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My Wall Crammed with Food Culture Articles, Book Updates, Albums of my Culinary experiments in my mom’s humble kitchen, where Supple-Soft-Heart warming Idlis hang out with Cheesy, Zesty Olivy Pastas, Clouds gazing, Great gigs in the Sky 🙂

Life in First Gear, At times, Static or in Slow-motion

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VincentVanGoghCafe Terrace at Night 

{Painting : Vincent Van Gogh’s The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum}

After finishing Café Terrace at Night, Van Gogh wrote…

I was only interrupted by my work on a new painting representing the exterior of a night café. On the terrace there are small figures of people drinking. An immense yellow lantern illuminates the terrace, the facade, the side walk and even casts light on the paving stones of the road which take a pinkish violet tone. The gables of the houses, like a fading road below a blue sky studded with stars, are dark blue or violet with a green tree. Here you have a night painting without black, with nothing but beautiful blue and violet and green and in this surrounding the illuminated area colours itself sulfur pale yellow and citron green. It amuses me enormously to paint the night right on the spot. Normally, one draws and paints the painting during the daytime after the sketch. But I like to paint the thing immediately. It is true that in the darkness I can take a blue for a green, a blue lilac for a pink lilac, since it is hard to distinguish the quality of the tone. But it is the only way to get away from our conventional night with poor pale whitish light, while even a simple candle already provides us with the richest of yellows and oranges.

 

Restricted / Controlled Unspoken passion with its angst-filled moments, lonely walks, sweet recalls lingering on lips, and a veil of unfathomable hopelessness suspended heavily over the horizon, stretched as far as one could see, is far truer than everyday mundane predictable passion available abundantly {Jyo}

une_femme_est_une_femme81

She said “Blow a kiss at the woman in the mirror, slip into soft cottons, grab a thin woolen coat, walk into the street to face life, smile at the sun, watch the leaves falling down to the ground, and let the breeze through your skirt….everyone is on his own, on her own…”

I am not here to seek glances of admiration from mortals from opposite dimensions or “loneliness-fillers” or men who are potent enough to redefine my existence through their marked presence in my life. I need what most of us need, what most of us deeply feel for – Crisp yet Bright conversations over the first cup of coffee, a few nagging telephonic conversations when I am amidst varied political hued or non political intellectual masturbations at work just to flaunt to the world that I do have someone in my life who appears to be helpless & clueless without me around, a few stolen kisses now & then, a few random rapid moves and then those introspective evening walks… I prefer men with truly sharp, unpredictable humor, that damn humor has to come and hit me real hard from any corner of the room. A man with a lethal presence of mind, assertive and clear-headed, a true-blue foodie who like a stubborn gourmet embarks upon many a kind of Gastronomic journeys….

well, how about  Jean-Claude Brialy in Godard’s “Une femme est une femme”? une_femme_est_une_femme12

nighthawksbyedwardhopper

{Painting : Nighthawks, 1942, by Edward Hopper that portrays people sitting in a downtown diner late at night. It is not only Hopper’s most famous painting on Urban loneliness, but also one of the most recognizable in American art. It is currently in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago} 

‘When I like anyone I don’t even like dancing. It’s sweeter to be alone’ – Josephine to Dudley Knowleton {Josephine, A woman with Past- a short story by F.Scott Fitzgerald}

 

A quick note to someone : The bright colored curtains are drawn. The breakfast is getting ready in the kitchen. The day beyond the tall and thick Jasmine vine with flowers is striving hard to be the hottest day for this week and its efforts towards that, certainly, are blooming. I have no option but to venture out on such a hot day to de-stress and rejuvenate my senses. That reminds me of something that was thrown at me casually, across the dinner table last night, by my friend, ‘‘you know what, we both need to add some excitement to our lives’. His statement left me unsettled and busy in hiding a streak of anger that rushed across my face. I was angry that he failed to observe the sense of comfort and the gush of happiness that I display, uninhibited,  whenever I take a pause at what you said, what you write, how you criticize me. He, like many, does not know that there is a comfort when one feels very strongly about an interaction that does not flaunt a physique, and a tangible format of conversations blended with flirtatious glances/gestures that’s usually indulged in by men and women . People are allowed to seek comfort and order in their thoughts about someone who they have not met/who they may not like to meet, as the idea of being in love with that someone or the idea of that person who they are in love with is far more longingly compelling than having someone in life who one can meet/talk to everyday….that intrigue element in some town, standing near a window thinking what to say or how to criticize or how to pull across a thin layer of silence for a while. The thoughts woven around someone,  I feel, are far more attractive than the source, i.e. the real someone. But the world stuck in some well defined and religiously followed life-relationships-patterns does not have the ability to understand this unqiue skillful move of falling back on the comfort & strength of one’s thoughts about someone… living somewhere with a fixed address!

