Piya Milan Chowk

‘Bhai, PMC mein milna theeke na?’ translates into Brother, meet me at the junction where lovers meet.

And where is this PMC? Well its at the center of my college. And its like the cerebrum of all activity. Its a roundabout before the Admin block which is where all the main college-streets lead to (in some way or the other). And that’s where friends were made, watchmen slept, meetings were held, people were eyed, Girls’ Hostel Buses were parked etcetera.

We were about five thousand students belonging to more than a dozen departments. And PMC was where we’d gather. There were other places – the BBC (Basketball court), the LTC (Lawn tennis court which was actually a chewed-out clay court), Coffee-shop (which is just a tiny stall which sold instant-coffee and junk food to meet varying collegiate needs), Back-Gate (which qualifies to be an adda) and the canteen (where the ground-floor was dedicated to those who actually ate and the first-floor mostly had people who had nowhere else to go and didn’t want to run into the faculty). Oh we did have a library but it wasn’t such a common meeting place unless and until you planned to study (or sleep) in the Annex.

I wonder why I’m writing about it today. Is it because half of the people I met there (definitely not as piyas) have drifted to faraway continents or are in the process to do so? Is it because I will never forget the day my Dad and I walked into the College (well, the never-ending infinity road starting from the main-gate directly leads you to …no reward for guessing…the PMC) and I had finally realised that my twelve years of education led me to this place. Ah, that kid then. Or maybe the pictures clicked there on various ethnic days will never be clicked again (or found – I’m sure I’ve lost most of them in miscellaneous drives), the mosquito-filled evenings we’ve spent waiting for the second bus to pick us up or the fountain that worked only once in a blue moon with its colorful lights. I’m sure most people graduated even without seeing it in all its glory due to its rare usage. Or perhaps I yearn to walk under the ever-spreading canopy of the Umbrella Thorn Trees (at least that’s what I called them and fooled my friends for four long years).

I’ll never meet Aryan in his baggy clothes waiting to meet us whenever he dropped by college. I’ll never see the cute-guys (like one out of five) play basket-ball in the court across the road. I’ll never walk by the juniors waiting for the bus with my troupe of cackling monkey-friends who were probably laughing at some seriously retard joke I must have cracked. I’ll never see Komi fly his balsa wood planes with his team there. I’ll never get to sit there with my friends as we’d see daylight turn to dusk as we’d wait for something else. I’ll never ask the auto-wallah to take a left from PMC to reach my departments, I’ll never run by it with arms-full of sheets with my classmates and I’ll probably never stand in a sari with my two best friends, Rhea and Mouli, clicking our last picture together before our final speeches on behalf of our departments. Ah PMC did hold a lot of meaning in its own way. I will never know why it was named so but I think I’ll never forget the happiness it brought on my face when my friends and I would decide to meet up there to hatch some new craziness after college.

Arrividerci SIT and its survivors.

 

 

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For Bigger Things – Women’s Day

There are people who lose and then there are sour losers. I am not proud of the fact that I belonged to the second category. Always running into new opportunities, making mistakes and moping about it, etcetera. Sometimes I would win and celebrate like there was no tomorrow and if I ever happened to lose I would be a pile of misery sobbing in a corner. Such was the hyperactivity my Mother had to tolerate.

She would always sit next to me, look at my tear-stained face and say, ‘Don’t worry about this one. You’re made for better things,’ and smile.

I never understood what she meant then. I’d always think she was too optimistic for reality. But as life moved on and I actually landed up in good places I realized that if I hadn’t lost that day I’d never tried for the position I succeeded in. Sometimes things just happen (or don’t happen) for a reason. Life is always throwing options at y. Always trust that what you choose is the best. And if you falter remember that you’re probably made for better things and search for enough courage to stand up and walk towards a better horizon. Do not mistake this as escapism because whole-hearted effort has been put in the fruition of a task.

On this woman’s day I’d like to congratulate the spirit of the woman – the woman who creates; who’s asked to adjust because “the world is like this only”; who’s feminism is laughed upon or misunderstood; who’s sensuality is looked down upon as cheap; who’s behavior is judged subjectively; who’s biology is help up against her existence; who’s security depends upon the other gender; who’s freedom is localized; who’s love is taken for granted and who can rule the world if she sets her mind on it.

