Monday, 26 December 2016

BlogMas 2016 Day Twenty Four - 2017

Hello. It's Day Twenty Four. Merry Christmas, everyone!
Twenty four days of writing are over. When I'd gone through the first week of BlogMas, it felt like the month was passing by so slow that BlogMas would never end. And now, I'll have to wait for another whole year to do this. I'll be honest. I was a little wary of doing BlogMas this year. It did take a toll. After work, I had to be awake till wee hours in the night to write every post. I reckon I did a poorer job of this year's BlogMas than last year considering I really haven't had much response this time. Though I have to thank every single one of you who still clicked my links everyday and read all the nonsense I wrote for twenty four days, because my page-views have never been better. So, thank you. I know if a job's worth doing then it's worthy of having some effort put into it. This year, I didn't articulate anything. I wasn't sensitive enough to how pleasant everything I'm writing will be to the eye and the mind. That's me falling back on my job. And, here I was thinking of officially starting another blog. And once, the winter ends, I will also have to stop my blog snow and change the fairy lights header. It's sometimes difficult to conclude a contemplation regarding whether or not should I post everything I write offline, too. Because, there are certain pieces that I'm too possessive about for anyone to read. Somehow, I do feel that those are one of my better pieces, and if I'm being dishonest with my writing and to people who have been reading me for almost five years now. Though, I feel that's not entirely true, because in the past five years I have turned here, and not my notebook if I've wanted to rant and vent because I know someone is always listening without barging much in on this space. Isn't that all we all want? Only to be heard? And I know there's a load of you that hear me. 

I missed blogging for the longest of time. However, in the past couple of years I felt that what the blog was arrogating from me, was much more than I was grappling from writing in this space. So I stopped feeding it anymore. I took an elongated break from this give and take business, because I'd found more things in life that are far more important for me that I needed to feed. And, I do not fumble with my words here. Writing is very important to me but not more than my work. It's like feeding a child to health. And I've been starving this baby for this entire past year, until it was time for cookies. While I thought it was alright of me to do that, and I started redeeming my said deed with daily blogging, I realised that I was somewhere bleak with the idea of taking a break from writing. Writing is always something that comes from deep within. So people reading this who also happen to write will know what I'm talking about. And sometimes you do feel like you don't have much at the moment to draw something from yourself to give any better. I have written about the smallest of inklings I've felt looking at the smallest of things. Hell, I've written two poems just watching fallen leaves. Something that is so dead. And, I liked that about myself. That my mind didn't have to be on another alignment altogether to seek inspiration to write. Simple things did it for me. And, that is also something what daily blogging is all about. It's so mundane and simple. There's nothing artistic or faulty about it. Though more than daily blogging, it was the poems or the proses that took more out of me. Don't get me wrong. I love daily blogging. But the poems are also something I put my everything (well, almost) in. Because I want it to be all the more beautiful. Daily blogging just is. And I realised that I don't really have to put an effort into it because it is just like living everyday. Just as. I also realised that I live all year around and not just during Christmas month for me to daily blog. I've thought about this entire month, and I would like to daily blog. Not everyday or every month. Of course, BlogMas will happen every year. I promise it, but it would also depend on my disposition at the time. I would still do my best. But, I would like to daily blog one week maybe at least once in two months. Because I need to learn to offer myself some time to sit back and reflect. And, I've always done that while writing. So, come next year, I'm going to try to give my best shot not only to poems, but also to daily blogging.

Meanwhile, I really hope you all had a healthy and contented Christmas, and holidays with your family. God knows there are thousands who have lost theirs. Though, I do wonder how God is alright with such cruelty. But I'd still ask you to pray because there are cities where Father Christmas isn't visiting this year. A very Merry Christmas to y'all, and the best wishes for 2017. I will see you next year. Be thankful, be well.
Until then.



Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Ak.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

BlogMas 2016 Day Twenty Three - 23!

Hello. It's Day Twenty Three. Two days to go.
I've officially turned twenty three. On twenty-third day of BlogMas. There's nothing cool about it. Forget it. Yes, I'm sitting inside a blanket again, writing this post. But with a bowl of raspberry jelly. My mother knows I like jelly. So, okay, yesterday's post will go live with this one. That's two posts late this BlogMas. Last year, it was four, I reckon. That's not too bad considering this year was much busier than the last. Do not forget to read Day Twenty Two.

Speaking of, 2016 is also on the verge of ending. I'm excited for 2017. Not in a new year kind of way. 2016 was a year of a lot of changes for me. College ending, new job, new people, new city. With so much that happened, I still felt that nothing ensued at all this year. And to gather all that was occurring in an absolute whirl, I needed to sit back and think upon how it has affected me for the opposite of what I felt to be eventuated. In growing a year older, this is what I learnt. Take just a minute and reflect on yourself. If something is affecting you, think it through. Even if you feel it's affecting you in a way where you don't feel it, still think it through. The person you see in the mirror is important. So give them a minute of your day. 

