Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mornings at the cafe

There is a cafe I go to every morning. I don't go there just because its a cool thing to do, or because its what working men do before they hit work. The reason I go there is because I always have an hour to spare when I get dropped into Kingsland till I can get into the office. My house mate Sila goes to work in the morning as well and I think it smart to go with him in the morning instead of troubling to struggle for bus in the morning, even though it means I have to come in an hour early. That one hour makes me go to this cafe where I read the paper and have Long Black, everyday.

I go to Atomic Roasters on New North Road, Kingsland, just a block away from my work.

One hour is quite a long time to spend away and I read a lot of news lately. Getting informed about things happening in NZ as well as the world - like it or not. But it is good because I don't turn up to work half asleep or still with snot in my eyes. I am actually even thinking I might miss this little habit when I move to Kingsland (which I eventually will, seeking a closer place to work) because practically, as much as I want to, what are the chances of me getting out of bed an hour early, when I don't have to, just to go read the paper in the cafe?

Necessity does bring out good habits in us.

Oh well. Work time.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

a saying

Resistance and pain lets you know you're still alive.

untitled

My father wrote me this email about his trip to Guwahati dropping my youngest brother Pouchun at the airport. Its amazing how much it is a mission to do the simplest thing back home, as simple as dropping someone off to the airport. Don't get me wrong. Shillong is a fabulous place, but there is so much for the North East to catch up.


Anyway, that wasn't the point of my post here. Read on, first:


That day when i went to drop Pouchun to airport, i engaged a taxi, but because of Bharat bandh, the taxi informed there will be no taxi that day (5th July), fortunately we went with Engam Pamei on his oficial vehicle upto Gauhati, after that worse thing was no taxi at all, so i requested Anna' father to drop us to airport, we reached there by 12 noon, already started checkin, after Pouchun entered i requested him to drop me to Khanapara,
From there i catch up one autorickshaw upto Jorabat, from there another auto upto Burnihat, from there another auto upto Nongpoh, then from Nongpoh local taxi to Shillong, it was a real scouting experience.
Nothing is easy-we have to face hurdles, sometimes unbelievable obstacles, but "where there is a will there is a way" with God's help. Praise the Lord.

-Pa


My father is such a legend. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Auckland

Auckland city has a tendency to be pretty and at the same time quite daunting. I almost feel like there is a sense of competition. When you go to Symonds Street you see the beautiful old buildings and the St.Paul's sort of structures and then you go down Queen Street you see clutter of culturally and diverse scenes and they look metropolitan. And then there is Ponsonby, the habitat of the alternative. Massey and Henderson, of the mixed and middle class.

I mean, its nothing new for a major city. But you know what I mean. Auckland is more of the global city than Christchurch is not. And will not become I hope.

Friday, September 24, 2010

About Commonwealth Games, India and Injustice

India has been in the news in recent times. Yes, I am talking about news in New Zealand too. The Commonwealth Games in Delhi is at the moment at risk of being called off because of security and health reasons. New Zealand sports team has made a lot of fuss on this issue. Every evening you hear reports from Delhi on how crap the facilities are over there, and how sports persons from the 'first world' run the risk of catching a disease or being caught in a terrorist attack.

I couldn't sit back and have my country take all the shame and not say anything about it. Not that my saying would help in any practical way; but it would do me good to speak out.

What the fuss is about
Sensibly, the fuss is not an misplaced one. Countries like NZ have a reason to doubt safety for health and security reasons. They are sending their best athletes (considering the meagre population) to compete and the last thing they want to do is for them to fall into any sort of danger.

Why there shouldn't be too much fuss
But it pisses me off because they are starting to sound like snobbish mothers unwilling to let their kids to school because they might get beaten up or bullied. This is the real world. You might grow up in a peaceful and well nourished lifestyle, but like it or not, if you are considered a world class athlete, start to behave like one. There is a reason why there is a 'world' in 'world-class'. It means you have to learn to compete in places where you don't necessarily have a picturesque backdrop; because believe it or not, there are places like these in the world too..

