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Posts from — May 2014

T for Tango, T for Time-out

There’s been so much to do both on the house front and the work front in the last week that I just haven’t had much time for anything else.

Over the years I’ve realised thatnbsp; taking a day-off makes the work-load of the rest of the week easier. This was easy to do in the corporate world where I had designated days off. But as a freelancer, everyday is Sunday.

As a freelancer I get to choose my day off, invariably though that means a 7 day week. There is always stuff to do and so the day off gets put-off. Days of the week blend in until all days feel the same. I don’t notice the Sundays slip by. And slowly an irritability and crankiness sets in. Until I take time off from the daily routine and get over it.

We woke up today to a cool morning with cloudy skies and an intermittent drizzle. As we walked the dogs in a drizzle, I absorbed the day. It was a lovely day after all the sun we’ve had lately. A day of cold winds bearing a fine mist of water that invited a time-out. It was an excellent day to play.

My mind made up I went about all I had to do to free up the day. I wanted to spend today catching up on some interview recordings. But kismet had other plans and electricity was on the blip today. Thanks to it though, after ages Che and I sat down to a game of scrabble. And I won, with a clear margin. :-)

A while back I came across Anna an animal communicator and what she did impressed me so much, I’ve been wanting to learn it too. Last week I came across an Animal Speak Summit and signed up to see what I could learn. But I just haven’t been able to sit down and listen to the interviews for an hour everyday.

Today was a good day as any I figured to listen to the recordings. I managed to listen to two recordings. Were they earth-shattering, not really but it may be too early to judge the summit based on two recordings.

Even though it was time-out day, I got a lot of work done. Some home work, some work work, and even some scrabble. It’s been a very productive day.

Maybe I should take a time-out everyday. 😛

Do you think time-off is important? How often do you take a day off? What do you do on your day off?

May 8, 2014   No Comments

S for Sierra, S for Silence

Silence is golden they say, maybe that is why it seems so loud sometimes. Keeping quiet doesn’t come naturally to me, I have always been a talkative one. Haughty strangers may make me shut-up warily for a bit while I chatter and bitch in my head but otherwise, most times people around me pray for me to shut-up. 😀

The most torturous punishment I remember from childhood is the one in which I had to sit without moving or talking for a stipulated period. Oh, those things were difficult, I hated them. It was the worse punishment my parents could devise, but I guess they are my parents so are a step ahead of me. I can still hear Dad cajoling, threatening, and doing everything else to get me to just shut-up for a few minutes. 😛

I am not my bubbliest with strangers but with my friends it’s like I am talking long and fast to make up for the time we missed. I love talking, I don’t deny that. Talking helps me rant, vent and sort my head out, it clears my thoughts, else it all feels like a jumbled mess in my head.

But there is another reason I think I talk too much, I don’t like silences. Ok, let me correct that, I don’t like some silences. For something that is empty, nothing, silence has so many types. The one I don’t like the most is the uncomfortable silence (like, does anyone?), the ones that make you squirm and wonder what the other person is thinking.

My solution to dealing with an uncomfortable silence, fill it, fill it with inane chatter, insane chatter, random chatter, just about any chatter. There problem solved, there is no more an uncomfortable silence. Though the recipient of my solution may have a all new problem. 😛

I do like silences though, give me a snow capped mountain, a green meadow with yellow daisies, a sun sprinkled beach or a book and I’ll be silent for a long length. Except for the book, all the others can’t be done in the city. As for the book, removing a book and reading it can sometimes be insulting to the person sharing the silence. So what to do?

How do I learn to make myself comfortable in uncomfortable silences? How do I learn to just keep quiet and listen rather than talk? How do I learn to find peace in silence?

These things I’m going to have to figure out. Maybe I’ll start with visualising a beach next time I am in an odd silence. What do you think I should do?

Photo Credit: Nemo and PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay.

May 7, 2014   1 Comment

R for Romeo, R for Rastafarian

Day 61 - Rasta

We have this little Rastafarian doll at home that I really like. He’s a constant companion sitting on a ladder near my table. We’ve had him for a while now but I’ve never given thought to rastafarianism, comfortable in the cocoon of ignorance. So, today’s the day! :)

The first thought that comes to my mind when I think Rastafarian is Bob Marley, Jamaica, dreadlocks, dope, music and hippy. Which is a pretty narrow way of looking at it, isn’t it; so next step – some reading.

