Sunday, May 27, 2012
On being fit and fine
I was showing my college friends my school pictures the other day. While I looked much younger, I was comparatively thinner. One of my friend after browsing through some pictures said “Wow! You look so hot in this one!” And I thought in my head “ Once upon a time…..eh?”
Ever since my 12th boards got over, I think my weight and my body took a biiiiiig back seat. I haven’t bloated! Thank goodness for that. The reason is that I have never really given myself into junk food. Perhaps to surprise all of you, I carried ‘ghar ka khana’ everyday to my college both in undergrad and in Postgrad. My mom’s response was “ College mein ho gaye hain, par khana abhi bhi ghar ka leke jana hai”!
But yes, home food helps our health far better than junk.
Funnily enough, as new year resolutions hardly work, last year this happened:
My bestie calls me up around mid night to wish me for the New Year. She asks “What’s your new year resolution?” My awesome spontaneous reply “ To be as hot as Priyanka Chopra by my birthday" which was eleven months away from January …
Oh ! as expected, I did nothing, so nothing really happened.
My body saw a lot of things in the last year. Aches, pains, tears all came by.
I still have to enrol my self into a yoga schedule and learn it the proper way. In Indian Psychology or Eastern Philosophy we have the eight stages of Yoga. I have read it all in theory, now wish to experience and come closer to the divine in that way.
There have been days when I have felt ‘my body’, loved the sweat and felt refreshed.
|If only gorgeous parks like these were here:P But yeah...each park has its own|
It’s sad that we give up on our exercise regime as work piles up; contrarily it is that one thing we should keep with us. Working out releases endorphins which help in coping with stress. We may have read about this over and over again.. Ok. Let me say ‘I’. I’m a lazy ass. But yeah the Park stories invite me to go there every day. I prefer not to carry my cell or ipod. That time is ‘Me’ time; for my body, my breath, my sweat.
I just hope that I’m regular. Aiming for extra things to decrease the flab never helps. All i need is regularity and a little toning and a little weight loss too, coz the weighing scale crossed the upper limit for my height ( That sure needs consideration!)
Fit and fine. Yes, that’s good for meJ
Wishing you a great week ahead!
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
There are very few movies in which you see the protagonist living in a dreamy world. This Movie ( just happened to know now- directed by Woody Allen) “Midnight in Paris” released in 2011 was one of those. For Trailer click here.
|Arc de Triomph|
|This is how Gold glistens at night in Paris!!|
It opens with a delectable scene of Paris. The open café’s, the stoned wet paths with the rain falling on them, the stunning Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomph, the golden lit Paris at night with golden treasure reflecting itself in the night waters. And then you hear this lovely kissable song in the movie:
Lets’s fall in love
In Spain the best upper sects do it,
Lithuanians do it,
Lets do it,
Lets fall in love
The Dutch in Old Amsterdam do it
Not to mention the Fins
Folks in Siam do it,
Think of Siamese twins,
Some Argenteens without means do it,
People staying in Boston, even they do it.
Let’s do it
Let’s fall in love……………..
Romantic sponges, they say do it
Oysters down in Oyster bay do it,
Let’s do it,
Lets fall in love.*
This movie takes you to different kind of Golden Eras. The renaissance, Pablo Picasso, T.S.Eliot, Ernst Hemingway, Dali and well other big names I didn’t get. You know why? Coz I was simply lost in the way they sensuously uttered French.
Ah! Pari……As Pablo Picasso’s mistress Adrienne calls it!! It almost gave me an image of her seducing someone with a strawberry dipped in chocolate in her mouth!
Paari……….the city of romance ( roll your words as you say Ro)
Paari……….the city where elegance gets dissolved in wine, champagne and liquor
Paari………..where the biggest designers design not clothes, but wardrobes
Paari………….where the Eiffel glistens in its vanity soaked in the night sky
Paari………….exquisite, elegante, bella!!!!!!!
At this moment I wish if only I knew French!!!
