Monday, September 26, 2011

Anyone can say Nope!

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A few weeks ago, I learnt a new term thanks to @mehulved: "TIL", which was basically an abbreviation for "Today I Learnt" (shouldn't it be "Today, I learnt"? Sorry, I'm just being a Punctuation Prude with that comma! :P).

So, in that spirit, I'm going to tag all posts related to random web surfing finds as TIL. I had done a few posts like that before. Remember? One was about a brilliant video on The Girl Effect, and then another on a text word art creator Wordle, and more recently about's photo editing features.

And... TIL about this fun NO-chart you can make and it's brought to you by the good people at GOOD. Just 3 clicks are needed:
1. Upload a photograph
2. Write your own question
3. Save and share the result

<--- See what I made.
You also have the option to share your work with a public gallery or keep it only for your own reference (a link is generated). Try it out yourself by visiting Good Labs' Make Your Own No-Chart page now.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Jesus, take the wheel...

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Growing up as a child and as a teenager, I always had a strong sense of my religious obligations. I was an active participant in church services, attended Catechism class with much enthusiasm, took initiative with organizing programmes for others, and in general, was considered a "good girl". While I didn't exactly turn out to be "bad" in any way, my spiritual connection with the Almighty has been on a massive decline since a few years now.

Make no mistake though. I still believe in God. Or rather in the idea of "God" - someone out there who's all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful and who we can turn to in life's joyous and sorrowful moments. What I've experienced in the last few years though is a sense of discontent, a disconnect from that omniscient force. And it's only because I started questioning what happened/happens around me; why we blindly follow certain rituals, why we are so concerned with getting others converted to our beliefs, why we go about these obligations without much thought, why is it so male-centric/dominated... and so on. Why do we have to make "faith" into this series of tasks? Why not adapt to the changing times? Such doubts and questions only fuelled my stubbornness in refusing to go to Sunday Mass or to events like the neighbourhood Rosary in May or October. There'd be months at a stretch where I wouldn't bother attending Mass, only visiting the church when I felt like it or if there was a funeral or someone's nuptials (either of which had to be of close friends or relatives for me to make the effort). My parents, after the initial nagging, finally gave up and stopped telling me to go to church. I didn't see anything wrong with my lifestyle, with my skipping of prayer-time, with my I-don't-care attitude. But tonight, something made me want to write this post.

I've been upset about something. In the larger context of the world's many problems, mine is an insignificant issue. Yet, it bothers me and so much time was spent in moping. While chatting with a friend about it, I realized how I never prayed or at least tried to pray to see if I could achieve some peace within. Not for the said problem alone, but in general.

Father RT, a priest who's also a friend, had sent me this text a few days ago: "Prayer is the place where BURDENS change SHOULDERS. Never underestimate the power of prayer today and always!" And somewhere at the back of mind, the words kept playing on and on. Add to it, I listened to Carrie Underwood's Jesus, Take The Wheel continuously on loop yesterday, and it has left me thinking hard again. I felt the character in the song was me who was...
"running low
On faith and gasoline."
And it made me want to "throw my hands up in the air" and just surrender myself to this higher power that I have no real knowledge of.
"... And for the first time in a long time
She bowed her head to pray
She said I'm sorry for the way
I've been living my life

I know I've got to change
So from now on tonight

Jesus, take the wheel
Take it from my hands
'Cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
To save me from this road I'm on
Jesus, take the wheel."
As I go to bed tonight, I want to believe there is a force out there that looks after me. Or at least one that wants me to look after myself. I've been believing my doubts on many fronts, and they are just making matters worse when it comes to tackling issues everyday. Maybe by letting go in complete surrender, I can try to find that balance my life needs. But praying doesn't mean sitting idle and letting things spiral away. I've always believed in service being a form of prayer. Karma really comes back to bless or haunt you, no? Another one of Father RT's texts said: "Faith can move mountains, but don't be surprised if God hands you a shovel at times!" 

