Not just a Hedonist!!

Author Archive

Rainy Day Playlist!!

And its raining outside, all I can think of is sitting on my porch with my pod and a steaming cuppa tea,
which brings me to this post: my "Rainy Day" Playlist. A friend of mine suggested me this wonderful website,
just turn it on, while playing your favorite songs, 
and take my word for it: You're in for a treat! 
The site: http://www.rainymood.com/

SO my essential Rainy day playlist:

#1. The Rain Song: Led Zeppelin.

These are the seasons of emotion and like the winds they rise and fall
This is the wonder of devotion – I seek the torch we all must hold.
This is the mystery of the quotient – Upon us all a little rain must fall…It’s just a little rain…

#2. Rain: Uriah Heep

It’s raining outside
But that’s not unusual
But the way that I’m feeling
Is becoming usual
I guess you could say
The clouds are
Moving away,
Away from your days
And into mine

#3. Have you ever seen the rain? – Credence Clearwater Revival

Yesterday and days before
Sun is cold and rain is hard
I know; been that way for all my time.
‘Til forever, on it goes
Through the circle, fast and slow,
I know; it can’t stop, I wonder.

#4. One Rainy Wish – Jimi Hendrix Experience

I have never laid eyes on you,
Not before this timeless day
But you woke up and you smiled my name
And you stole my heart away
Stole my heart away little girl.
Gold and rose, the color of the dream I had,
Not too long ago.
Misty blue and lilac too,
Never to grow old.

#5. No Rain – Blind Melon

All I can say is that my life is pretty plain,
I like watchin’ the puddles gather rain.
And all I can do is just pour some tea for two
And speak my point of view but it’s not sane.
It’s not sane.

#6. Rainmaker (Real World) – Matchbox 20

I wonder what it’s like to be the rainmaker
I wonder what it’s like to know that I make the rain
I’d store it in boxes with little yellow tags on everyone
And you can come see them when I’m… done, when I’m done

#7 Unknown song (Rain in the country) – Pink Floyd

#8 Paranoid Android – Radiohead

(Alright this might not be a rain song but none of my list can be complete without a Radiohead song)

From a great height

From a great height height
Rain down, rain down
Come on rain down on me


#9 Box of Rain – Grateful Dead

Look out of any window
any morning, any evening, any day
Maybe the sun is shining
birds are winging or
rain is falling from a heavy sky –
What do you want me to do,
to do for you to see you through?
this is all a dream we dreamed
one afternoon long ago
Walk out of any doorway
feel your way, feel your way
like the day before


#10 Why does it always rain on me – Travis

Advertisements

“Paragliding the Winds of Change”

Have been listening to Johnny Cash’s “peace in the valley” for years now, but I never knew I will have my share of it almost 3500 feet above the breath-taking valley of Himachal while floating amidst the air. The memory of the beautiful Kangra Valley landscape with the lush green foliage of conifer trees and the sprawling tea gardens, the gushing rivulets and the majestic contours of the Dhauladar ranges is vividly etched in my mind. It was not till my paragliding experience at the secluded yet comely town of Bir-Billing that I realized as to why birds sing during their flight in the vast expanse of vivid skies.

It all started when the city slicker in me wanted to escape the monotonous humdrum life, and having trekked in my last trip, I wanted to experience something novel and at the same time adventurous. Google came to rescue as I researched about one of the best paragliding spots in the country (and as per my pilot the second best following the sites in Bern, Switzerland). I instantly knew where I was heading next, and thanks to the gem of my friends who agreed to accompany me on such a short notice 🙂

There are many ways to reach Bir, we took a bus from Delhi to Chandigarh, and hired a taxi to Bir, and the drive was just heavenly as we drove past the splendid landscape surrounded by snow-clad mountains. I was a changed person already. We had booked our hotel “Bir Resort” in the upper Bir area prior to reaching our destination, and just as I opened the window of my room I was just taken aback as it overlooked a Buddhist Monastery surrounded by tea gardens!! A sight to cherish! It was more than I could have asked for besides the very cheap room rates for a very cosy room 😉 ;). I was overcome with a feeling of wanderlust and decided to explore the areas around before going for the paragliding experience. I asked the locals and found the way to the monastery which was just a five minutes’ walk from my hotel.

The road was lined with Lung ta prayer flags in the mustard fields. Legends say that the flags are used to bless the countryside with life, fortune, health and spread messages of “ahimsa” (nonviolence), and I saw a sense of calm prevail by just looking at them. Walking for a few more minutes I found a “garden café” and ordered a brunch of pancakes and pasta. It’s a very chic café with farm –to –table organic appeal and a patio with variegated flowers. As it was already 2:00pm we decided to make a move and found local pilots who were experienced and reputable Paragliders, they suggested waiting for the winds to die down so that we could be air borne.

