creativity, story

” She laughed a wry laugh at the thought in her head. ‘If only i could die’. Certain stories did that to her. They reflected the pain that she felt, the stabbing fears, the raw, painful ache in her heart. It was so close to her story. No, she mused, it was her story. ‘If only i could die’. How many times was she going to wish for that? It was futile. because nothing of that sort was going to happen. Not even close. she’d be lucky if she got a scratch on her finger.

Certain stories…. she wondered why it had to be this way? Stories were after all simply that. Stories. Why should they affect her in a way so deep, that no human had ever affected. But then doesn’t every person have a story? What was the difference between this and that?  Fact and fiction.. who could determine it anyway. That thin line was always blurred in her case.

This particular one.. would remain etched in her memory for ever. She was reliving her pain through every sentence she read. It was always a wonder to her, as to how she could become so attached to a fictional character than a real person. She felt their pain, it tore her heart apart. She could feel their grief in her very bones. She had been through it. She had been through the worst. People said time heals, yes, just like in the book Time doesn’t heal. Not in all cases. Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. Even when each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging pulls. But pass it does. Even for her.

She couldn’t leave the story in half. Her eyes moved over the lines, frantic. Her body stiff and tensed. Her mouth set in a grim line, accepting her fate which was making her go through it all over again, as she read the book. She din’t know how long she sat that way. Eyes feverently hoping for the kind of end that wouldn’t be possible. For the kind of twist in the story that would make it different from the one fate had dealt her with in real life.

Her body ached. There was an empty pit in her stomach and a hole in her chest. Like someone had punched right through. The more wrapped up she was in the story, the more she unwillingly remembered her own. The hole in her just grew bigger and emptier. She wrapped her arms tight around herself unconsciously and let the book slip from her hands. She felt like her insides were knotted . Her body again painfully tensed, why did she keep doing this to herself? Wasn’t it enough that she went through it once.

Once in a lifetime seemed sufficient. Yet there was an inexplicable force that drew her towards the story. It troubled her already fragile heart, but, she decided there was no way that a broken heart, a broken soul could break again. She was damaged, beyond repair. She gave in to the feeling. She fed on it. It kept her alive in a strange way. Even though she was continuously wishing for death. Yes death would be nothing, insignificant really, compared to what she was putting herself through.

She grew weary. Enough for today. She was going to have trouble sleeping tonight. Trouble with the dreams. Those dreadful dreams. The book lay by her side, neglected for once. She was too absorbed in her own thoughts, her own complex web of emotions. She curled into a tight ball and waited for the pain to wash over her. Her eyes stared into the darkness. Her face still like a statue carved from stone. And then it came. Pain, grief, sadness so powerful. She curled up on the bed, prepared for another night as tears poured down her cheeks silently.”

p.s – Dedicated to all those for whom books = life 🙂



India, Musings
2 days i dont login and almost every blog i follow has been updated. Twice.

Anyway am finally home. Home is where the heart is, right? 😉

The flight home was good. Then bad. Then finally over. The first stretch had some really good movies which i’d been wanting to watch since so long. Of course watching it on a tiny screen with the plane’s engine noise in my ears is not exactly what i would have chosen… BUT it could have been worse. In the next stretch we unfortunately had a very small plane. It was crowded and full, with no place for bagagges and no tv.

Still, what’s important is that am back!!! Finally! Travelling is good, vacationing is great, but how long can you ‘escape life’? I’ve got a lot on my hands now and hopefully it all goes well and according to plan. I need to get both my personal and professionall life back on track! A fixed routine. For a while atleast. So lets see *Fingers crossed*

Also, it means that am back to regular blogging. And blogger sketches and some other new stuff. That is, if am not bogged down with work!

Later! 🙂

Is that a tree?

Art, family
Sis selected a very complex photograph to paint. And it was a err… a disaster. She’s good at painting from imagination though.

So i stepped in with my magic wand brush and took over. I painted all black over what was originally a bird flying over a very complicated looking lake (Not all photos can be replicated on a canvas you know.)

