Monday, December 23, 2013

Let's Build Our Tent !!!!!

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's hand. "I just wanted to be sure of you.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Childhood friendships are often like the one Piglet and Pooh shared. Every day is an adventure and everything is a mystery. I distinctly remember the day when I first befriended my best friend Maya. We were in K.G. together. All students were given art homework to make flowers. While everyone had made them red I made mine green in color. While some of the other children laughed at my painting she was the only one who said it was nice. She even drew a star on my sheet. Since that day we have been best of friends for the past 20 years.
A sketch of us when we were in KG

Dove has launched this contest called Guessing Game with my friend!  It requires us to tell about the various games we played with our friends. I am overwhelmed with nostalgia when I think about the various games Maya and I played together in our childhood. One of them is building tents.

 Building tents was one of our favorite games till we were in primary school. She lived near my house and used to come over in the evenings so we could play (read mischief) together. Usually we would play board games or hide and seek but when it was Saturday we would make tents. Building tents was one of our favorite games till we were in primary school. She lived near my house and used to come over in the evenings so we could play (read mischief) together. Usually we would play board games or hide and seek but when it was Saturday we used to build only tents. Maya would come over in the morning and the whole day was spent arranging tables or chairs and then putting a big sheet of cloth over them. Every time the material used to be different. Sometimes we would over the dining table with bed sheets and hide under it pretending like it was a tent.

There were no playgrounds near our houses so these tents were like our very own special playgrounds. We would bring all our toys in. We would tie my mother’s dupattas around like a sari and play ghar-ghar.We read fairy tales using a torch.

 I feel really grateful to have a friend like her in my life. These were some our golden moments. I will cherish these memories forever…….

Sunday, December 8, 2013

What do you think?

What do you call this?? Is this Art or Just a girl gone crazy??

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Shooting for a Century: The India-Pakistan Conundrum :Review


Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Obsession with Forever

Vampires, Fairy tales, Romantic-Comedies, Chic-lit romances, teen romantic novels they all have one thing in common, that is, the 'Promise of Forever', the 'Happily Ever After'. Teens or even adults these days are obsessed with the larger than life romances. And billion dollar franchises feed on this obsession. Children grow up reading fairy tales which often convey the message that at the end true love will last forever and the lovers will stay together forever. I'm not against happy endings or fairy tales. I'm not anti-romanticism either.

But ask yourself that do these conditions or this tag of forever necessary!!!
Do we need to put a timeline?

There are all sorts of relationships in this world which have their own dynamics. One can't really compare them. Love is one thing that isn't quantifiable. Also relationships have phases. So is it possible that every relationship will last forever? The answer is no. Not every relationship can last forever. On the contrary, many relationships, though of a short time-span, have depth far greater than the ones which have had a long run. Sometimes the passion fades in the long term relationships but it might replace stability, a quality which is no less important.

I like to think of this world as a pond. And of us humans as stones which are thrown in it. Our lives are the ripples which are created when the stone hits the surface of the water. These ripples interfere with other ripples in a similar manner like our lives interfere with the lives of the people around us. So in the same paradigm, love can be thought of as the force which propels those ripples. Initially when the stone has just entered the pond, the ripples are more intense and so is our need of love in the form of passion. But as those ripples fade and stability sets in our needs also change. We value the quiet. 

So what do we ultimately seek? Longevity or Depth?

There is no correct answer to the above question just like there is no bad art. It's just about what suits you. However, I don't think that putting the condition of forever before every relationship is right. Sometimes love lasts a lifetime but lovers don't. So be charmed by the "forever and always" but don't expect every relationship to fit in that paradigm.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Chalk and Charcoal

Monsoon and the chilly winds these days are keeping me from studying, I just can't concentrate. So I'm spending more time doing sketching and stuff....and I am trying my hand at drawing with Charcoal and Chalk for the first time in my life. And here is a look at some of my sketches.

  Well I agree these aren't great but I am learning......

I do appreciate any sort of feedback.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Smells like Home

This must have happened to you. A significant smell that you come across reminds you of a memory from the past. A smell that triggers emotions, feelings of joy, love, hate, anger, all comes bubbling up in you. Those childhood memories that you forgot come right back and transport you to that time and space as if you were floating.

Our brain is an amazing thing. It analyzes everything in the form of electrical signals and forms memories. So when we see an object, our retinal nerves send a signal to our brain which it then interprets and we understand what we are seeing. Our nose follows the same mechanism. The olfactory sensors in our nose when stimulated by the molecules in the air send electrical signals to our brain and our brain then interprets these signals for us. In a similar fashion, olfactory memories are also formed which get triggered when we smell something familiar. This is also termed as "olfactory evoked recall".

