If you could, what year would you time travel to and why? Bloganuary – Day Twenty One

Kudos to the developer of this challenge for coming up with this very cool prompt. Another chance to let our horses run wild into the landscape of imagination.

When it comes to time travel, my thought by default went to travelling to the past.

So, I went on dwelling. I convinced my mind and heart and body for one common time period and that was the earliest Indian Civilisation that would be the Harppan Civilisation dating back to 26th Century B.C.E.

This ancient civilisation is known for a well-planned street grid and an elaborate drainage system which suggests that the occupants of the ancient Indus civilization city of Mohenjo Daro were skilled urban planners with a reverence for the control of water. Modesty, order, and cleanliness were apparently preferred. (Source: Lost city of Mohenjodaro, National Geographic)

Having a knack for all of these above, I knew I would love to time travel to learn about and roam around in such a time and era.

But, owing to my lack of knowledge, I decided against it. Writing about such an iconic example without the prior knowledge would be unfair and careless.

So , I decided to get swayed by a little more exciting outlook. A place of which we have little knowledge and a place we as humans are trying to reach. The planet Mars.

I would like to time travel to the period when human have reached planet Mars, made civilisations there and are searching for the next planet to move our legacy to. (Side note: Now I know that humans literally make a mess out of any place they come in contact with, but its a blog, I am choosing to let my imagination to run without reason)

Now on Mars I am imagining, will NOT be like the movies we see. Like where only the rich get to reach there because only they could afford the pricey ticket in the wake of earth’s destruction. Here on Mars we all are existing in a harmonious way without the capitalism catastrophe.

It would be marvellous to explore the architecture at Mars, robotics themed I suppose? It’s obvious that we will be very technological advanced, so digging deep into what led to what would be a mind blowing chapter to learn. What I would actually look for is the human within. How is that human different from the ones on earth! Are we still delusional or have started differentiating the right from the wrong? Are we still captured or have we attained the flight we are meant to fly for? Are we still walking/driving to office or can we get teleported yet?

But I hope our time travel time is not limited, because knowing all this will need time. Or does Mars already know how to bend time?

PS: No logic, No reason, No hard feelings. Only Love and imagination.

What is your favorite photo you’ve ever taken? Bloganuary – Day Twenty

Through few instances in my life, I realized my affinity towards the minuscule scale of simple, basic things in life. Let me show you one such Micro-visual. Give me a chance to explain!

While doing an assignment in the first semester of Masters in Landscape architecture which asked us to capture our huge college campus through 10 sketches. Our campus was 90 acres and there were large sprawling chunks of unmaintained, untouched greens but only for  a few specific months.

There were vistas which could leave one to stop and stare! The sunsets were magnificent enough for written words to be strung together to express their beauty.

So when me and my friends, we went out to click , we were obviously clicking eye catching views and vistas like the one below.

Just once, while clicking pretty plants and obviously trying to recognize them, I sat near one of the Bauhinias and tried to click its heart shaped leaf against the sky which was giving me a silhouette.

And, I unexpectedly stumbled upon these colony of ants chilling under the shade of Bauhinia leaves (huge for the tiny organisms).

Ironic to imagine, how we use the goddamn huge tree for shades and how for these ants, few leaves are enough to chill under. Just compare the scale of the spreading landscape with these tiny beings finding hang out spots under leaves.

Very often when we cross arrays of greens, it is said to calm our nerves our senses and give us a sense of fulfillment. But have u wondered what it looks like under that green sheet? How often has any of us have looked under them leaves?

Under the vast green landscapes, thrive tiny stories. Only if one remembers to look beneath, under the sheath.

Write about something mysterious. Bloganuary – Day Nineteen

Mystery is a matter of interest. Mystery stands unidentified if the human eye is not inquisitive. If a human is not observant enough, he/she will simply glide through a mysterious end without even realising what they missed.

However, keeping such humans aside, we are here to talk about mystery while it is standing it’s ground, while it exists.

My angle of mystery shall not be able to give a short story which blows everyone’s mind with its unexpected ending. I am not capable of imagining such stories (however I wish to be).

One way of seeing mystery is the mystery of life. What’s gonna happen the next moment, nobody is aware. The unpredictability makes life intriguing.