Bad idea, since i din’t know what to do next. Sis and i came up with a (brilliant) idea of painting some sort of abstract tree on it. Painted a white, squiggly tree. It looked all ghostly and dead and creeped us both. Added gold leaves.

Turned out like this.

Not one of my best works. Truth be told, am not satisfied at all. Hence no signature. There’s no need for people to know that this thing was done by me. I’ll just tell people it was all her idea *innocent smile*

Anyway am hoping she’ll paint it all white and start over again!

Babies and Surprises!

* Disclaimer – Loaded with Photos! *

My sister gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on Tuesday. He is such a cute, pink baby and i couldn’t help but just sit and stare at him for hours while he slept. I wanted to play, but all that the little rascal wanted to do was sleep and make cute, funny noises in his sleep.

One time he got hiccups and i swear i just wanted to smother him. That’s how cute his hiccups were! Just imagine… the teeniest hic… hic… every few seconds. So adorable!

Since she’s coming back home tomorrow from the hospital, we decided to give a surprise makeover to the house. After a lot of vaccuming and mopping and making the floor shine, and trying my best to be as creative as possible with things at home, i started with decorating the baby’s room. And here is the result!

A few random sketches to brighten the room 🙂
My favourites are the tiny blue booties and the green shirt.

Last minute Brainwave idea! Born in the Software Era! I don’t know if you can read the print…
The most hurried, editing and printing ever… Thank you picasa!

Am i too good or what? 😛

Now you know where i vanished the past 4 days.

Special post indeed… Coincidentally this is my 100th post on my blog. It just makes it extra special! 
Edit – Also got my 100th follower with this post! Things just keep getting better and better!

Am ‘IT’

Humour, Madness, Random ramblings
I got tagged long long long ago… Since i’ve nothing better to do now… here goes!

1) If you could go back in time to relive one moment, what would it be?
Best moments in life should not be relived 🙂  Its special only the first time.

2) If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?
There are a couple (or more) of foolish things i did. And that is putting it slightly. Very slightly. But i don’t really regret it to such an extent that i need to change it. They all taught me something *far-off thoughtful look*
Or maybe i just dont want to go throught it again… even to change it!

3) What movie or TV character you think you resemble most in personality?
Annie in ‘Father of the bride’ (And yes my dad’s just like her dad too. Only 10 times more.)

4) What movie or TV character would you really like to be like?
Haven’t thought about it. No one i guess. (Pretty boring imagination i have.. yeah)
5) If you could push one person in the whole world off a cliff and get away with it, who would it be?
Tempting. Yes Very. But i don’t think i can do it. Am the kind of person who’ll worry for the person pushing me off. So there’s no way i can do it. Am too kind. But there is one person. Two actually!

6) Name one habit you want to change in yourself.

Over-analyzing situations. More of a trait but, yes its become a habit. What can i do? :/

7) Describe yourself in one word.

Down to earth (Is that 3 words? Ok lets try.. simple)

8) Describe the person who named you in this meme in one word.

Happy! 😀
9) Why do you blog? Answer in one sentence.
Simple. Beacause i love it!

10) Name at least 3 people to send this meme to then inform them.
Hmm… I tag anyone who reads this. Do let me know if you do this tag!

11) Link back to the person who tagged you in this meme.
Thanks Always Happy! It was a pleasure to do this!
The Handwriting Tag – this one was by Anju from indianmakeupways
This one is definitely for me. Because i’ve completely forgotten what it feels like to write on paper. I’ve lost touch so it looks quite dirty. Also my writing has a tendency to ‘climb up the mountain’ (if you know what i mean) when i write on plain paper!
The questions i was supposed to answere were :
1. What is your name? And your blog?
2. What’s your blog URL?
3.Write: The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.
4. Favorite quote.
5. Favorite song.
6. Favorite band/singer.
7. Say anything you want.
8. Pass this along to a few bloggers

I cant help but doodle and add my own things. Empty paper does that to me.
Again i pass this on to whoever wants to do it. Do let me know!

Blogging highs and lows!