I was right when I said pretty narrow, coz there is so much to Rastafarianism. Starting with rastafarianism is a term considered derogatory and offensive by most Rastafari. The wikipedia page was loong… Here’s are a few things I gleaned.

The Rastafari movement is an African-based spiritual ideology that arose in the 1930s in Jamaica. It is sometimes described as a religion but is considered by many to be a “Way of Life”.

The name Rastafari is taken from Ras Tafari, the title (Ras) and first name of Haile Selassie I (Tafari) before his coronation.

The Rastafari Movement was founded by Leonard Percival “Gong” Howell in 1932. Leonard P. Howell was a Mystic Jamaican born in the hills of Clarendon, Jamaica in 1898. Rastafari developed among poor and oppressed Jamaicans of African descent who experienced a society which was largely contrary and apathetic to their problems.

Haile Selassie I in the 1930s

Rastafari worship Haile Selassie I (1892–1975), who was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. They believe he will lead the righteous into creating a perfect world called Zion – the ultimate paradise for Rastafari. They say his coming was prophesied in the Bible in Genesis. Haile Selassie I is also refered by Rastas as “His Imperial Majesty” (or the acronym HIM) and “Jah Rastafari.”

Jah is a Biblical name of God, and most Rastafari see Haile Selassie I as Jah or Jah Rastafari, an incarnation of God. Rastas tend to be firm adherents to the proposition that in the eyes of Jah, all men and women deserve equal and just rights, treatment and respect. Rastas say that Jah in the form of the Holy Spirit (incarnate) lives within the human. For this reason, they often refer to themselves as “I and I”. “I and I” is used instead of “We” to emphasize the equality between all people.

For Rastas, smoking cannabis, commonly referred to as herb, weed, kaya, sinsemilla (Spanish for ‘without seeds’), or ganja (from the Sanskrit word ganjika, used in ancient Nepal and India), is a spiritual act (often accompanied by Bible study); they consider it a sacrament that cleans the body and mind, heals the soul, exalts the consciousness, facilitates peacefulness, brings pleasure, and brings them closer to Jah. They often burn the herb when in need of insight from Jah.

According to many Rastas, the illegality of cannabis in many nations is evidence that persecution of Rastafari is a reality. They are not surprised that it is illegal, seeing it as a powerful substance that opens people’s minds to the truth — something the Babylon system, they reason, clearly does not want. They contrast it to alcohol and other drugs, which they feel destroy the mind.

Some Rastas claim that cannabis was the first plant to grow on King Solomon’s grave.

The wearing of dreadlocks is very closely associated with the movement, though not compulsary. The length of a Rasta’s locks is a measure of wisdom, maturity, and knowledge in that it can indicate not only the Rasta’s age, but also his/her time as a Rasta. Rastafari associate dreadlocks with a spiritual journey that one takes in the process of locking their hair (growing hairlocks). It is taught that patience is the key to growing locks, a journey of the mind, soul and spirituality.

Rastaman in Barbados, wearing the Rastafarian colors of green, gold, red and black.

The Rastafarian colors of green, gold and red are said to signify – red the blood of martyrs, green the vegetation and beauty of Ethiopia, and gold the wealth of Africa.

Music has long played an integral role in Rastafari history and Reggae is one of the forms associated with it. Reggae was born amidst poor blacks in Trenchtown, the main ghetto of Kingston, Jamaica.

That was a lot of reading and noting down. And this is maybe one-tenth of what was there. Read the whole article about Rastafari movement on Wikipedia.

Did you know that Rastafari had so much more to it that Bob Marley and dreadlocks? What do you think of the Rasta way of life?

Photo and Text Credit: Wikipedia and Chenthil

May 6, 2014   1 Comment

Q for Quebec, Q for Quirky

Photo Credit: Chenthil

I consider myself a quirky person, someone who is strange/not normal but cool or strikingly unconventional or as Google describes it ‘having or characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits or aspects’.

