Thoughts...

What scares people? I think it is the fear of being hurt. The fear.

You love someone, what if they don’t love you back?
You love something, what if you lose it?
You want to try something interesting, what if it does not pay off in ways you expect it to?
You want to be happy, but wonder is that really possible?
You want something, you wish you knew if you could want it and still act cool like you don’t care? Is it ok to want something real bad?

Questions, questions and more questions. Doubts. Thoughts that go in loops. End result – Paralysis, worry and “what if”s.

Life is like candy crush, there are some rules to play by, but there is magic too.
It is difficult to be clear about what you want. But unless you can really see where things are headed, you can’t help bumping into obstacles.
Just be. Its ok to go wrong, it is ok to fail, it is ok to take time to figure things out. It is ok to be.

There are times when I wish someone had told me some things - that growing older is ok. You don’t need someone to “complete” you. No matter what life goes on. Stop wishing for something else, instead enjoy what you have, plan in small ways to change in big ways and find ways to be happier. Happiness is not some place to go. It is someplace to be, right now, right where you are.

The TUT message today (from www.tut.com) was as follows:

----Message-----
Pratibha, next time you feel really hurt, really angry, or really, really upset, and you're sure that even I have been violated, shaken, and humbled, quick, check and see if the sky is any less blue, the sun any less radiant, the birds have stopped singing, or the flowers have lost their scent. 

I'll wager you'll find that life has gone on much as before. Too consumed by the powers of now and the inevitabilities of love, understanding, and eternal life to have even missed a beat. 

Oh-wee-oh,
    The Universe
-----

So wonderful, isn’t it? J

One more beautiful Gtalk status message from a good friend read...

----
Dis age is never gonna come back..... So fall in love, if u cant, hv a new crush everyday..... Dream... Imagine... B impulsive... Go crazy... ... Flirt... Get ur heart broken... .... Dance madly... Click crazy poses... Talk constantly... Laugh loudly... Speak abusing words... Sing fav song... Shout... Wander late night... Take chances... Break d rules.... Make ur own philosophy... Smile & make others smile... Go 4 it... Feel it... Get over wid it... Live dis age!! Cz things r gonna b difficult tomorrow.

-----

Cant stop smiling, isnt it? :)





March 28, 2014

Library membership and then leaning in...

Couple of days ago, I was wondering if I should continue with my library membership. Why? Because I was hardly reading. I would get a couple of books to read and lose interest mid way and get another set and and same story. But reading is something that I have done since childhood and I enjoy it. So why get hasty and do something to see if it can push me to read :) I just let the thought go, its ok if I dont read for a while.
So then what happened was that I completed Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In"(it is my own copy, not from the library). It is a wonderful book to read for all working women and well, even men if they want to understand the work place dynamics from a woman's point of view.


March 07, 2014

Queen...

Movie name: Queen
Language : Hindi

Rani is all set to marry her longtime boyfriend, when the guy decides last minute to call off the wedding. Rani anyway goes ahead with the honeymoon plan - she had always wanted to visit Paris all her life. This dream somehow seemed tightly coupled to the honeymoon plan when all seemed well. When things fall apart she chooses to anyway go ahead and fulfill her dream. Sets out all by herself, explores Paris and Amsterdam, meets people, makes friends, gets a better understanding of the world, copes with many changes - sometimes with the help of people around and sometimes all by herself. In the process she finds herself and starts believing in herself.

There are no overly sentimental and dramatized scenes. The story is simple - a woman faced with a difficult situation does not allow herself to feel like a victim. There is always a choice to make. A choice to accept the situation and move on. It comes across as a real story. And if you are a woman, you would enjoy it all the more.
Would highly recommend the movie. 

February 15, 2014

The Famished Road...

Book name : The famished road
Author : Ben Okri
Genre : Magical realism

This Booker prize winner has a little African boy -Azaro as the protagonist and his world makes up the story. He is a spirit child, who can see both the worlds - the spirited and the living. Let me tell you right away - it is not spooky! The prose is akin to poetry - that is the closest I can get to like poetry! :P There are so many twists and turns that keeps the reader interested in the book. Majorly a page turner for me, except where the boy goes into elaborate descriptions of the spirits!

There are times when you find the boy's imagination is far from the logical worlds that the adults live in, but then if you cannot get a peek into worlds and imaginations of a different kind than the one you do exist in, why read at all?!

There are times when the he comes in contact with the realities of adults - like when he finds out the work conditions of his parents and how they are struggling to earn a living - the innocence of the narration through the his eyes makes for a heart-wrenching read. Intense. You would want to pick him up and hug him.  
But since the narrator is a boy, the tone gets happier in a while! :)

When I read the first few lines of the book, I could not resist to keep it back. Check it out...

Excerpts from the book :

1.The book begins like this - 
 "IN THE BEGINNING there was a river. The river became a road and the road branched out to 
the whole world. And because the road was once a river it was always hungry."

2. "It took longer to get far into the forest. It seemed that the trees, feeling that they were losing the 
argument with human beings, had simply walked deeper into the forest."

3. "Bridges were being built; flyovers, half-finished, were like passageways into the air, or like future visions of a time when cars would be able to fly.."

