Read THIS First ..

Read THIS First..
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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's the last day of the year...

... And I couldn't be happier about it! I don't know if people get sad over the passing of the year. I usually don't and this time I most certainly am not. I'm more than just glad. Relieved, more like. 

2013 was weird. Confusing. Muddling. Mind boggling. Sort of depressing. Non-creative. Irritating. I'm-just-going-to-stay-silent. 

But it wasn't just all that. People can roll their eyes or whatever, however much they want but for me, the negatives outweighed the positives, although the positives were those with such strength that they enabled me to sustain myself and even have fun, and made me hold on to that little spark of hope that keeps you moving, making you believe in the ultimate, 'it's okay.' On the good side, I met people I found I could be comfortable with, around whom I did not need to pretend, with whom I could speak my mind and not be thought of as a nerd or a weirdo or a person with thoughts bordering on extremities. I visited good libraries, read books I learned so much from, although for a long time I fell into a reading slump from which I'm still recovering. I hung out at CP more than ever and now I'm not afraid to wander in its complexities. It's a beautiful place. I have a lot of amazing things to talk about this year, but that is for another post to come soon. Preetika sent me 7 prompts to write on, via post, and all of them are challenging yet so exciting! I wanted to write one yesterday based on the year that passed, but I had to collect various pieces of winter clothing to pack and put in a small suitcase. 

I'm glad 2013 is over because I did not like it. Now it feels serene and peaceful, albeit a little bit musty, as I'm sitting in a train that's running through the fields towards Punjab, a place I admire just for its gaiety, openness, greenery and lush fields. I would be using the Blogger app to post this but I'm typing this in the Notes section, having my trust being misplaced when I wrote one line and minimized the app, only to later find it gone. -_- My seat is placed in a way that I'm going backward, watching the old pass by in a rush. And it's awesome because I am actually moving, for three days, and it seems like a real-life metaphor. You're running backwards, watching everything stagnant or slow sit idling in their own style and comfort. It feels good to see landscapes you hardly get to see, glimpses of life so beyond the ordinariness of our metropolitan life. Bye-bye old, welcome new! 

I have been having a very good feeling about the next year being awesome. I feel so worn out with this year that there's this gladness and excitement inside related to the New Year. Like everything is suddenly going to be amazing, more beautiful, easier, more knowledgeable, more clarity, lots of exciting things lined up! The most important of all, I would be finishing my formal education three months into 2014. I'm not yet sure about more studies, that talk is for later. But things related to general life seem to be on the brighter side. I'm oh-so-hopeful! 

My last book of the year is The Timekeeper by Mitch Albom, suggested by Priyaa. It is a uniquely written book that has given me a lot to think about. It's about time, and Father Time and how present day people treat time, how they were made to learn the importance of not meddling with time. It tells us how we stopped living less and suffered more once we started measuring time. It seems like a myth, a tale weaved with examples of present day people, but I could draw parallels with my life. I wish we did not live so much by the clock. As far as I can, and as much as is in my control, I would like to give myself this liberty. Those are small things, but they matter a lot. 

I feel weird calling this a blog post. This is equivalent to a comprehensive reply I give on the phone. :P But I type better (and more) with a laptop. Plus, I just had to make an update, a small mark to mark the last day of this year. Those amazing prompts would come up in January! I should now take out Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2) and 'finally' get to reading it. I'm excited about welcoming the New Year sitting in the peaceful premises of Golden Temple at midnight. *drools and daydreams* Hopefully around the sarovar. *hyperventilates!* :D

Wishing all you beautiful, creatively awesome people a very Happy New Year! May the year be filled with laughter, wonderful experiences, awesome friends (and here I can say I am endowed with the best people in my life! :D ), many celebrations, books and many forms of art, beautiful places and lots of happiness. ^_^ 

See ya in 2014!! :D *_* 

PS- I can't find the Justify option in this app -_- 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Metro Diaries #5: Metrocious!

I don't think there is a limit to my weirdness. Or impulsiveness. First off, I switched on the laptop for some work. Then I thought 'let me make a random post about nothing and everything happening'. At the last second as the cursor started blinking in the title bar, my index finger found the 'M' and my mind (without even asking me! -_- ) decided to write something on the Metro travels. It's been too long since I've talked about it, yes, but I've already talked about it so much. But no. Since I'm not doing the right kind of meditation taught by a young prof in college, what he calls as transcendental meditation, that allows our soul to calm and control the mind, my mind is squiggling free and not just listening to me. Fine. Whatever you say Mindey. (That's the name. Mindey. :P Hey P! How d'you find this name? *laughing out loud*)

I'll "try" making this a short post but you never know with me. :P 

The past few weeks have been quite weird when it comes to my Metro travels, if we talk about my near-zombieness when I'm in the Metro. Maybe because it's become too routine, even when half of the days I can be found pacing and running in a very PT-Usha-will-get-a-complex way. It's okay dudes. If it hadn't been for all the rushing, I wouldn't have been as fit as I'm now. Nor would the Metro aunties get to enjoy live entertainment as they see me dramatically take deep breaths and drinking water and coughing and letting my bag slip to the floor with a thud as I finally board the train. (I hope you did not imagine me like that. I was kidding. I'm not that dramatic. At least on some soulless days I'm not.)