But this post isn’t about my quirkiness, it’s about my quirks. As I was tossing words around for ‘Q’, I selected quirky and quiet but I didn’t know what to write about each. Quirky seemed easier but then after some thought it started to sound like I was just so full of myself. So, I landed up thinking about my quirks. And I have so many of them, that even I don’t know them all. Should ask Che sometime, he’ll know all and more. 😛

Without further a-do, here’s a list of a few of my quirks –

  • I always squeeze the toothpaste from the back.
  • Then there’s the seat, I always put it up after use. Oh, and wipe it down if it’s wet.
  • I will go back to double-check after a bath if I switched the lever back to tap or not. (that applies for the geyser switch too!)
  • I will give the soap a bath if I find even a grain of sand on it.
  • I wash my bathroom after a bath coz I can’t stand finding stray hair.
  • I am crazy particular about everything kept in it’s place, even if the place is a right mess.
  • I have to pee just before I get into bed at night, else I can’t sleep.
  • I love the combination of cheese and mango pickle in a sandwich. Ever tried it?
  • I’ll never go anywhere without a book.
  • I pee just before I go out anywhere (drives Che crazy!).
  • My handbag is almost a survival kit!
  • I fiddle with my toe nails when I’m thinking.

I’m doing that right now as I racking my brains for more quirks… Our quirks make us who we are don’t they, each person unique in their combination of quirks. Some quirks seem cute, some not so much, sometimes the same quirk that’s cute in one person is down right irritating when another does it. Quirks make me smile though when I think of how stuck up I am sometimes, well mine made me laugh as I thought of them. Some of mine are just so silly.

What are your quirks? Do you share any of my quirks? Which is your most irritating quirk of all time?

P.S. – Che’s doing a Project 365 with his new camera and the your’s truly one up there was shot by him. You can see other photos from his project on his Tumblr page. :)

May 5, 2014   No Comments

P for Papa, P for Positive

Years ago (feels like it) when I was a kid in the 90’s, way before brands, the big store in Bangalore was Kidskemp. Wearing a Kidskemp dress to school on your birthday was the in thing. I have a lot of memories of that place, we didn’t shop much but we did a lot of window shopping. They used to have these special days with a fair atmosphere; there would be a lot games and activities that we enjoyed as kids, from caricature to mehendi, there was so much to do that we’d have fun filled evenings.

My Bro and Me way back at Kidskemp

Here’s a video from the movie Vishnu Vijaya (Kananda) / Ashaant (Hindi) which has a dance sequence at Kidskemp. FYI: Made in two languages it had Dr.Vishnuvardhan and Akshay Kumar in lead roles. Vishnu Vijaya was a hit and Ashaant was a flop.
All the characters in the song were in the store, how could kids not want to go to Kidskemp.

Back then in Bangalore there weren’t all that many cars either. The IT boom was yet to happen and cars were still a family vehicle and a luxury. It was easier to remember cars you’d seen before. I remember seeing PMA written on a few cars that I came across often. The letters intrigued me, even more when I found out that those cars belong to the Kidskemp family.

One day I finally came across one car that helped but writing below in small print – Positive Mental Attitude. Reading that set off a strings of thoughts in my head, and I wondered of that was their secret to success, was it an organisation, a club? I tried to ask around but those were the days when we didn’t have internet, so after a while the question got shelved as unanswered.

I’d forgotten all about it until I got thinking this morning about the word positive and what I would write about it, when I remembered the letters PMA and it all came flooding back. I couldn’t find out then but now I have the ‘internet’ so here what I found out.

PMA isn’t an organisation or club but rather PMA is recommended as an Attitude by RVM. Yeah, some more abbreviations. Some more digging and I figured out RVM stands for Ravi V Melwani, the man who owned the stores – Kids Kemp, Big Kids Kemp and Kemp Fort.

Over the years the Kidskemp and Kempfort craze dwindled (even the shops look sad today), it is now all about the big brands and so I thought the brands killed it but seems they weren’t the only ones. RVM decided to move away from his retail business at the peak of his career. He switched tracks and moved to doing meaningful spiritual and humanitarian work.

