Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Mourning Castle


Mourning Castle was a hub of learning for girls of all region, religion, culture, caste and class. Ladies from around the world came here to learn art, culture, music, instrument and other vocational courses. Even royalties from different nations graced this humble institution with their presence. Some learned the Japanese tea ceremony and calligraphy; some opted for Indian garba dance and leaf painting- patta chitra; and some others learned the various languages and dance forms from around the world. Every new art once discovered was immediately included in the institution’s agenda. Other than this it was a coveted place for its fun and frolic, secret beauty enhancing rituals and for the most beautiful lady hosts.

Mourning Castle got its name from the waterfall nearby, the Mourning Fall. After the demise of the good old king, the castle was converted to an institution. An invitation was sent to the world’s eligible ladies to learn and add to the knowledge of others. The day of joining, Ethnic Day was celebrated. Each of them was asked to carry their culture and what they stand for in their attire. One could see beautiful sarees, kimonos, Hanbok, western wears etc.

I have spent more than three years here, learning all that I could, all that was possible, until I became saturated. But I am not ready to leave, as of yet no one studying here has any regrets, no one has  any kind of dissatisfaction. We are seen as the elite of the education masters, we lead lives no less than princesses, people come from far off places to be hosted by us and to experience the talent and creatives that we have to offer. But I harbor one small unfulfilled wish in my heart, and perhaps a regret too.

It was summer, when one evening Lady Moraine called us girls to the hall and asked us to prepare a cultural dance for a special guests. We were baffled, we rarely performed dance and the guest had to be indeed special and influential that too to see us dance. Otherwise it was the usual visit to the art gallery, museum, tea ceremony and music show. Later we came to know that it was a British Lord and his accomplice who was coming to stay in the guest house for a week. And rumors said he was extremely godlike and handsome. We were curious. I was curious.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

She loves me, He loves me not

Zeenat Mahal takes care of human emotions and it's intricacies in a relationship so well. We are a complex jumble of paradox. We can love and manage to hate at the same time. We can harbour a protective instinct and a deep sence of resentment for the same person. We do lash out at someone we love the most. Human beings are unsolved puzzles, every mind and heart works in a different frequency.

Zoella had her eyes for Fardeen, her best friend's brother, since she was ten. Fardeen hadn't even cared to spare a glance her way, in return for her decades of adoration. He had lived his life being the haughty, arrogantly dashing young man, with his arms around the waist of his gorgeous girlfriend. But with a tragic turn of events his dreamlike lifestyle came crashing down. A life-threatening accident permanently scarred half of his face. All that was left was melted skin and burned eyebrows. He was depressed and hopeless. His girlfriend broke off the engagement. He had to marry Zoella.

He considered himself beastly and grotesque. He felt he had devastated Zoella's life, and at the same time hated Zoella for pitying him. He neither accepted her overtures of love nor did he accept the fact that she truely did love him. He pierced her heart with his painful words, thwarting every smile, every laugh and hurting her the best way possible. Zoella was scarred, she lost her smiling jolly face realising that she meant nothing for Fardeen. Miscommunication created major gaps in their relationship.

Zoella then decided to take the reins of her life in her own hands. She became as stoic as a rock. She created a wall around herself precisely the time when Fardeen started realising his faults. When he wanted to mend ways, she was unreachable, even though they lived under the same roof.

It's a tumultuous love story. Read the novel to know the fate of Zoella and Fardeen. You won't be disappointed. I would rate this book 4/5. I would recommend it to anyone who likes to read about human relationships and human psyche. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Tea Tales

It's strange how a cup of tea can forge bonds and improve relationships.

 I had found it hard to digest that the Odia household needed a girl to learn to make that proper, well shimmered, and optimally flavoured cup of tea. It was considered one of the mandatory talents every girl should possess. But my own love for the steaming hot tea pot grew with time and today I love making it. I love the adrak chai, the pepper powder wala chai, the masala chai, etc. Etc. I love the fragrance of tea, the wellness quotient, the look and the taste. Green tea is good too. Organic tea though is the least palatable. My favourite is the assam tea. It's dark red and has an awesome scent. It overwhelms the senses.

