WPC: Connected


Earlier we used to write letters on paper. Today, we send instant messages.
Earlier long distance calls were few and far between. Today, it’s cheaper than ever to talk to loved ones.

Earlier media was owned by a few people. While mainstream media is still owned by a few people with vested interests, social sharing and blogging platforms are changing the way we communicate with the outside world.

Today, we no longer just listen, we engage – we connect.

So how do you connect with the outside world?
So how do you connect with the outside world?

To see how bloggers around the world connect with one another and with their environment, be sure to check out the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge – Connected.

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Why Blog?


writing
Power Of Words – Antonio Litterio CC-BY-SA-3.0

Some time back, I stumbled upon a video. And I liked it so much, I watched it again, and now I’m sharing it with you (for those who’re impatient, its at the bottom of the post!)

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of ‘Eat Pray Love’, talks about creativity as an external ‘genie’, and how creativity comes to an artist, instead of creativity coming from within an artist.

This video made me realise how many times an idea or thought came to me. My genie came in the form of little bursts of inspiration. And when she came, she gave me sleepless nights. At times I’ve woken up at unearthly hours* , unable to sleep, till I have written down something. And even afterwards, I have felt uneasy at not having published it. Sometimes I’m just too tired to listen to her, and I tell her to come another time. And of course she doesn’t.

This creati-genie has inspired quite a few posts on this blog. And clearly, right now, my genie is on vacation. Or perhaps I’m the one who isn’t sensing her.

Maybe she’s somewhere around me, reading this post. Maybe she’s screaming something, desperately trying to grab my attention. Or maybe she’s just smirking, enjoying the fact that I miss her.

Off late, as I haven’t been blogging, I’ve felt frustrated. Or perhaps my frustration is making me lose connection with my genie.

I’ve had to work hard on this post. It doesn’t help that I actually drove my genie away. But I shall try to answer the question The Daily Post asked bloggers.

Why do I blog?

There may not be just one single answer. And it is most likely a combination of several answers.

Perhaps it is the want of attention, the emotional high of being heard.

Perhaps it is to share our world with others.

Perhaps it is a journal, a memory bank, should we need to refresh our own memories.

Perhaps it is to vent out the frustration within.

Perhaps it is to discover a few things about our own selves.

Or perhaps it is to allow the genies sitting on the window-sill next to us, to take the spotlight for a while.

And maybe, just maybe, it is to sleep more peacefully at night.

I’d hoped to celebrate my 100th post with my genie. But, I suppose she deserves a little break!

I hope you like this TED Talk as much as I did. Is your genie with you? How has your genie helped/troubled you? Let me know in comments…

* unearthly hours here refers to what I term as unearthly – which is not necessarily beyond midnight, but likely at the hour when you are busy relishing your dinner!

And now I wonder… Why does WordPress Blog??

A forced break!


Dear Reader,

It’s been a while since I updated something here. Its been a while since I’ve even been to WordPress.

My offline world has overtaken this online world – for now. It’s been that way for more than a month, and the last few posts have been rather short. I haven’t been able to catch up on the blogs I love to follow. But I do intend catching up little by little. I hope I will be able to post something soon.

I want to take this opportunity to mention that I completed two years on WordPress this month. I began this wonderful journey in 2011. The first year was lean, but the second one was a fantastic run – when I surprised myself with what I posted.

If you’re new here, then I hope you’ll stick around. And if you’ve been around, I hope you’ll continue to watch this space, and continue supporting, inspiring, and encouraging me.

If you are feeling adventurous, I have a few other pages set up – and one dedicated to archives, where you can find all my posts – good, as well as the not so good.

I hope to see see you soon. Until then, have fun, and happy blogging!

Love,

Kasturika

The Good, Bad, and the Incomplete!


One Confession

This year has been quite a roller coaster.  A year filled with lots of firsts. I attempted the Weekly Photo Challenges, Writing Challenges, and even the Daily Prompts. Truth be told, I got lucky with some of the topics. Perhaps some one at The Daily Post sneaked in to my head, and posted appropriate challenges (including this one)!!

Two Realisations

At the end of the previous year, I had one follower. (I’m not counting my friends and family members – who were forced to visit my blog after my constant nagging). This year, I have discovered, and learnt a lot from other bloggers. Thanks to the aforementioned lucky coincidences, I have more readers, and I kick myself for not participating in challenges often.

I cannot have my cake and it too. While I love to participate in all the challenges, and I do have things to say, real life also needs priority – hence, my posts will always come at irregular intervals.

