Sunday, 11 August 2013


Muenchen has its fair share of sees and the Isar. Many on the S-bahn route. The river you could walk to. And once equipped with a decent camera, you don't need filters to express days that are provide for unadulterated un-boring, relaxed experiences. And when excited at the Ammersee, you can also climb up the Andechser Kloster- where the monks brewed their choicest one ab 1477.

And then generally speaking, while I share the regret, I'd be hesitant to stop nearabouts the Nora Ephron-ish conservative upper limits.

“Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was twenty-six. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don't take it off until you're thirty-four.”

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

the window with a sill

As a young girl, I was fiercely protective of my parents' rooms and the admission of random people in it, possible as we lived in a joint Indian family open to public access being on the ground floor. I also used to be very interested in keeping things in place, exactly where they were from before (a habit I still keep thanks to grandmother).

The advantage of the ground floor of course was easy access to the garden mud and roses through the big windows. The windows had sills which could seat me and big wooden frames that were generally open for air, because there were no ceiling fans. A July or mid August hot day only just meant an occasional table fan and keeping the windows open.

I have few documented memories of those short summers stacked away in hard drives seldom used. Except that it just came back to me. In Munich.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Where is Someplace Else?

I am answering the same question again. Sometimes it is difficult to answer questions when you're not equipped to handle them. And there's no real rule for knowing when you start reaching that answer. (In most fascinating ways, wann (when) and wenn (if) are only differentiated with an e- pronounced 'a' in German). I am increasingly finding it difficult to deny that sometimes in a Park in a massive (but not touristy) biergarten, flowing away with Isar's strength while being in protective vision or just while walking through with handwritten notes of streets on a quite evening, I find myself saying, maybe the present is the future we are always fending for.

Just one casual evening walk

In summer you can't not eat out

by the Isar

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Eating out: La Fattoria, Muenchen

I wish my keyboard had umlauts! Such a non-German giveaway :-/ [ Reason to buy a new laptop!]

So well, 6 days into Muenchen and on the weekend I realised I couldn't sit here at my apartment window desk, watch movies every weekend, or look at Facebook and never try anything. Every time I go to a new city, everyone already has a plan. And a group to plan the plan with. And so, I decided to take matters (finally) into my own hands, and well, on Facebook. I couldn't be the *only* person in the ten million who was new.

I found a "Neu in Muenchen" group, decide to utilise my half-baked Deutsch and asked people if they were interesting in an eating-group. Just to try out new places. It worked, and today was our first dine out. Once I had enough people I just called up and reserved a table. Easy.

La Fattoria is a small, one man run restaurant close to where I live- may not be on the guide books, but a wonderful experience. It's Italian as the name suggests and we promptly ordered our drinks (my Apfel Schorle-<3) and Pastas. Of course with several people around, we couldn't sit out and eat- though the rain had made the outside quite delectable. We were all cribbing and fanning to ward off the tropical temperatures (ohne ventilatur und ACs) till the food arrived. I don't recall anyone talking about heat till we finished- now that's a good sign, no? I ended up eating something divine with Aubergine. People across me were eating some awesome fish platter- which I think I am ordering next time [:mental note].

Conversation was easy. I'm not afraid of new people in general. Especially those who come in with an open mind too. My Deutsch isn't anywhere close to good, but nowadays I like it if people speak in it around me, just because I understand the context and what they're saying. Of course I wish I could answer back better and react, but that's another story. We were all new so there was a lot going into introductions, wine-weather-Muenchen-Where are you from-Where do you work-even the tragedy of how tough buying an Isarcard can be (I had just suffered in the morning).

We all walked up to the Kasse to pay and I realised though I had called up and asked if it were okay to pay by card, it weren't so and I had obviously misunderstood. So that hassled me and the owner just simply said I shouldn't worry and pay him the next time. I still can't believe it. Talk to anyone about Deutsch customer service, they don't say much. In fact I have joked enough times myself that the customer service here equals: A tut mir leid (I am sorry, can't do it!). So this was perfectly shocking. In the greatest way. Of course I found some money then. Paid and tipped. Still shocked a bit.