------

Well, if you like this genre, this is a good read. Happy reading! :)




January 29, 2014

A little of self control...

Sometimes we are aware of what exactly can hurt a certain person. That moment when you feel hurt or cornered, the easiest thing is to do is say it and hurt that person in a knee jerk reaction. The temptation is high. But there is magnanimity in not saying it. You are doing yourself a favor exercising that much of self control. The regret that happens after saying it is high and totally not worth it.




January 27, 2014

Captain Philips...

A couple of days ago watched this movie - Captain Philips, based on a real life incident. Tom Hanks plays the captain of an American cargo ship which is being attached by Somali pirates. The captain, with his presence of mind  manages to save his crew from the pirates, but himself gets caught as a hostage. What happens next makes the rest of the movie. Tom Hanks plays as real a captain could get, and the way he talks to the pirates is interesting - he is afraid at times,vulnerable, but he is a man with a mission and that comes across. Engrossing. Would recommend the movie.

January 16, 2014

Araku valley coffee house...

Had been to this nice coffee shop in Araku valley, near Vizag. With Araku valley in the backdrop it is a nice place to enjoy some filter coffee(they serve many other kinds of coffee, I had the filter coffee, so would recommend that).





Chocolates are also available in the coffee shop. I tried the Arabian coffee flavored chocolates, strawberry and almond chocolates. Arabian coffee chocs were my favorite. There were several flavors available including "paan" flavor! I did not feel like trying it though.




If you happen to visit the beautiful Araku valley, go to this coffee house and enjoy a nice cup of brewed heaven! :)

January 13, 2014

Emapthy and other peoples' shoes...

Empathy is when you can put yourself in someone else's shoes. But what if you get it all wrong, as in, you think you can imagine being in someone else's shoes while in reality you are not! :) Funny right.
Say, you imagine a person - X, to be angry about a situation because of your understanding and then it turns out that X did not care as much and was not affected by that situation at all.

So in order to be empathetic, you first need to understand the situation completely. It is not about looking at the world through your lens and imagining your reactions in that situation. It is about developing insights into how other people feel and think in those situations.

This, as you can imagine, is not an easy task. For a person like me, I would recommend not to try and get empathetic in the first place. I mostly think from the "heart" as opposed to the "mind" when it comes to people I am fond of. And I mostly think the world is made of people like me, which is so not true.

There is one more thing. You need to remember nobody is helpless. People have their own mechanisms to deal with situations and difficulties. If people need your help, they will let you know. If you develop more trust in this basic rule of life, you would go easy on yourself too... :)

January 10, 2014

Food and thoughts...

Am fond of good food. In this "avarekai" season(Wikipedia says avarekalu is called hyacinth beans in English), tasted a lot of avarekalu dishes - avarekalu usli, averekalu uppittu, avarekalu chitranna and what not made of avarekalu! Enjoyed. :)

Yesterday happened to have some yummy sea food. Have you tried squid before? It tastes somewhat like prawn. I was initially hesitant to lift the lid of the dish and see how it looks (lol!), then it looked quite good :) It went well with appam. Try it sometime.

I have been having sea food for months now. Having been a vegetarian all my life, and taken to eating seafood(I cant say meat so easily, btw I eat only sea meat, so seafood is surely a better word! :P) from about a year or so, I still have a lot of hiccups seeing it like plain food. I went to this Matyadarshini Aquarium in Vizag recently, there were many kinds of fishes on display - they were quite beautiful.And after that, I could not bring myself to eat fish for a couple days! Funny, isnt it!


January 03, 2014

Random thoughts...

- Have been reading obituaries of Farook Sheikh in the newspapers last few days. I admired him for his acting skills and became a fan when he was anchoring a show called "Jeena isi ka naam hey" on TV.
Have been wanting to watch his movie "Chashme Badoor" for a while now. Hope to catch it sometime soon.

- It has been a slow and quiet day and I am liking it that way.

- Had a proud moment - my mom has started playing su-do-ku on my Google Nexus tab! I thought she wasnt so keen on getting technologically updated. Pleasantly surprised. :)

- Have been wanting to write a few posts of my travel experiences from the Odisha and Vizag trip I did in the last week of December, but some kind of a block! Its not a writer's block for sure since am writing other stuff! :P I dont want to miss out on details and so the procrastination bothers. Right now, cant help. Hmmm

- After reading a bunch of chick-lit books, I wanted to read something "worthwhile" (I am this hypocrite who doesnt think very highly of chick-lit but thoroughly enjoys them! I have this fancy thought that if I keep reading chick-lit, I may end up writing one, and dont want to be writing chick-lit, not sure why! )...so started reading "The sweetest dream" by Doris Lessing.
It is interesting that if I think of the actual story there is nothing great or interesting about it, but when am reading I thoroughly enjoy. I havent been able to put my finger on what makes it so absorbing a read. I wonder. But then I left the book in Bangalore. All evening whenever I thought of reading I wanted this book! Whims, I tell you!

-My weight is optimum, but my tummy seems annoying. Need to do some ab crunches. Point noted.

- Had a long gossipy chat with sibling. Rarity these days. Hmmm feeling good.. :)







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