This movie was picked from the basket of my hard disk in anticipation to be a romantic one. Sure it is a romantic movie, but of a different era and somehow the romance looks more enchanting for having Paris as its location and the script which all the more glorifies it.
And yes, I fell in love with the sidewalk cafe's. Here are some pictures I love ( What else happens when you get a glmpse of PARIS?;)
|How more romantically perfect could a meal be?|
|Cafe at dusk!|
|And as Owen Wilson says in the movie:|
Paries surely looks stunning in rain!
Painting by Leonid Afremov
I love the use of the colors!!
*This song is sung by a pianist in one of the parties in the movie. And I love the classical way he sings it. The old records, and the music in the movie (jazzy and playful) takes you back to those eternal days of gramophones playing music and couples dancing slowly on it.
I haven't traveled much to say which city beats the other for its night life, but if this is how the world lits up at night, then surely I would love to stay awake all night in Paris:)
IMDb rating: 7.8
And the site rottentomatoes considers it pretty fresh stock to carry home and cook some great food to be tasted with red wine;) !!
here you go.............
Thursday, May 17, 2012
The P(‘s)eas of life
It’s been a while I wrote. Many things happened. Life has been on a roller coaster and now I’m riding slowly, leisurely and pleasure-ly.
As I ate the pulav my mom had cooked, the sweet peas tasted pretty sweet to make me write this post. I thought of the many sweet peas in our life. Peas we just eat, peas we simply gulp along the many grains of life and peas we don’t even notice leave alone taste.
“Happiness tastes the sweetest when the work done is full-filling”.
As much as the above self written quote above talks about the pleasure of work, it also talks of my dissertation which I successfully managed to write and gain praise in my viva. This quote is also inclusive of the party I threw yesterday for my college friends. This was my first ever party as a hostess. I baked marble walnut cake day before. Prepared baked pasta with cheese, rava idlis, served nachos with home made salsa and served vanilla ice cream with cake and an option of mango cubes in company.
It was my sheer pleasure and excitement to invite my friends which led me to feel my body ache all worth the effort.
My Masters is over now. It’s hard to believe for it has been an emotional pilgrimage as much as an academic journey.
“ Psychoanalysis is not just about analysing the psyche,
It’s like walking a path that takes you to nirvana”.
I wish to reach nirvana few years down the line.
Amidst my hectic schedule I also managed to give guest lectures on basic psychology to few students in a health school. I must say it was a humbling experience. I came closer to that emotion and the feeling you experience when you are on the other side of the table.
Break downs happened, not one, not two, but many. I recall especially one day when I just cried and cried, I howled as I cried looking at the blank MS word doc. I was in a desperate need of a hug. I would cry, then stop and then cry again. You know why? Coz my mind was blank, it had no words to write. I felt I was experiencing a ‘writer’s block’. To experience that when you have a dissertation to submit two weeks on from that day is dreadful. I called all my besties, no one picked up, then I called this wonderful friend of mine, she helped a great deal that moment.
My gratitude to my ideal, mentor, guide, supervisor without whom, I openly proclaim that my dissertation would have been in ruins. He has seen me grow and I have seen him lay the foundation and pillars to my intricate work I presented in my viva.
My family for always being there. Someone rightly said that no matter what happens, a family shall always remain a family! Well, that’s why it’s called nothing but a fam-il-y!
My lovely friends. There is one special person who needs a mention, who has been a stupendous source of strength and motivation. Danke schon!
Last but not the least, my inner voice which did its best to overpower and conquer my ‘self- deprecating voice’.
As I look back these pleasures (peas) taste sweet. One pea helps me recall that I broke my own record of late night study!! Victory!!!
And yes, another P stands for post-crossing which shall always be dear to me!
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
On Drooling, Loving and Eaaat..ing!
Elizabeth Gilbert in her book ' Eat. Pray. Love' tells me that Italians are wonderful in enjoying themselves, unlike the Americans who question the ability to even enjoy and relax, Italians know how to ‘feeeel’ pleasure.
