Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2010

It's been a good year

And so another year is through. Its been a good year this year. I think its been an important year for me. I spent most of 2009 struggling to find myself. I think I can say that I did in 2010. I am happier now and more at peace with myself. And most importantly I have found the one thing that I want to do with my life - quilt. I am grateful for this. I feel now that I could do what it takes to do what I want to do. One of my brother's lines: Do what you have to do to do what you want to do. Now that I know what I want to do, I think it will be easier for me to do what I have to.

Turned 30 this year and decided to live more intentionally. Had a great birthday brunch at home.

I traveled twice this year. Once to Dandeli with friends for 4 days and then to Himachal Pradesh with my husband for 25 days! They were both wonderful trips and the Himachal trip was better than any travel I have ever know. I am grateful.

Spent a lot of time with my dog - Hugo. I think he has changed the way I …

Nrityagram

I've been spending a few days on and off at Nrityagram - the dance village in Hessarghatta, Bangalore. Working with a writer's residency and so have to go in for a bit.

The Nrityagram campus is very beautiful and full of trees and birds and butterflies. But what is most amazing about the place is what you see when you walk out of the back gate. This:







Wasted years?

Someone asked me what I'm doing these days. I said I had quit my job and since I'm not yet sure if I should tell people I'm quilting, I didn't. So the person asked me to do some work for his organization - his Christian organization. I have done some writing for them in the past and the last time he called I refused. I said that I was not interested in writing. This time the offer was to do some other kind of work - all voluntary of course.
Somehow the person thought that I was wasting my life. That God had brought me to Journalism, to Literature and to Theology and now I was turning my back on all that. He felt that God had given me so much talent and I was not using it for Him. He said I would regret it later - the wasted years and youth. As we kept talking he finally said that I should do something I truly love and I said I was doing what I loved - I was quilting.
This didn't impress him of course. He still went on about how I was wasting my life and how he rea…

Sunday Lunch

I made roast chicken a couple of months ago but my mom was not in town. So she asked me to make it again for her and my aunt who's visiting. Two chickens this time and two salads, and garlic bread. Tiring but so satisfying.
Last time I had some lettuce left over to decorate the chicken dish but this time it had to go bare. Still, looked good.

The Mountains

You will face mountains so steep, deserts so long, and valleys so deep. Sometimes the journey’s gentle, sometimes the cold winds blow. But I want you to remember, I want you to know you will never walk alone. . . .


A friend of mine posted this on her wall today. It's not the best of quotes for this post but it got me thinking again about something that came to me on our trip to Himachal Pradesh. The mountains are a place of great learning. Many great thinkers and writers were climbers. It does something to you. Teaches you things that you wouldn't learn in city. I haven't been in a desert but I'm sure there's much to learn there too, but the mountains!
Sometimes I would look out of the bus window and just tear up. I can't explain why. I would just be overwhelmed with some kind of emotion... I can't put a finger on it. It's just too big!


This was my first time in the mountains and the landscape in Jispa kept giving me a very Old Testament feeling, like Mose…

Brought back some wool :)

I've just got back from a long trip in Himachal Pradesh and one of the things that HP is famous for are their shawls and woolen products. So I brought back some.

That's the lot!
This is really used for weaving and is very thin. I'm thinking I can use it to stitch on my quilt tops... or quilt through... don't know, will have to see what I can do with it.



 The above two I think will be scarves or caps.


The Stranger or the Outsider

I was reading Albert Camus' The Outsider (as my copy says) and felt like I understood Christ's sacrifice a little more.

Through Part two - the incarceration, the trial and death sentence - I felt so terrible for Meursault. It seemed so strange to have something like this happen to him. The guy he killed was not even connected to him but to that horrible neighbor of his. He had no reason to kill him but he just did. And then the trial seemed completely absurd! Concentrating on why the man did not show emotion at his mother's funeral can hardly be a reason to send him to the guillotine. I wonder, couldn't they have claimed temporary insanity or something? It was all very weird. And as the trial went on and I could tell that he was not going to get let of the hook I felt so helpless, and hopeless, and really... weird. I can't describe it any other way really. It was all just bizarre! How can a person's life just turn around like that. And then I felt like... isn…

Good day

Today we met with Sunithi Namjoshi the author of Aditi and the One-eyed Monkey on which our play, "What do you say to a Dragon?" is based. She is such a wonderful person. So warm and generous. She was fine with us using the book and fine with us changing things for the play as well. She said that the movie does not have to be the book and cannot be the book becuase it must adhere to a different form. And so to the play. I really enjoyed meeting with her.

