Sunday, April 21, 2013

Make From Waste

Make From Waste

Well, I have been thinking from a very long time to create something for the pen stand which Rakesh had made out of some cylinder he found while fixing our fan. Since then it had just been a piece of cardboard with pens and pencils stacked with. So here I took out the time really, got all the materials together and made a cute owl out of the waste cardboard cylinder.

So how did I make it. Here are few tips you can use to make one of your own. Well I sure did get inspired by a picture I had seen. So here it is I am attaching that picture as well for you to see.

Step 1 use a single colour paper to wrap. You can use tissue paper roll cardboard to make this.

Step 2 use any matching colored paper to make its feathers. Either you can manually cut this or use cutters available in market. Stick them to the main body one by one to give it a feathery look.

Step 3 cut out large portions of white eyes and black portion in it. you can stick easily available sequence or even cut small circular white paper to make the pupils.

Step 4 use the same colour paper to make wings. 

Step 5 just use your imagination and create something of your own.

The final product of my imagination looked something like this.

Keep waiting I am already starting another project from waste. Love recycling and decorating.

Monday, June 04, 2012

The Thing Of The Past - Part I

Today she just wanted to hang out for some more time. She remembered those days, when she had taken such good times for granted. Her colleagues urged her to have one more drink and maybe she had enough for today. Life was so calculative now, moving on with just limited resource. She no more could afford to splurge. She never had been brought up to be reckless or carefree. Guilt always haunted her, whether she was right or wrong.
She laughed with others at work but her eyes did not sparkle anymore. At home she was a doting mother to her son and loving niece to her aunt. But other than that her life was barren and unenthusiastic.
She called for a cab and stepped out of the smoky bar. She felt a little light headed with the cool breeze touching her gently. While she waited on her feet she swayed slightly to the dim music floating from the bar.  Today after a very long time she had a drink. She felt nice but conscious of what her aunt would think of her if she saw her now. Her parents still did not know that she drank, it’s a secret best hidden. In their culture it’s a taboo for a girl to drink. They would be ashamed of her. But that they already were weren’t they?
Her aunt had taken Ved to one of her friends place in another town. She was all alone for a week and could not believe her luck. She had been standing at the outside the bar for a long time waiting for the cab. The bar door opened and she thought her friends would step out and take her inside. She turned to see and saw someone else instead.
She quickly wished she could disappear and hoped he had not recognized her. He would not have she was wearing her hair short and clothes were different as well. It was almost four years since they spoke or even met.
“Lakshmi! Is that you?” he asked coming closer to see her.
She quickly turned around trying to look busy with her phone and ignored his question. She could not face him, what could she say? Why had she disappeared from everyone’s life? Moreover no one knew she was here, not even her parents. She started walking away in search of cab, completely ignoring his plea to stop. She was almost running now hoping she could quickly hop into any cab. Miraculously the yellow cab just stopped next to her and she quickly got in.
“Where do you want to go?” the cab driver asked her.
“Rua da Palha, just drive” she ordered. She looked out of the window and saw him sprint after the cab and then stop.
That was extremely close and she escaped it. But she wondered for how long? What if he lived in this city? That couldn’t be, he was supposed to be working in Philippines. But that was some three to four years ago. He could be on a business trip to Macau. She had not thought about it that way. Anyway he would have by now realized that she was not Lakshmi. Lakshmi would not have fled that way if she was meeting him after many years.
He stood there looking at the retreating taxi. He could have sworn she was Lakshmi. Last he had met her when she had delivered Ved. He had soon left the country for a better opportunity and their communication had not only diminished but had come to a sudden stop. He tried calling all her numbers but they were all disconnected. He even tried calling her husband Vivek but even he had not answered his calls.  He did have the premonition that something had gone wrong. He dared not to call her parents at first but when he could not reach her anywhere. He called them.
It was a strange conversation. Her parents seemed not to know her whereabouts. They were not only vague but somehow he felt they did not want to talk about her. That was unlikely as they were a strong knit family, always stood and supported each other. Earlier a day would not go by where Lakshmi would have at least one conversation with her mother or sister. So what had gone wrong? He did not like this, not knowing if she was fine. But he had exhausted every possible connection to her. It seemed she had simply vanished from face of earth.
When he took a trip home during Christmas, he had gone to her place in Vizag, India. The door had a lock and upon enquiry with her neighbors he had learnt that her husband had sold this flat and left. They did not leave any forwarding address with them. He had then lost any hope of finding her.
He had recently been promoted and transferred to Macau for a project. Now after years of living abroad he had no trouble settling down in any new place. He worked hard during the day and then partied all night on most weekends. He had been with many girls but no one ever fancied him for more than few weeks. He loved travelling by his own discovering new places in strange lands. He always attracted attention with his unusually sweet smile. He wore his hair neither short nor very long but looked like it always needed a cut. He was not very tall but yet just right for any girl. The soft voice and pleasant drawl mostly charmed anyone. He had abundant friends everywhere but every morning he woke up feeling a void slowly growing with each passing day.
