Friday, March 14, 2008

Baggins has moved to a new cave

Pliss to update your links and blogrolls ( we the deluded ppl believe that we exist on ppl's blogrolls)

we are here now.

Thanks for coming by every now and then . Do visit at the new place and look at our ring.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Duh , really ??!!

Your True Sign Is Sagittarius

Easily Bored
World Traveler
Spontaneous and Wild
Carefree and Irresponsible
Blunt to the Point of Tactless

Monday, December 31, 2007

ME-me 2007

Main manta hoon
Main is baat se poori tarah se sehmat hoon
Jab tum kehti ho
Ki, " Shayar na hote, to bahut jhoote insaan hote tum"

( I admit, I fully agree with you , when , you say, that, If I hadn't been a poet, I'd have been a liar)

started this meme and I picked it up at Parikrama's. It's easy. All one has to do is post a pic one has snapped in the year 2007 and also a short write up on why that pic.

I snapped this pic in may this year. I've come a long way with the camera. While I've always loved to take photographs of people, I love it even more when my subjects or victims (if you want to put it this way) enjoy being in front of the camera. The pics come out better if I know the person well and have a nice conversation going. They come out even better when I am drunk :P.

Anyhoo, I love this particular pic because after I got done taking it, the great man himself smiled and said, " she looks happy, looks like she got some good shots."
So while people have liked their portraits after they've seen them, this is the first time some one could make out how the shot would turn out from reading the photographer's expression.

I did take a few prints of the photographs and showed them to the gentleman in question and after that as they say, "apun ki toh nikal padi." I got requests for this pic and the others I had taken, this one has also been published and I was introduced to the other people present as a very good photographer.

For those who are trying to guess the subject, it is the great man of hindi/urdu poetry , Sampooran Singh Gulzar

This pic is special to me as it is taken at a time when I was really struggling. Sometimes, a morale boost in one area , helps one in others as well. We all need the reinforcement of the belief that we can do a good job. This pic was just that for me.

The year 2007 brought with it a lot of special moments like these and is ending on another moment. Hopefully 2008 would do the same.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I am trying to use my soapbox

Hi guys,

Finally peeking to scream for some ice cream.

If you think I am nuts, ah well, PhD does expand to Pagal Ho gay(a/i) Dekho.

For those who want to know ( my two readers that is), the thesis is on schedule and in a couple of wks I should know if I finally get to be called Dr. Baggins.

till then , keep me in your prayers .

And now for the soapbox part. My blogger buddy entered his pic in a contest. Pliss to vote for him here.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

8 and 3

I've been tagged yet again , this time by lalouve and nazi for the 8 and 3 tag. The number 8 reminded me of Thomas Jefferson and his obsession with the octagon. I visited the UVA campus in Charlottesville, Virginia in the christmas vacation of '02, and thats when , I had the opportunity of visiting Monticello and Bourboursville vineyard. The octagon was ubiquitous. We did get sick of it eventually.

Today I am back to the number 8 and it does not make feel too well. You see, I don't like tags. I definitely don't like tags that involve me talking about myself. As Nazi said, I am full of myself. I do like myself that way, and don't really wanna share. The fact that I blank out completely and can't think of anything to write is just another reason for not liking tags. The number of things only seems to increase. Earlier it was 7 and now 8. uggghhhhh

Now lets see. How many random things about myself can I come up with
1 I pass a few homeless ppl on my commute to work and back , every day. Wkends I spend in Roppongi, and again, on our walks, we come across some more homeless ppl . Some of them sleep in pedestrian underpasses. Some of them sleep on stairs leading to shrines and gardens. Tokyo is an expensive place to live in . Roppongi, the heart of Tokyo, more so. I often wonder, If I can cope with a life of that kind. No roof over my head, no walls around me to keep me safe and away from prying eyes, no one to call my own, no one to wait for me, or care for me when I am sick. No one and nothing except a few of my essentials in a plastic bag. While I walk past these ppl, I can experience a whole gamut of emotions. Its not a pleasant sight and it isn't a good life. It isn't a life I can imagine...

2 My dreams are real enough to scare me and sometimes surreal enough to know that they are just dreams. I often see really rich colors in my dreams and when I still lived at home, I often dragged my mom to shop for colors I'd seen.

3 Talking of colors, I have a tendency to get hooked on a particular color. It was yellow one year, till mom put her foot down and refused to pay for another outfit in yellow. After that it was shades of peach and cream. Now , I am stuck to grey and brown.

4 Since I mentioned peach and cream, here's another view into that obsessive compulsive mind of mine. Mom has always encouraged us to do our own work as much as possible. So she washed our clothes, but we had to iron them ourselves. Something, I took care of during the wkends. I'd iron all my clothes and then hang em on hangers with a color as close to the color of the outfit. Then each outfit would hang in order so you could go from dark to light. When I was in my peach -cream phase, the clothes would hang with the peach outfit first, the cream outfit last and all the intervening shades in the middle. One day, when mom and I were arguing about getting more color in my wardrobe, she opened the door of my closet and then asked, " Where do u see color?" You go , mom , you really know how to drive a point home.

