Thursday, October 29, 2009

Frank Schaeffer

A village cannot reorganise itself to suit the village idiot. And we are the village idiot of this country, the American conservative Christians.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sirion Beckons

Some dusky afternoon beckon me again.
Warm air shaded by the pine needles beckon again.
People I knew so well call me back.
Towers and lake, gleaming in the moonlight.

They beckon me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

No One Need Know

Today the rain fell lightly. It wasn't much of a rain but it was enough reason to open the umbrella. My sandals flapped wetly. I should have thought better and worn shoes when I left home. I pulled Anna into the umbrella while she dreamily walked oblivious to the cold rain pitter-pattering on her hair.
"Come in here, honey," I covered her little head with my hand and brought her in. She didn't say anything. She normally doesn't say anything. Normally she just thinks to herself, murmuring something, or in her happier moods whisper a song, a melody that she caught on TV. Sometimes I wonder what she thinks in that little head of hers.
The rain sang gently on the umbrella. She looked up, "Is the umbrella going to tear?"
"No, dear, it won't. Don't worry; if it tears I will make sure you don't get wet."
She looked at the umbrella. "But I want to go out in the rain!"
"And get sick? I don't think so."
Anna is going away tomorrow and that was my final walk home with her. Her mother will take her to her new school. She is young, yes. She will be alone, yes. But sometimes, things like this happen. Sometimes you've got to just do things that you never wish and hope to be doing. I don't want to talk about why she has to go. But tomorrow she leaves.
And today we went to the dentist's to get some paperwork done so that the school dentist can pick up from wherever her previous dentist left off. Every morning I force her to brush her teeth with earnest. She'd stand beside me in her pajamas, I would be in my boxers and we'd both face the mirror. She follow my every movement as we brushed ("and brush and brush and brush and brush..." she'd say).
"But you're no fun!" she said, putting her hand out in the rain. "I want to go in the rain. Don't you know about the frog who sat on a leaf in the rain and jumped into the pond?"
I smiled. I have a book of poetry with an old Japanese print that showed a frog sitting on a lotus leaf floating on a pond and it was raining.
I watched how the grass trembled as rain fell on them. I watched trees sway gently as rain fell on them. I watched how Anna's skin tingled as rain fell on them. I heard the purring rain all around me.
I felt sad suddenly. This would be the last time I went home with Anna for a long long time. By the time she finish her school, she'd be a grown up. She would have her friends dropping her and picking her up whenever she wanted to get anywhere. This would be the last time I would hear her murmur and sing softly to herself as we make our way back.
My eyes started misting up. So many afternoons spent walking back home from her school and dentist and paino lessons and church...
What will I do now in the afternoons after she is gone?
A fat drop escaped my eyes and fell on Anna's nose.
She looked up. And looked at me. I sniffed back immediately. And looked back at her. Then she looked at the umbrella.
"I think the umbrella is breaking!" she reported, wiping her nose.
I looked up.
"OH YEAH! You're right! We're going to get wet, oh no!"
She smiled. "It's ok! Let's go into the rain!"
I looked at her. Her eyes gleamed with joy.
I closed the umbrella. And folded it. Felt the rain take over my face. My glasses. My body. My hands.
She yelped and shrieked. I picked her up on my arms. She shrieked again and laughed.
I wished for that laughter to remain forever in my mind. That moment to stay as it was forever. That we never reached home but froze in that rain just as we were. That tomorrow never come to pass.
Maybe it wasn't all rain that ran down my cheeks that day. But no one saw it. No one knew it. The passers-by saw a happy father and his happier daughter having fun in the rain. Without a care in this world.
No one need know.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Outlook traveller editions

Here are some of the editions of Outlook Traveller magazines that I followed every month. Some of them I haven't read and some of them I own (used to own that is. Left it back in Shillong in my room in a brief case). 
I get mushy thinking about them.
I am such a sentimental person. haha

