Saturday, September 29, 2012

Art Attack

I get this periodic pangs of art attack and I indulge myself completely in it. The Quilling that I started earlier and described here, is one such example. I still cannot pinpoint a single reason for these sporadic afflictions, but that does not steal the felicity out of my attempts.

I am yet to figure out how I started glass painting. I had not gone for a class, not seen anyone do it, no I did not watch “You tube” either. I honestly do not remember what inspired me to pick up the material for Glass painting but I just did it. I only remember it was 10 X 10 inches glass and I was impressed with myself when the painting was done. I wanted to frame it and gave it to a person whom I knew did the job.

He took a unprecedented time for a simple framing and when I was losing my cool, more so because of the anxiety to see the final framed painting, he apologized saying that he had framed it in his workshop which was also running a glass painting exhibition of his daughter, and someone bought it for 2000 INR. I didn’t know if I had to feel good or otherwise. He offered me the money and I somehow could not accept it – this was around 8 years back. I couldun’t sell something that I did passionately. That fellow felt so guilty especially when I refused to take  money he gave me two of his daughters' glass paintings, which I still have.

J laughed at me saying “ how in the world do you believe all these stories that others tell you? “. His theory was this, he has either lost it or broken it and knows I would blow my top off if he says so, and hence he gave me this reason. He made you feel so good with this reason, that you even refused the money he offered. Anyway that painting wouldn’t sell for that kind of money. and ended that statement with a sarcastic  HA HA HA. Till date he stands by this theory. Maybe he is right. But wait he might be wrong too.

The Painter and the Painting - Circa 2005
I didn’t lose heart and proceeded to complete this one on the right. I did it on my own – no tutor / no tutorial. A critical hubby is my only proof. This was in the year 2005.

I do remember this though about the painting. I was completely stressed out doing my part time MBA and had a hectic job ( in which I had to learn, innovate, be creative and also travel) and with hubby in Manila for almost one semester and had to manage home and the studies of a Vth grade dynamite.

I started this after my, I guess 3rd semester exam. The painting took atrociously long time and I got totally passionate and involved in the painting, the satisfaction of which acted as a great stress buster. I remember doing this late into the nights after sonny boy slept and had to hide this from him lest he may spoil it. (this takes some time to dry)

The next one was this.

And was done after I completed my final exams and project of my MBA. It was cathartic to say the least – Kind of transition from all that maddening schedules and studies into a different world. I should say, finally all my hard work paid off both with my studies and my painitng. I didn’t dream that I would be the class topper let alone an university Gold Medalist in my MBA.

Both these paintings  had a very prominent place in our earlier home though they are carefully packed and stacked away in our apartment now. Didn’t want to drill holes into immaculate walls of our rented apartment.

Ahhhh.. Just got carried away with my past. I have joined an art class now and I started with a glass painting that includes crystal art. And you know what, it pays to have a Guru. :-) My art teacher taught me a couple of tricks that helped me to complete the outline that I earlier took around 5 to 6 hours in just say one and a half hours.

I am all excited and am waiting for the next class already. I wanted to tell you, all about this when my painting was done, but I could not hold on till then.. :-)  Silly me.

Friday, September 14, 2012

From the backyards of memory !!

Every now and then life throws everyone these jolts that makes you sit up and take notice of yourself, people around you ,the environment, the past and probably the future. These jolts come in the form of pleasant stuff and there are times when it is not so pleasant.

The last week I had a mail out of the blue, I didn’t recognize the mail id, it was quite cryptic starting with a SEG, which didn’t make sense at all. I was in half a mind to delete thinking it was spam, but reasoning prevailed, guess my intuition perked up and I opened it.

Surprise is an understatement here – I should term it Delight or may be even Ecstasy. My school mate and a dear friend had sent that mail and I wasn’t ready for the pleasant surprise.

A year back I had written about Networking sites and their small mercies in life and how I found this really long lost school friend here . I remember her asking me, “ Vincy do you remember how you used to hide birthday cards in my school bag a day before my birthday? And I used to wait to reach home to search my bag for your card” :-) funny I used to do that, why I wonder - I could have given it to her on her brithday...Yeah I did remember that when she nudged my memory.

