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A summer in Pictures - III

A little must also be said about (and shown from) the two least exciting weeks of my Eurotrip - the French Riviera, Venice and Rome. Alright, the French Riviera was really pretty, I met some great people too. Venice had amazing seafood. My grouse is entirely against Rome. I hated it the first time I visited it four years ago, and I guess neither of us has changed much in four years.

Read on...


A summer in Pictures - II

Sometime in January, while trying to get an internship in France (how? the old Indian way, I heard your dad works in….), I had an epiphany. I had a history of being ambitious and resourceful behind me and a lifetime of being ambitious and productive ahead. For one summer, could I not try and be something else? Spend a summer not building bridges and ladders and just be. Just be, hmm, but where? My diet allows me just one brilliant insight a day, and I decided that (surprise surprise) Europe will have the honour of entertaining my backpack and me this summer.

The rest at the usual place.

To new beginnings


The year 2007 has been an eventful one. Arguably, my most eventful ever. Starting with a life-altering epiphany on a train ride back home to picking up the apron and loving it (and everything in between), 2007 had quite a few soap opera tracks written into it. And this blog told you about it all, some stories in disguise, others with some dressing thrown on, but mostly like it was.

However, all good things must come to an end. iamart is now assuming her real name and moving to Wordpress, bag and baggage in tow. Okay, only her bags. Let's hope that the baggage went out with the previous year.

Meet me at

Salut mes amis

When you come back home after three months, it's almost like you never went away at all. The last 12 weeks now seem like a blur, a distant dream. A good dream or a bad dream? A dry spell or a wet dream? I can't say. I can just say that the last few months have prepped me up to live again.

A lot has changed in the last two weeks. The yen for South America has given way to an unhealthy appetite for France. Paris is my muse again. Hoping that the new year will bring lots of wine and cheese.

The new year will also bring a larger French vocabulary. and a grammar that can do justice to my thoughts. My knowledge of French is currently limited to the present tense alone. I must concede that this does foster a healthy philosophy. There is no past, no future. One lives in this moment alone.

Je suis chez moi.

And I can pretend that I never went away.


The Swingers

I have lost track of the number of times in the last two months that I have said or thought, I am so messed up .
On the other hand, I have also lost count of the number of times I thought I have never been happier.

Do opposites cancel each other out? Or do they just polarize your world?
An arc spinning round and round. A smile. A frown. In turns.

There is something disturbingly pendulous about grad life. People keep swinging between the extremes of beer pong championships and homework marathons. And life has no other equilibrium points. Yesterday, in my Classical Dynamics class, the professor innocuously said, the velocity constraint in the motion of a simple pendulum is clearly holonomic. If you are on the pendulum, you cannot access every point in space. You are constrained to move between two extremes along the arc of a circle.

Well, the pendulum is clearly content limiting its existence to one degree of freedom. And so should be everyone who's boarded the pendulum at will.

Last week, I was in LA, at a quirky place called Venice Beach. It was almost like walking back into the 60's, psychedelic colours, long hair, music, the warm smell of colitas and carefreeness and the works.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A part of me, a small part of me felt totally at home in this anachronistic alley.
(As an aside, I also said this aloud, which prompted a friend to say, in less elegant words, 'You are saying this only cos you are not getting any'. Ahem, not true.)

The escapism pervading the air found its match in a corner of my soul. However, there is a much larger part of me that cares too much about the world. And not the kind of care that makes one love the whales, the icebergs, the cows and the tribals. It is the kind of care that puts you on a pendulum when you want to be in the clouds.

Yes, my spirit is a flower child with a PR agent.

Hit and miss

There's a place for us, you know the movie song.
When you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong...

- Romeo and Juliet, Dire Straits

Life sometimes puts you in really sticky situations. In Psychology 101, we learned that this dilemma is called conflict. There are several types of conflict: avoidance-avoidance conflict, approach-avoidance conflict and the worst of all, approach-approach conflict.

Why do I think that the latter is the worst, you may ask. After all, one might argue, the probability of a positive outcome associated with this type of conflict is one hundred percent.

Sometimes, a positive outcome is just not good enough. You can string together the ifs and buts and what ifs into a chain all the way to the moon and back. Or you can fashion a noose out of them to hang your peace of mind. Guilty as charged. To be hanged to death.

And of course, you are not allowed one measure of sympathy or self-pity. In the land of those who crave for bread, one who can't choose between cake and wine is perhaps a joke stretched beyond its elastic limit. An old gymnast trying his morning tricks under the moonlight. Pathetic but not exactly pitiable.

And life goes on. Happily ever after, but happily enough? Now, now can you ever really answer that?

Sole searching

I thought I was looking for Michael.
I was, in fact, letting go of Julia.

We all look for big signs and little epiphanies to make it easier to live with quotidian truths.

When you have been in a relationship for longer than your last three hairstyles, either you have severely damaged hair or you tend to look forward to little nudges of reassurance that you are indeed headed in the right direction.
I had one such moment a couple of weeks ago. I was shopping at Bloomingdale's at the upscale Stanford Shopping Center, surrounded by boots, stilettos, pumps, wedges and other such joys of life. It was at this point in time that I heard the voice of true love.

A frantic phone call to India. To the boyfriend of course, who was not exactly thrilled at being woken up at 7 AM on a Saturday.
"Sweetie, I think I now know for sure that I love you"
"Huh, what?"
"I am in a store full of $400 shoes. Some of them are so beautiful that I could cry. And not just because I can't afford them. And guess what's the first thought that comes to my mind - I want you to buy these shoes for me! Isn't that awesome?"
"Me? I am not sure I understand.."
"Don't you get it? I want you to buy me expensive stuff. I think I am finally coming to terms with this couple thing. Aren't you happy?"

Well, let's just say that Cupid didn't strike both of us at the same time. What are we mere mortals to make of time zones if messengers of God falter with them?

The rush of a new love is a feeling matched by few others. This giddying joy can often make you do things that you regret once you are out of the initial stupor.
Like buy two pairs of shoes, each more expensive than any other item in your wardrobe.
It can make you try on those shoes with every one of those not-as-expensive items in your wardrobe.
It can make you ache to look at these prized possessions every ten minutes.
It can make you wake up at the break of dawn to photograph magenta shoes against autumn leaves.
It can make you feel like a bimbette, and not mind it.

When you see every beautiful shoe as a part of your soul, bent and twisted into shape by the Devil himself, and still can't help loving them, you know you are in trouble.

Yes, the love of shoes can make you sell your soul. Bruise your toes. Sprain your back.
Falling in love, quite literally, can be hard on the knees.


In the words of Günter Grass, to be human is to be curious, childlike, complex and immoral.

Having come to terms with my humanness, I am back.

Au revoir

Now that I have lost everything that I had - hope, control, love, dignity and you - I have nothing to offer. Since you won't take my word, I give you my words.

I put down my pen.

Happy domesticity

Sometimes, your life resembles you favourite TV show, and you think to yourself, damn, this wasn't even my favourite episode.

You idiot you called it upon yourself.

No tape, no glue
will undo, revive
what a second wreaked.
what a second wrecked

Never did I know that cooking and cleaning could be so therapeutic. Yes Bree, you got something right indeed!

My apartment made its debut on the social scene today. Butter chicken, rice, crab cakes and chocolate ice cream for five friends. Husbands, qualifiers, abortions, fidelity, weed, Vikram Seth, kisses (legitimate and otherwise), sports and games. The conversation flowed freely. And so did the wine. And for a few hours, the tears did not.