Thursday, October 28, 2010

New Glasses

I am thinking of buying new glasses by the end of this year.

I thought about Tim Burton's styled glasses. But my Creative Director Chris wears them already and it would be awkward if I turn up to work one day with glasses just like her's, cool though they may look.

Thick frame square ones would be cool. But I have had enough of people mistaking my style for Korean style - which I repeat, offends me to all ends! - so I will not go for that.

There's Woody Allen style glasses. Not too bad. The risk of being mistaken for Korean influence is there for this one too.

So, I don't know.

The mentalest day ever

The mental-est day ever.

I can't wait to get home, sit at the table on the balcony to watch the sun set, enclosed by garden trees in the evening light.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More about Injustice

I talked to a good friend about the disparity between the rich and the poor, that so much injustice can exist on the planet. Where you would happily spend all your money to eat out and you know that in the same planet, even in the same city, there is someone who wishes for a dollar to get a bite just so he can get through the day.

I talked to my friend and told him things like these start to bother me.

He said, your wealth is given to you. Use it well. (Fair enough)

You might be rich. Be happy with that.. And then he says:

The poor will need to be content too.

It unsettled me that people can be made to (asked to!) be content in extreme lack. You don't say such things to a person starving on the road.

Agreed. You practise discernment when you give to people (or even in your wanting to give to people).

Agreed. Money is not everything, and what you mean by 'rich' and 'poor' is purely subjective. A millionaire feels poor compared to a billionaire. Similarly, I will consider a barber somewhere in an Indian village 'poorer' than me purely on the basis of money earned.

To digress a bit, is that even a right thing to do? To measure other people by your yardstick? What is my definition of better? What is good and what is bad?

Is it hygiene? Money? The amount of people you know? The amount of people who smile at you and are cordial to you?

I think when we judge nations and countries and cultures based on what we think are pointers of 'good' and 'bad' then that in itself becomes injustice.

In this light, people are content with what they have. Atleast to start with, they were. Sometimes most people are happy with what they are until someone else from somewhere else comes along and shows their idea of what is 'good' and 'bad' and how they fare in that standard.

Is it?

I don't know.
*

The most universal example of the most widely accepted version of what is 'good' and 'bad' are the Human Rights. I wouldn't say it is the absolute truth (because I believe that absolute truth is nothing else but the very spoken word and deed of God). Human interpretations of God's word is not truth either because it has been filtered by language, perception and understanding. But we will say that the Human Rights is the closest it comes to absolutes.
*

At the end of the day, Human Rights are just rights. Laws. Written down to make sure that there is a reference when people violate them. Almost like an idol so activists can point to it and take violaters on a guilt trip.

It still misses the mark.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Love song

I have just realised.

It is a love song. A rousing poetry.

For people who I loved and hated.

For places that I lived in,

For places I have only passed through, and

For places I wish I could see.

For moments that I wish would stay.

For lives that come and go.

For people I know and

For people I once knew and have forgotten now.

Change my heart

I wouldn't love my neighbour. I couldn't love a stranger on the street.

Change my heart.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tumblr

I love my new theme on Tumblr.

I love Tumblr.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Single Man

Mussoorie

of India

Brendan, from Parachute Music, just returned from India on his trip with World Vision. He seems to have been powerfully impacted by India.

He says: 'Chennai (and India) was a circus' and 'India was a sensory experience' that cannot be communicated via photo and conversation. There is the sight and smell and the engagement of the senses, or the morality of where you stand as a human being when you see beauty and ugliness shoulder to shoulder as it is in India.

He gets that bang on.

We went through photos he had taken: beautiful people, kids, holy men, men in their occupation, rivers, temples, streets, homeless people, empowered women in spice business, social workers, chaotic traffic.

It opened the trap door in me again, that trapdoor of my sometimes contradictory, sometimes sensible, affections for this country that I was born in. The India that Brendan talks about isn't of the Taj Mahal or the curry. I think that he somehow gets the essence of the nation.

And like I said, the essence of India cannot be communicated via a blog entry (try as I might!) or a youtube video post or anything else I can do. Trust me I have tried.

I believe..
A nation and its people cannot be afford to be disillusioned for it to rise from the ashes. A good amount of awareness and positive talking will go a long long way to take India out of the rubble it is in at the moment.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

About happy memories

Sometimes I don't know what to do with my memories. No, not the bad memories.

But good memories. Sometimes, in fact, all of the time, when I think about it, I realise I don't know what to do with good, beautiful and happy memories.

I know about bad memories. You try and forget them and move on with your life and look forward to what's ahead in the future. They are no good for you. They only disappoint you and make you feel bad about yourself.

