Kindling in new times

As much as I love to read, I love buying books in advance more. If I read about a book online (Flavorwire and Buzzfeed), or receive a recommendation from a friend, I end up buying the book for a later read. It reached a point that I had used up all my shelves, racks and cupboard space for books. There were thinly veiled threats from the mother to do something nasty to the overflowing books.

Even after giving away some of my books, I still had many books left. Having read ebooks before, the transition seemed to be the natural conclusion. For a brief amount of time I did use my laptop for it, but long runs made it hard on the eye. It seemed that I would either have to cut down on the books future-me would purchase. A post by The Sister and another by a dear friend, made me smack my head real hard. A Kindle E-reader was the solution to all my woes.

While it was a simple solution, I tried to wait for some time to check if I realllllly wanted to buy one. The want to buy one persisted, but I would find some excuse or another to not end up with one. I even passed through 2 sales on Amazon without a purchase. When the year end was near, and the final sale was on, I couldn’t let the opportunity sleep. 2014 ended with the purchase of a Kindle Paperwhite and a beautiful brown cover

mykindle
My Kindle Paperwhite
Kindle with cover closed
Kindle with the cover closed

The cover flips open to also become a stand so that I don’t have to hold the kindle when I am reading. The strap goes on the reverse, and gives the option to slide my hand in it and hold should I want to.

Propped up
Propped up

This is going to be so much fun.

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Dear Tejaswee

Dear Tejaswee,
One of the few letters that I have been absolutely certain about writing since I read about the challenge, is this one. It is truly sad that we didn’t talk while you were still alive. It’s not that I didn’t know that you existed, I did read bits about on your mother’s blog and that was all of it. I know that there are many of us who would love to have known you from before, and it makes me wonder. Would you like have been different had so many different people been your friends? Would it be different enough, for you to have been here right now, causing me to write this letter to someone else entirely?

I still remember that night when I got the call from Shail Di. I was walking back to my desk from the office canteen when I answered her phone. Something about that call made me feel anxious, and I wondered if something had happened to someone I know. She told me in a very broken tone that you had passed away. Back then, a bunch of us were following your updates on your mom’s Google Buzz. I knew that you had not been well, and were later admitted to the hospital with Dengue. We had hoped that you would recover.

It is after this call that I started reading your blog. There are still times when I find myself reading your blog, knowing that there will be no new posts, but still chuckling at the ones that you had written. One of my fondest posts, is actually from your mom’s blog. She wrote about how you wanted something ‘nice’ to eat which would also be something unhealthy. She tried to offer all sorts of ‘healthy’ stuff like milk instead. Mothers, I know 😛 But you got it right, the unhealthy foods taste so yum. I want to high-five you for that.

Has anyone told you that animals love you? While pets do love their family members, what you shared with Proton and Sher Khan was just marvelous. One look at the lot of you together, and it is obvious that there is a special bond. A part of me is a little bit jealous too, seeing the way Sher Khan bonded with you. Isn’t he such an adorable cat?

The letter that you wrote to your future daughter, is one of the most beautiful pieces that I have ever read. It has such a free flow of emotions to it. I think why this letter is special, is the fact that you wrote it when you were a teenager yourself on the cusp of adulthood yourself. You wrote it in a manner that made one relate to their own life, and what they would like to have from someone older than them at such a point in their life.

You wanted to adopt a girl. It was your one resolution that you knew wouldn’t be broken. Now, a girl has a loving family because of you. A family where she will be loved and cherished as much as you were. Your legacy 🙂

Love,
Hrishikesh

Tejaswee Rao is the daughter of IHM. Fondly called TJ by friends, she died from complications as a result of Dengue. You can read the posts she wrote at her lovely blog. This letter was written as part of the 30 days 30 letters prompt: A letter to A Deceased person you wish you could talk to.

My new favorite human

After I woke up from my nap, I moved to a small sunny spot near the window. It was a small spot, but I could make do with it. I wanted to nap again but the floor felt cold. I decided to get up and look for another spot in a different room.

The boy human was propped up on the bed with his hot light and sound thingy. I climbed over the bed and sat near his legs, staring at his wired device. I rubbed my head against his legs and mewed softly to get his attention. The boy turned off the noise, and picked me up.

He smiled and began to scratch behind my ears. It felt so wonderful that it made me purr. He kept me in his lap, and turned his attention to the noise again. A bunch of humans were talking about something on it. Every few minutes his hand would stroke my back.

Then all of a sudden the boy picked me up and placed me next to the thing in which the humans were talking. I couldn’t understand why and looked at him. Then I felt the burst of warm air on my belly. This was so much better than the spot of sunlight in the living room. I stretched and set myself against it. This boy was now my favorite human in the family.

IHM's cat: Sher Khan. Used with permission
IHM’s cat: Sher Khan. Picture used with permission. All rights belong to IHM

 

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. The prompt was to  write a short story/incident (200-300 words) from an animal’s perspective.

The cameras that I use

This started as a facebook comment thread over a picture from Photography Tips which has the picture of the same object taken from 4 different lenses to show how they differ in the capture. It is a wonderful pic 🙂

In the comment thread, I had wished if  Hitchy, IHM, and Shail di could have a blog about the cameras and equipment they use. The idea was that photography newbies like me and others can see the different stuff these guys use. I have been capturing photos on the family camera ever since I was 14 or something, but I am not any good with the technicalities and details of it.

