Of photography and paintings . . .

Photography is turning out to be digital art off late. For a long time, I did not understand art. Friends and elders visited museums, and stood frozen in front of a painting, while I stood confused. It did not make sense to me. I used to wonder if they were bluffing for the status quo. Turned out that they dint, lest I remained ignorant. But I kept tagging along in the hope that I would decipher the spell some day. As an homage to Earth Day celebrated on April 22nd every year, this article is going to capture Earth and its beauty as seen from outside the planet.

Why is art viewing considered to be an intelligent hobby?

To understand the intelligence behind art viewing, we need to understand what part of the viewer’s thought process, ends up demonstrating that intelligence? Here is my reasoning . . .

Is it the forethought? –

As an example, I have felt numb looking at some modern art paintings before. Until I figured that they showed the present day planet, several hundreds of years ago or later! That’s when I thought that conceiving an art piece is genius, and viewing it requires a degree of ‘intelligence’ in combination with perception & outlook. Unlike intelligence which is common to animals as well, the latter two, keep evolving with our experiences in life. And this is passive evolution. We do not necessarily try to change our perception, it just happens involuntarily although it could involve some strong influence.

Astronaut Scott Kelly’s images are a good example of what I am explaining in forethought. Scott spent a year in space (in ISS), and took pictures of Earth at various times, across the planet. While people fill their Instagram profiles with their life and their art, Scott got a little excited and filled it all with #EarthArt as he likes to hashtag them. Waters, deserts, Himalayas, volcanoes, aurora borealis (aka) the northern lights and all the magnificence of this planet lined up themselves lifting their heads and looking up, waiting to be captured by Scott’s lenses.

Look at this image from Scott’s gallery. It is the Bahamas.

bahamas

If I saw this in a museum before learning about Scott, I would have walked past without a thought. Okay. Some one just took shades of blue and white and drew some kiddish scribblings. Is this art? Hello? But now, I know. I know why this is art. If it is about the planet, why is it not science? It is not. Think about it. It is an abstract expression of a mind. We observe things all through the day in our lives, and when we close our eyes, not everyone’s mind pictures so much beauty. To those for whom it does, it is indeed a gift. And that, is art. A vivid imagination of distant reality. And the planet view is just an example. To an artist’s mind, imagination is infinite. They can picture and paint the minutest and the mightiest of things. They may be able to draw their mind, who knows? I can’t begin to imagine or explain the vastness of their potential.

Is art viewing therapeutic? – I am yet to experience this feeling. But I have heard a lot of people feel a sense of calm and tranquility, doing or viewing an art piece.

Is it mysterious? – When you do not understand something fully, yet it sits in your brain like an iron on a magnet, refusing to explain the phenomenon, and not moving away as well, you just get consumed by it. You find it fascinating, and you wait to decipher it. And this anxiety with magic, could potentially drive you to acquire the intelligence to understand it. In this case, motivation is derived from the mystery of art’s beauty.

Note – To view more of Scott’s work, here is the link to his Instagram.

Astronaut Scott Kelly on Instagram

Zootopia #Z #AtoZChallenge

I am not here to praise the director and the crew for their fine detailing – from the unimaginable lush green and blue planet graphics, to the minuscule ‘Zoogle’ photos on the phones. Enough has been said, and proved by the Pixar guys. I am going to take the philosophical aspect of this movie because it is more than just an entertainer.

Have you watched it yet? If you have, then you already know what I am blogging about. I guess my question should have been “Have you been there yet? To Zootopia?” because I have been there and I’m just back. I do not wish to go back again, but I do wish I could live there forever! So you want to know what it is like? I’d rather say it is what all of us wished our place to be like. Because Zootopia is the much-needed city of a happy world, in this planet.

“Zootopia is a unique place. It is a crazy, diverse and beautiful city where we celebrate our differences. “

If this dialogue does not ring in your mind, about all of the diversity and the differences that the world is occasionally failing to recognize (don’t even celebrate), then you are probably not living in this decade. A lot of beautiful things are happening everywhere, no doubt about that! But at the same rate, there is declining acceptance and kindness like the top fertile soil getting eroded by pristine rain water flooding in ignorance.

