Sunday, 27 November 2016

When The Day Ends

I stumble through the door,
Shoes come off helter skelter
then land all forlorn on the floor.

Forlorn.
That's me.

Or perhaps like my synapses,
all wrung dry,
exhausted and frayed around the edges.

But, I sometimes believe in cliches.
Just the one, really,
about clouds having silver linings.
Sometimes I'm kinda silly.

My silver-lined cumulus appears in the P.M.,
Mondays to Fridays,
my personal rehabilitation programme,
yet so simple to play:

7:10 (check)
food plated (check)
couch (check)
TV remote magically leaps into hand - just like how Luke does it with the Force when he's hung upside down in the wampa's icy suite (check).

Then it happens.
In a blaze of glory...

the opening credits
swaddled in the melodic moans of
trumpet
cornet
flugel horn
piano (thank you, Pollard's Trumpet Blog)...

... and I embrace a state of conscious narcolepsy
with all of me.

Everything ceases to be
as the mind is anesthetised,
into a willing suspension of disbelief (my man, Coleridge!)
where the idiotic becomes compelling melodrama
of a day in the lives on Coronation Street.

25 minutes and then it's done,
disbelief flies out the window
reality suddenly weighs a tonne,
and my head is no longer hollow.

As the cloud dissipates,
I'm left wishing
there was a Rovers Return down the street where I live.

Image: "Coronation Street' Spoilers: Here's Who'll To Die ... - Huffington Post UK." 2016. 27 Nov. 2016 <http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/coronation-street-spoilers-death maria_uk_57aaf020e4b03759dfef97cd>

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Depending on When You Met Me...

Depending on when you met me, I might have been: a drama queen, the kid with the longest braids in school, a poor example of a team sport player (but a great spectator of rugby), Mr. Blobby, a Bharatha Natyam artist, 1/6 of an Indian classical violin ensemble at the Temple of Fine Arts, a graduate of the University of Hertfordshire, an environmentalist, a bass guitarist, an amateur photographer who continues to work on the macro feature, a mirdangam (south Indian classical drum) novice, or a Dr. Who fan.


ImageNadaraj, Geetha. Slug Shows off at Grange Park Opera, Winchester. Digital image. 2013. 2 Mar. 2015.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Slice of Life #29 2015

I've embarked on a new adventure.

I'm learning how to play the south Indian classical drum, the mirdangam.

I've always wanted to learn this instrument, largely because I love rhythm and also because pappa excelled at it, too. Instead, I took up Bharathanatyam, a south Indian classical dance form. Turns out I was a natural, allowing me to become a small time performing artist from the age of five and into my 30s. This became a passion until my knees finally gave way, denying me further opportunities to express myself through my art.


But, with age come wisdom... and the ability to seize new adventures without the fear of failing. With age also comes the ability to feel no shame. This is the best thing evah (ever)!

Now, I'm the only lady in my class, surrounded by young boys who seem a little confused by my presence. Tha, Thi, Thom, Nam are the very first beats a beginner learns. These bounce around in my head as I attempt to coax my hands and fingers to establish a harmonious relationship with the two faces of my mirdangam

An hour and a half into my first class, the basic beats in my head transform into Tha, Thi, Thom, NUMB. I see my legs but can't feel them! I cease my practice and listen to the rhythms emanating from the mirdangams belonging to the seniors. Groovy! Maybe I'll play like them some day. Maybe I won't. I don't care. These rhythms awaken my mind, body and soul and I let out a loud "Whoop!" as I leave class. Judging from the of shocked faces looking back at me, I'll probably have to contain my excitement next week. 

Or not. 

Image"Mridangam The Classic Instrument - Blogger." 2014. 6 Apr. 2015 <http://classicmridangam.blogspot.com/>

Slice of Life #28 2015

Geetha prepares to demolish 
her slice (and two scoops) of life
Spring break saw me walking 3-4 kilometers everyday, then coming home and stuffing my face with rolled oats, healthier meal options, and copious amounts of water and Marks & Spencers detox teas. Unfortunately, when I exercise I tend to eat a lot more. I'm not sure if the huge quantities of healthier meal options helped even the slightest bit in my hope to tone up some and shed a pound or two.

I obliterated any ounce of success from my new regime on Friday, though. My sister and I decided it would be an awesome idea to hit the shops. This was a big deal, I tell you. BIG. See, 
we're both misers and despise shopping. Anyway, we figured we had some needs requiring satiation and decided that the Mid Valley Mega Mall would suffice. 

Between 10.30 A.M and 3.00 P.M. we trawled the halls of the Gardens and Mid Valley, in search of our 'needs'. All of mine fit into my handbag, except for the electronic contact spray can which was bigger than my head(!). I stuffed that into my sister's shoe bag.