I'm off to look for *that* shovel.

PS: Do read Henna Achhpal's thoughts on her Vipassana experience here. This is one thing I want to encounter myself in my own spiritual quest. Ten days away from people, phones, email? Tough, tough, tough!

PPS: This is a personal post, and does not endorse or promote any religion whatsoever. The photo above was taken a long time ago and was posted here originally.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


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I don't know what I'm doing here by trying to write. This week has been mixed. More 'down' than 'up'. And tonight just killed the little excitement I had for my upcoming travel plans. No, I don't want to talk about what really happened. Because, frankly, I do not know what it actually is, and how it came to be. In the space of a few minutes, opinion has swayed, known people became strangers, loyalty is being mistaken as rudeness. And all this is just not making sense. I've always strived to put others in the foreground. I hate the spotlight. Yet, some accusations were made which have left me terribly upset. 

So, I'll try to sleep it off. The television's on, but there's nothing worth watching. Maybe I need to remind myself about the sun... it sets in the evening to rise the next day without fail. With vigour, with hope, with peace. Good night.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


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Beware, this post is a bit of a ramble. Not sure where it's headed.

So, 16th September 2011 will be remembered as the day Rahul Dravid, one of India's best batsmen, bowed out of the limited overs version(s) of the game. Paeans were written before and after the 5th ODI versus England at Cardiff. Unfortunately, the Indian team couldn't seal a victory capping off an extremely tough and a winless tour. Dravid, along with Virat Kohli, managed to get an excellent partnership going and their efforts helped the team go past the 300+ run mark. Captain MS Dhoni also scored a quick knock but England has had the upper hand throughout this tour and emerged victors in a rain-marred game.

Anyway, I wanted to blog about Dravid. Hopefully soon. For today, presenting just the image above. There never will be another one like you, Rahul Dravid. Thank you for the wonderful memories.

PS: Please excuse any typos and weird sentences. I'm way too sleepy. 'Night!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


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... of being brave.
... of having to tackle so many different things AND being expected to succeed at all of them.
... of expectation.
... of no expectation.
... of being the go-to girl.

... of the potholes in Aarey that make my back ache.
... of noise, pollution, filth, humans.

... of not being able to run for a train like I used to since three and a half months.
... of feeling too scared to walk quickly, leave alone run.

... of being taken for granted. Every effing time.
... of playing too safe.

... of making travel plans in my head. 
... of dreaming too small.
... of giving. And forgiving.

... of well-meaning "advice" (go to the ortho; get your thyroid checked; lose weight; stop eating junk; don't work so many hours; don't socialise so much; save money; get married).

... of life. Soon.

Sent from my iPod Touch

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Going on a Picnik...

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I've been trying some online resources for photo editing, especially since I'm Photoshop-challenged. 

One of my favourite sites is Big Huge Labs.Their tagline is simple: "Helping you do cool stuff with your digital photos since 2005. :-) Have fun with your photos!". You should try it sometime.

Another one is Picnik. I had checked it out ages ago and was very annoyed with how slow the site was. But then, I rediscovered it recently, and while there are quite a few of their features for premium users, I still think it's a good bet to do something fun with your photos. Earlier in the blog, I did try the Polaroid (in Frames) feature with a photo. This time, I tried the Sticker (speech bubble) and Text (Eat me!) features. The result? Quite nice, I thought. See:

I went to Frames and chose the simplest one after selecting the colours for the two borders. 

The downside? You need to sign up for an account and as a 'free' user, you can upload just 5 photos at a time. And you need to pay for premium features. But those reasons aside, the time taken for photos to upload is a bit much.

Have you tried What's your experience like? Are there other online resources like this and BHL that cater to photo-fun?