I walked back with a newly discovered neighbour and got a few more suggestions of new things to experience. Sometimes being proactive doesn't hurt, does it?

PS: No photos because I felt too shy and intrusive to ask if we could click a photo, perhaps next time if we group up again :-)

Monday, 22 July 2013

Afro-Pop @Tollwood, Muenchen: Jobarteh Kunda The Band !
I'd seen Afrikan Pop several times on the screen, but never really in person. And lo and behold, Tollwood (echt toll !) Sommerfestival in Muenchen was a-w-e-s-o-m-e. On the music front especially. I was lucky to have caught the closing day for this summer. They also run a winter festival (which I really think is worth considering!).

The man himself!
And so I heard Jobarteh Kunda LIVE! (so cool, I'm such a nut for live music). The Zelt had the usual German benches to be shared with random people and as I stepped in to find a platz, I realised some people were in front of the stage Afro-and-random dancing to the beats and the music that really felt happy. In general, I am very shy with dancing because I really am not a dancer. But this was a non-dancers dream, the people I was going to be attending with were late, I was alone, I didn't care, and nor did anyone around me. Besides, I genuinely felt happy seeing people enjoy and just *joined in*. It IS special music that can make you dance even though you don't understand the music, are stark alone in an unknown crowd, and still join in. Also the band itself is highly international with people from the US, Canada, Aruba, Germany, Senegal, Italy!

His extremely hippy and strikingly stylish daughter : & a fantastic dancer!
The crowd was obviously far more informed than I were, in all probability 'fans'. Once the band finished playing all the Afro fans moved over to another Zelt and collected for a JAM session. Anyone could play the African drums, dance and just make good music alongside others.

The festival also had a "Delhi Haat" with the worst Punjabi singer ever. Of course there were people enjoying that too. I felt too snobbish there, cos I understood better and quickly moved over to 50s rock and roll.

And for anyone interested the Afro-drum Jamming group apparently meets in Englisher Garten, where one has the just "follow the drums" :-)!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Babe in the neue city

Now I officially feel I'm new in the city. Because I changed the city for the summer. And so all is new again. Armed with new shoes marking the city name. I also decided to participate in the #30dayselfphotothing I found on a blog I like. I was almost going to get my photos up, when I received a very creepy email from a blog-reader of my old blog and I remembered I was "anonymous" here for valid reasons.

Anywho. I did however like the idea of photos simply because it also matched with the day I moved: between states.

Generally my first day in a new city is always strange. I can't find routes and I tend to always walk to find my way around, and I am always never with maps (will I improve?). At least now I have Google maps (not on my phone though!). I was equipped with directions written down and a memory of what I had seen on the computer. This happens to me on the first day of every new city, but this time I decided to document it. Oh so while walking to the Westendstrasse Flohmarkt imaging it would replicate my lovely Berlin experience, while it severely felt short of it, I traced my own unique neighbourhood route. I accidentally found the Westpark (really cool) and the Audi Dome (ok!) and the Ruhmeshalle (like!). So while I do not regret it. Losing your way is always special ;-).

(From A to F usually a few U-bahn stops with a change and a 4 Km walking way), here's my walk-map. Really disturbed family that I walked so, but then good exercise and a laugh later, no? :-)

Entering home again, felt refreshing, even in a hot (!) sommer dach house.

PS: God (!) created Steffi-Muenchen shoes for a reason ;-)

Monday, 15 July 2013

Ever since I grew up

Clearing out my desks, I found an old letter from 2011. I had forgotten all about it. And I realised, even with its emotionally charged contents- some stupid, I feel I could talk about it, without worries.

I realised that I'm no longer the rebellious kid anymore. I do not need to escape questions or filter information [considering also how I choose the people I spend time with]. Not because I do not care about the consequences, but because I feel responsible for them. It's a feel-good thought. There were sufficient times as a child that I were this same way too, open because I were guilty if not completely honest. Then those troubled teens happened and elongated for an awfully long time. Sometimes, I'd not say what I felt pretending it were protecting the other person. Often times, I were only just protecting me. Not wanting to explain behaviour or getting irritated with incessant questioning- also because I weren't mentally prepared to handle them. I hadn't thought them through. I feel just enough grown up now to realise actions have consequences, which I control. I never thought I could be convinced into making to-do lists with excels, till one day it just happened.