And the rest of the day I spent with the other actors in the play and we had a great time. I think a really fun part about doing theatre is the "hanging out" for long hours chatting and laughing. It's great fun.

The day after

So we performed yesterday at the workshop for teachers. It was our very first show and we presented excerpts from the play with Anish acting as narrator and linking things up. It was good to actually perform in front of an audience - helps us picks up some gaps. S pointed out that we were not sure how to use the space. We have not really worked on what the play looks like visually so it seemed fairly chaotic.The script also needs reworking.

The puppets worked really well which was actually a surprise! Two days ago the puppets were really flat but I guess the energy and voices were good. I quite enjoy puppetry. I remember doing some hand puppet work for VBS and that was great fun too.

The performance is quite tiring when we do it at high energy and we were sweating like crazy.

The play is really for children but this show was for an adult audience albeit teachers who work with children. They were positive about the possibilities of the play and felt that we would receive a much better…

Doubt your work. Don't doubt yourself.

A WIP of "What do you say to a dragon" will be presented tomorrow at a workshop for 40 government school teachers from different parts of Karnataka. We are preparing for it and I'm nervous. Colleagues from work will be there and I don't want it to be too bad. I guess it won't be but still the fear remains.

Anyway we were rehearsing and Anish said that the more people curse us the better it will be. We were a little taken aback - why would any of us want to be cursed? He said that if they curse the play that will help us. "Doubt your work. Don't doubt yourself" he said.

I realized that I don't make the distinction between work and myself. When something I do is not so great I think I am horrible.  If my job does not make me happy I believe that my entire life is worth nothing. I don't know how to be strong in who I am and detach myself from what I do.

Important lesson. Another one learned from the theatre.

Playback Again

I’ve had a crazy busy week last week but also a great one. Early last month the people from Script People’s Theatre – the group I did the Playback Workshop with – called saying there was a Playback performance they would like me to be part of. I was a little hesitant after I agreed. I finished the workshop in 2007 and had not done much Playback after and these guys rehearse at 6:45 in the morning! Anyway, I managed to get myself to rehearsals everyday and we performed on Saturday for a family audience. They were celebrating a birthday and the wife of the lucky man who’s birthday it was used to be a playbacker so she had commissioned the performance.
Most of the actors I was now working with were new except for two. I realized how important it was to have a good relationship with the actors and for someone for whom making friends is a slow process it becomes difficult to be comfortable in a week. I often go through the motions of not liking people and then learning to like them or havin…

So, have you found something?

Now that I'm only a month away from finishing up with my current job everyone asks me, "So, have you found something?" Or, "Are you looking for something?"

Well, I am looking for something but its not really a full time job! I'm looking for happiness, and contentment, and joy, and peace, and laughter, and smiles, and excitement, and boundless energy, and fresh air, and sparkling water, and cool breeze, and blue mountains, and beautiful birds, and colorful butterflies, and quiet, and soft sunlight, and smiling faces, and deep sighs, and forgotten friends, and limitless possibility.

Yes I am looking for a lot! And, I sometimes find somethings...

Is there?

So much can go wrong in life... but should we not give the things that might go right a chance?
Maybe there is very little to hope for...but should we not hope at all?
Is there enough beauty in the world if we choose to find it?
Is there enough strength if we will fight?
Is there enough laughter to forget the tears?
Is there enough love to rid us of hate?

What do you say to a Dragon?

rafiki, a Bangalore based theatre group is producing a play - What do you say to a Dragon?. Its based on Sunithi Namjoshi's Aditi and the One-Eyed Monkey. A play for children, What do you say to a Dragon? will first show in June 2010, and then travel to different schools through the year.

After a really long time I'm acting again. The Playback workshop was the last time. This is an improvised piece and A, our director, spends a fair bit of time on training. I'm really enjoying it. It's demanding - both physically and emotionally.

Since its a play for children who are in the 5th - 6th grade, A got us to think of life incidents and stories that we had heard from that time. It's an adventure story so we had to also come up with an adventure! I realized I hadn't had a very adventourous life...that was kind of sad. Still, I had an imagination back then so I recalled an event that seemed to me at the time, an adventure. You'll find it here.

There are many othe…

Back to the theatre

So I'm acting in a play with a theatre group. Finally! When my friend asked me if I would act in a play for children he was directing I had to say yes. This may be my last chance!

