Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Swaying stars on the lake

The silent gloom that sits on the water and permeates the water's edge softly re-assures me that nothing really matters. The quiet blinking stars kept on. I look up at the dimensions of millions of stars and think about why petty human concerns loom again and again almost every moment of our lives.
Excerpt:
"Something out there stares at you. Its tiny little eyes gleaming and moving on the water's surface.
Darkness is rewarding. So is silence. You are all alone in that black - just the dark pine and mirror waters, also draped in night, for company.
And suddenly all music and clamour is lost in that silent blinking lullaby that the stars sing. All light and tones of the day are gone and you bask in that grey-ness, nothing to expose you - nothing to make you stand out from blending with the trees and mounts. The grace of the night.
The water ripples. Now the water is disturbed. Could there be something out there? It's long tentacles stirring the water and watching you through that minute swaying lights, rippling with the clear inky lake."

Two days of sun and mountain



Something about the mountain air that liberates you.


Something about the blinking and swaying reflection of stars on the lake surface, that tells you nothing really matters.


Laughter lasts all too short. Purple lupinas vanish before i hold them. Purple sunset fades before I see it to my heart's content. I don't know why things that deserve to stay forever pass by too quickly.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

untitled 2

does something that stayed in your heart stay in your heart forever?
do tell me anyone..

Morning

I drift down the river mystic with the mist, grey and strong. Somewhere above the shoulder of the clouds rose the great mountains, laden with the sun. The passing waters sigh a song with the oars.
I haven't changed a bit. Nothing had changed a bit. The tea is still hot and the steam still dance from its rim. Here time stood still while I went many ways. But then coming back here I only realise its me who missed it all. The mountains never missed me. The shuddering grasses in the wind kept on, moving to the wind's orchestration.
I am grateful nothing has changed.
A wist of cloud escaping from a rift in the mountains. A cold shivering pine bouncing in the belly of the cloud's passing.

Wellington....

Christchurch should have been the art capital of New Zealand all these times. Thanks however to all artists moving to Auckland oe Wellington, Christchurch is left sucking her own thumb looking on to fonder days of creativity.
My tutors at D&A talks about bringing back the captital to our dear little Christchurch. It better happen fast because otherwise I too will move to Wellington sometime, given a choice, though Christchurch is starting to grow into my skin by now.
Haha, whatever..
People don't have choices. Things just happen.

untitled

birds they sing in my dawn.
reminds me there is tomorrow.
a chill in the air yes.
but a tune in the thin mist.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

never again to rest

a bustling meltingpot
of disappointment and
unfulfilled dreams

a single streak
a single soul
stuck in motion

a city, set off
by a spark:
never again to rest.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Of my little big room

I found this random blog that never got posted in my laptop about my old house that i lived in in Chester Street East. Funny.

My room is such a warm haven. It rained a little I think during the whole evening that I stayed in my room and watched 'Saboteur' and The Mummy 3. The first one was terrific. The second watchable. I rather like it more than the first two installments of Mummy.
The kitchen is being occupied by Jonny, the Korean flatmate, with another of his friend, from school as I learnt, making dinner. I heated water to make myself some easy black coffee.
Outside my door sat the speckled fat cat who is always trying to sneak into the room. My landlord tells me he/she is a big nuisance. I make sure that he/she does not follow me inside.
With the steaming hot water in my right hand, I step back into my room, being greeted by warm room air (heated by the room heater) and the song 'Haal kaisa hai janaab ka, kya khayal he aapka?...' that I left playing on my laptop before I went out.
Such a warm four wall binding my little world.
Sometimes I feel like Rusty from 'Room on the Roof' written by Ruskin Bond, whose first adventure out of home concerned a little room on a roof with crackpots and wierdos as neighbours. I myself am surrounded by wierd people, for instance, Johnny, the Korean guy who was after my laptop for one whole week because he wanted to watch Dragonballz that I had, for some reason, in my laptop. I don't like DBZ btw. Then there's Raj, the impulsive fellow, always ready to try something new. Who runs the mess department as much as he and i are concerned. Then there's a Japanese girl, whose name just left my memory, who was introduced to me searching for her black socks that she must have dropped while she took out her laundry, and looking devastated as though she had lost her wedding ring. Then there's Richard, offering Raj and me to come with him to the Fijis (his home) with him for a holiday, who listens to DMX and Creed simultaneously with all earnestness. Then there's Tsugumi another Japanese girl. One night, Raj and I asked her if we could try out the internet from her room since the one in my room wasn;t working. She said, "But not now... I have a customer.." Customer? At night? and the 'customer' we found out was a guy.. WHAT?! Raj looked at me with a wierd look. (What is she? A... ahem) Then later we found out she cuts hair. And the 'customer' guy went into the bathroom and washed his hair. (Oh! thought I) Then there;s another guy named Jason (or something) who is supposed to be a tough guy. You might not want to mess with him. Then last but not the least, theres Phoebe, my next door. She's not normally home, but wheh she is, she makes her presence felt. The first time I came, she said, "I am not a very noisy person." But who even asked her? That meant she is noisy. She even knew it herself.
My room is not on a roof, the roof that Rusty watched the coming of monsoon in all its fury.
But that I feel like Rusty, could it mean that I become a good writer too? Haha, maybe. Thats my only dream, to escape to a world I love and live unbothered by sophistication and write about it.
And another thing, Kiwi hates pine trees. I love that fact. Because I love pine trees.

--
Haha. I was such a racist then. I have changed, please note.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More than meets the eye

Song I wrote (without the melody yet) at the songwriting club at the Majestic. 

