Keep calm and Exit The ‘burbs – Part 2: The protagonist!

Hi, I’m Brenda, of Luis Barton Elementary, a school run by the Vasbund School District. We are preparing the work for next years pogos. India will probably tell you about me later on, but for now I wanted to share something I saw earlier this week. When Dita shared about her rant a couple of days ago, like she usually does quite often, she was on her walking tour. She runs these walking tours every Wednesday and Saturday mornings, and lots of new and out-of-town pogos flock to her to get friendly with the neighborhood and school. I was busy watching Rufus play in the courtyard while she went on the other day.

She usually introduces two of my friends in her tour. They are the highlights of her tour. Am sure you were not that attentive, so let me remind you. The first one was George, the grand old man, she called him the selfish single family home. I did say she was passionate, din’t I? She mentioned, in good climate, about my friends Maria, Julie and Bosco, remember the condos, apartment and townhouse, yes?! Good, now your all caught up!

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I’m here to introduce to you the hero of this story. Her name is India, and she is the voluptuous mixed-use, smiling right now at the corner of this block. She’s taken on the whole new narrative of life into her womb. She stands in the corner, peeking out to see the activities of the street. She works her way into many shopping streets, listening on with glee the hustle and bustle of comings and goings. She is the reason why most pogos come here. Its because of her, my baby pogos can go fill up their ruffles with supplies, hang out with their friends over coffee, stop to admire her beauty while she watching the world go by!

She caters to Bob, the street musician & Lake, the fitness yogi every morning. Like I mentioned earlier, she hosts Dita on her walking tours. She smiles and waves to new pogos who take selfies of her pink flowery dress that go all the way up to become her crown. She lets Ravi, the stout, tickle her once everyday as he goes about his day. She knows he has a crush on her ever since she moved to this new place a decade ago. She is flexible, a multi-tasker and very generous. She adores all kinds of pogos, particularly when they walk past her all day long, and stop for pogolong and pogoshort.

Let me tell you a secret I know about India. She had a big crush on 180Dash, that big handsome hunk who flirts with Bob, Dita, Karun, Heather and Andy everyday on our block. I see her turn the pinkest right before he swings around. I don’t blame her, he’s quite the looker. I also feel that he likes her too, he’s usually very quiet, but as he stops in front of India, he toots his horn everyday, making her blush some more.

India is the kind hearted gardener whose arms fill up with pretty flowers for pogos to coo and dogos to poo. While she was nurtured in this form, she hosted pogos in her upper floors, keeping them busy during the day and making sure it is quiet at night. She spoke to Julie and Marie over tea out in the courtyard. Bosco was far out with Bob and Lake in the park, watching a tai chi class. India is trying to understand how to keep George entertained in his retirement, he seems awfully bored all by himself, she thought! She definitely wants to tell him to hit the gym soon! He also needed a trim at the barber’s, she could send her cousin Shaun, a couple of blocks away.

While she kept herself busy thinking these things, out in the corner she could see a new and  handsome stack of the leanest and meanest teenagers. She heard them a mile away and could see them play the monkey. They were pointing toward George’s, some of them stopped their pogos besides the Eleva and Gert, Maria and Julie’s kids. She wanted them to keep the upcoming birthday a secret, but they being teenagers, it may be very hard! They did look very clean, all nice and polished, out there to make new waves in the world. She had a soft spot for them, but did not want them to ruin George’s surprise.  This was her typical Wednesday afternoon, it was time for her to return to the parlor and settle down with her book before she prepared for an afternoon nap.

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Beware!

On an cold wet evening of November last year, I got pick-pocketed in Pisa. Am sure all of you who have been to Pisa know that it is famous for the badly designed tower surrounded by plenty amateur thieves. The entire tourist group is not only repeatedly warned of them, but they are clearly marked as foreigners when they follow a guide with a flag. And yes, I was one of the many unfortunate tourists whose wallet was snatched.

