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Archive for April, 2014

Art Appreciation – WordPress Writing Promots

Posted by Sowmya on April 30, 2014

Do you need to agree with an artist’s lifestyle or politics to appreciate their art? To spend money on it?

This is one question I have debated on quite a bit with friends and relatives.
It has also undergone a sea change for me as I grew and I thi I am more or less sure about what my opinion in this regard is.

When I was a teenager, the artist affected me as much as his or her art. It made a difference to me as to what kind of person I was appreciating. Mostly I appreciate or had an opinion in the person and my opinion of the
art varied depending on whose it was.

But as I grew and understood more, I realize that the artist’s lifestyle or political opinion are his own. They may have an influence on his art but I should restrict my opinion to the art and not the artist.

I remember the huge hullabaloo that was generated when Aamir Khan divorced his wife and remarried. That is when I gave this topic a serious thought. He is one of my favorite actors. Would his movies be less entertaining because of this decision? If not, then why should his personal life make a difference to me? If so, then my next step would simply be to stop watching the movies. Commenting on his personal life is still not within my rights.

Then the whole Sanjay Dutt episode came to light. What do we do in such cases? His art may not be affected by his personal views but would it be right for me to watch his movies and indirectly support him? I have watched almost all his movies, I confess. But should his personal actions not influence me at all in this scenario?

So I guess an artist’s personal life is personal when it does not affect anyone else. But an act against public good should not be ignored. Am I right?

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Why we ‘Like’

Posted by Sowmya on April 29, 2014

So this is something I have been thinking for a while now. Why do we click ‘Like’ on Facebook? My theory is that there are few reasons why we do it-

1. It’s a close friend’s post and we have nothing much to say. So Like

2. Friend has posted only 73 photos of their recent vacation. We can’t be expected to see ALL the pictures. So just click random pictures and Like.

3. A ex-close friend (someone who we were very close to but have now drifted away) posts something. We want to say “wow” or “I agree” or “way to go” but either we are too lazy to type it or we are scared of the million follow up messages from his/her other friends we would be forced to read. So Like.

4. The person likes and comments on all posts we write. So sweet. But the stuff they post is beyond your understanding. But how do we show solidarity or appreciation? Like

5. Someone compliments you and you don’t know how to accept it without embarrassing yourself. So Like.

6. You actually like what they are posting. Really?????

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Clone Wars – WordPress Writing Prompts

Posted by Sowmya on April 29, 2014

If you could clone yourself, how would you split up your responsibilities?

This is the writing prompt for April 25 but what the hell. Can’t I write about it today?

For starters, I don’t believe the topic should be clone wars. Wars? Come on, all of us would like a clone. There are so many million things to get done in this world that each of us would like a clone or two to get things done.

If I had a clone, my life would be a dream. I would be the controlling one and have the other clones under my thumb. My clone would do all the dull dreary work while I would all the fun work. My clone would do the regular, routine, repetitive jobs while I would do the creative, exciting, adventurous fun jobs.

Clone duties would include – house work (all of it) like washing, drying and folding clothes, routine cooking, dusting and keeping stuff in its place, changing diapers and keeping my daughter from breaking stuff or getting hurt.

I would have all the fun stuff – special cooking like pasta or baking bread, feeding and putting my daughter to sleep, playing with her, writing funny blogs, shopping, going out, etc.

This can work. Someone should do something about making this economically available for all.

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Stranger – WordPress Writing Prompts

Posted by Sowmya on April 29, 2014

Have you ever had a random encounter or fleeting moment with a stranger that stuck with you?

That’s the prompt for April 24 but I thought of giving it a shot today.

This one particular encounter with a stranger has stuck with me for over 12 years now. It’s surprising because I was just a mute spectator to the event and not an active participant. By yet I can’t seem to forget that incident and think of it often.

It was during my CA articleship time. I used to take the public bus or BEST, as we called it in Mumbai to my place of work everyday. Since it was one of the more popular routes, the buses were crowded. And when I say crowded I mean ‘don’t know what my feet are stamping and can’t feel my arm’ crowded. It was the routine everyday and I was used to it. My Walkman made things a little easier to bear.

This lady was sitting with a couple of bags on her lap. She was probably in her mid thirties and dressed in a sari. She wore spectacles and her hair tightly combed into a plait. Another lady was standing near where the first lady sat and had a large bag in her hand. She was holding on to the bar at the roof of the bus for support and for dear life too, I guess. Her bag was constantly hitting the face of the lady sitting, who frowned. I saw it and shrugged. It was a situation you could not blame either. One could say, at least she got to sit. So what if a bag hit your face a couple of times. Another point of view could be even if one is standing, you should not inconvenience others. This continued for a few minutes. Then the lady who was sitting addressed the standing lady and offered to hold her bag for her.

I was amazed. She actually turned a problematic situation into one of kindness. She helped not only herself but also the other lady. Her empathy won the day for both of them. This could have easily been a situation that could have ended in a shouting match between the two with ugly words to boot. But this lady turned it all around.

I was so inspired by her. Later, during my work years, I often thought how I could turn the problem into a kindness or an act of goodwill and make it a win-win for both me and the other person. Thank you lady, whoever and wherever you are. Can’t forget this incident ever.

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Stuff I hate about Bangalore

Posted by Sowmya on April 29, 2014

1. Horrible traffic- Flouting traffic rules, driving on the opposite side, incessant honking, etc can drive even a Chennai auto driver insane…and that is something! I actually had a guy honking at me for not moving on the ramp of a mall parking at 11 pm. Does he really think that is my choice of hanging out? Obviously there is a car ahead and I can’t move. Why else would I be on the incline for 10 minutes?

2. One Ways – All roads are one-ways. To reach anywhere, you need to go in circles and circles…..and still you end up on the Exit side of the building instead of the Entry…and you start going in circles again! The worst thing is you pass by your desired location and there is no way you can take a u-turn and return. You need to go across the entire city to get back to square one.

3. Customer service – Here, it means the customer has to do the service. Shrugging, blank expressions, rolling eyes are all acceptable form of customer service…..especially if done in slow motion. I routinely fill my bags with the billed stuff at super markets because I lose patience with the snail pace of the guy at the billing counter. I order two hours in advance to get stuff at my desired time. Worst is if I can’t find something on the aisle and need to ask one of the retail store executive…..total nightmare!

4. IT – You just have to be working with an IT company if you stay here. Else you are a second class citizen. Landlords don’t like to rent out. They do rent out but eye you very suspiciously. Neighbours don’t know what to talk to you. And you need to have a lengthy explanation always as to why you are not in IT and still live in Bangalore

5. Airport – They make it so hard to escape this city. Cos the airport is near Chennai or maybe Hyderabad rather than Bangalore. Just takes forever to get there. And I have at times, paid more for the cab to the airport than for a flight ticket to Mumbai.

And I have justified each one of these with these little words “just look at the weather”.
And NOW….what’s left really?

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