But good memories. What do you do with them?

Do you relish in them? Do you revel in happy thoughts about things that happened in the past?

Sometimes you write them down. Sometimes you try and relive them. But they never come back. Happier past is gone as much as the bad past (as they say) is past.

What do you do with them?

Sometimes I try and write stories and make them a little bit less temporary as they are. Sometimes I try to close my eyes and remember things.

But then I am afraid of relishing too much of it too. Because maybe like the sweetness of a candy dissolves the harder you suck on it, the sweetness of happy memories also fades the more we think about them.

Bit by wanderlust

Wow. Imnuk was in Mussoorie and I didn't think much of that until I saw her photos on facebook.

Every cell in me is bit by wanderlust right now. Especially the lust to see that specific place, Mussoorie.

I am bit!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Of visitation

It's like magic. When I play music that sound like they have come out of the gramophone, old and cranky and creaky, very old Hindi film music, strange sounds from the non-mainstream, not from the pretentious alternative; when I hear these sounds there is something in me flicks on.

A part of me that imagines scenes and places and people and hair and tinted glasses and shapely hands and lakes and towering mountains and breezing pines and shop lights and scents and sunlight glinting off windows...

How can I ignore or deny myself such strong visitations? This is either a very beautiful gift or a lifelong curse.

...Sirion.

---

Have I been in the place in my dreams? Have I seen the houses and streets roamed to rubble by students and residents of the little town? Have I breathe the same air that Elijah breathes? Watched the dance of Deirdre's hair flicker against the bright refractions of sunlight off Lake Hira? Felt the cold clouds and mists as they make their march across the face of the mountains, green and silent?

Maybe I have.

I couldn't otherwise explain this constant visitation.

Church Scouting

I have been going around to a lot of churches lately. Here is the list of churches I went to:
. City Church Waitakere
. City Impact Church
. St.Paul's Church
. Church Unlimited
. Faith City Church

It has made me think and remember how different people are. How they are catered to spiritually in different ways, how they worship differently. You see, for example, Faith City and St.Paul's are churches on two extreme poles. They are made up of totally different crowd and different vibe. St.Paul's is artsy, relaxed and chilled Reformed Anglican church while Faith City is more like a Pentecostal South Auckland hard core church, cool in its own way. Awesome music in both places. Faith City has this gospel-choir-R&B-dance vibe (effortlessly cool) and St.Paul's has this Leeland-alternative-acoustic atmosphere and it is set in Auckland's one of oldest church buildings.

They have been enriching experiences. I still plan to visit Edge Kingsland next sunday, and then finally will decide which church I will stick to.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

on Rob Bell.

Sometimes I listen to Rob Bell on iTunes when I work. He is good.

He is popular and well known for a good reason.

The most impressive thing about him is that he knows the Bible. Very well.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Followers of this blog.

Thank you, to people who follow my blog. Appreciate it heaps.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Email to my father

I was writing an email to my father just now and it made me think about a few things. About how far I have come. And about how it all began when we started realising how inadequate we all are apart from God.

I remember I used to look forward to receiving stocks from World Vision coming in (we never really did get many of them, because my parents thought there were other people who needed them more). I would watch people get umbrellas and bags and so on, all the way from America, and not that we needed umbrellas and bags but I would wish I could qualify to get just anything from America too. It would be really nice.

Parachute Music partners with World Vision. Now I am on the other end working with the people who are wanting to help nations and peoples and families in India, Rwanda and so on.

Unbelievable.

A thought on a five minute break from designing the Parachute Kids characters

(A thought on a five minute break from designing the Parachute Kids characters.)

So I think I know what I want to be doing. Not in terms of professional job, because I think I am pretty happy where I am at now. I am happy to be a graphic designer, no matter how technical or creative the job gets.

But the more I realise the content of my blogging (in Tumblr, not so much Blogger), the more I am starting to understand what motivates and inspires me more, compared to other things.

Clearly music doesn't move me as much. Art doesn't necessarily stir me. Well, it does, but not to that extent.

So what does? I have an answer, I think.

Oh weekend, come to me.