I think the only part I don't like about a new year is that you're in a hangover of writing the previous year in date. But much more than that, people are hungover from whatever happened the previous year, and then they're on a tear about it. Just breathe. If you can't let things go so easily, then breathe. 
The time at which the post has gone up, twenty fourth would be officially over. So Merry Christmas, y'all. I'm going to put on some socks to be much cosier, and put out a cookie and glass of milk for Santa. By the way, me and my father donated. And I'll be giving away some old clothes. Let me know if you made someone's Christmas too.
Until then. 



Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Ak.

BlogMas Day Twenty Two - Driving Home For Christmas

Hello. It's Day Twenty Two. Three days to go. Essentially two. But no lip. It was my birthday. On the night of twenty-third(24), that is. I wanted to gift myself some sleep. This post should have been up last night, but since you're reading it today you'll have to consider that you are de facto reading it on the night of twenty-third. My flight was also late, so please. I was quite busy eating cake inside a blanket while lying on a blanket, and passing out from sugar coma.
And since it is twenty-third, I drove home for Christmas tonight.
I always felt cold mostly in my feet during winters. The moment I stepped out of the airport to get to my brother, it was hurtful for me to walk. I knew it was cold, my feet instantly cramped and I knew I was home. Thus, began the process of putting myself into a sugar (and food, I'm cheeky like that) coma. You don't really miss home when you're away from it. You miss the comfort. I feel like I've spoken about this before, and I'm like a broken record. Just roll with it, I'm happy. 

Slightly off track, but I'm the proud owner of a new sketchbook. It's bright red, and such an adorable, boisterous piece of shit. In case, you're wondering if I love stationary so much that it needs a special mention on the blog, yes, I do. Just informing. Anybody wants to send me stuff, go right ahead with beautiful stationary. It also has to be useful. This one time, I found these doughnut shaped post-its. They looked so cute, but that was such a waste of paper on the part of whosoever manufactured them, because honestly, how do you write on a piece of paper that has a massive hole in the middle of it. I'm rambling again.

I also have been on such an indie and alternative and a bit of rock rampage regarding music lately. So all I've been playing on repeat is Hozier, Heartless Bastards, Tango with Lions, Marie Fisker, Erik Jonnason, Alex Clare and Chet Faker. I used to listen a lot of James Blake and JMSN (pronounced as Jameson, because this irritates me about people) in college. I used to listen to these two when I was mostly holed up in a corner trying to design something, and would directly shift to Gulzar and Rahman when I was done resolving and then moved onto drawings.
Alex Clare also happened to be on this playlist because me and my college friend (Read: Apek) would listen to his songs all the time while working together. Damn Your Eyes, especially. Not while driving though. No. With the steering wheel in my hand, and the music system in hers, she was a car passenger from hell.

But I'm home. So I'm going to go put on some socks, and be comfortable.
Until then.





Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Ak.

Friday, 23 December 2016

BlogMas 2016 Day Twenty One - Some Cocoa Please!

Hello. It's Day Twenty One. Four Days to go.
The year is just shy of almost a week from being over. No. No sharing resolution talk. And it's funny how most people resort to resolutions to bring about change they need in life only around new year. It isn't as if we live a programmed life so it's acceptable to choose one day and burden it with all you want to change in your life. Life happens all year around. It might be a yearly cleansing routine of oneself for some people, if that makes any sense. And, I know a few people who diligently follow their resolutions through to the end, and on top of that plan out what they want to achieve for themselves in the coming year. That's planning and resolving. 
And the main criteria about resolutions is to understand that if life taking place takes time, then so does the changes you want to make to it. It's not an overnight process. Hang on a bit. And decide to your level best what is not good, but necessary for you. You take care of you, first. All the time.

Enough knowledge sharing for the night. I also apologise for the miniature post toady. And tomorrow night's post will come to you from yours truly, who'll be sitting inside a blanket, in Christmas pyjamas, sipping hot chocolate. Because I'm driving home for Christmas.

Until then.



Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Ak.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

BlogMas 2016 Day Twenty - Chitthhi

Hello. It's Day Twenty. Five days to go.
I'm not going to lie. Daily blogging was easy in college, even amidst end of semester juries. No joke. I feel like a robot that doesn't need charging, but feels like it does. There need to be 40-hour days. If not enough sleep, at least there'd be enough time to finish whatever work you initiate every morning. The sheer amount of satisfaction at the end of a day, aaaaaa! Unimaginable.

