On the brink of insanity

The last month has been super hectic, what with all the tests and preparation going on back to back. How do designers get ideas? Just HOW. This question continues to baffle me even now. Every time when I see a design that makes me go ‘wow’, the first thing that strikes me is the thought process behind it. Under what circumstances did the idea hit them? I’m amazed by the whole thinking involved. It’s just… mind-blowing! Ever since I decided to pursue design, I’m seeing it everywhere – in the tiles that tessellate, the logos that drive brands, super cool mechanisms that make interaction a lot more convenient, advertisements that communicate volumes in simple visuals, products that make the world a better place – the list is endless, really. Having always been enthralled by the wonderful world of Science and Art, looking up stuff like zero UI, flat design and skeuomorphism, IoT and home automation gets my pulse racing. It’s funny how the simplest ideas make the most beautifully crafted products. Which reminds me of the famous quote by Paul Rand, ‘Design is simple, that is why it is so complicated.’

Every feedback on my work so far has been very valuable, as I get new perspectives that I can work on for improvement. Having said that, I must confess it takes the wind out of my sails when I discover that hours of what I thought was productive effort amounting to nothing. Which is totally fine. What bothers me is getting back up on my feet with a new approach. I knew in my heart of hearts that design isn’t as fancy as it seems, it’s a lot of iterations, continuous adaptation to new requirements, accommodating changes, coming up with new ideas and the like. I hadn’t prepared for being engulfed in this darkness called lack of ideas. How do I wake up with a new thought process every day? There have been times when I’ve just stared at the monitor blankly for hours on end with no productive output. There have been moments when I’ve wanted to simply tear my hair out of sheer frustration, when nothing works and brain also bails out and I’m stuck in this long winding tunnel with no end in sight. But somehow, inexplicably, I pull my socks up and get going. Because it’s okay if I try and fail, but not okay if I fail to even try. Philosophical much? Yeah, I’ve become a sucker for motivational quotes of late. Whenever an idea of mine fails to materialize, I tell myself that it’s not really failure, it’s just one way of discovering how things  don’t work. *Thomas Edison vibes*
It’s frustrating at first, but when you really begin to enjoy what you do it’s such fun! Took me quite some time to realize that it’s not the end result I should be worried about, but the problem I’m trying to tackle. Finding joy in what I do gives me some kind of a solace I cannot explain in words.

Anyway, design stuff aside. Shirley, Rosh and I met at Kavya’s place a couple of days ago. We discussed everything from politics to marriage to higher studies and what not! I’m not the only one who thinks we’re growing up too fast. Whew! If only someone had designed a functional time machine… 

Twenty seventeeeen!

Today Nav and I were watching a cute animated movie called Inside Out. It’s the story of a little girls’s emotions personified, and how they behave inside her head. I often wonder what it would be like, if our silly interior monologues started to appear as thought bubbles over our heads. Ah, we would all be SO screwed, wouldn’t we?

Kavya, Guna, Gaja, Rosh, Mahesh and I watched Kirik Party recently. It was totally not worth the hype. Who are those dumbheads who rated it 4 stars? Must smack them in the face with slime balloons. After the interval we were left exchanging glances at the lack of plot line. It seemed more like a medley of many Malayalam movies put together. On the upside, I got to catch up with all them mad peeps after quite a while. Yippee! Oh and did you know that Kavya now wears braces?? She looks like a perfectly geeky high school kiddo. Eeeee!

Gaja, Guna, Shirley and a bunch of her friends have gone on a trip this month. Can’t wait to hear about it! Yet another all-girls trip pulled off by these people. Wish I could have joined them too. Well, there’s always a next time. Rosh and Kav missed this one so I’m not alone. Speaking of all-girls trips, Gaja was invited to the Big 92.7 FM studio to talk about how we managed to execute the whole Kunti Betta night trek all by ourselves. Must say it was fun to hear her talk about it. Yay girl power!

I’ve officially started to sketch daily, in an effort to turn it into a habit. It’s definitely not a cakewalk, yet I’m enjoying every bit of this creative freedom. Exploring  various new media, trying out different stuff each day, learning cool things is what has kept me going. In other news, I had suggested that Raghav start his own blog to share videos and tutorials on how to sketch (his sketches are amazing) and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that he has actually started one! It is indeed lovely to see people getting inspired to take up blogging. More power to the journal writers of the virtual world!