We drove to Billing, which is the take-off spot, and is located 14kms from Bir. The view was just one of those surreal views with chilly winds blowing and we were in an altogether different world unknown to us, awing in silence, admiring the picturesque beauty. The winds started to favour us and the pilot gave  the green signal. I was all set and ready to take a leap, and when we (me and my Pilot Rajbir) did I was just overwhelmed with the joy of finally taking off and the sheer beauty of the valley. Throughout our 45 minutes flight I don’t recall myself blinking. As Rajbir started to talk, I hushed him as I wanted to  take a mental photograph of what I was experiencing. The valley looked ethereal!! In the words of Rumi: “This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” I knew what the words meant in the true sense of the meaning; after I landed I just knew I will revisit the place again. I set to explore the monasteries on the next day and headed for Triund in McLeod Ganj exploring the food scene for which McLeod Ganj is known for, all this while singing songs of freedom only known to me.

 

 

 

 

I’ll continue the foodie experience at Mcleod’s in some other post. Right now as I reminisce the experience I just wish I lived an organic life in the mountains, wear black overalls and walk barefoot like Steven Wilson. But since I have a “to do list of accomplishment” before I turn 30, this dream can wait. Meanwhile I will continue with such trips as and when I get an opportunity because sometimes you gotta live a part of your dreams each day.


‘The Office’ or the ‘Office Space’

 

So my favorite sitcom “the office” is renewed for a new season, and man am I happy or what!!??  I was just missing it so much that I started watching “parks and recreation” which is yet another single camera- mockumentary which I kinda like much but it can never replace world’s best boss.  Which brings me to this post: My first job and the “experience”. I quit the job recently, after slogging ( yeah, right!) for nearly twenty months. . Had a very dramatic exit with all the nostalgia caving in and seeing those months flash (very American beautyesque exit) post emailing the goodbye mail. It never hit me till i pressed the send button, and when it did I was just taken aback because I never thought that I will feel anything because I was this definition of the apathetic- gothic chick  at my office, very much like “Stanley” from the office or I became one in the process. The exit  was very much like Michael Scott leaving Dunder Mifflin just with an exception that I wouldn’t be missing the place as much as I would miss the person I was there. Pictorially speaking, this is exactly how i felt:

What I anticipated:

(The Office)

What it was:

(Charles Chaplin: Modern Times)

What it made me:

(Ron Livingston from the “office space”)

The Expectations:

and what could have made it better:

(still from “Workoholics”)

(yeah i admit i am a pop culture ho 😛 )

On a serious note, the experience was not bad at all, I got to learn about myself and of course the “corporate” dynamics, picking up much required “life” skills towards the end of it. While I was at it, I asked myself one question “is this what my life has been reduced to” not that I did not love my job, but I guess I saw the “Tyler Durden” side of me taking over my personality (and thankfully I did not knock my coworkers down!!.. phew!!)

That being said, I was now more curious than ever, I started asking my friends that whether or not they feel the same (the lesser fortunate ones who are sensitive and are capable of generating thought processes on their own, (rare breed!)). And what I ended up discovering was everyone, read everyone feels this at some point or the other, I wish there was a word for it , but for the moment I will stick to “existential crisis”. Despite the nature of the careers we take up, we do end up feeling the “ick”. Running away from reality, out having fun, soaking up some sun. (not necessarily meaning the outdoors but the metaphorical one). Now if only we had a solution to this!! But from my personal experience I came to the conclusion that, we can’t escape reality but we can tweak certain aspects of it to meet our needs. If we have work related problems, communicate(trust me it helps, honesty these days is the most sought after policy)! (I was fortunate to have a great boss 😉 ). Find something that inspires you besides our work. If the cycle is: work, eat , sleep,  repeat, we can tweak it to work, eat, attend gigs, write, plan, travel, cook, read, change, repeat. Just make that one day count!

P.S: I may again go into the rut, so I guess I will be bookmarking this. 😀 To serve as a reminder. Maybe its time I get myself an inspirational tumblr page!


The truth about DSLRs.

Recently while facebooking I came across this image. More than finding it funny, I found it amusing.

Why you ask?? One of the reasons being: the guy who came up with this image surely did not own a DSLR.  This post is in response to one of my friends constant banter about my camera. (Read its not a “in my defense” post but more of  “a life of a DSLR owner”.) So let me start by telling you a story about my AWESOME CANON 600D.