I am extremely fascinated by teas and tea leaves varieties these days. I want to try all types of teas and the combinations that are popular in the market like rose tea, Chrysanthemum tea, raspberry and etc etc. I fancy buying so many varieties every day from the Amazon website, but have never yet done so, as it might be considered a waste by others when it reaches home.

At one phase of this fascination I almost went hysterical on seeing tempting packets of tea of a variety of flavours on display in supermarkets or exhibitions or fairs. I would scroll down these tea pages in online shopping sites at home. My sister got really irritated by this and shriveled in boredom.

Yesterday morning I saw Baba smiling smugly in the kitchen. Curious, I went to peek a bit. He had filled a glass mug, completely with tea, and was taking it carefully to the table. I glanced it with a big O. Mama hadn't noticed it, or she would have exclaimed at the idiocy of the act. Who sips so much of hot tea in a single sitting? It would lead to gastric problems. Boils inside the stomach. Bla bla bla. I know I know she is right. But we draw so much fun from making and having tea eluding her watchful eyes. It felt like I was his partner in crime. Lol.

Happy Tuesday ahead. Do tell me about your tea tales! I am all ears!

21 Random Facts About Me

  1. My mornings begin at 6.30 am. It's rarely later than that. I feel as if half of my day has passed if I wake up late, so I try to get up early. Moreover it is the quietest time. I try to do a bit of meditation or Pranayam, and then write or study with a cup of tea or Horlicks.
  2. I am a firm believer in early to bed and early to rise. So my day ends at about 10:30 pm. After that I can stay awake only on special occasions like a family or friends get together or a trip. 
  3. I read almost every day. I am reading two novels right now- She loves me, He loves me not by Zeenat Mahal and It's all in the planets by Preeti Shenoy. 
  4. I love watching short and sweet tele series, mini series, and short award winning films. I like watching different ads too in YouTube, as I rarely watch TV to be able to view those. I like watching trailers of movies of different languages- this is something I usually do. 
  5. I love watching Korean series, and would promote those with all my heart. I think they are very sensitive, emotional, and highly imaginative stuff, that can challenge any creative mind. I love the depth in the characters portrayed in the series. Currently watching Scarlett Heart- a historical drama of Goreyon era.
  6. I love sipping. It may be tea, coffee, soup or just Horlicks. I love sipping.
  7. I had started my blog first in Bombadill Publishing website solely for writing poetry. Then in 2009 I started it here to publish my poems and paintings. I used to pen verses then, now it's rarely a poem. 
  8. The first novel I read was in 7th grade. It was 'Molly Moon and The Incredible Book of Hypnotism'. I had loved the book to bits. Hypnotism as a concept was so new to me then. It was a very treasure-hunt like experience.
  9. I am a Cancerian. Way too emotional and Moody. My moods tend to wane and wax like the moon. 
  10. I am spiritual to the core, may not be religious. Rituals interest me but I am not a staunch believer of rituals or pratha. I believe in God, and that universal spirit. I believe that thoughts echo out there in the cosmos and we receive the fruits of our labour in the long run.
  11. I am very talkative if in close groups of friends. I have a lot to share, many deep insights. But those who don't know me deeply find me quiet, silent and not much of a talkative person. 
  12. I love chatting with my sister for hours. We talk a lot when together. We have diverse topics which never tend to exhaust. She is my go-to person in every case. 
  13. I have an OCD with creased bed sheets. I just can't stand it. They have to be clean and neatly spread every single time. Or else I do it myself. 
  14. I have been keeping a diary every year for the last ten to thirteen years. Have lost a few of them, old ones with drawings and copies of poems from children's magazines. I jotted down my memories in them, every good and bad day's events.
  15. I forget things very easily. Therefore I keep journals, diaries, notes with to-do lists. Without those I am nothing. I also click many pics of events or recipes I make, just so that I would remember it all. 
  16. I love to try variety of soups. My recent indulgence. Dumpling soup is my recent favorite.
  17. I like to chop vegetables. A lot. It feels like great therapy to be. I can sit for hours and chop as finely as you'd want.
  18. Writing is a therapy for me. A meditation. I love it. I can be most authentic and original and totally myself without any inhibition while writing. I love writing long letters to my best friends.
  19. I do quarrel with my sister. I do shout at unreasonable and quarrelsome auto drivers at times. I do fight with friends. I am not all quiet, meek and timid as some might think me to be. I can be as terrifying as a red-eyed ghost, when it comes to it. I had once run after a masked 'ghost' in a horror house with umbrella, after trying to pull out his mask.
  20. I do not like pumpkin. I love vegetables. I hate mutton. I like fish, egg and chicken. I can just manage prawn. 
  21. I am scared of cow. I am scared of riding cycle, or scooty though I know it perfectly well with years of experience. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Dear S

