Friday, May 27, 2011

The Production House

Um.. Thats also where I am working. Was a trial post I did for last week's quick job. But I'll just let it stay.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Of Shillong


So, WALLPAPER magazine is doing a tour of India, and featured Wearabout a street fashion photography blogger from Mumbai. It also mentions that Shillong is thefashion capital of India. Shillong has also been labelled as the Rock Music capital of India, though that is disputed because most international bands don’t necessarily go to Shillong to perform (like Kings of Leon, Foo Fighters.. so on).


But if you ask me, Rock music is about the attitude and not being sold out to music ministry. There is a spirit of freedom and liberalism in Shillong that lingers heavily in the pine scented air. I know a few local bands who rock hard (and know of legends like Soulmate and Lou) so that Shillong doesn’t need American and British million-selling bands to come and confirm to them that they really are the Rock music hub. 


Shillong used to be known as the Scotland of the East. I hate that, because the moment you say it, you put Scotland above Shillong. We are just a faint mimicry of the real Scotland somewhere in the west. I am glad that phrase has been overused to the point of redundancy.
What got my attention is the Fashion capital of India. It makes me so excited about seeing it again! How much of it has changed since I last lived there three years ago?!


Here is a post from Wallpaper magazine where this girl who I used to go to college with gets photographed (lucky her! On Wallpaper magazine!).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Who am I running from?

I try hiding behind a tree
But who am I hiding from
But myself?

I try going under water
Holding my breath as long as I can
I can probably hold it forever
But who am I running from?

My friends tell me to hide
They are doing this for me
But I question the unquestionable
Who am I escaping from

Doesn't the great eye see
Anyway?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Places


At work.

From where I sit and wait for the video files to render, I look out the window and see the Cashmere hills draped lightly in late morning mist, half lit by sunlight. Cars sigh by under the blanket of mist on the street hemmed by brown autumn trees. The street sign says Beckenham - Cashmere and Waltham - Lyttelton and then Addington and Timaru. Places.

Places.

Places become more than places to me. Places I have been to and I will never ever go to again haunt me - in good ways. Places I live in and places I see everyday have a way of haunting me, inciting me that one day I will not see them anymore, because there will be other places to see and be.

How places fill me with nostalgia, even before I have left.

In the morning, I read mail about my friends and family from other places, places I used to be, and I’m reminded- how fickle now really is. Our life as we know it now. Two years down the line, life can be totally different. Where I live can be somewhere across the globe. My worries could have doubled or it could be different things that worry me. People I know could have changed.

How do you think and live when you know this?

One day Beckenham will only be a faint memory. Just a footnote. One day Lyttelton could just be a thought, a slight recollection and nothing else.

It was a weaning process when I moved affection from where I used to be to where I am now. Years ago, it used to be Police Bazaar, Lachaumeire, Glory's Plaza, Bamfylde Road, Bishop Cotton Road, Tyrannus Hall, Ward's Lake, Lamphelpat, Bazaar, TML HQ., Shillong Peak....

Now they sound like stories to me. Like they have passed on and evaded that area of distant affection reserved for places where good memories play out. But not real.

Now what sounds real to me is Bealey Avenue, Manchester Street, Cashmere, Hagley Park, Riccarton, Milton Street, Hanmer....

I don't want to imagine having to go through another weaning process of being removed from a place I am in and being forced to relocate my affections to another new place.

Sometimes a part of me wants it, sometimes it fears it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Craving for coffee!

I never thought I'd ever say I am craving for coffee.. Not because I never crave for coffee. I always do. But because I think I am so anti-conformist and too many people say they crave for coffee.

Haha.

Anyway the more I look at people who are popular and famous, I understand that you cannot be too aloof when you want to be famous. You have good standing with other people because you stand with them and around them and near them and are relatable to them.


Just saying..

And being that comes with all sorts of compromise. Because to please/find favour with a hundred other people you will have compromised on a bit of who you are in atleast one area.

Just thoughts..

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Why I'm All At Sea

So recently as a reader/observer of my blog(s) can tell, of late I have been looking at India a lot. My tumblr page has blogged and reblogged a lot of India related stuff.


Why is it that some days you are bit by this unexplainable nippy homesickness? Homesickness is not the best word because I don't feel melancholically nostalgic about India. Homesickness is also not the best word because 'home' has a double meaning to me now. Christchurch is as much my home. So I can't be homesick when I am at home..


I think its more of India-sickness.


Now, why is it that some days I am bit by this thing (that I will call a little dog, for imagination's sake) that runs after me so that if at any point I slow down or take a breather, this thing overtakes me and gets a fair bite of my behind?


Sometimes I have these strong impulsive desire to just decide that's it, I miss it too much. I will go back and revel in the heat and the bazaars! And just go back. You know, those romantic/idealistic ideas about going off somewhere back where no one knows who you are and you can be who you want to be.. Somewhere in Varanasi or Mussoorie or even Shillong..


But..


..I am all at sea now because I know that the moment I leave New Zealand (if ever I come to leave) I will miss it again. No amount of noise and craziness and India-ness will stop me missing here. Of that I am sure.