Once upon a time there was a girl who was born in a “Gujju family” (Gujju= Gujarati).  Now the thing about being born in a Gujju family is that no matter what the financial status of the family is, the head (Insert my dad) is usually one of the most frugal capitalist out there.  If Bongs (Bengalis) were the creative ones, Southies the intellectual ones, we Gujjus take pride in being called the “Money makers”. The pursuit of Happiness is usually the pursuit of money. Well that girl being me, and the feudal lord being my dad I think the story gets interesting. I grew up in a joint family, i think kids these days do not know what it is like being raised with a family size of the overall population of some crooked island of Bahamas. Literal “arrested development”.  I was expected to think like my cousins by my aunts and uncles alike when clearly I was not. (Not to prove a point that I was different but yes in comparison- so very much).  I remember my eldest first cousin used to watch an SRK (Shahrukh Khan) movie first day first show, and sometimes more than thrice. There is nothing wrong with being an SRK fan, but it never felt right to me , a person who could have watched “Jo jeeta wahi Sikandar” a gazillion times and loved Sai Paranjape movies. I never understood what my sisters used to talk about, could never relate to them which eventually resulted in me keeping to myself and becoming an introvert of sorts. As I am penning this post, most of them are happy planning their second baby and I am sure they do not have a glimmer of an idea what a “Blog” is.

Anyways coming to the point while I was a teenager I always wanted to be many things  but there was one thing I always wanted to do if given a chance I won’t fail: “to travel the world” especially the secluded places usually unheard of.  But my dad did not entertain the idea dismissing it as a highly unpractical one, which was pretty obvious judging from our ‘family roots’, and also at that age I was confused (I also fancied becoming a Criminal detective) and did not have the conviction to go for it. (and probably because I was sure if I would have argued I would have ended up getting hitched and instead of writing a blog, would have been tending to my kids :P) . So I ended up becoming a student of science,  which was an obvious choice given my love for reason and logic. It has worked out pretty well for me, for I have become an objectivist-rational-dreamer of some sort which I tell you is a rather rare breed. We love our money and also someday plan to live our dreams.

That being said let me tell you about my first official camera: while I was pursuing my engineering I asked dad that I wanted to buy a DSLR and by now you all must have predicted the response. He agreed on buying me a good point and shoot. I ended up buying a super kickass point and shoot SONY DSC H10 as my analog olympus film camera had become too quaint for my taste.  I instantly fell in love with my cybershot. It was not too feminine like those regular digicams neither too heavy weight like a DSLR. It just felt like “me”. I LOVED IT. It has captured some of the best memories I had but the DSLR dream seemed impossible as a gujju wishlist can’t be redundant. So I promised myself that once I was on my own the first gadget I will be buying is a DSLR.  And fortunately I managed doing so, but little did I know that “With great DSLR comes GREAT Responsibilities”.  Let me elaborate:

One. YOU are expected to click great photographs because you have an amazing DSLR. If you don’t live upto the great expectations your life will suck.

Two. If YOU are a good photographer and manage to take good shots: the compliments that you’ll probably receive is ” Which Camera??”

Three.  There are zillions of you.

Four.  After months of mulling over “which camera to buy”, once you are into photography, you have to start figuring out: “which lens to buy”. If you are rich, this doesn’t apply to you as you might buy every lens there is.

Five. If optics wasn’t your favorite subject, you might want to go back in time and probably go through it again which can a major pain in the ar/e. Trust me.

Six. The sheer weight of it might crush you.

Seven.  Oh so now you have tried clicking great pictures, but why oh why isn’t it as good as the other guy. Enter PHOTOSHOP.  Now besides learning optics, you gotta learn POST Processing too!! (Whaaa.. says the amateur photographer!)

Eight. ACCESSORIES. The tripod, filters, spare battery and all that jazz. So if you’re travelling and want to capture a perfect shot, you will have to carry a tripod! Whatever happened to *Packing Light*

Nine. Carrying it everywhere. That is what ideally people will suggest you to, but try it for a week and you’ll probably get what I am trying to say here.

SO now if you’re planning to buy one, I would suggest you buy a good LED TV. It entertains and expects nothing in return. 🙂

So far my experience with it has been good, I am yet to meet the expectations and yet to discover what I love to click  which in itself is task.  Also I am to upgrade my lens.  So I will keep on updating you about my experiences and my progress with the mighty Canon.  Posting some of the pictures I captured.

My Rebel T3i has accepted your compliments already 🙂


spoilt for choice. Aren’t we?

