Grooming Your Way To Success

Veena Bhat is a multi-faceted personality who has been grooming individuals and the corporate circle for the past 15 years and among many others is an accomplished model herself, event manager and an actress with 23 movies under her belt. Her ardent students include the who’s who of Bangalore’s elite social circle, celebrities, theatre personalities,  as well as young model aspirants.

As part of my continued collaboration with the newspaper, I caught up with her for a chit-chat and chai and it was a true pleasure to have an extended conversation, which lasted well over 2 hours, in spite of her busy schedule, a home renovation and a wedding in the family. I was privy to a lot more of thoughts and candid talk which I have had to take off record and I really would like to thank her for the opportunity.

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Of what I can share, here’s a quick catch up, with the very down-to-earth spiritual and humble human being.

Veena Bhat

How did you get in to grooming?

After my graduation in 1981, I did short courses in Beauty from Shahnaz Husain, Fashion Designing & Aerobics. When my son was 2 years, I started aerobics with a lady in Otter’s club in Mumbai. By 1990 I moved to Bangalore and by word of mouth started taking aerobics and had about 5 batches, mostly comprising of housewives, from home. I converted a huge terrace into my studio and that was how it formally began.

How did Mrs. Vivacious 2001 happen?

I was egged on by my husband,  and at age 39, applied to the pageant. At that time I didn’t even know what glamour was and how to pose. I still applied, after getting a portfolio shot. Then Gladrags, Mumbai sent me back a letter saying that I was selected for auditions. Out of the 35 that were screened, 15 of us were shortlisted. My competition included many 18-19yr olds, many who didn’t have kids or all the side effects that went with having them, but being the confident and positive person that I am, made it eventually  to Mumbai where Maureen Wadia, noticed my extrovert personality and since interacting with people came naturally to me, I won the title.

What are the TVCs you have done?

I’ve done a lot of prestigious ads. Malabar Gold, Tanishq), GRT, RMKV. Over 120 ads from 2002 to present. In 2007, one of the ads I did for Malabar Gold was with Mohan Lal and Hema Malini, both being brand ambassadors for Malabar Gold.

And that’s when Bhul Bhulaiya happened?

Yes, Priyadarshan, who was the ad director for Malabar Gold liked my acting and asked me to prepare myself for a film with him. Although, I didn’t know what film or who the star-cast was, I took up the opportunity. I ended up bagging the role of the zamindar’s wife, which was a very prominent role. In all I did about 23 movies, including 1 in Hindi, 2 in Tamil and the rest in Kannada.

What does your training module comprise of?

We have a 30-hr module. We teach students about skin and hair care and even tell them how to make their own products depending on their specific requirements. The module also covers personal grooming and make-up for all occasions, conversational skills, how to walk on the ramp and a bit of acting for students who want to attend auditions and try their hand at movies. At the end of the module, we also arrange for getting their portfolio done so that it can be circulated among ad agencies for print ads and TVCs, if they are interested.

Another wild weed stands firm in spite of all the vagaries of life. A true inspiration to others and force to be reckoned with, here’s wishing her the very best in all of her future projects.

And oh, remember the post on getting inked, sometime back? Here’s the face behind the scenes  (https://wildweedz.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/un-linked/)

photography by Rashmi Varier
photography by Rashmi Varier

and some of his other designs

mandala tattoo SRi sri Ravishankar Tattoo copy

My ramblings are about  life, the roads less traveled, the hurdles crossed. Let’s discover our journeys together. Let’s spread some wild weeds.

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A Morning Repartee & An Evening Jam!

Yes, I got jammed. Between, a game of the Indian Premiere League, a storytelling session for kids from the Bangalore Storytelling Society and a musical explosion! But let me first get to some piping hot news.

My writing got noticed and I was asked if I could collaborate for articles/ interviews on professionals/ artists from the #Fashion&Entertainment Industry in India and Bangalore in particular. The collaboration is with a local fortnightly that is circulated in two of the city’s uptown neighborhood and I certainly lapped up the opportunity. This way I get to meet more people, which as a photographer/filmmaker is totally up my alley, and also be able to connect for  possible business opportunities as well.

And yes, these are the Wild Weedz that I’m constantly in search of! Let’s begin gathering.

#Photography opens up a lot of opportunities. you meet different people from different walks of life…and for my second issue contribution I was privileged to meet and have a quick chat with the very versatile #singer, #songwriter, #actor Ms. Vasundhara Das.

