Tag Archives: life

Introduction to Art

This weekend I had an opportunity to meet a painter Nispruha Desai. Her enthusiastic about travelling is infectious. But unlike most travelers, she shares her experiences through her paintings. Each of her paintings reflects her ability to notice exceptional things. Although all her paintings left me speechless, the ones which remained in my heart are the ones depicting monsoon. The painter had spent her childhood and youth in India. There everyone waits for monsoon. As soon as the first showers occur, everything seems to become fresh. People going around with colorful umbrellas is an amazing sight. All these memories are captured in her paintings. The colors are so vibrant that the effect is different in various volumes of lights. Her work is not only present in canvas but also on tables, lamp, etc. Her work covers both traditional and modern art. I was surprised to learn her painting exhibitions are conducted in Monroeville public library, which I visit regularly.

She simply inspired me to follow my passions. There is a huge misinterpretation of retirement. It is generally associated with following a uniform routine. But I learnt it is the time to go back to ones childhood and pursue all the hobbies which had got shelved. This meet turned out to be highly educational for me, as I learnt to look and understand modern art. Let us take some time from the daily grind of life and identify the colors of life. If possible let us express it someway. The results will help us discover ourselves. I hope to see many more works of Nispruha(Nipu) Desai. My best wishes are with her.

Celebrate the Change

Yesterday evening, it started snowing. It was the first snow of this winter in Pennsylvania. My room had become so cold that I lied down underneath the blankets. After a few minutes I called up my aunt and mom to tell them about the snow. Both suggested making Khichadi. Its a dish made of rice and lentils. The very name of Khichadi brought pleasant memories. During my school days, my mom used to make khichadi regularly in winters. As I was not fond of vegetables, she used to add them in the khichadi. I still remember the hot smoke from freshly made khichadi along with fried fish and tomato chutney.

Finally I got out of the blanket and started cooking khichadi. As a tribute to my school days, I also added some veggies. The aroma and the warmth of kitchen removed the laziness of cold. I made up my mind to enjoy this change of weather. I was so energized that I fried prawns and eggs too. Here is the platter after cooking.

Celebration of first snow with hot Khichadi

Celebration of first snow with hot Khichadi

The aroma seemed to warm up the entire room as I sat eating. I went near the window and saw a beautiful sight where the snow covered cars seemed to shine in moonlight.

Had I continued to stay inside blankets, I would have missed such a great sight. On a philosophical note, like season changes, we also face sudden changes in our lives be it work, friends or family. It all depends on us whether to hide inside blankets and resist it or celebrate it with hot khichadi. So how did you welcome the climate change at your place.

Recreating your life

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This year I visited the Botanical Garden in Washington D.C in the last week of 2014. As soon as one entered, he/she was greeted with models of different monuments. Each more beautiful than the other. One would wonder why create models of monuments which can be seen if one just walks out of the Garden. On closer look, you will see each monument was surrounded by trees.

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Thus the existing monuments were given a very different Eco-friendly image. The artist had tried to recreate each monument differently without changing its authenticity. It made us all think, the world would be so different if it were so green.

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This reminded me of resolutions. Every year we make resolutions and end up breaking them. We keep saying its the same story. Can’t we take inspiration from these images. Just as the artist had surrounded each building with trees, can we surround our resolutions with positivism and determination. Although its the same story can’t we give it a different ending this year. Will it not be great if our same old story too will have a different twist. Of course it will be difficult but think of the results. At the end of the year our life too will be different just like these images.

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Have you every thought how it would feel on 31st December, if you complete at least one resolution. With the new year just started, let us make it a point to stick to at least one resolution. Let us recreate our life and give it a new meaning. Each of us has only one life. Let us give it our best.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR….

A call that changed my world

It was 15th september’2014, 11:15 pm sharp. I received a phone call from my mother. She spoke with a strange tone, which I had never heard before. Her first statement was “Make yourself heart strong, I have a news for you”. I felt strange and said “What is the matter mom? Why are you so serious?”. Again she said “Make your heart strong.” This was getting on my nerves “What is it mom?”. Her reply changed my world “Your father is no more”. I was speechless and shocked. I couldn’t believe my ears. Aloud I said “Mom what are you saying? Just two hours ago I called and you said he is fine and watching TV. You must have had a nightmare”.