More than meets the eye
---
Blue glory, the open skies
Beckoning.
Clouds majestic, farthest heights
Beckoning.

I see there's more
I see there's more
than meets the eye.

A Creator of beautiful things,
Someone watching the skies,
Someone over my world.

Love simple, the open heart
Smiling.
Grace abundant, a bowed soul
Forgiven.

I see there's more
I see there's more
than meets the eye.

More than meets my eye
More than meets my thought
More than meets my heart
God, you are.

You are.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Korean Nagas

This response is the one I tried on Naga Blog on facebook.com, about the infatuation of Nagas over Korean movies and their culture subsequently. Most people are against the trend, but Ane Kevichusa, a member of the Naga Blog saying that it doesn't have to be bad thing. The fact that this discussion is going on and in English points to the fact that in the past we embraced something foreign and this has lead to a necessary gain in more ways than less for our people. Read:

I agree Ane.
Thats the secret of the English language. As compared to Latin.
English may seem like a parasitic language, borrowing words from almost about every language on earth. Call it whatever, but why is it that there are a lot of Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Russian, German who flock to English speaking countries to learn English. Why is English so important? Because its a language that has survived, so to say, the onslaught of invasion of globalisation.
It is not a time to only hold on to something we were born with.

But then I also am disgusted with the Korean madness. Shillong's Naga community was a mini Korea-town when I left Shillong. (well I am not saying only Nagas do it. The Garos, a few Khasis and so on are equally gripped with the mania, maybe not as crazily though.)

By the way, I don't think Nagas and Koreans will ever get along together, so we should stop pretending. Why so? Well, I have a guy friend from Korea who was upset the whole day because he saw a dead hedgehog in his garage last night, which he didn't even kill. Heck man. Nagas kill and eat anything that moves. Have you seen a Naga guy being mum and depressed because he ate a dog's tail last night???

P.S. My argument doesn't prove anything. I am not saying what's right or wrong. Korean fans go ahead and be hard out Koreans as much as you want to. And critics of such trend, go ahead and criticize what is going on, make the most hullabaloo of it as you can. Culture is this. Argument and discussion. Interaction of thoughts and ideas.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

everything is

everything really is about what we choose | perspective is what i want to see | all half truth |

Friday, October 31, 2008

we hold the tree

we hold the tree. but it grows out of our palm.
i scoop the river. but it flows, unrelenting. mercilessly.

i didn't want yesterday to pass.
this morning dawns. another day.
but different. warm and welcoming the sun's face beams.

keep them company. who? i don't know. yesterday.
next morning, pend yourself. keep me company today.

flow out of my window. like a bloating river.
clear and unrestrained, my thoughts.

things change. grass shivers. cloud shifts. sunset vanishes.
........................................ EMPTINESS THERE'S A TIME FOR IT.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

and after saying all these, i look around to see if anyone watches me too.


The man has not left his eyes from her. She keeps talking like a little bird twittering to an amused eye. He is dressed well. In brown that blends with the sofa that he sits on.

He still looks at her. Trained. Keep your eyes on her. Shift your body so that it faces her which will give the impression that you are interested in her. Maintain eye contact. Trained. The art of conversation. Whatever.

Their dresses look like they've emerged from polished doors after long hours at furnished office stenching of coffee. Coffee. Symbol of progress. Symbol of hard work. Whatever. Their dresses remind me of coffee. Her boots are glossy leather - like an expensive horse's thigh.

They continue to talk. In all their learnt and bought artistry and education. In all their polishness. In all their coffee-cultured-evening-after-work-rendezvous-that-starts-with-a-peck-on-the-cheek tradition.

Whatever.

They shake hands. Smile. Friendlyly exchange greetings. Trained to impress. Trained to seduce.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I crave. I carve

A place unlistened. And unwatched. 
A place unlistened. And unwatched.
Slips through the fingers.
The unlikely existence.

The Tyranny of Classification

By what right do we classify a thought as negative and positive? I think classification is wrong. There are no two sides. Everything is a sphere. Not cube. A beautiful rounded sphere. Without sides and direction.

When I think and express what is called 'negative', I am wrong. People are quick to bring me down, tackle me, because what I express does not benefit the audience. But I have never made art and expression, be it a story or a drawing, for the sake of the audience; but instead for the sheer joy of expressing myself. I never think of the reader, except when I am making a sell-out work, when I am penning a thought. There is something liberating in expression. That is not a secret locked away in a Pandora's box that got opened only by a few artists. I mean, why else would we love talking so much? I like to express. I like to let it out.

So why should a bubble that ensues out of my head, something so pure and genuine, be popped out of life just because the audience does not like it? It is my bubble. Everybody has their own bubbles. It is not like there are just a few handful of bubble-smiths, fortunately gifted to make thought bubbles.

How can a bat express daylight? How can an owl express sunshine? It hurts.

Order. Control. What earth is grappling for amidst the beauty but uncertainty of chaos. 

I cross the road. They wait. They cross the road. I wait. Else I bump into them and they bump into me. The stupidity of mankind.

The line (if there is a line, which I don't think there is) between what is negative and positive is barely existent. It is the habit of humans, in the same way that the hideousness of the traffic system is based on human infatuation for order, to put things in convenient envelopes and tagged systemmatically.

Look inside me. There is no order to delve into and extract that I can express ever fully. There are no lines, rulers, borders and envelopes in my mind.

I believe the devil in us wants to separate our thoughts and own these tags. Make us run on the left of the road. Make us follow signals and signs.

The devil invented the traffic signals.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Glide. Soar. Close your eyes.