I was pushing my son’s stroller after a last minute souvenir purchase, dutifully following our guide with flag, heading back to the tour bus. For the entire tour, we were always behind the group, staring at the backs of my fellow bummies, lets call them. As we slowly trudged along, much disappointed with the leaning tower and its overrated stature in the world, I noticed a new pair of bummies in front of me. I instantly knew they were unfamiliar bums, because they were young and supple, like those of an annoying teenager. They stood out of place, and I grew suspicious and cautious.

Then came the dreaded crossing with no accessible ramp, one where the stroller needs to be picked halfway to function, when the group passed by me with gusto. Thats when I felt a tug. It registered in my shoulder like something went wrong. I hastily walked the crosswalk to put the stroller in my husband’s hands, and ran fast to grab the arm of the thinner thief. I screamed, “Give me my wallet back!” and she sheepishly handed me my wallet from her purse; and added in quiet broken English, “Oh! I found this on the street, you might have dropped it!” I literally freaking lost it.

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That souvenir of Pisa, cheap, overrated and a reminder!

I had grabbed her arm to stop her, but at this point I was twisting it so hard behind her back that I had pinned her down on the sharp metal fence in the intersection and was gnarling, about an inch from her face. Trust me, the powerful anger and dread you feel at that moment is something I never want to experience again. Since I basically had her pinned down, I looked up to see that her idiot fat partner was walking away slyly. I screamed “Stop her, stop her, call the police!” These were amateurs, and I knew at this point, since I recovered my wallet, I should work to reporting them to the police!

The whole town moved about normally, with most of the bummies in my group sauntering back to the bus, as prescribed by guide with flag. I had no clue that this incident would not matter to anybody else but me, but thats how the world works in Pisa, or most of the other tourist destinations! I tried to gain composure of this incident by reflecting over it on the ride back to Pisa, am sure if we had our own small group, it would have been the talk of the trip, but it was just family, so I remained silent, but flustered.

This incident happened a year ago, but it comes alive every time I narrate it to friends in a group. It has become a kind of (in) famous thing with being around me. Apparently there are usually three ways one reacts to situations like this; freeze, flight or fight! Turns out I’m a fighter! And I am glad that life throws me these curveballs! And am glad to be a fighter, I’ve got my wallet and all its contents back! Additionally, I am glad to be alive and not been stabbed or hurt by amateurs, now that would have been another kind of story. But, given the couple of seconds I had for reaction time, the best thing I could do is follow my powerful instinct and react! Such is my life! Welcome! 🙂

Finding home in Fremont

I’ve got one foot in Fremont and the other firmly planted in Bengaluru. I’m making masale dose for our friends tonight. I’m prepping kempu (red) chutney and coconut chutney and in Preethi mixie with convertible to American plug. Alugadde palya done and batter is set. The kitchen looks presentable, filter coffee is brewing in Preethi coffee maker. I’m taking a break while sitting on couch and eating jackfruit chips from Bharat Bazaar. Kesar kulfi and mango rasmalai is being served for dessert.  Depending on mood and time, I may make uddin vade! This is in our home in Fremont, USA.

I miss SRK textiles for their cotton fabrics, Icy Nicey for their swirley cone ice cream, I want to walk Jayanagar fourth block to see the pink blossoms every spring, I want to ride my Kinetic Honda past ninth block to pick up maligai saaman from Ahmad Bazaar. Ooof, That whole circuit from J.P.Nagar to Jayanagar on two wheeler is etched in my DNA. I’m getting goosebumps just mentally riding that route while writing this! The sights, sounds and smells of the various vehicles doing their dance on the streets is so clear. If I close my eyes right now, I’ll probably hear them and see them vividly! Thankfully I do not need Google StreetView, VR or any other technology to remind me!