A drop of honey
That melts on a toast
Chiselled butter that caresses my tongue
Melted cheese that oozes out love
That my dear is palette dearly loved!
“I walked home to my apartment and soft-boiled a pair of fresh brown eggs for my lunch. I peeled the eggs and arranged them on a plate beside the seven stalks of the asparagus (which were so slim and snappy they didn’t need to be cooked at all). I put some olives on the plate, too, and the four knobs of goat cheese I’d picked up yesterday from the formaggeria down the street, and two slices of pink, oily salmon. For dessert—a lovely peach, which the woman at the market had given to me for free and which was still warm from the Roman sunlight. For the longest time I couldn’t even touch this food because it was such a masterpiece of lunch, a true expression of the art of making something out of nothing. Finally, when I had fully absorbed the prettiness of my meal, I went and sat in a patch of sunbeam on my clean wooden floor and ate every bite of it, with my fingers, while reading my daily newspaper article in Italian. Happiness inhabited my every molecule”.
This I call sheer exquisiteness and delight in being and living that moment. I had a beautiful smile as I read these lines. There have been times when I would oh! so lovingly cook something for myself or my entire family ( like I made white pasta with olives today) and then the first bite in my mouth of lovely orange carrot, green capsicum and heavenly olive with pasta dipped in white sauce, would say “mmmmmmm…….”..
I’ll share a funny incident. It so happened that last year I visited Fastrax the first time. I had ordered a veg burger by some name (I don’t remember). I had gone there with my mentorship group and my mentor who was treating all of us. As soon as I took the first bite of the burger with melted cheese in it, I closed my eyes, forgetting other’s presence, and said ‘mmmmmm….’. A friend of mine said “it’s almost like you are having an orgasm!” and I gave her a biiiig smile. :D
What’s food if you don’t enjoy every bite of it?
What’s love if there is no passion in it?
Who are ‘you’ and ‘me’ if no breath is lived?
I try enjoying moments. Food, yes I love eating. Just yesterday, as I came upon these lines by Gilbert, I reminisced a day in last winter where I merrily dissolved myself in ‘Memoris of a Geisha’ as I read it on a charpoy basking in the gorgeous winter sun!
Gor…..ge- ous!! …gorgeous….gorgeous…gorge-ous! I can eat words up.
Ever fallen in love with any one word that you could just take into yourself?
Have a gorgeeeeous day ahead ( it’s ok…even if it’s night time;)
P.S: You are the apple to my pie,
You are the straw to my Berry;) ............listen to Auburn's Perfect two:)
You are the straw to my Berry;) ............listen to Auburn's Perfect two:)
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Power, Knowledge and Satyamev Jayate
Every now and then an event happens with a potential to stir not thoughts, not ideas but the whole nation with its plain blatant truth and honesty. And this time it were the many stories and incidents which apparently well known were still brushed under the carpet.
A friend of mine texted me to watch Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate, and I’m only glad that she did. Shows like these need to be aired without any second thought. But, well there many out there who may get agitated and frustrated for their work depends on many such so called ‘ill- legal acts’.
I question: What is immoral? Are we taught what morality is? Which truth are we talking about, for relativists believe there are different truths?
No! I don’t wish to derail in anyway. But Kohlberg’s theory of Morality comes to mind. Kohlberg was a Developmentalist who tested the moral quotient of children in different age groups and accordingly stated the level of moral development.
In this first episode of Satyamev Jayate where the topic of female foeticide was fervently taken up, stunned was I to see that even after seven years of showcasing the sting operation carried out by two journalists in Rajasthan, the doctors were out in the open, continuing with their practice, perhaps having killed lakhs of to-be- future- women of the country only to add weight to their already full pockets!
Sigh…..they say truth is bitter and painful. I say, to that, add the word shocking and palpable.
Yet, what follows this thought is the aspect of power!