Glide. Soar. Close your eyes.

Forget. Pick up. 

Flash of sunlight. Into the clouds. Open sky.

Earth. Green. Blue rivers. Fields.

Cool. Eagle soars.

Drops.

Life flash by. Memories. 

Rebirth. Soar again. Soar higher.

Touch carpet of lake with your toes.

See fishes in the water. 

Across the peaks. Adorn with white.

Blinding brightness. Across the skies.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Memories of Goa at Sumner

Warm sand beneath my feet. Clean. Fire. Powdery. Reminds me of Goa. The hot beating Goa. Of swaying coconut trees and unresting ocean.

I clasped my can of Coke. My just bought scarf hugging my forehead. I squinted across at the sand, littered with reddened tourists being cooked in the sun. My friends are down at the water, their tittering voices dissolved into the madness. I don't know why I felt intimidated by the sea. I just sat at the cafe, with a can of Coke, my SLR camera wrapped around my right hand... But that time of solitude - my mind washed by the song of the waves and swaying slightly to the random music that a cafe was playing - was beautiful. It is one of the moments that I cherish of Goa.

There were a lot to complain about at Goa. There were always things that I wasn't happy about. But what I would give to caress my toes in that warm sand again? Hear my friends' voices floating in as one with the voice of the sea.

To be lost in the adventure of the unknown, homelessness and being in a place no one knew me..

Warm sand beneath my feet. I now sit on my Kolhapuri chappals on the sand. The sun is warm - but when it disappears behind a cloud I am reminded it is not summer as yet.

Sumner is quite like Goa's beach that we were in. Little town, thriving on the advantage of the seaside. Small houses.

The sand is fine. It slips through your fingers like a fine cloth. The sea is blue, green, grey. The breeze is gentle and mannered.

Unstoppable. Unresting. Overflowing. Is the sea. Mystery. Dark. Green.

The sea holds a million stories. I look at it and see that it is smug. Mature. Old. Keeper of secrets. Unknown tales. It is tyrannous and repressive and yet liberating. it gives life and takes life.

Blue green grey mystery.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

on Premchand

When asked why Premchand didn't write anything about himself, he answered: 
"What greatness do I have that I have to tell anyone about? I live just like millions of people in this country; I am ordinary. My life is also ordinary. I am a poor school teacher suffering family travails. During my whole lifetime, I have been grinding away with the hope that I could become free of my sufferings. But I have not been able to free myself from suffering. What is so special about this life that needs to be told to anybody?".
--
Now thats different.
--
"A writer or an artist is progressive by nature, if this was not his/her nature, he/she would not be a writer at all."

Excerpt from 'Freedom, Tea and Spectacles'

Warm on my shoulder. I watch a reflection of a tree on the glass partition in front of me, rippling in the breeze. I remember a saying - "I think I shall never see a poem, as lovely as a tree."

[We talk about revolution all the time.]

The tree is revolution. Formless. Cool. Rugged. Undaunting. Unlined. One.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

On Christchurch

My newest design project is about my interpretation of Christchurch based on the many drawings and observations that I have about the city. I am done with the synopsis. And the Word Map (which as the name suggests is just a page filled with words and concepts that can lead me to further develop the idea on the given topic. The more words the more ideas and stronger the foundation to build the designs on.) is becoming very interesting. Some of the words I came up with are:
Bland. Canterbury. Tasteless. Repressive. Graphitti. Quiet. Cold. Drunk. Maori flare. Fake smiles. Square. Lines. Controlled. Artificial. Showy. Detached. Outdoor recreation. Nostalgia of England.  CCC. Plastic. Public artwork. Christchurch Cathedral. Fish & Chips. Dance. Circus. Colourful Street culture. Youth sub-culture. Dead architecture. People disillusioned with life. Hip Hop. The Majestic. Kiwis. Asians. Uncritical. Unquestioning. Culture-less. Tourists. Southern Alps. 

Don't be fooled. They aren't all negative. But asking me what I think of Christchurch when I am suffering from homesickness is a wrong timing. What can you expect. There are, however, also some very positive and even respectful words that I mentioned. Like Colourful Street Culture, which I believe adds life to the drooping city. The Majestic, of course the church that I go to, the hotspot of creativity, art and music and dance (we are out to move the world through the arts), hope for a better Christchurch, not just tomorrow, but today. Dance, very very crazy dance movement here. Completely bowled over I am. Then there's good Hip Hop without mindless mania for money and sex. 

I have a comment about the art of NZ in general. I like Colin MacCahon a lot. Particularly his work I AM is phenomenal. There's Rita Angus, who painted women, not necessarily in picturesque setting and not for the sake of a pretty picture, but as they were, with bold colours. She's respectable I suppose. 
But there's NZ architecture. I do not understand why they have to make them as tasteless as ever. The architectural landscape of Christchurch makes you think that the people here are so disillusioned with life. Nothing to look forward to except the drinking binge next weekend or the outdoors adventure over summer (quoting Carl Crocker). Its my opinion that this disillusionment comes with the absence of religion, absence of a belief in the transcendental. Information, data and routine amounts to disillusionment. And this sense is represented in their art and expression. 
(I am just trying to interpret things that I see from my perception. Never an absolute conclusion. Tomorrow my opinion on the same things may change.)
--
By religion I also mean the belief in the imagination and the unseen. I think that apart from religion and faith, what else can you base your life on? News, sports, business, computers, technicalities.. blah blah. The pride of the modern times.
Christchurch has chosen to forsake the significance of the name. Now its just a name that forms in the lips of people, without any thought to it.
But again I should probably remind you, this is an extremely one sided opinion. I have only been watching the city from a very critical eye. I agree there are great things happening also. To mention the Majestic Church again, where they have a vision to win over Christchurch for the better. To retouch the culture, the arts with God, in the best possible way we can.