So I was going through my emails a few days back and found this really awesome Barry Schwartz video that I absolutely love!! I surely have a “thing” for analytical guys 😉

http://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice.htmlchoices

It has been said that life is all about the choices you make, and sometimes more often than not about being decisive and picking one of the choices that we are given (or let me rephrase this: the choices that we create for ourselves). Now the real ordeal is when these choices lure us to the point of driving us insane!! When you just can’t seem to pick one,  or even  if you do, sooner or later you end up regretting and asking yourself “what if?” The natural response to such a situation usually is “Gosh!! I wish I didn’t have to choose” or “I just wish I knew what was right for me!” or  usually the case with me being ” I am scr**ed!!”  But we being the lesser mortals generally aren’t blessed with a foresight that could just make it easier. Every action we take, every decision we make , is a voluntary choice which may not be a conscious one, but it surely is! Now that I am 23, and I have quit bu**shi**ing myself  and I know that happiness is overrated,chasing it is like trying to find a unicorn in a gift wrapped box delivered by your lover. Now I don’t believe in unicorns or love for that matter so I hope you get the height of overrated I am talking here. (I am not a gloomy person, just a  realistic dreamer 😉 ). But coming of this age I do believe in accomplishments and that exhilarating feeling when my conscious choice takes me to a place where I want to be, and getting exactly what I want.  IF only it were that simple 😉 Anyhow you guys absolutely have to check Barry’s video to know about what I am getting at 😀


Music as an Inspiration or is it the other way round??

After changing my password like zillions of times, and coming up with a password like “forgotmypassword” ( cool your jets hon, I’ve changed it again 😉 ) I am back to my blogosphere hoping that I will be consistent this time around. I have 10 drafts pending in my dashboard which could just mean that I might have become  super lackadaisical in general or maybe just about the blog. But the truth being, a pathetic internet connection has never inspired anyone and the fact that there were some personal commitments which were done with, just last saturday. Also to add to it I finally found the perfect name for my blog after mulling for almost half an year. Its now called *soul polka* because soul = music (for those who know me pretty well, I need not explain and those who don’t can read my earlier posts) and ever since I can remember I have always been the polka girl. My obsession for polkas goes so far as to my closet being full of polka dotted apparel be it shoes or an umbrella!  So its more of a pseudonym to me than just a name to my blog.

Anyhow, Since its my comeback and this being a microblog, let’s talk about inspiration and music. To quote Maya Angelou “Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. “. Music has always been an inspiration to me and my favorite musicians. I want you guys to check out this song by one of my favorite bands “The Black Keys” (How I absolutely love Dan<3 <3):

and now doesn’t it remind us of the age-old classic  😉 To me it totally does 😀

Ok and now I absolutely love wilco and also Popeye.. you guys have to check out this amazing song by wilco (so groovy isn’t it?? ) and the super cute popeye video:

and how this groovy number reminds me of  this song!!!(THE Diva)

Ok now I happened to have heard this song on a group on facebook and I instantly fell in love with it, its a song by an alt rock band called “Blues traveller”.

and after a minute into it I already knew why I loved it : the beginning totally sounds like EVEN FLOW :

Some semblance there ;). The list is endless. One of the reasons I stopped blogging  was I used to think that what is it that I am doing different? In what way am I contributing to this colossal web of information?? Every idea has been thought of. Everything done. But if it doesn’t stop “The Black Keys” and “Wilco” to come up with such amazing tracks, why should it stop me. Music is an inspiration. Atleast to me it is. 🙂


The great Gig in the sky!!: THINK FLOYD!

So another Floyd lover you are? And probably among the one too many to have just youTubed their live act! But hold on a second, ever heard about Think Floyd?? Well I hadn’t! But I guess i was just way too

 fortunate to have experienced the Think Floyd gig: India’s biggest and only Pink Floyd tribute  which happened last night at Hard Rock Cafe, New Delhi! My verdict on the gig: heard the word Floydgasm!!??

They started with “Coming back to Life” which just took my breath away, as I was hoping that they would start with either that or Echoes, and yeah right! I guess yesterday was an awesome day! I was just reliving the pulse live act, just on a smaller stage i guess. I was just lost in psychedelia, you know the moment when

you’re high without boozing (and for some people having a joint 😉 ). I was lost in the world of Floyd, thanks to the enthralling performance, the awesome light effects and yes the Visuals!! I loved the visuals for “Time”, “High Hopes” and “On the run”.

Besides all that jazz, I can’t forget to mention the Saxophone act, which completely blew my mind away!! The saxophonist apparently had a throat infection yet he rocked the gig!! Also I think chicks have a thing for the vocalists and guitarists, (in quotes) ;), which reminds me that I just loved the use of slide guitar by the vocalist!

Their setlist included the songs: Coming Back to life, High Hopes, Poles apart, Time, Great Gig in the sky, On the run, Money, Us and Them, Brain damage, Any color you like, Echoes, Eclipse, dogs,  Shine on you Crazy diamond, Comfortably Numb! ( I might have missed the sequence and some more tracks probably because I was too lost in the music) I was hoping they’d play “Wish you were here” which they didn’t 😦 but I guess I have to post it on their facebook wall as a special request!!

Well I guess that’s all folks, THINK FLOYD was pretty friggin awesome! They rocked the sh*t out!!\m/ \m/ and as per Floyd:

““Long you live and high you’ll fly and smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry and all you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be.”

So last night I witnessed a good deal part of my life!