Dear S,

It's been long since I sat down to write a letter to you. I love writing long never ending string of words that could fill tens of pages. Hope this one too will be as myself and the mirror of my thoughts as I intend them to be. Hope you will read with as much enthusiasm and love as you always have. Hope this thing will never change about us.

I have downloaded a writing app from Google play store in my MotoG where I am typing this now. I am in office and am bored. Just me in my solitude. No, I don't have much work to do today, if you wonder. It's tough to get through a phase of free hours suddenly after months of hectic unending work. So I chose to write to you after having exhausted all my options of reading, browsing and studying.

I look forward to having coffee with you some day, or tea if you prefer that. Or we could take an evening stroll around your colony as we always did in the past, and talk and talk endlessly for hours. Topics would flow in and ceaselessly change from one thing to the next- from silly matters to days of yore to more spiritual things about life ahead. We could share our philosophies and sensibilities about so many issues. We could talk of worldly affairs. I want to talk so much.

I found a quote while reading blogs, it did speak to me on a certain level. I would like to share it with you.

"I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, for anyone else. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I must be myself. I will not hide my tastes or my aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever only rejoices me and the heart appoints. If you are noble, I will love you; if you are not, I will not hurt you and myself by hypocritical attentions. "- Ralph Waldo Emerson

You had asked me if I had decided on what I wanted to do in my life. I had said that I didn't know. You reprimanded me on saying that, and emphasized that I needed to think of the future, what I wanted in my life. I couldn't give you an answer then. Now I want to answer that question, with all my heart and soul.

I want to do that which makes me feel 'Me' and fills me with overwhelming joy, bliss and happiness. That which is not just an ideal thing to do according to my near and dear ones, but that which I should do to live my life to the fullest. And what is that, you ask? The list is endless, you know that more than anyone else. And I am not saying of any childish daydreams, I am perfectly serious. It may not seem practical or viable, but I want to do all that I have in that secret list in this lifetime. How would I start, you ask? I don't have any idea, yet. And not knowing isn't a crime. Not having a future plan isn't a crime. I am taking small steps towards it.

An article in Elephant journal taught me the gift of not knowing what shall come next. And the beauty of not having a plan for life. For living mindfully in the Now and making the full use of it rather than stressing about the future.

Seth in Marie forleo show taught me the futileness of searching for the one passion that you have, stressing over it, and just doing what you can at this moment. Don't stress for perfection, perfect passion, perfect career, perfect life. Just do what is there right now with your best effort. IT is that for me. I do love coding, it's like playing a puzzle in solitude, and the learning process is great. What is not good is my people skills and the manipulation and the hypocrisy- which can be found anywhere. Another video on passion in my laptop said it all happens for a reason. All if it around us. All our connections. I want to just have hope, and keep on going, doing and working on what I can for now.

And many influential people I know have made several career changes at different ages and are so happy for it. There's never a time limit to do anything that you love to.

I can't take a decision about higher studies right now. But I promise to study. I will try for it- the exam. It's because I am confused if I want it that way or not. Many what ifs keep ringing in my mind. May be I want one in a completely different field- like say literature. I don't know. May be I want many different experiences as hobbies or short term indulgences, and one job to support it all. I am not sure.