Monday, October 6, 2008

note of homesickness

Sometimes I think I hear trucks lulling me to sleep, trucks on their way up Barapani. Sometimes I think I hear tiny raindrops drip-drip on the garden flowers and moist earth just out my window. Sometimes I think I hear the soft breathing of my brother asleep on his bed. And at these times I wonder if anything has moved since I left.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

untitled story of

There is an escape route that takes you to secret lake much smaller than any other lake I know. 

I heard scant music coming from a vent through a thick grove of spruce trunks and I followed my ears. 

I discover this lake that is cold and clear, the lapping water on the rocks like rain on clean fingers. 

Sound that washes your thoughts and drips your fears cool.

No one bathes on its water. No, its too far for the human legs to take him. 

It is not the distance, but it is very far. You need to hear the music. 

Close your ears around the rugged trunks. 

There is no one who plays the music. 

It is just the wind running through the trees and their tresses. 

And it is only meant to lead the inquisitive ear to the lake. Glass. Rippling.

But the horror.

It burns. It burns. The lake dries up. The mountain melts. The water singes my skin. My escape burns.

Disenchantment hates my world. And conspires against it.

And everyone on earth upholds disenchantment. And they win always.

Monday, September 29, 2008

"I like the piano...
The piano doesn't know you're blind,
so it does not make it easier for you."
From Saboteur, Film by Alfred Hitchcock

Two birds with one stone

Recent events in Orissa and all over India with regards to the treatment meted against Christians only prove a point. No matter how hard you step on a spring, saturated with momentum and rhythm, you only fuel the energy and the force that it gets to strike back.

Burning down churches and killing people only parades the martyr's faith. Deaths that wouldn't have been even announced on the Obituary page of the local paper get headlined on International newspapers. Thanks to the mindless violence and raising of the fist. And what does the dead care anymore? They are already where they should be the moment they left their mortal bodies. And the violaters only get to clean up the mess they made. Yes, no matter their associations and support from those at the earthly 'high places'. Justice is always at the end of the road, whichever street you are on.

Christians are being pushed into the limelight. At this instance, even unknowingly. A testimony of an unknown faithful is given a space on Internet or newspaper. He/she blurts out a personal belief, unknowingly, and somewhere across the face of earth, a soul is stirred through it. I read an article written by a journalist from Calcutta titled Faith Accompli for The Hindustan Times. Soumitro Das writes, 

Then, [a person] finds a God who, like him, suffered excruciating pain, who chose his  disciples among the poor and the wretched and gave his own life  so that others could find  salvation through his  suffering.  The Dalit also understands that, in the light of Jesus' story, the Hindus do not seem to have a moral order, that the only thing that counts for them is ritual purity and impurity. Instead of good and evil, Hinduism deals in the categories of ritual cleanliness and uncleanliness. The community, fortified by its realisation that the Hindu world view is only one among many others and not even of the most superior kind, gradually revolts and crosses over to Christianity. 

I am sure that it is not meant to be an attack on Hinduism. The writer himself could very well have been a Hindu. But my point is that events like the church burnings and killings give reasons for intellectuals and people who have influence in society to think about Christianity, to find out what is real and what is farce.

--

Organisations also chose to voice their opinions and grievances to the Government of India by organising a Seven Days Sit In Dharna at the National Capital of India, Delhi. There were groups of even Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist communities who took part. Talk about unity in diversity against what is wrong.

--

That's killing two birds with one stone.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stawberry Fields and drawings

The song Strawberry Fieldsby The Beatles, was stuck in my head for the whole day. I think after reading Akash's blog. And another song Sunshine On My Shoulder by John Denver. It is a bright sunny day. I just had the most amazing drawing class. At the Botanical Garden.
Did drawings with apple twigs (literally twigs taken from an apple tree) and black ink. They look pretty depressing, but it was a bright sunny day. Just my interpretation and technique made it dark and gloomy. Almost looks like its snowing...

Last of the winters


Two men on a boat

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Feeling in my bones

I have a faint feeling in my bones that I have completed my assessment project, braving a computer network failure all across the Graphic Design Floor, boredom, hunger and inability to follow set rules and process.
Check out the design:
It's a logogram (logogram |ˈlôgəˌgram; ˈlägə-|nouna sign or character representing a word or phrase, such as those used in shorthand and some writing systems) that is supposed to represent myself. After much brainstorming, I came to the conclusion that there are three things that define who I am and who I have become.
Freedom, tea and spectacles



How they define me is another story. But this logogram is an incorporation of all three elements (of which we had to make ATLEAST fifty sketches all different from each other. It represents a tea cup (for tea), the extension at the lower part is for freedom to break from the circle of normalcy (not that I claim to be different, just that I have the freedom to do what I want to) and the curve at the upper part is meant to have come from the spectacles frame but hardly recognisable because of the stylised look.
Its not as easy as it looks. For one, the tutor who approves them is very very hard to please. And second, they should conform to the norms of type faces (which means type letters) with all the anatomy of type taken into consideration. Yes, there is such a thing as anatomy of type. Not easy. You sort of learn to appreciate the beauty and form of a good font after knowing them. 
(And for your information, never ever use Arial font. Its a cheap imitation of Helvetica font and its ugly to say the least. It speaks a lot about your ignorance and no sense for form and style if it happens to be the font that you use all the time. You can just see it. They are like an unorganised troop of army crashing into one another, whereas a font like Georgia, the font that is in use presently for this blog, and Bodoni, the one i used for the project, look beautiful and uniform. For example: Arial: 
what is your name? My name is whatever. 
Squint your eyes and look at it from a distance. You'll see what I am talking about.)
Oh. I wasn't planning to give a whole lecture on typefaces, but yeah I did it.

untitled post this is

Who thinks Wagner was a genius of his kind?