I opened the mail and scanned the contents to be taken to the backyards of my memory.

It all started with quivering lips. I blinked hard to stop the wetness escaping and before I realized I was at it again – getting teary eyed. ( I am a world class crier and I seem to be one person who can cry at the drop of an hat. I am much better these days and thankfully do most of the crying in private. Its very cathartic.)

Let me tell what was in there – ML, my friend had scanned a hand made birthday card that I had given her when we were in high school. That’s around 29 years back :-)

I cannot imagine that she had preserved the card for close to 3 decades, a simple birthday card I had made, but definitely with the innocence and love of a teenager for her best friend then, – she stayed in hostels, moved multiple times, travelled, married and inspite of all this she had it and I hadn’t known.

To know one is loved  and valued this much, is a mammoth blessing. Moments like these pales everything else in life into insignificance, temporarily atleast. Humbled and speechless.

Here is the yellowing card, defying its age and let me stop before I get any more emotional. :-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Stirring up Memories - Sept 8th

The Catholics across the world would know the specialty of 8th of September. It is the birthday of Mother Mary and I am a staunch believer of Mother Mary and that’s not the only reason for this day being special for me.

18 years back when my father was all anxious and making sure that his daughter gets married off to a Prince Charming who matches all his conditions, ( Yep, my father had a huge list of conditions, which could be fodder for a separate blog post in itself), a distant relative came with a proposal that kind of evoked some interest in my dad. Mine was an arranged marriage and friends who knew me then, swore on my Dad, that I will never get married looking at his conditions.

Well, my father managed to get me married and was successful in finding a guy who matched 80% of his expectations. Poor Joe, well poor me too – We are victims of my dad’s scheming or so we contend :(

Digressing from the topic that I begin to write has become more of a habit – Don’t be surprised, I am a proud Gemini. So back to the topic.

So it was on this fateful day 18 years back, Joe and I set our eyes on each other at a common friend’s wedding.

Ahh now don’t come to any conclusions – I guess Cupids missed their focus at the moment we saw each other so no arrow hit any of us, both of us never had any inner voice telling us “ This person will be your eternal foe”, I guess our intuitions went on a vacation that day ( probably together that’s why we were married), no seventh sense telling us, we would be man and wife.. no ESPs, no choirs giving a background score .. absolutely nothing.

I remember looking at the bachelor Joe and thinking .. hmm he looks a little fat( ofcourse he was, he was a good 20.5 kgs heavier than me!) but looks good.. that’s it. The relative who laboriously planned this meeting came to me and said, Vincy, that’s the boy have a good look at him. I remember replying with my nose up in the air, Ask him to take a good look at me. After our marriage Joe tells me he gave almost the same reply to my relative when told to take a good look at the girl.

Two utterly egoistic adults, perfect ingredients for an recipe to make an explosive marriage. After all the customary nuances of an quintessential arranged marriage we were married on Martyrs Day. Irony all along. We are still deciding who the martyr is amongst us :-)

We have had our fair share of battles ( oh what is a marriage without that), our ego trips (big time) and temper tantrums, but somewhere down the line, we fell for each other ( not the head over heels kind, but still the falling happened luckily in the initial days itself). We are not a “ romantic “ couple, we are very practical, but at the end of the day bury our little differences to make sure we give our son a happy family. We still fight tooth and nail, hold our differences of opinion, try ignoring each other ( never works more than some hours), but these last very short periods in time as years go by. We now have more grey matter outside our heads and guess wisdom prevails.

We are not the type to call each other every now and then, but I cannot focus when I know he is driving long distances on work or otherwise. He does not read my blogs but I make sure that I read it out aloud for him, kind of thrust it on him, ( a few of them atleast) and I realized he loves it, when one night he brought me Dale Carnegie’s book and asked me to read it aloud.

I don’t think we adore each other ( or do we?), all I know is this - In the simple chores that we do in our everyday life, Love blossoms every now and then and I guess that keeps our marriage going. We both have come a long way from our egoistic adulthoods, and I cannot think of a life without him.

So you see, it was on this day, September 8th 1994, I met my “Hero” and yes it is special :) :)

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

A meticulous CON job

Oh no ! this is not a tutorial in a conning lesson or a 101 session on how to get conned.

