Monday, 29 December 2014

mundane monday - # 47 - my favourite five from this year

wow. somehow this year has already wound down and we are at the last monday of 2014 .

this has been a year that makes me glad its ending. less said about the year, the better. so goodbye 2014 - you started on a good note, and am grateful for the handful happy days you brought, but im so glad its time to bring down the curtains on you.
here's to hoping that 2015 will see better days.

to wind up the year, here are some of the mundane monday pics that are my personal favourites from this year -

here are the links to each of the posts which have the photos above -

mundane monday - # 36

mundane monday - # 37

mundane monday - # 38

mundane monday - # 42

mundane monday - # 43

one of my pet projects this year with respect to the blog was the complete makeover i gave it. though i took a lot of time, it left me immensely happy since i completed the entire redesign without knowing a single line of code and without any fancy expensive tools like photoshop.
you can see all the details about it in the post i made here .

Monday, 22 December 2014

mundane monday - #46

with just another monday left in the year, i thought it would be good to have a little pop of colour. maybe just to remind ourselves that there are still nice things to look forward to in life, despite it seeming quite bleak often.
this was one of the earliest pictures i took in the mundane monday series, but has not been posted on the blog so far, since i started posting them on the blog much later. its one of my personal favourites too.

Monday, 15 December 2014

mundane monday - # 45

i didnt think there would be a lot many people sailing in the same boat as i do, until i stumbled upon this japanese word called 'tsundoku' some weeks back. the japanese have really nailed it with this one, i should say.

i used to be a very fast reader in my younger days (even if i do say so myself), but the past so many years have seen me accumulate more books than i read. my friend's book which was lent to me has been sitting with me for more than a year and im sure its hope of seeing its owner has considerably faded by now :)

i dont know if i should attribute it to the general lethargy that plagues me or to the fact that i spend a big chunk of time reading online than offline. whatever be it, the desire to buy and stack up on books never ceases :) i've only curbed myself a lot in recent years because books are so heavy to move from place to place often - but still i keep dreaming of having a big book shelf and reading nook someday.

there are days when i think im too drained to write, or do anything else for that matter, but somehow posting even a little something on this blog takes my mind off the chaos and madness of life. i guess thats why i still keep up this blog, even if i dont frequently update it. its like having backup chocolate in the fridge .

Monday, 24 November 2014

mundane monday - # 44

sometimes some things seem like they were made with just me in mind.

no further words this week, since i believe the pic speaks for itself.

i rest my case.  :)

From mundane monday

Monday, 17 November 2014

mundane monday - #43

the month gone by was not much different from what i had expected at the time of my previous post, with other things taking precedence over the blog. i think this is how things are going to be for the rest of the year, with so much stuff having my mind preoccupied. just doing what is absolutely necessary seems to be a big deal by itself.

today, however, i quickly grabbed my camera on a sudden whim. i happened to be catching up with some school friends after many years over whatsapp, and i was telling one of them that her family's native town was the same one in which my parents & aunts had spent their childhood - karaikudi, in tamilnadu, south india. (one of my aunts still lives there, while my dad moved out after he graduated and got a job.)

karaikudi is best known for the community of 'nagarathars' or 'nattukottai chettiars' who have made the region their home for centuries. traditionally traders and businessmen, their huge family homes and the antique treasures brought back from their travels that fill them, are sure to keep any vintage enthusiast happy for a lifetime. their unique customs and traditions, weddings, jewellery, food, hand-made tiles, architecture in their sprawling homes & temples, are all extremely fascinating. 

in recent times, the smaller nuclear families moving all over the world have resulted in many of the huge homes left empty for most of the year, and many of the heirlooms are sold away in antique shops. from palm leaf baskets to wood, glass, enamel, tin, brass, and lacquer - the variety of materials and the amount of stuff made out of them are simply mind boggling - some made closer to home by master craftsmen, others collected and brought home by the menfolk who travelled the world. chettinad antiques are a league of their own.

so - to cut short what could be an endless preamble, and come to today's picture - it is a small glass jar which i picked up in one of the antique stores in karaikudi some years back, during a visit. i generally dont pick up very huge pieces since we move a lot. (a lot, as in every year.) so this was just one of those perfect little knick-knacks which i could take wherever i wanted to. its an orange-amber coloured glass jar, just about 3 inches wide and almost similar in height. right now i use it hold some petroleum jelly on my nightstand (which i scoop out from the bigger container it came in) .