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Feminism is not a placard you hold in a rally against the people. Its a message- a way of life that needs to be adopted to bridge the gaps (that we all know, exist) be it financially or otherwise; to get out of stereotypical treatment; to face perverts/abusers with the confidence that they should fear their prey; to be able to express without worrying about hurting the male ego; fighting against the chains women have gotten themselves bound into and alas, its not a race. Its not a plea. Its a mindful decision that a person takes towards equality in a broad and holistic sense.

Happy Women’s Day because somebody feels its important to make us feel loved and remind us of our importance when actually it should be a living-breathing-everyday-realization in every home, workplace, public area, road, street and room.

And you cannot expect everyone to change overnight- you need to live by this principle yourself. Stop expecting people to assist you when you can do it yourself. Listen to yourself, use your discretion, analyse what you do. RESPECT YOURSELF AND THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU sans judgement. Give it your best – work with passion. And if you’re unhappy wherever you are- believe that there is a way out and there is a better place.

Dear woman, girl and human reading this: Opportunities come and go but one must give it a try (fairly) and the objective is to have tried and worked for your dream – if it works out, splendid and if it doesn’t, always remember you’re made for better things in life.

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Tagore on Art

From his article’My Pictures’

The world of sound is a tiny bubble in the silence of the infinite. The Universe has its only language of gesture; it talks in the voice of pictures and dance. Every object in this world proclaims in the dumb signal of lines and colors, the fact that it is not a mere logical abstraction or a mere thing of use, but it is unique in itself, it carries the miracle of its existence. In a picture the artist creates the language of undoubted reality, and we are satisfied that we see. It may not be the representation of a beautiful woman but that of a commonplace donkey or of something that has no external credential of truth in nature but only in its own inner artistic significance.”

“People often ask me about the meaning of my pictures. I remain silent even as my pictures are. It is for them to express and not to explain. They have nothing ulterior behind their own appearance for the thoughts to explore and words to describe, and that appearance carries its ultimate worth. Then they remain; otherwise they are rejected and forgotten even though they may have some scientific truth or ethical justification. Love is kindred to art, it is inexplicable. Duty can be measured by the degree of its benefit, utility by the profit and power it may bring, but art by nothing but itself. There are other factors of life, which are visitors that come and go. Art is the guest that comes and remains. The dithers may be important, but Art is inevitable.”

ART-ery : Surprises Unfold

“You could be an entrepreneur, a working professional, a mother, a lover, a dreamer or whatever it is you are, we would like to celebrate you and help you find something unique to your personality.”

I’m certainly not the types you’d find sporting a thick gold necklace and heavy bangles. Leave alone the rest of paraphernalia. I like my precious-pieces as elegant as they come. Not too flashy but unique pieces that speak for me. After all they’re an extension of who we are? Wouldn’t you want just the perfect You…that describes you? ART-ery offers pieces that can define who you are on the inside, visually. There’s a piece for every type of occasion – artsy parties, club-nights, weddings or simple office-wear that’s chic and light. Let me some that have got me hooked to them:

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Style Code – AC-3ST08-Rope
Color – Gold
Price on request
Contact – +91 85928 59544

Intricate designs, material-sensitivity and attention to detail. Seamlessly suits anyone who decides to wear them but molds itself to your taste. 

You can choose from Arm Cuffs, Anklets, Bangles, Ear rings, rings and necklaces. For a person who shops gadgets and books online, this was a great experience for me. A simple interface which highlights the products : ART-ery is a go-to for some affordable yet delectable designs. A perfect solution for gifts and surprises (men, I hope you’re taking down notes) . But for the independent young women : show your flare for design and ethnic-chic through these. Mix and match; order and get it delivered. More good news? Orders above Rs. 500 can avail Free Delivery throughout the country. Designer is designer. Let me show you my picks so you can actually see what they’ve got up their sleeves :
Style code – ATER-3ST07-SILVERWING
Color – Silver
Price on request
Contact – +91 85928 59544

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FR-2ST01-Orange and Gold – Beaded Spherical Ring

Capture

Silver Paisley Slip-on Anklet – Traditional and yet contemporary in its singularity. A symbol of the Indian Woman – transitioning yet graceful.

AK-2ST02-SILVERPAISLEY

Capture.JPGAnd guess what’s the best part ? All the above articles are priced under Rs. 500. I just heard some budget-shoppers and college-goers (like myself) go yay. Beat the ordinary, find the unique. 