Other way of seeing mystery is the mystery of the brain, my brain here. The self discovery phase where our brains refuses to settle and keeps springing in numerous different directions. However, I think I can crack this one by the time I die. Hopefully. Till then I am work in progress. One day at a Time.

The way I perceive mystery is in form of a design principle. As an architect, we are encouraged to use mystery as a key design principle in our projects. This is because an element of surprise intrigues an observer’s eye, makes them wonder, forces them to monitor and note, stays with them and hence, they come back.

Imagine an exposed brick wall with stepped hexagonal perforations standing proudly on the front facade. Now when one is walking through the corridor behind that wall at the time when sunlight is falling at angle, this will form a surreal shadow of the perforation on the grey kota cladded corridor floor. Now imagine stepping on the shadow to see it appear on your skin and without realising you start playing with it!

This is the power of mystery in an intelligent design. It can make you smile in wonder.

This same principle can be subsumed when walking across landscapes. Imagine walking a path with tall grasses on both sides. The path is serpentine and takes you by the longer route. At the end of the path there is a round platform shadowed under the mango tree. The platform has a table in the middle with your date waiting for you to have lunch. What fun would a straight pathway with no enclosure give as compared to a serpentine path visually enclosed my grasses. How can one get an idea that whats waiting at the end! This is the power of mystery in an intelligent design.

Mystery is a lovely genre to play with. It can be literally applied to every sense of life with or without professional training.

What book is next on your reading list? Bloganuary – Day Eighteen

At the start of this year, or rather every year, a very hyped vibe of celebrations are spread literally all across the world. I don’t understand it. Years come and go. What is so new about it?? So with this mentality I dragged myself through another new year. While everyone was celebrating and putting up stories on gram, I bought (not gifted) myself a few books. I go to this stall in a nearby local market that sells used books. I mean aren’t books the best thing to invest in?

They are cheap (some of them), there are so many of them, there are ocean of varieties, stays with you for a long time, teaches you something. I mean its a five star package deal.

Navigating to the prompt, my next read is, ‘Revenge wears Prada’ by Lauren Weisberger. This is a tiny, thick book which is sequel to ‘Devil wears Prada’. In order to align myself with the storyline, I watched the movie that stars Meryl Streep and Anne Hathway. Now I know a movie is an extremely squeezed down version of the book, but its alright, the movie was a fun watch. I bought the book without the knowledge of it being a sequel! (Damn, get off my back) That was because of its striking yellow coloured binder cover with exaggerated high pencil heels shown in a silhouette form. The cover literally screams out loud and sells itself.

The other book that I bought is ‘ Only Time will Tell’ by Jeffery Archer. This is again a fictional read. But doesn’t Jeffery archer, very skilfully arches his way to your mind (pun intended)?? I bought this book because the last book written by him was ‘Kane and Abel’. This one kept me hooked really hard. Through this book he became a permanent and comfy author to read.

I am really thankful for the ways books can glide us to any entirely new universe. I admire the way we can fill in all details as per our convenience and it still stays someone else’s story.

What is a superpower you’d love to have? Bloganuary – Day Seventeen

The place I am in right now, I need a whole lot of superpowers. I am unstable. I am in no way anywhere near to monk-hood. (Somehow my gram is leading me to a healthy lifestyle. I am definitely not following it and thats making me panic even more.)

But right now, I want to shut all the voices, the ones around me. All the shouting and loud noises. And the ones inside my head. There has to be a superpower to control both of these. Some power that can control the mind. My mind, not others’. I would instantly stop the voices as and when I want it. To just stop! Using this power, whatever name it possesses; I will decode the anxiety within me. I will stop being bothered about what people say. I will forget whats hurting.

I would really appreciate something which gives me power over the brain. Only mine. Not anybody else’s. Yes I am greedy. But also smart. If I have learnt anything in my current days of mental hustle, is to be your person and not to depend on others to show you a way out or a way in.

There is a Murphy’s law which states that you end up being what you always feared you would become. I want to unwind this law. I want this law to stand foundation-less in this universe. This makes the human fearless. He gets what he really wants.

I have now made such a fun topic into sentimental stanzas of self pity. Oh my! Murphys Law is acting up. I was fearing self pity. Now look what I have done!!

