My friends and I had been hooked on this idea to go and eat a family Dosa, which DJ had already eaten. It was such an amazing idea; someone actually thought, “Oh, we’ll make a BIG dosa, and make lots of people eat it together!” It brings together a lot of people and it is one of those rare days where I’ve had so much fun in final year of college.
This was probably one of the last lunches we will ever have as a class, but I’ll not think too much about it, or I will cry.
Everyday, for the past two weeks or so, one of us has always kept saying, “Let’s go eat family dosa!” and the plan always has failed because of dissertation work and whatnot. Finally free from dissertation work and with just one last (lame) practical exam to go, we decided to go.
This seemed like magic. The place was called RK Dosa Camp, in Wilson Garden, and it took us a while to figure out where it was before realizing it was right behind the Shantinagar TTMC. One family dosa costed us 200 INR. Totally worth it.
The place was small. The dosa tava was kept just outside the place. This family dosa was three HUGE masala dosas merged together into one.
After we ordered it, we went by the man who was making this dosa and we all watched with fascination as this huge dosa came to life. A mesmerizing sight.
Even with an (un)healthy dose of butter and ghee in the dosa itself, we got a cup of butter on the side along with the regular Aloo palya, sambar and chutney. The specialty here was a tomato chutney that was to die for. It was sweet, spicy and sour, all in one.
Because I have some sort of a writer’s block, or rather, a creative block that is unsettling all the time, I have decided to restart with Bryn Donovan’s 100 prompts on writing about yourself. I won’t do it every day and definitely not in one stretch, but hopefully, I will have attempted them all. This, fingers crossed, will also help improve my memory and help me rediscover myself from a different angle.
1. Describe your earliest childhood memory.
On the left most part of my palm, I have a sort of a skin boil that has hardened very quickly. I have no memory of the pain that was endured, but I do remember how it happened. Sort of, assuming that I didn’t make it up in my head.
I think I was four years old. It was in a house we lived in Srinivas Nagar; one with a large, cemented front yard, with a washing stone on which I had apparently gotten my hair cut. I was wearing this lavender coloured frock that fell past my knees, which I had gotten for my birthday that year. It was Pappa and Amma’s anniversary. We were getting ready to go out, and it was just only about 6 in the evening. The sun set earlier during November, so our pooja timings were also altered accordingly.
I think I insisted on lighting the incense sticks to the door and the Tulasi plant outside. But i did light them myself. And not just one or two of those like I do now, but four sticks at one go. They were lighted and I watched them in deep fascination, as they burned and a fourth of the sticks just burnt in my hand. I still kept watching when I remembered to stick them in the Tulasi plant pot.
I have no idea how i got the scar; maybe i decided to play with the burning tips of the sticks and burnt my hand; I used to be an impulsive, fearless kid back then (lighting up small bijili crackers in my hand and then throwing them up just before it burst; I had great timing). But i do remember me staring at those burning incense sticks very adoringly.
That scar has faded over time, and now it is almost flat against my palm. It has a yellowish tinge, but soon, I’m sure it will fade away.
It has been so long since I did an environmental rant. I hope you’re ready to take it.
If you want some poetry, here is the link to my earliest haikus.
As an environmentalist, it is my duty to inform all you people that every life form on this planet is interconnected with a life-giving form. Plants and animals need air and water and sunlight, and the first single-celled organism, it is believed, was formed out of a chemical reaction in water.
And because today is World Water Day, there is one thing that I’d like to break it to you: when we say “conserve water”, it doesn’t only mean “save water and don’t let it go to waste.” It also means that “use water wherever necessary” and that “prevent usage for unnecessary things”.
Let me illustrate this. I’m not good with facts, but I’ll tell you what I know and believe in.
Tetrapacked juices are bad. Not just for the health, but also for the environment. A small, 200 mL bottle of juice has 16 grams of sugar. Go look it up why its so harmful for your body.
What’s more my concern is the tetra pack itself. A friend of mine (we’re in the same class) is fond of guava juice that comes in a tetra pack. We’ve told him several times to not drink it; instead, drink fresh fruit juice for the same amount! But no, he refuses. He argues that just because he stops, the production won’t stop so it won’t matter whether he drinks it or not.
Let me break it down to you. Change cannot happen overnight and in the three years of my studying environmental science, I’ve learnt this the hard way. So, yes, change will take time, and it has to start with you. One person at a time, one step at a time can a make humongous difference. So, if one person in our college stops per day, and if word travels and ten colleges do this, the sales will be so down that they will stop getting it to college, then word will spread, and it will slowly stop in production.
So, why aren’t we taking that one small first step?