Here’s the extended version of the interview that was published on May 16th, 2015.

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A little bit about the multi-talented Ms. Das.

Vasundhara Das is an Indian singer, actress, composer, entrepreneur, speaker, songwriter and environmental activist. Vasundhara has worked with composers such as A. R. RahmanVishal-ShekharPritam and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy to name a few. Vasundhara’s current focus is on music composition at her Bangalore based studio called THE ACTIVE. She has also been involved in several independent projects such as Channel V Jammin’, BBC‘s HIV awareness anthem for India ‘Har Kadam’, Mission Ustaad, Arya, Global Rhythms, Nylon Soundz and most recently, The Shah Hussain Project, a collaborative album withSufi singer Mir Mukhtiyar Ali. Some of her films include Hey Ram (Tamil / Hindi)), Monsoon Wedding (English), Citizen (Tamil/Telugu), Ravana Prabhu (Malayalam), Lankesh Patrike (Kannada) among several others.

(source courtsey: Wikipedia)

When did you start out? What got you into this field?

Straight out of my bachelor’s degree is when i decided to spend a little time to figure whether music was going to be a possibility for me or not. So that’s what i think is when i really started out in the real world and started with auditions. These led me to pretty consequential occurrences in my professional graph. Within 3 months of completing my final year exams, I was auditioning for record labels, music composers. I had my first record deal, my first movie and my first playback opportunity pretty much in the same space on a trip to Chennai (Tamil Nadu, India) and what was overwhelming for me was that I was gunning for one career and suddenly there were three (laughs out loud).

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What are your roots, where are you from?

My roots are very much in Malleshwaram. I’m a Bangalore girl through and through. Grew up and went to school in Malleshwaram. Went to college at Mount Carmel, so all in all a proper Bangalorean. But for some reason, our upbringing has been very different. I feel like parents of our kind, who came from this kind of neighborhood, were pretty grounded in how they brought us up, so family and upbringing are your best friends throughout the whole process of becoming a celebrity. The thing about show business is that it can get your head a lot quicker so in that sense upbringing plays a very important and big role in keeping you grounded and keeping you real.  If you lose that sense of reality then you don’t know who you are anymore.

Do you follow someone’s work specifically to hone your own talent?

Not really. From an early age there’s been music in the family. My paternal grandmother was into Hindustani classical music and my maternal grandmother was into Carnatic music. Every occasion, be it a birth, a death, or any event is celebrated or marked with music. I grew up listening to music from an early age within the household itself. Either my grandmother will be practicing or my Aunts will be in a Bhajane and since we all stay quite close by, there would be these congregations quite regularly. My Dad was the only non-singer in the family but he played the harmonica really well.  Among my generation of cousins, I somehow took to singing more professionally even though a few of the others sing. Somehow, there is an artistic streak in most of us, in some way or the other. I believe it has everything to do with how our parents conditions us while we are growing up. The neighborhood also played a big part of who I’ve become.

When did you start writing songs?

Song writing began even before any of the singing and acting did. I was writing songs when in college and that’s what I liked about Mount Carmel, that it gives a girl the freedom to be herself and although I was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mathematics it gave me the time to explore my musical capabilities. It also helped that my parents had a broad view on my considering such avenues. This further led me to be exposed to different kinds of music, different kinds of musicians in the city and outside, which eventually shaped the kind of musician I am today. This then played a crucial part in figuring out what I wanted to do as a career. My primary aim was to be a singer/ songwriter and as a result of interacting with many people, I started getting offers to act in films and to do playback singing.  I went with the flow for awhile but when you are from the creative perspective, there comes a time when you want your own voice heard at some point. You want to come back to the roots to be who you truly are, search for your inner child. Songwriting is that for me.

My new project is a collaboration with a good friend and talented artist Mir Mukhtiyar Ali and it incorporates everything that is important to me as a musician as opposed to a celebrity musician. The production is a punjabi – sufi album, known as The Shah Hussain Project.

Album Cover

(RV: it’s a must listen.I particularly loved the opening track : Hun Nai Hatda)

 How has it been working for different industries for various productions/ projects?

The sensibilities of places and people vary from each industry. The assumption that an industry process has to be standard across the board, especially in a country like India, is a gross unfair judgment that people have of that particular industry for the simple reason that we are different people. Each one has it’s own strengths and weaknesses. For example, I knew that the industry in Chennai is known to optimize it’s time professionally, but when I worked with a production unit from the Malayalam movie industry, their level of optimization of time was altogether at a different level! Sometimes movies will be shot from start to finish in about 25 days which is unheard of even for the Tamilian folks.