I grew up in a 1200sft single family home in South Bangalore. It was a pink colored home with red oxide flooring. Like most of our neighbors in our side of the street, we all had a tiny strip of setback on the sides of the house itself that we would use for parking two wheelers, develop planter strip and try to make the most of being in a friendly neighborhood. It was a bloody blast growing up there. Summers were filled with innovative game creations, endless hours of badminton, cricket, lagori and hide and seek games. My school was so walkable that I came home everyday for hot lunch prepared by amma. If that is not luxuriously spoilt, I don’t know what else is!

Our current apartment is a 1100sft, 3 bedroom, bright and airy loft like space in Fremont, with views of lawns on one side and parking structure on the other. We know all the neighbors in our block in addition to the rows opposite and across the dining window. We greet them when we pass by, they stop and chit chat with my naughty toddler while catching up on their day. It seems like the best bet for home right now in the Bay Area, owing to the reasonably prices rents and proximity to the wonderful and uprising Downtown Area. HP and I were joking that it might be the future Jayanagar, sans the pink blossoms, but with a whole variety of options from healthcare, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, swimming classes, Tamil classes (yes, you read it right,) jobs and a whole lot more.

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It is for real that Fremont maybe a blackhole, you get sucked into this abyss, and there is no looking back. I’m vying for this city, with its grand plans to move out of the suburban environment to building a much denser urban fabric, one that is vibrant and connected, yet connecting to the rest of the region. Culturally, it is a good place for the immigrant community, with many people from Bengaluru residing in this area for a long time. The proximity to ‘life things’ such as banking, auditors, restaurants, groceries, dry cleaners, stores, pharmacies, doctors, kids activities (including a nearby farm) makes life here packed with things only about half hour away from home, perfect for parents like us, who need to follow strict toddler schedules for meals, nap-time etc.

It seems like I’ve found my sweet spot in the Bay Area, after having explored many other regions for work-life, we like it here, we like that it promises an urban setting, much like Bengaluru, and I love the potential here for our future too. This is a happy hopeful post! 🙂

Keep calm and exit the ‘burbs!

If homes need to create communities, it needs to have a connection to the outside world. Such connections can happen through various architectural elements to give birth to what urban America knows as “eyes on the street.”

When I say ‘connection,’ I specifically mean a space for human interaction; between neighbors, community members, with nature, with children and other people. It needs to be part of some activity, like greeting your neighbor as he walks his dog, watching your child play while you water the plants, sitting and reading a book, lounging with a newspaper over morning coffee/tea, catching up with friends, drying papadams, etc. The activity is intrinsic to the culture, the people and the place. That’s when a connection is made and a community is born.

Agreed that it is hard to create such spaces in colder countries. Seasonal changes don’t allow for annual use of such spaces. I’m told not to complain, given the good nature of California weather when compared to other parts of this big continent. But I still think these indoor-outdoor spaces are vital, and it is exists in anyplace where humans need interaction.

I live in an apartment complex, on the top floor of a two story block of condos, with large windows that bring the eastern and western light into our home. Leading up to my apartment is a straight flight of stairs with fifteen steps and no mid-landing. My son and I count the steps everyday while going up and down, and it’s one our most favorite everyday routines. Besides counting the steps, we both pause either at the top landing or the bottom of the staircase for a bit, when we wait for each other to come join the day. We also pause sometimes just so we can watch the trees, aeroplanes and greet our neighbors (and dogs) passing us. Under this stair lies my son’s tricycle and basketball hoop for play. On occasion, I hose down this space to clear the cobwebs and leaves build up owing to the seasonal change. The roof above covers all steps except the last four, leaving this staircase protected from most rains, winds and direct sunlight. Along one length of this staircase is a double story wall and the other is a simple functional metal railing. About twelve to fifteen feet away from that wall is another long wall, making this space a passage leading to the four doors of four families from all over the world. Now this is one such pause space, a common area where a community can belong.

