Tag Archives: hobbies

In the quest of developing style…

In the quest of developing style, we often look back in history. We often look at what the masters have done.

The last few weeks have been creatively fulfilling for me. Before this, I was making videos, I was writing blog posts. I was living life, experiencing all sorts of emotions. And then suddenly, there was this shift. This Holi (Mar 2019), in Mu Sigma they held this event where we were given paints and papers to have fun and paint something. While I was in the cafeteria that day, toying with acrylic colors, I realized how much I loved colors. How much I liked manipulating colors into forms and shapes. And thus was unleashed a new course of creativity.

I started making paintings. My experience with the camera had taught me that I needed to observe the world lot more than I was doing. That underscored the need to paint. When you paint, you need to pay closer attention to the game of light and shadows; to how colors blend into each other; to the lines, shapes and forms of the natural world.

As I am working to make my paintings better, I am focusing on researching about the art movements of the past. I have been watching videos on Impressionism, Van Gogh, Matisse. Today, I watched a documentary on Picasso. Frankly speaking, I had known Picasso only for his jarring modern art, and until I watched this video, I used to think of the art he created as grotesque, and gibberish which a child could do. My general understanding of modern art, until the last few weeks, was that people who could not paint realistic painting just sought resort in modern art. I did not understand modern art. In fact, a lot us don’t understand modern art.

My notions have been changing as I have been learning more about the art movements. But I think it became clearer as I learnt about Picasso today. He was perfectly capable of drawing realistic traditional art as early as 16 years of age. When you look from his perspective, of flattening things out, bringing multiple perspectives in 2D plane, you realize that it must not have been easy to do that. It’s not about painting a deformed nose that a child could also paint. It is about painting the nose that way while being aware why it fits the genre, the style of the painting. It was deliberate, and it was ground-breaking. Finding a genre is not easy. Inspiring generations of artists is not easy.

And hence, in my journey of finding style, I am getting to meet the masters who found their style through hard work, meticulous deliberation and extreme experimentation. Maybe, I’ll find my voice too. But before that happens, I gotta put in those hours.

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Inspiration comes when you are bored…

On the week of January 26th, I went to Lalbagh Flower Show in Lalbagh, Bangalore. I bought a nice houseplant for Rs. 200, and got a tiny pot to go with it. Mid-February I re-potted the plant.

Almost around that time I started watching a lot of videos on YouTube, to understand how to properly re-pot the plant, as well as basic lessons on caring for houseplants. (Sometimes I wonder how I’d even survive without YouTube!) I have also been watching bunch of interior designing videos, because I am looking to move out of my current apartment and was thinking to do my new room with a lot of houseplants and paintings and rice lights. Hours and hours of video watching.

Of course, this is possible because at the moment, I am pretty much bored. I usually don’t have much to do in the mornings, except make a quick smoothie breakfast for myself and some lunch. It was this boredom and the need to turn myself into a morning person that I decided to join swim classes in March. And before I knew, I had three hobbies for myself!

  1. Growing houseplants
  2. Interior designing
  3. Swimming

I have started investing little amounts of time to each. I go for swimming four days a week. I have recently purchased a lovely wall decoration.

I also started investing a lot of time in houseplant care. So much so that this weekend I over-watered my succulent and nearly killed it! I noticed something was off when the leaves felt too spread out. When I tried checking, the leaves just came off and they smelled of rot. Gasp!

Fortunately, my hours of video watching taught me that it was possible to propagate new plants from the leaves. So yesterday, I cut the leaves and placed them in a tray to start that process. And that’s why I say I nearly killed it. I still hope to revive it. Succulents are fighters!

All of this has taught me one thing: when you are too busy and too consumed, it is unlikely that you’ll have a bout of inspiration. It’s only when you are pretty much bored to death and wondering what to do with so much time in your hands, will you get a good clue as to what you should really be doing.

How about you? When do you feel the most inspired? Let me know in the comments section.

How to keep your hobbies alive, or, how to keep being who you used to be?

A big part of growing up (read graduating college and joining the workforce) is learning that we are very different people that we thought we were. Or, coming to terms with the fact that we could be very different person a year from now. In a way, I guess a lot of us feel that there is something eternal about us, something unchanging.

I’ll give an example: growing up, I had been an avid reader. I used to be among those bookworm kids who hid storybooks behind their coursebooks and got caught and chided by their parents. I used to gobbles books by the day!