Tonight he had plenty to eat and drink. Today the din of the bar and chatter of friends left him feeling the need for some fresh air. He had stepped out and immediately their eyes had locked for few seconds. He had seen the gleam of recognition in her eyes. He called out to her but she quickly walked away almost running. He had followed her but she got in to cab and left. He did not understand why?
Upon reaching home she felt breathless and completely alone. She wished Ved was here running around her and her aunt fussing over her ill eating habits. But the windows were closed and the house had a musty smell. She quickly opened her bedroom windows and let the night breeze flow inside. In the dim moonlight she saw herself in the mirror. How much she had changed? Her rough hair cut short up to her neck in some recent style. This style made her look chic. Her mother would have never approved of such short hair. This was the way she liked it now since her hair was now more manageable. Her small stature and big eyes always made her look innocent. She had grown considerably thin after moving here from what she was after Ved’s birth. She remembered how Vivek had always ridiculed her about her weight after pregnancy. She could not afford to think about those painful memories. She had overcome them she reminded herself.
Next day she woke up with a slight headache and a cup of coffee could definitely help her. She called out to Ved and then remembered he was not there. She called her aunt and checked on their whereabouts. She chatted with her son; he had grown big so quickly. They were due to come home next Sunday.  She looked around and found her fridge stocked well. Quickly she cooked up something simple for her and made a strong cup of coffee.
Outside was beautifully sunny, just the way she liked it. She wore her jeans and a cute top. She wore her most comfortable shoe and her favorite sunglasses. Today she would shop and meet her only friend she had made here at a café on the beach.
She took her small car out and cruised along the hem of the beach. She could not believe life could get this better. She parked and went about her shopping.  She was light on her feet and humming a song she looked around the stores with a smile. Her smile vanished as soon as she spotted Charles. She remembered last night’s episode. Quickly she got into a shop right next to her hoping he did not see her. It was in a jewelry shop and store keeper was asking her what she would like. But her gaze kept searching for Charles outside.
“What would you like to see, something in diamonds?” the store keeper asked.
She was never too keen about jewelry. She quickly said no and left from there. She headed for her car with quick steps. Someone stopped her by the shoulder and she turned around. She was partly scared and partly angry for being followed. It was her friend Neeta, whom she was going to meet at the café.
“Why do you look so angry?” she asked.
“I just thought you were someone else.” Lakshmi felt relief that he had not seen her.
“Who? Is someone following you?” Neeta looked around angrily. Looking at her friend, Lakshmi smiled. She had become so close and protective about her. Lakshmi often went on a guilt trip about this or that, but Neeta always encouraged her to be herself and not feel guilty all the time.
“No, come let’s go to the café, now that I have met you already.” Lakshmi took out her car keys and they both headed to the beach.
At the café Neeta asked her what happened at the square and why was she so angry.  Lakshmi as usual became vague and did not answer the question. They both ordered their favourite on the menu and chatted their heart away about work and then some about movies.
“Lakshmi, what are you doing here?” asked Charles finally confirming his doubts and confronting her.
Neeta looked curiously first at Charles and then at Lakshmi. Her face was completely closed and devoid of expression. Her lips thinned with determination. Lakshmi just managed to icily say, “Hi Charles.”
Neeta had never seen her friend so rigid and withdrawn before. Somehow she got her answer to the question about Lakshmi’s strange behavior at the square this morning. But in spite of all things she could not help liking Charles instantly.
“Where have you been?” he asked incredulously. He reached out to hug her just like old times. He could not believe his relief of finally knowing she is fine. But Lakshmi remained seated refusing to hug or budge from her seat. Looking at him after so long not only brought an overwhelming feeling inside her but a strong reminder of her previous life. She was looking at her closest friend, someone she blocked away along with everything else. A friend who had been with her, besides her always and right now she wished he had not met her here at all.
“Hi I am Neeta, I am Lakshmi’s friend.” Neeta introduced herself looking at the awkward situation. She gestured for Charles to sit.
“Hi, nice to meet you. Are you from India?” he asked politely but keenly watching Lakshmi at the same time.
“Yes I am. But have been living here for more than ten years now. Do you live here as well?”
“Yes I am temporarily posted here for a project.” He asked Lakshmi again, “Where have you been?”
Lakshmi abruptly got up, “Please excuse me Neeta, and I have to go. I remembered something.” She looked at Charles and said, “It’s nice meeting you after such a long time.”
Both of them continued looking at her dumbfounded. She collected her things and left. This was the third time in two days that she had escaped Charles. He got up but Neeta caught his hand.
He was confused and angry. “Why is she behaving like this?”
“Even I don’t know, but maybe you yourself can explain it to me much better.”
Charles had not realized he had spoken loudly. It felt better telling Neeta, a complete stranger his story and frustration.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A new start

