Saturday, 1 September 2018

Bags & Brains

  Remember when we were in school and we used to write random things on the last page of our notebooks? Well, I was the girl who had songs, quotes, random words, doodles, patterns, etc on several of the last pages of every book. Even now, I have few different notepads, work diaries, etc which contain random thoughts, lines, and paragraphs of things I want to blog about some time. Not all of them end up here since I’m so consistently irregular! But today morning, after yet another sleepless night, when I wanted to write before my thoughts ran out faster than words, I couldn’t find a single of my books on me for including the previously thought up things on this one topic going on in my mind.

  Post a frantic search, I settled down with a bunch of rough papers and penned down the first question that popped up from the unyielding search. What do you do when you’re rendered helpless to your own devices because you find them to be gone, and it is just your sole and soulful self left?
So I have this obsession of always being prepared. For example, any time I go out, I plan on the worst what-if situations and carry everything I think I might need. That ranges from a pen to a charger to an extra lipstick to a pocket knife or even to an extra pair of clothes sometimes! And I try to cramp I as much as I can in whatever bag I’m using and carry it around even though I end up using hardly a couple of things. Now I’ve observed that this obsession has stemmed from a harmless habit formed by many experiences and situations where I’ve needs something and I found it from nowhere but to just remember to carry/have/get it myself. Probably, also around the time I figured that at the end of everything, no one will help me but myself.

  And with time I’ve grown to be proud of this trait of me; partly because it made me helpful to others. A fun example would be from this trip I went on a couple of years back with a group consisting of equal number of known and new people. And as per my rule, I had made a list and packed everything I thought I or anybody in the group could possibly need. And my friend was really amused at first when she would ask for something and it would be right there in my backpack every single time! So by the end of the trip she was actually testing to see if I could really have anything she asked for- right down to an ear bud and the exact flavour of a cough drop candy she wanted. And proudly, I would fetch it out of my bad like magic!

   Sometimes my friends have kindly offered to carry my bag only to exclaim at how heavy it was, irrespective of the size. But I never really mine fed the weight as long as I had what I thought I needed. Until recently, I didn’t realise that this was my way of feeling safe. Another thing that I realised is that these things that I carry around are all materialistic; even something as simple as a tissue. But I had them all labelled under essentials. And apparently I’m growing tired of carrying the extra/unnecessary baggage.

  Similar is the battle with my emotions. I have stored and filed and piles up so much since, God knows when, that now I have come to ignoring the pile that is unravelling right down at me. I tend to describe my mind as a web browser with hundreds of tabs open at the same time. And now, more often than not, the system crashes and gives me brain freezes. And I am growing tired of the overwork to reboot because it just does not reboot anymore; tired of the weight of those piles, just like my bag, which have now scattered to a chaos and left me lost. No matter how many times I reboot or clean up or half-heartedly take help from customer care (friends), I seem to be a loss for any solution. So completely that I- I cannot even describe it enough to complete the sentence.
Usually, one of my sure shot self-help ways is to write about whatever is running through my mind. Poetry has been my outlet since middle school, which developed into blogging. It helps make decisions by sorting out stuff in my head like I would rearrange stuff in my bag. Although decision making has never been a problem for me, even when it has portrayed me as headstrong and stubborn at times, I’ve considered it as strength. But when I accepted to myself that I am it able to write anything since past few months- despite my heavy bag and brain freezes- I realised that it is not procrastination or laziness. I am actually clueless for the first time in my life at a whole new level.

  Although I am writing this now so that’s something. But still I found one question coming at me like an annoying boomerang. What do you do when what you’ve always done doesn’t work anymore? I’m not sure if that made any sense, but answers are welcome!

  Because I know I’m not ready to put my bag down just yet, despite the increasing number of brain freezes!


Thursday, 21 December 2017

Mandu Magic!