Cut to mid 2017 – I have been working for almost two years. Work pressure is high. I am struggling with relationship issues, poor sleeping habits (I had always been a morning person, and just can’t figure out, how on earth my sleeping patterns changed). I rarely read books – can’t remember when was the last time I visited GoodReads or reviewed a book there or on this blog. Only in 2015, I had promised myself I would read a lot, and in turn focus on publishing my own books. Na-da! Nothing of that sort is happening.

So, what filled the gaps of time in 2017? I watched a lot of TV series, some movies. That seemed like an easier way to entertain myself. Investing myself to go back to reading was hard: it is just so easy to see things when a motion picture is playing in front of you. So hard to imagine stuff when you have to make out all the motions from reading words! I could not remember that part of myself who used to stay up in the nights to read books. Did that person really exist? Who had I become?

This resulted in a bunch of guilt trips, and did not help with my depression. Not being able to identify with yourself, struggling with an identity crisis, is probably the hardest of all struggles. In your mind, there is a person telling you non-stop that you are not living your life the right way, the way that you have always known as right. You should do something about it, but somehow, you are not sure how and where, you lost that element of willpower which made you do things in the past. What is the cause? Is it work? Is it the pressure of dealing with adult life: living alone, interacting with strangers every day without having any family to go back to? Could be.

Yet, it could also be that what you are going through is a phase. People evolve. Most often when we say so-and-so has changed, we mean it in a bad manner. As if, people are always supposed to remain the same person who we knew. Our cells grow, die and new cells regenerate – that is the law of nature. We change our habitats, adjust to new surroundings. So, it is quite natural that our emotional and mental evolution will be impacted as well. There will be years in which we won’t be able to find ourselves. But the good news is, a small part of us which makes us us, never really dies. It might be sleeping for a while, trying to cope with all the changes that we impose on it, but it is always there.

So, if you really loved painting, really loved reciting poems, chances are, after this rough patch is over, you will get back to it. You just have to wait it out. And what should you do meanwhile? Explore other things in life, go out with people, watch some great movies, or maybe just sleep! Do whatever your current situation needs you to do. Maybe, one of them will become a new hobby! The key is to live life guilt-free. If you cannot spend time doing the thing you loved most right now, it is likely that there are a thousand other things which needs your attention at the moment. Have faith that, this phase will be over too – there will come a time when you have learned to manage those thousand things within reasonable amount of time, and there will be a glorious slice of ten minutes in which you have nothing to do: well, pick up that book lying on your coffee table and read it!

It is 2018 and I am again back to reading and reviewing books. Maybe my routine does not permit it to be as frequent as it used to be, but guess what, this is what life is all about: making way for new things while sustaining the good habits of the past. There has to be some compromise, somewhere!

The vortex of boredom

If you thought that the first few months after moving to a new city are the most difficult, you couldn’t be more wrong. Agreed, life is tough in the first few weeks. You are looking for places to stay, you are struggling to make acquaintances. You’d think that after the novelty is worn off, life would become simpler. let me tell you, it is far from that.

It’s been close to a year now that I am in Bangalore. I have had my fair share of travels within the city. I have shopped a bit, made a couple of friends. But the desolation that comes after having experienced basic lifestyle of the new city is more poignant than the first days’ experience.

After you have lived long enough in the new place, you know that you can’t go places every weekend. You can’t read books all your life. You can’t cook new things every other day. The hopelessness that draws you in is powerful. I have spent hours refreshing my Facebook feed, hoping to find something that would engage me for a few hours. That’s it! I am constantly looking for things to engage myself.

When I was in college, time was always short. There was so much to read, so many practical notebooks to fill. I was always struggling to keep up with the load of work. Here, into my first job, I no longer have a goal in my life. I don’t have tests to take (if you discount the tests I have to take to get a promotion). I have turned to a person who watches celebrity gossip on Youtube just to pass time.

In between, I was watching Satyajit Ray movies, trying to understand cinematography. After a few days, that phase left me. Now I find myself fighting an inertia to find a good movie to watch. My bigger difficulty is that once I lose interest in something, I find it hard to go back to it.

How do things come to this? How do you prevent mundaneness of everyday life from engulfing you? I try to do something new or the other once in a while, rotate my routine around to stay away from boredom. Sometimes, I just fall behind.

Anyway, here’s a little something I created yesterday. It is part of a series of micro-stories to be shared as images on my Facebook page and Facebook wall. I hope I will continue to do it from time to time.

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Do let me know you thoughts on the first micro-story. Your feedback, among other things, is what keep me going while I wade the thick, muddy waters of boredom.