What is a cause you’re passionate about and why? Bloganuary – Day Sixteen

Whenever a new line of thought, or a perspective or an offer comes my way, my first reaction to it is to simply flick it out of my way without giving it a second thought. Then when it is not bothering me anymore, I will give it a second thought and then a third. And then I will actually start to consider or reconsider it.

Exactly like this process, I flicked this prompt away thinking that naah, I dont a have a passion. I am living a life like a robot. Just like that I flicked it away. But then I embarrassed myself! Like come on girl, you are better than this. You are not a robot and there must be something you are passionate about. And yes, there is one thing. It really bothers me when I see something in that department is going south. I actively keep refreshing my thought about it. I admire and follow the people who are doing something about that cause.

I like to identify myself as an environment carer. I care for it, i feel for it. I really wish and want that all the harm we humans are doing to our mother earth should come to a halt right here right now. It hurts me. It bothers me.

However, I am no Greta Thunberg. I only resonate with her. I am an average human who supports this cause. I am passionate about supporting it. I don’t know if me only feeling about a cause makes it less passionate than the others’ passion. Thats because I see so many people on gram doing what one should be doing to save the planet one way or other. I am not doing even one-tenth of it. So that is the reason I am not sure if I would call it passion.

But. But if given a chance I would not step back from adding value to it in any given way possible.

I am not all useless though. I try to do my bit. I see a lot of environment related documentaries. This way I keep myself vary of all the things harming and all the solutions that can be adapted. Also it keeps me anxious. It gives food to my thought. And I stay attentive to things that are happening around. Secondly, I see works of a lot of influencers who care for the environment. That keeps me enlightened about the street smart hacks that people are adopting to save energy.

I also do little acts of kindness whenever and wherever I get the chance. When I am home I reuse one glass throughout the day instead of using multiple. I switch the tap only and when required. These help in saving water. I carry my own water bottle and avoid buying any plastic bottles until utterly necessary. I avoid buying plastic disposable cutlery. I choose the paper one instead. I try to reuse my scraps. I collect all my plastic waste like shampoo bottles and toothbrush and give them to the local collector which in turn pushes them towards a recycling unit.

But there are still so many things that I can do an want to do. But I don’t do it either due to lack of resources, support, confidence and sometimes out of sheer laziness. I wont lie. I am being brutally honest.

But I have things on my agenda that I aspire to do. For example I want to start composting and I am very excited about it. I hope I am able to do it soon.

I hope I find the force that drives me harder in this direction. I know it will. I am confident about that. I just hope it wont be too late.

What is a life lesson you feel everyone can benefit from learning? Bloganuary – Day Fifteen

When I started writing a blog, I had told myself that I will never write anything that preaches. I would never give advice. I feel that I am always learning and I don’t think of myself worthy of providing counsel. I was firm that I will only share my lessons and my blessings of learnings and realisations. But now when WordPress is upfront asking for my presumes insights onto life, I wont budge and rather let it flow.

Being the perfectly imperfect person, I am still in process of learning lessons. I have been grateful to be offered a few but I feel I have a long way to go.

Before me and all of us, a billion people have lived. And many of those have managed to written a billion of books. So there is no problem in the world, somebody has NOT written a book about. Therefore, there is no lesson that I have to offer that the world doesn’t accommodate already. (This thought is courtesy of a Will Smith reel on gram). I will still for the sake of the challenge shower my non existent wisdom.

Whenever I am talking to someone, mostly through technological interventions like calls or messages, I used to have a habit of assuming what someone’s reply would be. This assumption came out of the understanding I had of that human. By the virtue of this habit, it was me who always ended up disappointed. Because the reply was never what I expected it to be. I failed to understand that a human contains many tangible and intangible layers. If I am close to them and I had peeled a few layers, its not enough. There still are a thousand layers unexplored. Probably even that respective human is oblivious of its existence.

So when I assumed, I limited my ability to welcome another layer of that person. I rather got limited to my views and beliefs. Its my loss.

So, I learnt that one must keep their minds and hearts open to new perceptions and layers the person has to offer. Why even a person? A new setting, a new landscape, a new profession. This lesson can be applied everywhere, everyday. Our pre-existing knowledge is only probably one third of the entire subject.

What we know of that subject is just the tip of an iceberg. What we know is a drop while there is an ocean out there to explore.

This way we can keep ourselves open to new perspective and ideas. We make space for all things new while retaining our notions.