Adios 2016

What an eventful year it has been! Honestly don’t know how days turned into weekends; twelve months went by in a flash.

When I first started blogging, my only motive was to pen down daily events and maintain an online journal of memories. Now it’s a part of my identity – ‘Hey, I have a blog, check it out and please give me feedback!’ and I’m loving it. Writing has always given me some sort of solace in times of turmoil (and otherwise). After all, as Anne Frank rightly said, paper has more patience than people.
P.S. I also enjoy typing super god damned fast.
P.P.S. Trying my best to type without looking at the keyboard to seem all awesome.

December 14th will remain etched in my memory as the best farewell in the history of mankind. The love and affection I’ve received from my colleagues is something I’ll cherish for a lifetime. They got me all misty-eyed (um, snotty-nosed as well) and soon my lacrymal glands went all out and emptied the tear reservoir in no time. Who would’ve thought that leaving could be this difficult and emotional? My last working day was filled with people giving me my favorite foodstuff as parting gifts. A delicious-looking drool-worthy cake that was least expected, a book, chocolates and a watch that I hadn’t ever seen coming and most importantly, a hand-made collage bearing messages from all of my colleagues, my manager and the MD. Whew. I was overwhelmed beyond belief. I will remain forever grateful for having met such a wonderful bunch of people.

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Now the challenge ahead of me is so gigantic I’m not even sure I’ll make it through. All I know is that I have to brave the storm and keep going regardless of the pitfalls I may encounter along the way.

Grave news aside, here’s something about this month that made me smile – met Nayantara who’s come to India on vacation. Chaitra, Surabhi, Kavya, Gaja and I met in college to meet her and also to bid adieu to Aishwarya who will be leaving for the US soon. The number of people flying off to the US keeps increasing by the minute. We are growing up fast, there’s no denying it. Scary as hell.

There’s SO much I’ve learnt this year. So much to be thankful for.  New friendships forged, old ones rekindled, being a patient listener, toughening up, making some hard decisions, correcting goof-ups, enduring what I thought was near-impossible only to figure out there are bigger complexities ahead… the list goes on.

Heck, it’s the dawn of a new year already! Fifteen more minutes until the ‘6’ in 2016 is knocked off and replaced by a funky ‘7’. What is this gibberish I am uttering? *eyeroll*
Happy new year in advance, y’all! Here’s to plenty of hope and lots of happiness!

Back!

Three weeks ago…
A man in his late fifties was sitting next to me in the bus. After paying for the bus ticket, I found him fumbling for something in his pockets. It turned out he had lost his phone. So I offered mine to call his wife and son. He was on his way to the hospital. He was embarrassed to ask me for my phone so many times but I was only too happy to relent (hospital, patient, sympathy… you know). After making many calls he figured he had indeed lost his phone for good. I told him he could block his phone to prevent unauthorized access. Just when I was about to plug in my earphones, he initiated a conversation that had me going ‘Woaaaaaah’. He was head of operationalizing hospitals at Narayana Nethralaya (how silly of me to think he was a patient there). As the talk progressed, he told me about his family being a bunch of engineers and doctors and that he was passionate about healthcare management. His relatives treated him as a joke and mocked him for his choices but he went on to complete his post graduation and is now heading the management of a chain of around 20 hospitals in Bangalore (by then my jaw had dropped on the floor). So what drove him to take it up in the first place, I wanted to know. ‘Passion for healthcare,’ pat came the reply. In my head I had given him a standing ovation; passion is a word you seldom hear these days. We spoke some more and me being my inquisitive self asked him many questions that he answered happily. He told me he was due for retirement but the infectious energy he carried with him will see no retirement, no doubt. I realized I hadn’t even asked his name so when I finally did he gave me his visiting card and he said ‘take care’ before we parted ways. Sigh. If only all bus journeys were this fruitful!