And Zootopia comes to us as a rescue mission, reminding us of humane compassion, and the due kindness that is buried deep under the thick skin and the timid bones. When a  lead character decides to explore, gone are the times when people advise; It is more vile now. She is infused with scary thoughts – she is asked to reconsider her decisions because,

“If you don’t try anything new, you will never fail. That’s the beauty of complacency!”

That’s right! The fear of failure could creep in and stop you from trying in the first place. It is as spirit-less as this fact. You will stagnate. You will be left behind, if you don’t catch up and explore! That’s the part that is not mentioned.

“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself!”

Do not step back from an attempt just because you are a man or a woman or because you come from a specific country or because you wear a specific skin tone or because you follow a god of your choice or because of your DNA or because some one tried to plant this difference, as a defect in you. Because none of it matters. Who you are, or where you come from should not stop you from doing what you want to do, as long as it is constructive! This is when the rabbit reminds us,

“I came here to make the world a better place but I think I broke it. Real life is messy”

so don’t let it eat you up, alive! And in the process, make sure you don’t lose your mind to evil vibes because change starts from within, and it has a long way to go until it can be seen around. So until then, don’t waver. Don’t give in to negativity. Keep your mental immunity high and soaring. There is an advantage to positivity. It is more contagious than its counterpart. All you gotta do is hold onto it, and it will easily find its way to propagate and penetrate outside of you. So keep your attitude contagious and worth catching. Don’t break anything. Don’t break anyone. It takes a great deal of conviction and blood to create something. Until you create something you love, you would never understand the pain of watching it burn down.

What does the rabbit try to communicate when she is forced to believe that foxes are innately cunning, and lions are all innately wild? That, it doesn’t matter. With education, anybody can be enlightened. Ignorance is not always bliss. Demons and darlings are a part of you. You have the key to choose what you wish to unleash, and at what point.

“We all have limitations. We all make mistakes. And the more we try to understand one another, more beautiful our lives will be.”

So, think before you call someone a scared chicken or a filthy animal. There is so much to each, than what meets the eye! With all of that said, do you still think it is a movie for the kids?


This post is 26/26 of AtoZChallenge>

Yada Yada Yada #Y #AtoZChallenge

May have spoilers ahead!

I know I am late with this A2Z post but better late than never. Pen-ultimate alphabet and this is with a reference to one of my favorite TV shows … nooo not FRIENDS, much better – Seinfeld! That’s right! I am a fan of Jerry Seinfeld, and his wit. Seinfeld is the cleanest comedy show I have watched till date, and highly recommend the same, for a lot of reasons. Although nihilistic in its approach, Seinfeld along with the genius Larry David serves to us a comedy in a show about ‘nothing’ as they claim, but typically has everything about, and for life. This blog post is a special dedication to ‘Yada Yada’ a phrase that I caught up after this famous sitcom. It has a longer history dating several years before and after Seinfeld, but this particular episode brought out some of the best usages for a filler.

George’s Yada – Is it amusing?

The phrase ‘Yada Yada Yada’ is being used by George’s then attractive girlfriend. The way she fits it into the most crucial part of her sentences, amuses George. Just to catch on with her trend, he tries to use it in his own sentences hoping to make her curious and makes a disaster out of it, ending up more amused and curious about the missing parts of her sentence. There is his signature embarrassment and desperation in George’s Yada.

George’s girlfriend’s Yada – Is it the sneaky stuff?

Contrary to her boyfriend’s curiosity, her Yada is the most intelligent usage in the episode. She places all her Yadas to hide her sneakiest details. Until she gets confronted by George’s impatience, she goes about Yada-ing guiltless and guileless.

Elaine’s Yada – Is it the subtle obviousness?

Unable to hold up with his own lure, George brings to the table, about his girlfriend’s Yada Yada Yada and as always, Jerry and Elaine form the jury. George gets convinced with Elaine’s definition where she says Yada Yada Yada is the most subtle part of the obvious story that one does not need to explain to complete the sentence. Giving her the benefit of doubt since she is a woman, George is pretty convinced and at the same time is an atom bomb which  braces up to detonate itself.