Another year has begun in my life. Here I am left wondering what I have really done worth remembering last year. I have got married and I got a new job. This should be enough reason to rejoice for any female I know. But unfortunately I don’t think or feel that way, life is much more than that and I can do much more. 

Please don’t feel I am not happy about getting married or finding a job of my choice. It is just that these things were inevitable and everyone is happy about it. But what next, should my life revolve around just this? Am I just defined with what I have to do at home or at work?

I was advised when I was leaving my previous job, that I have to take tiny steps and adjust to the new direction in my life. I did that and took some small strong courageous steps and erased any dominance in my life. I did my house the way I wanted, slowly and steadily made into a home. I did the part of being a wife, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a friend, an honest worker and some more roles as best I could.

But then when I think what have I done for myself? I come up with no answer, zilch. This is what I meant that sometimes we get caught in a strong web of performing various roles that we forget to give ourselves the time we ought to give. 

At this point I can think of a wonderful Japanese poem which has stuck to my memory from a book which is close to my heart (The wind cannot read – Richard Mason)

“Though on the sign it is written: ‘Don’t pluck these blossoms’
– it is useless against the wind which cannot read.”

So here I am reviving my blog and myself with few do’s and don’ts for this year. Hopefully I will be able to recall this year with much more significance and fondness.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Immortals of Meluha

The Immortals of Meluha (Shiva Trilogy, #1)The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A book which was not only bold but also adventurous by Amish. Especially in a religious country to write a book on God which is worshiped throughout. It gives Lord Shiva a wonderful human like quality and feelings. Revolving around a mystery which any reader can easily relate without knowing any mythological stories. A simple but effective story with reflective qualities.

View all my reviews

Friday, July 01, 2011

Assault of thoughts

The shape forming in my mind, the reminiscent of my thoughts is disconcerting me. My thoughts keep whirling in my mind like a tornado. Days followed by nights these thoughts pursue me like a cop after a thief, a hunter after an animal and like the pain after a bone fracture. I want to hide where they cannot chase me. But like the need for human beings to breath is constant, the need to capture these thoughts in words has become erroneously essential.
I can’t run, I can’t hide and I can’t escape my thoughts either. And when I do capture them, they flow like honey, gurgling river and without stopping for a breath it continuously flows out of my head. The relief is unimaginable and the craving for more is incredible.
It may take up days even months before these thoughts make any sense in words. But the coerce me to continue, physically I feel the jolt to type and type more. Like my mind and hands are possessed and I have no control. I live recluse because they don’t allow the space for anybody and anything. Even in my sleep the thoughts keep dancing and writhing in discomfort I wake up. Wake up with an urgent urge to pour them down.
What has happened to me?
Do I need help?
Maybe I do, this turmoil is more than I can handle. But the stories these thoughts spin are simply unimaginable. My publisher simply loves them but he is unknown about the assault these thoughts have on me.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Nivi's Fable

