Monday, August 29, 2016

303

Writing on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/technical-writing-4-quick-checklist-before-you-hire-writer-mukta-raut?published=t


Sunday, August 28, 2016

309, 308, 307, 306, 305, 304

Sometimes this existence feels like something you won in a custody battle.

It feels like a broken, fraught, tense piece from an emtional war.

Monday, August 22, 2016

312, 311, 310

WROTE A POEM:

One day comes
And one day goes 
Where hours hide 
No one knows 
Sometimes they peek 
From under the bed
Like all else that's ignored
By the waking dead.


FRIENDS CAME OVER FROM MUMBAI:

We shared wine, had mini-cupcakes from a patisserie closeby, orange hibiscus bloomed, skies were bright and blue one day, read a paragraph from Arthur C. Clarke's '2001: Space Odyssey.' Felt very lonely one night and the next morning, felt oddly loved.

FELT AN ANXIETY OVER MY MOTHER:

Cried while folding clothes, wondering how much time I have with her in this lifetime. She is not unwell or anything. But one of my friend's mother recently passed away. Another friends' folks - both of them - are in hospital. Thoughts come.

SAW A MOVIE:

Happy Bhaag Gayi. I really wanted to watch something light, frothy, funny. This movie was a delight.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Listicle

Mukta shared this on LinkedIn. Some of you may find it interesting: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/listicle-5-what-ive-enjoyed-internet-mukta-raut?published=t


313

Today I come to blog for some respite. I want to soothe my nauseous tummy and breathe in deeply and just get a really good night's rest, really. I don't want to revisit the plot I have to change. I just went grocery shopping and am just too exhausted to see how I will drag them to the car that I have parked far from office today.

Mukta is gone now and I am a little upset. Sometimes, I wish she would tell me when and where she leaves off to. I think she's in her small little place in Pune, tending to a withering hibiscus and a thriving pudina plant.

You don't know about me. I don't really want to introduce myself, really. But maybe you will want o know about where I live. It is a beautiful house.

I live inside a coconut.

It's not a very large one. It's fairly regular sized, as coconuts go - the ones that cost sixty rupees in Bombay. Bengalis and Oriyas might buy those coconuts and after drinking the water and scraping the flesh, from the inside, they might use the shell to bake shrimp or prawns. It is really tasty. You marinate the prawns in mustard, baste it in oil and then cover the coconut and pop it in the oven. There are a few more steps which you can look up online.

Anyway, I found an empty coconut shell in the field near Mukta's house and decided to live in it.

There's a sweet little ladder made of wood that is propped on one side. I climb up on that and then open up the lid. I fashioned a clasp of twigs and straw. I then swing in and slowly, very slowly, make my way down the coconut. There are ridges on the side of the coconut and those help. I'm pretty sure I couldn't have managed to get another ladder for the inside.

My coconut home has beautiful interiors. There's a pool of fresh, clear, sweet coconut water and I travel around in it in a canoe. On one wall, I used resin and charcoal to draw two palm trees and a sun shining between them. It is corny but it makes me happy because I feel part of that world. My bed is the best part. It is four-poster bed with nice, green sheets. I put on my aqua shorts and read books. There is no kitchen and there is no loo. For ingestion and excretion I need to head out and I usually do at night when it is very dark and beautiful.

But usually, I am fine. In my engagement with the real world, all this is taken care of.

Some day, I will tell you about why I took over this blog and why Mukta is out. (For the time being, until a certain promise is kept.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

314: When you take the turn to the high road

On really special days, you may get a text. That text may be from a number you don't recognize because you lost the number or you deleted it. The text may be laden with the sender's habitual imperative of having the last word. It may be couched in the correct sounding words and phrases of wanting closure, a smiley that has been interspersed because the person may want to convey a false sense of largesse. You wonder which of the six people you cut ties with has shared that message. You wonder if it may be a good idea to ask them to do the courteous thing of returning your books, movies, and that pink shimmering top - to complete the closure they seem to want so earnestly after so many days or months (depending on who they are.) But largely, you struggle with an instant reflex to say something nasty. To call them out on the obvious fakeness you sense when they are wishing you well while also telling you other things that are not so nice (or true). But you don't. I think you don't do that because sometimes people are hypocritical and fake is because they are so earnest. They are trying hard to do the right thing and come across as a correct person. This paradox, you understand, is part of the human experience.

You delete the message. You keep the phone aside. You go back to creating a piece of work. You collaborate. You talk to other people about big ideas. You also, silently, really hope that whatever open wound the other person was carrying for so long - long after you have forgotten - hopefully that wound got the closure it wanted.

It would be nice to get my books, films, and top back. But hey, you pay a price for unknotting a tough knot. And hopefully, you let it go because you feel this is it. And we are done. For good. For ever.

And that's when you look back to 4 years ago when you know that you would have behaved differently. And you know that, for sure, there has been growth.

That, perhaps, is the biggest prize for taking the high road.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

316, 315

The people who help you when you are down and the people who help you when life's turning around for you may not always be the same people. Maybe some people derive their relevance from helping you when you are down and out and it serves them when you are that way.

Get away from them and make new friends. Plenty of fish. Large, big ocean.

(Of course, when you can...forgive.)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

320, 319, 318, 317: First Impression: Mohenjo Daro

Really enjoyed Mohenjo Daro. It was nice to see a movie far better than what the trailer conveyed. It is sometimes slow, sure. And sometimes one gets the feeling that Gowarikar's Mohenjo Daro was modeled on Lokhandwala culture...but I still loved it. The depiction that before every version of history or object of art was created, there was the setting up of a market place. Or when gold was counted, no one noticed that it was blocking the view of a setting sun. Or what the trail of indigo signified. Or how every civilization, great or small, gets built by people who fled their homes.

