My Trip To Atlanta

“You should come visit” -NJ
Me -“I’d love to but I’m so stressed right now. Plus I’m traveling to India!”

“You should totally come visit” -NJ (after a few weeks)
Me -“Uh, I don’t know.. I have end sems and I’m traveling to my parents for vacation :/”

“Dude! You need to come visit” – NJ (after a few more weeks)
Me -“Hm… I could I guess. I have a week of vacation in March for spring break.
NJ – “What?! Get your ridiculous self down here then! That’s it!
Me – “Okay!”

That is literally the amount of planning I  did for this trip. And as you know, the lesser you plan the better it gets!

I have been in a crazy phase of impromptu trips over the past year, but honestly, this was the one I enjoyed most.

Atlanta is a gorgeous city in Georgia state. It is very serene and beautify and has a very peppy vibe. Between the quaint bistros, colorful galleries and vibrant parks, I was completely sold for the place.

 

Atlanta downtown, of course, has skyscrapers and is buzzing with activity. But the area that NJ lives in, called Smyrna, is a very laid back suburban area with comfy looking townhouses and a lot of greenery. It really is for nature enthusiastic professionals because of the balance it strikes between providing the benefits of being near a city and the relaxation of a laid back town. They also have art projects going on around the city. Tiny Doors ATL is an Atlanta-based art project bringing big wonder to tiny spaces. Tiny Doors ATL literally installs 7-inch tall doors in strategic places throughout the city. Each door is designed to look and feel like the surrounding neighborhood’s architecture and community spirit. Like the neighborhoods, no two doors are exactly the same! Collecting pictures of the Tiny Doors is an activity that most tourists do. Atlanta has a large and vibrant art scene that I thought was really cool!

One of the most interesting experiences that I had on this trip was going to the Hippie Sabotage Concert. I had never conscientiously put in an effort to listen to electronic dance music before. And because that’s practically what NJ listens to all day along with a wide array of other music that I don’t understand, I was pretty nervous about going to this concert. hippieBut once we entered, the ambiance was fabulous! They had an amazingly comfortable interior with a large and jazzy dance floor next to the bar. The stage was huge and well lit. Their light coordination with the music was mind-blowing. They also had two floors of seatings and a popsicle vending store, which was fabulous. That was more than enough to get NJ psyched about the concert. Never seen a person so excited like a puppy dog :’) Although, I hadn’t listened to a lot of their music, I heard a few songs before the concert to get myself familiar. I also kept googling up the lyrics with NJ’s help for any of the songs that I didn’t know. I was sorted! It was a loud night of lights, music and incoherent screaming- and I loved all of it! NJ was so glad that the night was a hit and I was super happy that I had a very exciting introduction to EDM music. The Hippie Sabotage may not be a well-known band, but they did a good job of keeping the audience entertained. I thought they were “Dope!” 😀

Next, we went to this galleria called Little Five Points which was the most colorful and peppy galleria I’d ever seen. They had everything. EVERYTHING. From themed resto-bars to quaint bookshops, art boutiques and exclusive clothes stores, they had it all! I bought some amazingly adorable decorators for my room along with badges and piercings. It was wonderful. 

 

I walked around the stores for a bit and did my rummaging around for good-vibe-things. We had dragged along NJ’s roommate Nicole and her fond boyfriend Wess for our shopping rage as well. We walked, chatted and they introduced me to an emo themed restaurant called The Vortex. The food was as impressive as the name was. With their large burgers and delicious beer they had us swooning at the table. Again, lots of laughter and games over food – this gorgeous gang of unicorns kinda made my day.😊