A long time ago lived a talking cat. It would spread the wisdom of the living, non-living and the dead. People flocked to hear it from far villages and towns. They thought it was divine and worshipped the cat. His fame turned hundred times more than its size. Its brown curling tail would swish excitedly when it spoke of sapience with all these humans hungry for guidance. It had two different colored eyes, one green and other amber, which people thought denoted its sagely manners. Though it is believed that a cat needs sixteen hours of sleep, Mr. Tod here, oh that’s the cats name kept by his mistress. Mr. Tod sleeps only for six hours a day.

‘The cat’s a saint when there are no mice about.’ But Mr. Tod never went after mice or birds. He was just happy with milk and some bread. He just like all would love to rub against his mistresses long old legs for a good meal or a warm spot.

His mistress was an old lady wearing always a skirt and a hat. She took absolutely no interest in the people flocking in to see her Mr. Tod. It did not amaze her that her cat could talk. It was just another thing. She would feed him tuna, some milk and bread every day. She just loved her Mr. Tod, who would lick her arms after being petted.

Soon, the rich, the circus men demanded the old lady to loan her cat. She was rude and disparaging to any such requests and demands. She made an announcement in the local newspaper ‘Mr. Tod will not be for loan for a day, months or a year.’ Mr. Tod soon realized his mistress’s dilemma. He knew she was being harassed because he could talk. A decision had to be made and a tough one. He became mute. He then purred and mewed just like other cats.

Humans will be humans; especially the ones who desperately wanted the cat. They thought the old lady had some tricks up her sleeve. She purposely did something to the cat so he won’t talk. Vicious as they were, they spilled some oil at the old lady’s front door. While going out she slipped and fell on her hand. Of course, her hand broke and she yelped in pain. The neighbor’s immediately called the doctor and helped her to lie on the bed. Then they wiped the oil from her door. Mr. Tod watched everything that happened that morning. He sulked. His worldly wisdom and advice fell flat in front of the cruelties of vile humans.

He pushed a little pile of gold, silver and money he was offered by humans to the leg of the bed. His mistress was softly moaning about her broken hand. He jumped on the bed with a skill known only to cats. He mewed and the old lady cuddled him with her good hand.

“Are you hungry, Mr. Tod?” she asked.

Mr. Tod was astounded at the gentleness and generousness of this woman. He made a decision which was difficult for him as well as his mistress. He broke his silence for one last time.

“Mistress!” he said, “I would have to go.”

“No, no, no Mr. Tod, please don’t go.” She begged.

“He who provide to anyone without any malevolence
would seek the almighty’s regard and benevolence”

The old lady nodded with tears in her eyes. She petted him one last time. He licked her broken arm slowly. Looked at her old gentle eyes one more time and jumped to the floor. He trotted out of the house in a direction no one will ever know.

The doctor came and examined the old lady’s hand. It was not broken anymore. He looked surprised.  And the dull pain had healed immediately. The old lady looked at the pile of gold, silver and money next to her bed. She took it and handed it over to the doctor and said,

“Thank you for coming. Take this and don’t charge the poor anymore.”

Friday, February 25, 2011

Delhi in new perspective

Delhi has been a city of mixed feelings for me earlier, with some aspects being good and some bad. But i was determined to visit the city with my darling and see it through his eyes. I expected to be delayed at Delhi airport due to fog conditions during January. But the beginning was good and we reached on time. A very helpful colleagues of my mother's office agreed to pick us up from airport and tour the city.

After being fed with "Cholle Bhature" from the famous 'HALDIRAM' of Delhi. That was some amazing the cholle bhature I had in a long long time. Along with some rather interesting conversation with the head of the office about various places to visit in and around Delhi. We left like two bubbling school kids on a picnic.