Currently RVM is dedicating his life to spreading the RVM philosophy – Rejoice, Value life, Make a difference. RVM is many things but he is also a philosopher, poet, singer, speaker, motivator, author and philanthropist.

RVM seems to be doing a good job at what he’s doing. He has a blog and a website and seems to be doing a lot of stuff, making a lot of money. His bio says he had a change of heart et all but it seems to me that RVM is smart, he got out of the retail business right on time and got into the next money spinner. Nothing wrong with a smart businessman and if PMA has worked for him all these years, I’d sure give it a try.

So the crux of the whole story – ‘Positive’ is my ‘P’ word of the year. 😛

Photo Credits: geralt on Pixabay and my Papaji. 😀

May 3, 2014   2 Comments

O for Oscar, O for Orgasmic

Ushoo… I said the taboo word… 😛 Agreed orgasmic means ‘able to achieve orgasm’ but informally it also means ‘very enjoyable’. As in an orgasmic new drink or orgasmic fresh strawberries. And I really would like this year to be orgasmic, not the the standard kind of way but the cool or different kind of way.

Let me explain… and what better example than condom companies? 😛 (one more ushoo…)

Almost all condom companies in India have similar advertisement; they all go for the ‘condoms are seductive’ approach where there there will be a man and a woman engaged in some form of foreplay (that just doesn’t happen in real life, at least not all the time). There will be suggestive music and a complete theme of seduction. Considering it’s India we’re talking about, nothing much is shown, it’s all just suggested. (I guess we should be thankful that we’ve moved on from the roses bumping into each other era.) 😀

However one company does things differently. The first time I ever noticed a Durex ad was about 10 years ago when I came across this.

Oh man, I laughed my guts out.

Then a week back, Che showed me this.

It’s pretty cool isn’t it! Now I have Do-The-Rex on constant rerun in my head, and since it’s Ranveer Singh, it’s got visuals too. 😀

BTW this ad led to Rituparna Chatterjee asking the question “Where’s the condom ad for normal, bloated, bored women with no nights out, kids and very little time and energy to ‘Do The Rex’?“.  Someday I would like to see a condom ad with a woman in the central role, and Durex being Durex, just might pull it off!

Durex does things differently; even in their advertisement. Where other companies are striving to make condoms sexy, Durex makes condoms cool and smart. Here’s some more Durex ads to make you smile. :)

I really like the baby-seat and football team ads, which ones did you like?

May 2, 2014   No Comments

N for November, N for Nature

I’ve always wanted to have a garden, not the pretty kind but the edible kind. :) Growing up we had a garden for a few years but those were my college years, who wanted to garden then. Later over the years I never had garden space, until now. Our new house has a little garden along one side of the house and I’ve enjoyed watering, working and watching it the last few months.

I’ve already had so many cool things happen because of the garden, that I figured I’d make a list of until now along with my wish list of stuff to do. Ok, lets get the want to do over with, coz that’s simple – This year I want to learn more about gardening, plants, and the birds and animals I see around here. And some of this I have plans for, for the rest there is YouTube so it’s all under-control. 😀

Now on to the highlights of the last four months, I figured photos would work well here. Hope you enjoy it. :)

The garden in full spring bloom…

There were so many flowers I didn’t take photos of, why, [hitting my head] I have no idea; but here are some that I did get –

And I’ve seen fruits galore too, I forgot to click the drumsticks and you saw the Singapore Cherries yesterday. Here are the others until now –

The garden’s brought in creatures galore too. From rats to bats and a large variety of lizards –

Not to forget the Spectacled Cobra we caught the other day 😀

The latest news is we’ve got a nest now. I saw it first on Monday and today I found a egg. :) Seems to belong to either robins or bulbuls, need to watch out for the birds.

After the snake incident I’ve taken to having the dogs around when I’m watering the garden, but here’s what happens on some days while there are still muddy puddles… 😛 (Thankfully Max loves being hosed down)

I’ve been enjoying the garden, it’s a bit of work watering it everyday but it has something new for me to see every day. Can’t wait to get my hands dirty in there over the next few months.

Do you have a garden? Love gardening? Which is your go to place for gardening advise?

May 1, 2014   1 Comment