Now let’s look at the large single family homes in suburban America. Every activity is inward looking confining families indoor for most part of the year, lets say this time it is owing to weather. Street life and human connection is separated by at least a 25 -30 foot frontyard that contributes to nothing for community life. The only connection any human has outside of their home is the straight walk to get to their mailbox or their car and that large swath of a backyard. While it looks all fine and dandy in the talkies, living in them does not seem like fun!
I must bring attention to the bulk of backyards that are part of these homes. I’m repeatedly shocked by the large mass of these spaces, whose primary role is to entertain perhaps two dozen humans at most for a handful times of the year, mostly birthdays and thanksgiving. For such a small role, these large spaces can easily be swapped to any of the rooms indoors or a community space. Perhaps there are a handful of backyards that still are good gardens, where one can produce nice vegetables and fruit for sustainance.
I’ve never seen a garage of family home that was used only as a car parking spot. I’ve noticed (with shock,) how wrongfully it turns from hobby to garbage space, only so that the indoor spaces could remain clutter free.

The single family home is a selfish species, one that neglect community and does not want to belong to any place outside of it’s own large bubble. The condos and apartments are loving members of a community, with empathy, care for the environment, respect for life, access to livelihood and economic centres of creation!

The mega-home, sold to the world like it’s everyone’s dream, one that takes a lifetime to populate and another to maintain, needs to be redefined.

The current movement of built space in cities such as San Jose, Fremont and Milpitas in the Bay Area is tending towards a denser footprint of homes, it has begun to emulate denser urban environments that one can see in major cities such as New York and Sam Francisco. Walkability, transit connections and community life has begun to gain more importance than that of car-ownership and the big fat American suburban dream of two cars, big refrigerators etc. is thankfully dying.

Why the weekday meals?!

I was talking to my neighbor while our kids were playing, and we spoke about our weekday meals. She asked me why it was so very important for me to cook everyday, particularly when I can relax and use takeaway, instant pot, store frozen food etc. and make my life routine simpler.

I pondered a bit about why I’m working myself into a frenzy in the kitchen when I could get away with taking it easy, by planning big batch meals, freezing them and microwaving them for consumption! Why should I cook? What was behind it all?

Well, I grew up in a home where my mom used to make fresh meals three times of the day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. I remember eating hot piping fresh food everyday. Our refrigerator was very small first of all, so there was no place to store anything but the basic supply of perishables. All veggies were off a cart from a street vendor every morning.

Most of Amma’s time was spent in the kitchen. She managed to keep herself occupied and happy by being completely at home, with her sewing classes, chit fund kitties, community service besides caring for our family and additional pets, feeding grooming and keeping us mentally and physically healthy. Same was the case with my maternal grandmother!

Like many Indian households, we had a maid to come clean the home and do the dishes everyday. She was given hot piping South Indian filter coffee with breakfast of the day, a reasonable allowance, occasional bonus money for her family needs, festival bonuses, non-taxed income, unlimited holidays, all our hands me down clothes for her adolescent daughters and leftover food. That was the norm. She would pack away all the food in boxes to take home to edit and fix them, to feed her family of five.

Here in the US, if I made a big batch of anything outside of one meal, it goes into an airtight glass box and slowly makes it way to the back of the refrigerator. It goes into a box first only because I do not have the heart to thrash good food and I don’t have a maid who will eat the leftovers. At the end of the week (or month) it will only be forgotten, not to mention rotten, and cringingly thrashed.

It basically comes down to the fact that I do not eat leftovers, and that’s how I grew up. HP also does not eat leftovers. That’s his preference. According to him, a good chef should learn to make the right amount of one meal, not too much, not too little! Yep! I know! So I’m learning, and getting better. My meal proportions are usually 1.5 for one meal, so I now end up carrying it for my lunch the next day. I can’t spend my energy and money thinking about where to go for lunch and what to eat, so I’m happily eating last night’s dinner for lunch the next day.

If you see the food habits and patterns, it arises early in our childhood. Like most of us have read, everything starts from home. If I did not grow up seeing my mom balance her interests and that of the family, I would not be able to do what I do today.

Both HP and I want to make sure that we inculcate this to our son. We want him to see us cook a meal, feed him, provide for him and put together a contented and happy life.