And this I spotted out of the blue. These beauties, well actually, similar ones were owned by my mother who has an exemplary jewellery collection that is elaborate in all its ways – because of all the travelling and experience she’s gained over time. But now I can get my hands on them (for much lesser) :

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Style code – ER-2ST32-PEARLCLUSTER
Color – White

Well, before I wrap up I need to show you this because I’m transfixed by it. It was actually a giveaway from ART-ery’s Facebook page. So now you know where to go for future surprises :

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We’re all trying to carve out a niche for ourselves in this world’s collective sphere of recognition. Why not choose apt symbols while we’re at it?

ART-ery has a young, vibrant and yet elegant collection. The designers are determined to provide you the best trends of the season. Why not support their craft and gain from it? Doesn’t their name ART-ery say it all? Based in Trivandrum its  a fast growing; trend-setting store. Be the first among your clique to order from here and spread the news. Brownie points up for grabs.

Create that Fashion Statement, start here !

You can catch the ART-ery fever this season via:

Craftsvilla

Instagram – ART-ery

Blog – ART-ery

 

 

 

 

 

Fakir Palya : A Squatter Settlement

In a world where streets

are extensions of homes

and windows are merely 

punched into walls;

Where wealth is a meal

and warmth to share

and health is escaping 

dengue and death, itself;

Where they burn old planks

to boil cheap broken-rice grains

and their entire lifetime

fits in a carton box;

Where marriages are fixed not

by love or tradition

but by the needs of the 

owners of livelihoods;

Where kids play in 

the sand that their

parents build houses with,

in unpalatable haste;

And school is an abstract

idea of keeping kids busy;

Where streets are front yards

and backyards and entertainment.

And tiny boxes are living rooms;

Where dreams are seen, love is made

and so is food and violence between

short spells of sweaty sleep;

Where people bathe upon the drains

because pipes are too expensive

and kids are washed away in drains

when the rains are excessive;

Where money is made on daily wages

and the threat of displacement and

poverty wakes them from their

light slumber: a predicament;

Such is the land where I see

children filling coins in plastic jars

Dreaming of owning cycles

pedaling them to Schools

Where women laugh despite

the scars they hide.

And men buy kids scrap

toys and things to play with

despite their bones

sticking out through their hide.

Each hut here is the same

Single rooms and leaky-roofs.

But everyone has a story.

A beginning and an end.

Architect Sangeet Sharma in his book ‘Architecture, Life and Me’ writes: “Buildings must have a silent narrator. They must hold your hand and take you along the journey while narrating all those violent flushes of the heart that made the architecture of that building come alive. I do not build to exemplify the philosophy of my life and I am not on the path to prove myself; I am here to please myself. I leave a silent narrator on my buildings so that he does the talking, and works as a mute guide. While I, the architect, will slowly be shunted into oblivion… until the user of the space is compelled to inquire about its architect, the endeavour is incomplete.”

Beware. A big fat post is soon to drop by.

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Amidst the euphoria of finishing three books (reading, hehe) in a row; having eaten oats regularly (regularity is my Waterloo) ; having climbed the Srivari Mettu (Tirumala-Tirupati) Climb (2500 steps); Pondicherry-short-trip; becoming a pasta expert; fixed my own scooty (Dad did, actually. I prayed) etc etc my head is brimming with thoughts I can’t seem to put a finger on.

I catch one fish (of thought) and the other distracts me allowing its mate to escape. My friend (also our new tenant Tanya) suggests chakra healing et all. Being a Russian (Serbia) she knows more about Mata Kundalini and meditation than any of us (at home) do.
My Mom would like me to relax but 20 is NOT an age to relax. I’m supposed to have figured it out by now. I should be working towards my supreme goal, tirelessly. But here I am writing a blog post.

In other news, I reset my computer this losing allllll my Chrome bookmarks (I want to cry) ; my favourites -this-that, my software’s (the handy VLC etc) and now I’m stuck with some WiFi adapter issue etc. Nor is my moto-G 2 working too awesome. These gadgets handicap us, I SWEAR.

But the escapist that I am, I found peace in books. Even though I proudly quote Einstein to others, I need to heed his advice myself.

To live a Happy Life,
Tie your life to goals not objects or people.

Seee? Cool , yes?

Only I wish it were that easy. Also got some amazing Dawn French books and THE ENTIRE PHILLIP PULLMAN His Dark Materials trilogy.