PS: I really love Picnik's pre-loader. It's simple but so creative. The copy, that is:
Blooming blossoms | Warming breeze | Growing grass | Buttering sandwiches... and so on. Puts a smile on your face while you wait for the site to load. :)

Monday, September 05, 2011

Bucket list

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Just realised I've never really had a bucket list. But then again, I'm not the kind to go about making and ultimately sticking to resolutions. (Horrible, I know!) It probably stems from my lack of serious ambition.

So, I thought of listing down all that I must do, experience, see, eat, drink, make, travel to before I, errr, kick the bucket...

1. Learn to code. Nothing elaborate, just one line of something. Any language. I never liked studying 'computers'; neither did I ever take up programming at any point in school or college. The only reason I did opt for the subject in school was because it was a choice between that and needlework (ugh!). Maybe I should ask Dan to help me with this. She's the smartest coder I know.

2. Travel the world. More realistically, India. Some places to explore in the immediate future include:
Old Delhi for its history. And the food.
Hyderabad for biryani.
Kolkata for Durga Pujo. Shantiniketan. Eden Gardens. Mother Teresa. Puchkas and roshogullas.
Madras. For the Chennai Open (tennis) and hopefully, watch Leander Paes-Mahesh Bhupathi win.
Wai. And Jejuri to re-live Arun Kolatkar's poetry.
Dalhousie, Darjeeling. Dharamsala to teach as a volunteer.
North East India. For Cherrapunji, Kaziranga, Shillong Chamber Choir.
Pondicherry. To feel French.
Goa. To give it another chance. For its churches and sausage-pao. (Maybe Lo and I can go here together)
Internationally: Bhutan, Turkey, Cambodia

3. Cook a proper meal. Not just a dish, but the works. Actually, signing up for cooking classes seems more doable at this stage. And maybe learn to bake a cake or something. Sheesh, I'm indecisive about this.

4. Learn to cycle and swim. Hmmm... a tad difficult as I'm too self-conscious.

Man... this is tough... I can't think beyond. I'm appalled. :(

Thursday, September 01, 2011


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It's curtains for our August Blogging Challenge or ABC (Isn't there a Bieber song called ABC?). The idea was to get going on the blogging front on a regular basis, and I'd like to believe that having a challenge helped to a large extent. I'm quite sure I will be posting regularly even after this challenge has ended. And even more confident that Lo will not disappear from the blogosphere. She totally aced the challenge, no?

To the tiny number of my blog readers, first of all... SORRY for the sometimes random posts when I was bereft of ideas. I tried to cheat a little by posting photos, YouTube videos, writing about my frustrations, and just about anything that caught my fancy. 

Second, if you're still reading my blog, THANK YOU. Your encouragement and support mean a lot. Special thanks to DeeSeelicious who enquired one morning on Twitter about any new posts. It didn't really hit me till then that there were actually a few people (other than myself) reading my stuff. Also, @DanielDmello who silently 'liked' some posts in his Google Reader. In case you still want to go through my 31 posts, click here. Feedback will still be appreciated. 

What's next? Well, I hope to do as much "writing" as possible. Will definitely aim at doing atleast a hundred words per post with more meaningful content. 

I'm definitely going to continue my Rick-rolled series. So many rikshaws and their awesomeness still waiting to be discovered :).

Work has kept me busy and will continue to be that way for a while, but I know I can make time for a blog post once in a while. Some of the blog ideas came from what started as tweets. I stopped before hitting 'send' and gave the thought a better chance of finding expression. I mean, look at the post on the Mohammad Ali Road feast. A few tweets about that would've been lost in the vast black hole called the Internet. Here, I wrote a little about the experience, ensured the photos went with it, and now I can relive those moments anytime I want. Also, I'm tweeting less which has really helped in some ways.

To cut a long story short, I'm happy with my ABC experience. And hope to make this blog better as we go along. Here's some pointless trivia: The year 2005, when I started blogging, saw 21 posts in all - 10 less than the number of posts in August 2011 alone. :)


PS: Di, I hope you find the inspiration soon to get on track with your blog.

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