Gaja’s schedule is more hectic than any of ours put together multiplied by 500. No kidding. She barely sleeps and yet she says ‘I have never been this happy’. I continue to be amazed and inspired by her dedication and relentless efforts in keeping her kids engaged. More power to her! One weekend when she finally managed to make time for a meeting, we both went to Kavya’s house. The meet felt almost like a therapy. Missed Sheekha and Rosh though. We spoke and spoke till we felt sleepy and then we spoke some more. Typical us, right? Kav had made pudina pulao with some delish raitha and aunty made her signature coffee for us. If bliss had a synonym, this would be it. Although our frequency of catching up is reducing slowly, I’m glad that we still find time for each other.

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Back home, Nav participated in a Science quiz held at… hold your breath… MCC! The prelims was interesting, from the sound of it. Their team of four was split into two teams of two each and made to sit at the extreme ends of the classroom they were in. Both teams were given a set of questions, which were names of scientific phenomena like friction, dispersion, refraction, etc. and they had to illustrate them in three minutes. Later the sheets of the two sub teams were exchanged and they had to guess their teammates’ questions in under a minute (talk about pressure). The next two rounds were guessing the scientists and other general knowledge based stuff, which were apparently real easy. I was not surprised to hear that Nav’s team won the first place. It’s little Mr. Einstein after all, should’ve seen that coming. Way to go, baby bro!

Earlier last month, owing to my sudden crazy craving for something savory, I visited my favorite hangout Bread & Circus for some nachos & cheese. Unfortunately for me there was more cheese than nachos which instantaneously gave me a sore throat, a runny nose and a very, very hoarse voice. A week later in office a Dutch lunch at Absolute Barbecue was planned. I was extremely apprehensive about going as I was still coughing my way to work every day. At the very last minute I decided to go and boy, am I glad I didn’t give it a miss! It was fun as always. I got to try rabbit (soft flesh) and emu (was a little rubbery). Misbah and I went mad over the grilled watermelons, much to the amusement of others. It was too.damn.good. The prawns were a let-down though. This time around my taste buds weren’t impressed, guess Barbecue Nation had set the bar too high. Could not have the mains as I’d had too many starters (*ahem* watermelons). The desserts were okayish. We pretend-celebrated Meghana’s birthday with an awesome birthday song and a complementary cake. On the whole, we had a blast.

img_20161126_181738343Christy had invited us for the launch of his sister and brother-in-law’s new book at DYU cafe last Saturday. It was a fun event that saw many artists including illustrators from Chumbak. Christy’s family is a lovely bunch of talented folks. Before the launch, they all decorated the tree with paper lanterns having scenes printed from their graphic novel. Arpita and Arindam turned up late in the evening. We were all so famished, we hadtohadtoHADTO eat something. Arpita ordered the veg stroganoff (rhymes with Kirchoff doesn’t it?), Arindam and I had the chicken schnitzel and all three of us shared the spicy roasted vegetable pizza. The icing on the cake was bumping into Komal and Deepika from college. Such a pleasant surprise! After we were done eating we headed downstairs to witness the launch. Some illustrators were doing live sketches for the customers. The matchbox comics were too too cute. It was a really eventful evening.


Roshni came home last week to return my camera. I hadn’t seen her in centuries. She told me I’ve lost weight; she’s not the first person telling me so. We both went on a ranting spree about the unbearable traffic. Tin factory, take this: %!$#?@!@
Work, traffic, blah, work, work, blah, traffic. I was reminded of what Kavya had once told me over a phone conversation – ‘An engineer breathes peacefully only after retirement!’ I have never laughed so much in recent times.

December, please be good to me.

How is it October so soon?