Three unfinished works

I have two sketches, and an acrylic painting that are waiting for me to complete them. I am not including the sketch from last year, and the oil painting I started many many years ago! I would have shown them to you, but I’m just too lazy to photograph them. Also, the painting is in the art room of my institute, and I’m too cowardly to face my teacher (whom I am sure I have disappointed with this one).

Four projects

This year has been one in which I have little to show – At least not as much as I would have wished. Blogging has, to a certain extent, distracted me from my studies, and at the same time, has encouraged me to create something, with the sole intention of posting it here.

I learnt a lot this year, especially about 3D animation, and spent a major part of the year on two projects – a character, which I built from scratch, and a short film, in which I rigged a character, and oversaw other member’s work. These are quite amateurish, and hence I haven’t posted much about them. The sheer effort involved in creating a 60 second 3D animated clip, was overwhelming. I can only wonder what magic must be required to produced full length feature films in this medium.

My best creation to date, and one I hold close to my heart is ‘Mr Paper’. It was made in the early part of the year, and has made me a bit of a celebrity ūüėÄ

And finally, dear reader, if you found most of this article vague and has left you confused, it is probably because I am currently working on my fourth project – capping one of the busiest years of my life.

Many Memories

I’ll leave you with a small collage of stills – which visually represent what I have been up to this year – the things I’ve made, the places that I have seen… Here’s wishing the entire blogging community a very happy and prosperous New Year.

In Search Of A Voice


At the beginning of the week, I thought I would try my hand at this week’s writing challenge… I’ve been wanting to write about my favourite author for such a long time. But it’s been a rather busy week… Perhaps I’ll write about that some other time. For now, I present to you… Mr Bond, Ruskin Bond.

The Night Train At Deoli

I read short stories by Ruskin Bond as a child. A collection of such stories, was the very first book that I asked my parents to buy for me.

Even when I was well into my adolescence, and adulthood, I continued to read, and re-read his stories. This of course makes me wonder if I’ve really grown up… But that is a different matter.

Ruskin Bond’s stories,¬†at least the ones I have read, have often been about personal experiences. My favourite ones are those where the author writes as the main protagonist, and narrates events in first person. Filled with nostalgia, the stories portray a wide range of emotions. The author weaves such beautiful stories around everyday events.

‘The Night Train At Deoli and other stories’ is my all time favourite – which is one of the books that I exchanged¬†¬†with my friend. I’ve always wondered if I inadvertently write in a similar manner. But even though¬†Ruskin Bond’s stories have left a huge impact on me, I will not dare say that I write in a similar style – no one can.

Most of what I have written, is based on my experiences. ¬†Strictly speaking, I do not write fiction, and I know that I do not write factual accounts of everything. In fact, this blog was never intended for writing! I had a few images that I wanted to post¬†on-line¬†– so that I could share them with people more easily. I’m not an artist or a photographer.¬†I’m not a dedicated writer, and I have no specific topic on which I write.

As I write this post, I am left wondering what my blog is really about. Perhaps one day, I will figure out what exactly I’m trying to do. Then, perhaps the blog will be a lot more organised than it is right now.

Until then, I will continue searching for my voice.

Dear reader, if you have any thoughts regarding what it is that I write about, please help me organise this little space. What do you think this blog is all about?

Teacher’s Day Out


Today is Teachers’ Day in India – in honour of Dr¬†S Radhakrishnan. In the small primary school that my mother volunteers, the children come from poor* families, and are often ill behaved. While most of the other teachers resort to beating the children into being quiet, she doesn’t believe in beating the kids. As a result, managing them, is a nightmare for my mother. Along with the politics of the management and back-biting from other teachers, the kids were at least partially responsible for my mother falling sick this past week.

After a prolonged absence from work, when she went back to school, the children greeted her with flowers and cards. One little present stood out. The most mischievous child had made a box out of paper. Coloured with crayons, decorated with ‘chamki‘ **, complete with a ‘ribbon’ – it was simple and charming.

When I was in school, one of my teacher’s ¬†said, ¬†“Every person I meet, is a teacher to me…”
Here’s wishing all my teachers, a happy Teachers’ Day!

*poor Рthe term poor here refers not merely to the financial status of the students.  Most of the families earn a decent income. They live in bad localities, and their behaviour is often unruly.

** chamki –¬†sequins

A Few Of My Favourite Things!


This photograph, reminds me of that beautiful song from “The Sound Of Music”. With all due respect to the original, here is my version:

Small rounded pebbles and sea – washed sea shells,
Colourful beads, all tied up in strings,
These are a few of my favourite things!

And the original lines:

When the dog bites, when the bee stings*
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

Bead Box
Sea shells and Seeds,
Pebbles and Beads

 

Photograph edited by my good friend

* I have experienced both!

