Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Jihva.....for life

Beautifully colored photos, amazing vibrance, enviable passion, undeniable lightness, wow, what did I stumble into?

I am talking about the plethora of food blogs that are out there that I didn't even imagine existed a week back. Now, I keep going back and back and everyday I'm impatient to go home and try trying out those recipes. I am so impressed. Simple things in life. No complexity. No search for the meaning of existence. What a breath of fresh air. Wow :) I can't stop wondering :)

Here are some:

Mahanandi (Cooking with Consciousness ~ Recipes from India and the World)
Vindu A feast to the palate and the eye.
Sugar and Spice
Sailu's Indian food and Andhra recipes

Friday, July 7, 2006

Burning bridges is getting scary

I never had this problem before. I was never scared to burn the bridges, turn my back on them and never ever look back. In fact, some could even fault me for being so...(ruthless? merciless? What is the word?). It applied to both professional/academic as well as personal life. No regrets, quick decisions, no dependencies, and just look ahead. Those were the keywords. But burning bridges is getting scary.

I wonder if this is because I'm growing older? Maybe the "I dont care" attitude of youth is finally leaving me! But I thought that was a character that was deep rooted in me - not an attitude associated with chronology! I thought I was the kind who could dream earningly of something, but the next moment embrace something totally opposite. And its not as if it has never happened. So many instances, so many nostalgic memories.....but never regrets. Never fear.

I am setting fire to one bridge in my life right now. As with so many others before it, I would at times, "think" of going back to look for the ashes - but time wouldn't allow it. And the thoughts would be dismissed as soon as they pop up. And if they do manage to reach the top of my mind, I may temporarily allow myself to fantasize - no, not about going back, never. But about what would the people on the other side be thinking about me now? Are they remembering me with fondness? Do they think "Oh, she was a good one to work with, study with, be friends with..." and such inane stuff. Maybe I should call them? Nah, thats too much effort and well, thats a even more scarier prospect - What on earth would I talk to them?! Email would be much better. Oh ya, a two liner on what I am doing, what you doing, see, I've come far and well, are you still there? Dont tell me... kind of a mail.

No, I dont think I should be that harsh on myself. I do know creulty is not one of my deep-rooted characters! Not if you are not messing up with my dear ones or dear possessions.Ha, she still adds the "possessions" and thinks of them as dear! When would she learn!!

Getting back, an email sent and waiting for reply - and then once it comes, easily forget it after reading it a couple of times and smiling happily......

Fear....fear is making me talk to people I shouldn't be listening to. They don't play any part in my life other than having been on the bridge at the same time and having shared a few moments with me ...of laughter, of fierce competition, of rivalries never explored. Hah!

As for the lit-bridge now.....throw the fear out I say. What on earth can happen? Maybe I will become jobless one day because of my actions today? Well, I will sit at home and paint - ya, that's what I will do. Generalities don't apply. Not to me. Not to someone who wants to oh, so passionately believe that every milli-second is an opportunity to change life. If I can imagine I can close my eyes and I will be elsewhere (I believed in Magic while I was younger, maybe I do even now), I can handle this. Yes. I can.

Never shall anyone say she didn't know how to face it. I shall and I will.

Oh, what a self-centered post this one has turned out to be! hahahaha!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

You've become a Mrs!!!!!!! Oh no!

Hey lady, do you know you've come a long way?
Is that right, sir? Pray do tell me why you think so?
Why, you've become a Mrs now!!!
PS: In case, anybody is wondering about the long gap between the posts!

Friday, May 12, 2006


The baby bird, as it was christened, peeked out of its nest hoping its parents are nowhere nearby. It's been a few days now....cloistered in this warm pricky nest. It took the baby bird quiet sometime to muster up the nerve and trample all the way up from the deep nest. And just as it almost reached the edge....poo, slipped its feet from under and its all the way down to the deep bottom. That was two days ago. This is the fifth attempt. Or maybe sixth? Hmm not sure. Come-on, you can’t expect a kiddo to count, can you now? Well, anyway the sixth time, the birdie baby (they also call it that), came up to the edge, it didn't slip. It peeked out!! Hooray!

"Oh so is this how it looks outside? Hmm, no wonder ma and pa are out all the time!" murmured the baby in its squeaky unused voice. Now, now, didn't I tell you not to ask questions? I didn't? Well now I do. So don’t ask. Don't ask how birdie baby can speak if it has never used its voice. It doesn't know. Frankly neither do I. Anyway, to continue...

