Saturday, December 10, 2016

YouTube is such a fascinating platform, you can learn perpetually anything on it. 
I think to date I've gained a few skills such as knitting, painting, and playing the uke purely from YouTube. The only things I wasn't able to master were the guitar and harmonica. Somehow it just seems impossible to learn these two instruments on my own. 

Have done my third painting so far and I'm so pleased with this newfound skill Coz I'd always thought that I just didn't have this "artistic gene", after getting Cs for art classes. But I do love to paint, being so focused on the colors and strokes and nothing else. It's almost like being in a realm of your own. Trying hard to fight the urge to paint all the time 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I have nothing left to offer
All my days have been sold

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Left for dead - beck weathers

Got this book in the airport of Pokhara for usd4! Can't really beat the price of books in Nepal. 

I can't seem to decide if I like this book. It feels like a trashy tabloid at times and yet, it was relatively interesting enough to keep me reading (tho' some parts just felt like a couple whining about each other). The survival of Beck Weathers was an unexplainable miracle and I was quite captivated by that story. Both Yatsuko (a Japanese woman who was on her 7th summit) and Weathers were stranded overnight on Everest and exposed to a freak storm. Yatsuko didn't survive and it looked as if weathers wasn't going to as well, which explained the title of the book. However, Weathers suddenly awoke from his "coma" after "seeing" his family and despite suffering severe frostbite to his face and hands and being blind, he managed to make his way back to the camp. I enjoyed the part when Madan the pilot, wanting to test whether he possessed the heart of a warrior, agreed to go on the risky Med evac of weathers. It amazes me how someone would risk their own life for a total stranger. 
The exciting bits of the book were obviously the summiting of Everest and the rescue. The darker bits were when he talked about the "black dog" in his life, which drove him to his mountaineering madness. I guess subconsciously, Weathers did wish for death, thereby risking his life for that adrenaline rush and giving up his family in the midst. He himself mentioned that at one point in his life, he was seriously considering ending it all. A psychiatrist later confirmed the same and advised his wife to surrender all the guns in their home. I guess a lot of times when we are trying to escape that hollowness we feel in our lives, we busy ourselves with a million other distractions to deny that we have a problem. This is especially true I think, when we ourselves are convinced that with such a blessed life, we are not entitled to be depressed or to have that feeling of emptiness. We all have to face our demons some day although sometimes we may be too late. In the case of Weathers, it took a near-death experience for him to recognize his problems and to learn what were the truly important things in life-love. In a way he was lucky. Some people lose their lives before they could ever learn such truths. I guess the book deserves a 3/5 rating.  

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Who am I?

Who am I ?
What defines us ? 
At a first meeting, we ask of each other what do we do. It's funny why we even bother asking that question. If I were to say that I am a nurse/a teacher/an astronaut, does that tell you who I am as a person ? 
Is my work an extension of who I am? If I were to lose my job, do I naturally becoming nothingness? 
Who am I? 
The one who loves storms?
The one who loves the sound of rain ?
The ones who loves old records and all the glory of their scratchy sounds? 
The one who loves the blueness and vastness of the ocean?
The one who dreams of a log cabin in the woods?
The one who loves to walk in the cold?
The one who loves the mountains?
The one who loves a library of books, a fireplace, a cosy leather armchair, a cup of coffee and something furry at her feet? 
The one who loves dreams more than reality?
The one who fears the word "no"?
The one who hates the dark but loves the stars?
The one who feels guilty for not living a god-pleasing life?
The one who lacks courage and strength to obtain the things she wants?
The one who worries too much? 
The one who loves sad love songs?
The one who loves pink candy floss?
The one who cries at movies and books?
The one who lies because she thinks others can't accept the truth?
The one who used to dream of being an astronaut?
The one who can't believe in dreams anymore?
The one who is always thinking of a new place to explore? 
The one who feels she's running out of time?
The one who always gives things and people up because the fear of losing always wins ?
The one, the one, the one.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The wandering heart

Here I am again, itching to get out of the country. It's really driving me up the wall-this never ending thirst to wander. 
Kinda wish i was a travel writer. 
This internal chaos, I wish it would go away soon. 
I wish and I wish.... 
Read derek low's blog and the train experience seemed so enticing yet, I wonder if in reality, it would be really boring being stuck for hours and days on a train. Or maybe not. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”

JRR Tolkien

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hundred foot journey- Richard morais

Very lovely read. Watched the movie first and I loved it; the book is equally good although a tad different from the movie.
The book is practically all about food. The Hajis ran a successful restaurant in India before it got burnt down during a mob attack, killing Hassan Haji's mother in the process. Grief-stricken, the entire family moved to London, where they continued to mourn their loss. When Hassan was discovered to have a "thing" going on with his cousin, the family yet again, was on the move. They drove through Europe till the car broke down in Lumiere, a small countryside, in France. There they settled down opposite a 2-Michelin star restaurant ran by a sharp and snobbish woman - Gertrude Mallory. Mallory displayed a sense of xenophobia towards the Hajis, especially when they decided to convert their mansion into an Indian restaurant. The garish decor and loud Hindi music did not sit well with the refined taste of the French lady. To check out her competition, Mallory decided to eat at the Hajis' restaurant and upon that first bite into Hassan's fish curry, okra, crispy liver dish, she knew instantly that Hassan was a bornt chef. Fearful that the restaurant would be a threat, Mallory began plotting to have the restaurant shut down. During one confrontation with Hassan's father (Abhas), a shove from Mallory caused Hassan to suffer burns at the stove. Mallory began to seek forgiveness from the family and begged Abhas to let Hassan be her apprentice. She succeeded after a hunger strike. For the next two decades, Hassan became a rising star in the culinary world and finally set up his own restaurant in Paris, where he went on to clinch the prestigious and rare 3-Michelin star status. 
What enticed me most about this book is the way the author described the food and wine so, I don't know, knowledgeably. I loved the part where he named the features of all the different oysters, with the best being (lurida) from Puget sound in America, much to the annoyance of Mallory who believed the best oysters were from Britanny. 
In Paris, Hassan befriended Paul Verdun, a top chef, who worked diligently to preserve the classic French cuisine, when molecular dining was all the rage. Verdun later committed suicide as he was in debt and his restaurant was flailing. Hassan fell into depression as he could see his future in Verdun's. Something then snapped in him and he decided to do away with all the fanciful and elaborate cooking style and to return to the true essence of the ingredients used in his dishes. This idea was what eventually won him his 3rd star. 
It's not a very "mind-blowing" story but I liked that it's simple, detailed and well-researched. Would give it a 4/5 rating.