Old Habits Die Hard!


A trip to Chennai is incomplete without a visit to the beach – and collecting sea shells! Here’s the latest addition to the ever growing collection – most are broken, but we still brought them home ūüôā

Related Links:

These photographs were edited by my good friend
An Old Post – Somewhere Beyond The Sea

Beads!


I love my gypsy-like, bead bracelet. I love it so much, I’m dedicating an entire blog page and several photographs to it!

A few days back I was fiddling around with a bead necklace… err… bracelet… Its just a really long piece of thread with lots of tiny beads.

We belong together!

All the beads are unique in their own way… Some are broken, some have cracks, some which have holes in weird places, and some which have strange shapes. In short, its made up of rejected stuff a.k.a junk!

A few of us in college had gone to a local market and we found a hawker selling these, dirt cheap…

Up close and personal

One look at those beads, and it was hard to resist…¬†I immediately wrapped it around my wrist.

I loved it!

And then it broke – what else could you expect from a piece of junk.

In search of the next bead

But then, I loved it so much! So I repaired it, adding a few other beads from another broken bracelet.

Since then, the bracelet has been my constant companion. Wherever I have gone, its been with me. I’ve lost count of the number of times its broken. And the number of times

She strings sea shells...

its been repaired. But every time it’s been repaired, a little bit has been added to it – a few forgotten beads lying in the corner of the cupboard, beads that had fallen out of old dresses, and beads that had even been ripped out of fancy wedding invitations!

Standing out of the crowd

Not all of them were old, some were new, like sea shells, bright seeds collected during one of our holidays…

Panchayat

There is nothing orderly, symmetrical, or perfect about the bracelet, yet, to me, it looks beautiful…

As it was being repaired for the umpteenth time, I decided to photograph the imperfect, pretty little beads. I’d borrowed my brother’scamera. I don’t know much, except that it had a special lens, which had a fixed focal length. I clicked a few times, and the result was¬†horrible! That was enough to scare me.

Odd one out

If the camera wasn’t intimidating enough, I realised I had no clue how to go about taking the pictures. So I just switched to the auto mode and let the camera decide everything else!

Galaxy

All the photographs here were taken by the camera! Hope you enjoy the photographs.

Cheers!

Imperfectly perfect!

Since I rely on material distributed over the internet, it is only appropriate that I do the same… The photographs here may be used for non-commercial purposes. A simple credit would be appreciated ūüôā

Don’t study!!


As little kids, we’re always told by our parents to study… Well, almost always. When I was small, my parents never really had much trouble with me as far as studying was concerned. But once every year, they had to tell me NOT to study!

Navratri is celebrated every year, sometime around October… Although it is celebrated at least twice a year, the one culminating in Dusshera is celebrated with the most enthusiasm.¬†Navratri literally means nine nights. During this festival, various forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped.

Technically speaking,¬†puja¬†(religious ritual) is performed on each day of the festival. But I’ll fast forward to the ninth day.¬†On the ninth day of this festival, we worship Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of learning and knowledge. In any field, there is always scope for learning. And knowledge can be gained in any form. So all those items from which we can gain knowledge and wisdom are collected and a dias is formed. An idol of the Goddess is placed atop this dias and a puja is conducted. In the north, a similar puja is performed on¬†Vasant Panchami.

A special Rangoli¬†(decorative design) is made, incense sticks are lit,¬†special dishes are prepared and offered to the Goddess…

As little kids, we used to look forward to Navratri – a welcome break from school, special dishes, the festive atmosphere around the entire city. But we had a another reason to be excited…

On this very special ninth day of the puja, it was absolutely compulsory for us not to study! Yes that’s right! We were told not to study. Now which kid wouldn’t want that? ūüôā

We wondered why, on the day the Goddess of learning is worshipped, we were told not to learn… Nevertheless, it was a very exciting thought… how nice it would be if we didn’t have to study…

But when the day actually arrived, with nothing to do – we weren’t allowed to read, or engage in any activity related to art or use musical instruments, we weren’t even allowed to work on the computer or watch tv – the day was extremely boring! To not learn, then seemed a terrible thing indeed…

It is said that the Goddess herself offers her blessings to everything that is placed in the dias, so we must not study and wait for the puja to conclude and then study. But more importantly, by not allowing us to do anything, it was a lesson in itself… Life would be incomplete, and worthless without knowledge…

On the tenth day, the puja was concluded. We were told to pick up our books soon after bath and told to read something new… It signified a fresh start… We were once again told to study with interest (pun intended)…


On this year’s Saraswati puja, my mother and I spent the whole day cleaning the house ūüôā