I was listening to a very classic 90s Bollywood song. And I remembered this one day of a Lighting class - just consider there was a class because 90% were dozing. And since me and my friend (Read:Apek) were on the verge of dozing too, because hey, we were also bored. In retrospect, it would have been much better if there were discussions instead of writing Lighting basics on board like a school teacher, who in turn are so techie now. iPads and soft boards and all. I don't think children today will understand the charm of a blackboard. Or making screechy noises with a chalk on it, you know, just for the heck of it. Which reminds me, next time I stop writing and start rambling, kindly remind me politely to return to the prior. But politely, yeah? Or I'm more likely to gobble your head up. Joking. I'm not a goblin....That was a very bad joke.

Getting back. So, in that class from depths of hell, I started scribbling lyrics of this song and doodling beside it. My friend started the other half of the page with lyrics and doodles. And, it's funny that when you're not in somebody's physical presence or can't literally talk, you write. The art of writing to someone is sure quicker and much more tawdry because of phones now. But, you write. I used to write a lot to people. And with mails and social media, you don't need to do that anymore. But how special is it to write with your hand and not on a keypad, undersign it. Seal it and pass it on to be taken to the concerned person. A friend in the studio was telling me the other day about how she received a postcard from a friend in a different country altogether, and just how unprecedented something as simple as that one postcard was. I don't remember the last time I physically wrote to someone. Or maybe thought about them so much, I couldn't stop myself from picking up the pen, and letting it all hang out. I think we need to keep post offices busier. I reckon I'd like to try and limit the longer conversations I have with friends and my family to paper only. It'll delay what I have to or need to say, but it'll be that much more precious.

Until then.



Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Ak.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

BlogMas 2016 Day Nineteen - Still

Hello. It's Day Nineteen. And, six days to Christmas.
I'm quite blank for this one, here. Last year, during BlogMas I had done a trail with all the posts. It just constantly kept spinning with whatever I ended the post about on each day. This time, I thought I'd take each day as it comes and as it happens and actually talk to you about it. But today, I'm blank. I could talk to you about how I spent my day, if knowing the happenings of an architecture studio interest you. But how wondrous it is to not be able to think of anything. Everyday we try so hard to switch off and avoid social media for a bit. Not think at all, and be still. But when our brain switches off all by its own effort, we're worried and restless. 

It's an extraordinary gift, to control the mind using the mind itself. Sounds like cannibalism a bit to me, if I'm honest. You use your mind to feed your mind full with satisfaction. This happens to be one really advantageous practice that in me, was probably born out of reading. And it was only when I'd just written the first line when I realised, whilst coming home I was reading on my phone. And my mind knew all to well to tell my mind to switch off. With reading, I reckon, you momentarily live as a bystander in someone else's life, and forget your own. My mind knows to stop thinking about my life anymore. Find something that stills you. It's important to stop thinking. There's only so much the brain can come up with and take at the same time. You could also just sleep. I mean, that's the best answer ever to most impossible things in life. Joking. Since my mind is shut, I should be shutting my eyes too.

I've realised it's sort of difficult to write the longer posts when you're daily blogging. There's only so much and so many things you can talk about. Even a lot of general posts in the past, I was reading the other day while reminiscing, are extremely long. These posts feel like those short, snippet stories you find on Instargram accounts. And I genuinely feel they were much better quality to read as well than BlogMas. The flip side I surely love about BlogMas is that they're literally my everyday thoughts and not something I've been contemplating about to write over a couple of days. I might also be rambling on right now.

Until then.



Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Ak.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

BlogMas 2016 Day Eighteen - College

Hello. It's Day Eighteen. Just a week to Christmas.
When I started BlogMas this year again, I was fretting about not being able to see it till the end. At each passing day, I would think of how many days still to go for Christmas. And now, I'm trying to stir up a new excuse to do daily blogging in some other month. It's important to cherish.
I miss college. More so, I miss the freedom and carelessness that I harboured. And the transition is drastic, you know. You don't even realise where it's all gone. But my fourth year was most definitely an absolute blast! I reckon by that time we all had been together enough years and grown up enough to hold those friendships dear. And I think there are always a couple of them that run deeper. Right out of school, everyone thinks they've probably crossed a long phase of their lives, and the nose is consequentially quite a bit up in the air. And that is also an age where we are least bothered about who thinks what of us. So, for a phase alike that, people accepting us just as are just that much dearer. And by the time you grow out of that phase, it is time to start all over again. Though, it's not lucky third time seeing as you have to be that much wary of how much of yourself you can be. Suffice it to say, I was fluky when I reached that phase as well because I found people, not only as crazy as me but so much more. Just for that, I was so easily able to deal with college getting over. It's different in an architecture school. It's not a conventional three year college. Over and above spending four years in college, archi school makes you hop from your house to college to someone else's house to college to mostly not your home at least.
I cannot be thankful enough for last year. I have more memories in just last year than I have from the first three years put together. You need to make an effort for yourself, at least, so you have something to remember.