Which brings me to the next point: the meaning of Commonwealth.
From my history in school, I learnt that the Commonwealth was begun so that there could be equality among the member countries, and so that there could be mutual benefit and co-operation between the countries.

Yesterday I read in the NZ Herald and I quote: The games have rarely strayed outside Britain, Canada, NZ and Australia, but it is desirable to increasingly involve Commonwealth nations in Asia and Africa. As much as the last minute scares in Delhi have wounded India's pride, they have also damaged the whole concept of Commonwealth Games. (Editorial, 23 September, 2010)


Do the media in the so called First World take joy in pointing out and prodding the wounds (though they be healing) of the Third World just because it makes them realize how much more progressed they are?

India and the Third World
(Let me begin by saying I am against using the term First World or Second or Third Worlds. I will write about that somewhere else.) I am sure the First World countries have all the good wishes for the developing countries. They want the best for them. Probably. But maybe that's not enough. Let me cite an example:
Last night I watched an Aussie TV show called The X-Factor. It is basically a talent quest where four judges take on a few artists each and prepare them for a clash to compete for the X-Factor title. In the show the artists put up very impressive performances, and it is always interesting to see how different judges always have something different to say. For example, Guy Sebastian, one of the judges, is normally a nice guy, but when it concerned an artist who didn't belong in his camp he would point out mistakes and make it more glaring than he would otherwise. He claimed he had best intentions and only pointed them out so they could learn from it; but really?

It is like that for First and Third World countries. They always have best intentions, but it is more convenient for them to point out mistakes and flaws and make them feel better about themselves than to be completely honest and constructive.

There are million other reasons why India should be in the news apart from this Commonwealth hype. There are million other reasons why Rwanda should be in the news apart from the history of massacre and its recovery aided by the West. There are million other reasons why Iran should be in the news apart from President Ahmadimejad challenging the USA at world summits and its nuclear proliferation issues. There are million other reasons why Kazakhstan should be in the news apart from that arse Sasha Baron Cohen making idiots out of its people. In fact Pakistan, despite one-thirdth of its population affected by the worst ever flood disaster in its history, is hardly in the news.

To me, the words 'First World' and 'Third World' spell INJUSTICE. I am not saying it is unnecessary, and am not ruling out the primary reason why they were first coined (which I am sure were for noble reasons) but they have been too misused by now to a point where it has become intimidating.

Image
Image is very important for a country. For a long time India's image was of a mystical, oriental and spiritual nation where people come and have an 'experience'. People in NZ (just citing an example) think of India rigged by bullock carts, diseases, Arabian-Nightsy buildings and Indian people. (How far have we progressed from pre-colonial days when they thought the same too?) In the same way people in India don't even know where NZ is. If they do, they think it is rigged by rabbits, kiwis, sheep and open countryside.

For a developing nation like India and China, image is very very important. This is because they are trying to sell themselves to more clients like a starting business would.

The last thing they need is a news reporter from one of the 'First Worlds' who succeeded to smuggle in bomb equipments to the game village in Delhi just to prove to the rest of the world just how stupid and bad the security is. That's just sad behaviour. It could be justified by media rights/law and it might be even legal. But it just is not nice. Just sad.

What bullies.
----

PS. I mean, if I want to rub it in I could very much do a show of India's achievements here that pushes the country forward than many others. Haha!
• 60% of all iPhone applications are developed in India
• India has two national Fashion Weeks (last time I checked, two years ago) in Mumbai and Delhi every year
• India produces the cheapest car in the world
• Indian company Tata bought Jaguar and Land Rover and owns them now
• India is one of the few nuclear powers
• India's economy growth rate is +8% and UK's is -4%, USA's is -2%, NZ's is -1.4
• Ruling India (being the Prime Minister) is considered one of the toughest jobs in the world considering the growth that India is going through, the massive population, the diversity of people groups, management of resources, contentions from neighbouring countries, to name just a few.

Take that!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Priceless

Sometimes you need the eye of another to make you appreciate what you have because your own eyes have been too accustomed to see things that you see everyday. Sometimes it takes an outsider to come and point out little joys in one's life that are so easily overlooked.