The second Sunday of this month was really a-m-a-zing. Partly because I got a much-needed Photography 101 from Prasad and also because I got to meet my friends after eons. It was a totally unexpected plan; Prasad had asked me the previous day if I would be interested in going for a photowalk at Lalbagh and I had instantly agreed. Who would say no to photography, right? Apparently our college photography team was having their photowalk on the same day. By the time we reached Lalbagh, they were on the way out. Prasad and I entered from the West Gate, which is where the lake is. I’ve lived my entire life in Bangalore and not once did I chance upon this lake. Anyway, the photowalk kicked off around 10AM with Prasad taking the lead and me tailing along. Although I’d taken my camera, I did not really use it much as there was a lot of learning to do. Prasad had a keen sense of observation and could recognize birds by their sounds. The only bird I was able to identify correctly was a pigeon. His ‘Oh look, there’s a cormorant… and that’s an egret!’ statements met with a blank ‘What Cornetto? A grade??’ While shooting every picture he had something to say about the exposure setting, ISO, aperture, shutter speed and other jargon that sounded alien to me at first. Eventually I got accustomed to the photo-vocab. Bird in flight? Set a high shutter speed to freeze motion. Bright day? ISO can be a meager 200. Subject below the lens? Focus on the eye to get the shot right. I realized that shooting animals demands hell lot of patience. Human portraits are straightforward and simple in that you can ask your subject to stay still and pose while you let the camera do the magic. Pretty static stuff. Birds are a whole new ball game. You never know when they might choose to swoop down right above your head and disappear even before you adjust the zoom of your lens. We spotted pond herons, lots of fishes, a snake even, thanks to Prasad’s quick observation. Before heading out we tried portrait photography. There were three tiny (very, very miniscule yet super cute) owls perched atop an old tree. They were so perfectly camouflaged that I couldn’t spot them even after Prasad pointed at the branch they were sitting on (note to self: must improve observation skills). After a lot of craning my neck I managed to catch a glimpse of those nocturnal creatures. We left with a loaded memory card and a ton of memories.

Later that evening I’d gone to Gaja’s house as I hadn’t met her since a long time. Her neighbor has brought a 30-day-old pup that she is currently taking care of. It is so hyper, doesn’t sit still even for a nanosecond. Nibbles away at all things edible (and inedible), yelps at the slightest hint of noise, constantly begs for your attention and melts your heart with its cuteness. If you ever need an adorableness overdose, Fluffy is the right pet for you. We came up with an impromptu plan of throwing a post-birthday bash for Rosh. Sheekha joined us later in the evening with our joint favorite – momos. Funny how we’ve begun to associate birthdays more with the person’s favorite foodstuff than birthday cakes.

Our first CSR activity took place on 13th with kids from Apna Ashiyana. Meghana and I met at college and left together from there. I had my first ‘Designer Disco Bus’ experience. You know, those painted private buses with blaring music that is sure to damage your eardrums and crowd so bad that you’ll never want to step into the bus again. The journey was made slightly bearable thanks to Sonia’s requests for dialogue translation of the Kannada movie that was being played on TV. The bus dropped us a little away from our destination. We had to walk quite a lot to reach Banerghata National Park. The kids finally arrived around 10ish. I was determined to learn Hindi so I started with introducing myself in broken Hindi, much to their amusement. First up on our agenda was a visit to the zoo. Among the many animals that we saw were python, jackal, tortoise, monkeys, crocodile, panther, hippo, leopard to name a few. There were plenty of birds as well – macaw, love birds, ostrich and a couple more whose names I can’t recollect. After the zoo visit we stopped to have piping hot samosas from a small chai shop within the zoo itself. Zibran distributed chocolates to the kids and Misbah gave them bubble blowers. The kids were delighted. I gave them my handmade maze which was well-received, much to my surprise. Next up we had the safari where we got to see elephants, lions, tigers, deers and bears. We were famished by the time it was over. Thankfully lunch had arrived on time. We all sat down in the field and ate away merrily. Post lunch the kids were given color papers to draw after which we played games like crazy. It started off with blindfold running and catching, which was super fun. This was followed by dog and the bone, which was equally amusing. I was shaking with laughter throughout the game. It was just.too.hilarious. The last game for the day was Kabaddi which again was a hit with the kids. We gave them a bag of goodies before heading back home. Later on I got to know from Christy that it was their first vacation after a span of six years and they had really enjoyed it. Made all our efforts worth it. Sure was a memorable day!

I had been to Kavya’s house last Sunday to collect Neha’s wedding invitation. Couldn’t make it to the wedding though. One more person got hitched this month – Sowmya from office. Which reminds me, we had our ethnic day in office on Thursday as part of Diwali celebrations. Meghana made a stunning rangoli the previous day (the technique of using a tea strainer to fill colors was really clever) and we created a ‘Happy Diwali’ message using flowers the next morning. We clicked lots of pictures as usual and had oodles of fun.

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All in all, this month has been very kind to me. Looking forward to the long weekend. Adios!