I know this one is quite short, today. But I really can't keep my eyes open anymore.
Until then.



Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Ak.

Monday, 19 December 2016

BlogMas Day Seventeen - Aleppo

Hello. It's Day Seventeen.
Since I was a kid, I always saw my parents donate a lot. Monetarily or materialistically. And that always got to me. There came a time when myself and my brother reached a certain age where we understood that everything holds value, and that the value of something depended on how much you're entitled to in life. As kids, there were times when my brother and I would want something more, or just more things for the sheer heck of it. I reckon after our first tantrum, our father once showed us a beggar, armless and helpless, and asked us if the correct way of looking at our lives is to realise we have more by how many standards, or how much lesser than whom. So, until we were teenagers and we needed things that were more constant, each year on our respective birthdays, our parents would make us pick out things that we didn't need anymore, or would probably be of more use to someone than us. Clothes, books, toys, shoes, previous year notebooks to study. Anything. And we did. For a lot of years we did this. My birthday is close. And it's been a few years since we donated things. 

There's a country in the world that is in a worse disposition than most of the world's poor. What's surprising is that the world is not doing anything about it. There is an entire city which was beautiful and modern, that's now up in fumes. There's rubble instead of buildings everywhere. People are dying everyday. Every single day. Can you recall one incident if a loved one of yours was in hospital or an accident or in a critical point in health ever? I know it feels horrible. There are thousands of people in Aleppo who don't even know if their family is alive or dead or should they be looking for them or fleeing. All their possessions and belongings are lost, they own nothing anymore. The temperature is -2˙C in Aleppo. Minus bloody two. They are torn, they are tired and hurt and in dire need of everybody's help. I'm going to start doing again what my parents taught me as a child. I'm posting some links down below I found for donations for Syria. 

Christmas is about happiness. Those people haven't felt any in four years. Let's really try to practice the spirit of Christmas this time. I'll do my bit, I hope you'll do yours.

And if you aren't in the position to donate, share this post. Pass it around. The more people can help, it'll still be so much less, but it'll be something.
Until then.

LINKS:








Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Ak.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

BlogMas 2016 Day Sixteen - 200/2016

Hello. It's Day Sixteen.
It is also my two hundredth post on this blog. My grandfather always preferred to write his poems in Hindi or Urdu. This is for him, and my father.

"...live in the question."
                                                     - Rainer Maria Rilke

वो चीज़ ढूंढता रहा ज़िन्दगी भर 
जिसे पाने के लिए कुछ खर्च न करना पढ़े 
भूल गया था रोज़ की दस्तूरी में 
जिसे खर्च करना था वही पल गवा रहा था। 

वो पल ढूंढता रहा ज़िन्दगी भर 
जिन में सिर्फ अख़बार के पन्नो का 
जहाज़ बनाना भी सपना लगता था 
जवानी तक आते आते भूल गया
जिस पल की तलाश थी, वो ग़ुम था 
मगर मेरा बचपन तो अब भी मेरे साथ ही था। 

वो पल के इंतज़ार में गुज़ार दिया पूरा पहर 
उसी खिड़की के सामने, देखता था जहाँ से 
गाड़ियों को सारे मौसम पार करते हुए 
किरणों से बूंदों का सफ़र नप भी गया 
और कीचड़ में एक गेंद उछालने का मौका भी न चुरा पाया।

उस रोज़ उन्ही बीते पलों की उम्मीद में 
दरवाज़े पर आए दस्तक का जवाब दिया 
सोचा ज़िन्दगी ने कुछ पल उधार देने का फैसला कर लिया 
पर ज़िन्दगी की घात में समय आया था 
वापस लेने के लिए वही पल 
ज़िन्दगी से ज़िन्दगी भर भीक मांगता रहा जिनकी
फ़र्क सिर्फ़ इतना था, मैं अपने बीते हुए बेच कर 
कुछ नए पलों का सौदा करना चाहता था 
और समय मुझसे कुछ खूबसूरती लेकर,
मुझे बदले में कुछ खोकला बेचना चाहता था। 

भिखरी सी यादों में पुराने दोस्त ढूंढ रहा था  मैं
समय ने तो ख़ुद से मिलने का भी वक़्त न दिया
उस दो बटा सोलह की छोटी सी चॉल में भी 
अपनी कमाई हुई यादों के इर्ध-गिर्ध भी 
आईने में रोज़ एक अजनबी से मिलता रहा। 

Until then.



Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Ak.

Friday, 16 December 2016

BlogMas 2016 Day Fifteen - Loopy Loo

Hello. It's Day Fifteen.
Anticipation is a funny thing. The point before something beginning, or something ending - when nothing is said and done, or everything is out in the open - is humbling. These are times when you don't know the answer to what now, or what next. And it's a loop. this situation occurs a lot in an architecture school. The only thing you do know is what that place would be called. You never know how it's going to look, how you're going to even reach that point when it's done. It's mostly somewhere in the middle when you have just the slightest idea of what it was and how it's going to be. The rest is just details. There were always two types of students - one who finished the loop and others who fell into the centre like a dead electron. I have fallen in the latter category more than twice during school. Maybe not so much, but I probably jumped on another loop just when I was about to finish the first. It's hard sometimes to like your own work. Much less, be satisfied by it. Unmistakably, not fall for it. My brother (the bugger) questioned me once if I was normal in the head or not. In retrospect, I mostly stopped liking what I was making when a guide or someone else started liking it. It's like parent behaviour, I reckon. When someone tells you how amazing your child is at something, you try to hone much more of them, trying to callously free them of any habit that could possibly belittle them in front of others.

Architecture is, hands down, not an education that can satisfy your need to learn something. It's not impossible, just highly unlikely. It's easy to solve a question and write its answer in a paper. It's harder to create something that is pleasing to all. And staying on the loop, feeling dissatisfaction is hard. But stay on the loop. And I suggest that because I most veritably didn't. Don't be an electron. I'm on my way to watch Star Wars now. Woop woop? Yeah.

Until then.



Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Ak.

BlogMas 2016 Day Fourteen - Grant and Granted

Hello. It's Day Fourteen.
Winter mornings in Delhi are wonderful. Driving in Delhi during winter mornings are the best. The sky is indigo, and the gloom is so evident, you can smell an evening dusk during dawn. There's a musk in the air that lingers a bit longer even after the sun is trying to do its job to amputate the fog bit by bit. I love driving. I've driven to my college everyday, for four short years, much prior to college as well, since I got my license. Driving to college and my coffee tumbler were the most obvious things to be noticed about me during winters. And it's funny how when you're deposed of your everyday customs do you feel the void of it when it's suddenly absent. If six months ago, someone asked me if I would think about my car and coffee tumbler coming winter, I would have probably looked at them as if they'd announced dancing naked on a Broadway. Granted, is a very heavy attitude to take, and a dangerous adjective to allot. I had a different notebook with kraft pages in which I doodled and wrote poems. Oddly enough, I didn't realise until recently that I would never use the notebook until it was winters, and wrote and doodled with only people in mind. And I would seldom take it out. I've had it for more than two years and it's barely filled. I don't remember while packing up what I was thinking, leaving certain notebooks behind, but that particular one is also at home. Maybe, I knew that I'll need it only in winters, or maybe thinking I'm not going to have winters this year. It's amazing how every nerve in your body is in tune with your mind, that every nerve of mine knew not to pack that notebook. And it wasn't until today that I felt the need to doodle and physically write, and I remembered the damn tan kraft papers in a beige canvas cover. 

Sometimes, you need take things at face value and sometimes not. There are certain fixations everyone has, a good lion's share of which we don't realise. What I'm saying is, even the junk in your back drawer, you've stopped using, take it along with you if you're moving to another city. You're used to seeing that junk everyday, all the time when you open your drawer, which might seem empty without it lest you leave it behind.

Until then.



Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Ak.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