In recent times (among others) reading Frankenstein (written by Mary Shelly) has opened my eyes to see things that I don't necessarily acknowledge in my day to day life.

It is not a lesson learnt or anything major. Some lines in the book opened my eyes to the fact that nature and life are wonders that no money can ever earn. If you are a monster plagued by deformity and unloved by anyone (like the monster in the book), you start to see humans and their good ways, their bonds of love and family, simple things that every person is endowed with by right, and realise that these things are priceless.

The privilege to have someone look on you with love, to have someone to just talk to, to wake in the morning and see fresh day with plans ahead can never be bought. They come to us free.

Maybe that is why we take them too lightly. Maybe humans have become so screwed, they begin to believe that things bought by money or earned are worth more than things that come free.

Maybe only when we are robbed of things we used to have we understand how priceless they were.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A quote by Sinatra

"Talent must not be wasted. Those who have it must hug it, embrace it, nurture it and share it lest it be taken away from you as fast as it was loaned to you."
Frank Sinatra. The man.

New Moleskine cover

A doodle in a cafe, inspired by all the news about the quakes in Canterbury.
Pilot pen & permanent marker on Moleskine cover

About Frankenstein, Penguin and a new week

I am reading Frankenstein at the moment. Something about old classics, I like. It must be the imagination of the language used.

By the way I have a bit of time to write here today because I am archiving past works in the computer on to the hard drive and they are copying files now so I can't do any work except wait for the copy to finish.

Anyway, as I started, books like Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights spark my imagination more than others do, because the language is so imaginative and alien-ish to what you hear nowadays. The sense of alien-ness adds the imaginative spin to my reading. (hm, I am not sure if that sentence means what I am trying to say.)

Well, another week. I am looking forward to a new week at work, as well as a week of reading Frankenstein. Now that I can afford to buy little things more, I will spend more on books. Too long have I walked across book stores wishing I could buy them and be enthralled by them all.

Oh man, my English. So cheesy. haha

I bought Frankenstein last week on my weekend out at the town. Also along with that, The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai, a beautiful book. Extremely well written, set in Kalimpong. I wrote a review of the book in this book. Yeah, I have read it already but still bought it because I want to own it for myself. And it's a Penguin Classic cover. No pictures or photos or fancy fonts on the cover. Just the Orange binding typical of Penguin books. Love it.

Yeah, same for Frankenstein.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

another thing

I am slightly unwell too. Last night I couldn't sleep that great.

About my work place

OK I have a few minutes to spare to write stuff. Just finished a project, a minor one.

I am part of the Creative Department of Parachute Music. The creative director is Chris De Jong, she is highly cool. There is a senior designer, Danny Carlsen, he is very systematic and very efficient, pretty much the guy who's practically done all the look of Parachute Music in the past few years. Then, there is me.

It is a small team, but we get a room of our own, as opposed to the other departments who get just slots and cubicles in the big room. The only other person with a room is the director, Mark De Jong.

I shall update on the people and the details as time goes by. I have no time to be penning everything now.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Work computer desktop

Viola! Work computer desktop background.

Reminder to drink coffee!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Elly and Andre in Auckland!!

Elly texted me this afternoon: Guess what??

What?

They were coming up to Auckland; Andre and Elly. Elly got invited to do a video shoot with P-Money, a pretty big deal hip hop guy in NZ and Australasia, just in the morning and they were going to be up for the night!

I am off from work now, signing off unfinished businesses in the studio and then heading off to City centre to meet them. I have no idea how I am going to head back home later at night, but that's alright. It can't be too hard. Buses are always flying there now and then.

I just look forward to seeing them so much! Haha.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae. Coolest American woman that I can think of now.

The Edge album - This is home

Listening to the album from the church the Edge titled This Is Home. It is the sort of stuff that makes you think, they are so cool, can they be serious about their relationship with God? Because you almost never associate genuine coolness with church and Christianity, which is a terrible mindset. I admit to have thought that way.

Their songs are however heartfelt and written straight out of Bible verses (many of them are).

Their music sounds a lot of mix between Sigur Ros, Coldplay and a few more bands that I can't be bothered to try and remember now. All I say is they are genuinely good. Its like finding a gem.