It's just like what I am feeling now; there was a time when I was pretty desperate to leave India. I still loved India then, don't get me wrong. I read India Today magazine regularly. I read Outlook Traveller. I read Ruskin Bond. My fascination for India was at an all time high then. So my wanting to leave India was not out of hate. It was just wanderlust.


So if I follow my whim and leave New Zealand (which I won't by the way, atleast not yet at this point) and land back in India, and the hype of returning home and seeing places and eating all the food is done, I know I will start to crave for fish and chips, for the Christchurch quietness (that I unfairly label: boredom), for the Southern Alps and even Sumner's beach.


That's why I am all at sea now. A bit distraught.. Haha


All I can do for now is reblog about India. Do a bit of Indian pop kitsch art to make me happy. And besides it isn't every day that I feel like this.


The grass always does look greener on the other side. But New Zealand is great. The best thing is that it is not demanding or imposing. You can be whatever you want to be. So you can even be an Indian pop art artist in NZ and its going to go off. That's the best thing about Christchurch.



Sometimes I come to think: India or New Zealand? Sometimes I just say, Do I have to choose?

Indian kitsch art


At this point I am more influenced by (and jealous of) some of my designer-friends working in Bangalore and Delhi who incorporate Indian pop art into their works. India is such a bustling melting pot of craziness (in good and bad ways). That includes design and art. I remember when I went back for holiday winter of 2009, and I was on a buzz so overwhelming that I came back to Christchurch and became a recluse for a few weeks, slowing my head back down.. Haha


Check out the print made by Ketna Patel. So good!

She is not one of my friends by the way. 



My friends… For some reason are not in the habit of posting their works online. How indie indeed. 

I love this print. 


More Indian kitsch art. I wikipedia-ed kitsch and I realised that it had a more derogatory meaning than what I imagined. Kitsch means cheap art that people mass produced. Something like propaganda material that would get pumped out of a factory and the designs were crafted by what they would call unskilled artisans.


But, one thing is clear that kitsch aren’t boring. They are ridiculous, eye catching, and flambuoyant. Not pretentiously low key like tamed graphic design would be.


Kitsch art would be the signs that are put out at the dairy store all across New Zealand. Kitsch art would be on the buses that run in Shillong - those silly grammatically incorrect lines splashed across the face of the buses. The design on the cheap matchboxes. The design/print on the rice bags that come from Haryana and Punjab. The pamphlets designed on MS Powerpoint. 


Nothing glamourous. But I love it. It has full of character as opposed to a polished slick website whoring itself to Helvetica. 


Sometimes I wish I am bizarre enough to use WordArt on Ppt.


Anyway that’s why I love Indian pop art. They are Indians enough to be so cheesy with character.



--

Monday, May 9, 2011

tea


Have you seen the rains come
In Bombay In Mumbai
Have you been there when
The first army of rain march
Into the grey stretch of
Marina Drive 



Yesterday had been hot
But there had been stillness
In the air
A quiet warning, almost



I haven’t seen you for so long
My good friend
How good are the Indian beer
How good the fresh brewed tea
I’m just happy to see you



To talk like it was just the other day
That I saw you last
At the bus stop
At the hills 



(E.E.)


Source: ohbenning.tumblr.com

Untitled



Do you think I can just pack my bags
And go?
Why not?
Snow’s falling. The streets are alive
The tailors have started their work
The carpet stores have opened 
Behind that department store
In the warmth of the local tea store
Await familiar faces
They ask expectantly
When you will come
If you will come
I have said to them
Yes he will. I know him
He will
I even bought you a record
Here.. look
Dylan - Slow Train Coming
Melody said you were
Looking for it
At the stores
Lining the water’s edge 
--

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Stone Ring


Wind whipping rocks the cup

That rests on the flimsy table

Stop rocking the table
Its ridiculous.

It’s not me!


Your knee. Stop shaking
Your knee. Its not like
You have some disorder.

So it was.
I was rocking the table.
Not the wind.

She turned away
Her gaze to the red house

My room. There. That singular window.
Albert Camus used to live there.
He wrote his ‘The Adulterous Wife’
In that room. In my room.

I’ve never read Camus
I find him depressing

Why? She demanded
Because life is a fragrant bed of roses to you?

She drink her apple draught
Her stone ring
On her unhurried finger remotedly
Chink!ing against the glass

(E.E.)
Source: ohbenning.tumblr.com

Friday, May 6, 2011

CH-CH


Worked all night on CH-CH book. Can’t wait to finish it!!! Here’s a spread from one of the short stories - ROOFTOP. 

I really can't really can't wait to finish it. 
For now work's done. Henceforth I will start doing the section AFTER earthquake. Til now everything in the book has been BEFORE the quake.
Sleep time for now. 
One step at a time, I suppose.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

An update

Nagaland government logo for Information & Communication Department going good. Atlast something got approved! Now the grind starts, to get the logo polished and finished.

The design computer for Majestic got fished out by mighty Barry from Christchurch Red Zone and I got back many of my old stuff that I'd lost forever.

I found some Foo Fighters' old album. They are so good I am surprised I never listened to them in the past. Very good.

Got some Skype meetings lined up tonight, which was why I couldn't make it to Ruby Frost show at Lytellton. I think I am sort of a workaholic. I would go for 12 hours at a stretch if no one stopped me. And some rare days I cannot sit for an hour and get even a single word down.