Without spending time on a prelude, let me go ahead and tell you what I intend sharing.

We live close to the asia’s largest perishable goods market, Koyambedu, and thats a place we haunt occasionally on some weekends ( especially when we have the energy to walk and lug some weight around) for stocking up fresh veggies and fruits at home. With my son turning into a Vegetarian, that I have described here,  I have the responsibility of coming up with innovative ideas in veg preparations, to make sure he gets sufficeint nutrients that i feel he is missing by not eating non-veg food.

Hubby dear belongs to the energetic lot so I make sure I take an energy drink to keep up with his large striding leaps while walking.

So this was one of the weeks when I lost most of the energy in shopping for veggies and was not very energized to move on to the fruit market. Koyambedu is a large market which sprawls 100’s of acres and you really need a lot of energy to walk around the place and its definitely not the cleanest of places for a pleasant walk. However, since we were already there, thought of quickly picking up the fruits and I went to the first vendor who was at the entrance of the fruit market. The apples looked really good, and I had the luxury of choosing bright Red juicy apples and the vendor weighed them and put them in a black polythene cover and handed them over to me.

I imagined how those apples will contrast my new beige coloured table cloth that I had newly purchased and made a mental note of putting the apples in the oval brown wicker fruit basket in the centre of the table.

Picked some more stuff from the fruit market and landed home.

I get energized when I have to organize stuff ( wherever it is). Most of my friends have called me to come over to their homes to organize their wardrobes and cupboards after they saw mine. I remember how I used to organize Anita’s (my friend at the earlier org) desk at workplace whenever I went to her desk. I am working on my commissions for the activities :-) after which I plan to market my services to these people.

Organizing fruits is the easiest (very few gets into the fridge) and putting away the veggies takes a longer time and hence finished the veggeis first, all the while imagining how good those red apples are going to look on my new table cloth in a wicker basket. ( Silly me)
So finally I opened the black polythene cover and Lo and Behold, I see pale yellowish apples quite ugly looking and definitely not the ones I picked up . If I had picked up first quality apples this was like some third or fourth quality apples. I didn’t even want to put them on the table.

I was fuming that this guy cheated me in the broad daylight and I was wondering how this fellow managed to cheat me having seen him putting the apples in the black polythene cover and handing the very same cover to me. I did unleash my fury over this to my hubby dear who was equally surprised at the colour change of the apples, but I guess he left it at that. This was going on in my head and I was determined to figure out how this conning job worked.

I must have cribbed to him many times and Joe kind of sensed my purpose and tried distracting me by doing all the shopping himself for a couple of weeks in supermarkets around his workplace. So, I had to wait till I got back to Koyambedu a while later.  This time ( actually I wanted to go to the fruit market first but hubby dear gave me a look that would melt adamantium and so I tagged along with him to the veggie market ) so after all that veggie haul I stood there watching carefully how this conning drama unfolded.

Most of the vendors there blatantly follow this ritual of conning and I am sure many like me are victims to this act.

This is what they do. There are prepacked, neatly knotted (obviously with the low quality stuff) black coloured polythene covers that are kept down near the feet of the vendor and the vendor is sitting down in front of a small raised platform. When a customer comes in they are allowed to pick up the fruits they would the to buy and he carefully packs it in a black polythene cover and ties a skillfull knot and keeps it on his /her lap in the pretext of collecting money. He then takes money from the customer and instead of picking the polythene cover on the lap, (that is packed with the customers choice of fruits), he picks the prepacked cover quite naturally, that is quite close to his lap ( and cleverly hidden from the customer who is choosing the fruits). I was standing behind the vendor with hubby dear and was watching this. So I unraveled the mystery, and my blood was boiling. I wanted to alert that customer who just then picked it up and create a hue and cry and Joe literally dragged me out of that place saying that everyone there will gang up against us and we will be no match for their language or behavior.

Had to leave the place without fruits for the week and had to listen to Joe’s sermon on how I cannot afford to get impulsive in such situations.

I will never pick up anything from a vendor without cross checking if I really have what I have picked ( atleast in Koyambedu) If at all I get to go back there.

Conned but a good lesson learnt.