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When it comes to content, there can be absolutely no comparison, since content as it is, is very subjective. Having said that, there has been a bit of lean towards better roles offered to women in the Malayalam movie industry even when I was there.

The audience will keep changing and what it expects also will change constantly and therefore each industry will cater to what is more marketable to get back their investments.

So tell us more about Roberto and DRUMJAM

Roberto and I have been friends for many years and we eventually got married. He is an iconic drummer from Bangalore. He is one of founding members of India’s first heavy metal bands, Millennium, that was writing original music back in the 80’s – 90’s. He is a renowned and celebrated musician himself and along with him, we started DRUMJAM about 8 years back.

Roberto

We are the pioneers of the drum circle movement in India. We are trained facilitators. We have colleagues all over the world who conduct the drum circle. Both of us were lucky to have access to resources and music and musicians who empowered us and with whose support we are what we are. Not many have that accessibility.  So, DRUMJAM is basically a movement of empowering people with music  by giving access to facilitators and percussion instruments and letting people come together and create music using rhythm and drumming as a medium. It’s an infectious energy when a particular group of people get together and have a real experience. They might be complete strangers, but when they play and look into each other’s eyes, the interaction is something that cannot be explained in words. Especially at a time, when we are getting more and more isolated because of technology. Although, technology has helped to connect  us, in a real perspective, it has actually isolated us to a far greater extent. Hence, DRUMJAM is a primal, powerful tool to bring people together. It could be people from different kind of communities. Our corporate DRUMJAMS run about 80-100 events in a year.

However, since Bangalore has been an indelible imprint on both of us and who we are, we feel we need to give back to the community of Bangalore. So one Sunday every month we have a Community DRUMJAM at the Metro on MG Road and on an average we get about 300-500 people taking part. Bangalore now has a drumming community of at least 75 people who come back regularly every single time. It’s also been featured on the TEN COOL THINGS TO DO while in Bangalore so in that sense, it has been for both of us a sense of accomplishment, especially when people who attend the DRUMJAM for the first time and they walk up to us and talk about their experience and how involved they get.

We have even started a Djembe workshop, an hour, prior to the main event. These are done by volunteers who come and invest their time and help us in reaching out to more people and get them more involved in the experience.Workshop

And what an experience it was. I hopped along on May 17th to attend the DRUMJAM and after 30 minutes into the event, I found myself, drumming a Djembe myself.

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The sound, the energy of it all just takes you into a level which is completely different from when you are just a spectator. People, from all walks of life, people of nationalities passing through, stopped in awe, participated and left with such a rush that no amount of a Sunday rest could bring. They came alone, they came with families and were mesmerized. Some, even looked to be in a state of peaceful trance. The vibrations were felt far and wide. Traffic stopped. People were stumped!

Drumjam

In about 2 hours, I had my fingers go blue and numb but I wanted to continue. Nothing could stop me from e being engrossed in the rhythm of it all. We brought down the showers, we played on! And I’m certainly going back!!

So for those eager – beavers, who need to do it, to believe it, save the date for June 21st! A special community DRUMJAM has been organized to mark World Music Day. Don’t you miss it!

My ramblings are about  life, the roads less traveled, the hurdles crossed. Let’s discover our journeys together. Let’s spread some wild weeds.

The Quill-er!

Hello hello! Me back! Yep, that speed breaker did have it’s little impact but I’m over it and have left it far behind. Now, it’s my way on the expressway! Yipee!

I never stopped interacting with people, however. I’ve met some very independent thinkers and doers which makes the circle even more positive. My little downtime helped put things back in perspective. I was on this rickety drive and I knew if it were not for the speed breaker..I would have crash-landed for sure! 🙂

Moving straight ahead and having found the 5th road in the cross, am back to picking up more of those lovely wild weeds. And from where I stand, I can see there’s a whole garden full with a variety that will baffle you at first but soak you up just as quickly.

Sahana’s. The name is not so common. Yes, it’s a name of a cute little toddler. But the greater significance is that it also represents the work of a very talented quilling artist.

What is quilling? Simply put, Quilling or paper filigree is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs.*

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And the artist behind this is Hridya Anand. An Indian homemaker based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A self-taught quiller who also is gifted in the art of glass-painting and sketching. Her branding is after her daughter, who she says is the reason she decided with this art form that has gained quite a bit of attention over the past year.