                                                                                                           More mundane monday pics 

one of the most unique characteristics about chettinad antiques is that they would have the family initials engraved on it - whether its their most expensive item of silverware or the smallest item in daily use. so you can see the initials, in tamil script on this one too - (it says "mu. mu. thu")

antique glass jar, chettinad, india.

if you are in the mood for a visual treat, click on the image search result for "chettinad antiques" and prepared to be spell bound :)

Monday, 13 October 2014

mundane monday - #42

highs and lows, up and downs... in many ways life is like a ferris wheel... where your position changes from high to low in a blink. where the view keeps changing. where its as much pointless to worry about the lows, as it is to gloat over the highs, and the only thing one can do is to enjoy the ride, as a whole.

yeah, life changes before you know it. its one roller-coaster ride where you feel powerless as it takes you up and down, round and round, and cant do much except hang on tight. and hope you go back home safe and sound, even if shaken and stirred. hope. its all we have, isn't it ? its what keeps us going each day.

this is a picture of a ferris wheel (or giant wheel as its sometimes called) toy - it belongs to a variety of indian wooden toys called channapatna toys, made in the indian state of karnataka. i got this on a trip to mysore. these are handmade and vibrantly colourful. read one my earlier posts on channapatna toys here.

i think im using my camera today after a long gap of more than two months... and the next couple of months will probably find me quite busy, with my finger in many pies... so im expecting posts to be very sporadic again here. hmmm... (unless of course by some miracle i turn really proactive and schedule them in advance or become very organised enough, that i find time to blog in the midst of chaos. which has hardly ever been the case, going by past evidence.)

Friday, 10 October 2014

my love/hate relationship with september/october...

there is something about september and october - i always seem to have a love-hate relationship with these moths for quite some years now. 
the love part is that it brings one of india's most colourful festivals - navrathri or dussehra - which is celebrated in different ways in different parts of the country, but each no less festive and colourful than the others. the 9 night/10 day festival came to an end last weekend. 

in tamilnadu, which is my home state, it is celebrated with a colourful 'golu' - a display of dolls over the 10-day period, arranged in odd-numbered steps. girls and women dress up in their finest, and daily rounds to visit neighbours, friends, and family are common, where they are given a snack of sundal , along with the traditional offerings of turmeric, sandal & kumkum, betel leaves, coconuts/bananas, and often, a small return gift or favour.  

seen above, part of a set of nesting dolls

new dolls are often added to the family's collection, with the more creative women coming up with 'themes' for their displays each year ! the dolls are lovingly and carefully wrapped and packed off at the end of 10 days until next year. this is one of my most favourite festivals, with fond memories from my younger days... 

the dolls above are called the 'chettiar dolls' - the chettiar doll and his wife are traditionally considered shopkeepers/grocers, and are usually displayed with rice and lentils spread out in little containers before them, signifying the 'shop'. this particular version has a detachable head, so that you can turn them to face any direction !

and now, whats the hate part you ask ? in the past several years, september/october has also been the month in which we invariably move or inevitably travel, every year. which has not only resulted in me not having a golu of my own, but also makes me end up very stressed these months. 
so while everyone everywhere is either in the midst of festivities or enjoying the beauty of fall/autumn around them, i am running around clueless with a house looking like this - 

yeah, i know, not pretty to show in public. but thats how it is. clothes. cartons. bubblewrap. packingtape. everywhere. not something that i particularly look forward to, but have come to accept as a part of my lifestyle :) and i have every reason to believe that i'll be going through the same again, in a few weeks.

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