Baby took some more steps up and before it knew it, can you believe it, it was sitting on the edge of the nest! And the world was below it. Green was the color of the fields, red was the color of flowers, blue was the sky and birdie was delighted. Maybe it could fly? How can you be so dumb? Inattentive? Don't you know to read? I told you not to ask questions? Birdie baby doesn’t know if it can fly. But I do. But I will not answer you. Now on to the scene.

"Babyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy......... oh my god, dear! dear! You old fool, I am calling you! Would you stop eyeing that red swallow? You are a barbet and its no use I am telling you! Ha! Well listen! Our baby is sitting on the edge of the nest! And he may fall anytime. You better go push him inside"

"Hey hey now there is no need to insult me you hear? Reddie and I are just friends....and well she did give me a little worm the other day when you refused to share that fruit with me.....So....uh what did you say? Hmm uh hmm oh ya, baby birdie! God, that kid will be the death of me! And I haven't even met reddie's parents yet!"

"What? what do you mean? Haven't met reddie's parents? Now why would you want to meet those pale redders? God I am telling you the barbets are done! Gone! If they start seeing reddie's what will happen to us? God are you listening? God..."

"Shut up! shut up! You gals are all the same, whether you are a barbet or a reddie! Even she gave me an earful when I went and nudged her for that worm! Man! What is this life?! When I was younger..."

"YOU NUDGED HER???????????????? How dare you.... that’s it. It's done. No more. No more I say"

"No, no, no....please dear... that was just a slip of the tongue....I didn’t nudge her! She did. I mean do you think I will go and ask her for anything? Let alone a worm? That too when I could have nudged you for the fruit? And man her red is nothing before your green I tell you"

"Really?.......dear, I misunderstood you for a second there...well I don’t think the reddie is so bad....I mean look at her family....though their parents are pale, she is real bright and her brother....hmm he is out of this world....did you notice how he flew right up to that eagle the other day to ward him off our area? And wow he can search a mean worm out the ground any day, raining or shining....and you know…”

"Oh? Really? Hmm maybe I will go learn from him. What do you say?"

"Ya sure, in fact let me come and practice as well. I can help you guys search worms then. Hmm. Oh god. I forgot. Look birdie is not there anymore. Come on hurry. Check on him. I need to go clean up feathers at the parlor now....."


Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Bright blue skies
Fluffy clouds
Highway breeze
Squashed arms and legs
Free backseat ride
Small red car
A day to Pondy made

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Seeking good beginnings!

Can worshipping a million Ganeshas, My dear
Give you the good beginnings you seek?

Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 6, 2006

A Saturday morning at Lalbagh

The elusive Paradise Flycatcher, a wounded Eagle and the fleeting glimpse of a Coppersmith Barbet
- A Saturday morning at Lalbagh

Part I (Waiting in the Japanese Garden)

I guess it is becoming pretty obvious that I am turning to be a birder :) Every chance I get, I am off to Lalbagh to catch some of the exotic (Read the ones I’ve never seen!) birdies I read about in the Bangalore Birds Group.

This weekend was no different. I was intent on sighting the beautiful Paradise Flycatcher from the moment I read a mail on the bngbirds group that went “I have been spotting a male Paradise Flycatcher with splendid chestnut colored streamers @ Lalbagh…”. I am sure you would agree that description is enough to make anyone even remotely interested in birds sit up and take notice – and let’s say am more than ‘remotely interested’.

So there we were at Lalbagh, a little late for the joggers crowd but still early compared to the lazy sleep-in Bangaloreans, all prepared to chase the Paradise Flycatcher and get at least a single shot on our proud Kodak Zoom Cam. And believe me you when I say it was a beautiful and perfect day – the skies had opened up while we were all cozily sleeping during the night to give us a fantastic and chilly yet bright weather. Almost seemed as if the Gods were willing to favor me and set up a ‘must-attend’ meeting that the Flycatcher can’t ignore :)

I was in a ‘shoot at sight’ mood – a bench that seemed dirty a week ago looked like it was the perfect shot to win a photo competition. Never mind that I had an ulterior motive to take pics with ‘Water’ to enter the Bangalore Shutter Bugs photo contest for the week!

The first thing to do of course was to find out where exactly the “male Paradise Flycatcher with splendid chestnut colored streamers” was spotted…according to the information I had, it was at the Japanese Garden. Now where is this Japanese Garden for heaven’s sake? And pray tell which tree in the Japanese Garden? Now, now, I know what you are thinking – that I can’t even wait patiently and find the little birdie by myself in the Japanese Garden. If I am right (about what you are thinking!), then that shows your ignorance on birding matters. Especially ignorance on the plights of amateur birders.
So we walked and walked and walked and finally reached an area that had a board confirming the destination we were heading to – Just that I didn’t see anything there that even remotely resembled a Japanese garden! Not that I know how a Japanese garden looks! But surely they don’t have voluptuous statues clad in Indian clothes in their gardens in Japan? You never know uh?
We sat there waiting expectantly for over half an hour looking around here and there when I suddenly realized “Does this bird hop on the ground? Play in the bushes? Fly over the trees? Or sit pretty on the branches?” Where am I supposed to look???? The only thing I saw were some friendly doggies on the ground and thick green cover above! I almost hit myself when I realized I knew zilch about the characteristics of the Flycatcher and well, I stand a zero chance at spotting it with my zero patience!