We began rehearsals on Friday. It was great. Even though I need to take three buses to get to rehearsal I am so grateful for this. I know the travel will bug me and I will be very tired soon but I must do this.

I can tell already that this process is going to be a difficult one. The play will be improvised from stories from the actors childhoods... ahem... that means the director constantly asks us to bring in stories from our childhood... which means I need to start digging up things from the past. So its going to be an interesting experience for sure.

I think I am more aware this time round and may be able to deal with it better. So lets see. :)

Another Phase

So... I'm quitting work again. :) I realized that I didn't want to spend the rest of my life doing this kind of job and so why waste time on it now. I think I need to focus on something that I want to build my skills and abilities in. Right now I'm not sure what that is... but all I can think of now is quilting. You can see what I've been upto on the new blog... Quilting in India. I've only just begun but the truth is nothing else is holding my attention! I close my eyes and I see patterns. I am checking on fabric all the time. I wish I had studied textile design. There is so much I don't know.

It's a whole new start. I've been meaning to quilt for many years now, have read up stuff, watched videos, bought books, even tried my hand at a few blocks... but now I want to work on it more. Is it crazy for me to start something at 30? I have so much to learn and so much to do! Then again Roz Savage started rowing after she was 33... and I know another lady wh…

Believing

I've spent a year away from church. Whenever I go back, on the odd occasion, I get asked a few questions. Where have you been? What have you been doing? Which church have you been going to? Why aren't you coming here anymore? You don't go to church at all?!!! Gasp!

Anyway today a person I respect and care about said:

Person: How are you?
Me: Good.
P: Where do you worship?
M: Nowhere.
P: Oh. Are you part of a small group or Bible Study?
M: No.
P: OH!

I then told him that it was not so bad and that he should not worry. Some desert time is helpful. I'm happy. He nodded.

A couple of days ago I sat alone at home eating my dinner. Somehow I played an imaginary conversation in my head between me and my colleagues. And as it has come up now and then even in real life, the topic was religion. And as I talked I came down to saying, "I don't understand everything about Christianity. I don't understand why there is so much hunger and sadness in the world. I know most …

Tree

Quilting

I found some cool sites on quilts today.

This site: The Alliance for American Quilts has a lovely pattern by Yvonne Porcella and Karen Musgrave. It's so bright and colorful. Makes me happy.

I also found the International Quilt Study Centre and Museum, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. They actually have graduate and undergraduate courses in history of quilts and textiles, a solid research department, arts quilts, quilt stories... I didn't know there was so much happening with quilts! It can be a business, a passion, a hobby and now... an academic pursuit. This is amazing!

So I wanted to know the history of quilting in India and came across Henry John Drewal and his exhibition of Siddi quilts. Check that out here.

Getting quilting basics

I’m teaching myself how to quilt from the internet. About.com has some great tutorials and videos. So you can actually see what people are talking about. It’s great. Also, I just found quiltuniversity.com!!! It’s an online quilting course! You have to pay for this but you can learn to be a pro on that site.

Of course the material available on the Internet is written by Americans or Canadians so I need to find equivalents or substitutes to what they are talking about. I have found sites where people are exporting Indian quilts so there’s a lot of quilting happening here too but more commercially.

Hmm. Big mountains to climb. I need to find good fabric. On my trip to Raja Market I did not really find much. They said I’d get stuff on DS lane but not the kind I was looking for. I guess more exploring is necessary.

40 things to do before I turn 40

I came across this site today: my50.com It's sweet. You can join up and list out the 50 things you want to do in your lifetime. I've contemplated a bucket list for a long time. And now and then I have put things down even on this blog. So... here are my 40 things to do in the next decade:

Learn to swimGrow a herb garden May 30, 2013 :)Learn to make 10 different types of omeletsStart a businessHappy Turtle. Well I started it and it was running for a while but we moved.See EgyptSee Snow!December 2011Travel across EuropeLose weight!Take dancing lessonsBuy a good DSLRGo to a photography workshop/ course Go Whale WatchingWatch Mamma Mia on BroadwayVisit GracelandVisit Niagra Falls Summer of 2012Become a quilt artistMake my home plastic-freeAct in a play I came close... we did a work-in-progress... but I don't feel like I want to do this anymore. I guess some things just change through life!Live in another countryLiving in Toronto. September 2011. :)Learn to dive so I can go on …

Obnoxious

A friend of mine made a trip to Tanjavur this weekend. On the train ride back she was woken up at 3am by horribly excited children and even louder parents! They needed to get off at 5am, but they were up and ready a good two hours ahead, bags packed, windows opened, children engaged in loud chatter and parents communicating a few decibels higher. My friend objected to which the man, who seemed like an IT guy from an Electronic City or some such little world, objected right back! “You don’t need to tell us what to do. We will talk if we want to.” “It seems you don’t like it if the children are happy.” “I don’t need to learn manners from you!”