BlogMas 2016 Day Thirteen - Somewhere, Not Here

Hello. It's Day Thirteen.
Every time I go out for a vacation, or a getaway, my first feeling is of thrill. I like arriving someplace new. Where you know close to nothing about everything. Even a few hill stations I've visited multiple times, I've had to hustle against every fibre to leave certain nooks untouched so that I could come back, tasting the familiarity, yet titillating for the new. But it's not for too long before the need to return hits me, or the elation to barge in somewhere new sinks in. I've been very restless about being in new places. No place other than Delhi felt like home, neither did it make me fall so irrevocably in love with itself as Delhi did. I came a lot close to loving Dalhousie, just all the same, but Delhi calls to me at an incomprehensible primal level. I would occasionally presume that one is bound to love the city they grow up in. Unless it's in the wilderness of Chhattisgarh - then you don't love home. I dropped anchor in Bombay five months ago. Like always, I'd been elated to arrive here. A couple of months living along with this city, I realised I was a person of roots. Or maybe I'm not. Maybe I still haven't found the city that I truly makes me fall for it, which instantly feels like home. I kept looking for something to touch in this city, something to hold on to and be held back in return. I fathom that this is the first city I'm living in out of home, and hopefully there'll be more to come. But it's like a siren's call for me. Things I'm bound to love, I quite instantly do. I know if something has touched me in a way, it's going to be there forever. Maybe, when I pick my next city, Bombay will be in my heart considering I laid the footing of my career in this city. I keep fighting with everyone about there being absolutely everything incomparable to Delhi, which is true. Heedlessly, though, one thing I've never denied is that Bombay is beautiful. In it's own run-like-clockwork amazing, but it is. I think I still have a lot of years to figure out and fully understand the pull of a city I could call home. But for now, I miss home. Post studio, I was walking till the nearest drugstore, and I saw this family decorating their house for Christmas. And the nostalgia that hit me like a ton of bricks was not what I'd seen coming. Fairy lights in my room every year, my house looking like a flea market of candles and Bublé, Chris Rea and Bing Crosby blaring out of speakers. Somedays I wake up, and mindlessly walk in a direction that was the balcony from my room at home, thinking only about the growing fog everyday. Only when I see towers and jailed windows outside, do I realise I'm also missing my snug robe and woollen slippers.

Habits are a dangerous way of withholding you from falling in love with something different but beautiful nonetheless. Delhi is comfort. Delhi is moody. And it suits me, because it gets me. I'm the Rapunzel that might someday want to return to the tower.

Until then.



Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Ak. 

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

BlogMas 2016 Day Twelve - A Second?

Hello. It's Day Twelve.
The issue is we are least willing to give time to anything. And that's not what is becoming the wrong kind of habit people develop. It's becoming an excuse. I believe, given enough time, a person can love anything. I reckon, as 'settled' humans, we're too fearful to step of our mediocrity and try something new, we're callously falling into this pattern. Two days ago, I spoke of how easily I'd forgotten to look forward to doing something I absolutely loved. I'm going to run back through almost five years of this blog. The titles are links, and you're more than welcome to read either of them, any number of times.

It's been the longest series on my blog ever. Slightly more close to my heart than the rest, Stoner for me was a journey where I not only learned so much about people and relationships, but about myself also. For the longest of time, I reckon that would be a year, Stoner was a part of my routine. If anything major happened, or if nothing at all, penning down Stoner was my rescue. I sometimes wish I didn't have to stop writing Stoner, but like all lessons, mine were learnt, and I had to put it to rest.

मैं उसे जानता हूँ, फिर भी मैं उसे नहीं जानता..... (I Know Her, Yet I Don't)
What do you do if everything you've ever believed in life was a lie. Thank God, I never lived a life where the mere truth about my existence was masked and wrapped with a tiny bow. This three part series was during the time when I was trying to understand things we never figure out about anyone going through it, no matter how well we knew them. When you're shaken to your soul, and you need a clue, Maya, Walda's pride and Wazir's promise will be right here.

This was when I was exploring the more complex side of emotions we feel but don't want to give the time of the day. Read it, feel it. I wrote with much love. There are certain things in life, which no matter howsoever much you love, suck a great deal out of you. These four poems/proses were some of those. There are much more difficult things in world yet to be felt, that are far satisfying and enlightening than the simpler ones you can count on your fingers. Have a try.

I'd written this poem at a time when, more than my friend I needed a push to be strong enough to be there for her. It's wondrous the extents you'll touch for your friends. And to show how everything can go dark, and to hang on by a thread - the allegory.

No joke. I'd woken up one weekend after a week of late nights in college, saw my window, and started typing like a maniac that very moment. Sometimes things hit you. And they hit you in a way, you have no choice but to act upon it. Much like love. Guess, that morning I'd fallen in love with how my window looked during sunrise. Like I said, lads, little things.

I stronly believe, not just with writing, if there's anything you love doing with a passion, give it a chance with Christmas. Because you never say no on Christmas. Twenty four days of unhindered access you give yourself to do something you love. Think on it, sleep on it. There's still thirteen days to go. Give it a chance. Pick up those things that put a smile on your face that's no less than a child seeing gifts around his tree and snow on Christmas.

As for me, if there's something any of you specifically would like to read about from the comment box is down below. Or, y'all probably know the links to my Facebook or Twitter. Let me know. You can click the round icons on the right, or if you're reading this on your phones, well don't be lazy and just comment. Or you can choose the web version as well. It has been activated. =)

Until then.



Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Ak.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

BlogMas 2016 - Pipin'

Hello. It's Day Eleven.
Hands down, the one thing architecture school teaches you is to never say never. If ever in school anyone would tell me that I will have to stay awake for a week with only two hours of sleep everyday, and this might occur about six to eight times per semester, that person would see the back of me. No joke. But, see, there's this high of creating something with your bare hands, if you must, that makes you not halt even for a second. I'm not saying you would never need coffee - that'd be a lie. But believe you me, it's a high unlike any other. I remember there was this one semester, I had my entire design thought out, plans ready, models in place, but no other deliverables. I was jittery and way past being timorous, I was shaking with the idea of the juror failing me because of lack of my deliverables. I reached the studio and put up my work looking like a wet kitten all the while. My guide came to me told me very calmly that I had figured out the thread of my design, and I was holding it in my hand - and all there was at that moment in my hand were my sketches and tracings and notes. She wasn't wrong. It was, till my last jury, the best I've ever had. And my guide had very subtly taught me something that day. There's no point of all the hard work you put in if you don't find that one thing that'll knot everything together. And it's vital, you know, to think through everything. With just a semester's worth of time, and so much to do, I understand, and have a first hand experience at knowing that it's not possible to think everything to the utmost detail. But a slightly clear head to think of all the possibilities; even if you can't find a solution to it, that's alright. Recognising the problem is the first step to solving. 

What actually upsets me is that through the college, I saw the studio culture dying. I get that it's fun to sit around the canteen and soak up some sun. Students, I reckon, nowadays are failing to fathom that there is much to be absorbed from their guides. There are a limited number of hours of studio every week, and so much to learn, if you really went about it, it would be impossible to learn everything even if you gave ten years to college. And that is evaporating. The practice of learning everything from a human architecture book, as you possibly can. There'll always be teachers who'll know more than the others, but there won't be a single one who doesn't know more than you. A good discussion just about Kahn and light will open doors for you to explore. I'll never be able to sell drugs. I can sure sell you architecture. It's a much better high.

Until then.



Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Ak.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

BlogMas 2016 Day Ten - Ticking

Hello. It's Day Ten.
It's amazing how I mention the day number in the post title everyday, and still go on like a teacher telling her students which chapter she's going to teach next, despite the possibility of them having already know about it.

Yesterday, I spoke of how we're all stuck in a rut. We have made ourselves habitual to live in another place all the time. We're so busy attempting to capture and record all our memories, we forget that while we're doing that, that time and place hasn't become a memory yet. So, while we're not living fully wherever we are, we're flubbing on all the fair-shakes of being something more and maybe even absolutely antithetic of what we are. And, it's not much to say how monotonous our lives are shaded in this age. Even so, whenever I've seen all the pre-social media pictures of my parents' lives, the only thing that constantly hit me was, for them, those pictures was actually about preserving memories in the truest sense, because they could hardly go about showing people they barely knew what fun they had the night before. I reckon that has compelled us to view our life not as ourselves but from an outsiders perspective and how should it be lived. 

And that just happens to be one of the so many factors that people don't live thoroughly and intimately. Often times, we claim for certain things so integral for us to live, music or painting or dancing or anything under the sun - yet we so easily trade on them for something that's much too out of our element, because it might just be passé to not ebb with what is latest. 

This white space that is now filled with a lot of black font was my escape and my necessity too. For about a year I've ignored it because my work, for me apparently took precedence. There have been times all throughout the year, with what having thesis the first half, and started working in the second, where I wanted to just stop and breathe. And the hilarious part about it is that I assumed some good music, coffee and extra sleep would cure everything. I wouldn't lie, this year I've written the least of all since I started created this blog almost five years ago. And I regret it. I also proudly regret it, because I know I deserve to. I was busy, yet restless. What I didn't apprehend was that I just had to open this page, write two lines, and I'd be at peace. And becoming conscious of how major a chunk of this year I'd given to not writing, had me in a fit. A lot of these things struck me somewhere so deep when looking at his school yesterday, all my father said was that knowing he was ambitious to be at a certain place in his life, knowing that he could get there and he did, and even in the midst of spending their lives with the person they both loved, kids they doted on, ample memories in ample places, he and my mother at some point had forgotten to live for themselves. While trying to deal with college ending, and starting a new chapter, getting used to a new city, meeting new people, wanting to learn the absolute amount in a day, I forgot that there was something I loved with such a fascination, I didn't have to go too far to make myself happy. There's a reason I decided to end my restlessness with BlogMas again. I wanted to commit again to my blog. I know my blog thinks a little less of me at the moment having ignored it for a year. I promise I'm redeeming our relationship. This place is my love. 

Until then.



Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Ak.