Apart from shopping and partying, we also did all the cozy things I enjoy most. NJ had recently gotten into watercolor art and would get snug with her roommate to paint every other day. img_2134So, we snuggled up in the living room and decided what we’d like to color. After much fretting and reservation, I finally agreed to paint a picture that I saw on Pinterest and liked. For more on my struggles with painting art, please read my last blog post, Pretty As A Picture. To my surprise, I came up with a really pretty and close replica of what I wanted to paint! It was super fun and relaxing. We played the latest season of Queer Eye on the side, got some delicious food and gossiped 😀 Another favorite activity of mine was spending time with Lucy. Lucy is a friends dog that NJ babysits whenever they go out. She’s the most enthusiastic dog I have ever met. She’s very young, loving and adorable and it was her morning routine to wake me up by trying to lick my face off. Honestly, I didn’t mind 🙂 WhatsApp Image 2019-03-16 at 7.35.37 PMI would hear Nicole, greet lucy every morning with lots of love! Like a mother reunited with her pup after an endless night of separation, gushing over her fondly. Lucy definitely pumped up the happiness quotient of the house by a couple of shots. That’s her on the right. She likes to pose and is very photogenic! Such a diva ❤️ I also loved the long drives that NJ and I took. The city is so beautiful and green that driving around it at stopping for food at drinks at my every whims and fancy was pretty magical. It’s that kind of a place where travel gets you high. In a short span of three days, we tried all of Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, American and Indian cuisines. It was fabulous. My taste buds haven’t stopped thanking NJ yet. 😍 On colder nights, I’d cozy up on NJ’s barcalounger with my laptop and food, creating content for what I’d write next. Sometimes Lucy would join me and we’d take a nap. It was NJ’s mission to stop at every fantastic food place and make me dance at every club we went to. Worked out well for me I guess! Walking along the art walkway into the sunset eating popsicles and talking about things that matter what my favorite part. I don’t know what perfect means but I’m pretty sure this was hella close to it :’)

Thanks, NJ, for dragging me away from my rut and giving me the vacation I deserved ❤️

Stay beautiful, bruh.

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Pretty As A Picture

Do you know what it’s like to paint?

For most people it’s purely meditative.

I’d never had that experience before. I used to draw when I was a little kid- like most of us did. But after crossing middle school, it wasn’t something I took seriously. I wonder why.

My sister is a fabulous artist! That kid has an eye for the most intricate details. It amazes me how perceptive even a child can be. I think it shows that we absorb more than we think we do… She starting sketching with her Eiffel tower piece below. Me? I’m “different”.
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Have you ever had that feeling that you’re terribly bad at something? Like, significantly worse at it than others? Yeah, Me too.

I’m terrible at sketching. TERRIBLE.

My circles are ovals, my ovals are circular, I do not understand angles and my shading and sense of proportions is bizarre. It’s kind of funny Related image

I literally get nervous when I paint because I’m so convinced of how bad it’s going to be. Below are a few more samples that I really like from my sister’s collection.

 

Just like me,

Millions of adults around the world would break into a cold sweat if asked to draw a picture in front of a group of people. They’d deny any artistic talent, make excuses, and do whatever it took to avoid being on the spot with a pencil in their hand.

But ask a couple of five-year-olds to do the same thing, and within seconds they‘ll be drawing, explaining, and creating artistic masterpieces for all to see.

After a terrifying past with my attempts with art, I slowly mustered the courage to try to stop being silly and try art again. It took a lot of convincing from Namini, my college roommate, who kept egging me on to give it a try. WhatsApp Image 2019-03-16 at 1.01.34 AMShe has gotten into more ‘simplistic art’ recently where she uses watercolors to paint what she finds fascinating. And even though she keeps insisting that they’re nothing great, I think they’re quite deep and hence fantastic. This is a sample from her art collection on the right. She has an array of artwork but I really like this one best because I connect with it on a personal level. This piece symbolizes to me how the dolphin is appreciating the lonely starry night in its peace and calm. I find myself remembering times when I’ve been in the middle of nature during travels and have felt so deeply in love with myself and everything around me. It simmers on me a sense of calm and peace which is almost sedating in a way. Not that I’m trying to say I’m a dolphin, but you get the point.

So what happened between the age of 5 and 15 that makes me terrified to draw? What makes YOU afraid?

For many people, it’s when they first realize that their drawings look nothing like reality. They can SEE the obvious mistakes, but have no idea how to fix them; feeling that if they can’t draw something perfectly, then they shouldn’t draw it at all. I know I’ve felt that way.

Perhaps it came as a surprise when one of my classmates at school laughed at my art homework and said your “family portrait” looked like two giraffes and an alien.

That’s a tough critique for anybody to take, let alone a kid, but it doesn’t mean I’m not an artist.

Most people think artists have some kind of gift, and I suppose that some artists are born with a talent for art. But, if we looked at the childhood drawings of 100 professional artists, I’d bet you’d find that 99 of them made the same type of scribbles and stick figures that all of us did as a kid.stick-figure-blue-shoes

The difference is that they never quit making scribbles, and at some point, they LEARNED to draw, whether from books, videos, teachers, or just on their own with lots of practice.