Rakesh Sharma is not really proud of being the first Indian in space

Read here

Switzerland Italy mountains

Read here

Of Shimla

Read here

On Manali

Read here

On Naini Tal

Read here

on Darjeeling

Read it here

British legacy in India

Read about it here

flute seller in Varanasi

a very well written piece about Varanasi.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Rwanda

Rwanda is a beautiful place. A place of happy memories. Of families. Of sunshine. Of trees. And birds. "A Land Of Thousand Hills". Thousands of hills crafted by the delicate fingers of nature. A place of history. Of green.
I google-imaged 'Rwanda' and was disturbed to see their photos. 90% of them were of refugees and death and war. That is not what Rwanda is. That was what happened to it. When I was younger when I hear the word Rwanda all I thought was a picture of a bomb shelled landscape, smokes fuming from the ground and people crying holding on to earth and blue green messy camps being set up for refugees. I didn't like the thought of it.
Simon is from Rwanda and he asked me do a painting for him, a massive size painting, something he said that would remind him of his country. He did not ask me to draw povertyor the poverty-stricken people. He did not ask me to draw something that provoked people to 'help' Rwandan. What he wanted was something very different. Something I didn't know about the country. Something he loved about Rwanda. A green landscape with thatched house and rolling hills. And trees and banana trees and green and green.
It is my personal thought, but Rwandans don't want to see their nation represented by poverty and death anymore. (Though sometimes truth and fact are just be hard to face and express as much as they need to be). But Rwandans should be given another chance to reminisce and be proud of what they have now. Every nation has something to rejoice about, something to be proud about. For one, I'd like to see their green hills and sit under their thatched roof house and hear the cackling laughter echo throughout the valleys. I'd like to smell the burning wood and huddle for warmth, listening to the thunder and rain outside. I had a memory somewhat like that, that I am happy to recall. To hear tales of gorillas and fishing adventures. 
Those are beautiful pictures. Those are images that people should know about Rwanda. That Rwanda deserves.

five posts about sunshine

*There was warm sun when I walked to class. The bakery I walked into greeted me with warmth and smells from the oven. 
*I stare out at the glare of a white building facing me, reflecting the sun, as I sit at my computer. It reminds me that I don't have to huddle into myself when I walk outside today despite that I am just wearing sandals.
*Just a smile and the rain is gone, could hardly believe it. There's an angel standing next to me, reaching for my heart. That's what my ipod is playing right now. It reminds me of sunshine somehow.
*When I am in the light-tight church auditorium rehearsing for the night service, sometimes I see a glimpse of the outside world through an opened door or a glint of sunlight that escapes in from a small gap somewhere and it reminds me that there is a sun outside and people at the beach running or lying in the sun. And maybe my friends walking about in the sun facing their faces to the warm sun. And it makes me glad that the world is just fine outside though it is so dark in there.
*I like to see sunlight and shadow dancing on your shoulder.

disclaimer

I read a few of my past blogs and I realise that about 70% of them (or even more) are tinted with negativity. I ask myself why. I am not a negative person. I am an easy person to please. I find joy in little things in life.
But then why is it that what I have written here are mostly negative things?
Then I realise. That's because I only feel the need to write when I feel negative or am not necessarily happy. Which is not good I guess. It's not fair to my positive thoughts. 
So hear again, I am not that negative. 
Anyway, I have been going to the playlist for the ball that we played at last early this month. It's nice to hear them. Almost reminds you of the many afternoons we spent behind that glassed door figuring out who is playing which song and who is singing what part.

update

Been a while I realise since I last wrote here. Been real busy for Jordi Duff opening, doing photo shoots with people, finishing up designs, chatting up with suppliers and makers. So on. Been busy. 
Also my infatuation for magazines. Denise, our design tutor tells us, magazines have become beautiful books, not just something that last for a month or a week, but treasured possessions that people store away and keep them. So designing a magazine very well is very important because more often than not, how it looks will decide how long your magazine lives in the hearts of your readers.
I want to be a part of a team make timeless magazines. Every issue spinning out newness.

heh

happy birthday, debbie!