Though the roads looked familiar, it had some new essence to it. Such age old architecture right in the city surrounded by modern buildings and roads. It was sight very rare to see. We stopped by at the famous Qutub minar (Quwwat ul Islam mosque, Alai Darwaza, etc.) all in the same complex. We decided to make a quick gateway here but we ended spending almost 40 mins. Everyone was trying to capture the great qutub minar, in one shot. So did we. The artisans may have taken years to build and carve the minar but all the same we took its picture in less than a minute. here are some of our efforts.

It still fascinated me, the beauty of these buildings and the minute details of the carving and scriptures. I could visualise the artisans toiling with little hammer in hot sun. Anyway coming back to the point, there were even some fantastic benches of olden era which we took fancy too. Ofcourse nobody gave them a second glance as they were just benches to rest.
This was our last stop here and then we headed for some serious shopping. We went to "Sarojini Nagar", all shoppers beware take plenty of time and money with you. The market is huge and full of goods, just like a manish market cum Bandra linking road cum fashion street merged into one. Though if you do feel hungry there are some sophisticated stalls selling hot cocoa and coffee, corn, and other items. I just took simple corn and coffee (coffee tasted horrible). We bought few woolens for our trip ahead to Uttranchal and one really big bag for all the shopping. Leaving from there we toured the city, saw India gate from rather far as it was closed for republic day. There are rehearsals of the march for republic day held at India gate, which is open for public to see and we missed that.

I have only seen construction after construction happening in Mumbai for metro, but Delhi has a full fledged operation. We got out of the car and headed for nearest metro station. All the instructions were pretty simple with maps all over the place for people to decide which route to take. We bought our tokens and one cannot buy return tokens from one destination. For each journey that you make a new token has to be bought. We went from connought place to chandi chowk.

It was rush hour and train was crowded as per Delhi standards (not Mumbai ofcourse). It was still fun with announcements and indicators which stations arriving etc. Chandi chowk station was deserted till we came out to the street. we had to ask 4 different people the directions for "parathe wali gali" and had to roam in 4 different streets till we got the place we wanted to be. Thats what i don't like about Delhi.When directions are asked, people there would never say 'I don't know'. Instead they will point the travellers in wrong directions. In our search for parathe wali gali we stopped at a vendor who was selling my favorite  gol gappe (pani puri) they were amazing they do not have the concept of mitha pani. Then we paused at 'Haldirams', the shop was amazing streaming with people and whole variety of food to hog on. We decided to keep this option as back up in case we do not get the place we want to eat.

Finally by God's grace and a sane person who gave us the right direction we landed in the gali. We thought of first doing a quick recon of the place. We found an ancient chat place with wonderful variety like the dahi bhale, aloo chaat, dahi kachori chaat etc. I thought of trying dahi kachori chaat. it was mouth watering and wonderfully fiery. Check out the picture to enhance your taste buds.
Further we came across 'the paratha shop' called Pt. Gaya Prasad Shiv charan Paratha Shop, established 1872. It had the perfect setting with walls adorned with pcitures taken with all celebrities, small tables with benches and 1 waiter waiting all the tables. Two cooks making paratha orders at really amazing speed. The rule for ordering was you have to order two paratha's does not matter how many share it. We tried the following, don't gasp, we were hungry. We tried, the obvious aloo paratha, gobhi paratha, mix paratha (mixed vegetables), paneer paratha, badam paratha (almonds) and khurchan paratha (dry malai paratha) all made in ghee complemented with various chutneys and achaar (phew). Since we could not stuff ourselves anymore, we packed meva paratha and rabdi paratha along with us.

After having such hearty meal, we were unable to walk back to the metro rail station. We leaped on to cycle auto rickshaw. We reached right on time to leave for our train scheduled at 10.30pm from old Delhi station.

That was my day concluding in Delhi and I left with a variant feeling than from my previous visits here. Hope all the food lovers do visit the 'parathe wali gali" and enjoy the paratha's as we did. Enjoy!!