Sunday, August 29, 2010

Emotional Atyachaar

(Glossary: Atyachar is hindi for “harassment”)

I have been following Emotional Atyachar (on UTV Bindass) off and on, for quite some time now…
For the uninitiated this is yet another reality show where real-life couples take the help of the crew members of the serial to do a loyalty test on their partners.

Frankly speaking, almost all couples featured are insecure, desperate to get on TV and ultra dramatic. Nevertheless, the loyal viewership that the program boasts of is quite understandable. One, the whole detective angle leading to the climax is outrageously hilarious and two, you are like – thank god I am not stuck with this crazy guy/girl.

A relationship, in which either of the partners feels the need for a fidelity test, is already doomed irrespective of the outcome of the test.

You trust your partner or you don’t – how will your partner’s reaction to a planted bait salvage your already faithless bond?

On TV or offline, I would never do a loyalty check on my partner – Would you?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Slogan T’s!!!

Now, let me start with a disclaimer - am not much of a fashion whiz and so am hardly ever consciously aware of the latest trends or the outdated fads.
However, I have always had a huge soft corner for smart short T shirts with witty one liners!

While I mostly shy away from wearing something that screams too outrageously wild, here are a few of my all time favorites (I have not necessarily owned all of these) from school and college days:
  • Coffee, Chocolate, Men - Some things are best rich!!!
  • If I don’t find true love, I will settle for a lot of money!
  • I was born this way, what’s your excuse?

When I started working, the T’s in my wardrobe reduced – so forget slogans on T’s! For some strange reason, very recently, I have begun to revive my fetish for these.
Tantra and People Tree are some places in India that I have checked out and find to be quite good!

Here are the few that I now own:

(Before you ask, yes, I wore this one to work already :D)

I hate to say this but there is a much more varied range when it comes to the men’s sizes!

My hubby wears awesome screen printed Ts picked up mostly at rock concerts or Hard Rock Caf├ęs he frequents – Not really slogan T's – but nice!

My bro is also very particular about the kind of Ts he wears – and sometimes I have to really convince him to wear slogan Ts – And come to think of it, half the world proclaims women are finicky about their clothes!!!

Here are a few classics from my bro’s wardrobe:
  • This T shirt turns green in the company of morons (It’s obviously a green T :))
  • Beer is cheaper than fuel. Drink, Don't Drive.
  • You don’t have to be crazy to work here, They'll train you. (He begins his first job soon and I wonder if he will get to wear it to work!)

What are u fav slogans for T’s?
And let me know where you shop for them!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Memories on a Filmstrip

I was recently going through a friend’s photo stream with no particular reason or intent. Blame it on my aimless days.
But this “just like that” skimming soon became something more emotional. I found pics that told stories – I felt an uncanny relation to them - not the kind you get when you see a pic of a place you have visited but the kind of emotion you feel when the pics focus on the imagery you associate with the place – the unmistakable similarity in the pathetic fallacy of the images captured.

Well, these pics are of places I had also visited – mostly without that friend. Yet, the photographs spoke volumes of the sentiment akin to what I had felt at that same place, at a different moment in time – So many of those thoughts that had relegated to my memory archives came pounding forth, on hardly any provocation – Memories of what happened, what did not happen, what could have happened, and how life progressed from that point onwards – how life’s branches entwined and separated and moved forward – despairing cobwebs grew and they sometimes were comforting too – years fast forwarded, time stood still.

It is strange how so many a times I read so much into a moment, a picture, a memory – not even captured by me but a high-end camera and a sensitive photographer – a gamut of feelings, warmth, nostalgia – a range of reactions, a faint smile, a tug at the heart, a feeble attempt at dismissal by the brain….

Does this happen to you also? Or do I just come across as a hysterical maniac?
Leaving you with an emotion, an experience, a moment that I felt when I captured the following photo at Tuolumne Meadows in California in the fall of 2008. Describing it would ruin it.

