I feel blessed today. Blessed to have great friends, an awesome husband, an interesting job and an “easy” life. Maybe part of this feeling stems from the lovely week I’ve had.
Met up with out of town friends on Sunday at my favorite Moroccan hangout, Fez Dining. Mojitos, a hot mezze platter, chicken tangine and interesting conversation make for an excellent lunch, don’t you agree?
Lunch over, me and the husband went over to a friend’s house to drop off some things at her place. That supposdly short visit turned into a talkathon and dinner. We alternated between longing around in her living room and running out to the balcony to look at the sky as the sun set over Delhi. Pleasure comes in the small things sometimes. Isn’t that a pretty sky?
A perfect Sunday gave way to a busy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and then we had a holiday on Thursday for Janmashtmi(Lord Krishna’s birthday). I spent the morning lazing around at home, reading, surfing the net; then headed over to the gym for a workout and finally to the parlour for a haircut and pedicure. I’m totally loving my shiny red toes! Don’t they look pretty?
Friday started off slow…no work in at all in the morning, so I was able to book tickets for my visit to the parents. Luckily for me, two projects floated in in the afternoon, so I had something to keep me constructively occupied 🙂
Looking forward to the weekend now — got to finish packing since I leave on Tuesday, have to buy some gifts for mom and dad, and will probably catch up with a few friends too.
While channel surfing today, I happened upon a program called The Great Indian Love Challenge on MTV. The program “tests” the measure of love on TV! Lovelorn contenders are given three tasks to complete to get something special for their special someone; it could be a romantic vacation, a diamond ring or a Longines watch!
In the episode that I watched, Harshvardhan Rane did three tasks to win a diamond ring for his girlfriend, Meenaxi Das.
Task one – His body was painted so it looked like Superman’s suit; he wore just the trademark Superman red underwear and cape. Attired thus, he was to go into a crowded mall and sing Hindi film songs.
Task two – He was taken to an akhada (wrestling ground), where he had to fight three wrestlers. 10 rounds, 1 minute each; 10 chances of getting pinned down; he had to make sure he wasn’t pinned down all 10 times.
Task three – He was taken to a walkway with three arches. The arches would be set on fire – he had to walk from one end of that walkway to the other, while being set alight himself!
Before the third task, Yuvi (the VJ hosting the show), got Meenaxi at the venue, told her what Harsh had done for her and why, and told her what his third and final task was. There was the usual crying and pleading for him to not do it, and he was all fired up (no pun intended) to go through with the task to get her the diamond ring and see her happy.
Image via Wikipedia
Like I said, interesting concept; I was hooked onto that particular episode, to see the tasks and if Harsh would be able to complete them. What really struck me as I watched was how much he loved Meenaxi – doing those three tasks wasn’t easy! The first opened him up to embarrassment, the second was the most dangerous – one of those wrestlers getting over-eager, and he could have ended up breaking some bones – the third looked dangerous but was done under very controlled conditions and with all safety aspects taken care of. The sincerity with which Harsh did all the tasks made me feel all happy and fuzzy inside. During the second task he was tired, he was outmatched, but the thought of Meenaxi, of seeing a smile on her face, made him go through and manage to avoid one pindown right at the end, when he was most tired.
I have just four words to say: Three cheers to love!
Do you have any interesting love stories to share? Something special that a special someone did for you?
Inspiration is all around us — in books, movies, stories that we hear from friends or read in the papers.
I was watching Any Given Sunday recently, and Al Pacino’s half-time speech to his football team in that movie made me break out in goose bumps. I leave you with the snippet that sent “shockwaves” through my system, followed by a clip of the speech itself. Hope you enjoy it!
You find out that life is just a game of inches. So is football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small… On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us to pieces for that inch. We CLAW with our finger nails for that inch. Cause we know when we add up all those inches that’s going to make the fucking difference between WINNING and LOSING between LIVING and DYING.
Today’s Friday Frame is a spread from my Life 101 altered book.
An altered book is a form of mixed media artwork that changes a book from its original form into a different form, altering its appearance and/or meaning. An altered book artist takes a book (old, new, recycled) and cuts, tears, glues, burns, folds, paints, adds to and collages it. The artist may add pockets and niches to hold tags, rocks, ephemera, or other three-dimensional objects. – Wikepedia.com
The spread features a window through which a girl looks out into her garden. The curtains were created by sandwiching some sari fabric between the pages. One part of the left page was ripped to create a “pocket” for the collage elements — bird, flowers and a butterfly. The rest of the page has been layered with paint and rubber stamping, with a dragon fly stitched on with gold thread and sequins.