People wear ornaments and no one can guess this could be cheaper than gold and precious metals. Hey, the best part, is you create your own customized jewelry! So much so, you can never run out of options…except like me….all i can think of when i see colored paper is to make streamers of it! Ok…fine, I’ve progressed to buntings!! :p

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Talent is aplenty! One needs to look for it 🙂 Not only does this make as adornments but there’s no limits when it comes to wall art or even decor around the house or as gifts to crafty individuals.

Frankly, at first when I heard of it, I didn’t quite understand it myself. I was thinking more like…quill..ink…writing…(like in the days before the fountain pen was invented..)…err…no! Then I heard and then I SAW! This takes talent, people. And it takes a whole lot of patience in addition, which obviously is not one of my virtues :p, so I decided to have a little chat with Hridya and find out why she got into it and what’s in store for the days ahead.

Here’s an excerpt.

1. On Starting Up

I actually did not have the idea of starting up but going by the response to the pictures I posted on Facebook and the initial couple of orders I managed to bag even before starting a page separately made me think over the startup idea. And around June/July 2014, I decided upon the name and the logo for the start-up. And yes, my daughter has been a key-reason to start realizing my dreams. Normally it’s the other way around but am blessed she values me for more than a mother. 

2. Quilling has come around to be quite popular. How do you ensure to stand out from the crowd?

Yes, definitely. Quilling has become very popular, that it is part of the curriculum in a few schools around the world. What started off as a hobby, to soothe the frustrated and tired soul, ended up throwing up endless opportunities to explore. Every other person I meet online or through some forum was a quiller and it kept poking me somewhere saying what am I doing what others are not… So I tried my hand at all possibilities available to make use of paper and quilling art – so my products just don’t feature the typical paper jewelry. In addition to that, I also make miniature dolls, name plaques, quillography (quilled calligraphy) (featured above)etc. So like the art, there are a variety of options to choose from!

3. Will quilling grow any more or do you think it’s a bit limited with what you can do with it?

Growth looks promising, people want variety and with paper there are no limits, it is the new gold and the ability of this material to blend with other mediums is amazing. So mixed media is the future I see – be it beads or polymer clay or wire wrapping, paper can work with all. So the possibilities are endless.

4. What is your signature style?

I love to work on quillographic projects- basically calligraphy with paper. And I love minimal stuff, too much on a piece of paper bothers me, so you tend to see a bit of white space in most of my quillographic projects haha. Even with jewelry, I personally do not like to overdo something, trying to keep the designs and embellishments minimal but still maintaining the elegance.

5. What’s in store for 2015?

I had already received a few orders towards the end of 2014 for 2015 and that is what is taking up my time these days, so till mid 2015 I have my hands full! I am having a lot of new ideas and wish to implement them as and when I complete the ongoing projects and yes, trying to collaborate with professionals in other streams to get my work noticed.

20150101_152504-(2)Hridya, seen here with little superstar, Sahana. The force behind her initiative. Find more of her work here.

She goes on to tell me that working for herself has been a very fulfilling journey. She can manage her daughter, her home and the business quite easily. She makes sure that she is lenient with her targets and she does only how much she can without having to compromise on anything else. She says that working for others mean that there are targets to achieve for the company and very less personal time. Here she gets time to invest in her art as well see her daughter grow up and be there for her anytime she is needed.

Working from home or on your own does come with it’s own challenges though. Social media needs a lot of time and attention which she is unable to devote. She just updates status on her  page as and when she can find time to upload images. Having some one to get the products photographed, edited and marketed in the social media will definitely make her life more easy. (Oh, I Hear ya! 😉 )

Before we sign off, here are some of her final thoughts, to other entrepreneurs.

Patience and perseverence!! You need loads of it especially in the initial stages, it will take time for people to notice your work. Just keep at it, one day your efforts will surely pay off. Try to think of new things to include in whatever you are doing, new techniques, new add-ons etc. These will completely change the way the end product looks, it will grab someone’s attention and that will change your life forever!”

Well, Hridya, I really hope that before you reach Mid-2015, your books fill up for rest of the year and you grow each day, not only with your brand but also in learning of the trade and in your personal accomplishments too.

And for everyone out there, keep an eye for her exhibitions and product lines. Stop by her page, order some keepsakes and show her some encouraging love.