BlogMas 2016 Day Nine - Tick Tock

Hello. It's Day Nine. Two posts in a day. Look who's golden.
I went to town with my father today. Well, not painting-the-town-red-partying, but Town, southern side of the city. My father was born and brought up in Bombay. He showed me his school, where he lived as a child, all the places he would meet his friends, every single nook where he and his friends would go every time they bunked school. My father is my father (duh!) - it was equally wondrous for me, to look at him literally walk through almost two decades of his life, as it was for him to see how much had changed. It only made me wonder how much of this experience would alter all his childhood memories, now making him think of what all from his childhood had changed rather than what was there. He told me he loved Delhi more, but what if he comes back to this place when he's old and wrinkly. It was again wondrous for me to see how the nostalgia for his childhood morphed into a nostalgia for a future nobody is sure about. 

Is it possible, really? To be nostalgic for a future you might or mightn't achieve. I refrain from using the word yearning, because it still implies an affirmation in knowing what to want for your future, and the possibility of aspiring for it and/or going after it. What about being nostalgic for a possibility? Last year, during BlogMas itself, as it happens, I'd written a post called Barter. Writing this right now, is making me nostalgic about last year. I'd spoken at that time about how little we allow ourselves to be a part of our own lives, because busy being stuck in some other time. I shall get back on more of this tomorrow.

Until Then. 



Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Ak.

BlogMas 2016 Day Eight - Little Ol' Little Bit

Hello. It's Day Eight. A day late, but here nonetheless. Last year, I did BlogMas all through my juries, and in all maybe three posts were a day late. So, those means, I reckon I'm fine right now.

As I did last year, I listed my favourite parts of the songs I'd listened to most last year. After a week full of BlogMas, I'll keep it simple and repeat the tradition. There might be a possibility some might be repeated. But, well, like YouTube, consider this my BlogMas Rewind.

Feel the spot, don't let it burn,
We all want, we all yearn,
Be soft, don't be stern

रहना  तू , है  जैसे  तू,
थोड़ा  सा दर्द  तू, थोड़ा सुकूं ,
रहना  तू , है  जैसे  तू,
धीमा धीमा झोंका, या फिर जूनून,
थोड़ा सा रेशम, तू हमदम , थोड़ा सा खुरदुरा,
कभी तो अड़ जाए , या लड़ जाए ,
या खुशबू से भरा 

And on the Lower East Side, you're dancing with me now,
And I'm taking pictures of you with flowers on the wall,
Think I like you best when you're dressed in black from head to toe

होंठ पे लिए हुए, दिल की बात हम,
जागते रहेंगे और, कितनी रात हम,
मुख़्तसर  सी बात है, तुमसे प्यार है,
तुम्हारा इंतज़ार है 

Ten thousand cars, ten thousand trains,
There are ten thousand roads to run away,
But I am not lost, I am not found,
I am not Dylan's wife, not Cohen's hound

यह मौसम, यह रात चुप हैं,
वो होंठों की बात चुप है,
ख़ामोशी सुनाने लगी, है दास्तान

The streets, the summers, the anonymity
Public transports, photobooths and galleries
The zoo, the parks, apartments, the rooftops,
Architecture, Hauptbahnhof, the balconies,
The winters, with me,
Alexander, you are my winter,
Alexander, Alexander
Alexander,
Alexander, you are my winter

क्या लगाई तुमने, यह कसम कसम से,
लो ठहर गए हम, कुछ कहो भी हमसे,
बन के न चलिए, तन के न चलिए, कहते है तुमसे हाँ,
तुम भी जलोगे, हाथ मलोगे, रूत के हमसे हाँ 

This last one isn't really a song, but a prelude to one of the ghazals from an album called Marasim, written by Gulzar and sung by Jagjit Singh. I think it came out late 90s, or maybe later. I used to love listening to it, and I heard it a lot, because my father loved listening to it. 

सुबह सुबह, ख्वाब की दस्तक पर  दरवाज़ा खोला,
देखा सरहद के उस पार से कुछ मेहमान आएं हैं,
आँखों से मानूस थे सारे, चेहरे सारे सुने सुनाये,
पाँव धोये, हाथ धुलाये, आँगन में आसन  लगवाए,
और तंदूर पे मक्की के कुछ मोटे मोटे  रोट  पकाये,
पोटली में मेहमान मेरे, पिछले सालों की 
फसलों का गुड़ लाये थे,
आँख खुली तो देखा घर में कोई नहीं था,
हाथ लगा कर देख तो तंदूर अभी तक बुझा नहीं था,
और होंठों पे मीठे गुड़ का ज़ायका अभी तक चिपक रहा था,
ख्वाब था शायद, ख्वाब ही होगा,
सरहद पर कल रात, सुना है, चली थी गोली,
सरहद पर कल रात, सुना है, कुछ ख्वाबों का खून हुआ है. 

Until then.



Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Ak.