cute

Summer Nights

There is this thing about summer nights, a nostalgia that doesn’t fade, be it months or years or even decades.

I remember the nights I spent at my Nani’s place, lying in the cot on the night under a starry sky, the rings of the mortein coil rising to the sky while the pomeranian who slept below my cot snored lightly.

I remember the nights at my Dadi’s house, when there wasn’t even a cot to lie on, just a hard plastic mat and sometimes it used to get so cold in May that we used to bring out the blankets from the trunk on the terrace.

It was an altogether different feeling, waking up to sunshine on your face and once in a while, to rains, when you had to wake up and rush inside, taking your bedding and covers along.

I remember the nights at my house in Lucknow. It didn’t happen often but when it did, I was surprisingly glad. No electricity meant darkness, which meant freedom, to go to the terrace, in the middle of the night or outside, to exchange some notes with people you couldn’t meet otherwise.

Summer,

A love hate relationship with you has given me memories which are equally bittersweet. There were power cuts all the time, but anything beyond the mundane life was welcome. It seemed like life got even more monotonous during your time. It was the same day lived, over and over again, specially during the vacations which we craved  for but within 10 days, got bored of.

Now, there is watermelon in the evening, followed by finally switching off the A.C., when Maa came rushing in to tell us to get some fresh air. We reluctantly go to the rooftop and listen to some music until it is dark and the mosquitoes attack. And then we go back to our artificially created atmosphere.

I do miss you, it is true. I miss the feel of heat on my skin when I came back from school, craving a chilled glass of sherbet. I miss sitting on the staircase playing cards with my cousins because we couldn’t watch TV. Most of all, I miss the darkness of the night, where everyone gathered around together, because they had no screens to look at, no instruments to distract them, and we could just be there, in the moment, waiting for the light to come back and at the same time wishing that it does not.

I miss you, Summer.

That’s What’s Up

Years ago, I came across this song called ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes and it is one of the best songs on the theme of a home, about belonging, about love. For a long time I heard many other songs by them but it wasn’t until I found this song called “That’s What’s Up” when I fell in love again.

And here’s the video of “Home” as well in case you’re interested. It’s a beautiful song. Also followed by the lyrics for That’s What’s Up which you most probably won’t pay attention to because of the adorable video. *_*

I’ll be the church, you be the steeple
You be the king, I’ll be the people
Well I was feeling such a mess I thought you’d leave me behind
Well I was being such a wreck I thought you’d treat me unkind
But you helped me change my mind

I’ll be the sun, you be the shining
You be the clock, I’ll be the timing
Well I was feeling such a mess I thought you’d leave me behind
Well I was feeling so upset I thought the sun never shined

Then I found.. forever
Hey hey love
We’ve been best friends forever darling
That’s what’s up

Forever
No matter what
You’ve got my love to lean on darling
That’s what’s up
You’ve got my love to lean on darling
No matter what

You be the book, I’ll be the binding
You be the words, I’ll be the rhyming
While I was feeling such a wreck I thought I was losing my mind
While I was feeling such a mess I thought the sun never shined

You be the bird, I’ll be the feather
We’ll be the best of friends forever
While I was feeling such a mess I thought you’d leave me behind
While I was feeling such a wreck I thought you’d treat me unkind

Then I’ll find.. forever and always
You’ve got my love to lean on darling
All the days
Forever, come what may
You’ve got my love to lean on darling
All the days
You’ve got my love to lean on darling
All the days of our days, yeah

Love is our shelter
Love is our cause
Love goes on forever
Yeah love will lead us all

Love, it is our honour
Love, it is our all
Love goes on forever
Yeah love it is our home

Oh, yeah, that’s what’s up..

Wishing upon a Star

I found a picture,
Between the tattered pages,
Of an old notebook.
It was a picture of you,
With your teeth shining,
Like the pearls sewn in your dress.
The colour of the sky,
And freshly plucked flowers,
Adorned the laces on your sleeve.
A prettier picture I had not seen.
I look back at those days,
When I asked mother;
“Why did you have to have
another daughter?”
How could I have been so ignorant,
I had always wished for someone magical,
To come into my life,
To fill in the vacant afternoons,
To be a partner-in-crime,
To be all mine.
What would have I ever done without you?
You are the greatest gift ever.
I never wished for anything again.

The Leaf(?) Book

Inspired from Ai Weiwei’s Black cover book, our visual design teacher told us to make a book of our own. Something that would provoke thought, something that you can’t express to the world otherwise. Call it shortage of time or whatever, but I decided to use poetry/writing from my blog to make the book, also considering the fact that this blog is a pretty private affair, not many people whom I am close with know about it. So just the poetry wasn’t enough. I decided to couple it with art, i.e. paper cuts that I could manage. Here is the first page, also why I call it the Leaf Book.