I wanted to sleep in this morning. But I cheered myself because I can do that tomorrow. Saturday. So good.
I want to do nothing this weekend. Well, except for sunday when I have homies (from Christchurch) coming up and we're hitting Edge (or St.Paul's, depends).
Maybe I'd like a nice road trip into the wild. I mean, as hardcore as that sounds (the wild) New Zealand's wilderness is tame. Very pretty and inviting. Well, South Island was. Can't say I have seen North Island too much to say the same.
--
I am reminded of a shopping I did at Christchurch last weekend. And I knew the girl who was at one of the shops. And I was looking for a new pair of jeans. And I told her my size and all that. We looked around a bit and she also said, you should look at women's jeans too (since I was skinny). I thought she was joking, so I just followed her, unsure whether to laugh or not.
She did take me to the women section.
Are you being serious? I asked her, do people do that? (like, guys buying women's jeans)
She replied with all conviction, yeah! People always do that.
--
I passed no judgment. As an idea it is not impossible. But would I wear a pair that were in actuality jeans made for women?

I went to the guy's section after mumbling some excuse.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A thought

Sometimes I wish I work in Mumbai or Delhi or anywhere in India.

Just so I can take a five minutes break from designing and buy a quick Rs.5 tea from the roadside.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

'Taming a Nazi Sniper With a Trumpet'

"He was no enemy. He was scared and lonely, like me."
says the 90 year-old World War II D-Day veteran.


Watch his interesting story here

How did dinosaurs die?

I always get proven wrong

I have learnt that judging people always leave me in the wrong.

When I know the person and what and why he/she does what he/she does, I only end up regretting the judgment I made in my ignorance.

All humans are good hearted, and there is always a good reason why they do things, no matter how good or evil they are perceived to be by others.


Everyday God proves me wrong when everyday I observe and judge people and the things that they do.

Paul Henry's Remark

It's happened again. A slip of tongue, maybe, on the part of Paul Henry, presenter of a show on national TV in NZ. Maybe a careless remark, thrown in, as presenters tend to do, when they get turned on by the fact that millions are watching and listening to them.

He remarked (to John Keys, the Prime Minister of NZ) if next time NZ is going to appoint a Governor General (yes, NZ still has a GG of the British Monarchy) who looks and sounds more like a New Zealander.

The present GG is Sir Anand, who was born in Fiji and is Fijian Indian origin, but grew up all his life and did his schooling in NZ. In fact, technically he would be more 'New Zealander' than Henry because Henry was born in UK and did his schools there, and only then came after working with BBC to NZ.


"Is he even a New Zealander?" Henry asked. "Are you going to choose a New Zealander who looks and sounds like a New Zealander this time?"


Isn't that amazing. A national TV presenter on national TV saying such a thing. 

Maybe (like TVNZ defend themselves) the show, hosted by the outspoken Henry, has been known to have voiced opinions of people that are not necessarily comfortable spoken out. 

That is actually what TVNZ said to defend themselves. So, what is TVNZ saying? That people of NZ actually think they need a Governor General who looks and sounds like a 'New Zealander' (whatever that would mean) but they are just uncomfortable about speaking it out, and they silently applaud Paul Henry for making it loud and clear on their behalf?

If Paul Henry is not taught a lesson (even sacked), my reputation of NZ will drop. It got front page coverage on the paper today. It was clearly heard by millions of TV viewers. A tech-guy from the TVNZ studio resigned yesterday.

If nothing is done to show that NZ regrets the statement (because it was made on national government run TV channel), its reputation as a liberal and open minded nation will have fallen. If people have heard it said, and still do nothing about it, it will only mean they have agreed.
--
Let me get this straight though. I am not being extremely sensitive. I know lots of people making fun of Indians and Asians, as much as the blond/blondes and Caucasians and Africans are made fun of. Mockery is almost part of human nature.
But you have to be sensible when you are on national television and speaking on behalf of your countrymen. Even if you try and remain human and crack jokes now and then, you need to know your voice is also the voice of the millions who are watching you and who you/your show is labelled after.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Last weekend at Christchurch

So I took the plane down to Christchurch for the weekend. There are some crazy things happening at Christchurch and at Majestic I am proud to say. I was almost envious of things happening there, and to think that I just moved up to Auckland at such a crucial time as this.

Spring was arriving in the city. The gardens that lined the road going into city from airport were green as ever dotted by new daffodils and rosebushes.. So good.

-Did some opshopping with Nathan where we bumped into a very cool shop on Ferry Road where I bought a $4 Lord of the Rings book, and another $4 Famous Five book. I also bought a 1950's tattered brown leather bag. I love it. And it also has a very badly done calligraphed work that says 'USA' in front of it, that I think is ironic because I don't like USA and the way that this very average skilled person (probably who lived in the 50s!) painted it there is hilarious. Almost a self-mockery. Also bought a new pair of skinny jeans, because I had to get something to wear for the Lunar Lane show I was on that night.

- Lunch at Ancestral was good, though I was too full to eat, after the porridge I had with Andre and Nate at Cafe Dose earlier when I had just come in. Was so good to see friends again.

