Sunday, September 28, 2008

Butterfly On My Leg

Butterfly On My Leg

It was when I sat in the darkness
of my own anger at my loss
that I suddenly noticed the soft and subtle flickers.
White wings came together like an angel's hands in a greeting.
The black eyes studied me.
She moved with steady steps on my calf.
Could I not feel anymore?

I did not move as I looked down. I could feel each footstep.
The wings were translucent, shimmering with
silken fibers. Yet they were opaque.
I wanted to see.
I wanted to feel.
I need to hear.
I strained and did hear the little one's words to me.
Fly with me.
I explained I couldn't.
I must remain to guard my losses.
Her voice beat consistently.
Fly with me.
I told her I could not.

She flew higher and floated to my ears.
She told me of succulent lavendar and heathers,
the inebriating scents of the green grass,
and being quenched by the dew warmed by the rising sun.

She said she understood. She knew.
It was only when she left her cocoon
was she able to savor the lushness of life.
The dark confines were cozy and safe.
But, hunger raged. The fatigue.
The desire to break out, stretch her wings and senses.

She began with a tiny punch.

This was a writing prompt in my poetry journal - "Imagine a butterlfy lands on your leg."

Tribute to The Handsomest Drowned Man In The World

I've been reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez lately, and it's impossible not to be inspired and in love with his stories. Here is my interpretation of his short story "The Handsomest Drowned Man"

Entangled in Seaweed
Somehow, in the course of their normal days
without anyone realizing, they lost their
dreams. They were simply tossed
over the cliffs
with all the other loved and spent objects.
It was so uneventful. They didn't even know it.
They slept hard sleep, awakening to remember
only what was not done.
The women lost their softness,
while the men packed away their strengths
like wool blankets found in June.
Their bodies blurred into continuous days.
When the dreams happened to wash onto the shore,
the children did not know how to greet them,
as they had never been introduced.
Though the dreams lay entangled in scales and seaweed,
everyone took a risk to welcome an Unknown,
but possibly familiar.

They revived embers that barely glowed
and gave them a place to nestle, breathing into the fire.
A light of brilliance,
of all things enormous, wondrous and lustrous,
shone upon them. They wallowed
and followed in a sensuous and ethereal world,
that promised a Tomorrow.

They held their new found dreams above their heads,
allowing themselves to be lifted.
Their feet no longer touched the ground.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Me, Myself and iPhone

I resisted. I don't need it. Get me a Blackberry so I can check my work emails when I'm not at my desk. All the managers have Blackberries. All the techies have their Blackberries. What else is there?

Oh, the iPhone 3G.

So, I waited in line for an hour and half at the Apple store. There were only 5 people in line, so we were quite stunned by the wait. The store associates definitely could've stepped up productivity! I did get to chat with folks in line, and learned from one disgruntled geek that he dropped his iPhone from 18 inches and it cracked. We asked him if he was getting it fixed, and he said no. He just came over to complain to us. Anyway, we split up and learned the AT&T store had no line, and plenty of phones.

When we brought it home, I thought we should've put it on a silk pillow or something. No one was allowed to touch it. We went on Ebay and got leather case for it. I like the flip leather case since my other phones were flip phones. So, I can feel like I'm talking on a phone, not on my iPod.

So, three weeks later, I'm already spoiled. Yes, I am getting my work email on it (new attribute of the 3G is the Microsoft Exchange Server push technology). I don't have to keep logging into my PC or laptop to check the emails. The text feature as a conversation is very cool. I'm amazed by the quality of the photos for a phone. Annika loves the ability to watch Princess songs or the puppet singing Bollywood songs on YouTube. It actually came in handy at work when a colleague posted his embarrassing tourist video and we all got to check it out, since our firewall prohibits YouTube. My friends and family's pictures pop up when they call. It's fun to get an email from a friend with the link of the restaurant we're going to for dinner, peruse the menu all the while I'm running some other stuff at work.

I'm trying to organize my life so I'm noting my appointments and tasks with the calendars. I need to buy books for her music class? Let me punch it in. When am I working out anyway? Let me log my workout activities.

I haven't synched up my iPod, nor have I downloaded anything from Apps store.
(Psst - what is the login info it's asking for?)

1. Not designed for driving and dialing!
2. The passcode enforced by my company takes away the spontaniety of taking pictures
3. My boss, managers, and other colleagues know how to find me on weekends.
4. Just because I make notes and appointments doesn't mean I'll keep them or actually do them.
The definite upside is the "wow factor" and showing off part. I have some key features part of my demo: show a sample youtube, do the maps zone, and zoom in and out of the photos, display a text conversation.

The funniest part of this new phone is the impact that it has on my daughter. Her generation will not know about phones that were stuck to the wall and all you could do was talk while sitting next to it.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Rhythms of India: Nandalal Bose Exhibit

The Philadelphia Art Museum had an exhibit of Indian artist Nandalal Bose, which combined paintings from San Diego and New Delhi.

This was my first exposure to this period of Indian artwork. Bose benefitted from the artistic cultivation from Tagore's school Santiniketan. He strove to build the Indian cultural identity in art by drawing inspiration from Hindu mythology and local villagers and tribes.

For a sampling of the artwork presented, check this slideshow. There were many paintings, which were absolutely beautiful. I was pleasantly surprised to see the influence of Chinese and Japanese painting techniques in the artwork. I never realized there was such a mesh.

By the way, this was my daughter's first visit to the art museum. She was excited to see the Indian art and recognized Bose's religious images of Lakshmi, Shiva and Krishna. She questioned why they looked different, so I tried to explain "artistic interpretations" to her.

Both of us were fascinated by this painting, "Annapurna." The side description explained this was Bose's comment on a 1943 famine in Bengal. Annapurna as Shiva's wife (Parvati) represents nourishment and abundance of food. In this painting, she has the bowls of rice that she's offering. Shiva is dancing, which represents destruction. However, this Shiva has a skeletal appearance, which emphasizes death. And, he has an outstretched hand.

The museum had a short film on the history of Santiniketan and how students were encouraged to look at the world around them for inspiration.

It was nice to see black and white images in this film of students, teachers and also the tribal villagers. This painting shows girls walking through the woods, and I could almost touch them. The landscapes of Bengal are so distinct in all these paintings - rolling hills, waves from the ocean and the trees that stand straight.

It was exciting to learn that Bose was a man who was touched by Rabindranath Tagore and M.K. Gandhi - the two men who uphold India's torch in the light world history. Tagore guided Bose, while Gandhi encouraged Bose's contribution to preserving Indian artistic and cultural heritage.