It seems that people with their new found status of corporate wealth think that they don’t need to care about anybody else and clearly don’t give a damn about public spaces. The world belongs to them and their children. And if you want to be in the same space you need to fight. Like animals protecting your herd or your territory. What does one do …

Leaf

Colors

I have a thing for colors. Especially bright colors. At one point in college I wore a range of browns and earthy reds. Then there was the Lucknow Chikan phase. Pastels, pastels and more pastels. But now its all about bright reds, yellows, and greens. Oh that reminds me, I did have a bright yellow salwar kameez once. My friend put on his sunglasses when I walked into the office wearing it!

Anyway, so I looked up the color theory today on about.com. Good stuff.

I was looking for images of the color wheel and came across the color wheel for container gardening! Click here for the color wheels for your flowers!

Oh... since we're talking colors... have I mentioned one of my favorite colorist artist Annick Mckenzie. Her paintings are so beautiful. Rich and vibrant and make you want get up and get into the world!

Something new everyday!

If we try we will find something new everyday - something that will interest us, or shock us, or make us smile - we will! We need to look. Even it it means taking the trouble to google a word we have not heard before. So here's my something new for today.

We were discussing something at work and someone mentioned on of the people in Raqs Media Collective so I checked them out. Nice site and interesting work. Go to: Raqs Media Collective.

While looking up Raqs I found a really nice portrait of the three of them in Wikipedia. The photographer is Jatinder Marwaha who takes some fantastic portraits. Check him out here: Jatinder Marwaha

Amazing Pictures

Came across Kalyan Varma's site today. His images are... I first said so beautiful but they're more than that. They're stirring. Like something was reaching into your chest and squeezing your heart so that somehow you couldn't breathe! I don't know if I described it right but they are moving. And they're all wildlife images. They're breathtaking!

Go to: kalyanvarma.net.

Sewing Stash

62 metres of cloth! :) I am a novice at this whole thing so I have a lot of learning to do. I am ready for a trial and error method and am reading as much as I can. But I realize that there is so much that you need to figure out... like which cloth to use? This is cotton casement as they call it. The guy also had drill cotton which is a little thicker. I need to find a place that has nice prints. But I really need to read up on and figure out what the basics of textile and material are. The shopkeepers in Raja Market know instantly that you don't really know anything about their business.



I'm happy with my sewing kit and embroidery threads and needles and fabric glitter and scissors! Bryan had bought me a rotary cutter and mat when he went to the States last year.



Found these iron-on flowers at Raja Market as well. There were others but they were really sad!

Travel

I spent four days in Dandeli this January. It was the most relaxing and refreshing trips I've had in a long time. We saw the hills and the sea in a span of four days! Karwar is a three/four hour drive...



We were on the beach for 3 hours flat on the sand with the waves coming right at us. It was amazing! As I sat there I wondered why we spend our lives in office buildings, in front of computers when there is so much to see in the world, so much more to experience. We spend most of the year working so that we can take a vacation. But then we don't really know how to be still or quiet or learn from that experience. We should spend more time learning from God's great creation.

30 is actually quite nice

So I turned 30 this year and for my birthday I wanted to make it special. I spent a fair bit of time over the last year wondering how exactly I would like to celebrate my 30t. After dissing the weekend away, party at a farm, even an art event, I decided that I would have a brunch at our home.

I love breakfast. Bacon, sausages, eggs and so on. I love breakfast buffets at a restaurant... I think they're the best meal you can eat out. Unfortunately, life doesn't allow me much time for breakfast on a regular day so I decided to invite friends and family to a breakfast-brunch at home in our garden. It was lovely!

I think everyone also enjoyed it since we had never really done anything like this before. And I enjoyed shopping for it.

This however was a couple of weeks after my birthday. For the day itself I felt that I needed to do something that I have been wanting to do for a very long time and since I was going to live my life more deliberately from now on, I should start when…

Ansel Adams

Was looking at Ansel Adams work today. I really like this one.


Tetons and the Snake River
Ansel Adams gelatin silver photograph
Negative made 1942, printed ca. 1970