 

Baka joined her gang

Baka joined her gang

The Dolls were an attitude. If nothing else they were a great attitude

{Johnny Thunders}

 

 

 

 

It feels good to be at home and reach out to the comforting familiarity as spread around by parents, the calm and uncluttered white-washed walls, and those tiny decorative pieces {collected thoughtfully and patiently by Munny}…0504200921341the world, all of a sudden, feels like a great place to live in, devoid of disturbing developments, and frustrating and depressing worldly conflicts of many a kind, i.e. a gunman killed as many as 13 people and took up to 4o people hostage in New York, a tiny country situated in East Asia defies the Big Boy in deep blues, the powerful head of which settled for a stiff shake with the gorgeous lady leaving her flustered {I loved his gesture, though}, a shocking glimpse of a teenage girl being flogged in front of the public……..

 

Anthony Bourdain, a Celebrity Chef, World Traveller, while capturing the true essence of Colombia in one of his programmes on Travel & Living, said,’ It’s the People that makes the place’.  In this particular episode on Colombia, his conversation with the local filmmaker (a young woman, who like many other youngsters, lost her loved ones during the internal conflicts of the country, sometime ago) revealed a few interesting points about what changed in the Colombian society in the recent times and who are the people who have changed the society for good? the society was ravaged by a decade-long violent conflict involving outlawed armed groups, drug cartels, etc. It’s the Younger generation that  moved out of the lethal and painful combination of ‘Ignorance and Guns’ to intensify its  interaction, consciously, with the local culture – music, culinary tradition, music, films etc. So true, the real power lies in us, we simple ordinary and regular folks, going beyond being mere victims burdened with a huge sense of loss or passive devices in a multitude of unpleasant events that are blooming across, and readjust our mental models to survive these tough times.  

 

belomondoannakarina

…Your ego is your proof that you exist. It’s precious. It’s irrepressible, irreplaceable, and integral part of the whole universe. DO NOT LET IT BE AFFECTED BY SMALL PEOPLE OR EVENTS OF LIFE: Zorbizm {A highly Mood-Uplifting message from a dear friend when someone insulted me in front of everyone @work}

walkintomyworld1

Kid, this is for you…       🙂

Without moving you recognize the smell, the gentle warmth of your world, the doors, the walls of your bedroom, a cluster of books lying in a corner of the bed, the stuffed doll arrived with your sister as a gift, which shares your dreams-or-tears-filled nights. It’s a quaint little world in which you brought in sea breeze that blows softly in the evenings, a patch of earth that’s leveled and covered with dark manure, hedges with grim expression and rose plants spreading exuberance.  You deceive the world where you work to sustain a presence and a point of view towards life, at times, with your absence, your calm demeanor, your unspoken and wholly private preferences for certain kind of films and books, for animals, flat shoes, anklets, diamond nose studs, flamboyantly crafted lehengas {long skirts}, table plants, creepers to cover the exterior walls of the house, the interiors painted in vibrant oranges and reds, rectangular shaped soft cushions, low furniture, patchwork rugs and subtle fragrances like Elizabeth Arden’s Beyond Paradise or flirtatious Burberry Evening or Isi miyake, a jar filled with Sunflowers. You deceive the world, there’s nothing wrong in that, as others, like you are preoccupied with their thoughts about their private worlds – how to make better and far more inviting and engaging. Those who know you, or heard of you, or who caught a glimpse of your laughter or a piece of conversation, or who borrowed a whiff of your fragrance while walking past you, love to peep at your  private world,  just the way you are drawn to a few other private worlds, say his world of oriental films, mystery-ridden adventures and adroitly prepared great tasting culture of foods. You do not hesitate to pinch certain threads now and then. You call it enriching your private world. Well, everyone does that, Nothing’s wrong in that act and you cant afford to keep yourself stuck onto the bliss of your private world. Sometimes you need to look around, the mountains, the trees, the objects, the lights are changing, are taking newer formats, the fogs are getting denser, the grass is getting thinner and dirtier. But you know that you have to offer a view of the life that is so different from others. And that’s why you are designed for. There’s something intoxicating about the winding road that climbs and descends to your private world and it is being built or re-crafted in a modest and confidential way so that it stands as a destination which is worthwhile a journey for others. People have to just imagine the life in your world, the woods around it, and sun-drenched mountains on the fringes. The drive to your private world should remain impeccable, enchanting and entertaining enough for people to stay in for a while. The journey to your private world should not be measured in kilometers, but in heart-beats and pieces of conversations.

fallenflower

….“I sat there aimlessly
watching the grass swaying softly
in the courtyard of my mind.
Is this how emptiness measured?
A few grinning moments sprung by,
a few grievous moments trudged on.