I can't wait to go to their church this sunday.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day Two at Parachute Music

Yesterday I landed at Auckland and got picked by Rob from the Human Resource department straight to work. What a full on job. I had to develop logos for two legal/business side of Parachute Music and make letterheads for them on my first day. Also had to do a mockup of the layout for the festival main stage on the computer.

And had about three or four new briefs to work on for the whole week. To do with Noise Conferences. Looks like everyday will be like this. It's either hate it or love it. Nice.

I was up at 6:30 today and waited til 8 in a cafe (I forgot the name of it), reading magazines and the newspaper. But it was good because I slept really early last night. I should get into the habit of sleeping early.

So far so good. Morning tea break starts in a minute from now.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Started packing

It was good I got this morning off from anything because I tugged myself out of bed and started getting into packing mode. Much hasn't been done yet, but I have taken out everything and sorted out what need to go with me and what stays behind, and which go to the rubbish and which to be gifted away.

I don't enjoy packing. Seeing folded up memories, smells and forgotten memorabilia's make me go all mushy. That's why I got out in my pajamas and crossed the avenue, went to the dairy and got milk to make tea, looking like a bum.

I have thought many times as I packed about how I cannot imagine starting a new life afresh. Somehow transitions in my life have always been smooth for me. WHen our family moved to Shillong, we went on a truck and it was one heck of an adventure. When I moved to Christchurch, I didn't know up till 3 hours before my flight took off from Delhi that I would be able to go for sure. So I never gave it much thought.

This time too I have been very busy with SALT conference and trying to brush off the thought of moving away, that the reality of me starting a new life elsewhere never really stole up to me. Well up til this morning. I am not sad. It's just that I don't know what to feel about it. Christchurch has become a home. I have become well acquainted with the streets and the people and its culture..

(Wow, and at this very moment Abby retweeted this thing on twitter: "Don't rush or force the ending... All you have to know is the next scene, or the next few scenes." Chuck Palahniuk )

How fitting haha.
****

Auckland huh.
Auckland. Never thought I'd be moving there. Am I really going there? For work? Wow. Auckland.

Why I find it so surprising is that, when I first heard about Christchurch, I knew this was what I wanted. I saw the brochure of CPIT in Chch and the part about Christchurch said: It is more England than England, with gardens and slow paced life.

THat struck a chord in me, somewhere. I didn't know I would be there or whether I even wanted to be there for real. But I remember being drawn to the idea of Christchurch.

Not so with Auckland. Well, to be fair, how I got the information about Parachute WAS miraculous, eventually how I applied for it (with everything fitting in so well) and how I got the job there, were all miraculous... and that serves the purpose more than anything else, I suppose. But what I mean is that, Auckland as a city to be living in has never really even dawned on me at all, not even up til I went up there and lived with a friend for a weekend.

But despite all feelings, things have worked out soo well, too well in fact, that I know I am to go there for God knows how long and make the most of it, learn as much as I can, and see where I go from there.
****

My tea is getting cold. I have put a bit too much of sugar in it. Bitingly sweet. I have cut down on my sugar drinking (in tea that is). Haha but nothing serious. I detest dieting. I think its stupid, and I will hold that opinion until I am proven wrong.
****

Two nights ago I talked with my cousin Singsing in my room huddling in my bed with the oil heater on. Talked for hours, about home, about the future, about people, about friends, about Ching, Thiu, Pouchun, Ramu, about Shillong, Tamenglong and Christchurch.

I had to get up early at 6:30 but still then we talked into the night til about 2:30.
****

When you're forced to just trust God on something, that's the best place to be in, so I have learnt.
****

Oh crap. I need to get back to packing, I have to go out again soon.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Got to step up

There is a quote that my father wrote on the first page of my Bible that says:
The will of God will not take you where his grace will not keep you.

Couldn't be more fitting for me than anything else.

Also Esther had to step up to take her role when it was demanded of her, though she had to fight against all logic and feel good factors. She said: If I perish I perish, and did what she was meant to do.

There is a task set for me to do. Got to step up and not be a puss.