Monday, November 28, 2011

December's here.

Winter has never looked so beautiful before. She has achieved what she couldn't for years. She actually managed to keep the Sun away from us for days! No one's ever done that for me before. Of course, it's a pain if you're waiting for your solar water heater to work in the morning. But otherwise, it's a sweet, sweet boon! She smells good, sounds good, tastes good and feels good too. On one hand, I feel like sleeping till late hours of the morning; while on the other hand, when I wake up, I always feel fresh. This is the season for the lazy: 'It's such a nice, pleasant weather! I don't feel like working at all today!' And Bangalore winters are like paradise. It's freezing cold, there's chilled breeze caressing your cheeks, inducing goosebumps all over your body. And to top it all, it keeps drizzling ever-so-softly day and night! And trust me, it is the season for the young. Not for the children, who have to wake up early in the morning, wear sweaters and go to school; definitely not for the old, who are most likely to fall sick or catch a cold or have to be incubated in a heated room. No! It's just the season for the young. Everyday is fresh; the smell makes you nostalgic. Walking, running, riding, driving, you name it and it's fun! Everyone at work is energetic and chattery and always with a smile. You're also allowed to leave early since it looks like it's going to pour! So, once you're home, take a quick-hot-shower, grab a cup or two of hot coffee/chocolate, snuggle up with your favourite pillow/soft-toy/guy and switch on the television. Because like Homer says, "Without television, it's hard to tell when one day ends and the other begins".
Happy December Everyone!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Forever and Ever.

Don't worry, this is not a love story. If you know me well, you'll be sure of that. But I'm sure there's a definite question at the back of your head: 'Why haven't I written about Animals or even Dogs as yet'. Well, It's just that I din't know where to start. Because believe me, once I start I won't stop mentioning those creatures; which is good if you like animals. Otherwise, well! Hard luck!

Okay then here's something about dogs. Firstly, they're not beasts! You don't need to be scared. They're probably much more scared of your existence! All they're asking for is just a pat once in a while. Or maybe just a glance and a smile. Now, I'm not just talking about those well-groomed perfume-oozing poodles. If you look around, I'm sure you'll find even cuter and friendlier dogs on the pavements. It's in a dog's nature to serve us. Now, I don't want to go into the whole story how they find themselves privileged to be serving a family. You'd rather watch 'Bolt'!
And hey! There're not Martian zombies! Trust me, the bigger they are, they turn out to be friendlier. They'll make sure they remember you the next time you pass by. At college, there's a dog who's called "Chills" by everyone. But, I've been talking to him much before anyone knew him. And whenever I step out of the hostel/college (they're next to each other) and call out "Bart", no matter how far he is, he'll come running to me just to be patted once. Then he's off. Just like that. No more expectations. These strays are brought up around people who're constantly shooing them. They're just looking for some love. Show 'em some love and they're yours.

Meanwhile, here are some fun facts about pet dogs. These dogs grow up in a disciplined environment, wherein they know who's boss. They're only loyal and friendly to those who are powerful; those who can control them. Well, okay not so much as fun facts. But they're facts alright! Bob, a Labrador was a stubborn dog. He would not come out of the pool for hours. More so, because his foster family was not firm enough in telling him otherwise. So, they had a 'dog whisperer' visit their house and show them how being firm and bossy with your dog works for the best. After that, the moment the owner firmly says 'no' to Bob while he's about to jump into the pool, Bob would sit right there at the ledge and watch his owner swim away! That's sweet, Bob! Sweet Bob.

The other thing (picking out from a long list) about dogs is that they're like kids. The only difference being that kids grow up; dogs don't. They continue to be in dire need of your love and care. They continue to make childish mistakes, they continue to fight you over things like the food being too hot. They need complete care all life. The more they age, you grow more and more fond of them and it's the same for them. They're not like the cows you set loose wandering on the streets once they're out of milk. They're not like children, who leave home, go to college and build their own homes. Dogs are here to stay with you all your life. "A dog is for life, not just Friday night!"

On a parting note,  if you do come across/find/adopt/buy a dog, hold on to it, because no matter how much time (seconds, minutes, hours, months, years) you spend with him, it's eventually going to run out. It's never going to be enough. And if you're not in a position to keep a dog, share a smile/pat/ice-cream/piece of sandwich with a stray every once in a while.