I do! I do!

After a long time I tuned myself to Wagner's orchestras again. Its a Floo powder into a whole new world. Vast lakes and soaring horse with wings (not a dragon) and elegant towers. No, actually it is Shuffle mode on my iTunes so its also playing Schubert, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Beethoven and Schumann after Tannhauser Overture by Wagner.
I give it respect by not listening to them everyday. Thats what I do to very good songs and all classical pieces on my computer.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

typeface

Little Indian Towns

I am so happy that little Indian towns are never taken seriously, that no books have been written about them so extensively as they have for the cities. The town remains the strange non-explainable unit, with people obssessed with labels confused about what to label them. You just cannot explain what it is to a scientist. Its beyond geography.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Inspired by rejection

Today is a very depressing day. 
There's a guy in my class who's been playing the whole album American Idiot which is not making it any better. An online writer's community (101 Suite) rejected my article saying they are too subjective and not upto what the readers want. And what do readers want? Information. Data. 
Where is opinion anymore? Where is the interpretation of our worlds anymore? Where is the ability of the human reasoning to see things and let their past and experiences interpret them?
Our memory has grown. Our ability to register data has grown. Great. But so have computers. There is nothing human about learning. There is nothing human about knowing what's the best technology in the stores. There's nothing human about knowing who's leading the Presidential race. There's nothing human about knowing who won the most gold medal at the Olympics.
Human beings find meaning in the little they know. I think there is an addiction for knowledge rampant.
There is nothing human about spending a weekend by the sea, smiling, telling oneself that this is life, the best that life has to offer. Human beings live by the sea and the mountains, fighting hard for survival and keeping food on the table, and learning to find meaning because of what we lack, not because of what we have in abundance. Abundance is sweet but murderous.
Every so called 'revolution' had bad consequences that showed up in time. The Industrial Revolution despite all its benefits brought about the Second World War. The Information Revolution will bring about the downfall of humanity, I am sure.
--
And all this talk, because somebody rejected my article. har har.

Monday, September 22, 2008

From Deirdre of the Sorrows

NAISI (on seeing Deirdre) -- transfixed with amazement -- And it is you who go around in the woods making the thrushes bear a grudge against the heavens for the sweetness of your voice singing.
--
DEIRDRE -- softly -- This night I have the best company in the whole world.
NAISI -- still a little formally -- It is I who have the best company, for when you're queen in Emain you will have none to be your match or fellow.
DEIRDRE.  I will not be queen in Emain. 
NAISI.  Conchubor has made an oath you will, surely.
DEIRDRE.  It's for that maybe I'm called Deirdre, the girl of many sorrows . . . for it's a sweet life you and I could have, Naisi. It should be a sweet thing to have what is best and richest, if it's for a short space only.
--
Are you thinking I'd go out after hares when I've had your lips in my sight? (Naisi to Deirdre)

Friday, September 19, 2008


Thursday, September 18, 2008

ditched and hungry

Ditch #1 Today I woke up early (7:15am, as opposed to 8am) hoping it will be a good sunny day. It was raining. The basketball plan for the afternoon will have to be cancelled, says Ran Jing (AKA Tony), and it was the second time this was happening. Last few weeks our plan to play basketball at New Brighton beach was also cancelled due to sudden unexpected rain.
Ditch #2 And as though it had to be worse, when I got to school, I got mail from Whitcoull's about a job application I put in. They had better applicants that they accepted instead of me.
Ditch #2.5 We are still at the beginning stage of our present design project where we are still scribbling our 50 sketches on paper. I was doing it on a4 when the tutor (Belle AKA Ghanti, as we Indians in the class call her) told me in her chewy Kiwi accent, "you need to do them on a3 sheets." I nodded not in the mood for opposition or agument. It was just that I was being a little more economical.
Ditch #3 Last night, I had a Chinese Hakka Noodles Indian Style that I got from the Asian Warehouse, Madras Street (don't you hate how these people STEAL names like Madras, Colombo, Manchester, et al. I will address that issue later) and it was a pre-cooked packet that I had to just microwave heat. It turned out to be the worst sort of noodles I have ever tasted. I almost threw up at just the smell, but I ate most of it anyway (credits to my conscience and economic logic) because I didn't want to waste it. Right after that I washed my hands with lime squeezed from fresh lemon to keep away the smell and headed to bed before my house mates find me and ask what I ate.
Tomorrow is SALT, creative convergence, at church. A creative arts conference. So its class bunking which means extended weekend. Golly!
My plans to buy a bass guitar, from the second hand shop, I guess is not to happen until I get a job. I first need to buy a DSLR camera. Now its past lunch time and I am so hungry. KFC? I detest the smell of KFC. But its most convenient. I think I might just end up there today too. I am so mundane. Same places, same routine. (haha)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

on art

What is art? Art began with a problem. Art is always associated with problems. Art is sinful man trying to create a sinless literature. Art is an escape from trouble. Or art is facing the trouble head on. The purpose of both efforts is to find solution to that trouble. Jealousy pulls my heart to strokes of creation. Loneliness drives my pen. My pain drips onto my paper. I create a friend to talk with because no one hears me.
Problems add fuel to the fire that bakes art.
Art is not pretty picturesque adorning of walls, or scatterbrained attempts to create something uncanny. That is creativity or innovation.
What if man never sinned against God? What if the forbidden apple never happened? What if we live in an utopia, a perfect world? Would there have been the art? What would fuel the fire? What would press the hearts of people so much so that they find it necessary to escape. If the world we live in was perfect, what would be point of dreaming for a better world.
Art tells us that there is more. Art seeks God, even unconsciously.
--
What does it mean then? Heaven will be the end of art?