So no matter how tired I am, I am finding ways to keep myself motivated on weekdays to create and spend quality time by cooking at home, to get my son interested and learn about his food. So this Instagram weekday meals is mostly to keep me going, a way to inspire others in the process and enjoy cooking and create memories!

Carpe Diem my friends!

A free press for democracy

First, go read “A Free Press Needs You” article and come back here.

A. We’re you able to read the article?

If yes, then scroll down to my story.

If no, then please subscribe to the NY times, read it and then come back.

………………………….

Now that you read the article, I want to share my sentiment on reading the request. It pisses me off that all news channels and break room videos and other media are all about Trump, as if the world does not have other things going on!

The US can be so self-absorbed that they have no clue whatsoever about anything else but themselves. I was privy to this when I was working in India and now am faced with this on an hourly basis in the US.

I value freedom of speech, it’s the core of our democratic system. We need to protect it, participate in it and then go find what we are passionate about to write about it. What we create occurs in language. It’s how we have our governments, our countries and it’s people. To not participate is to go back into the man cave, into the wild and live like animals.

To share our lives on social media, be it in celebration or to shake up entire nations, we need to take responsibility for our actions. It may be fast paced and it all might throw us off at first, but we are going into a faster world, and we’re need to learn to catch up.

Let’s determine why we need to take action on the request to subscribe to a newspaper, for example, like the article says. Do we not belong to a society? Are we all not being influenced to vote via social media? Well, let’s be aware of this power that is part of our lives and belong to a place where we can reflect.

We have the right to call the fake news and we have the right to make the world a better place. Let’s protect the freedom that our forefathers fought hard for. And let’s collectively take global impacts seriously, be it climate, Twitter debates or hate.

I keep this blog alive so I can come to share these thoughts and feelings. I work in local government, I see the impact it has on our lives everyday.

B. Go to my Instagram @rad_array and follow/comment/thank me for telling you how to spend the fifteen (three Starbucks coffee?!) dollars in improving your life by subscribing to a local newspaper.

Your welcome!

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#freedom #radindiscity #freedomofspeech #democracy #indian #usa #press #writers #callforfreepress #callforfreedom #democraticworld

Happy Aug 15! Read on about my rant in suburbia.

Postcard from the daycare! So proud! I got my smile for today, and it sticks from eat it ear. Miss you, my India, you will live within my spirit forever. It’s hard to be physically far away from the celebrations and glory we grew up with for this day, the white clothes, the flags, the peaceful spirit of the holiday! India is in my thoughts and action in so many forms. She will always be, it’s hard to explain it, but will live on!
If you resonate with growing up with that spirit I cheer you. This connected world brings us together in so many ways, yet we feel so far away! Tell you what, home is home! No matter what.
I had shared a quote in my Instagram
stories earlier this week. It was from Naipaul on the day of his passing. It rings true to my living here in the US. “What do they call it? Multi-Culti? It’s all absurd, you know. I think if a man picks himself up and comes to another country he must meet it halfway.”

I’m learning to live a new life for the past six years in the Bay Area. And, I’m learning to meet it halfway. But then some days are filled with political turmoil, it makes the Indian National Congress seem more tolerable. Political scenarios aside, it’s the smallest thing about the suburban life that I’ve learnt to live with and without!

I hate not being able to walk to the corner grocery store like we do all the time in India. Our son will always need to be monitored so much in the suburban, only because cars don’t expect to see children play in the streets normally, while in India, vehicles, birds, cows, children, adults, everyone co-exist on the street.

Defining the new street to tranform and include more people should be our priority, particularly in suburban USA.

#HPRMgolu

After prototyping an idea, the next thing you hear in a team is “Great, now lets craft a dozen of them!” and immediately you have an opportunity to build a community of people to come together to make it happen.

I could spend all my creative energy to put a product idea together, prototype and showcase it to a bunch of people in a private curated exhibition such as #HPRMgolu, but that is just my creative outlet.