And then... I spotted Haagen Dazs in the distance. Heavenly voices sang in my head as I sprinted over to the counter. I had a need. The need for a HUGE, extravagant dessert. My sister, on the other hand, took a detour to the OSIM store and secured herself a 'U-Durian', some sort of a hand-held massager that looked like half a durian - I kid you not. She found me just as I was about to decimate my fat waffle topped with two scoops of ice cream and promptly snapped the picture above for posterity.

Dessert makes life worth living.


Image: Courtesy of Ratha Nadaraj's smartphone.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Slice of Life #27 2015

When I seek comfort in food, I find extreme satisfaction in the simplest of options - yoghurt rice. Literally, all I need is some good yoghurt, cooked rice and salt to taste. Homemade yoghurt is the ultimate, however, I do settle for the Greek variety when I run out of the former. To make this happy food a little more interesting, you may add whatever you want to meet your individual needs. Here's one way of spicing things up:

Ingredients
1 cup of rice
Yoghurt - a medium-sized tub (depends on how moist or yoghurty you want your dish to be)
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon of clarified butter (ghee)
1 - 3 dried red chili
8 -10 fresh curry leaves (chopped roughly)
1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
Fresh cilantro (chopped)




Preparation
Once the rice is cooked, let it cool first before adding the yohurt and salt. Mix in gently and set aside.

Heat up the ghee in a small pan.

Drop in the black mustard seeds and wait for a few to 'pop'.

Add the dried chillies into the heated oil and remove when these have darkened (avoid burning!). This should take a matter of seconds, depending on how hot your oil is.

Pour all the contents of your pan onto your rice-yoghurt mixture. Mix in gently then add the chopped cilantro.

I recommend chilling this first before serving.

Enjoy! 



Image: "Curd Rice Recipe – Indian Yogurt Rice - Flavors of Mumbai." 2012. 27 Mar. 2015 <http://www.flavorsofmumbai.com/curd-rice-recipe/>

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Slice of Life #26 2015


I recently came across this lovely thought of the day and it struck a deep chord to my life and my wonderful relationship with my parents. Don’t get me wrong, I do not claim to possess great character nor do I believe that I am close to achieving this status in this lifetime. However, my folks have successfully drilled into me that it is attainable – if you persist.

While in primary school, I always resisted having to read the news out loud to Pappa. He reminded me that my teachers had gifted me the skill of reading and that the newspapers would help me acquire new vocabulary, style, and some knowledge of the world, too. This continued way into my angst-ridden teenage years. Pappa corrected my enunciation, checked my knowledge of vocabulary in context, and educated me on global issues regardless of my scowls and loud sighs of frustration. My awareness of the world’s mysteries and troubles grew, though, and many a discussion and debate transpired at the dining table owing to this. This simple practice also brought us together as a family.

I remember Amma, an English teacher, deliberating the term ‘tolerance’ and finding it rather disturbing to her psyche. She maintained that ‘tolerance’ was merely the very first step to ‘acceptance’, with patience and kindness – regardless of colour, creed and beliefs – being the ultimate key to peace. She made it her duty to drive that into us. Pappa was, and still is, the purveyor of all things right. His father imparted the wisdom that to be happy, one must avoid police stations, courts of law and hospitals. To achieve this state of contentment was to do no wrong (fortunately for Grandpa, he did not live in a world of purse snatching, divorce and rich, Malaysian food as we do now).

As for me, I continue to practice acceptance and forgiveness everyday. But, there are also days when I don't - I now aim to have fewer of those. 

Image "Last Lemon | Happiness is…." 2005. 26 Mar. 2015 <http://lastlemon.com/>

Slice of Life #25 2015


Dear Pappa,

Where do I begin? 

Thank you for your strength for it's equipped me with the resilience to face the world through the good times and the bad. In the years of my childhood, you kept me grounded in more ways than one without undermining my imagination. You brought George Lucas' most awesome masterpiece into my life. And then, there were the Airfix models, Look & Learn subscriptions, Playhour and The Magic Roundabout, dance and music class, great dinner parties... all filling my childhood with many moments of joy!  

As much as I huffed and puffed at your deadpan response of "Look it up" to my questions, it taught me be to be resourceful. I discovered that I could actually figure things out for myself (and knowing that you would check up on my research was an added motivation)! 

Your attempts at home DIY continue to make us laugh out loud as a family, earning you the endearment, "Frankenstein." If only we had recorded these for posterity, there'd be a coffee book with your name on it. In time, your daughters will perceive these creations as an artfom.

You've given so much more, more than I could ever begin to list here. Thank you for moulding my mind and soul, pappa. I love you.

Love always, 
Geetha


Image: "Father's Day on Pinterest | 28 Pins." 2014. 26 Mar. 2015 <https://www.pinterest.com/ldaswell/fathers-day/>