Christchurch city is very quiet, and the traffic has also lessened. Many places in the city are still cordoned off. Like Bedford Row and few places on High Street from the few I noticed.

My room, as I found out, is occupied by Tony, my old classmate. Funny guy, met him on the street on his way back from buying some Burger King for lunch. Haha. Internet has gone dysfunctional, and Sing hardly lives in our old house anymore. He lives in Han's and Rino's after the earthquake, sharing Rino's room. One wonders why he would stay there when he has his own room and a queen sized bed just a block away anyway. Haha, funny guy.

Went to Majestic for Lunar Lane rehearsal, what a scene the hip hop dancers from our church are! And all the performers. Totally world class. Andre and Elly, as they always do, were running things, screaming and shouting and moving the whole crowd of dancers. They are awesome people.

Did my One Republic song that night at Lunar Lane, flanked by a contemporary dancer (she's of Indian origin I think) Matis, and Nathan.

Anyway, Sunday morning worship leading was the best. I was freaking out inwardly, because the celloist, the flute player and the grand pianist weren't going to turn up. But I had great background vocalists and co-leader Sarah, and then Nate, Brooke, Rosie, all great singers already on their own. So yeah.

It was crazy. Things happened that never did.

It was real sad I had to leave that afternoon straight after church.
--

PS. Joel's sending me two tshirts of C1 this week. And Nate is coming up this weekend. I am going to St.Paul's this sunday with Brooke. And Sarah's coming up too.
--

Majestic was like a dose of goodness again.

I Have Been

All the vanities, they fail me,
They fade like a wisp of smoke,
They are sad memories, not here to stay.
Now that I have tasted something better,

I don't want to return to melancholy,
To stare at the open sky from behind
A closed window.

Set me free.

I have been.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A find

I found a new favourite photographer. His photos (and few videos on his Vimeo) make the woman to look part of a melancholic but happy memory.

He uses 35mm, Polaroid and 6X6 (I have no idea what that in actuality is, frankly). Possibly one of the first few photographers to bring in the dreamy feel/effect to good use in the photos. I found out about him from this Frankie Magazine's The Photo Album:
By the way, the photo on the cover of the book is not shot by him. I just found the guy referred to by one of the artist featured here. The guy's works weren't even in the album.

The mystery photographer is his name for now. I don't want to give his actual name away.

Skinny jeans!!!

Every boy is overdoing the skinny jeans!!!! God save us! Stop before you kill it!!

Like you killed Chucks!

Thoughts in the morning

This morning I read the NZ Herald, as I always do over coffee, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that coverage given to news and feature about India has increased in number -  and more importantly in quality too.

Normally, on any given day, the maximum amount of news you would find in a NZ paper would be one at the most (provided there is no major happening there, like the CWG). Well, pretty much the same way NZ will feature at the most one time on any given day in a national paper in India. I think that India and NZ are more or less two countries that exist on opposite poles. There is nothing (that comes to my mind now) common between us.

Well, thanks to the games and the hype, every nation, yes, even NZ, is watching. It is the right time for India to put on a good show.

True, again and again, we insist, it's not about the show we put up. It is not about the fake celebration we perform under the watchful eye of the world. It is upto India, therefore, to put up a more quality image of itself. Not a mock festivity that Indians are terribly good at. Not in media hullabaloo that Indians are also terribly good at. Not by fighting back the allegations with sharp arguments that Indians are (why, God!?) blessed with.

What India lacks, and in my opinion needs most, is quiet confidence.

Yes, people are right in saying that politics is hell in the country. Poverty reeks like a gaping wound. Population is beyond bursting level, it has skyrocketed already. If cleanliness brings salvation, most Indian cities are heading to damnation. There is no hiding these facts. They are absolute.

What I am saying is, you are terribly wrong if you stop there. That is why I say the media is one sided. They don't look past the obvious.

Even citizens of the country themselves don't look past the obvious. India is a nation of people first before it becomes a republic of politics and democracy. India is a crazy montage of landscape and diversity before it becomes a messy clog of 'metro' cities. When God made nations he did not make countries to be ruled by a candidate who would win votes by being outspoken and proactive. He made nations of peoples. Diverse languages and lifestyles and habits, people who would live their lives every single minute, every single second, not knowing they are walking talking miracles.

The miracle is not in the 'booming' economy or the space programmes or the film industry though I pointed them out in great fervour in my past blog entry.
------

Ah, I don't know. I find it shameful that I have to be writing this.

Somebody's just got to stand up for the things that you love, when its reputation is at stake.