Cover page

Cover page

I found this leaf outside college and safely placed it between the pages of a book. It was really beautiful how each and every vein of it was visible, I wonder how that happens.

Page 1 and 2: Rain and Winter/ Water and Air

Page 1 and 2: Rain and Winter/ Water and Air

So I decided to write about the four elements and four seasons because I find them really inspiring. I wrote the passage while I was sitting at Marine Drive alone one night, the passage on Height, I wrote while I was sitting on the water tank on my terrace and listening to music, again on another night.

Page 3 and 4: Sun and Moon/ Day and Night

Page 3 and 4: Sun and Moon/ Day and Night

This passage was also written on a night while contemplating love and hate…

Page 5 and 6: Fire and Earth/ Summer and Spring

Page 5 and 6: Fire and Earth/ Summer and Spring

The passage on the left page was written after a fight with a loved one, and the one on the right was written in considerably opposite circumstances.

So that’s the explanation for MY LEAF BOOK! The papercutting took a lot of time, especially the spring page. You can clearly see what each season and element means to me. Nature has always been a strong inspiration in my life. Ever after I started travelling by myself, the mountains have held some kind of magic for me that compels me to write, and also the serenity and silence of nature. These are just some of the products of that inspiration. ❤

Children and Art

I will tell you frankly, I don’t like children. I was an ‘angelic child’, if I may say so, and that is why when I see naughty children, I lose my temper. So today was a funny day, we are working on an article for a web magazine that revolves around children who live on the street and their dreams of a home. So we went out to record a video as a part of which we gave children blank sheets on which they could draw their “dream-homes”.

Some really interesting things that I noticed was that each one of them was using a scale and a pencil. I on the other hand would have gone straight into drawing the thing. It all depends on how you were taught to do a particular thing. In school you were always taught to colour in between the lines, but sometimes I think it is okay if you go beyond the lines. Anyway, so they began drawing and there were some beautiful drawings that they came up with (which I will be uploading later). One of them drew a haunted house. Well, there is always that one person who wants to go on a path far removed from the normal. Then there was just one who drew his house in the mountains in the midst of nature. It was disheartening to see that. But I guess there is no one to blame, in a concrete jungle like Mumbai it is hardly possible for children like them to imagine themselves surrounded by nature. There was a girl who drew a castle for herself. Her grandmother couldn’t stop gushing over her artistic capabilities and forced her granddaughters to draw something and to show it to the camera even when they were reluctant.

Then there were the children who were very young and couldn’t draw and just could not stay away from the camera and the tripod no matter how much you tried. It was so hard to shoot the children who were drawing because the ten other around them created such a ruckus. We somehow got done with it. When the rain started and we had to run away to save the camera, it was then that the parents stopped bringing their children to us. Nevertheless, it was a pleasant experience and I even made a friend by putting in almost all the rings in one of those handheld water-ring-toss games. 😛

Where does inspiration come from?

I came across some amazing videos on Wong Fu Productions and I must say, a lot of thought must have gone into making such short yet amazing videos. This video, in general, is one of my favourites because of the way in which it puts across its idea.

There is a writer sitting on steps, writing a story and he comes across a girl picking something fallen on the steps. He asks her what she’s doing. She gets startled and is surprised at being noticed. Then she tells him her story. She talks about the ‘stream of consciousness’ and how the mind flits from one thought to another several times in the span of a few seconds. Her job was to collect all those wandering thoughts and memories that people leave behind in their hurry, and puts them in a glass jar. On being asked what she does with them, she tells him that they would be lost forever if she doesn’t hold on to them and when the time is right she will return them. It’s her when you are reminded of an old thought or feeling but people want to let go of some thoughts and its her who preserves them. Then she demonstrates how a lost thought combined with a lost memory gives birth to… a new idea… inspiration. 🙂

I don’t think I could have framed this in a better way.

Please go watch this short movie and others by Wong Fu Productions. You will love it.

Finding Vivian Maiers

Another documentary on art that I watched today.

This intriguing documentary shuttles from New York to France to Chicago as it traces the life story of the late Vivian Maier, a career nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs has earned her a posthumous reputation as one of America’s most accomplished and insightful street photographers. (Credits: http://www.vivianmaier.com/)

You must visit http://www.vivianmaier.com/ to see her amazing work and be enchanted by it. It has everything that a good photograph wants. Good framing, a little humour, tragedy, uniqueness, sense of lighting, in short, just everything. The mystery of Vivian Maier’s died with her but thanks to John Maloof, her art was preserved. It took him so much effort and hard work to get her work recognised and the extent to which he went to find out her history was truly appreciable.

Here is one of my favourite photographs from her collection.

Credits: Vivian Maiers

Credits: Vivian Maiers

There is a story that every photograph tells. I cannot repeat enough. You must must check it out!