Jerry’s Yada – Is it succinct 

Jerry faces George’s first amusement about Yada Yada and finds it quite cool. He claims George’s girlfriend to be succinct for having a smart eloquence. This is pivotal since this drives George to find out about it more.

What else is Yada Yada? 

Yada Yada Yada cannot be anything and everything. It is not just the inexplicable. Rather it could be the worst, best, succinct, obvious, subtle or the dark part of a story. Before you Yada someone, make sure the other person can catch it, for Yada is like sarcasm. It may not be for everyone. And remember, not everyone can Yada you just by using it wherever/however they please. It has limitless possibilities. But it has boundaries. Nevertheless, when you see someone go Yada, you can’t help but Yada yourself. . .!

This post should have come up a while ago but I got so busy with stuff first, and then a bit unwell next, and then a bit of travel . . . and then . . . well .. Yada Yada Yada!


This post is 25/26 of #AtoZChallenge

Xanadu #X #AtoZChallenge

Ah! 24th post is here and what is it about? I guess we are delving into unpopular terrains because most of us find these letters pretty challenging despite themed/non-themed posts. As I was breaking my head to come up with  an interesting topic and title, a fellow blogger/ movie-buff/ satirist/ marketing executive came up with a mysterious topic  and I decided to take the honor of guest posting their idea – Xanadu! I am sure all the ‘Citizen Kane’ fans out there can instantly relate to what I am talking about. And to others. just hold up a few more lines from me and you will find out. Meanwhile, here is this edgy blogger’s website with more such interesting insights on movies. If you love this writing, I am sure you will want to read more of similar works. Welcome to Xanadu!

The beauty of this piece of writing is its diverse references. This may be the story of that mysterious politician/actor/celebrity who you grew up with. You know that you will never know the truth behind that rose bud! Geography wouldn’t matter; Language ? Nope. Xanadu has been a phenomenon, since time immemorial. It has been around ever since the dawn of mankind – that is how I think it should have been. Somebody was born somewhere. They grew up to their virtues. They had to become filthy rich. And then they built an empire for themselves. And their palace would have to be reached by crossing several oceans and forests. And then you find the cage. And then you see the parrot. The parrot’s heart has the answers to all of the mysteries surrounding the palace including the rose bud. Does the parrot speak?

From the author . . . 

So this post is about the obvious reference you get when someone says Xanadu. Yes, the exotic estate of Charles Foster Kane. When we come across the term Xanadu, love and hate for this term is inevitable. You can see only extremely polarized views about Xanadu, and never a neutral opinion. For some, it is the epitome of inability to spend money wisely. For others, it is epitome of artistic appreciation. Either way it is not something that can be easily neglected nor imagined by a common man. A place like Xanadu is never owned or bought, rather it is built and nurtured. This is the major difference between other possessions and Xanadu.

What does Xanadu convey is the big question. So what can an average art lover do about the dream of building a Xanadu ? Is it even remotely possible ? Is Xanadu the place only for richest of the rich or is it the rich’s way to show the world their love for art ? Or is it the way for the rich to quench their artistic thirst? Or is it just a statement by the rich to prove to the world that they can afford the same? Or is it a persona for the rich to hide their rose bud?

These questions haunt my mind. Probably you will never know, but you know for sure that it’s something beyond love. It may not be even deep enough to explore, it might be just a statement made by a person to “make-believe” the world. It’s all the possibilities of Xanadu. A Xanadu in reality could even be a myth. A Xanadu can be a house that has 10,000 books, golden and silver wares. A Xanadu may in reality have a huge collection of clothing and just footwear. A Xanadu in real life may be even situated in the heart of the city. But definitely it is the sanctum sanctorum of Charles Foster Kane and more so, definitely has a rose bud.


This post is 24/26 of AtoZChallenge.

Workout #W #AtoZChallenge

It’s a beautiful feeling. To get out of your comfort zone, experience something new, feel hurt as you figure it out, recover from it, and go back to where you began.

Fitness blogs, fitness posts, insta videos are all a thing these days. It has become a digital swag. But there is more to these than just the swag factor that meets the eye. As part of W in this challenge, I am going to write about “Workout”. Fitness should never be underestimated. I used to be a give-up person. Flexing yourself despite all of that pain, dint make sense to me. I mean, why should you suffer, really! All of this was happening until I realized what came after pain.