Silence came and sat next to me
on that stone buried under
a thick growth of creepers.
I shuddered at its cold touch
on my nape, tell me, if it hugs me
will I become silence to you?

So you are eager a reader. Hold the book closer, breathe in the crisp breeze caged between the pages, caress the veined flower pressed in that chapter V. Can you smell the walk that I took on a sunny morning in the second month of previous summer, breaking silence of the park softly with my feet ? Have you seen me bending on my knees to collect those broken petals and twigs? Can you see me pause at those spaces to hug them and let a tale flow out of my heart? Would you kiss those lines  highlighted ? would you stop a while to read the scribble the woman left at this point ? 

A scribble….let me linger over this bit, taking a few cues from my life. Though I never’d felt this acute need to be in a relationship {more or less a conditioned system- being all alone & all by myself,  roaming & driving around the streets, ….yea, sure, it’s disturbing an observation, I get irksome these days if I have someone in the car sitting next to me and touching my CDs and books…! but it feels good that am emotionally independent}, there’s always been a need to love someone, which does not necessarily mean that I have this need to be loved. I could have loved my mother more fervently, my father more intensely, my sisters more dearly, my doggie in a more suffocated manner, but I know how they would react….to beat that predictability, “seen-felt” reaction, just like many others would have felt, I too felt this need to put myself to the fire test! well, can’t ignore the  primal instinct of being in love with or being loved by the male animal (completely alien to my life, carrying a bag packed with his own dreams, idiosyncrasies, fears, insecurities, tendency to misinterpret etc.). Within a relationship, I always had tried to be a streak of freshness, the way togetherness could be enjoyed, the way he can be surprised…but, so far, not even a single man was able to stand the feverish pace at which I breathe in freshness. Perhaps, it’s just too much. Not required! Somehow, I seemed to have gone against the basic fundamental rule of human’s existence ‘comfort – drawing comfort from known/regularized practices’. Never had ventured into a relationship, without expecting that expected, not so much desire for-visitor around the corner – dissatisfaction or failure. I come from this school of thought that every new relationship is a yet another step to move closer to one’s real self, in my case, myself. Nothing or no one is constant, but myself. Everyone including my parents, adorable sisters and friends are all “fringe benefits”, as continue to waddle through the murky waters of pain post a break-up or through that resuscitating efforts for a failing relationship. The earlier bitter rains were proven to be the hardest a season,{link: but never was the second}  I realized, we fail in our relationships, cause we are destined to {not a fatalistic view, but we are so much like puppets as driven by situations} or the circumstances get too strong or too murkier to fight against. But there’s a positive edge, We learn so much about ourselves and realize the resilience, the elasticity of our system during that pain…all those things we do indulge in – the never ending conversations with selves, consistent pats – gestures to strengthen selves, many a chant & philosophy falling over us consciously…and that’s how our systems gather one more layer of maturity. And when we are ready for the next relationship (need not be actively seeking one! but we are ready for the world again, instead of wallowing in the pain…how long one has to wallow in the pain…come out and show the truer fangs of your existence) …but the next time, we are far more mature, cautious, definitely raring to take risks, but calculated ones. yes, this animal we could be confronting is different from the earlier one. ..but, a new world, at the overall, is open for us to learn more about selves. That’s how I look at my two relationships (long distance ones! and many complexities that come as value-added services) or shall I say, heart-matters. Being a romantic, I fall in and come out of love many a time everyday, but the ones where I harbored/labored self were just two incidents in life so far. Life’s all about exploring things, being curious, taking risks (not foolish ones though), headlong collision with those alien concepts it’d thrown at us. One can’t afford to stay calm and brood over various kinds of possibilities, much before one could venture into it. You can not delight over the springy, velvety feel of dew-drenched grass under your feet, unless you move your limbs out of the comfort of the bench? you can’t find self lost in her pleasant voice that speaks volumes, unless you make a move or reciprocate her move ? It’s the sense of abandonment I am hinting at, one has to enjoy the relationship to a fuller extent, before it could happen…so much like gearing self up for the task! Sure enough, every relationship has two individuals – self and someone, & that much anticipated tussle! By tendency, I never ever had been the person plagued with a rich set of constraints, fears, insecurities and clairvoyance. As a corollary, situations did emerge where the other person shrunk right in front of my eyes as a damaged or insecured soul. And I never turned back despite the gloomy end, but mustered courage to pat self for being that well-acknowledged pleasant edge of a collapsed relationship and for not having taken a glimpse of the face fading into the crowds! Why are we drawn to certain kind of people – he/she could be either the mirror image of yourself or the one you always have aspired to be with. There’s no lower rung – either the same level or the complementary level or the higher aspirational level. At this stage, if fear does enter in the relationship, there’s just a carnival of hesitation over the cliff, which in no time would break down into fragments, unless one of them has the fortitude to sustain it. It’s magical a journey if  both have the ability to confront fear. What if, it does not happen –  one of them is not able to face the pressures and gets crumbled by the situations & other external/parental influences, then it certainly is heading towards a disaster around the corner.  Relationships need to be experienced, as they bring you closer to yourself, not the other person always! Through your actions, your thoughts and the sense of commitment to the other person, most of us come closer to the real self that’s hidden under many layers in us! Milan Kundera talks so high about being compassionate…Making self vulnerable is the hardest thing one could ever do to self, given the awareness of dirty/unpleasant consequences one faces. This depicts the inner strength to take the consequences in one’s stride and to move on. You know, loving someone is almost like extending yourself to the other person, and making space for her/him in your life, a conscious decision to have the person as an active ingredient in your life…such a beautiful step one makes!…love makes your eyes sparkle, you feel more youthful, high release of endorphins-those feel good molecules, feelers of being sexier, the groove you get into…yes, love or being in love is an inexplicable experience…One would never regret of having fallen in love as it makes one feel heady….most times, it is bound to head towards a disaster,pump in high ground disaster management, even if it is hurtling towards a collapse…smile at it, take the defeat in your stride..sure, we feel miserable for a while, the pain lingers as the dark shadow, dark circles/unfulfilled dreams gather under the eyes, one more baggage of darker & painful history is ready out there for one to carry it around, …beat the blues by indulging selves with delicacies and watch our tummies grow faster, or 220px-the_screamscream at the world, ‘hello anyone’s out there, am ready for one more relationship’…..umm! but you know, one thing never fails my attention …this is such a miserable phase of any relationship (Love pre-marriage, Post marriage, Post child marriagehood etc etc.) could get into…”the conversations seemed forced. As if both of us are carefully assessing each word before speaking. our wave has weakened. Words fail us, we are scared about each word, the heaviness looms large in the room, silence becomes unbearable, but feel helpless to fill in the silence, and through admitting this does not make it any stronger; it does give me an excuse to remain alone with you. At least, know that we’ve lost touch with comfortable silence”…Now am sure am rambling my way through, paving a cobbled stony way of perplexity….I remain here!{link: like them, he ran back to hug my fragrant bosom, but why am I cold?}