5 Home is where mom is . Always. We've lived in a lot of places and for the last decade and almost half, our family of 5 has been in 4 different geographical locations. So when we go home for a vacation, its wherever mom is . Delhi, Tokyo, Saigon, Delhi. Life comes a full circle.

6 Circle reminds me of the old oft repeated joke- I am in shape, round is a shape. Man that is scary shit that seems to be hell bent on being my near future.

7 My immediate future though is scarier. The roller coaster that a PhD is , is nearing one of its steepest slopes and it ends in a free fall. As they say, its the light at the end of the tunnel. I am simply praying that isn't an incoming train.

8 The last time I was on a train was in 98. We'd gone to a Bombay-Goa "educational" trip. Nuff said.

Whoa, I got done with the 8 part of it. Am not going to do the 3 part of it for now atleast. I am not enough of a sadist to really torture any one else. so not tagging anyone.

P.S Nazi, I am an INTP too. Now who'da thunk?

Friday, May 18, 2007

The sleep of innocence

This happened almost a life time back. I was back in India, Delhi to be precise and was enrolled in a bachelor's degree program and commuted back and forth between west Delhi and Cannought Place. ( I still can't bring myself to call it Rajiv Chauk)

I was on my way home and had my bag with a gazillion texts inside it sitting on my lap, when a young couple got in with a toddler and infant and the assorted baby paraphernalia. To say that they had their hands full would be an understatement. While the husband sat in another seat, with all the gazillion bags, the wife sat down beside me with the infant in her lap. The toddler stood between her and me.

To this day , I don't know what I was thinking , but I plonked my bag down on the floor and asked a very willing toddler to hop on . Before you could say lap, he was sitting in it. What he did next is something I remember even now. He put his tiny hands against me, snuggled and promptly went to sleep. While I felt envious of his innocent sleep, I could not help feeling a sense of warmth because of the implicit trust this little thing seemed to have put in me. ( Cynical me thinks that trust has nothing to do with it-but with my own sleep problems, I think trust is a big part of it.)

I don't remember if I got off the bus first or if they did. What I do remember is the feel of that child snuggled against me and the slow rhythm of its breathing.

Life is wonderful with its little moments that stow away in our minds, to be relived and reminisced later.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Friends for a reason

April 04. I was at school at NYC and had decided to quit the program I was in, cold turkey and come back home to my parents in Tokyo. It took me all of 12 days to decide, get the visa, buy the air ticket, pack up a home I’d built over the last 2 and a half yrs and leave, knowing fully well I would have next to no social life once I moved. To add to all that, I had no clue of what I’d be doing. I’d visited Tokyo earlier and it did not strike me as an English zone. It isn’t one yet.

But let me not get ahead of myself here.

I wasn’t blogging then. I did write but wasn’t really posting anywhere. I did lurk on a few blogging sites, thus coming in touch with a few ppl. I’d usually interact with them online for a bit and then if we struck a chord, take it off line. I made quite a few friends in this process.

Beanie too was one such friend. He wrote poems that weren’t traditional rhymes and followed no rules. Just the same, they expressed whatever he was feeling at that moment. I still carry one of it in my wallet. I'd told him I was printing it out and putting it there.

Those were carefree conversations. About poems and feelings and life in general and the online world and the people that inhabited it and how close some came to their real beings even when they were running away from them. Online world offers an anonymity that makes it so easy for one to be just that – one.

So when I decided to move, I got quite a mixed bag of reactions, most of them not too good. In the midst of that, his words, to just go and learn about another culture and to see how I could imbibe it best, stood out. When the going got tough, this toughie (yours truly), did try to get going and on some days, failed miserably. As I did on the day, I had set aside for my packing. Instead of going to the lab to wind up all my stuff and tidy up the desk and all, I sat in my studio and organized my clothes into piles. One pile that was coming with me to Nippon also needed to be ironed. That's what I tackled that day and that's what got me crying eventually.

I’ve never really thought of myself as a homebody. While I do have chores around the house and I love to muck around in the kitchen, these are things I do interspersed with my life of school and lab and I am hoping one day, work. So quitting a program not knowing what next was never part of a well thought out plan. Impulsive I am and I had gone a few steps too far this time as I realized, ironing shirt after shirt.

So, when in the evening I sat talking to him, something in my voice gave away and I just sat and bawled on the phone. I’ve yet to repeat that stunt and I hope I never do. Trooper that he is, he waited for me to calm down and when I showed no signs of it, he just let me have a good cry and then asked me to breath. Whadya know, I don't know how to breathe to relax. I still don't know, though that day I did get a clue. With him counting on the other end of the line, we kind of did the whole deep inhale count exhale count thing and it worked to calm me down a bit.

He was the last person I spoke to before I flew out and we kept in touch for a little while after I moved. Soon after coming to Tokyo, I started volunteering in the lab I am in now. I applied to the graduate program I am in and got accepted and also got on the Japanese govt. fellowship. Around this time I also lost touch with my friend. I guess my need for him was over. He made sure I made the transition, got settled and then left.

Though I would not say that I miss him, every once in a while, I do take that poem out of my wallet and read it again. I've never made the attempt to memorize it. I guess I need that touch of paper to make that memory a bit more tangible. Sometimes, when I’ve tucked myself in for the night, and I am lying there not yet ready for slumber, I can hear him count…