Tag Archives: Thoughts

Clouds on a perfect canvas

The sky, a perfect empty canvas, offers clouds nonetheless. They shift and drift and beg interpretation… such is the nature of art.

~ Jeb Dickerson.

The Phoenix

The Phoenix

Clouds have always remained the most widely used metaphor in literature. They can signify both sadness and joy, hope and obstacles, dreams and unrequited love.

The Dinosaur

The Dinosaur

Clouds are always open to interpretation… they constantly change, move and look both enticingly beautiful and benign. As an English teacher once explained: ‘Looking up at the sky, we can impose our own feelings on to them. In literature this is called “pathetic fallacy”, where the clouds come to emphasize our emotional states.”

This was a day when I was dumbfounded with the patterns the clouds created in the skies above…

Figures in the sky kasiga (1)_2

A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed… It feels an impulsion… this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.

~ Richard Bach

A rainbow for the teachers

Teacher’s day at the Kasiga School was a memorable one for me… not only because the students didn’t allow me to teach in any class I went to, or that they surprised me with a shower of confetti when I switched on the fan in one of the classrooms or the tiny handmade cards that I got from so many. All this was proof that being a teacher is indeed such a noble profession. And while I walked back home the heavens had something else is store for me. I quickly got out my camera and snapped a panorama of a beautiful rainbow in the sky!

Cheers to teaching and teachers everywhere!

Invigilation – That dreaded word

What is this life, if full of care

We have no time to stand and stare…

– W. H. Davies

It’s that time of the year in the school where the students are the busiest and the teachers appear to be most relaxed! Yes. Examinations! But honestly, I prefer the teaching days to these where I have to wander in a classroom trying to decipher the gestures students make to each other while they answer their papers. The morse code is reinvented each time in a student’s life!

Given the situation where you have to keep your eyes peeled to spot any malpractice in the exam hall, there is pretty much nothing else that can keep you occupied and I was close to the point of boredom! That is when I spotted this painting on the soft board in the classroom made by one of the students!

I have been to that classroom so often, but I guess life gets too busy to ponder over these moments of wonder!

The Resource Child

It’s a sad moment to see defeat in the eyes of a child.

While the whole class participated in the demo being conducted, she was alone in an the extreme corner of the class. When a question was directed to her, she eagerly stood up to answer. But words failed her. The rest of the class quickly came to her ‘rescue’ and labeled her, “Resource”. The teacher directed the question elsewhere and she was alone again.

The demo went on. Litmus papers turned from blue to red and red to blue. Inferences were drawn… but the girl was alone.

Christmas – A time to get closer

There’s something about Christmas time
that makes you wish it was Christmas every day
~ Bryan Adams (Christmas Time)

It always fascinates me that around Christmas time what makes news are people making their way to loved ones and stranded because of snow-storms or hiked airline tickets!

We long to be around those we love at this time of the year. As a kid, I remember spending the Christmas holidays with my grandparents.

While cleaning up our ancestral home, I found this tiny crib.

Miniature Crib

Its only a few centimeters in height, but the detail is accurate. I can’t say how old it is, but I guess this moment is timeless in itself.

Miniature Crib details

The crib was a prized possession of my grandad, who had quite an array of collectibles in a tiny glass cupboard. I clearly remember this crib being one of them.

Miniature Crib details 2

I stared at it for a long time, and my dad said: “Keep it. It will remind you that Christmas is about the little things in life… “

Sunshine is Good

In the storm of hectic sessions, articles for newspapers, managing two blogs and home-related work came a distraction I would never have expected would keep me gripped… Plants vs Zombies! What I initially claimed to be a “completely brainless game”, kept me occupied for hours in the evening and sometimes even late at night!
Plants vs Zombies wallpaper
PvZ is about killing zombies using various strategies, your defences being plants of varying powers and skill sets!

But I was in for a bigger surprise! My better half gifted me this toy to remind me that life is more than Plants vs Zombies 😉

Solar Dancing Flower Flip Flap
Its a common site on most car dashboards (and now adorns my own). This “Solar Flip Flap Dancing Flower” is supposed to give you positive energy… I think it does! Everytime I look at it I can’t help but smile!

Is there a problem?

I was being advised by an experienced cat lover and a good friend on cat care. In the process I began reading the USPCA manual Caring for Cats & Kittens and was in for a nasty shock.

snowy - white cat - blue eyes

We had always noticed Snowy to be ignoring us when beckoned. Turns out that she is deaf! And through no fault of hers. Believe it or not it’s because she has white fur and blue eyes!

Not all blue-eyed white cats are deaf, but many of them are.

Here are the STATISTICS:

  • 95% of the general cat population is non-white cats (i.e. not pure white) and congenital deafness is extremely rare in non-white cats.
  • 5% of the general cat population is white cats (i.e. pure white).
  • 15-40% of these pure white cats have one or two blue-eyes.
  • Of those white cats with one or two blue eyes, 60-80% are deaf; 20-40% have normal hearing; 30-40% have one blue eye and are deaf while 60-70% have one blue eye and normal hearing.
  • Of the 5% of white cats in the overall population, 60-80% have eyes of other colors (e.g. orange, green). Of those 10- 20% are deaf and 80-90% had normal hearing.
  • Deaf white cats with one or two blue eyes account for 0.25 – 1.5 of total cat population
  • Total number of cats with white coat and blue eyes account for 0.75 – 2.0% of total cat population

And so, we are lucky to have the one in a thousand cat!