P.S. If you're interested, check out "Dog whisperer with Cesar Milan" on Nat Geo WILD. Pretty interesting and enticing stuff.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Research ki Maa.......ya!

At Design School, I used to get very fascinated with the word 'research'. For each and every project, you need some ground on which you're building up your design story. It's the base of your creativity. You can gain inspiration, insights and triggers. All you have to do is prepare an appropriate (*remember this word) questionnaire, talk to a bunch of people and you have a load of information in front of you. Now just compile everything and make some stupid charts/graphs and you'll have what you needed to know. So, you have the foundation, now build away! Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it?

But that's about it. It just sounds simple. Research infact, is the most crucial part of any design process. For starters, it's most difficult to actually sit down and think of *appropriate questions to be asked. You get the questions right and half your research is done, I'd say. I mean you can't just ask random questions and expect to get relevant information. You might have to edit the questions a million times based on the kind of answers you get. I remember I've always edited the questionnaire after each person/set of persons I've interviewed.
Secondly, knowing the correct people to talk to is very important. It's annoying when you either get the same answers from a bunch of people or very different answers altogether. And it's most annoying if you discover a whole new set of relevant people to interview at the very last moment! ugh!

Now these are just minor hitches, but the greatest annoyance occurs when you don't know what you have to ask and to whom, and yet you're just running around like a maniac trying to find people; it seems that everyone runs away and hides from you. Like the whole world was informed in advance that a crazy girl is approaching you for some stupid survey and they all run for their life! I swear once I went to a school and i was lucky enough to reach the Principal, but the moment I start talking, "Ma'am, I am...", that's it! She cuts me off right there and drives me out of the room. I mean hear my name atleast! It's a pretty name. And believe me when I say, she already read my permission letter explaining my purpose sent to her by one of the office boys. Shocker huh? Well, not really, it's been pretty much the same for over two months now.

I'm so grateful that I even got this far till now. But all I'm saying is, it would've been nice if there was some idea to start with or a rule-book to get you started or even a person with you who knew Kannada if nothing else. Well, I know I'm asking for too much. For now, all I know is there is no end to research. You can just keep going on and on and you'll never want to stop. I'm kinda in that phase right now. Maybe I'm just hoping for some kind of an epiphany or maybe I'm hoping it'll atleast show me the way. Or, maybe it already showed me a way earlier and I missed it. So I'll have to keep going till I hit another road? Maybe. I don't know...i don't know.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Where are we headed?

It's the 21st century and people (especially our generation) are expected to be very straight-forward, independent and of course open-minded. This also leads the generation of our parents to accept the same. But I'll come back to that later.

Since I was born and brought up in the 20th century, I had my cute little paws in the old customs and traditions of my family. I learnt to sing from my grandmother, heard thrilling Gujarati stories from my grandfather, prayed to God with my brother and went to exciting Gujarati plays with my family. 
And then BOOM! came in the 21st century, and got with it, this nicely wrapped, bedazzled bright present [pun intended]. But as and when I started opening the present, it unfolded something new at every step. 
Of course I've been very flexible to any changes that came my way. I mean there was no other option. So if you know me well, you'll also know that I'm damn straight-forward, extremely independent (oh, yeah!) and definitely open-minded.

But it's again that time of the year when you feel you're getting closer to the end. [yes, I can be dramatic about birthdays too!] So this thought crosses my mind. I was supposed to be the one who bridged the gap between the generations. I did everything I was expected to. I am my grandfather's favourite, my mom and I are best friends, my brother considers me the closest friend, and my friends think I'm pretty cool. [well, that's a given.]
But what I'm worried about now is that will the same thing happen to the next generation? I know I'm thinking ahead of my time. But remember how I told you our parents/grandparents are supposed to accept the new generations and their traits? Well, mine do. My parents are actually pretty cool. They know my secrets, my flaws, my weaknesses and my way of life. they've always been very encouraging and supportive of whatever I did. Hell, even my friends are sometimes jealous of my parents and their open-mindedness.

