Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Interstellar Crib...

Every year, setting up the crib is an experience... when we were kids, the crib was made with this sweet smelling wild reed that dotted the landscape back home. I don't know what they call it, but the scent of the freshly built crib wafting through the house spiked the excitement levels. The reed though it smelled nice and looked great, was a time consuming project that involved dexterity, planning and patience.  So over the years, buying the reed gave way to other forms of constructing the Nativity scene... it became much easier to form a basic structure in the shape of a hut and then put a different spin on it every year. like the one in 2013 and 2012...
Here is this year's crèche, named it the Interstellar crib... cause of those floating specks of light wafting through the time space continuum. You can't see it here, but it sort of looks surreal with only these specks lighting up the nativity scene. 
And with a little bit of light, it becomes more clearer... see the angels, Cooper, Brant and Murph flying through space...
I saw pine cones lying everywhere on the ground in Geneva... I would pick up the good ones and stuff them in my bag. Painted a few of them gold and placed them in the crib, they complemented the curls of wood... and they looked like they could be alien pods. 
This little angel holding a golden star, I saw her in Salzburg and she spoke to me... so I bought her and here she is keeping watch over the Divine Child. 
Another look at the Interstellar Crib... see the speck over Joseph's shoulder casting an ethereal ray over this scene. 
One of the many stars at home... 
The tree peacefully radiating all the wonders of this season, from a corner...
Another star spilling out its light... 

Right up there, on this page, under About me... it's easy to know what Christmas means to me, and this year with my brothers not around this George Strait song says exactly what I want to say too...  that it doesn't matter if family and friends are not around. their memories are captured in our hearts forever like a living Christmas card. Even though we are all scattered, it doesn't matter cause the magic never melts away... Christmas always draws you in. So readers, wherever you are... may the pace, hope, love and joy of this season drag you in and envelope you and may you radiate this peace all your lives, Merry Christmas, everybody... 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Signed poems, a book and a book plate...

I've written about Tyler Knott more than once on my blog... how I came across his poems, how one poem of his evocatively captured all I needed to say after my recent trips, and how the phrasing in his poems is what gets your attention even though you don't necessarily agree with all that he says. So when I read on his instagram account that he would be visiting New York in November (2014) I was behind my sister and brother in law to attend his book signing event at a Barnes & Noble store. I had to plead, and make deals with them to ensure that they would attend the event. They assured me that they would, but every now and then, they would resort to blackmails and threats. If I said something they didn't like or if I pulled their leg, they would be like... 'do you want your poems signed?'
So anyway, after all the trauma they put me through, they finally did go to meet him and they got my poems signed. Here is the man himself, Tyler Knott Gregson signing a few poems and his book... 
And now that they have come home for the holidays... I finally get my signed poems and the signed book and the signed bookplate. I have to frame the poems now, put them up at home. Thanks guys... Nam and Jude, this is a pretty cool Christmas gift... let's do country singers next.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The flight back home...

I started documenting my trip here and inspite of nobody  reading it, I've come to the final post of my 2013 Eurotrip. And there is only one way to describe it, like warm sunshine spilling over my being, shrouding everything in a warm hazy glow. Like Gene Kelley says, 'There's a smile on my face for the whole human race, why it's almost like being in love.' That perfectly sums up my three months roaming with the siblings in Geneva, France and Germany.. You know how a book can take you to faraway places... that's what I've been doing since I fell in love with the written word. Now to finally discover the world beyond books and pictures is nothing short of incredible.  

In a way the special school was like this too, those years are always shrouded in warm hues of sunshine. It was great being with those kids, every day in school was an adventure... I used to wake up thinking what is going to happen today, it was that exciting. I should visit the school and hang out with all those angels, when I go home for the holidays.  

Anyway, getting back to the last day of my trip, I didn't want to leave my brother's place... but that's not the way life works. So you console yourself, get on that flight and then your only worry is reaching your destination in one piece. On the flight from Geneva to Abu Dhabi, I had a headache which was threatening to explode so I asked one of the flight attendants for panadol, and after that I was asleep most of the journey. Then in Abu Dhabi after buying the customary duty free alcohol and chocolates, I boarded the cramped flight to Madras. I was in the middle seat, a guy from Bern was beside me and he turned out to be very entertaining. Just after take off, I started scrolling through the movie list and came across Superman and decided to watch that cause Anju was telling us about Henry Cavill and how hot he is. And after seeing him, all I could think was wow! he really scorched through his scenes. So anyway, there I am almost ready to fall in love with Henry, when the Swiss guy decides to start talking. And I'm not one to talk with strangers, I mean since we can remember, that has been one of the basic rules stuffed down our ears... don't talk to strangers. So I just listen, smile and nod to what he says... but then the conversations become interesting, and I let down my guard. After that it was quite fun, conversing with a total stranger for four hours nonstop, I didn't even know that we had landed, it was that engaging. This was in November 2013 and it was his first trip to Madras, he was here to watch the chess tournament. He is quite passionate about the game and he predicted that Carlsen would win, though he had a lot of respect for Aaa -nah-ndh (took me a few seconds to figure out that he was talking about Vishwanath Anand). So after establishing the basic stuff about why he was travelling and what I was doing, the food arrived and as usual I put a sign of the cross, said a prayer before meals in my head, and that's when I heard him laughing and saw him shaking his head. So I was like, what's so funny... and he's like, you praying, and that started us off on another conversation about religion, God and our beliefs. It was so random... it was nice, we spoke about books, literature and how the German spoken in Bern sounds harsh and explosive compared to the soft flowing rhythmic French of  Geneva.

So as it turns out, the journey back was quite nice... even the air hostesses were fun. I traveled by Etihad airlines and before the flight took off, they played the Etihad airline ad about beautiful people. The air hostesses were so chilled out, they were pointing at each other and singing the chorus, laughing and having a great time. All in all, it was a fun trip back... I seem to be meeting angels everywhere I go. 

In case you would like to read the different posts in this Eurotrip series :