  So I officially became an Architect sometime back, and a recent event to celebrate it got me thinking. Being in this field of architecture since 2009- even before I started this blog- I have never put up a post related to it; even though I did write about it. Then again, this blog was more of an outlet to any thought storm inside me at any given time, especially throughout the college years. During the last couple of years in college I felt myself wanting to explore the architecture genre more in terms of writing. That later on conflicted with how much I enjoyed and progressed in the practical, design field of it since I started working. And now I'm at a stage where I am excited about balancing, merging and exploring both of it. 
  This is an attempt to do that, starting with sharing the first small, live piece I wrote during a Relative Study Tour to a place in Madhya Pradesh- Mandu. It is an ancient fort city we were taken to, to study stone architecture. Like all group works in college, we were put in groups and given one monument per group to document. My group were assigned two wells- Baodi in native language. One of my tasks was to write about both of these wells. Read on!


  Standing at the entrance steps, one gets the feel of another old weather-beaten buildings. True to its name the place is indeed very open and full  of light. It receives sunlight in all corners throughout the day. The structure goes deep down to the present water level i.e. till 19 m from the ground and the retaining wall seems to be decorated with many solid staircases and niches on the eastern and the western side. Each level has two staircases meeting at a common landing. This happens on both walls running parallel to the main  road.
  At the southern top, is a pavilion for the royal guards to keep watch on the water below; their position are such that they could watch the road and the market which once existed with the Gada Shah's shop next-door. At  the northern top is a water lift  flaunted by a staircase on alternate sides and this water lift space was probably built to support the retaining walls.
  Above the water lift is an open space with a dome roof supported on columns. The lower most staircases are now totally ruined, the steps merging with each  other into slippery surfaces. It still manages to retain it's timeless quality, which can be seen by standing from any point in the place. One can also see the full masonry of the black  stone used. The combination of stone and water makes the atmosphere pleasant- in sun and shade. The Baodi gives the effect of serving water with open arms. 


  First look of Andheri Baodi gives an illusion of something emerging out from  the ground. A corridor of around 20 m long and 8 m wide module surrounds the well on the top with the dome having a 3.25 m diameter aperture at its apex over the flat roof platform. This aperture allows the well below to be sufficiently ventilated and illuminated.
Three staircases from the floor of the corridor lead down inside the Baodi, one of which is now closed down due to being unsafe. Inside the Baodi, two sides sharing a common junction have one opening with two staircases on a  common landing leading upwards. The other two adjacent walls have two openings with two staircases on a common landing leading downwards which gives the effect of merging of  the stairs.
The level below this shows incomplete excavation of earth due to rigid unbreakable stones present there. The water level till here and the clarity of water shows the depth of  around 3-4 m. Peeled plaster, exposes the exact random rubble stone masonry of the dome above. The retaining walls are supported by multiple tall arches decorating the place simply but boldly.

It is a dark, enclosed space which exudes privacy, it might appear scary and formidable from inside as there are dark passages containing staircases. While re-tracing the steps back to the entry, one gets the brief look of all patent arches used in other monuments in the rest of the Mandu.

Okay, so that was that; slightly edited version because the original piece was too crude with many surprising silly mistakes. I guess there is always room for improvement for every walk of your life!

PS: A peak at what i looked like in 2011 when I'd written this. Will dig up the pictures I took of both the baodis and post soon. Thanks for reading!

Monday, 20 June 2016

Ditched By Sleep..Yet Again.

As someone who's a born night owl, I often find it difficult to get along the "normal" cycle of life and day. And this used make me drop dead to sleep for 19 hours of sleep (my record so far, so proud!) after couple of days. But now I've gone from that to 48hours (my record being 65hrs, just FYI) of no sleep and "normal" work days. I think I may be nearing the end of my quota of allotted sleep for this lifetime...hmmm! Anyway, so this random post is for the poem I came to write to kill the time while my sleep ditched me..yet again!


With my demons
Daily I fight.
With my demons
In the light or at night.

With my demons
Everyday I wage war.
With my demons
On earth or amongst the stars.

With my demons
Each reality is (oh-so) real.
With my demons
Is being chaotic or not surreal.

With my demons
Those memories be so glared.
With my demons
Call it a daydream or a nightmare.

With my demons
The mind & heart have made friends.
With my demons,
The soul's thoughts to begin or never end.