That makes me happy. What else?
I’ve still not met anyone in Chennai because I’m a wonderfully, preoccupied, lazy person. I’ve watched a lot of Johnny Depp though.

I ate pancakes for the first time in my life, last week at a friend’s place in Pondicherry.

And, I think I’ll go the beach this weekend. Oops, TGIF.

Hardly a month left for college to reopen. Perfect time to start moving about it.

Hoping SOMEBODY/SOMETHING has a nice, short answer to all my confusions.

And I hope you’re having a jolly-good summer!

Love always,
S

Arrividerci

Raayu and Rains

So I’d been sitting all dull and flat in the room all day while it got cloudy outside. Whenever the two of us are in the room in the afternoons, we NAP. Its a thing. No alarm can wake us up, no appointment, nothing (unless we have class in the second half).

One of our friends Kamran who one day wants to design Aircrafts, was leaving Bengaluru today but we couldn’t catch up with him. I’m still beaming in the glory of having watched OK Kanmani iin Mantri Mall with my college friends (for the first time in three years, I know). I obviously went for Dulquer Salman and Nithya Menen …and Tamizh 🙂

It’s a very new-age kind of film. You can see traces of Alaipayuthey (live-in relationships were taboo-er then so they got eloped but these kids just oved in together and made merry) and some other typical romances but its the acting that made the movie worth the bucks and travel (all the way from Tumkur to Yeshwanthpur then a metro to the mall). Prakash Raj and Leela Samson were flawless. Samson reduced me to tears twice. What lovely characters. Reminds me of Amour (the French version of an Alzheimer Couple). Also, there was BV Doshi and Ahmedabad featured in the movie as Tara is an Architect. I actually cheered more for Doshi and Baoris of Adalaj than for the lead actors. Call me uncouth or whatever.

Whoever were the wardrobe ad set designer did a great job. The story-line was predictable, very-collywood-ish but isn’t that why most people watch it? An escape from reality. Where the person you meet in a station (across tracks) actually fall for you despite her disbelief in commitment. And since when did Architects have so much time to while away (being interns) ?

All said and done, I got what I wanted from the movie. I allowed it to entertain me with its songs and colours. 

So yeaaaahh. Back to today. Raayu and I woke up around six and realised half the evening was over and the room was growing smaller around us. To kick us further, there was a powercut, so we ended up wearing weird track-pants and wind-sheeters and walked out in slippers. We were met with puddles of muddy water, drizzling, glistening streets, cloudy skies with intermittent lightning, thunder and a plethora of people-sights-smells. We walked endlessly to this chips shop under a Peepal tree where you get the best potato chips that reminds me of home. Raayu had some tender coconut water…we went to the temple that stands small under the HUGE Peepal tree right where two random streets bifurcate. Its so majestic that its a landmark in itself. Then we walked back, stopped at a Departmental store…instragammed a video under the streetlight where we sang ‘I feel (so) good…Para-ra-ra-ra-ra!’ in unison and laughed at everyone who looked at us queerly…because we be so cool you can’t take it. We’re staunch Frances Ha (its a movie you need to watch if you haven’t already. Stars Greta Gerwig whom we love) lovers and run holding hands singing the background music on rainy streets!

By the time we came back, it was time for dinner (which absolutely sucked…perks of Hostels) and now we’re sitting on our beds unable to bring our legs on the bed with us because the lower part of the tracks are all muddy and soggy but who cares.

We just ate a piece of chocolate. And now for some lame-itude

God asked, ‘Define heave, Shreya and I will send you there.’

Shreya: Chocolate. #KBye

Love 🙂

PS: Walking in the rain for a long, long time with a best friend whose mind is synced with yours (Except some of my weirdness) and with whom you can laugh on everything is the most refreshing experience. This is something I’ll miss in one year.

The Study Tour 2.0

Just about 6 hours left for the journey to begin and my hair is all oiled and tied into a knot behind my head with a clutch-er. There’s this turmeric thing I’ve put on my face. Still, trying to get rid of the Andaman tan. I’ll leave the rusty-brown look to the foreigners who enjoy sunbathing at seashores. As for me, my stuff is packed. It took me. like. ten minutes to make that list after my friends started sending me theirs through snapchat. I had to buy a few things and go to the parlor, once that was done, the packing was done in a jiffy. Its not an extravaganza…more like an educational trip with a hectic schedule. Covering 6 cities in half a month. So I’m not carrying the leather boots or the marie claire. Just the walking slip-ons and slippers. And a bunch of comfortable and breezy clothes with a  few pair of sturdy jeans. Not going to create a hullabaloo there and travelling light with all the essentials is such a a blessing, trust me. And there’s gonna be so much yummy food, amazing places, people. old friends, shopping and experiences to look foward to that I don’t wanna weigh myself down with that one suitcase that dragged me instead.