Following the classical Hofstede's 4+1 model, and being Asian enough to avoid conflict by writing an email was just me. Till two minutes on a Skype call made me feel intrinsically confident to start talking what no written word could have been able to achieve. In fact these days I often feel that the Telephone is a substitute tool too. I feel far better standing in the kitchen, being able to talk in person knowing the exactness of reactions and being able to understand. I thought I had lost this ability to connect on a personal, real level. With all its pros the virtual-ness of the Internet had taken it away from me. I seem to be getting it back now. I try hard to meet conflicts. Till I become a natural. Not aggressive, but someone who can talk directly and fairly, or even emotionally as is warranted, conflict or not.

Surprisingly, it's not draining me out. It's giving me peaceful courage. The kind that comes with being in love, and that idea of owning dogs, together.

My small attempt at translating my own thoughts (for practice ;-))

Als ein Maedchen hatte ich ein grosse Probleme, ich konnte ehrlich sein oder nix. Weil die Schuld zu gross sein koennte. Als ich bin aufgewachsen, "Troubled teens" haben passiert. Wahrscheinlich glaubte ich, wenn ich irgendwas nicht sage wuerde, dann die andere Person hatte Protektion. Eigentlich schuetzte ich nur mich.

Genau von "Hofstedes 4+1 model" menschen aus Asien (naemlich mich) haben "Konflikt" vermieden. Ich wurde Email schreiben ohne sprechen. Klingt komisch, aber originalgetreu. Gestern war die Verwandlung. Als eine Frau habe ich meine Zustaendigkeit realisiert. Alle Aktionen kam mit Zustaendigkeit. Ich fuehlte "Kontrolle".

Ich habe real-Personal-Kommunikation ohne Internet wieder verstanden. Ich koennte mit den Konflikte treffen. Und das war nicht ueberwaeltigend. Es gab mich den Mut. Wie es kommt mit Liebe und mit der Idee dass wir Hunde zusammen bekommen koennten.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

I don't think about writing much at all these days, especially since writing involves deadlines now. My friend once told me how he has nothing to write because he says it all. It started as an experiment with me. I wanted to stop writing emails to be able to talk better. And be able to express well. I tried sufficiently. [Additionally I cut off all channels of unwieldy communication, my Facebook for instance only has people who don't bother me]. Two things happened. My in-person communication did improve- but that probably was more a natural progression than anything else. I also became a lot more silent.

At 17, I told my then roommate that I found that her silence was corrupt. While she silently saw the truth through my exaggerations. I believed, people who do not talk are being dishonest by not sharing what they feel clearly. At work also. My first meeting with a colleague often meant saying- let me know what you feel I will not assume. I'd often tell others how I don't like quietness which later often meant resentment and piled-up emotions.

I just don't think so cynically about silence now. I hear more. And I enjoy it. Sitting in a white car, zoning out of the music that I don't know. I think of different things. Home, myself, things I enjoy, moving moments. I feel a certain sense of control over my small enjoyable moments. Some that I am so smug and happy with, that sharing them is pointless. They even make me cry and just don't mean anything to anyone else. I look outside the window and see the clouds. I look at photographs which make me feel loved. At postcards on my wall that remind me of strange conversations. I even remember being in some of those. I feel lost in thought and I intently try to make the creases on the forehead smoother. I try to look to remember every detail that I don't have enough camera pixels for. Often, I wait for one sip of sparkling water in the dead of the night while I curl back into sleep, quietly. I internalise my love and nourish my happiness from within. There wasn't anything to talk about. I feel a sense of release.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Pragnya: Naive passion

I think this post started as a part of a kitchen conversation on the side a few months ago. On the backdrop of Motorcycle diaries. Do you always know what your passion is, or do you travel inside to find it out? Should one have a passion? Learning Deutsch clearly helps me distinguish. 'Sollen' (should) - gets used post someone else's suggestion. So then, must one live life through the lens of someone else's should?

I always found it fascinating (and also was enamoured a bit) after meeting someone with a strong interest. It took me an awful while to be comfortable with the fact that I could not identify a single personal passion which kept me awake in the night. I live life willing to experience and learn the new.
Still these passion people always entice me.