And Hrithik is such a special actor. I wish he'd done Sultan and Rustom and Chak De and Lagaan...any movie that needs a hero with strength and nobility should have him in it. Am quite the fan now...

(Took this from Mukta's facebook post.)

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

327, 326, 325, 324, 323, 322, 321: Life changes much before the countdown ends

Due to certain circumstances, Mukta will not be writing the blog anymore. I will.

You don't need to know who I am.

As part of the promise I made Mukta, I will continue the countdown.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

334, 333, 332, 331, 330, 329, 328

Wrote something on LinkedIn.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/technical-writing-2-your-technology-without-content-back-mukta-raut?trk=prof-post

Friday, July 15, 2016

336, 335: I will read Eat, Pray, Love again

On Facebook, I follow Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of a moving portrait of an adventurer called 'Last American Man'. She also wrote 'Eat, Pray, Love' which is the book she is most popular for. I loved that. I also loved her novel, 'Signature of All Things' as well as her TED talks. Overall, I really, really like whatever she writes or says.

In her memoir, 'Eat, Pray, Love', Gilbert falls in love with a man in Indonesia. In 'Committed', she explores their journey as a couple before they get married. In her interviews on 'Signature of All Things', she talks about how nourishing their partnership was. He would cook for her and wait for her to finish a chapter so that she could read it out to him.

Her page on Facebook is such a wonderful repository of beautiful, kind messages of how to live in joy, how to keep being creative, how to stay in the light.

Yesterday, she wrote that she and her partner of 12 years were separating.

I took that pretty hard. I have just returned from a holiday in the mountains and was all fresh and everything. Yet, when I read that message on the wall, my stomach twisted into knots and I felt the same fear and pain that I had felt at the time of my divorce. (Thankfully, the memory is very faint now.) Yet, I wished that I could unsee that message and hope that I had dreamed it up.

But who knows why any two people get together or why they drift apart? I just know that the journey Gilbert went on in 'Eat, Pray, Love' had resonated so hard and deeply with me, that any news of her life seem to trickle into mine. Maybe that's what Holden Caulfield meant when he says in 'Catcher in the Rye': 'What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.” 

I'll read Eat, Pray, Love again as a friend, then.




Wednesday, July 13, 2016

339, 338, 337: One night in Kasol

I am back.

I have to start work in a little while but before I get down to that, I wanted to write about a perfect night in Kasol.

It was late. Some friends had gone off to sleep. I was having a drink with a friend. We weren't really talking much. Maybe a little about life gone by (which, again, in the hills, may simply have been the memory of the last meal.) We could see the haze of the moon, feel the chilly wetness of 'almost-rain', and sat in the hush of the hills. We breathed. And sipped dark rum that felt delectable. We could hear the roar and rush of the Parvati river, faint voices of other guests at the homestay and some distant music from a car really far away.

I think we talked a little bit about mistakes. The silhouette of a large mountain makes it easier to talk about mistakes because, really, what's a little foible in front of that. Just as we were settling in the comfortable satiety of self-pity, we noticed something. The green apples that hung from all the trees in the orchard were glowing. The moonshine kissed them and softened them and there they were, hung like little orbs of light.

Between the silhouette of the mountain and the talks of mistakes, there were golden glows of apples that lay suspended like broken beads of a phantasmagorical rosary.

I don't know about my friend. But I prayed on reflex.

My time in the Himalayas have taught me something. That maybe it is not just the myth of Shiva or the lore of Parvati or even the mysticism of the kinds of energy circles you find there. Maybe it just the simple ways in which the spectacular finds you. Maybe we formed the very first religion because we were humans and as humans, we instinctively do only this: we bow to beauty.




Sunday, July 10, 2016

342, 341, 340

Was among artists during this trip. So started sketching some stuff.  I look up something easy and fun on Pinterest and then I try and sketch it. It's feeling good.






Thursday, July 07, 2016

349, 348, 347, 346, 345, 344, 343: Trip to Kasol, Himachal Pradesh

The first time I saw the Parvati river, I had tears in my eyes. The unfettered power and peace of a river that is named after a woman who prayed for Shiva is visceral. May all our prayers be that way.


Some more pictures of the rain, mountains, mist...





Monday, June 27, 2016

Books that I just downloaded to read at some point

I think a big part of packing for a trip is downloading books that I can read on the flight. Although I have stayed awake all night to finish an assignment so I think I'll just sleep through the journey. But it doesn't hurt to have some books on hand. So here's what I got:

1.Slaves of New York by Tama Janowirtz
2. The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty
3. The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob
4. Mysteries by Knut Hamsun
5. The Perfect Order of Things by David Gilmour
6. Hollywood by Charles Bukowski

aaaand we're done for now!

350: The happy, happy things that happened

I am packing for a fun trip now. Just really looking forward to this trip, catching up with friends, and all that good stuff.

Spent a day at home today. Mom, sister-in-law and I went to Worli seaface. It was gorgeous! I love the crowded celebration that the monsoon brings. It is so juicy - those hours spent outside watching people get wet and be happy. I love watching those aunties in bright, colorful saris and slippers, boys wearing neon vests and playing footbacll barefeet, and people just sitting on benches looking happy and eating berries!

I love this city so!


Saturday, June 25, 2016

353, 352, 351: Tick tock days (as published in LinkedIn)

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/where-does-colossal-arrogance-come-from-mukta-raut?published=t

A musing on time