Of mangoes and quicksand

The day after the Cauvery verdict was issued is probably the happiest day of my (travel) life. It took just five minutes (that’s right, a jaw-dropping five minutes) to cross Tin factory. Empty roads and zero traffic. How.utterly.cool is that! What I wouldn’t give to have such traffic-free commute to work every day!

It was Misbah’s birthday last month so she’d got home-made mutton and shahee tukde. I’ve never had anything quite like it. Needless to say, the food vanished in the blink of an eye. Here’s to many more such feasts!

I hadn’t seen Kavya in a very long time so I dropped by her place two Saturdays ago. Heck, it’s already been two weeks? Time sure flies at jet speed. We spoke for a long time and parted ways with the promise of meeting again soon.

The past couple of weeks have been very exhausting. You know, those days when all you want is to dig a deep hole and bury yourself in it? When the uncertainty of your future gets to you? When you’re just floating around like a speck of dust with no clue where you’re headed? All poetic musings aside, I really was in a pretty bad condition. So I picked up my phone and dialled Gaja’s number. My go-to person in times of distress. I wasn’t disappointed. She very calmly told me about the Quicksand Theory. ‘You’re currently stuck in quicksand and it appears like there’s no way out. So you do what any normal person would do – struggle. You kick the sand under your feet, flail your arms wildly, all in an effort to get out, but it is of no use. The sand is nothing but your troubles. The more you struggle the more your troubles pull you down. Did you know it’s scientifically proven that you can actually get out of quicksand? Just calm down and say hey, here’s a problem let me try and solve it. Relax, think with a clear head and start moving horizontally with respect to the sand <scientific jargons galore> and you’ll soon come out of it.’ Woah! Who knew a chat about sand (of all things) could make me feel better? Hung up feeling light-hearted and happy.

Too much philosophy for one post? Leaving you with Anjali’s epic jest of the millennium: “When life gives you mangoes, just eat them. Don’t count the number of seeds in them.”

Weekend well spent? Hell yeah

It was a Sunday like no other. Not the typical sleeping in-laze around-go out-meet friends kinda weekend. Spoorthi, an annual cultural extravaganza for special children, was being held by Youth for Seva. I had signed up as a volunteer. Little did I know what was in store.

Unlike my usual Sunday routine, I woke up early and went to the school I had been assigned to, along with two other volunteers, Rakesh and Samyuktha. There were ten kids in total; four of their teachers accompanied us. We arrived at the venue at 10AM. After breakfast we got the kids to assemble at the respective rooms for their competitions. Abhishek was participating in Yoga, Merlin in Art and Craft, Hithaishi in Fancy Dress, Shashank in Painting, Shrujay in Solo Singing and lastly Mahendra, Chethan, Shabaz, Vishwajeeth and Ranganath were doing a group dance. We were amazed to know that we had a national level Bocce player in our midst. Shabaz Khan has represented Karnataka at the national level Bocce meet. As if that was not enough, we had national level football and baseball players as well. Clearly, there was no dearth of talent in this bunch of kids.

The event began with the host talking about how Paralympic gold medalist Devendra beat his own record in order to keep the promise he had made his daughter – that he would win a gold in the Paralympics if she topped her kindergarten exam. The competitions – Braille reading and writing, pick and speak, quiz, clay modelling, fancy dress, painting, and group dance to name a few- kicked off at half past ten. I took a stroll around the corridor to see the competitions in progress and it was a sight to behold! Paintings that sprang to life, clay models that can put any professional artist to shame, artwork that made you go wow… I can go on and on.

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Meanwhile on stage a spectacular mime was being enacted. It spoke of the troubles farmers face and emphasized the need to save water. The kids held up placards that read ‘We need water to live but farmers live for water.’ In light of the present Cauvery water dispute, the act made a lasting impact. After the stipulated duration of competitions was up, participation certificates were distributed to the kids. Merlin’s eyes welled up with tears when she got hers. It was such a heartwarming moment.

We headed for lunch after our school finished their group dance. We were all eating at the ground when all of a sudden our kids gathered around a girl named Srishti and began talking to her. I was wondering if they were perhaps congratulating on some performance of hers only to later realize that she was their old friend. Apparently she had changed schools but they still remembered her!