Click on the picture to see more spreads from this book.
Liked this spread? Let me know through the comments!
If you have any artwork or photography to share, please leave a comment, a link back to your blog and your e-mail address, and I’ll feature it on an upcoming Friday Frame!
As I look back over the posts and my reasons to start blogging, I see how much I, and this blog, have evolved. I’ve tried my hand at blogging a number of times – I had an online diary with a friend and a personal journal on DiaryLand.com, then I moved on to Blogger for a couple of months, and finally ended up here, on WordPress, where I have maintained this blog since December 2006.
There were long periods inbetween when I didn’t post at all; but almost 4 years and 100 blog posts later, Modern Gypsy (formerly known as Mindchatter) has evolved from being a purely personal blog, where I didn’t bother about any reader interaction, to becoming what it is now – a mix of personal and fun stuff, and hopefully, an expanding base of readers!
There’s still a long way for me to go, and a lot that I still need to learn, but I’ve enjoyed the ride so far!
So, here’s a big thank you to all my readers, to all of you who have left comments and encouraged me to continue to write, and to all the lovely bloggers out there who have inspired me and helped me grow!
Our daily lives can be really stressful sometimes…rushing to work, dealing with deadlines, getting stuck in traffic…it gets hard to just relax and be. We tune out what isn’t necessary to our next urgent meeting, things like nature, bird sounds, watching children play in the park. Doesn’t the stress sometimes make you want to scream?
If so, you’re at the right place right now! Just take out 10 minutes from your hectic schedule and let these nature sounds wash over you and soothe your soul.
Hope you enjoyed this! See you with more spiritual thoughts next Sunday!
About a year ago I had written a post titled Jaded Consumerism, where I mentioned that I’ve increasingly noticed that buying material goods doesn’t seem to bring much happiness to me or my friends. Oh yes, there are exceptions — like when I bought my iPhone recently; it still makes me happy! But, overall, we purchase without the joy.
This week I finally gave in to the husband’s constant cribbing and we traded our 10-year old TV for an LCD. That should have brought us (or at least him) a lot of joy…but it didn’t. We bought it, got it installed, he played around with the remote and read the manual, but there was no thrill to the purchase. A TV is a TV is a TV is what I was saying all along, but the husband just wouldn’t listen, would he?
Jokes apart, though, I’ve been wondering about this lack of joy since a while, and then I read an article on NY Times titled But will it make you happy?
SHE had so much. A two-bedroom apartment. Two cars. Enough wedding china to serve two dozen people. Yet Tammy Strobel wasn’t happy. Working as a project manager with an investment management firm in Davis, Calif., and making about $40,000 a year, she was, as she put it, caught in the “work-spend treadmill.”
That was the opening of the article, and I was hooked, because that’s exactly what I had been thinking about!
Strobel eventually hit the stop button on the treadmill, inspired by books and blogs that promoted simple living. She and her husband gave away a lot of their possessions to charity. In fact, “emboldened” by a website that challenged readers to live with just 100 personal items, she went ahead and did just that!
A case for simple living Image by eflon via Flickr
I’m quite sure that mustn’t have been easy, and I’m pretty sure that it isn’t something that I could do! But, living simply does have its benefits.
If you can downsize your desires a bit, not bother so much about keeping up with the Joneses, you could end up saving quite a decent amount of money. Instead of spending that on purchasing more material goods, you could use that to travel, to do some volunteer work, or even to help family, all of which will give you infinitely more happiness than simply amassing material goods ever will. And a lot of new research shows just that!
Studies over the last few decades have shown that money, up to a certain point, makes people happier because it lets them meet basic needs. The latest round of research [examines] how to reap the most happiness for your dollar. So just where does happiness reside for consumers? Scholars and researchers haven’t determined whether Armani will put a bigger smile on your face than Dolce & Gabbana. But they have found that our types of purchases, their size and frequency, and even the timing of the spending all affect long-term happiness. One major finding is that spending money for an experience — concert tickets, French lessons, sushi-rolling classes, a hotel room in Monaco — produces longer-lasting satisfaction than spending money on plain old stuff.
If I could control my spending impulses, there are a lot of things that I’d be able to experience — a trip to Egypt , learning Italian, painting a canvas, going on an African safari — just a few of the things that are on my bucket list.
If you chose to live simple and spend on experiences instead, what experiences would you choose?