A moment in your eyes, forever in your mind.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Leftovers from Spring

Who doesn't love the fresh aroma, the soft touch, the warm feeling that flowers bring!

Nothing like flowers to cheer one up, right? Wrong!

For the past few weeks, I have been battling with my pencils to sketch a few of my favorite flowers and the results have been very very disappointing. While landscapes remain my favorite subject, I do not think I have the courage to ever draw flowers again.

I just cannot capture the seemingly simple and elegant beauty of these creations on paper. So here's a sample of my dismal work.

Pansy: I swear to god, I hate all pansies now (pun unintended)...Everything went wrong with my first attempt - the drawing, the strokes, everything.

Carnation: The flower is menacing in its simplicity; it camouflages an artist's worst nightmare...

Tulips: How can anyone go wrong with Tulips...Well, I can...

Dogwood: Am sure, this is everyone's favorite doodle flower. A lot of my notebooks in school, college and even some notepads at work have been subjected to many dogwoods :).

P.S. After viewing the above sketches, please do not "unfollow" me or remove me from your feeds, I plan to move to some other subjects, I promise :).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Award time :)

Masalla Lemonade completes one year of blogging and celebrated the occasion with the Lemonade Carnival!

Mr. "Niraj" Lemon was kind enough to present me with the following award:

Thank you! Feels awesome to be awarded by a fellow blogger! The beautiful lemonade award now proudly adorns my right panel!
Let the ink continue to flow :).

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Deeply unsettling…

I have tried convincing myself, unsuccessfully, that I have no business commenting on people’s beliefs and rituals. But there are certain experiences that are so agitating that you choke!

Chennai is a city that is an unfathomable concoction of disparate ways of living. You have the usual Page 3 glitterati, the revered Kollywood stars, the megalomaniac politicians, the intellectual few, the balanced educated middle class, the poverty stricken slum dwellers, the miserly rich – sounds like any Indian city?
Hang on – You have to live here to understand how stark the differences between people are and how these manifest themselves in every day living, unlike a metropolitan like Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore.

On the same stretch of road, you can see women wearing short dresses, salwar kameezes, saries from 6 yards to 9 yards; men wearing shorts, jeans, dhotis and suits, children with dainty sandals, sneakers and bare feet!
But this kind of economic variance is not as perturbing as the religiously charged atmosphere of the city.

In a strange way the whole city is united in its religious fervor and yet divided by the differences because of religion again. Temples adorn every street and corner available – queues of people throng these every single day – different gods for different sects – different traditions for different sects.
I am no religious person. I know only one entity - one god – a super power that I believe in. My god has no religion. The only good part about religion is the festivals – opportunities for community celebration and I believe in the spirit of all festivals irrespective of the religion they come from. So what irritates me is when religion interrupts normal life – be it the kavars in UP, the chhatt processions in Bihar, the use of loud speakers in jagratas, bhajans – however all these can be ignored as just inconveniences – take a different route, stuff cotton wool in your ears...

What is deeply unsettling is rituals out of my understanding – the death dance – the joyous dancing by men around the dead body celebrating life after death or the end of a torturous life and peace in death – I do not know.
I was just growing accustomed to this very common sight on main roads and streets here, that I had another disturbing experience yesterday. I witnessed, at multiple places, men and women with lemons and arrows pierced on their painted bodies, faces and even eyes – swaying swords, dancing as if in a trance – with hundreds around them in some sort of unexplained frenzy.

My heart had that sinking feeling you get when you sense the world around you collapsing.

At North Usman Road, I was in an auto waiting at the traffic signal – when one such procession stood right next to me. The dressed up man and woman looked towards my side and our eyes met. I did not see any religious faith, strength, joy or even anger. There was an unmistakable desperate fear, their gaze seemed to go beyond, as if in a given-up-search of another horizon.
In a split second, the noisily dancing crowd around broke my line of sight.

Why in the name of god torture do we torture our bodies, kill our souls, inconvenience and hurt others – why can’t we use the name of god to bring peace, serenity and love – the symbols god stands for?


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