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my personal favorite from the jewelry line

Of course, in the meantime, also stay tuned for many more wild weedz, I will personally be hand-picking. Another day another story!

My ramblings are about  life, the roads less traveled, the hurdles crossed. Let’s discover our journeys together. Let’s spread some wild weeds.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quilling   ** all images courtsey Hridya Anand

5 years and counting…

Well well well! I know it’s already 16 days (Gosh!) into the New Year, but since it’s my first post for 2015, I want to shout out a big Happy New Year to all my regular readers and followers. Thank you ever so much.

When I logged into WordPress right now, it gave me a notification that I’ve been with them for 5 years! Really? That must certainly say something of my fickle minded brain. But then I guess, if I’ve made it in one place for 5 years, I think I can go on for another 5 years at the very least. At least hoping to.

How’s everything? How is everyone? How has 2015 been so far??

There’s just so much happening off late that, it’s been a bit hectic and am trying to keep up with all the events.

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Much has been spoken of the Kochi-Muziris Binnale. In fact I won’t do justice if I were to try and collate my thoughts and pen it down here. In a nutshell it’s an experience like no other. The above image is from the first edition of the Art Festival held between 2012-2013. That was just a trailer of how much potential there is for artists not only within the Indian realm but also across the globe. It catapulted India on to the global art map and I am so proud to say I belong to the city. It has been an awakening of the Art & Cultural Ecosystem and it’s second edition it has exploded even more.

Representing 30 countries and over 90 artists, the binnale in it’s wake has left no stone un-turned to literally give a international platform to home grown artists on par with some of the bigger names. They are calling it “whorled explorations” and correctly so. It’s wings touch not only the passive onlooker, but the vibrations spread to all the little auxiliary streams as well. Travel & Tourism with special binnale itineraries, Hospitality, Special Events, even the local fairy tale commute of the ferry boats stand to flourish and make some golden hay. I’m quite certain, the National GDP must get a spike in it’s revenue 🙂

I extend a hearty gratitude to each and everyone behind the organization of this phenomenal project. And along with it, hope that in one of the future events, I will be able to be a part of the whole force in whatever little way I can contribute.

Ok, so that’s that. Personally for me the past few months has been nothing but full of pleasant surprises. I was inducted into the very distinguished Cherie Blair Mentorship For Women Entrepreneurs Program that runs a whole year. My mentor from UK and I have been working quite closely and although tangible results are still to be seen, the process has been set in motion. Over and above, there has been a slew of projects across a wide spectrum that I’ve been working on and yes, which basically means, Wild Weeds is spreading rapidly 🙂

There is one last speed-breaker on the anvil but this time around, I’m waiting quite impatiently for it so I can cross it and then get on the expressway! Meanwhile, utilizing the time to gear up and boot up as well!! Hahaha!Oh yeah…i did get that second pair 😉

You will also be seeing a whole new blog! Or wait!! No…three more. One more of mine and another two to which I’ve been invited as a guest-author and regular contributor. One of course is a photography based blog by Dubai based photographer Vineet Suthan and the other for a relationship based website/blog that goes by the name Cogxio. So, I guess my writing skills have come to the forefront as well! Not bad, eh? Yay!

And finally there’s my blog…well, the third one! I will put a link back here shortly. I’m just prepping it 🙂 (suspense!).

So 3 + 2 blogs, a business networking site, the regular social media page1, and page2the website (which is Still giving me a few sleepless nights since it’s Still under development 😦 ) and some creative content  development for a client…and that’s just the writing bit! Year 2015, watch out for me!!

Ya’ll have a perfect year ahead. I know I’ve started mine! Cheers.

Live. Life. Love!

My ramblings are about  life, the roads less traveled, the hurdles crossed. Let’s discover our journeys together. Let’s spread some wild weeds.

48 days

48 Days

Not that it’s anything very significant, but it’s 48 days since my last post here. A full month and half…(and 3 days, ah, the number 3 again).

Well, I don’t know why time flies so fast. Especially when it comes down to having to blog :). The last 48 days was pretty frantic. Yes, I always have excuses, hehe. No really. Sometimes, you feel that last leg of the relay will be easy to finish but that’s probably the toughest. I have no where reached the finish line just yet, but just saying…the number of obstacles that come in your track can be least expected.

October was a pretty chaotic. 4 years of hard work and patience got wiped away over a bus ride. For me what it translates to is not the fact that I lost so many images but what has become of all of that in the wrong hands. Just when I was over a physical crash in front of me; the whole storage drive gets picked from my bag. Some people will never learn. Oh, I’m not talking about me 🙂 A strange calm has ever since enveloped me though, I don’t know if it’s a calm before a bigger storm or a calm after one.