And here is the SCIENCE:

White cats with blue eyes often suffer from a genetic defect that causes their cochlea, a vital organ within the inner ear, to degenerate shortly after birth. This is because the stem cells for the melanocytes (pigment producing cells) and cochlea are the same. White cats with eyes of other colours can usually hear. As for odd-eyed white cats, when a white cat has one orange and one blue eye, the ear on the blue-eyed side is likely to be deaf, whereas the one on the orange-eyed side is usually fine.

Popular belief has it that such cats make bad mothers because they tend to ignore their cries of their young. However, deaf cats can be good mothers and good hunters. Many compensate for their disability by becoming exceptionally sensitive to sound vibrations, thus enabling them to hear with their paws. Vision and other senses may also be enhanced, giving the deaf cat an edge in some respects.

We only have to wait and watch!

What is HOPE?

Everything passes away — suffering, pain, blood, hunger, pestilence. The sword will pass away too, but the stars will still remain when the shadows of our presence and our deeds have vanished from the earth. There is no man who does not know that. Why, then, will we not turn our eyes towards the stars? Why?
– Mikhail Bulgakov, in The White Guard

HOPE
a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life. (Wikipedia)

Hope for a better tomorrow… for a better today… The audacity of hope… false hopes…

And after the thousand words, here is the picture…

I submitted this for a contest titled ‘HOPE’, on the occasion of World Photography Day. (Contest details can be found here). The picture was of a little kid outside our house looking up at his mother. The moment itself was very touching…

Milestones – GM Wedding

You may choose to call it a ‘before-after’, or a ‘work that was in progress’ for almost 6 months prior to the big day… I teased my bride-to-be, that every evening after a day’s work at office, these little preparations were giving meaning to my life 😉

Here are a few pics to share those moments… we choose to call them “Milestones”…

Milestone #1: The Card

Milestone #1: The Card

First came the design… should it be a typical silvery white card, with cherubic angels floating around… or could we go the Indian way? We chose the second option. And once the cards were done it was time to visit my calligraphy skills again.

Milestone #2: Church deco

Milestone #2: Church Deco

We gave Paperworks a reason to smile with the amount of business they got during our wedding. From paper for the card, to the church flowers to the mass booklets. The flowers you see were made in 3 stages—petals were cut, then stuck onto wires and then put together on a stem—finally topped up with ribbons and nets.

Never thought I would learn so much about flower making!

Milestone #3: The Bouquet

Milestone #3: The Bouquet

Fresh flowers or artificial was the big question. It ended being flowers from Mumbai, garnished with beads, ribbons and glitter from goa.

Milestone #4: The Cake

Milestone #4: The Cake

There is a whole lot of cake designing happening out there. I did my bit to see that our wedding cake was a design we wanted. And then the cake went from the computer to the baker!

Milestone #5: Favors

Milestone #5: Favors

Stockings for flowers, pollen and green ribbon… would never have known that shops for all these existed right under my nose all this while! How many favors should be made and should they be in different colors? Questions that had to be answered!

Milestone #6: Reception table deco

Milestone #6: Reception table deco

This was an idea that came out of the blue to the two of us… and once the idea landed, it had to be seen to completion! Even if the idea meant getting white sand from Betalbatim, shells from Quegdevelim and mud pots from the famous Mapusa market … and finally painted in gold!

Milestone #7: Hymn Booklets

Milestone #7: Hymn Booklets

Once again, an evening spent selecting the right paper, then the prayers composed in collaboration with the celebrant and then the fun at printing all through the night.

Milestone #8: Photoshoot planning

Milestone #8: Photoshoot planning

3 meetings with the photographer detailing each aspect of the wedding and making sure the essence of the wedding is not lost in a flurry of flashes and poses

Milestone #9: Flower baskets

Milestone #9: Flower baskets

Once again, a Mumbai-Goa collaboration. This time my sister pitched in to decorate the baskets.

Milestone #10: House deco

Milestone #10: House deco

I would never have looked so great if we had got the expert help of a dear friend… with the unending ideas of making 3D hearts for every door.

Milestone #11: The Rings

Milestone #11: The Rings

Family goldsmith to the rescue… and the ring holder all the way from Jakarta.

Milestone #12: Give aways

Milestone #12: Give aways

These had an interesting story to tell for themselves. The designing was not an issue, however the plastic was cut in Delhi and printed in Dehradun and then prototypes were sent back and forth. The saga didnt end here… wrapping each give away 3 days before the wedding was a celebration in itself with all the guests helping out.

Milestone #13: Shopping

Milestone #13: Shopping

This is one area where I still need to grow in the virtue of patience… I was gently tutored by bride-to-be into the conviction that a groom needs to look different on that day. So, my old wardrobe had to make room for the new. Beginning with the gown to the suit, from the material for the flower-girls and bridesmaid to the gifts … there was a lot to learn!

Milestone #14: Church Arrangements

Milestone #14: Church Arrangements

Delegation can be difficult! It entails trust! And the morning of the wedding is all about delegation. And so, armed with a detailed description to the last detail, our friends set out to the church to see that everything was in place.

Milestone #15: Travel & Accomodation

Milestone #15: Travel & Accomodation

This little card meant a lot to transport the right people from airport and station, in the right vehicle to the right hotel, and then to the church on time! A logistical nightmare even for the best of managers!

Milestone #16: Signing in the same book

Milestone #16: Signing in

Everything falls into place on that one day, which brings back a smile everytime we think of these milestones that went to make it so… precious.

Milestones have been crossed, and another journey begins.

The Countdown

The countdown has begun. And to keep track, the two of us got down to designing our own wedding calendar. One copy at her place and one at mine.

This is only the screenshot of the calendar. What with all the reminders and to-do lists all over it, it’s look has dramatically changed 😉

The Official Counter!