Write about a challenge you faced and overcame. Bloganuary Day – Fourteen

This instance dates back to the first time I was away from home for my master’s course. 

One of the days in the first week, I was in class of plant identification. The professor here was a very old and eccentric human. Undoubtedly, very knowledgeable but unconventional and slightly strange. He would bring a packet full of leaves and pods he had collected on his way to the studio for us to learn and identify. He would answer our questions fondly for the n number of times we ask; but when he asks he would get very upset if we couldn’t answer. Being the casually cranky person he was, once he accused a girl for wasting his class’s time. What did she do, you ask?? She fainted in class. Ha! 

(Change in scene : Scene II)

This girl that fainted is a very close friend. The first day of coming to college campus, I met her. She was with her parents and me with mine. We both learned that we belonged to the same city. The city magic worked like always and I sensed a hint of affinity, a slight sense of comfort. We didn’t see each other for a few days after that.

(Back to Scene I)

We all rushed to her and gathered in a circle around her. A few came forward to pick her up to a seat. I didn’t. Not the one to step forward and take initiative in such situations. Also because I had no prior experience to tend to such a fainting case. I was a little in shock too. Some splashed water to her face. Some shook her to and fro. She was in senses but she wasn’t. Slowly she gained some back. 

Everyone got worried. The other teachers were plotting a plan as to what is to be done. So they suggested to take her campus infirmary. One of them called her car and the girl got seated. The car’s owner suggested that one of us should accompany her. I, for some reason, offered to go. Or rather, I insisted to go! I guess, the hint of affinity sprouted out and I felt like it was my responsibility to support the person (whom I had only met) with the same city identity. From here onwards, it’s safe to say that the challenge had begun. And I jumped right at it.

When we reached the so-called infirmary, to our shock there was no doctor and the nurse was clueless. They further directed us to the local hospital. 

(Change in scene : scene III : Way to Hospital)

While we were in the ambulance. I was still figuring out what had happened, where I got the guts to be the hero in this story and how is this girl gonna get better. I was looking at the highway roads edged with forests and mature wetlands. I was drawn because all of these ways were new to me as I was stepping out the campus for the first time in a new city on my own. I was rushed with anxiety and flushed with worry. 

We didn’t talk anything while on our way to the hospital. She looked frail and colourless. 

(Change in scene : scene IV: The local Hospital)

Upon reaching the hospital, For a few moments, I got disoriented with the view of so many people, pacing here and there and up and down the main lobby and atrium respectively. Felt like another world of frantic was running its course oblivious to the calm of nature I just witnessed right outside. 

After the few moments of wondering passed on, I pulled myself together. I asked the girl to take a seat on the waiting chairs. Like others, I also started to pace frantically in the rutted passages that followed the direction given by the hospital management over and over again. I rote all the instructions in my mind like a parrot and started to look here and there for sign boards in the right direction. I took the girl with me up the atrium. There humans were already waiting to see the doctor, we joined the queue too. After almost half an hour, we got the chance to see him. 

He was a tall, fair, middle aged man with a pinch of humour and a lot of neatly trimmed beard on his face. He suggested that the girl is dehydrated and that we needed to admit her for a day and observe. However, I had no clue what to do and how to do. Anxiety was all built in now inside me like a balloon about to burst. Inspite of that we kept doing as directed. I kept going around like a horse with vision blinders. These are pieces of horse tack that prevent the horse seeing to the rear and to the side. Likewise, I was following orders and kept doing what was required. 

I asked the girl to sit again while I wandered the corridors of the hospital which were painted half yellow half green and dimly lit. Patiently waiting for our turn on an empty bed. I saw a young boy lying on the silver steel chairs and browsing his phone. I saw patient beds with wheels going from one room to another. I was also going behind one nurse to another to enquire about the bed which I was desperately waiting for. By this time , the anxiety has subsided and the worry for the girl whom I had left in some corner of the hospital had taken over. I began walking the corridors really fast. 

Eventually, I was called by my name. I went in to the common patients room where there were other patients lying and some beds were empty. This one was painted half white and half sky blue. Bright tube lights and brown coloured fans. I inspected the room and the bed and the table. When I was satisfied, I told them that I would go and get the patient, not that anyone was free to care. 

I got the girl and got her lying on the bed. We talked for a bit about how she was feeling now. Still pale, she nodded and said some answers with pursed lips. I had to bend towards us her to make sense of what she was saying. 