As a result of consistent, sincere efforts, you develop endurance. Your body starts to enjoy the regime and sets itself into a rhythm. Workout is the music of your muscles. Now, what had dramatically happened to change my view to get back at it? It was the whole process! It also emphasizes the importance of a Guru. I joined a yoga class a few years back and the instructor was amazing.

Apart from encouraging us to push our limits(read limitations), she would voice-out for our body. To explain this in simple words, for every asana or movement we did, she’d count in the beginning and let us continue the count for ourselves. She’d fill this gap with lots of information about the benefits of doing that particular exercise. In our minds, we’d be enduring so hard to get it right, and stay oblivious of the pain, and right in the middle of the climax of this stretch, the veins would thank us, in her voice. She’d explain how the lazy muscles get enthralled and oblige to keep us strong and healthy, lest we showed our due diligence and perseverance.

It used to create a lot of pressure in the beginning. But all of the endurance paid off! In real, it was eye-opening. It’s all within us, until we choose to see and understand them, and put them to much-needed work! Watching pregnant women, just delivered (also include complicated birth surgeries and conditions) mommies, and accident victims stretch at ease, gives me immense positivity, apart from the respect I have for such spirited people. And the best part of it all, is the process of healing.

You’d just heard your body begging you for rest, and attention. Listen to it. Give it what it asks for. But be a responsible owner, and gear up the next day for your workout, yet again! Growing pain will gradually subside and with every workout, you will start to feel fresher and stronger. They key lies in challenging yourself better than yesterday. Once you get a hang of this cycle, you will start to appreciate the healing process. And why am I writing all of this? Because writing is the workout I give my mind.

It’s a beautiful feeling. To get out of your comfort zone, experience something new, feel hurt as you figure it out, recover from it, and go back to where you began.


This post is 23/26 of AtoZChallenge

Vexed #V #AtoZChallenge

Some days are streamlined. They go by like a nice breeze. While some other days are rampant. They suck the good in you, and bring out the wild. It was one of those days that tickled the sleeping dragon and created the wildest of creatures that blended together a bit of Simba the lion, a dragon, a woman and top it with some rage. Could it be more wild?

The result happened to be the state of extreme anger, irritation and silence. Loud loud silence. Supposedly, the darkest of the lords, peeps out, figures that the weather is perfect and casts a spell to unleash his kingdom. That’s it. The pillars of red rage, rise high until they touch the roof of your mind. The palatial windows and the golden walls mount themselves to edging finesse. The red carpet unrolls down on the floor without a foundation. Trumpets scream with roaring elephant voices. The devil thuds by, and takes his throne. And then, vexation reigns supreme.

It does not matter what caused this because there is not just one thing that you are going be angry at, in life. A lot of us often claim that there is not too many things that annoy us. “Oh that is the most annoying thing for me ever!” We all say that as a matter of fact. But the truth is, we get annoyed and angered at several points in our lives, no matter how many motivational quotes we read in a day. It is not always only “that” reason. So, what is coming up next, is about what happened next. Anger was seething and then this happened first.

simba
Stage 1

With mounting rage that dint seem to think of the opposite way, this also happened.

she
Stage 2

And then they happened until the poor human was knackered . . .

wild

Perspectives dint matter at this point; For she, was the wildest.

P.S – Not sorry for the poor quality images.


This post is 22/26 of AtoZChallenge

This post is a submission The Daily Post’s daily prompt.

Uber #AtoZChallenge #U

Karl : * Phone buzzes* Okay I gotta go.
Diana: Please stop this. Please listen to me. You are wasting your time. You have everything you need Karlo. Why don’t you just schedule the shoot?

Karl left without a reply. He had been waiting to start the shoot of his dream movie. His script is waiting for the right actor. No matter how many people told him, he would not compromise on the right looks. He had described the character in a way that would compliment the traits, and hence he could not imagine compromising on a different face cut. The looks were too important. More than just the looks, he looked for a certain spark and charisma in the person, to be able to pull of this role. Diana Miller and her Mr. were tired of trying to convince their son in using their wealth to bring in a big actor with the necessary changes in looks. It bothered them that their son had not established himself in a career yet.