freedom, tea and glasses

freedom, tea and glasses

the title for a book idea that I just came up with.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Weekend of Rashomon, Masquerade Ball and Mozart

What a weekend. The sun came out. Though its still quite cold. I had another trip to the library. I didn't get too many books. The library was closing down 20 minutes after I came in. So all I got to read was Book Of The City a collection of short cities inspired by cities all over the world. And there's Salman Rushdie in it too. 
I also got 5 dvds, the one highlight (of the two) of this entry. Two of the best films I have seen so far. 
Rashomon, that I saw when I was just a dazed first year in my previous college (St. Anthony's College) for Mass Communication Theory and Research. 
Casablanca, seen in my second year at St. Anthony's as part of my Film Appreciation. I haven't loved a film as much as I remember loving Casablanca. It suits my temperament. Unpredictable, especially the way it ends. 
Then, I have In Search Of Mozart, a documentary, 'a detective story that travels to the heart of old Europe... and the heart of the genius itself.'
Spirits of the Dead, three tales of macabre by Edgar Allan Poe
and Deepa Mehta's Water
So I have reasons to look forward to this weekend.
AND
There is a Masquerade Ball tonight organised by some group from Canterbury University!
And of course, its Roy's birthday tomorrow, the carefree Bengali guy, who drives a flooded car (yes, flooded, literally, with water) without the windshield at the back, who is also my classmate and is always on the lookout for the cheapest cigarette deal.
Quite a weekend, eh?

Friday, September 5, 2008

of type face and New Orleans Jazz Band and canterbury old campus

There was something horrendous about the way that I kept hearing the term 'type-face' resonate in my head. It only got better during lunch. I think it happened because I didn't sleep well. Then to add to it there was a major brainstorming session for three hours or more, with a coffee break in the middle (without the coffee because I didn't feel like it), for the next project that we are embarking, which concerned type faces.
Lunch time was a redeemer. We discovered a jazz band playing at the cathedral square. Like a warm blast of air in South Pole their music was in that cold air. We aborted our KFC plan, three of us and decided to bask in the music.
It was New Orleans Jazz Band performing at Lunchtime Concert just a little ahead of the cathedral entrance in the middle of the square, all of them dressed in black, with a necklace of red and orangey beads hanging from the lady vocalist's neck. My friend Raj remarked, they're from New Orleans, probably fleeing their home with the threat of Hurricane Gustav around.

Anyway, my love for jazz is re-kindled. I ditched the classy genre of music when I was in India, being too cheesy for the summer Indian air. But now that I am in Christchurch winter air, I might have thought about giving jazz another chance. Well now I have. When I get home and am in a mood for music I will fish for my cd collection of jazz music...
Drawing class was at Canterbury old campus. What can I say about Canterbury old campus? I think it is by far the most beautiful set of buildings I have ever seen, maybe not as awe inspiring as those in old Bombay, but beautiful in its own way, neat, cosy and quite solid.
Too bad the campus moved to the newer one in the 70s. Otherwise I would have definitely gone to study there, no matter what subject, irrespective of my D&A design diploma.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pictures of Christchurch and D&A and so on...


Here is the first batch of books that I took out of the library. 
--

Public artwork, just outside my window. The area where the string on which the man is placed on is just below my window in my former room and house.
--

The car on the wall. Crazy people.
--

3-D works with wires of four men, suspended over bars and food places, Lichfield Street
--

Tea from an Indian food place at Food Court, Colombo Street (or Manchester Street)
--

The Life Drawing Class. It was easier for us, we just had boxes. For Foundation and Fine Arts, nude people actually pose for students to draw. Haha. I cannot imagine that. Not an old man or woman or something. You know what? I don't want to imagine. (:<*&*@^#&> wak!)
--

Christchurch Art Gallery or something
--

I like  this shot because it captures what Christchurch is pretty well.. cycles, elaborate street furniture, vintage buildings, kids and brats and lazy sunshine
--

Drawing class in action, Michael's American english bouncing off Sunil's head and Agus and Lina
--

Bird bench
--

Scouting into Fashion Design Room, with Sunil hot on his tracks
--

Cardboard Robot just at the Entrance of Graphic Design and Contemporary Photography Floor
--

Contemporary Photography wall
--

View of Christchurch Cathedral from Students Common Room Floor
--

Another view
--

Of people and their antics

A list of people I have befriended on my stay here:

(to be filled in later)

Of Design and Ordered Christchurch

Figure: The last project I was working on, making four sets of two playing cards based on theme 'anger' with self-created alphabet also based on theme 'anger'.

Its a lot warmer today. It is overcast but isn't as chilly as two days ago. I might sound stupid, but 1st September is the official beginning of Spring in New Zealand, and since yesterday, the air got heaps warmer. Seriously. It is a crazy place. The weather follows routine. Even the big clocks on bell towers work! 

Everything is so orderly in a very annoying way in Christchurch. (see, I don't like my negativity)

"A human soul needs a little disorder in its symmetry."