And what’s the connection to water? Tetra pack is basically water. A simple, waterproof paper cup takes three cups of water to make one such cup. Imagine six such layers. All waterproof, and millions of them, going to waste. Not even being recycled. How much of water is wasted? I don’t know the numbers but it is a big number.
Think about it. In that sense, all packed foods cause the same problem, if not more in a lot of cases.
That is how Naveen, a final year CBZ student lives his life. I spoke with him for nearly twenty minutes, and it has taken me a little more than a week to put our conversation into words, and in English, no less. I have tried and maintained the feel of it, I hope, but sadly, some of it is lost in the translation. I hope that one of these days in the future, this boy becomes famous and all those of you reading this today will look for him and speak to him for hours and absorb all his life and energy so that you can lead a much happier, much radiant life with a positive outlook on the world.
Because that’s exactly how I felt after I spoke to him.
Naveen is multi-talented, not limiting himself to just one form of art but exploring all that can be explored. His favourite is cinema; he says it’s because he can combine writing, visual arts, music, dance and photography together and create something that is worth watching. He is not just a very talented photographer, who knows how and when to capture life, he is also a brilliant writer and a theatre artist. He is very keen on learning music as well. He writes in Kannada, and he inspires me to write in Kannada.
For today, I will be focusing on his photography skills, and you will know why.
He loves stories. He believes that everybody has a story and there are no new stories; just untold stories.
Naveen is from a small town named Hosabale in Shimoga, right in the middle of the state. He grew up in a house where education was stressed upon, and other forms of art were not encouraged. His interest in photography began way back, even before he went to school.
During weddings, when everyone went up to the stage for pictures to be taken, I always stood next to the photographer. There weren’t any digital cameras back then, it was with films, and one roll could take 32 photos. They open a small box, take pictures and after one month, you’ll get an album full of pictures. How was it possible? I was very curious. It looked like a magic box to me. We couldn’t afford a camera back then at home, and it went on like that for years. Then in high school, a few of them had cameras. I made friends with such people (sometimes because they had a camera). In PU, I turned my attention towards studying because I had the need to and I showed little interest in other activities. There used to be a library opposite my college. I was there all the time, reading a lot of books. And at a point, the teachers read up more and came to class for my sake.
When I joined Joseph’s for degree, I saw many people holding a camera and it didn’t seem like a marvelous instrument anymore. And most of them just roam around, clicking random pictures and later editing it or something. I always thought that if I had a camera like that, there are so many good pictures I can take! I decided in these three years, I have to learn photography and then only leave, because I don’t know if I can learn after degree, because I have no idea if I will study further or work.”
On getting his first camera:
Now I needed to buy a camera, but where I will I get the money from? My parents said it was impossible for them to buy a good camera. On a minimum basis, it will cost me about 30 to 40 thousand rupees. Impossible.
I believe in my subconscious. You will see what you want to see, you will hear what you want to hear, but you will never do what you want to do. That’s how our mind works.
When I was at the peak of my wanting to buy a camera, a friend of mine had just bought a 5D camera…
Dear people, a 5D camera easily costs about at least 2 lakh rupees, which is THE best camera available in market at the moment and is really too much for a commoner to buy, and unless you shoot a movie like Lucia I suggest you to think over it carefully.
…I didn’t know the parameters of the camera, like shutter speed and all those aspects, which he taught me. He said he an old camera. I asked him, “Guru*, will you give it to me?” It was about 5-6 years old, and is in the bottom of the DSLRs at present, but is very good for a point and shoot. He said, “Okay, for about 20 thousand rupees,” was his offer. We were good friends, so I told him, “Guru, please, lower the price for me, no?” He agreed to give it to me for fifteen thousand rupees.
As students, it is highly unlikely that any of us would have 15,000 rupees lying around. So what did he do for the money?
That day, I remember very well, I had 120-odd rupees in my account. I had no money. I didn’t know what to do. That time, I was waiting for a scholarship, of about 5000 rupees. I didn’t tell my family about it; I kept it with me; but then, I still needed 10,000 rupees.
In college, once they’d given free coffee for promotion purpose. I spoke to the people working there…
He is extremely friendly and speaks to everyone. Apart from the times he was depressed, he’s never once not spoken to his neighbor on the bus, he told me.
…I became good friends with one guy working and he explained me his job. The company apparently took students for jobs like these, and they pay about 500 rupees per day. Work is usually on the weekends. I approached them, and worked for them for a while. I went on the weekends. The job was simple. They usually assigned me to some mall, and when the company wants to launch a new product, they keep stalls in such malls, with an electric water heater, milk and the instant coffee and take the public’s feedback.