Humour, Madness, Musings
*Try not to crack a bone laughing. Its too funny. Yes, i know am amazing *

After being a blogger for about 7 months, am finally sure of my place here. Early blogging days were those filled with an obsession. Any moment spent not blogging was a waste of time. I was hooked! Posting everyday was a ritual that was not meant to be broken. Who cares if no one reads it!  And seriously no one did read.. My first faithfull followers were my mom and dad. Because i could bug them till they read every new post and not feel bad about it. My friends, unable to bear my banter, read one or two. Not that they really had a choice with me shoving my laptop under their nose and not letting them get up.

Am sure they just wanted to scream, push me from the third floor balcony and get on with seeing Tom Hank’s movie on tv. Every time someone pinged from office saying, ‘Am so bored of work :(‘ i would be ready with my advice, ‘Then read my blog na :D’ . The moment they sign out, that big silly grin got wiped off my face. I resigned myself to the fact that, am the only one who’s going to read my blog.

Contrary to how many say that they started blogging for themselves, as a way to vent out their feelings, creativity, yadda yadaa yadaa… I started out of sheer boredom. I had just changed jobs. Finally free from a hectic 7-day week schedule. All my friends were, naturally, busy with their lives. It was pretty boring going out alone always. So then started facebook (i never used fb much before that, just had an account!) and one fine day blogger. I came across a few interesting blogs and started reading and from then on…. no looking back! The more i read, i realised that i wanted to be a part of this…

I was not exactly new to blogging. I had a personal blog which had nothing but sob stories in it. Oh my life, oh poor me, oh how sad.. you get the picture?  I grew so sick of it that i decided my new blog would be like a rainbow.. no sob stories, no self-pity, no anger, no frustration. Just a healthy dose of cribbing 🙂

I like following blogs which have a personal touch. Some of them have a trademark way of writing which makes it fun to follow. Its their brand. Even if they are fashion bloggers and their posts mainly consist of posting pictures or reviews about make-up, they add that personal touch, which feels good.
Then there are those who go like this :
“Hi ladies!!!! This is my monday outfit!! i just loveeeeeeeeeee this jacket! have a great dayyyyyy.. Hugs!!! :))) “
What just happened here? I feel like am being put through a sugar candy machine. Why do i care what you wore on Monday or anyday for that matter. What am i supposed to respond? I love your jacket too? err.. we’re both in love with the same jacket? WHAT?

Or some others who write like its a topic for an elocution :
“Hi there. This post is going to be about so-and-so. I feel this is blah-and-blah. You can find all these items here-and-here. For more info contact him-and-her”
You sound like a brochure honey. The ones they hand out at the gates of colleges, which are promply crumpled and used to hit your friend walking in front of you on the head.

I know blogging is not easy. It demands time and dedication. And i like to follow bloggers who i feel have put in at least some effort into what they are writing or posting. But all said and done, its a fun world! Like disney land. Some blogs just leave you gaping and wanting more. And some days you just dont feel like leaving this and going back to reality. Its a geat escape, a great way to pass time, a perfect way to improve yourself, a place where you can meet lovely people, a place where you can find your niche and belong. Its a place for all kinds of people. Yes even the ones i mentioned above. Hell they have more followers than me! Maybe i should start my next post with “Hi ladies!!!!!!! Love you allllllllllllll! Have a great dayyyyyyyy!

Wonder what category i am.. the versatile blogger? desperately trying to be funny?
Whatever! I think am happy this way! 😉

Hot and Cold

My brain has suddenly entered a funny state. Its suspended in a trance like state where few things just dont register. Am walking around the house in my pyjamas with a blanket wrapped around tightly and my feet feeling two large cold ice cubes inspite of wearing socks. And its not even that cold yet.

The weather is playing tricks here. Its burning hot one day, and you cant even look outside without shielding your eyes because the sun is so bright. And cold, raining, gray and wet the next day. As if that was not enough, today its sunny with an extremely chilly wind.

As i placed myself close to the window, warming up my cold hands on the warm glass pane, i wondered how is it that the weather controls our mood so much? Warm sunshine makes you skip and jump. Rain makes you want to stay at home and sip a hot coffee. And cold winter makes you snuggle in bed and never want to get up.