The prize distribution ceremony was conducted after lunch. Around 40 schools had turned up for the event. Our kids bagged medals in the painting, art and craft, yoga and fancy dress competitions. One boy who had gone to receive the prize for group dance competition along with his team, refused to take it until his mom accompanied him. So much so that he snatched the mike from the host and called out to his mother to come up on stage. Yet another poignant instance was that of a wheelchair-bound boy being lifted and carried to the stage by his mentor to receive his prize. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Each of the kids truly lived up to the tagline of the event, ‘Know me for my ability’.

Was it worth waking up early for? Without a doubt.
A Sunday to remember? You bet.

When life gives you lemons, squeeze them over pav bhaji

There was a health camp held in our office last month. Horror of horrors, we had to undergo a blood test. I was so not prepared for it. Hyndavi ended up crying, Sonia screamed in approximately 4 different intonations and I was hoping against hope I wouldn’t pass out. My hands had curled into a fist so tight I’m surprised my nails didn’t cut into my skin. As the syringe came closer I turned my face away from the gruesome scene that was about to unfold. It was over even before I could register the pain. Blood test was not such a nightmare after all. Yay me for enduring it!

Swathi, Poojitha, Gaja and I caught up after what seems like centuries. Gaja had us in fits with stories of her schoolkids. I’m truly amazed at how well she’s able to handle any kind of situation thrown at her. I asked her to describe her journey so far and all she said was ‘It’s hectic but worth it.’ Kudos to her never say die attitude. She’s sure to go places.

Nav is so busy nerding out that he’s forgotten all forms of normal human communication. The phone is on the table? It possesses potential energy. You’re able to walk? It’s because of friction. In fact I will not be shocked if some day he starts addressing me as Avogadro number of atoms. He had once asked me to check out his, and I quote, “optimized code for Vigenère cipher”. My jaw had dropped to the floor. When I was his age, all I used the computer for was to play Solitaire and Minesweeper. But here’s my brother, busy writing code that works like magic. Hence proved I’m born into the wrong family.

Last week we’d ordered food from Zomato. It’s a good thing that Meghana and I share whatever we order since there’s no way I could have finished one big bowl of noodles AND chicken alone. They were really yummy, by the way.

The previous Friday was a bandh, which was a huge plus for me, as I got to save nearly four and a half hours of commute time (and the accompanying exhaustion). Should I count travelling as a hobby if I spend nearly 90 hours a month “travelling” from home to office and back? On a serious note, this travelling has started to take a toll on me. I return home feeling all zombie-like and dead tired. If fatigue had a human form, it would be me. I kid you not. It’s distressing to note that the only workaround I have is shifting to a PG. I’m just not mentally prepared to pull off such a stunt, although I would love to cut down on travel time. Talk about real life deadlocks! *eye roll*

Rosh is back from her Manas Sarovar trip. I’m so glad I went to meet her, along with Gaja. Our meetings are becoming very infrequent these days. It’s a mandatory Friday ritual to post ‘What plans for the weekend’ on our WhatsApp group every week. I was beginning to worry that the posts will cease to flood my inbox and soon I’ll be left with only memories to reminisce. We are growing up, there’s no denying it. Our schedules do not allow us to meet up as often as we’d like to. We recently spoke about the whole ‘growing up’ thing. The fact that it’s inevitable and not under our control makes adulthood awful, yet we have resolved to keep meeting as much as we can. Even now, despite how busy we are, when I’m feeling down or need some pick-me-up, I just have to call one of them to feel better. Beats me how they always have the right things to say! So lucky to have known such wonderful people. Don’t know what I would do without them.

I spoke to Kishan on Wednesday, for the first time after he left for the US. It was nice knowing he’s settled down just fine, I updated him about what was happening in my life and we spoke for a while before I realized it was nearly midnight here and he had to rush for lunch. Ten and a half hours of difference in time does that to you. The conversation felt good nevertheless.

Since today was also a state-wide bandh, we bought cake and flowers for Vishaka’s farewell yesterday itself. Will miss her craziness and ‘pirated’ Kannada. Vishaka, if you ever read this, good luck and be sure to keep the madness alive!

P.S. Ignore the irrelevant blog post title. Working on my imagination.