I like the whole curation effort, I take ultimate liberties with it and always have a blast with it. It’s a ton of work, takes a year of research, finding commission partners, weeks of preparation and a host of other things that lies in the realm of religion and Indian culture.

I always find it very hard to explain this to anyone who is new to Golu. For example, it is called “Kolu,” in Tamil. The easiest way I get around that is to extend an invitation to them to come preview the setup and partake in the delicacies. So this year, I’m hoping to host at a gallery nearby and send out open invites to the community.

#HPRMgolu for 2018 is a “Goddess” based theme. Women-empowerment is a classic theme, but my Golu is paying tribute to women all over the world. To embrace diversity like its never old-fashioned, and to enable new friendships using a contemporary version of Indian Golu as a platform for women and connection.

Washington High School Ceramics feature, Fremont Arts and Wine Festival 2018.

The one beautiful stall I was in awe of from yesterday’s visit was the Washington High school ceramic studio at the Downtown Fremont Wine and Arts Festival. It was a quaint and pretty stall with lots of action and plenty of cute and interesting things. I was drawn to it instantly.

I picked up pair of pretty pink small bowls and printed ceramic coffee mugs for the win. For $10 and $8 each, it was a steal, not to mention a good addition to our home collection.
I read that all sales go to improving the ceramic studio at the high school! Score! The famous pottery teacher and his students were the highlight of the stall, jovial, burned out in the sun, but still working on their ceramics as we shopped, fifth year in a row at the festival.That kind of passion and dedication is inspiring. Such a treasure!

I spoke to Mr.Rodenkirk about my project and he gave me a budget to work with and handed me a card to take the idea forward. The studio is a mile from downtown Fremont and I will be visiting soon and will keep you all posted.

My project.
I wanted to make custom paella dishes for rice and biryani for home. I was told that the budget for that might be around $50-60, depending on the type and complexity of design! I might get a 12″ and an 8″ one.

Want some of these ceramics? The festival is still on today in downtown. Go find them else they are going to be at the Mountain View festival of arts on September 8-9th.

If any of you want any custom ceramics, write to me, I can coordinate the project for you too. And I’ll definitely write about the studio visit here. Am super excited!!
#HPRMH #radindiscity #RMstories #downtownfremont #downtownwineandarts #artsfestival #ceramics #crockery #hprmhome #hprmhomeprojects #downtownarts #fremont #mountainview #bayarea

Gardening, impact, scale and community.

When you hear the words “That looks great! lets make a dozen of them!” you instantly build a community of people to come together to make it happen.

I was in conversation with a fellow patio gardener like myself about gardening scale and its impact to the community. We both had a small container garden in our patios, with mostly kitchen veggies and small herbs. It is a small and  manageable garden at a scale that we could manage. The yield is nominal, it is a hobby garden and it brings immense joy and satisfaction to my life. But it was not enough to feed even half a meal per week for even one of our families! Now, if I were to build and grow this garden to feed a community, the task is impossible to do within my home, family or friends. This type of work needs a community. That kind of impact needs dedication and effort.

I’m in awe of local restaurants like StemSF which does exactly the kind of thing that perhaps comes a little close to what can be achieved to the notion of Farm to Table setting.

A historic nursery near our home called the Niles rose garden has a community garden called Fremont LEAF center. One can rent half a planter for $109 per year. This model works at the scale of the local community, to bring them together to participate in a local nursery while gaining yield on their kitchen garden and produce. This might help patio gardeners like me, with the price and the amenities included, it might actually work.

If I were to scale it up, similar to the large swaths of backyard spaces that all the suburban homes have in America, the fact that there is abundant land for community impact is non negotiable. The irony of all of this is that it is private land, where the value of private ownership is so precious that if a single fruit tree gives abundant yield in a given year, not many neighbors even have block parties or go to the nearest farmers market to sell them/give them away to the needy.

#TheDozenDozen

I want to share about where this particular hashtag comes into my life and why it resonates with me. I thrive only in a relationship of creation and the freedom that it offers is what resonates with me the most!