I was sitting outside on the steps in the chilly breeze trying to put a kolam as it was RamNavami today, and constanly muttering that i was so cold when my sister finally screamed saying ‘Why dont you just go in and wear a sweater?’. Thats when i realised that i just crib and complain and dont actually do anything about it.
One of my favorite quotes from Roald Amundsen: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. ”
Its true. When i looked back as to why i hate winter and cold weather, i realised that all my associations with winter had one thing in common – bad clothing!

By nature i am more sensitive to cold than people usually are. So wearing a flimsy cardigan when its 15 degrees is no good for me. Even though i know that, i dont do anything beyond wearing that and socks. It just goes to show how i let the weather rule my mind. When its cold, you shiver and thats literally what i do!
Winter is not so bad. Especially when compared to summer in India. Its the one season that makes us all sigh in relief for a measly two months. Last year was the first time after god-knows-how-long that we had a ‘proper winter’. One that could definitely be branded as being ‘cold’. And here i am hating that very weather. Does this mean i like summer and rainy? Definitely not. Right after finishing up with Indian winters, here i am in Sydeny facing winter again!

So here i am, all bundled up when suddenly the chilly wind vanishes and the sun is up and bright! But no complaints! Winter is my new favourite now!

‘The Girl’ has arrivied… and in style ;)


Its finally here! You don’t know what am talking about. Right. Forgot.

I’ve been meaning to change my blog name since forever. I loved the old name, but it just dint fit somehow.
Right from when i thought of starting a blog, i had no idea what to write or what to name it. Most normal people think of a name and start the first post as an introduction of sorts. Me being ME, i just started off… with no other thought in my head. Coffee And Madness happened by pure chance (after trying like a zillion web addresses, which were all taken) I stuck to it, thinking i would change it as and when i came up with ‘something proper’.

Knowing me, i find it hard to let go of things (Blog name would very much come under this category). Whatever name i came up with, i would find some excuse to not use that for the simple reason that i was too attached to let go of the old name (lame i know). That’s just how i am. I find it hard to let go. I still have the torn up pieces of a lottery ticket from 8th grade which i lost. I still have chocolate wrappers of my 20th birthday. I still have my favourite red frock from third grade. Basically i do lame, embarassing things which is not the point here!

So back to what i was saying… Something proper chose to happen now… so, here is my very late introduction to my very brand new blog…. *drum rolls*
The Girl At First Avenue

The story behind –
First Avenue – Is where i live.My home. The girl – Is Me. Too simple? Lets spice it up!

I wanted something different, something better, something apt to describe me. ( Lets face it, coffee and madness are two over used words in blogosphere!)

My home is where i’ve spent my entire childhood, 90% of my life, grown up, been a mess, got my heart broken, bonded with my family, got my first job, met fantastic people, a place where i ‘belonged’ in every sense.What better way to describe myself? 🙂
And then my blog. Its a spread sheet of my mind. I don’t blog about any one particular thing.
Because it would be a shame not to highlight all the things am good at 😉 .

Also this title has a more dreamy, serious touch to it (or is it just my imagination?) whereas the previous one was completely whacky and light-hearted. In sync with the ‘serious’ touch, i want to add a few more new features to my blog. So just wait and watch!

The tribute –My darling cup of coffee and my everlasting spark of madness! What would i have done without you two. I still have both of you in excess! Yet you’ll be missed. A corner of this space is dedicated as a tribute to you 🙂

p.s – Thoughts about the name, the template?

p.p.s – please do update your blog lists, bloglovin or wherever it is you are following me. Or not!

Where do your clothes come from?

Fashion, thoughts
Ask any 20-something fashion conscious girl (or boy for that matter) about her favourite brands and shops and you’ll most probably hear names like zara, forever 21, forever new and the likes. And for the really brand conscious.. well there is no dearth of top brands or designer wear here. But have you ever wondered where these clothes are made?

95% of all these high-street fashion clothing comes from ‘garment factories’ from India. Right in the slums of Mumbai. A BBC Three series which was broadcast in 2008, saw six young fashionistas travel all the way to India in order to discover where all these items of clothing were coming from.