Michel Foucault, of those of you haven’t heard about him, related power to the many aspects he saw around him. A French philosopher, social theorist and a historian of ideas, Foucault ( pronounced as Fuko) introduced the concept of power, knowledge and discourse and how they are related.
There is no doubt that Aamir Khan does a great job adjuring the millions in India to support his cause, for they, we, and I will. Yet, as a critical thinker I wish to put forth a question and a view.
Think about it, why this show will activate the corpus callosum in our brains firing the myriad of neural circuits making us eager? Why indeed?
The answer lies in power dynamics and the circle of power, knowledge and discourse!
It’s not that you, I or a third person does not think about such pertinent issues in India. A while back I started a FB page named ‘India, one road goes to Success and the other one down the drain’ (which was created when HT published a detailed article on how the grains worth crores of rupees were being eaten by rodents even as lakhs of people in India starved to death). It was an attempt, on my part, to do something, to bring a change, for the better. I felt and believed, but things did not work out.
All I wish to say is that Aamir is a celeb, he has money, power and of course after great study and research the shows are being aired on the television. Please do not misunderstand me in any way! I do not wish to say that people who do not have money or power cannot bring a change ( for it sis the stories of many such people, in fact which Aamir shares with us!) What I mean is, that different discourses operating in a specific epoch get influenced by the people in power. Let us take for instance, the very issue of female foeticide. Had the Govt of India made gender identification of the foetus not only ‘just’ an act that was termed ‘illegal’ but actively cancelled the license of those practicing it, many others would have stopped the practice for the fear of going behind the bars and losing their daily bread.
Yet, as quoted by the journalists in the program, many medical practitioners openly encourage birth of the male child leading to skewed sex ratios and depriving a man of his ‘own’ wife and a woman of her due respectable status.
What age are we in,
When women do not get their due,
And for the many with their riches,
Sharing husbands that poor few!
Hath a woman no right even to choose,
And if you squash her cry, in the womb,
Where will your lineage flow? But
To empty drains of that girl’s tombstone!
It’s a sorry state of our country. I personally have been feeling that the distance between the rich and the poor has vastly grown over the years, as a matter of fact glorification of a country’s riches in no way washes away the cruel mundane truths……
And we all have a long way to go………….
P.S.: I have exhausted my thoughts. I apologise if they didn’t come clean. I’m not that great in advocating social issues, yet I strongly feel for them. I do hope my words made sense.
See this video, for those of you who missed.
Friday, May 4, 2012
Its been more than a month since I began Postcrossing and I have to say it's a delight getting to know people in addition to little fun facts about their country and them. The myriad of hand writings, stamps and the love that goes in selecting a postcard for a postcrosser whom you have never met is inexplicable. Of all that I know its a beautiful sweet gesture on one postcrosser's part to make a random postcrosser happy:)
Sharing with you some of my postcards.....
My very first postcard
The following ones are some of the postcards received by some special people ( not postcrossers). I deeply cherish these ones:) -
Some of the postcards I sent across:
Need I say more, my love for postcrossing? ;)
Sharing with you some of my postcards.....
My very first postcard
|This postcrosser from Sweden very kindly thought of sending me an Eiffel Tower which|
was on my 'wish' list. Yet I think why from Sweden:P
|A lovely, chirpy postcrosser from Georgia, USA, Beth. She was|
contacted through direct swap and wrote back to me the next day:)
|Matterhorn Mountain Peak, Lying at the Swizz-Italy Border,|
one of the highest peak in Alps
|If this is how beautiful Switzerland is in a postcard,|
I imagine how it would be for real:)
|I wholeheartedly cherish this one sent to me by my brother|
from USHUAIA, World's Southern Most city in Argentina
|This was given to me by a sweet junior who went to Paris with her dad|
|An Elephant decorated in Jaipur during the Elephant Festival|
that is celebrated in the month of March with Holi
|Lord Krishna with gopis: Vastrharan|
|This one is a mughal painting which has been re-painted|
to its utmost detail