Cars actually wait for you to cross the road no matter what the colour of the traffic signal is. That you are obligated to grin back in a polite way at the drivers. Not so in India, as more than 1/6th of the world's population know. Maybe it is a little too much disorder (in India) that will do more harm than good to a human symmetry, but then, when one has spent twenty years in disorder and gets a brief stint of a little bit of order, the transition is sudden.

--

We are embarking on a new project today.. about type face. And now we're looking at demos by some of the world's best designers for types.

Amazing. Blows my mind. Blows my mind. My mind's still sore from the explosion that happened in my head.

I stare at my eMac screen. I have a desktop screen of a European guy, with cool dreadlocks standing with the background of Kanchengjunga. And some random illustrator and photoshop files littered all over the screen.

I just completed my last project. As I said we are embarking on something more to do with a publications design, something that I really really love.

The previous one (Figure) was good. I liked it a lot. 

Sunday, August 31, 2008

At the Catherdral

 
An afternoon at the square..

Saturday, August 30, 2008

my green tea


The Cathedral bells toll,
The wind is biting
The sun is fragile - going in and out..
People chattering walk  past;
it's a great fanfare...
And my green tea is nice and hot.

Behind me a  plague inscription
On a wall reads :
in memory of 'The Birdman' 1988
Engraved was a man
With birds perched on his shoulder
And hands...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Of books and Wagner and half read titles

I am so crazy, I already have eleven books that I issued from the library (that was last week) at home and I haven't finished any one of them. List:
Indian Summer (about the fall of the British Government in India)
The Lion and the Tiger (the rise and fall of the British Raj)
Othello (manga)
Genshiken (manga)
Embroideries (French translated graphic novel written by an Iranian woman)
Pushman (graphic novel)
Walking the Indian Streets (by Vinod Mehta about his coming to India after studies in Oxford)
Who's Who in Enid Blyton (all characters of her books, which I took for reference for my character development for my comics)
three more that I cannot remember right now...

and still then I took four more books today on my yet another auspicious visit to the library:
Finding Your Voice (about originality in writing)
Old Friend From Far Away (about memoirs [I love them])
A Vintage Book of Indian Writing (a collection of many books and stories by top Indian English writers)
The Plain Jane (Graphic Novel)

AND 

Saboteur, a film by Alfred Hitchcock.

Long list I know.... how am I going to find time to do justice to my impulsive grabbing-of-books-off-shelves-at-the-library syndrome?
(sigh) I ask myself.

haha, no actually, I am looking forward to it. Its just a matter of priorities.

PS. And one more thing, apart from all these books I have a half read Max Lucado Facing Your Giants looking forlorn and dejected on my table, and two other books  that I snucked out from my old apartment, Letters of Vincent Van Gogh and Rise of Christianity (which is a social studies study of how and why Christianity succeeded like it did especially before Constantine made it the official religion of his kingdom).

AND

I was reading an autobiography of Richard Wagner called My Life in the library all evening and was so engrossed into it that time flew and it was 8pm already. Wagner is my favourite composer and he composed for theatre with dramatic music inspiring composers today like John Williams, who composed for Harry Potter (I love the HP music), Star Wars, Saving Private Ryan, E.T., and what-not. 

Here's an excerpt from Wagner's autobiography:

The mysterious joy I felt at hearing an orchestra play from close up remains with me as a voluptuous memory to this day: even the orchestra's tuning up excited me fantastically: I remember particularly the striking of fifths on the violin struck me as a greeting from another world - which incidentally had a very literal meaning for me.

In ecstatic dreams I met (Beethoven and Shakespeare), saw and talked to them; upon awakening I was bathed in tears..

For me music was ... a mystically exalted enormity: everything concerned with rules seemed only to distort it...

So, he is an amazing fellow. If you are interested, try out his piece called Tannhauser Overture. It is my personal favourite. I take to wings with this music. There's a story to the music. Very deep story that unfolds with the music, but that which is indescribable.

Wagner and Kishore Kumar inspire the landscapes in my mind. Kishore Kumar is another guy. Thats another story.

But my point is, I am so impulsive when it comes to books. I've lost count of how many books I am concerning myself with at this point in my life... that'll include all books half read and left lying in my room back in Shillong:
Propaganda: Formation of Man's Attitude
Wuthering Heights
Interpreter of Maladies (Jhumpa Lahiri)
probably some more...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Of hunt for 'The Himalayas' and free chopsticks

This story began from my first day at Christchurch. I got myself a travel guide of Christchurch and I spotted in my first glances through it, an Indian restaurant called The Himalayas on Kilmore Street, not far from Lichfield Street, from where I would be staying.

--

Today as Birthday lunch on my own I thought I'd eat in that Indian restaurant, and fittingly so, since I was particularly missing the Himalayas for some reason. I even set the mood by playing some Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar on my iTunes as I showered and dressed up.

Kilmore Street was not hard to find. But The Himalayas was. It was raining and really, really cold. It happened to be the coldest day since I got here. I walked for around half an hour, spinning around and around in the same square, but didn't find it.

So I asked an old shopkeeper if he knew a place called the Himalayas. He pointed to a yellow building just a little down the road, "I am not sure if that's the place, but it is an Indian restaurant.." he said. I told him, "Anything Indian will do.."

I walked up there and to my relief it was The Himalayas. I laughed to myself and crossed the road, numbed with the cold, but relieved.

The sign at the door, however, bluntly muttered: CLOSED. I stood for a bit there, letting the truth sink in. I felt like some random Sir Arthur Kenisworth who went on an Indian treasure hunt for years only to be beaten at arm's reach of the treasure by a cheap group of guffawing bandits.