With that, I’ve also done work with the catering people at weddings. It gave me a lot of happiness, both these jobs. The catering job is usually done by the Brahmins (they are a community of people) and if you go there was work and you’re not a Brahmin, they give you a uniform: panche, shalya and Janwara. (Panche is a dhoti tied to the lower part of the body and shalya is a similar piece of cloth used to cover the upper body. Janwara is a length of cotton thread worn to indicate that you are a Brahmin; all wore by men) They used to give about 500 rupees. More than the money, the experience was wonderful. I got to see a variety of people. I got good stories also.
I’d already loaned some money from a friend, enough to buy that camera. I did all that work and returned him the money. And finally, I have a camera in my hand which is mine.
For learning, this camera was enough.
His first passion is and will always be writing. If you can read Kannada, I suggest you click here to read all his brilliant works. I promise you, it will not disappoint. He also plans on publishing a book in the near future, which is a collection of short stories, in Kannada. I know I will be the first in line to get it signed by him!
He has also directed a short film, my name “Metaphor”, which is sort of a protest against having the Steel Flyover in Bangaluru. I hope you guys can understand Kannada, because here is the link to the short film.
And until his 10th standard, he hadn’t watched movies at all. But after coming to Joseph’s, he got exposed to international cinema and watched at least one movie everyday. He’s also a regular visitor to the BIFFes, the Bengaluru International Film Festival.
And one day in the future, he will be a panelist there, talking about his movie. I hope to be there, cheering him on and watching his fans pool around him and ask him millions of questions which I know he will be more than happy to answer. And I, along with Yeshas, will take an appointment to take an interview of him.
*Guru means something like, Dude, in Kannada local language.
Last year, I sort of reflected back on what I did at Meta that year, and what I leaned and how much I learned and all that. I sort of did it during this Weekend Coffee Share but i wasn’t completely satisfied with it because I had news to share.
But before that.
I think I gained a lot more confidence in my art, even if it did dampen a little right before the setting up of our stall. I gained hella lot of experience in marketing. And I had so much fun.
On the last day of Meta, I was invited to their closing ceremony, which started at 6;30 in the evening and ended at 8:30 in the night. I asked my sister to pick me up that night. But I am immensely glad that I stayed because not only did I get to take my prizes in front of a lot of people, but I also got to witness “Mani on My Mind”, a thank you program by the 3rd EJP students to Arul Mani sir. It made my day.
And yes, I won second place in Children’s Fiction and a special mention in Blackout Poetry! It was such an amazing day after that sad Friday.
Today morning, as I opened the balcony door to dry my towel at 7:45, I did a double take at the weather. It was cloudy, but humid, like one would expect it to be during the months of June and July, when the monsoon hasn’t completely set in…and the summer hasn’t completely gone off.
This was predicted. One of the days this week was going to see rain, and the glorious Monday was chosen. After a useless and tiring day, this is exactly what I needed.
I actually didn’t believe that it was going to rain. Bengaluru is so full of false promises that I stopped believing in the forecasts. When the forecast says cloudy, I know that the Sun is going make use of all the day time and tune up his brightness to the maximum (so that the plants get more sunlight for photosynthesis and provide you with energy, says Sunny). Bengaluru is a sadist like that.
In the late evening, I stepped outside my house to buy some envelopes. I stood outside the shop, skipping the three steps like I was a child again, and let the cool and humid wind take my thoughts away as far as it can wander. The sky was cloudy; the only way to tell is by looking at the sky and deciphering the colour of it. If it is a clear night, the sky will look dark blue, like the blue one could get lost in. And maybe, a few wisps of silvery-grey clouds here and there. If it has any signs of rain, the sky looks like a mixture of purple-pink-orange-red in wild proportions. That colour is hard to get on paper.
I watched the first rain of Bengaluru as it washed away the dust on our car, and until the ground was no longer dotted with wetness.
It’s already March. In two moths’ time, I will be a graduate, ready to face it out in the world.
And I’m so not prepared for it.
Whenever I feel uninspired, I just go and read my previous posts. After a useless day, I sat down in my black rotating computer chair and went through all my posts of 2016. I feel like I don’t recognize that girl who wrote all those Tuesday is Talent Day! posts anymore, even if I wrote one just yesterday.
I can only relate to the girl who wrote from December 2016 onwards. The posts are few and rare and I miss writing blog posts 5 times a week, incredibly.
And going through my old posts, I wonder, Owen Mason Gentry, this happened only last year! It feels like a lifetime ago.
Life seems so much simpler before. And maybe in the next year or so, I will be saying the same thing about 2017.
