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

Monday, June 20, 2016

357, 356, 355: First Impressions: Udta Punjab

Udta Punjab seems to have 89 disclaimers, one for each cut that was allowed to remain in the film. (The disclaimer in the beginning says something really funny and ambivalent like 'We're not saying Punjab is the only place with drug problem...it is the highway to the drugs reaching Maharashtra, Goa, and other places.') Kareena's character is...umm...somehow very Talaash-like. She's taking the story forward but one doesn't know where she's come from...what's her reason...And every film from the Kashyap stable, I suppose, has to pay some kind of homage to Tarantino or whoever they watch - with violence set to music and blood-soaked concrete and the humdrum human nature in which everyone turns base and corrupt within 15 seconds of meeting one another. The film has some very good actors acting very, very well. (Alia Bhatt is pure soul. And I really liked that Inspector.) But...overall, I found it strictly okay. (The guy next to me snored after the first hour so I'm not saying the movie is slow...but get your coffee to take you through all those scenes that don't have Alia or the Inspector.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

360

I see pictures of so much love on Facebook. And it's just lush living when you get to like and share all that.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Monday, June 06, 2016

372, 371, 370, 369, 368, 367: First Impressions: Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

Two men find themselves, at the age of twenty, on a ranch. They are alone and herd sheep and long hours of being adrift together. One washes tin cans while the other gazes at skies turning purple with clouds that will bring rain. Their days are slow, yet meaningful.

One night the two men get close. The description of their intimacy is very raw, very matter-of-fact. Also raw is the time they spend apart. Also matter-of-fact is the way these two people cope with the typical turmoil the heart brings.

One logically explains that he isn't strong or lucky enough to buck society. The other, in great anguish, pleads for something more. ("I can't quit you.", he says.) There is a lifetime apart where they can't do much. Then one dies. The other comes back to take his ashes to Brokeback Mountain where they had first met. He doesn't get the ashes from the family. Instead, he finds two shirts that his friend wore as one piece(one on top of the other) throughout his life - to hold on to a moment where they had embraced in front of a fire - in a 'sexless, eternal embrace.' He brings back the shirt and goes on living.

Annie Proulx's Brokeback Mountain gives us a setting and a story of lives very different from the average person's. It also takes us beyond the details of what one would get caught up on- homosexuality, societal compulsion, etc. etc.

It simply tells us of  the time Jack and Ennis shared on Brokeback Mountain...how they too were people. And that too was love.

(I have liked this book immensely. It makes me want to be a kinder person. Looking to give it away. Anyone in Pune, let me know.)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

378, 377, 376, 375, 374, 373: First Impressions: Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

I read this book on my birthday.

This book is a collection of musings, reflections, and quotes by Cheryl Strayed. The book begins with a very endearing little treatise on the importance of quotations and how she held on to them through life. A pithy filament of wisdom nourishing her, keeping her strong, and in a strange way, even letting her be.

There are certain pieces that I particularly liked - the way society absolves itself of taking on the responsibility of a sad person. We tell that person to 'get help', instead of softening our own gaze. There is another part she talks about how we ought to be a little kind - just a little bit if being a whole lot kind feels like having a toe-nail pulled out - if we are walking away from someone. You can make your decisions and stand by them, but you ought to be kind enough to still be a friend to the ones you leave. There is a humane touch to trite advice - you will go on the way you will go on. You will clutch at any little filament of hope or you will wade in despair and get out of breath. But you will continue little by little. Then you either get past the dark hole or you come to a place where you can claim the light.

The book, I felt, was an invitation to to be kind. That, incidentally, is an invocation to be brave.

Since I read it on my birthday, on a day when I look forward and back on what this stuff is all about, there is one piece that resonated. It is a gentle kiss to all the 'What ifs'.

"I'll never know and neither will you about the life you didn't choose. We'll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn't carry us.

There's nothing to do but salute it from the shore."

Definitely a book to have on your bedside. There is a restfulness in there that one can only be enriched by.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

379

Yesterday was a rather nice day. (My nose is still twitching from the dust and chalk that one of the rooms is shrouded in - now that painting has begun.)

Anyway, a late night call got canceled at work. My sister-in-law is helping me out by staying with me. So yesterday, she'd come out for a walk. We had a nice coffee at Starbucks. Then we ate out at Tareef in Aundh. I would strongly recommend the tandoori mushroom and the fish fry. Portions are really good.

We walked back late at night, enjoying the warm, summer breeze and catching sleepy blossoms on tired trees.

It was good.