She replied “Its true. He sat for dinner and asked me to fetch water in a glass. When I returned with a glass of water, he was unconscious. We rushed him to the hospital where he was declared dead. It seems he got a massive cardiac attack.” I was numb. My world was shattered. My father, my hero, my biggest strength was no more. No matter what I did, nothing would bring him back. Everytime I closed my eyes moments spent with him kept flashing before me. Memories which have become precious for me. The next day his funeral was held. All the arrangement was made by our neighbours and community members. Baba was a very cheerful person and always helped people whenever possible. That is the reason his funeral was attended by every person who had ever interacted with him be it the grocery store owner or my mom’s earliest colleagues. Inspite of being in a state away from his home state and not having any relatives around, he recieved an honourable farewell. My life is never going to be same again Baba.

We bengalis always touch our elder’s feet on VijayaDashami and take their blessings. This VijayaDashami, I am unable to touch your feet Baba. But wherever you are please accept my respect. Wherever you are, I just pray you are happy and contented.

I will always always and always miss you Baba. Shubho Vijaya Baba.

Third week of March

In my school days, the Indian academic session began in june and ended in april. March was the month of orals and inspection. This meant a revision of the final exam syllabus. It also meant ensuring all your books have been checked, are covered and in good condition. There were many of us who would change covers towards the end of the year. After this week none of us would lend our books as the final exams would start in April. This was the time to prepare the schedules, list out the weak areas, discuss with teachers and be ready to study for the exams.

The tension was more on the parents than the students which is the case even today. Recently I heard two mothers speaking in my neighbourhood. One was telling the other that their children really need to be fit now as the exams are approaching. Also the neighbourhood becomes quiet as the kids are studying. Even so many years after school, I can feel the exam approaching everytime the third week of march ends.

Live every moment

Today I read the blog http://ellieverse.com/2014/01/12/a-glance-into-the-ellieverse. It had pictures taken in the blogger’s day-to-day life. These ranged from sunrise to sunset to cakes, etc. Seeing this I realized it has been a long time since I saw the sunrise or sunset. On weekdays my mornings are spent in getting ready for work, on weekends I am asleep as the sun rises. Also since sunset happens daily, I seldom bother to catch it. There are many small beautiful moments in our lives which we seldom appreciate. As time passes we grow old and then one day we realize we had wasted so many amazing moments for the one moment we were chasing.

Another blog which got me thinking was http://linkingloops.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/i-should-be-mopping-the-floors/ where it is mentioned that one needs to take rest and do something that he/she enjoys. This just goes with the theme above, just dont keep running, take rest and then start. Remember slow and steady wins the race. Also you need to unwind yourself. There is nothing better than taking up a hobby or even going for a walk in the evening. You will be able to catch the amazing sunset. The third post that caught my attention was http://inasearchofbalance.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/step-outside/ where the blogger went out to click the pics of the season change after a hard day’s work. On seeing the pics you would realize he was rewarded with the most beautiful scenary.

All the above just reminded me to take rest, enjoy the moment and then move ahead. As they say its the journey is more interesting than the destination. By the time, I came to the end of this blog, I remembered the last time I saw sunrise was in Kanyakumari. Below is the pic:

Sunrise near the Vivekananda rock

Sunrise near the Vivekananda rock

Follow your dreams

Niagra falls

Niagra falls

As part of today’s assignment, I was to explore the blogging world. While I was going through the blogs, the most attractive ones were the travel blogs. The first thing that stuck me was they were all based on the thought “Follow your heart”. These were mostly people working in corporate sector and taking up travelling like http://thesoulshines.wordpress.com/about/. In olden days it was said, there is nothing more satisfying than travelling. These were the people who had ventured to distant lands and had gained vast knowledge. The fact seems to hold true even today.

Some new strangers on the way.

Some new strangers on the way.

When you travel you never know what you may discover. The best moments are those when a stranger smiles at you or you can become a part of their festivity without knowing their language something like http://edbourke.net/2013/08/01/monastiraki-street-party/. To some extent travelling with your near and dear ones brings you closer to them http://theadventuresofadr.com/2013/11/15/were-leaving-traveling-the-states-on-the-american-railways/. Life is not a bed of roses.Travelling comes with its own troubles. First you cant be shopping too much as you are travelling. You may face some weather hazards like http://quitealone.com/2013/12/08/snow-jordan/. You may have to walk to rough lands to catch that breathtaking sunrise http://harindabama.com/2013/07/29/the-unforgiving-rinjani/ but then when you see the sunrise all your effort is rewarded. You may even discover some new cuisines to add to your kitchen. As you travel your mind opens up.

Sunrise near the Vivekananda rock

Sunrise near the Vivekananda rock

For all those who are planning to take that much awaited trip, just make your resolution. It is not easy to go for a long trip, therefore start with small weekend trips and then plan for the bigger ones.