I’m sure going to miss my room, here because lately I’ve been in a very happy place with my best friend as my roomie and so much fun she is. Its almost like we don’t live in a hostel with curfew and everything. She’s also promised a travel playlist. 

I’m going to NOT get any more artificial dopamine high. I’d instead see the places and experience them in person. I hope my whims don’t carry me away and my health supports me in my little endeavor. Last time, it was Kerala and I did have quite a nice time with my seniors. Amazing places. Oh, Matancherry is still stuck in my head. 

This time its Chandigarh with all its Corbusier planning, Amritsar with the Golden Temple, Dilli…meri jaan…so many memories from when we lived here back then when I was in Middle School, Jaipur and Udaipur which are almost home and there I plan to meet my best friend from school, Agra with the Taj and another dear friend from college and lastly Ahmadabad with Doshi’s Sangath and Sabarmati Ashram, Baolis and what-not.

I’m going to update you guys throughout the trip so you don’t miss out on any of the one.

Love.

Chocolates and More (Halloween Special)

Halloween

Happy Halloween Folks!

Now you’d expect a post on say funky costumes or Halloween party ideas…well…Miley Cyrus’ Bunny has made headlines so Don’t Do It unless you wanna be a parody…and Halloween parties are easy stuff…just like usual parties except that the chimichangas are filled with human flesh instead of its usual stuff. Kidding. Sorry, Mexicano lovelies.

But seriously…whats’s Halloween without SOME (or bag fulls of) CANDY?

Halloween Candy.

Chocolate…one substance that requires no other quality to fall in love with it but itself. Speaking on behalf of all the chocoholics…or shall I say Candy-Bar-oholics…I’m going to just fill your heads with some yummy chocolate.

Its fun when you’re kids and you get them for free just by knocking at your neighbor’s door. Here in India, Halloween is still a theme or a wallpaper. And a crazy plot theme for RL Stine ,Tim Burton and the rest of them spooky creators just waiting to blow life into Jack O’ Lantern and Frankenstein.

Candy bars are an all-situation solution. They work as gifts, surprises, frenzies, self love, self pit, anger, forgiveness, love, hate (Lindt has Chilli Flavor, yo), luxury, boredom, etc etc They’re almost like support when you can’t decide what you want. They work best when you need some mood upliftment. Now these are facts we are all well aware of. But you know what tickles my nose?

PRICE RISE

Oh yes. Candy bars that were introduced a month ago are now priced double…! And that’s outrageous stuff for people who are yet to start earning and are busy spending time working in College.

Taking one of my latest sweethearts … Cadbury Perk Glucose. It came into the market as a Rs 2 chocolate…then double back for Rs 5…then they merged the two bars and sold it for a long time at the same price. And suddenly they release it again..halved in the same package…’Now 2 in 1’…um hello? Wasn’t it like this before? 

What did they do a month ago? They made it 10 bucks! Earlier each Rs 5 pack weighed 17 grams…now this new one is just 30g…so we pay double yet get 4 g less. that’s cheating Cadbury. And don’t you think we haven’t noticed your recent whooping price rise. Its atrocious especially when we love you so much and are your ardent fans…!

💙💜

Well, enough ranting! I just hope some one gave me a bag full of candies for Halloween…but its almost ending as the Fist Sunrise of November awaits. Winter’s Come, people. Its ti e you threw away excuses…stopped giving cold shoulders and broke the ice with friends and family ..mingled, had fun…this is your Hall Pass to getting back together with those whom you’ve missed. Be spirited…laugh a little, love a little…and drink some Bloody Punches and hog rolls of tootsies!

Enjoy Halloween and have a good time 🙂 Let your imagination come to life and act like you don’t care (responsibly, please)

Make the most of your day.

Happy halloween

Also wishing my youngest cousin Alisha a very Happy First Birthday…you lucky sweetheart…your birthday parties will always be the best of all! Bless you. Love you x

Happy halloween 🎃Ghost hug?

Love Always,

Arrividerci

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