Hmm, the Gods were not so great after all :(

I let myself be dragged away, with dropping shoulders and the promise of “Bennae Dosa” (Butter Dosa)… wishing that the Flycatcher was a kinder bird, a bird that could read minds of people sitting in Japanese Gardens, a bird that knew I wouldn’t hurt a single feather in its body and a bird that would make friends easily…

To be continued – Part II (To save or let die)

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

They sing because they have a song

"The Whales do not sing because they have an answer
They sing because they have a song."

I hope to see the world through the eyes of a whale, an elephant, a manatee, a meerkat, a cheetha. Being amazed by nature in all its forms is the lifeblood of Ashes and Snow. I have tried to leave the windows and doors open so that others can enter and feel the same amazement that I felt during each work's creation.

I belive the Australian Aboriginals were exploring the same enchantments when they painted animals; they were not interested in merely painting the contours of their bodies. They focused equally on the animal's interior dream life....

"May the guardian elephants hear my wish to collaborate with all the musicians of nature's orchestra. I want to see through the eyes of the elephant. I want to join the dance that has no steps. I want to become the dance."

Ashes and Snow

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Common sense in the way of happiness?

Story Of a Good Brahmin
by Voltaire

I met on my travels an old Brahmin, a very wise man, full of wit and very learned; moreover he was rich, and consequently even wiser; for, lacking nothing, he had no need to deceive anyone. His family was very well governed by three beautiful wives who schooled themselves to please him; and when he was not entertaining himself with his wives, he was busy philosophizing.

Near his house, which was beautiful, well decorated, and surrounded by charming gardens, lived an old Indian woman, bigoted, imbecilic, and rather poor.

The Brahmin said to me one day: "I wish I had never been born!"

I asked him why. He replied:

"I have been studying for forty years, which is forty years wasted. I teach others, and I know nothing. This situation brings into my soul so much humiliation and disgust that life is unbearable to me. I was born, I live in time, and I do not know what time is. I find myself in a point between two eternities, as our sages say, and I have no idea of eternity. I am composed of matter; I think, and I have never been able to find out what produces thought. I do not know whether my understanding is a simple faculty in me like that of walking or of digesting, and whether I think with my head, as I take with my hands. Not only is the principle of my thinking unknown to me, but the principle of my movements is equally hidden from me. I do not know why I exist. However, people every day ask me questions on all these points. I have no answer; I have nothing any good to say; I talk much, and I remain confounded and ashamed of myself after talking.

“It is much worse yet when they ask me whether Brahma was produced by Vishnu or whether they both are eternal. God is my witness that I don’t know a thing about it, and it certainly shows in my answers. ‘Ah! Reverend Pandit,’ they say to me, ‘teach us how it is that evil inundates the whole world.’ I am as much at a loss as those who ask me that question. I sometimes tell them that all is for the very best, but those who have been ruined and mutilated at war believe nothing of it, and neither do I. I retreat to my house overwhelmed with my curiosity and my ignorance. I read our ancient books, and they redouble the darkness I am in. I talk to my companions. Some answer that we must enjoy life and laugh at men; the others think they know something, and lose themselves in absurd ideas. Everything increases the painful feeling I endure. I am sometimes ready to fall into despair, when I think that after all my seeking I know neither where I come from, nor what I am, nor where I shall go, nor what shall become of me.”

The state of this good man caused me real pain.No one was either more reasonable or more honest than he. I perceived that the greater the lights of his understanding and the sensibility of his heart, the more unhappy he was.

The same day I saw the old woman who lived in his vicinity. I asked her whether she had ever been distressed not to know how her soul was made? She did not even understand my question. She had never reflected a single moment of her life over a single one of the points that tormented the Brahmin. She believed with all her heart in the metamorphoses of Vishnu, and, provided she could sometimes have some water from the Ganges to wash in, she thought herself the happiest of women.

Struck with the happiness of this indigent creature, I returned to my philosopher and said to him:

"Aren’t you ashamed to be unhappy at a time when right at your door there is an old automaton who thinks of nothing and lives happily?"