But for the most part, it's routine, even the rushing. Fortunately, a morning crowd or technical problems are not all that routine, though they're more frequent than I would have liked. For instance, that day when we had an end-semester exam and I very conveniently decided to skip the morning class so I could sleep in a little, have a clear head for an exam I hadn't read a word for, and go to college leisurely. Of course, I was still mysteriously ten minutes later than the 'should be' time, and got a message of foreboding while huffing and panting and climbing the stairs of my station, announcing an impending technical difficulty in the system looming ahead. Even though that paper was kind of useless, I still needed to pass it well (because under no circumstances what-so-ever can I come to study here once I'm finished with MBA). And being late would not be good! 

The platform was jampacked and however much of a SuperGirl I am, it made me experience a minor panic attack. There could be no way I would be able to board a train in this situation. I mean, it was pretty evident there hadn't been a train there in ages. There was no clue as to when it'd come next. There were hordes of people tightly strung together on the platform. Total scare-material. 

I made my way towards the first coach-platform and my heart sunk even lower, because of course most women prefer the first coach (and who wants to glide and slide among guys in an insane crowd? *shuddering* at the thought). Although I did get to learn crucial life lessons that day. 

# 1: Patience helps: I'm almost always really patient. That day, if it hadn't been for the exam, I would have been even more patient, but still, I was quite patient nevertheless and decided to not follow dad's advice (over the phone, near-hyperventilation when I conveniently told him I also have an exam) to take an autoricksha instead. Well, for one, my college's too far and two, I don't know the way via road, apart from a vague guess. And I would so not be travelling in that vehicle on my own -_-

After about 15 minutes, a train came in and the tangible, collectible sigh of relief and pumped up hormones was so visible that I could have captured it in a camera, if only my phone's camera worked. Of course, being able to get in that train was an unimaginable thought. One, we could see people's bodies glued to the train's interior and so many inside that it was a clear breach of the maximum capacity of the train. But *sigh*, this happens. As I spied the doors from a distance, hoping against hope that soon more trains would follow, I saw people tumbling out and breathing in deeply, as if the polluted Delhi smog was heaven. Actually, to them it might just have been. Barely two people squished inside and clung to the other women, barely saving their backs from being hit by the closing doors. 

People went back to their usual stance once the train was gone. Staring at others, staring at their smartphones, staring unseeingly in the distance, standing on tiptoe and leaning forward over the edge of the platform hoping to see a sliver of silver in the distance. I went back to Whatsapping my folks back in college, updating them about the 'situation' and asking them to plead with the teacher on my behalf, just to let me in somehow. It was half an hour past now. Another train rolled in. Just as I heard a group-shriek, I looked to the right to find females from all ages, actually tumbling out of the coach, slipping and then falling over each other. Some aunties had agony pained over their faces and I felt bad for them, but some young ones found it to funny and fought to hold back snickers :P

I missed three more trains before I realized I could not stand there all day and planted myself in the front-crowd and waited for the next to arrive. This seemed relatively more free and as the doors opened and a couple of women stepped outside gratefully, I glided got pushed inside and realized that it wasn't really as free as it seemed. Arms pinned to my sides, my face was assaulted with n number of different hairdos, the most irritating of which is the high ponytail (and tends to be sported by those with spiky, rough hair!). 

# 2: You don't know which is worse in a crowd: stuck among both genders and breathing in foul smells or being squeezed to asphyxiation among all women? The second one maybe. Being all-women gives everyone the freedom to glue themselves to others, to make 'space' for aunties and girls-who-act-like-aunties, to take your hair away from you, and leaving their chunni stuck to your bag. Somehow I managed to inform dad I've boarded the train and kept the fone in an inside pocket for double safety. The notes I had managed to squeeze in with me rested somewhere near my thighs, dangerously close to getting torn and stamped on. I found myself a metre away from where I was originally standing as the train passed the stations and women pushed inside with amazing power and prowess. You thought there isn't any more space? Ha ha. Can't you see that inch? You sure can 'adjust' an aunty there!