So why would it be any different for us? In fact, in order to not fall into a few of the potholes, we could be a little more diligent by making sure that we pick a reference before we draw or paint something. This is because drawing or painting something from memory can be pretty hard. Our memories get blurred and obstructed over time and when we draw based on something we vaguely remember, it often turns out to look horrible on paper. This is why many beginner artists get discouraged as well because they set a high expectation of drawing something very close to their imagination. Another reason is that people often have an expectation of picking up quicker and not realizing that it takes time and constant effort to improve this skill like any other. We immediately jump to wanting to draw a caricature of George Bush or a tropical sketch of the mountains forgetting that good art doesn’t happen with the snap of a finger.

The thing is, there’s no need to keep thinking that you have to be born with some amazing talent to be an artist. All it really takes is for somebody to teach you, plus some time and effort on your part. And I think this applies to all form of creativity and skill, not just art.

So while we try to enhance our skillsets and upgrade ourselves or just nurture our talents and learn new perspectives, maybe we should also learn to go easy on ourselves.

Slowly and steadily, we’ll all get there someday 😊❤️

For The Love Of Writing

The much-awaited trip has begun. After weeks of uncertainty and fickle mindedness, I’ve finally packed my bags and have head out for what I hope will be a trip I will always remember. I’ve always had a fascination with the mountains. Maybe it was the stories grandma told me about her life in the mountains and everything magic like about it. Or maybe it was just the escapist in me, reaching out… desperately searching for a better place to live in. I don’t know yet. The idea of being cooped up in a cozy loft on top of a hill overlooking the mountain ranges must be very romantic to me, I suppose.

I started my journey to the beautiful city of Sathkol at the break of dawn on the last Wednesday of this month. I was supposed to reach there a day earlier, but having comfortably overslept and missed my train, I managed to catch the next one from Gurgaon to Kathgodam next morning. I got off at Kathgodam in joggers and with unkempt hair (as groggy and shabby as one can be) and took a cab from the station to Sathkol, where I planned to spend the rest of my week.

The drive till Sathkol was undoubtedly very breathtaking. Situated 43.6 km from its district capital Nainital, Sathkol is a village panchayat rich in beauty and nature.

I was happy to find that the place was very clean and pretty. While I smiled at the chilly wind brushing past my hair, my Bangalore accustomed lungs felt very unsettled by the lack of pollutants in the air. How do I do this? I frowned and thought to myself. Unbelievably excited I realize, finally – my exploration begins!

Where am I headed to you ask?
http://www.himalayanwritingretreat.com/

Join me 🙂

Let’s Talk About Me

mee

Who am I?
Having lived in five different countries, I’m a cultural mix. Spice of the east, a toss of the west wishing to be a part of the European. I can read and write four different languages. I have been an avid reader and travel enthusiast my entire life. I am an empath who often feels lost and confused about where I belong. I’m on my way of figuring out what that means and will let you know once I find out. I did my schooling partly in the middle east and partly in India. I went to India to pursue my Engineering degree while my family moved to Indonesia and then Singapore. I am currently in New York, pursuing my Graduate degree in Business and Analytics. I belong to a family of Engineers, Writers, Teachers, Linguists, Therapists, and Philanthropists. I’ve had the privilege of living with people who belong to different disciples of education and that has influenced my world view of work, travel, and education. Right now, I am at a point in my life where I want to give my self the opportunity to grow and explore my talent as a writer, photographer, cook, and a travel enthusiast. That’s my picture on the top 🙂
Why does writing mean to me?
Well- writing to me is very meditative. It’s an easy way to put my thoughts down into words and express what myself within the comfort of my solitude. When I write, I also do not feel pressured or watched, which gives me the space to be myself. Thus, it’s a very powerful platform for me to share my experiences and talk about things that matter to me.
What do I want to achieve with this blog?
I’ve realized that I’ve used humor my whole life to cope with absurd situations. Reading piles and piles of Harry Potters and P. G. Woodhouse has empowered me with a combination of imagination and tongue-in-cheek humor that I use to express myself.
I have dabbled with writing and journaling dozens of times before, but have never committed to it. Hopefully, this time will be different.
Said the same two lines in a whole different light, didn’t I?? 😉