Thursday, August 27, 2009

My experiments with Murphy’s Laws

It has almost become a cliché to blame good ol’ Murphy for anything that goes awry. Nevertheless, I staunchly believe in the perversity of this universe. Everything that can go wrong will go wrong and especially when it matters to you the most.

Murphy’s laws are universal truths and my life has been a sort of revelation, an unfolding of events that hence prove these.

And so here is a list of Murphy’s laws (there’s a long list, these are only the Top 5) that almost always apply to me and are largely responsible for the dynamics of my being:

Murphy's First Law of Yuvikynamics
I shall reach office at 8:30 AM with the earnest determination to leave by 5:30 PM to make it to the airport to see off my relatives. The following shall happen:
  • Nobody shall notice my early arrival.
  • My boss who is otherwise such a chilled out guy shall schedule an urgent must-attend meeting from 5:00 PM to 6 PM.
  • I shall take permission to leave mid-way.
  • The meeting shall start only at 5:30 PM.
  • I shall sheepishly excuse myself at 5:45 PM.
  • It shall rain and rain like there was going to be no tomorrow.
  • There shall be traffic jams and it shall take me double and triple the time to reach my destination.
  • I shall miss meeting the relatives and the meeting at work!

Murphy's Second Law of Yuvikynamics
I shall enter a shopping mall at 11:00 AM to pick up only one nice top to go with the white skirt I bought long back. The following shall happen:
  • I shall not find a single decent top till 2:30 PM.
  • At 2:30 PM, I shall hit the food court to feed my starving self.
  • At 3:00 PM, I shall find this awesome pair of denim capri pants I always wanted.
  • The queue for the trial rooms shall be longest I have ever known.
  • At 5:00 PM, I shall have still not found the top, but would have blown up considerable cash on other unplanned shopping.
  • At 6:00 PM, my husband’s face shall turn crimson and scarlet, and an ultimatum of 7:30 PM shall be issued.
  • At 7:15 AM, I shall be in the process of finalizing the top, but again the queue at the trial rooms and the billing counters shall be sooo looooooooooong that I shall be forced to give up.
  • The Friday dinner I would have worn the dress to shall have atleast one girl wearing a beautiful top with a nice skirt – the kind I wanted!

Murphy's Third Law of Yuvikynamics
I shall be wearing my new 4-inch stilettos to a get-together. The following shall happen:
  • Everybody shall complement on how they suit me – blah blah. However, serious concerns shall be raised on my ability to walk in them - steadily and with stability.
  • I shall revel in all the attention, rubbish all the concerns, and boast of my comfort with heels. “Oh c’mon, check out what my mom wears; it runs in my blood!”
  • Everybody shall be in awe of me and the way I strut around elegantly in my stilts.
  • The day shall proceed well, but right at the time of leaving, I shall miss a step and lose my balance.
  • Everybody shall give me the “See, we told you” glances. (Oh, how I wish I could just erase such moments!)

Murphy's Fourth Law of Yuvikynamics
I shall decide to drive to work. The following shall happen:
  • The fire brigade or the garbage truck shall decide to park at the corner I have to make a right turn.
  • All traffic shall be unusually fast.
  • There shall be five cars before me and five cars after, but the traffic signal shall change from green to yellow, right when it’s my turn.
  • The lane that I use the most (slowest one ofcourse!) shall be blocked for repair.
  • The office parking lot shall have no parking spaces available on the first level.
  • All spacious parking spaces shall be taken.
  • I shall be late to work, my husband irritable and thus my driving shall be demoted to grocery store parking lots!

Murphy's Fifth Law of Yuvikynamics
I shall be sincerely working all day on a presentation due the next day. The following shall happen:
  • The one time when I am checking my gmail, my boss shall plan to make a stop at my cube.
  • The approver shall need a hard copy and the nearest printer shall run out of paper.
  • I shall walk to the other end of the floor to pick up the print out only to realize that the notes have not been printed.
  • The approver shall take a sick leave the next day.
  • By the time, I find an alternate approver and get the ball rolling; the agenda of the presentation shall change.

Obviously, I have an endless list - maybe more shall follow in a later post :).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fettered freedoms...

I do not understand the meaning of freedom completely.

I do not know what freedom means to me. Not completely. Am I free? Free of what?

I do not beleive in absolutes and that is not the only impediment in my attempt to comprehend the concept that is "freedom". I tie myself in knots everytime I try to explore the essence of the word.
Language deceives. We have simple terms to denote complex emotions.