Bippity boppity boo

Just when I was beginning to think art is woefully underrated, an unexpected incident sprang up to prove me wrong. A couple of days back, Arpita let us in on her newfound way to kill time when stuck in the chaotic Bangalore traffic. The secret of keeping her sanity intact? Calm Coloring aka Portable Relaxation. The next time you need something to calm your nerves, you know what to do.

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Declare art as therapy already!

Newsflash: New concealment tactics unraveled.
The other day, Yogi hid Christy’s laptop bag in a drawer, locked it and hid the key in the neighboring drawer, placed the key of the second drawer on a diagonally opposite desk under a charger. It took Christy forever to get his bag back. Well-played, Yogi, well-played.

By the way, GUESS WHAT?
Mounika is back in town! Can’t believe it’s been a year already. Kavya, Rosh and I met her on Monday. Mou wanted to go shopping so shop we did. She hasn’t changed one bit. She’s the same old crazy motormouth that she was ever since we first met. We went to KFC for lunch, our conversation revolved mainly around how drastically life has changed after college. The usual round of reminiscing memories was followed by a healthy dose of leg-pulling and name-calling(how I’d missed it!). We spoke for god knows how long, all I remember is wishing the day never ended.

Dear Time, please pause for a while

Last month I broke my personal record of being stuck in traffic jam for the longest time. Would you believe it took me FOUR hours to reach office? Me neither. The junction near Rainbow Children’s Hospital witnessed such sloth-paced traffic that frustrated bike-riders parked their vehicles and started to walk towards their respective offices. I was sitting inside the bus hoping the earth would just open up and swallow me whole. <<insert grawlix>> When will Bangalore traffic cease to drive us up the wall?

I’d thought I was the only one with amnesia, but turns out my friends are no better. We all collectively forgot it was Sheekha’s birthday on July 30th. The day before her big day, I’d been to Gaja’s place, and we were casually discussing something when she suddenly asked if Sheekha’s birthday was over. Facebook confirmed our worst fears. It was the height of OH CRAP! moment. Gaja called up Sheekha’s sister Shresta and told her we’d be coming over the next day, which happened to be a statewide bundh. Could it get any more hopeless? No shops open = no cake. We were so doomed. Fortunately for us, Gaja’s dad came to our rescue; he bought a pastry the night before the bundh. With Roshni having left for Hyderabad and no transport for Kavya to join us for the celebration, it was just me and Gaja. Sheekha was still sleeping when we barged into her room screaming ‘Happy birthdaaaay!’ Shresta had made some real cute decorative artwork and hung on her bed. There were gems inside! I’ve told her to make something similar for my birthday as well. She’d also baked a (slightly burnt) cake that we ate rather reluctantly to appreciate her efforts.

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Shrestie pie, wish I had a sister like you!
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Cake or batter? “Mud pie” apparently.

Sheekha’s mom served us appam and stew for breakfast and chicken biryani with egg and potato fries for lunch, and we gobbled it all up like gluttons. Sheekha’s friend Rishitha came later and we spoke for a while before Sheekha dozed off. Too bad Rosh and Kavya missed the food and the fun.

I met Kishan again last Sunday, since the clock is already ticking and there was quite a lot to catch up on. I regretted not having been in touch with him for the nth time. Four years of not being in contact yet the conversation did not feel awkward at all.

On Thursday last week we went to Barbecue Nation from office. The grilled meat was so awesome! I lost count of the number of prawns I ate, they were simply too good. We’d ordered grilled meat for starters, had chicken biryani for main course and some grilled chicken with chicken sausage from the live kitchen. We took the mojito for beverage and for desserts we had pretty much everything- rasmalai, paan-flavored kulfi, gulab jamoon, jalebi, mango cheesecake, malai kulfi, vanilla and mango ice cream and what not. The vegetarians had grass (er… lettuce), salads, paneer, grilled tomatoes and more grass. If only I could eat those prawns every day for the rest of my life! *drooling at the very thought of it*


Met Kishan for one last time yesterday. We went to Social Offline for lunch (the only other pub I’ve been to is Soho, back when I was in college). We spoke about his shoe fetish, Coldplay and teletubbies amongst other things. I don’t recall what else we talked about, but it felt good. I wished him luck and we parted ways. Seems like just yesterday we were eating vada pav at Goli and talking away to glory. Sigh. Time really does fly.