It has been more than a year since I wrote under Tuesday Is Talent Day! and I have been eyeing Clive’s art on Facebook ever since we became friends. How, I have no idea, but we did and I think what he does with his art and ideas are really cool.
I think one of the earliest pieces of his art that I remember seeing was of a minimalist car. I thought, “He would fit Tuesday Is Talent Day! really well.”
Clive Clinton is from BVC, Anita‘s classmate and is really good with minimalism. He’s coming with a new project soon and I wish him all the best for it!
Upon asking him how he got into this field, he says:
After my 12th standard, I was looking for options for my bachelors, when my aunt introduced me to media. I researched about it and I found it really interesting, so I joined this course.
The owner’s story was highly motivational and that made me work on this.
It was this piece that made me want to approach him. This is also, coincidentally, his favourite illustration so far.
How did he get into minimalism?
I saw a Mustang once, and I thought, “Can I redraw this in a different way?”
I’d done illustrations before and they were all for assignments. This minimalism Mustang was my very first one. So I drew it all out and began deleting parts. I got a skeleton of it and I wasn’t very happy with it. I threw away the whole project and took it from a different angle. I took the front view of it and started drawing it. It came out really well and I was happy with it.
I don’t know where to start. I always was a fan of Mustangs and horses but this American muscle made me really crazy after this episode called Knight rider (The Shelby GT500KR is an epic, bad-ass vehicle. Adding artificial intelligence, an EMP pulse weapon, and chameleon paint makes the newest KITT extra epic and bad-ass.) Also, the movie “I’m a legend” made me work on this .
It was the first time that I’d seen art like this and it intrigued me. Minimalism sounds like a simple concept, but there are a lot of elements that go on in minimalism that escape attention and concentration is on finer details.
Earth day was special to me and for many other environmentalist friends, hence this creation. It had many views; people also saw it as “love earth and make it a better place” and all such things. This was one of my favourite work since it had different meanings to different people.
Another one of my favourites. We all know why.
Ares, Greek God of War.
Greek Mythology always made me curious and also knives and weapons are just what I love; I also wanted to extend my art work apart from automobiles.
I think Ares would be happy with this. The choice of colours is very eye blinding and fierce, just like Ares himself.
This was a request from many of my friends- to recreate a minimalist bike. A few biker friends loved my previous projects and I got more requests for recreating bikes.
English literature, computer science and history are the reasons for this.
One of the Wonders of the world in silhouette.
Twin Lens camera
I’ve always loved antique stuff.
This was for my father for Father’s Day, who passed away on 01/01/16.
My favourite so far.
My first logo
I don’t know what to say. This was very special. It was the trust from a friend and the freedom I had to do what I loved to do. The only client who had no expectations.
This should not be new to anyone who’s read my blog before. You can find it here.
I asked where he planned to take this from college, because we will be passing out of college in a few months.
I haven’t thought much about it, actually, but I would really want to take it far. I want to start my own thing. I have also started my own thing, called Pravishta, hopefully that will click! Maybe a movie with minimalist animation? I’m trying something like that. I’m hoping it works.
The movie idea sounds really cool.
My senior artists from my internship were really encouraging. They told me to make a portfolio, and with making a portfolio, creating new designs with Photoshop, I gained both skill and speed.
What’s marvelous for me is how even though he didn’t know much about the software, Illustrator, he just tried it out with his first Mustang and he did it anyway. Sure, it took a lot of time and effort but in the end, he still did it.
I’m very particular about my work. Until and unless I’m not satisfied with it, I’m not going to get up from my laptop. Which explains my glasses…I didn’t have them before.
Bikes were much harder because there was already so little material, and on top of that, there were parts that I had to cut down. But I tried it, over and over again.
Today, Clive’s perseverance is really inspiring. I wish him all the very best for his future and I’m hoping to hire him to create more for my blog!
I really do want to blog. I might have a number of things stocked up in my phone’s notepad, and I’m sure if I went through them, I’d pick one of them to write.
But I’m stopping myself.
I know why I started to blog in the place. It was for class, and I loved doing it so I continued. But, when I was looking for motivation to blog (yes, I googled the same words) they talked about niches.
Stick to your niche don’t worry about others reading it.
I never worry about who might read it or not. I hardly get any comments so I’m not even bothered. I just blog for my own pleasure but I can’t seem to find any substance for it. Like, what is it that I blog about? My life.
But why? Why would some random person in some corner of the world want to read how good or bad my day was? Why would anyone care?
This is my problem.
I hope I can get out of this soon enough. I hate complaining. Or ranting.