I asked her to rest while I went away to get the medicines written on the list of prescription. 

Getting medicines was quite a hustle in itself. A few different counters to go through. So much waiting to do. Everybody was busy and lost. But everyone had vision blinders, only focussed on caring for the person they had left on the hospital bed upstairs. Nothing else mattered or crossed our minds! I swear. 

Makes me think that such blinders could be a good thing for our wavering attention. 

On bringing medicines to her, the girl was half asleep. I shook her awake and gave her medicines. While we were chatting up a bit, a team of doctors came in. Another handsome, middle aged doctor surrounded by four young doctors following him. Inspecting all beds one by one. We weren’t very far away from the door so our turn came early. While interrogating us he was interrogating the junior doctors as well, as to what the right next step would be. Ours was an easy case, so they didn’t gave us a lot of attention and went forward. I obviously kept on noticing them. The poor young doctors were getting scolded. I felt bad for them. And started to imagine that what kind of doctor I want to be. Suddenly, it occurred to me that the balloon of anxiety which was cramming up inside me, had bursted itself sometime ago, I didn’t notice and I simply wasn’t anxious anymore. I was peaceful now. 

Gradually I had achieved what I was here for. Got the girl in a safe place and now she was half asleep again. 

After some time a few other humans from the class also came to see the girl. The ones who cared. It was a relief to see a few known faces in the sea of unknowns. Gave a flush of calmness to the mind and the pulsating heart. 

After that it all became easy. There were bursts of laughter and nice food to eat. We all talked and roamed around in the hospital campus and soaked in some sun.

Now when I look back at that day,  I don’t feel challenged anymore. But the initial flush of unknown-ness of new situation in a new setting is what made that time challenging. I am forever thankful to my guts for the steps they took when they had to be taken. 

End note: I am thankful that this happened when the coronavirus hadnt taken birth yet because then the story would have been totally different. 

What does your ideal day look like? Bloganuary day thirteen

If it’s a workday- there has to be no traffic when I travel to office. A fulfilling and satisfactory work day with no deadline at all. Good food. Come back home. Exercise a bit. Read a good book.

An ideal day could be something that gives me good content. To read, to write, to think about.

This kinda content beams me up. Gives food to my thoughts. Stays with me. Makes me a better person.

A no activity day could be something with a Warm weather- earthy smell of wet soil

Wake up from a good sleep.

Has to bask in the sun for a bit, a walk amidst the greens, good tea, good book. Good movie. A good drive in the vast expanse. A whiff of laughter here and there. Something new to learn. Time spent with friends and family.

I couldn’t string myself a series of incidents that should be happening on an ideal day. I instead just wrote down the instances that are ideal as per me. Carving a day’s storyline, I would leave that to the ones with imagination capabilities.

Also I am sorry if this blog wasted your time. This challenge is getting tiring.

Or I am not giving my best. I will try harder. Tomorrow. Or Later.

What emoji(s) do you like to use? Bloganuary Day – Twelve

Emojis are an ambivalent presence in our technological world. One cannot love it enough, One cannot hate it enough.

Sometimes they just so rightly convey our intent and tone of a message. The other times it can contradict that very intent and tone

Sometimes its a God-send. The other times it the Devils’

At times when we don’t want to reply to a message or want to be polite, a simple smiley can take so much weight off of one’s shoulders. Other than those times, sometimes, in middle of a fight with someone, that very simple smiley can enrage the opposite party.

Its a game of perspective.

Now the other thing with emojis is that their use is very very subjective. Every emoji’s meaning/significance varies for each individual. So here it lags a one hundred percent in efficiency to convey the exact feelings and emotions.

On a brighter side, it makes a lot of things easier when one is shy of words to say.

As an answer to this blog, I couldn’t find any significance in finding out (even for myself) what emojis I regularly use. So I will leave this be.

These tiny little yellow things at a click of our fingertips have definitely become a very inevitable part of our daily lives. These are engraved in our memory and sit there sub consciously to support us or demean us depending on how we look at it.

Honestly, I notice these little emojis way too much to ignore them. I have had my share of good and bad experiences.

Eventually, I try to use more of words and minimal of emojis when conveyance of a correct message is utterly essential owing to the high subjectivity, interpretation of emojis can have.