In all of this, I visited my native and had the opportunity to visit a very obscure little nook. A place which I can’t still write about it now but here’s a sneak peek. More to follow once the good people are ready to talk and formally launch the property.

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My hand trouble still persists. It has also in a way dropped my continuity at work and reduced my pace a little but the extra time I managed to find from the ‘rest’ period has allowed me to attend some good meet ups for enterprising entrepreneurs and also given me the chance to re-look at a few people in specific and a lot more in general, seems to me like my favorite pastime. When I initially began writing, I started out with the intention of talking about relationships. In-advertently I also started talking about a few projects that I felt I could relate to, albeit in a way promoting others. However, my little inability to take images of such projects, as regularly as I had hoped for, over the past few weeks has reduced my posts about others. I will certainly get around doing so…once I get well completely. So those who have read my earlier posts and wonder why I haven’t written about them yet…exactly…not Just Yet. Will Do! 🙂

Somebody, via social media, approached me to help them co-author a community page about relationships. I thought it would really be up my stream as that is something I do on a side, with immediate family and friends. Not with the idea of monetizing it…but if I can get through a person’s thought process, and help them heal in any small way I’m only too happy. I did consider the offer and talks are still on. And if you guys have any suggestions, please feel free to add them in comments. The page however focuses more on the typical Man-Woman Relationships and hence have urged the moderators and admins to improve upon the scope and open it out to other areas as well. Every person is in multiple relationships at the same time. Be it formal or a personal one. Will keep you folks updated. Maybe I might just start something at my own level, if this doesn’t materialize. 🙂 but hey, then isn’t this blog almost on the same lines??

What human beings need the most, is someone to just listen to them. Let them talk and not be reprimanded for it…or judged. If one feels the need that person should be shown a more appropriate path they should head towards to reduce the burden they feel…by all means do so…but do so in a very approachable manner. I know there is no time for countless hours of being a sound board, but if that person has approached you…it’s because they feel safe to talk to you about what’s going on with them. Good or bad. And you giving them their undivided attention during those few minutes…or seconds even, will make a huge difference in how they then go about helping themselves. A by-product could also be in answering those questions for yourself. It’s amazing how somebody else’s fears and phobias are so similar to yourself that when you open up to hearing them, it’s like a mirror staring back at you. The answer you give them might just be the answer you were looking for, in the first place. Truly. Many a times I’ve surprised myself how I try and separate myself from me while I listen to others and have moments that strike me, saying, “Hey, those were your questions which you needed an answer for and here you are, answering them for others”. Wasn’t that easy? Preaching was, practicing is another game altogether, isn’t it? 😀

Last few weeks…I have been talking. A lot. Somebody, who gave me some of the time that ‘I’ needed. I am grateful. Don’t smile…you need it as much! You Were Me!! 😉

They didn’t tell me something what i didn’t know or someone before them hadn’t told. They just said it a whole new way. A way that didn’t bring a fiery sound or a piercing prick along with it. So, it’s not just important what you say, it’s also how it’s said.

Studying psychology definitely does give you an edge but if you make an effort to study people in their own physical space, helps you understand where they come from and why they behave as they do or what is most important to them in their healing process. Is it just a need to vent bottled up feelings, is it a need for them to be given assurance that they are loved and respected and accepted, is it a need to allow them to take chances and know that their back is covered, is it a need that tells them there will always be an open channel for communication? There are needs above and beyond just material and tangible appeasement. There are needs that are beyond false promises or quick fix solutions. These needs are to be met more holistically for if left un-attended, these needs will create a void…and that void can have serious ramifications or consequences. Be there for someone, anyone, who chooses you to be there for them. Having said that though, never hesitate to ask someone to help you! If you need help, ask. If someone needs your help, give! 🙂

Lean on each other, there’s nothing wrong…that’s how a relationship will last forever long

Before I sign off…and although I have already sent them their due appreciation, I just want to shout out a big Thank You! You have come to fill a big void in my life and I will always be grateful and appreciative of your affection. Some relationships are by birth, some by choice and yet some that are so unexplainable. You are one of those unexplained interventions. From now and forever, I will always be thankful for having crossed paths and cherish every moment you have shared with me.

Live. Life. Love!