You know why I write things down in such details. Writing about things gives me a sense of clarity, a sense of what I have in my subconscious mind. It reveals so many things that I sometimes didn't know about myself. I can't understand the plethora of emotions and thoughts without writing them down. And a reader like you is an added bonus.

I will save for taking those writer's grooming courses you mentioned earlier. Till now I have not saved anything for myself- all were used for loan repayments. I will also save for travel. I want to travel a lot. Everywhere. I will start saving for these dreams.

Till our next meet,
Bye and Take care.

Your confused bestie

Friday, October 21, 2016

Benaras- the unexplored attachments

The movie overwhelmed me.

I realize I have been using the word 'overwhelmed' for about everything that gives me goosebumps and leaves an imprint. I need to work on that.

But it does that exactly. Overwhelm me. Fills me with such a storm of emotions, the amalgamation of so many kinds of them, that I cannot contain them within myself. It bursts out of me through tears. Tears that do not state happiness or sadness, just the state of being overwhelmed. I wish I knew the word for it. It burst out again afterward in quiet recollection of the entire experience, in tranquil solitude, through the words I wrote.

What touched me most was the visual appeal; the earthly music that slowly reached its own crescendo, and fueled that burst I talked of; the subtle interpretation of love, relationships, and life through poetry; and that factor I still can't seem to point out. It is a surreal portrayal of the city of Benaras as a lady love. It's a pseudo-reality, almost magical.

I have to watch it again to complete this review.

It can have lots of critical analysis. It is deep. Open to any kind of interpretation. That's the beauty of it. The audience can make his own interpretation according to his mind.

It's a different wavelength that this movie works in. Only some part with reach you, others won't. Your mind works in a different wavelength than your friends'. It will give you a different experience from that it gave your friend.

The entire film is a conversation. Conversation between the stranger and the city. A just so talk. Words scattered. The stranger introducing himself and his beloved.

'Anything organized cannot hold in Art.' That is just so true. Art is the expression of our thinking, our interpretation of things around us, our voice in the most authentic and unadulterated manner. It was so nice to hear about the journey from both the director and the producer themselves.


This is my interpretation, which is perhaps just one facet of the 8-minute film. Do watch it, and let me know of your version of it.

Everything you love talks to you in an inarticulate language that others cannot understand. Others cannot understand your love, only you do. The old city of Benaras speaks to the stranger who comes to visit it and falls in love with it. She is disturbed by the talk of the stranger. She doesn't know the stranger while the stranger knows her well.

The stranger finds her purity in the air, simplicity in the residents, expression in the beauty and visual appeal, and approaches her to talk before trying to confess his love. She is disturbed doesn't want to talk. But she grows attached to his presence. No one had addressed her so far, no one had called her out to talk. When he is finally packing up to leave the city, she talks to him, seeking him out to bid adieu. She asks, smiles, bids farewell with a promise of his return soon.

It is a feeling that eludes me- an effervescent emotion, I can't name it- my faculties lack in this field.

Do watch. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cinderella and The Four Knights

It is a South Korean drama series of 16 episodes based on a novel of the same title published in 2011. The fact that it has four male leads and one female lead makes it comparable to the likes of ‘Boys Over Flowers’ and ‘Heirs’. The drama is about four differently passionate young people, probable heirs to a conglomerate family of business men, who happen to live together in the Sky House but don’t get well with one another. Eun Ha-won, the Cinderella here, gets to stay with them in Sky House following certain rules set by the Chairman, working on missions to get these guys together as one family.

The characters are deep, emotional at the core. One is a kind hearted arrogant rebel, another a flamboyant playboy carrying deep wounds, another a gentle top singer-songwriter, and yet another a seemingly stoic yet sentimental bodyguard. The female lead is no damsel in distress, but she lets herself be protected by those who love her. I like the way they are deconstructed layer after layer, as the story progresses, and their authentic self-buried under the fakeness and arrogance is revealed. The story is sensible and believable. It has its highs and lows. There is enough seriousness and enough comic relief in between plot twists.

My rating: 4.5/5