But the first coach isn't all that bad. I witnessed a sort of social dynamics and behavior example when a healthy, bold-looking woman stood near the doors and refused to budge when those at the platform tried squeezing themselves inside and retorted back with an appropriately worded and strong response, thus making us poor things stuck beside chameli-oil laden women breathe enough to survive. 

# 3: It's always okay: No matter how late you are getting, there's no point getting stressed over your situation, even when you might be regretting not having made a will yet, it'll be okay. You'll reach for your exam half an hour late and the teacher will say you'll not get extra time, you'll see your classmates leaving class way before the allotted time ends and you decide that the exam might not be that hard after all and end up writing it coolly, leaving 40 minutes before it was 'supposed' to end! Ha! There's nothing that disastrous that can happen, so even when you're so tightly squashed among unidentifiable women that you might just as well take both your feet off the ground and you still wouldn't fall or budge, look around at people's faces. Seriously. Change my name if it doesn't make you laugh. ;)


PS- Random advice: Don't ask mom to give you something when you're hungry. If she makes pasta, there will be more mattar and corn than pasta. If you ask for namkeen, she'll give you a bowl of sprouts with a little bit of namkeen barely visible in it. -_-

PPS- Don't write such ^ lines before tasting those sprouts. They would be yummylicious! And yes, she'd also get a bowl of just namkeen along with it. ^_^

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Paintgirl Chronicles # 3: Designing and Finishing!

For those who remember, my walls got painted on October 13! I'm just posting this more than 1.5 months late. Apologies, apologies. For the new smarties who're now reading my blog, I utilized my Autumn break to paint two walls in my room. All by myself (helped by my family, of course). Thanks, I know I do really cool stuff. 8|

This is the third and the final part of the series (you can see the previous parts here and here). I mean, I was so exhausted when it was finally done, that I had no energy left to post about it. It's okay. Even though Paintgirl has amazing powers, she can run out of them sometimes. And then college re-opened and you know the rest. Writer's block, etc etc. Anyway, coming to the awesome part, I love the new walls. Not only are they painted in pretty shades of pink, we designed a tree at the intersection of those walls too! I can certainly certify it with a guarantee stamp that painting three coats each on two walls over two-three days won't make you feel as tired and exhausted as painting a tree for three hours straight would.

Paints and colors: We used oil paints, the kind usually reserved for painting on wooden and iron surfaces. Don't ask why. The Paint bhaiya said they'd be good to use and I could just trust his judgment. It was fun to work with, true, but since they are 'hard' and thick, they take more efforts. Plus, you'd have to use thinner brushes for painting leaves and outlining and the details, so it'd take even more time and effort. But I think I get why he suggested oil paints. They stick well and don't leak, which the normal paints would have done. Lesson to be learned: Always trust those who are making their living through a certain trade. They do know it well. ^_^ 

Enamel paints and stainers
Coming to colors, we had black and white enamel paints, along with brown and green stainers (as you can see in the above picture). These stainers can be mixed in the white enamel in any quantity you prefer, depending upon the shade of the color you want. For example, I had two different containers for light brown (with a little less amount of stainer mixed in white enamel) and one for a darker brown. Similarly, two shades of green (considering a mono green shade for all leaves would be boring!). 

Making the design: If it isn't too complex a design, you can straightaway stroke with your brush! But if you have any sliver of doubt and don't want to waste your three-days' hard work labor by making a wrong stroke, you may make a pencil design first as a base for the paint and brush. I tired making it too, but then my childhood's awesome creative avatar took over and went beyond the pencil stencil and made strokes on its own. I knew it's going good when mom entered after about an hour and exclaimed an appreciative and incredible "Wow". :D Although, you would always need someone else to stand at a distance and tell, because being on a ladder and being inches away from the design, you wouldn't really know about the overall structure. 

I made the tree trunk using the light colored brown, and then the branches, adding light green leaves at intervals. Then I mixed more stainer to have a darker green and made dark green half-boundaries on the leaves. The previous day on impulse, I had got some pretty golden paint and on another impulse, painted the other half of the leaves' border with gold. It looked quite good! I was exhausted and finally slumped back, not wanting to do any more, abandoning my plans of making those concentric circle designs on the trunk. My mom, with a little help from dad the next morning, secretly put an outline on the trunk and branches, making it look perfect and complete. What-e-morning surprise! :D

Overall! :D
Finishing: That was the last day of my holidays and we didn't have any time to do more, so the day was spent cleaning the floors, and other places where random paint was spotted. A few days later the bookshelf was put back and the room returned to it's part-messy normalcy. And then I had a lot of awesome gifts from awesome friends that would be framed and put up on the dark colored wall, which would make this look even more cool! :D

Basically, this is how it looks now. What do you think of it? ;)  


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