All-In! May the celebrations begin!

In Art on November 14, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I wanted to do something different this Diwali! I wanted to do justice to the “festival of lights!”

 So, I first got the lights in place.

outside the living room


I wanted to light up the mini temple at home so that the house looks more lively and ready for Diwali. I wanted to convert the temple to resemble the one down South. Now, most Kerala (India) temples have been carved out of stone. Each side of the temple has rectangular grids with lamps attached to it. These oil lamps are lit during sunset and adorn the temple throughout the evening.


an old Kerala temple


Well, our temple is made of wood and is attached to the wall and hence cannot sustain the weight of oil lamps. So I used a string of little light bulbs and taped them neatly into each box of the entire grid.


home Kerala temple


Next in line, the Rangoli!

Rangoli forms an important part of Diwali celebrations. Rangoli is made on the floor with coloured powder that is a little finer than salt. Once the outline is in place, several bright colours are used to fill the drawing up. Traditionally, the women of the house make floral patterns, birds, lamps and Hindu deities. But my friends and I went a little off track this time… :p




All in!


My Aunt’s Castle

In My Files on July 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Image:  Zeppelubil / Th. Haft / Torgau

There are two absolute truths in my life—my aunt is a billionaire and she is always sixteen.

My aunt, whom we (the nieces and nephews) lovingly call “Boo,” built a castle, costing a few billion dollars, somewhere in the late 1980s. The castle was named “Kyfam.” Kyfam had over a hundred rooms with each room aesthetically and ergonomically designed to suit the needs of her nieces and nephews. The unique selling proposition of Kyfam was that every room was monochrome. Every single element in a room strictly adhered to the colour code of that room. So, the Blue room had a blue door with a blue bed, blue curtains, blue tiles, blue commode, blue basin as well as blue toiletries. Name it and it was blue. Similarly, each room adorned a different shade. The bright white castle split into 100 different shades, as though it had just travelled through a prism.

Throughout our childhood, Boo bragged about her fortune. She did this to earn our loyalty and I must say it worked. After all, she was much richer than her three brothers put together. Besides, all we wanted from life was to be an integral part of Kyfam.

A few years after Kyfam was built, we grew up.  We discovered that the reason Rome wasn’t built in a day was because Boo turned down the offer. That’s right! It barely took her a few seconds to build Kyfam. The name was crafted with the initials of my grandpa and grandma “K” and “Y” respectively and “fam”— short for family. That was around the time we learnt what they meant by “building castles in the air.”

Nonetheless, out of all Boo’s creations, Kyfam is her master masterpiece (so far). On the pillars of our imagination stands our family heritage Kyfam, the greatest gift an aunt can give her children and a gift our children will inherit. She is still the youngest billionaire we know. 🙂

P.S.: The rooms also ensured that your pee and poo adhered to the colour code. That was, by the way, the most fascinating and magical part!

Being Human

In Dissecting Life, Minds and Mindsets on July 26, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Human beings are quirky. Their eccentricity causes distrust to erupt naturally between two human beings. It is possibly a defense mechanism that stems from our survival instincts; the need to guard ourselves emotionally and physically from others’ thought processes.

Blessed abundantly with imagination, we are capable of a variety of actions. And each one of us is hardwired to perform a different set of actions which is governed by our “habits” or “character”. One human being is so fundamentally different from another that the absence of culture and discipline is bound to throw us haywire. We don’t know which stimuli will trigger what action in a human being. Maybe that is why cultures and traditions are forced to survive. It is important to have rules to induce normality into the system. Human beings are always in the need to create a society whose members have similar patterns of behaviour. It is the predictability of human behaviour that gives us a sense of security.

The society gives you the license to question when one does not behave the way one is expected to. It structures it with punishments to pull one back on track. Categorizing actions into acceptable and unacceptable makes life simpler by reducing the number of choices we need to make. Maybe that is why systems, with well defined customs, function well, for good or bad. Similar habits and beliefs build strong groups, organizations and armies.

Today, a strong sense of individuality is budding within people. With each one harbouring their own set of beliefs, it will become increasingly difficult to decipher people. It will become increasingly difficult to decide if your action is acceptable or unacceptable because each one will have an entirely different point of reference. The concept of “trust” will become obsolete because the basis of trust is an “expected” outcome.