My ramblings are about  life, the roads less traveled, the hurdles crossed. Let’s discover our journeys together. Let’s spread some wild weeds.

Layered.. – Part I

Hola! Happy October Peeps! Howdy all? I missed writing, even though some of you didn’t 🙂

Now now, I have excuses. If my increasingly diminishing memory can correctly process, in my last post I wrote about a forthcoming event. OH Yes! It’s been a fortnight since then! Whoops! All the same, I was busy finding weeds..remember..this is THE BLOG about picking and spreading weeds. 😉

So, I’m back! I can’t just ramble about picking weeds, I have to get some good pictures too, right? With this post hopefully I’d put in enough to make up for the short disappearance.

Let me begin!

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What do you see? A wine bottle?? Hang on..please..no hangovers here..hahahaha..nope, not even jewelry..and no not even clutter..err..wait..did you say clutter? It’s not clutter..it’s layers over layers of textures. Yes, that’s right folks. That’s exactly what we are going to speak rant about..It’s my favourite topic…I dunno if I mentioned this before..heck..even if I did, I’ll just repeat it again..I love to study people. They come in all hues (WAIT..don’t say that word, I’m not one!) and unraveling them is what I like to do the most.

I am story teller. I tell stories. Through film. Through stills. Stories of people, of food (yes, another one of my weaknesses) and sometimes even inanimate objects. But what I find the most appealing is trying to understand a fellow human. Why and how one human differs from another in their responses to exactly the same situation. What’s wiring them to do so? Sometimes, it may not differ..but there might two different logical conclusions to their reflexes..uff..sorry too many high flung words :p

Safe to say, humans have so many layers to them..just like an onion. Some people are clean at the surface..good to go right of the bat..just cut them up and cook along, they won’t even make you cry. Some, the more you peel the more you might tear up..at the end there will be nothing to hold them together..they are quick to be called rotten..discarded into the rubbish bin. But obviously they were not grown rotten. They became rotten because they were holding out the outer surfaces but was hoping some one would give them a little more nurture and care instead of being tossed around assuming they were good and didn’t need extra attention. I wouldn’t call them rotten though, just neglected. Can you connect the human with an onion :p ?

Why this sudden observation? This past weekend I was at an exhibition for one of my clients. She does stone paintings and at the exhibition she had an impromptu workshop requested by the organizers. Anyhow, there came this little lass. Shy. Really naïve. When she saw the stones, her eyes gleamed. But very shy to the point of being hesitant to recognize her own flair. Fortunately a very indulgent father egged her on..gave her a voice to talk through the brush with which she painted an owl.. I don’t know the connection of kids and owls (just like women and butterflies) but I digress. Not many kids have that support early on..and that changes how they react to situations later in life. She was so happy and as she drew, her shyness eased out as well. What caught me in my tracks, is that the girl belonged to a very modest and simple family..unlike the crowd that was present that day..you know those Must Be Seen Crowd :p …and when she finished she beamed this beautiful smile of a simple dream coming true, it was really magical. For me, that was enough to say, yes, we could make a difference for her..in that moment..the innocence..was, personally for me..my biggest sale that day (not that I’m saying those stones were mine) but you get the idea. 🙂 My day was made with that smile. Period.

Here she is..cute as ever.

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Moving on, rather, getting back to our own layers. How many of us have shown all? How many of us have been able to unearth of our own self? Not many..those lucky few have already reached enlightenment.

_DSC2600Every piece or every corner..there are multiple layers of texture..multiple layers of solid and patterned colors..just as we have. Yes..we too have textures and colors in all that we do..we imbibe from the outside and it makes us who we are from the inside. By Gosh! Have I attained enlightenment? I think, yes. 🙂 Awareness of the self..within ourself and within the bigger picture.

_DSC2617Some of these textures are gifted by others, some you pick on your own..many others happen to come by your way. Some you can relate to, some you just adapt to and take it in your stride. It’s a happy dance and I love discovering my traits every day. I will never be completely unwrapped..because when it comes to human beings..there is never an end. The layers either build up or keep getting peeled off. There is never a rotten core..just a void that needs to be filled. Like each of these tangible objects have their own story of how they were made and found their way into my hands..there are stories of each of your traits. Stop. Listen to your inner self. Just live in the now with your soul. Find yourself..find your true calling.