"What do I do? Walk back.." I told myself. Just a few yards away I cluttered into a Thai restaurant named 'Thai Smile'. They had clippings of The Press on the walls. I was in for another disappointment. They didn't serve lunch here. ONLY dinner.

The man though saw me shivering and stopped me as I was opening the door to go back out. He offered me to make lunch. A dinner serving however. Beef. So I thanked him. He called into the kitchen, probably saying something like, "A poor fellow, cold and hungry.. Make something warm for him, dear!" in Thai.

He even brought me warm water. I must have looked pitiful. I didn't even realise I was in such a state myself. The Thai beef was good.

Later I stopped in at Starbucks and had Chai Tea Latte (whatever that is supposed to mean). I remember seeing a pretty Japanese girl, cascading black hair.

At the Convenience Store that evening, I bought two packs of instant noodles. The Korean keeper of the store, one of my very few friends in Christchurch, pointed to a group of Asian kids filing out of the store, "They're a skiing team."

"Ah." I answered, "Very cold today."

"Yeah. That's $3.70."

I put the noodles in.

"Do you eat with chopsticks?"

"No. I don't."

"You take chopsticks. You try eating."

"Ok. How much are they?"

"No, no. Nothing."

"Free?"

Wow, I thought, I haven't had anything for free since I left India.

"Yes."

"Thanks. Thanks." I put the little pack into my back, "See you. Bye bye."

I went out grinning. Free chopsticks. Haha. God is so good.

--

When?

When will that Utopia arrive? When I can love with purity? When I can hate with love?
When I stop making mistakes, and not speak more than I do?
The world frolics and dances. Everything is wrong. I am wrong. I am made right, but I keep behaving wrong.
Perfection, how I long for you.

Friday, August 8, 2008

RAINDROP

This leaf, so complete in itself,
Is only part of the tree.
And this tree, so complete in itself,
Is only part of the forest.
And the forest runs down from the hill to the sea,
And the sea, so complete in itself,
Rests like a raindrop
In the hand of God.
- Ruskin Bond
---
Everything in existence points to a basic truth...
The hand of God.

The spicy liberation

I don't really know what the feeling is. But I miss the Himalayas. The narrow lanes and the up and down cranky roads that are so typical of India. I miss the scent of brewing chai from within dark hotels, creaking with fans and noisy with careless hotel boys.

The heat that is so typical of the country. The crowded areas, where your pocket may be thoroughly surveyed, and you won't even be aware of it. The thriving place of the cunning and the simple-hearted. The home of the loud and the silent. The street of the truck and the rickshaw.

I miss the flambouyant banners, the overhanging fluttering advertisements, suspended between two adjacent buildings, and the wild tangle of drooping electric wires with crows perched on them...

I wonder to myself how long will I be locked away from these beautiful realities anymore? How long til I taste that spicy liberation called the Indian air again?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

my new life

Life starts at 7am. I cannot sleep any longer. I got to make myself some breakfast and a drink, maybe tea or coffee. Then I hurry to class, making sure that I carry my room security card or I will be locked out of my own room.
The room I am in is expensive. I plan to shift to a cheaper one soon.
The street outside is quite pacific at this time of the day. Not much people except some here and there all in a terrible hurry. Class is good. Not taxing. For break we go upstairs for coffee, from where we can see the Southern Alps (which despite it's snow tipped peaks, seem to me sad cousin brothers of the Himalayas). After class it is normally lunch at Subway. Cheapest. But today we were in KFC. Little more expensive.
Agus is funny. He laughs all the time. His cartoon look happy. Tony is a more rock sort of guy. His accent reminds me of Rino.
Nothing much yet, as you can see.

At the Central

I sit at the city central. There's a man playing the flute - the music resonating around the square bouncing over the plastered ground and off stone walls and concrete and spotless buses. Sea gulls scutter around near my shoe.
There is a couple of Indian looking guys laughing to themselves, eating burgers off white paper napkins. A group of Burka clad women play ball game near where I am. Earlier they were taking pictures with the gulls.
The sun plays hide and seek behind the clouds. Now it is out, but soon, it will cheekily disappear behind a cloud.
It is quite cold - but I like the thin air.
Two Kiwis talk about the weather nearby.
-
Ha. There's a guy at the other side of the square singing Akon's 'It don't no matter' - he'e even rapping. Ha, and he has a guitar - he's not a rapper - He's a Kiwi, red pants.
This is fun.
A teenager rumbles pass on his skateboard.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Shall here a thousand volumes teach me only

That men, self-tortured, everywhere must bleed -

And here and there one happy man sits lonely.

- Faust, Goethe

I love the book Faust, though my intelligence (or the lack of intelligence) did not allow me to grasp everything that I read in it (it is a very deep book anyway). This excerpt says the more we learn, the more we only understand that the less understanding we have and the farther and farther from happiness we go, even though ironically, this flight for learning started for the want of happiness. But here and there, sits a man alone, happy. Does this mean happiness is achieved in isolation? Or does it mean a happy man is hard to come by? And what makes him happy? The fact that he is lonely? Or that he is sitting and not running after the wind?

Calcutta

Calcutta, breather of summer heat that dazes you, inspirer of thousands of told and untold minds, centre of the intellect for a long long time...
But for now, I shelter in an AC-ed cafe, procrastinating the event of plunging myself headlong into that wet and hugging summer air. I haven't come across a single book store as yet. I have heard of the famous street book corners all over Park Street. All I have witnessed rather have only been Optical stores with grinning spectacled models and tumbledown buildings. Not too bad though. There's always tomorrow.