Monday, April 26, 2010

The Cupcake Award

So The Plum Tree Volume-2 has gotten its first award. Thank you Chetana.
I would like to leave it at that, but the award says that I should say THREE things I like about myself. I dread this. Who wants to know strange little likey likey details about me anyway? What does it matter to the rest of the world that I like the fact that I get up at 3 am every morning and eat exactly 62 salted peanuts? I hate divulging private details. Reminds me a bit of the lurid testimony services that used to take place on Sunday evenings in the church I used to go to and into which I stumbled into one Sunday long ago, to shelter from the rain. Horrified paralysis kept me from running down the aisle and out of church screaming while one by one, those who wanted to give a testimony crawled forth and told and made their private agonies public: rebellious children, nasty spouses, abortions, suicides, mental distresses, low grades, strange diseases… and how they prayed and God just swooped down like Superman and set everything right.
One of the women, I’ll call her Usha, spoke about how she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and how she ‘just fasted and prayed’ and was miraculously cured. Her dramatic and tearful testimony was perhaps the most convincing of all. Afterwards the rest of the congregation milled around her and hugged and kissed her while I scooted home.
Subsequently, I mentioned this to a well known doctor also from that church and asked him, ‘so was what she said true?’
He said, ‘you are daft if you believe that! Usha’s cancer was diagnosed at a very early stage and she took all the medication and chemotherapy required to cure it.’
‘Then why did Usha say what she did?’ I asked indignantly, ‘and so movingly and poignantly too!’
The Doc looked me directly in the eye, ‘she did it for attention’, he said, ‘just like every one of those who stood up and spoke in the testimony service that evening. If their problems have been solved, it is a pity they don’t give themselves enough credit for their efforts to solve it. But then of course, there is always more attention to be received if the name of God is articulated’.

Anyway, having said what I wanted to say, I must now add that saying 3 teeny weeny little titbits about why I like myself is hardly the same as falling on my knees and beating my breast while delivering a tearful testimony in church. So let me indulge you:
1) Yes, as I already mentioned, I eat 62 salted peanuts at 3am every morning.
2) Every full moon night, at the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world is asleep, I prowl the neighbourhood while occasionally letting out a yowl.
3) All my work, every single piece is done while balancing on my right leg only, which is how I get those powerful strokes with charcoal.
Yup, love all these things about myself.
There! Not quite as dramatic as Usha’s testimony, but if you believed any of those three things above, or in Usha’s testimony, well……

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Morning Surprise!

So much for once swearing that I’d never get sentimental about blogging or bloggers. I always thought myself an unsentimental kind of babe - a non- hugger who sniffs with disdain at excessive displays of emotion. But I have to shove my steel armour aside this time and I have to get teary eyed in this post when I talk about the utter thoughtfulness of virtual friends I haven’t even met in real life.
What they do for me! They send me seed pods and lovingly handmade Christmas gifts; they send me ‘fan mail’, they actually buy my paintings… When they are in Bangalore, they make it a point to come visit me and even indulge my strange requests in the name of art. When I want to know about art terminology or related stuff, they take the time to share their knowledge in detail with me…

Aneri Maasi shares an enthusiasm of pretty feet with me which you can see here and here. Yes, please do click! As you can see, one simply can’t help but gush over them. This is the reason I LOVE being a woman! I may indulge in pedicures, but I have never ever seen nails around here imprinted with pretty designs in my part of the world.
Then yesterday, I got a surprise package in the mail. I wondered who it could be. When I opened it, there was a ‘handwritten letter’ from Aneri on beautiful green paper. Yes! I am going to repeat that – Handwritten! Beautiful stationery! (Who takes that much time these days and that too for someone they’ve never met?) And there was a gift – a package of pretty nail stickers!!!! You cannot find a happier babe typing out this blog post :-) Hyuk hyuk hyuk...My feet are wriggling their toes in anticipation for their monthly pedicure with a cherry on top this time – nail stickers! And yeah, of course it will be splashed all over my blog when it happens.

Thank you Aneri. This was so kind and thoughtful of you. And yes, you get a handwritten letter and a little surprise back in the mail from me.

Fresh and Green

Fig from Pune

Green Beetle

Surprise Green letter (more about this in the next post)

Tulsi in a bottle

Floor of my garden after a shower

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


"The majority of well adapted individuals have lost their own self at an early age and replaced it completely by a social self offered to them by society. They have no neurotic conflicts because they themselves… have disappeared."
~Erich Fromm

Sunday, April 11, 2010

View from my Window

Sunday afternoon
If you like this picture, please vote for me here>>>
Thank you :)

Friday, April 9, 2010


I only go out to get me a fresh appetite for being alone.”
~ Lord Byron


When the 76 CRPF jawans who sacrificed their lives in the Dantewada massacre were housed in horrific conditions while alive, couldn’t we at least give each of them a decent coffin at their burial? Their coffins look like they have been pieced together with cardboard. The manufacturer’s marks are still visible on the cheap plywood with which they have been made…

Before a movie at a cinema hall, we have to stand while the national anthem is being played and watch glorious, idealized shots of soldiers at the Siachen glacier. Apparently their bodies return in cheap plywood coffins too. How many of us know that? Perhaps the film makers should include a clip of the condition in which these soldiers’ bodies are packaged for burial in our country once they are killed, so that we can see for ourselves how 'Mahan' mera Bharath treats its martyrs  while we stand to attention, 120 rupees popcorn in hand, impatiently waiting for the movie to start.

Please take some time to see this>>>

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hair Myth

I was told my grandmother had hair so long it reached her knees. I was told her hair was so thick and curly that after it was washed it took two women to detangle it and spread it out to dry. I was told that when it was tied up my grandmother’s head would tilt backwards due to the weight of her hair which is why I envisioned my grandmother spending most of her long haired youth staring at the ceiling. Each time I was told the story of my grandmother’s hair, the hair grew longer and longer within the story until it touched the ground and the last time I heard the story I remember I was told that it trailed behind her on the floor.