"You are right," he replied. "I have told myself a hundred times that I would be happy if I was as stupid as my neighbor, and yet I would want no part of such happiness."

This answer of my Brahmin made a greater impression on me than all the rest. I examined myself and saw that indeed I would not have wanted to be happy on condition of being imbecilic.

I put the matter up to some philosophers, and they were of my opinion.

“There is, however,” I said, “a stupendous contradiction in this way of thinking.”

For after all, what is at issue? Being happy. What matters being witty or being stupid? What is more, those who are content with their being are quite sure of being content; those who reason are not so sure of reasoning well.

“So it is clear,” I said, “that we should choose not to have common sense, if ever that common sense contributes to our ill-being.”

Everyone was of my opinion, and yet I found no one who wanted to accept the bargain of being imbecilic in order to become content. From this I concluded that if we set store by happiness, we set even greater store by reason.

But, upon reflection, it appears that to prefer reason to felicity is to be very mad. Then how can this contradiction be explained (along with the others)?


"One of the chief obstacles many creative people face is how to cope with the intersection between our creative and our professional lives. Is drawing, painting, photography, music, whittling, just a hobby? Or are we serious about it and wiling to throw ourselves over the cliff's edge and base our livelihood up on it? Anxiety over this issue is what derails a lot of us when we are young...."

Interesting......Very interesting

Excerpt, with all due rights to the writer....

"The mountains beckon, and tomorrow I leave for the Himalayas, first to Amritsar and then to Dharamshala where the Dalai Lama resides. Given my constitution, physicality and stature, i am a seeker of warmth and light... I am therefore uncertain about my yearning to brave the cold......."


Monday, January 23, 2006

Discovering the world around

Till sometime back, I walked around with my eyes closed - or so it seems. So caught was I with my life. But recent conversations, observations, startling self-discoveries and forced self-discoveries made me open my eyes wide - and man, was I in for a treat or what? It almost seems like its a nicely orchestrated dance that reveals a little of the action, moment by moment. Here's an example -

I am a regular visitor to the biggest garden in the city. And I thought crows, mainas, sparrows and a few more creatures summed up the wildlife.

Imagine my surprise when I come across the most strikingly 'purple' creature almost right under my feet- while I was busy staring at the horizon, thinking about my life as it was and as it will be! And to think that I had been at that very place over a hundred times and have never ever seen such a cute bird.

Presenting the "Purple Waterhen/Moorhen" for you :) from Lalbagh :)

And here's a beautiful "White-throated/breasted Kingfisher" :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Land Grabbing Rats

- A short (or maybe long) story

If I learnt anything at all in the past few months or a year that I would call my career, it is that the rats that grab the most land are the rats that grow fatter fast. And it is the fat rats that get noticed by the people. But contrary to what you would believe, these are not the people who think fat rats have to be thrown out of their houses! Quite the opposite! They think these rats need to be fed more because they need them to grow fatter still - thus ensuring they stay on in the house longer and longer. After all, you can't afford to bring in new rats to your house- that would be a costly affair in comparison to just feeding the rats that are already in! Right? Right.

Now you may ask - why on earth do these people like rats? I mean are there people who like rats? Well the answer is simple whether or not people in general like the four legged disease-spreading rodents. These rats are not rats! As in, these rats don't look like rats! Pardon me if that's too much rat speak for you. You see, I have been so much raticized that even if you suggest I use a different word - my eyes would become as blind as the bats and my ears as deaf as the worms.

So what do these rats look like? What do they do? What is their habit? If they don't look like rats, what do they look like? And why are they interested so much in land grabbing? I thought rats are more enamored with sweet-smelling food, not land! Are these rats nocturnal?

Well ladies and gentlemen, if these are similar to the questions you have on your mind, hold on to them. Here's you very own expert on the kingdom and life of rats. Coming soon your way, the ultimate authority and episodes on "The Land Grabbing Rats".

Hurray! Squeak! Squeak!

Note: The above work of art is pure fiction and strictly bears no resemblance to people, object and/or animals, living or dead or bred or invented ever. The term rat does not really refer to the sweet creatures that are usually biologically known as Rattus rattus and Rattus norvegicus. In fact, the author quite likes them and even has lived with a colony of them during her formative years. It doesn't also refer to any product or service offered by any company or individual. Rat(s) here is a simple acronym - the author just has to decide what for. Suggestions/feedback most welcome.

Friday, January 6, 2006


A small town, a small tank, a small boy - immense happiness :)

Quote unquote

A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes. A philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs. An optimist doesn’t see the clouds at all — he walks on them.
- Leonard Louis Levinson