If you are comfortable..peel off those layers yourself to show others around you that you have your own flavor and etchings..but be careful don’t tear along the way. If you want to let others peel you..let them..but don’t be afraid to tell them to be a little cautious. No body wants to end up..getting red eyes 😉

My ramblings are about  life, the roads less traveled, the hurdles crossed. Let’s discover our journeys together. Let’s spread some wild weedz.

Affly

Rashmi

Puppy Stories

Today’s post is something really away from the humdrum of life and no vanity either. Today is a day of some inward reflection. I keep doing that every once in a while to keep myself grounded and unaffected by this increasingly ‘take-away/ to-go’ life. Surprisingly, it comes as a lesson from a most unexpected source.

2 doggies.

I never use the term dog..for some odd reason. Unless..I’m using it for a person..oops..ok, not going to be mean to mankind..err..humankind. And that lesson, my blog friends, if you haven’t already guessed is about unconditional love. I read a shared quote message floating around a social media site. It describes how a puppy feels..that is if only the puppy could talk back to it’s owner and it’s reactions to them. One thing that really stood out to me was a line that went like this,

“no matter how much you get angry with me..not matter how much you hit or scold me..or even leave me alone..I still love you!” That got me. Just that one line! Even more so, because till a year back..I had one of my very own. He was my best friend and he was with me for 18+ years..but before I could tell him that I loved him back..he was gone..

this story though was from just before that.

late into a night, back in my hometown of Cochin, Kerala..I heard a pup whimpering. I didn’t know where it came from but it was enough to keep me awake for the rest of the night. I woke up with the slight interruption on an otherwise quiet night..Still lying on my bed, my thoughts went back to another day where a kitten was stuck in a net for a long time and there seemed no way out to rescue it..till it poured so hard by evening..as if it were a sign.. that it finally managed to free itself from the knots.

Since I couldn’t get to the source of the whining the same night..I waited impatiently till the next morning. Finally, found this little girl in a vacant swampy plot. Drenched, hungry, tired and almost lifeless from a whole night’s crying. 189350_10151179906762509_10385502_nManaged to rescue and bring her over to our part of the house. I can’t imagine how cruel a human can be to fling something so precious with out a care. I fell in love with her eyes. Despite its tiny size..her eyes sparkled..I instantly knew it came for a reason. Rest of the day it ate, slept, ate, slept. We gave it a warm nesting place and that night she slept with no cares.

I introduced her to my older boy charm only the next day, to avoid any form of sibling (well in this case it was GrandParent-style) rivalry. Slowly..cautiously. The little one was happy..it found a father/grandfather..hehehe..the older one was not very pleased with the new bundle of energy but didn’t complain having my time shared a little. Their bond began..silently. Over the next few days, we nursed her back to health and full of activity. Always instigating its elder companion.Always being shooed away by its elder companion. 🙂

She came back to life..

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We had however put out a word in the neighborhood for its adoption. Since we already had one of our own and  couldn’t give it  as much attention as we would have liked to.

Little did we know, in between all our heart strings being strummed, my own would sulk in a corner for three days. Every spare minute sniffing the spaces left vacant by his little buddy. That’s how life is. My ears still hear it’s whimpering..this time of separation. Tending to its constant needs kept us on our feet..allowed us to distract from our own  pesky issues of everyday life.

But the hammer came down when we we lost our older chap. He pulled  through a painful gall bladder operation …was on his feet in less than  36 hours…he didn’t utter a single word of pain..everytime I got angry over trivial issues he  used to sense it and come sit next to me and help me calm down..everytime I had to go away he gave me the  most delectable lick and everytime I was unwell, he used to come sit next to my side…in that silence was the greatest comfort. I knew that even if no one else was  there..he was with me..and yet..when he needed me the most….I couldn’t be with him…

they say if your pooch is close to you..they don’t slip  away in front of you. I got  up one morning..he was still  lying down, I kept his head on my lap..he looked at me as if to say im fine..you go  get ready…I put his head back down gently..went to the kitchen and put two slices of bread  to toast…an invisible presence forced me to go see him again..because that morning I hadn’t seen him enough…and  as he lay there he had the most beautiful smile I had ever seen on anyone..in that moment, he had the smile I had been yearning for..but in that moment I captured that smile with my heart and eyes. forever. he was  at peace. he had me  in pieces ever since…

he hated my camera..i struggled to take a good frame…but he left me with this..

Caesar and a feeling called True Love

Love. Live. Life.

My ramblings are about  life, the roads less traveled, the hurdles crossed. Let’s discover our journeys together. Let’s spread some wild weeds.