After a bit of guessing, he stopped in front of the rusted pillar, and called the number he was shown. The call was unattended. He decided to wait up as he looked around, Nothing new appeared in the view, but the city gave him something new everyday. He was trying to think of an alternate climax, to answer the questions raised by Nora. And then he heard a knock at the door, she was beautiful. He unlocked the handle and lowered the window. There was a contagious peace on her face.

Karl: Hey!
Her: Karl?
Karl: That’s right. Come on in.
Her: Sorry if I made you wait for too long.
Karl: Oh, don’t worry about it! We good to go?
Her: Oh yeah. (as she adjusted to tighten the seat belt)
She pulled down the sun visor and slid to see herself in the mirror.
Karl: Is the AC good? Or do you feel too cold? Feel free to turn it up or down as you please.
Her: Sure! I am good, thank you!

And there was shush for the next few minutes. Karl usually dint engage in unnecessary conversation during the ride. If they asked something, he would just respond and kept the talking to a minimum. After all, movie-making was his passion.

Her: So, how long have you been doing this?
Karl: Eh about a year now.
Her: Is this your first job?
Karl. Um .. no . . .
Her: Oh! So what are you otherwise ?
Karl: (Hesitant) I am a filmmaker. Wanna be, I mean. I just do this for paying my bills.
Her: (adjusting her hair) Oh! (the voice dragged and faded)

That was a condescending response Karl had not expected. Whenever he mentioned about his passion, people only came back with excitement and curiosity. But here was this passenger who dint seem to find it amusing. For a change, he decided to find out.

Karl: So, what’s your favorite movie till date? I mean I am sure you have more than one, but may be one among your top favorite.
Her: Eh? I don’t have any. *Smirks*
Karl: Any? You mean not one in specific?
Her: Hmm .. kinda. I don’t have any favorites. I don’t like the concept of movies or movie-making as such.
The car’s tires screeched at Karl’s sudden brake. He was just about to miss the red traffic lights. But he dint.
Karl: You don’t like any movie at all? Maybe not a lot of genres?
Her: Nope. No genre. I think movies are a waste of time.

And she continued to swipe her phone. Disinterested. Even in a conversation that involved movies. “Waste of time!?”. Karl had met people who were choosy about what movies they watched. But he had never heard that from some one. Someone who strongly considered the art of movie-making a waste of time. Interestingly, he dint stop low to brand this person, but genuinely made attempts to understand that perspective. He looked at her. She checked the mounted GPS to estimate the TOA.

Karl: Why would you think it is a waste of time? I mean it is an art, isn’t it? Being able to show the world about the endless possibilities and happenings.
Her: Sorry I dint mean to sound rude, but I just don’t find it worthwhile.
Karl: Sure. But, why so? If you don’t mind me asking . . . (looks at her approving) If you can laugh and forget your worries for 2 hours in a comedy movie, don’t you think it is worth your time?
Her: Eh . . . It does not matter what the genre is. I just find it redundant. Movies are not original. Movies are inspired from life. I mean there is nothing new that a movie could offer, or rather there is nothing you would miss by not watching movies. It’s all there in life. More is to life, in fact!

So, that was the perspective, thought Karl. What would make a movie worthwhile? What is there in the movies that is not there in life? Are movies just a reflection of life and nothing more? He was stumped. It was a valid argument and a deep one at that. Karl felt like stopping the car and setting up the plot for a discussion head over. But he was playing the role of a Uber driver, and could not break the company’s policy. But it bothered him that he could not express himself. The journey could not go on like this. Amidst all this urge, he was happy.

Karl: Have you ever acted before?, he smiled.
Her: What?!!!!!

And it was a blockbuster . . . Lydia was loved by the people.

Lydia: Thank you Karl, she assured smilingly.
Karl: Pleasure is mine, ma-am.
He hung up the brief call and waited outside. The car arrived and he boarded the front seat. Karl continued using Uber, only as a passenger this time. It dint matter to him. He decided to stick to it. Only perspectives mattered. Old habits die-hard.

Karl: So? Is this your first job? . . .


This post is 21/26 of AtoZChallenge.