nature

Sober Notes 6: The Moon

“What are you thinking about?” he asks me.
I tell him “I am thinking about the moons and the stars.”
“Why them?” he asks.
“I was just wondering how the moon maintains its calm among all these stars?”
He replied in the voice that asserts authority, the voice that says I will give you knowledge “The stars, however bright are not visible in the morning, like the moon is.”

“How does it not feel inadequate?”
“Why would it feel inadequate when it gives birth to waves and to life, and to poetry that you write.”

“How is it not jealous of the sun which shines so bright?”
“The sun is eclipsed by the moon, proving that size is just a number.”

“How does it maintain individuality among so many others?”
“When you talk about individuality, can any other satellite boast of all those patterns on its face, where a man can see the silhouette of her love, who looks at the same moon even though they are several miles apart.”

-S.

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Sober Notes 5: Dreams

I dreamt of five moons in the sky
As if one wasn’t enough
A streak of stars joined them
Like a figure in a puzzle
Where you join the dots
Like diagrams on a sky-map
Where you join the stars
The longer I looked
The brighter they glimmered
The smoke from my cigarette
Mixed with the mist in the air
It rose to the heavens
It brushed past the stars
But before it could kiss the moon
Dawn broke and the mist disappeared
And the dream ended a little too soon

-S.

Trip to Udupi

I am on the train journey back to Mumbai from my trip in Udupi and I am pretty sure I have never had such a scenic view from the train window in any of my previous train journeys. I just crossed a board saying ‘Gopi River’ and the train went over a bridge with the said river running below it. The quaint river with pristine water so pure that you could clearly see the bed below it.

The grass and fields are extraordinarily green, the kind of green that I haven’t seen in a long while and the paths are the completely opposite hue of dark and rusty red. There are backwaters along the Konkan coast appearing after every few minutes with colorful boats either standing on the shore or with fisherman at work who are putting out their nets for the day.

There are several year old huts with slanting tiled roofs that remind you of a village straight out of the pages of Malgudi Days. They have huge verandahs and the doors are always open like any other friendly hamlet. There are a few newly built houses as well painted in bright red, orange and sometimes even yellow. Though they would have looked put of place anywhere else, here they compliment the greenery around.

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Golden Udupi Sunsets, don’t mind the angle… clicked while on a moving scooty. 😛

There are tall coconut trees, framing the sky with its beautiful leaves and towering over the water like a shield from the pretty sky above. The sunset is pink which slowly fades into violet hues. There are small patches of water puddles which reflect the sky. It feels like pieces of the sky have fallen to the earth and all I want to do now is get off the train at some quite little unknown but beautiful station where crescent shaped leaves cover the ground near the fences, to sit amidst the green grass under one of those coconut trees, reading, sipping coconut water, having fried fish and sailing on one of those boats towards the end of the horizon where the sun is sinking!

-S.

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. ❤

Origami and Me Part 2/Bucket List Part 4

Attempt at Simple Snowflake Papercuts

Attempt at Simple Snowflake Papercuts

So for a visual design project (which I will be posting later) I was working on cutting paper snowflakes and other stuff. I realised how tough it was when I could’t even get the folds right for the first two attempt. I will be working on many more intricate patterns which are larger than these (these are only 2 and a half inches wide). I realised how amazing nature is! I mean I can’t even get these stupid patterns right and nature can “naturally” give birth to such beautiful snowflake patterns with none of them being alike.

For our next documentary, our group sat down together to think about everything that came to mind when you think about “CARROM”. We wrote it all down with colorful crayons on a huge chart paper. The technique worked extremely well because it reminded me of several old memories. Making these snowflakes reminded me of a set of encyclopaedia books that I had when I was younger. There were these pictures of snowflakes that had stuck to clear glass panes and I thought it was one of the most beautiful things ever. Never having seen snowfall in real life, this could just also be another thing on my bucket list. Soon, I hope.

The Sea

The sea has a million stories to tell, all you need is to take out the time to hear. The waves of feelings and emotions sweep you away like the water sweeps the shore. All you need is to spare a moment of solitude. The sea will make you its own and you could embrace it as yours, all you need is to open your heart and let it all go.

On a cloudy afternoon

Wrote this on a windy afternoon at the Safderjung Tomb, Delhi. 

In the chaos of the city, I found silence, amidst nature. These small pockets of Earth in its natural form, though not devoid of human influence… the cool breeze after a midnight shower of rain, the dried leaves of trees brushing past your skin on their way to kiss the ground… squirrels prancing about in search of food… insects, one-tenth the size of your finger nail sliding across the pages of your notebook… so frail that when you sweep them away, they leave marks on the blank page… red ants, black ants, multicolored insects… a circle of motherly shade around you from the tree that supports you… you take pictures but they can never be as fresh and as green as the leaves below your feet… the ant that traverses that labyrinth of leaves can never be as lively on film as in that moment before your eyes… neither will the sunlight filtering through the leaves, on to the page you’re writing on, ever feel that warm or yellow again. Cherish nature, live it, love it.

At Safderjung Tomb, Delhi.

At Safderjung Tomb, Delhi.

Photo Essay: Sky

A photo essay on clouds compiled of pictures that I clicked over a few years. I realised there are very few pictures from Mumbai, maybe because there are too many high-rise buildings around to ever give a clear view of the skies.

After Rain, in Lucknow.

After Rain, in Lucknow.

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During Sunset, Jaisalmer, Rajsathan.

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Clear blue sky, Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

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Sunrise, Jaisalmer, Rajsthan.

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Sunset, Jaisalmer, Rajsthan.

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Before Sunrise, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.

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During a storm, Lucknow.

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Cloudy Sky, Delhi.

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After rain, Lucknow.

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Not so clear skies, Delhi.

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Evening Sky, Lucknow.

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Sunset, JNU, Delhi.

Before rain, in Lucknow.

Before rain, in Lucknow.

Because.. It’s the darkest before dawn.

If ever the moon could speak, it would tell the sun how much it missed it during the night.
Sometimes they stayed together during the day but it could never compensate for other times.
But in her heart she was also happy, that the sun couldn’t see her at her darkest.
Maybe if given the chance, he would love her anyway.

Clicked at my Terrace. Beautiful times. <3

Clicked at my Terrace. Beautiful times. ❤

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. 😛