They discover that working on the production lines is a tough challenge. Discipline is strict and rules cannot be broken; getting up without permission or talking to your friends is strictly forbidden. Targets and quotas must be met and those that do not make the grade get demoted from stitching to lower-status, less well-paid jobs, such as ironing and buttoning. In this first of four programs, the Brits also have to live in their fellow workers’ homes, in cramped conditions without basic facilities like hot water and western toilets.

 Workers working in the cramped factories 

A young girl carrying jeans from one of the factories

I was just as shocked as they were, when i first saw the program, to see the conditions in which the workers were working. There was a time when my sister brought back gifts for all of us when she was living in UK. One of the t-shirts had a label saying ‘Made in India’ and we kidded around as to how she had been duped into thinking it was a ‘foreign brand’. But my mind wandered back to that same incident while watching this program. Not once did i give a thought as to where all these clothes i buy are made. I feel so foolish now that i had been naive enough to think that they are all made in some huge producion house abroad.

The backstreet factories of Dharavi, Mumbai is the largest slum in Asia. With open drainages, narrow streets, no toilet facilities, and severe public health issues, it has a population of 600,000 to over 1 million people.

Dharavi exports goods to all over the world, especially to the fashion hubs such as London and New York.
Workers working there get paid in peanuts. They work long hours in the most unhealthy surroundings. Child labour is involved. People get sick. They export garments which are then sold in high-street fashion boutiques which cost a bomb.

To think that all our clothes are being made there.
To think that children as young as 10 and 12 years are forced to work in those factories day and night.
To think that every time we walk into a mall and pay a thousand rupees ($20 approx) for a dress, the people who made it dont even get twelve rupees (much much less than a dollar)

On one hand it provides employment to so many people who would otherwise starve on the streets, turn to begging or get killed. On the other hand, they are not paid their worth and live in dire conditions.
There are a few organizations such as Creative Handicrafts which strive to counter this problem.

I only wish that more top brands would collaborate with such organizations for all their manufacturing needs and Strive to make a difference.

Midnight chaos

Sydney, thoughts, Travel, weekend
Gee.. long time since i have done this. Off late i have been enjoying sleeping for a solid 9 to 10 hours daily, and i almost totally forgot what its like to lie awake on the bed, unable to sleep, unable to close your eyes and lie still and finally call someone or in this case switch on the laptop and write away silently into the night.
Even my ‘Random Ramblings’ usually have some sort of structure. So this is very unlike me. My ususal late night ramblings are either with a person on the phone or in my personal blog, one that is private, away from all prying eyes- an online journal. Even that  has got a (much deserved) break from me and my late night chaotic thoughts these days.

Am wondering why am so ‘sleepless’ all of a sudden. Sleep and me always go hand in hand. In complete harmony. Never had any problems with each other. So why now? From the past three days? I agree i stayed awake at all odd timings to see the world cup matches on many days. But its over. So is the frenzy. And i’ve finally stopped hopping all over that India’s WON! and starting to settle down quietly. So thats one reason ruled out.

Is there any other excitement then? Not that i know of. Pretty routine life. No surprises. No expectations or worries (knock on wood!). Why can’t i sleep then? For a person who has never suffered from such symptoms, and sleep has always been just a yawn away, this is quite a problem! Apart from walking around like a zombie for a good part of the day, am unable to properly sleep even during the day.

Maybe i need to work out. Strain myself physically. Get completely worn out so that am flat on my bed at the end of the day.Phew! I dont know how all you insomniacs do it! As much as i try to relax and watch one of the hundred movies that i’ve got on my hard disk, all i can think of is why am i not able to sleep? Its different if i choose to watch a movie instead of sleeping, with the reassuring fact in mind that i can sleep if i want to.

Hmmm.. all this staying up is making me hungry… well ill at least go pig out.

I’ve been sorting through all the pics and i found a few i wanted to post…

Manly Beach:

Life guards at Manly – who were lazing around and chit chatting. I dunno if they were keeping a watch!

Rain 🙂
Harbour Bridge in the rain
Two cuties playing around. Had to click it!
Sleep tight people!