I have two cameras: my Nikon L110, and Samsung Galaxy Ace. Since my Nikon is in a different city as I have lent it to someone to use I am posting pics of my room mate’s Nikon L110. Yes, both of us have the same camera and gear, so it should suffice.

Presenting the Nikon L110:

Image

I got this for myself in December 2009 (I think). Its specifications are:

  • 12.1 Mega Pixels
  • 15 X Optical Zoom
  • NIKKOR 35mm equivalent lens
  • HD recording
  • 108.9 X 74.3 X 78.1 mm physical dimensions
  • weighs about 406 gms

Overall I find this to be a wonderful camera, and takes good pics in low light as well. The only catch is that although it has VR, it is very sensitive. If I don’t have very steady hands the images can turn out to a little blurry. However, if I keep the flash on with its flap on, the blur doesn’t come in. I use this camera for occasions like family/friends gathering or trips.

The Samsung Galaxy Ace:

Image

Image

I got this in August 2011. Its specifications are:

  • 5 Mega Pixels
  • 112.4 X 59.9 X 11.5 mm physical dimensions
  • weighs about 113 gms

This is my primary camera. Now now, don’t look at the screen like that. It’s a phone, I know. It is also a Camera-Phone. Since I carry it on me most of the times, I use it to take my general day to day pictures. As you can see the screen has two large cracks on it. It still functions as smooth as new. I plan to replace it with a Galaxy S duos some time soon.

The one I want: Nikon D3200 SLR:

Image

So, I am getting ahead of myself a little and would like to add this little drool and lust worthy camera. Since I am saving up for other things, I am not rich enough to buy this. I have linked its flipkart page to the title, so if some one is feeling generous enough they can gift it to me 😛

Please, if you wish do blog about your camera and equipment as well.

(High on) Happiness

Have you ever had one of those days when you are happy? Not just happy, but high with happiness? When things just fall in place, when you meet nice people, eat good stuff, today was one such day.
To recount what lead to this day:
  •  I spent one entire weekend with mom without either of us saying anything stingy at the other.
  • We checked out some houses (we’re house hunting for a new place)
  • Mom made dahi puri for me in the evening. Now dahi puri is unhealthy because I have a sore throat, and the chutney and cold curd would not do me good. But eating unhealthy food is fun and she made it because I asked her to.
  • I spent some wonderful time at ‘The chocolate room’ in Ahmadabad. I had a large black coffee, an almond cold coffee, and a Chocó-chilli sandwich. It was a wonderful sandwich it had chillies and chocolate scrapings in it. The chocolate would clash with the chilly and it was oh-so-good. I got a nice table all for myself and wonderful internet speed to watch some of my favourite anime.
  • I saw this poster while searching for a new poster to buy. It gave me a sense of reassurance, that there is more to me than some of the problems I had recently started thinking on. 
  • On the way to Baroda from Ahmadabad I got a bus that had half the seats empty. I could sit on an entire three seat row all by myself and read. When the bus conductor turned off some of the lights he let two lights on so that I could read. He then got up from his single seat and sat on another empty row seat. Those of you who have travelled by GSRTC busses know of this seat. It is the single seat at the entrance which has handle bars in front of it for people to hold on to while climbing on/off. So when you sit on this seat, you can sink in a little and rest your feet on this handle bar. Such a comfortable position to read in. 
  • The window in front of me was open with a just little tiny gap that let a cool breeze in. The breeze would hit my naked feet and make me feel as if my feet were in a river of flowing cool water. And the best part was that no one complained about it or asked me to shut the window.
  • I thought of two women whom I admire. One is ofcourse this wonderful doting big sister whom I love as much as I can. The other is of course the is B to my A, the Alpha to my Omega, the Sheila to my jawani, the fevicol to my photo. They just cheer me up.
Now my views on god are not that religious. But if there is a god, I would give a nice tight hug. I would tell him to take some time off and come with me for drinks, my treat. I would ask him to listen to this song (Emotional Attyachar (attyachar is Hindi for torture) from Dev D). The song in itself is a sad song; however it has a special place for me. I had gone to watch this movie in a single screen local cinema house because we couldn’t get tickets anywhere else. Now this song has a nice beat to it. When this song came on screen I was just tapping my feet being as reserved that I am. But some guys in the audience just thought “Chuck it” and got up started dancing to have a wonderful time.
So the idea is to ask God to chuck it and not think of the people who are doing all forms of torture in his name. You know take a vacation with your goddess, and go relax and recharge. If you made this world, we gave it shape as it is now. You don’t have to take it on your shoulders.
Today is also an eventful day for another reason. The father of the Delhi-Gang Rape case victim shared his daughter’s name (Jyoti Singh Pandey). He said:

“We want the world to know her real name.

“My daughter didn’t do anything wrong, she died while protecting herself.

“I am proud of her.Revealing her name will give courage to other women who have survived theseattacks. They will find strength from my daughter.”

The word Jyoti is a Hindi word which means light. For some people, this case gives light and heat and casts out darkness and fear. Now I don’t her personally, but I cannot help but feel sorry. That in a free nation, this is the price she had to pay for being free, for just wanting to live her own life. You had every right to live on as you wanted, but a bunch of men thought you wanting to be free was an act of defiance against them, and raped and beat you to a painful death. They and other such people wrongfully believe that just because of being a woman, women have to yield to them as they wish.
I do hope that whether you’re reading this or not, whether we know of each other or not, that you have an equally wonderful day in your life.