As Indians our lives are filled with the spectrum of aromas, from the naughty dried red chili to the soft cardamom, the mouth-watering fragrance of mangoes to the tangy scent of pickles. Every season brings its own unique set of aromas. Winters and the ginger teas, summer and the mangoes, Monsoon and the saundhi khusbu of the first rain, all have their specific and special fragrances.

Come to think of it, I have so many memories associated with specific smells around the house. The smell of green mangoes reminds me of summers as my mother used to dry them for making pickles. The aroma of hot tea reminds me of my uncle sitting in the balcony reading the morning newspaper. The fragrance of basmati rice takes me back to the time when I used to come back home from school and know from the corner of the street that my mother would have made Rajma and Rice for me just from the smell. Old paper smell reminds me of my grandmother’s books. Diesel's smell reminds me of my dad’s car and the journeys we took together as a family. When I think of my birthdays the only smell that comes to my mind is of chocolate. My family used to get a lot of chocolate for me-Chocolate cake, candies, chocolate dips, lollipops-you name and I had it. In winters, my dad would bring hot Gulab Jamuns for us which smelled like heaven. The aromas of onion and potato pakoras during monsoon still make my mouth water. 

Thus, my mind is filled with such sweet smelling memories which I deeply cherish. And I find it amazing that how are senses have the power to transport us to a different time, if not physically then mentally. So keep smelling and keep making memories.

# This post is an entry for Ambipur's Smelly To Smiley! contest.

Friday, July 26, 2013


For the last few months I was suffering from what I call Sketcher's block. I just couldn't draw. It felt like the passion for drawing died inside me. So last weekend I decided to reignite it. I saw this picture of Wolverine in the newspaper and I tried to sketch it. Didn't do an amazing job but hey I am still recovering!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Information Imbalance

Exams-The nightmare of every student and if you are an Indian student then it just gets even worse. Every year lakhs of students sit for various exams like 10th board, 12th board, national entrances to name a few. And I, being an engineering student, have experienced most of them. Also be warned as the experience is nothing less than torture. But now when I look back at those times I realize that the exams themselves were not so tough, the problem was the information imbalance. I didn't know what to study and ended up studying everything and wasting a lot many study hours.

NCERT is the body responsible for print textbooks for CBSE. Since CBSE conducts the board examination along with various national entrance examinations and NCERT publishes books for CBSE one would imagine that these two bodies must be working in complete coordination but that is as far from being a reality. I specifically remember that the last exercise of every chapter of my math book was marked with an asterisk which when one looked at the bottom of the page read -“these exercises are not from examination point of view”, and the funny part is many of those questions could be found in past year question papers often marked as important in various help books. So in the end one ends up studying everything as one can never be sure of exactly what is in course. As a result of which many or I should say most of whom who can afford to, opt for coaching classes or private tuitions. I remember that my entire s class took tuitions for majority of the subjects (I didn’t because I’m one of the rare ones who score lesser marks if put in tuitions).

Some of the recent market research estimates the worth of the coaching classes and entrance exam preparation sector at US $-billion dollar industry with CAGR of 13.23% (US$~ billion) by 2012(according to a report by Ken Research Private Limited). While the existence of such institutes and services are a matter of hot debate these days but quite a few people are concerning themselves in understanding the main reason behind their existence.

Franklin Templeton Investment partnered the TEDx Gateway Mumbai in December 2012. In this, various people spoke about a variety of topics. Amongst them Angad Nadkarni spoke about the Indian education system and how he has hacked the same. He spoke about an app he has created called EXAMIFY which is intended to help students study effectively by studying past trends of the exams and indentifying the importance of each chapter along with the type of questions which can be expected from the chapter.

In my opinion, if this app can do what it promises then it will majorly change the dynamics of the way students prepare for examinations. Also Examify claims that with analyzing the past trends they will be able to predict future question papers.If they can succeed even partially the net result would be of great help to students. Also, this will help students across the economic strata as internet accessibility is increasing manifold with every passing month. This will not only help economically weaker sections but also those who find it hard to study for long hours with a book.

Another feature I found pretty interesting about this service was that it allows students to attempt questions online and compare their performance on a national level. This will not only help in revising but also in understanding the type of questions to be expected from the subject. Furthermore, Examify allows the student to rate the questions as they attempt them. So if majority of students find it difficult then one can skip it without wasting time, something Angad himself talks about in the above listed video. This is one feature I wish I had access to back when I was giving my boards because I wasted lot many hours solving questions which were way above the prescribed difficulty level.

I got 92% in my 10th board and 90% in my 12th board exams, But I think if I had examify at that time then I would have scored more. Nonetheless, at least my brother will benefit from this (he needs this ). I wish Angad and his team all the best in correcting this information imbalance and making student's lives easier.