But a very strange thing happened the other day when my mother called me up and asked me to make a bio-data of myself so they can send it out for marriage proposals! SHOCKER! Isn't it? Well normally, if something like that came up [which is definitely very rare], I would get freaked out at the very thought of it. Not that I wasn't taken aback this time as well, but it simply made me think: this is it. The time is here. My part is over. My part as belonging to the youngest generation is over. So, as a responsible future second generation, it's all upto me to take my kids to Gujju plays, or even teach them proper Gujju for starters. How am I supposed to do it all by myself? Infact, sometimes I feel I'm de-learning Gujarati as a language or even as a religion. [As if you din't notice how I went from 'Gujarati' to 'Gujju'].

So the bottom line being, I suddenly realized that it's just a crazy cycle. Where from the day you're born, people tell you to grow wings and dream of flying high one day, when you grow up. But infact, when you do actually grow up, you're supposed to cut off those wings [that is, if you'd managed to grow them at all] and come right back to the ground. But that won't stop us from telling our kids to dream big and fly high, will it? That's just how it works. Like I said, a crazy cycle!  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Every time you did something wrong ever since you were a kid, you hear someone saying “It’s okay. We all make mistakes.” But are all mistakes ‘okay’ to make? Some mistakes are tiny, some are huge. These tiny mistakes might be huge for others. Some you remember, some you don’t. Some you might not even call mistakes. Some you regret, some you don’t.

But the fact remains. Mistakes hurt. Sometimes a little, sometimes too much. Sometimes to you, sometimes to others. But at all times, they bring about a big change. A change in behaviour, a change in attitude. It may bring a change in your outlook or it can be a complete life changing phenomenon. We hardly realise that one little mistake would bring about such a big change.

But it’s never easy to figure out who was at fault. It’s much easier to assume that you were the sole generator of that mistake. Sometimes, you deserve the hearty self-misery. It feels good. You might want to fall deeper and deeper into that pit of self-pity. It still feels good. But, there’s still the anticipation of hitting rock bottom. Although, believe me, you don’t want to go there. You might want to stop right there, take a few steps back. It’s been a long great journey. It was fun, no doubt. Be thankful that it ever happened. But everything comes to an end. Let it go. The more you try to hold it back, the more it slips away. Snap out of it. Don’t forget it, but also don't let it get you. And this might be a good time to take a deep breath as well. Lay back. Clear your head. And Voila! You’re fresh and ready to make new mistakes!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011


A group of people you love. A group of people you live with. A group of people you are closest to. A group of people you share almost everything with. They tell you what to do and what not to do. No, I am not talking about your blood relatives. I am talking about the friends you hang out with, you eat with them, share your room with them, (well, share a lot more than a room actually). Gone are the days when you used to live with your mum and dad (no offence to the ones who’re still living with their parents). It’s just that if you haven’t lived with friends, you haven’t still grown up. You have a lot to live yet. A lot to understand, a lot to experience.
If you’re thinking, you won’t have a mother when you need one, or a father when you are in trouble, well I’ll say of course you will. There will be times when one of you will become a mother when someone needs a hug and a lap, while at times, you will find yourself pampering someone like a dad and will always have their back. This way, you’ll have more than one mum and dad. If you take a stat from the people around you, I am sure you’ll find out that we listen to friends a lot more than we obey parents. But of course the guidance given either way might just be on similar lines.
Once in life, it’s necessary to know what it’s like to live without parents. Now, you’ll say you’ll have to do just that after marriage anyway. So, why start now? Well, for the exact same reason I say. Now you tell me, among a certain two beings, one has been staying with parents and the other has had a hostel experience or something similar; who will find it easier to start a new home with their partner?
But mind you, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t give heed to your parents. Peer pressure is a completely different thing. Although it only comes into picture if you are fed up of the house you’re living in, and when you are looking for a way out. That’s when you take refuge with the friends around. Most of us make a mistake here. This is so not the experience I’m talking about. It’s when you have your parents around, you love them, you listen to them, confide in them and yet your roommates are your family. Parents you’ll always have even when you’re in some distant land teaching your kid to ride a bike. But the friends you’ve lived with : a very short-lived family. A family you are too afraid to lose. So afraid, that when it’s time to part, you’ll find yourself getting closer to them. It’s like a tsunami. When it’s about to take over the whole village, at the peak moment, the water will first be sucked right into the sea, and then comes the biggest tide.