However, a long time ago I read Kahlil Gibran. And continue to read him again and again. He talks about freedom - a sense of freedom that I relate to, and that provides a more panoramic view of the perception that is 'freedom'.

"At the city gate and by your fireside I have seen you prostrate yourself and worship your own freedom,

Even as slaves humble themselves before a tyrant and praise
him though he slays them.

Ay, in the grove of the temple and in the shadow of the citadel
I have seen the freest among you wear their freedom as a yoke
and a handcuff.

And my heart bled within me; for you can only be free when even
the desire of seeking freedom becomes a harness to you
, and when
you cease to speak of freedom as a goal and a fulfillment.

You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care
nor your nights without a want and a grief,

But rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above
them naked and unbound.

And how shall you rise beyond your days and nights unless you
break the chains which you at the dawn of your understanding
have fastened around your noon hour?

In truth that which you call freedom is the strongest of these chains,
though its links glitter in the sun and dazzle the eyes.

And what is it but fragments of your own self you would discard
that you may become free?

If it is an unjust law you would abolish, that law was written with
your own hand upon your own forehead.

You cannot erase it by burning your law books nor by washing the
foreheads of your judges, though you pour the sea upon them.

And if it is a despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne
erected within you is destroyed.

For how can a tyrant rule the free and the proud, but for a tyranny
in their own freedom and a shame in their own pride?

And if it is a care you would cast off, that care has been chosen
by you rather than imposed upon you.

And if it is a fear you would dispel, the seat of that fear is in your heart
and not in the hand of the feared.

Verily all things move within your being in constant half embrace,
the desired and the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished, the
pursued and that which you would escape.

These things move within you as lights and shadows in pairs that cling.

And when the shadow fades and is no more, the light that lingers
becomes a shadow to another light.

And thus your freedom when it loses its fetters becomes itself the fetter
of a greater freedom

- Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Recording progress...

Folks, now is confession time!
What I started off with great pomp and show in one of my blog posts a while back (see here), has not progressed as well as I had promised myself. It has been more than a month since I first sketched and today my count remains at a measly four, which is quite an awful total given the fact that I've had ample free time at my disposal.

I have sat through some extremely lame and lousy Rakhi ka Swayamvar (an Indian version of Rock of Love and other ridiculous Bachelor and Bachelorette reality shows) episodes, wiled away my precious time reading John Grisham (not that he is a bad author, but then not the best to spend my wide-awake creative hours on), engaged in day dreaming, and spent extra hours surfing news sites even though all give the same "breaking" news! All this when I could have invested serious hours in upgrading my drawing and sketching skills. I am hoping a public self-admonition works.

Okay, so here's a status update. After my first sketch of a rural landscape (see here), I did another one - somewhat similar. I personally love the way you can play around with the oft-used "hut". As a subject, it offers great depth and is a more visually appealing sight compared to the concrete jungles we city slickers dwell in.
Here it is:

I came across this really beautiful picture of a devastated tree (yes, I get the irony there but it was not intended), devastated by lightning perhaps. The sketch does not come very close to reality, but perhaps provides a different angle (quite literally) to the traditional depictions of a tree.

Sketching the human face is, ofcourse, an artist's envy. I cannot sketch a person, simply by observing him or her, and don't even think I'll ever be able to do that. Nevertheless, I tried copying from a picture. The front view is the most difficult to get, and yes, I screwed it up.

With that, I have pretty much given up on frontal views for the time being.
In the process of creating the following sketch, I figured out that side profiles are easier to depict as symmetry ceases to be an issue. You don't have to worry about the alignment of the eyes, the nostrils (I mean it) etc etc. I could have got this one better had I been a little more patient with the initial drawing (please ignore the nose, it wasn't meant to be like this). This is the one thing about sketching, if the initial drawing is not well proportioned, however well you sketch, the effect is dampened. Oh Lord, I only learn lessons, never get to implement them.

Freud said, "From error to error, one discovers the entire truth", and so I hope it shall be. Amen.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


There’s hope in my heart and
Hesitation in my mind
A firm determination in my will
And a weakening tremor in my movement
My soul is pure
My desire tainted
Mornings burn in flames
And evenings turn crimson cinder
Creativity has ceased to be innovative
Invention is just a discovery
A goal I know not
The road is often traversed
I weave realities
Dreams happen
I cannot recognize
The image that is me
My being continues to be
Powerful in its resonance
Contradictions no longer exist
Nor do choices
There is no either or
No place for if and but
Life’s a series of commas, semi colons, and ampersands
It is this and that
A flavor on top of the other
All colors flow into each other
The canvas can no longer contain
The musings of a wanderer.


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