With my demons
Now I sit and write.
With my demons,
To heal a li'l more or just pass yet another night.

For all my demons have decided to stay long,
I've learned to patiently wait & grow strong.


Friday, 15 April 2016

Journey of Free Falling

Just a quick note before starting this post: Three years back in my last post I said that I had "resumed" writing this blog seriously. Clearly that didn't happen. But it is happening now; after all the technical problems, my personal procrastination and my usually crazy college schedule out of the way. All the reasons that drove me to write still stands strongly along with new intense ones. This post was written over a year and half or two, but is finally going up now. So, here goes!

  "Write hard and clear about what hurts.", said a famous writer. And it only makes sense because a writer does exactly that to bring out something that relates to anybody directly. Because even situations and people maybe different for everyone; problems at its core and the feelings about are basically the same.
  When you are hurt by something, you feel sad, angry, low, hurt, unloved and so on; even though the "something" might be different each time or for somebody else. And I think that the thing that hurts the most is when you realize that something so very pure broke.
  Imagine that you invest your whole self in something so pure. Surprisingly the starting of it was less apprehensive but easier than breathing. You thought it to be a natural path to take. Taking a leap of faith even before you knew what that is. And you thought that you have been caught; but it was just the falling phase that seemed so wonderful. For you never thought to look down at the jagged stones waiting below,only up at the beautiful sky. You thought that this was it. The adrenaline rush, the freshness, the excitement of something new, the surprise of something so good happening to you, the eagerness of reciprocating every emotion you were feeling, wondering if is it possible for somebody else to feel the same way, experience it so fully. Never thinking for even a second about anything going wrong. You did not worry about what will happen, but a the same time you were somehow sure that whatever will happen will be good; and if it's not then you will make it. Shouting about it from the rooftops was what you wanted to do but only let out a peep. And that was just the start. With each try the peep grew louder and freer. And you realized there is nothing to be afraid of in letting out a real shout of exhilaration so great, it felt nothing short of awesome. An amazing period that seemed endless.
  Then came the trees. And everything changed. Surprise turned into shock. The blue sky was obscured by the dark and thick branches. And did they hurt. From feeling free to being scratched all over was so unexpected that you felt trapped even though you were still falling. The sting, the rip and tear of the skin, the blood; all felt like a new concept because all previous similar experience were managed to be locked up in a deep, far away, forgotten corner. You look around, like when you shared before, to ask what is going on, why, how; and you come up blank. And it makes you wonder if you were really always alone.
  Then came the final crash. When you hit the cold hard ground reality. If earlier it was easier than breathing, then now it was worse than death. If before you could feel all the range of experiences, then now the numbness was everything. And somewhere you feel thankful for it because it is better than the pain waiting to come out from behind the fragile screen; just playing on a loop as a everyday nightmare.
  And yet, the journey is not over; because everything is just an illusion.


Thursday, 21 February 2013

A Year Gone N I'm Back....To Stay..!

   So I've been reading my old posts again again since past few days, because only recently one of my best friends(who studies in Chennai and stays in a hostel) told me that her roommates told her how they enjoyed reading my blogs and were asking as to why I stopped. Honestly that was flattering and I was so pleased- obviously;)
   But apart from the, as my other friend would say, pro-feeling that I felt, I also realized how much motivation matters for anything anybody does. Being in architecture I have somewhat come to understand how criticism helps in working. So it was bit of a 'taken aback' realization for me. And it really got me thinking that I should start writing again whenever I can, no matter how busy I am. 'Cuz writing, I observed, is a great outlet for all the things and people and situations etc running around in my head, normally known as thoughts:P One of the best comparisons I can think of right now is the pensive from Harry Potter!
   So considering I haven't blogged in a year, I suppose I have a LOT to write about. Thinking that alone has already gotten me excited! And yeah, I'm gonna write much more now, on much varied and informative topics too. Also now that I know there people, if few now, out there reading and enjoying what I write is really a good enough driving force for me. Criticisms are welcome as I know it'll help me grow, but appreciation, and honest ones, are what I prefer;) 'Cuz as they say "I'm only human after all!":D