I’ve been known in the US friend circle as the DIY’er of  groups, but honestly, its more than just doing-it-yourself!  I’ve embodied this skill by growing up in such an environment in my childhood.

Picture this: Our four seater teak wood dining table was the heart of our home. My dad used to be the only one to use it for eating, my mom would convert it into her seamstress and tailoring table, I would sit and make doodles while picking and separating methi leaves from its tiny twigs. Akka would be doing her painting or laces at the other corner, the radio constantly running and our beloved dog chella making trouble once in a while. Paati would be sitting and drawing her latest kolam in her book and rambling away her shlokams. Tatha would be standing outside at the compound wall smoking his single cigarette for the day before he went off on his walk. So now you know, the energy of projects, relationships and home for me is right there in that scene.

Lets zoom back to now. My skills for sketching, crafting, creating, curating, cooking, making, etc. comes from my home, watching paati, amma and akka and me get all excited about the next project to create and complete. It still is the order of the day between us.

So here I am, sitting in California, in the summer of 2018 making hay while the sun shines. My garden projects are in full effect, my home remodel work is on its way, I’ve taken to the water with ease for the first time.

But I still have to create impact. I still need to find meaning to #TheDozenDozen. An so the journey begins.

The red dot

She bonds with the Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi over the chai table.

Come, lets have an honest conversation about the Lady Gods and all our joys and struggles.

While depicting her red-dot on her forehead to be as alive and vibrant as that red planter, I came to work my way around this installation design to hone my story of being an Indian woman outside my home.

Welcome to my world, lets get a cup of chai before we talk, shall we?

 

Naari
Naari at the chai table

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Find interesting

It’s human nature to want to know more, and to try to understand and explain our experiences and reactions. And there’s no denying that the more we know about music, as with cooking or gardening or football, the more levels of enjoyment are available to us, and the better we’re able to recognize great achievement. Do we have to know the Latin names of flowers — or the English names, for that matter — to be moved by the beauty of a garden? No. Do we have to know about blocking schemes and “defensive packages” to be excited when our team scores a touchdown? No. But we find these things … interesting. They add to our appreciation.

A Note to the Classically Insecure https://nyti.ms/2J626t6

Last week, I woke up to the world that was empty and meaningless, and it was the perfect place for me to be in!

Rad at the Landmark Forum

Sharing an excellent article about Yoga and its effects on the Brain! Happy Friday!

We all know that yoga does wonders for the mind. Even novices of asana, pranayama, meditation report feeling increased mental stability and clarity during and after practice. Now, thanks to sophisticated brain imaging technologies, neuroscience is proving what teachers and practitioners have known for ages — that Yoga and meditation can literally change your brain. […]

via How Yoga Change Your Brain Functions — SPOI

Droid man and Zuck woman

Company towns all over again! It did no good for the employers and factory workers back then and it will do no good to the corporate workers now. We need to remind ourselves that these tech workers are humans, with a family and very much an equal part of society as any other. If the global giants are interested to build towns or improve the current situation, they must try to not own but actively participate in the community outside their campus.

Tech workers are married to their companies, always working, right from the minute they step into the shuttle bus that takes them to their ‘campus’ office, till the end of their working life some decades later. In the meanwhile, their life and family suffers because they just don’t have the bandwidth for anything else besides their job, products or people outside their work.

Perhaps exploring various cuisines and traveling the globe is the only other thing they enjoy besides work, but that too comes as a job perk! Aarghh! I see this depressing phenomenon among close family friends and relatives, there is a slow and steady conversion of those folks into dumb workers of <insert giant company name>, where identity of self in society is almost negligible.

These future company towns, if not opened to community at large, is only going to create urban voids in the suburban life of the workers. It will result in more displacement and urban chaos, it will create Zuck-man and Woman, Droid man and woman!

We must be wary, watch out for the machine that we might morph into, and create the right species if at all we go down that hole!