….as I said I am reading Faust by Ivan Turgenev these days…Pasynkov reads a fine poem “Resignation” by Schiller to the author. The whole setting of two boys sitting alone together in the shade of the lilac tree and savouring the poem made me curious…when I did the search for Schiller…I stumbled upon his charming philosophy towards life – AGAPE and his definition of love – the most beautiful phenomenon in creation endowed with soul, the omnipotent magnet in the world of mind, the source of devotion, and of the most sublime virtue – love is but the reflected appearance of this single primal force, an attraction of the excellent, founded upon a momentary exchange of beings...

view_from_second_floor_window4

{link :I wrote in one of my old blog posts

neighborhood_street

this postcard-winter shot was taken by my sister in US of A}   

I never had witnessed the world around collapsing beneath the soft burden which the winter season places upon it, every year, without a miss. “Frozen face of winter” has always been my most favourite haunts in my reading, and this preference for winter moods trickled into my selection of films too. Bergman’s “Fanny and Alexander’’, according to me, is the film that captured the true essence of winter and the season of goodies, i.e. Christmas. I am quite uncertain, at this moment, about how soon would I be staring at a frosty kiss of winter on my lips which could easily launch me on a trip of dilemma – should I kiss it? would not it vanish if I kiss ? if I don’t kiss it, would not it feel bad? would not it see me as a frozen and frosty human….born as an ever optimist, I would wait for the day or the evening, for the moment when I run out into the courtyard to stare teary-eyed at the sharp kisses of icicles, the rhythmic moves of woollen & fluffy snowflakes falling down all around, piling up against the walls, covering the steps, the front door, burying the roof under their soft weight…..till then, I stay behind a brightly lit window, with many a great creation of such kind (I felt the urge to say Substitutes, damn!) warming my heart …..and I shared this poem…

 

It began to snow at midnight. And certainly
the kitchen is the best place to sit,
even the kitchen of the sleepless.
It’s warm there, you cook yourself something, drink wine 
and look out of the window at your friend eternity.
Why care whether birth and death are merely points
when life is not a straight line.
Why torment yourself eyeing the calendar
and wondering what is at stake.
Why confess you don’t have the money
to buy Saskia shoes?
And why brag 
that you suffer more than others.
If there were no silence here
the snow would have dreamed it up. 

You are alone
Spare the gestures. Nothing for show….…

{SNOW – poem by Vladimir Holan. Translated from the Czech by Ian & Jarmila Milner}.

 

 

 

 

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