Here's one who gave up her job for music. I heard "Naive" on oklisten first and got in touch. It's nice to see 'performers' be quick in replying too. I like the details, her voice. Below.

TFSM: What made you move towards an alternate field?
Pragnya: I was working in America with Infosys for a retail firm .During my time there I became very reflective about my life. I was enjoying my job at first but I soon realized that I was meant to be doing something that would make a bigger difference to people’s lives. I always enjoyed music from my childhood days. I learnt Indian classical music from my best friend’s mother and would look forward to going to her place every evening, sitting on the floor with the harmonium and singing. I realized that every time mom and dad called to ask about what’s happening at work, I would only talk about the band we formed, the shows we did  and how much fun we were having. It was when I was working in America that I started writing my own songs. I played one of them for a musician friend and he liked it and said “Lets record it” .So we recorded it at his homestudio. That encouraged me and I started writing more songs, did my first show ,spent a lot of nights rehearsing after work and decided that this is what makes me the happiest.That was the moment of truth for me.

TFSM: Do you wake up sometime thinking about the social pressures of the “conventional”?
Pragnya: Sometimes it happens quicker,sometimes it takes a little longer.Patience is key.One has to be patient with people who question you for your unconventional career choices, patient when you see friends earning more than you or getting promoted,patient when you are denied performances because venues think you don’t have the capacity to draw a large enough crowd,patient with the naysayers.Finally one day when your efforts are rewarded it is worth all the days you doubted yourself when you were under pressure from what the world thought of you.I don’t stress over fitting into any mold.

PS: It's also a good oklisten album to get. It's interesting to have a language mix too.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

TheFirstSixMonths: Bookish movements- Nora & James Joyce

This was going to be a post without many stories, but a little wandering. Stories just happened. In the midst. 

James Joyce met Nora Barnacle on June 10. Their first walk and date however was towards Ringsend by River Liffe on June 16, 1904. Leopold Bloom's ordinary day is chosen to be June 16. Celine and Jesse meet in Vienna on June 16.

The very erotic letter exchanges (which were auctioned, even) between Nora and Joyce have led to split opinions on whether this date was "chaste". Like the "potential" implications in Celine's Vienna.

Leopold proposed to Molly in Howth.
"...I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes. "
Nora started learning French in the anticipation of his move to Paris, and ran away with Joyce. They set up house in mainland Europe in 1905 and got married in 1931. As predicted by his father (based on her surname) she never left him.

Every year Dubliners celebrate the first date as Bloomsday, becoming one with the characters (playing a part or two) and walking the "Ulysses path". At times, a Bloomsday isn't required even.

Stories: Here, here, here, here and here

Friday, 5 April 2013

TheFirstSixMonths: The Happy Secret #LifeProject

I've been having, what I call, very tough years, the past few years in a row. It was strange then, when, last year, my mother made me help her with an essay on 'gratitude' for a magazine article she was writing. I remember postponing it as much as I could and not being able to quantify what it meant, in my head, and honestly, I didn't feel I had a lot to be grateful for somehow, in those exact times. Later in the summer of 2012, I picked up a book referred by a friend, which again talked a lot about 'gratitude' as a way of life. I wrote several journal pages of gratitude, even mechanically, as advised. Vielleicht, it helped. Around the same time, I also heard Shaheen Mistri from Teach For India who mentioned something on the lines of how one of their teachers/ leaders would share a plant/ painted pot with her group of teachers as a token of gratitude.

A year later, I heard a Shawn Achor TED talk, and I decided to finally indulge in a small project following it.

#LifeProject: 21 days of 3 new things that I was grateful for
Time period: March 14- April 4, 2013
Curiosity: Do I feel happier-> can I really train my brain to see more happy things?
Additional curiosity: What new things am I grateful about each day-> what really matters?

Today is March 14 when I am starting this post, and I feel cynical about it. I want to try these days out and return to the post to see what I feel in April.

And now April 5, here are the results:

Curiosity result 1: So well, I increasingly hear/ experience more- something that I mentally note to be put in a list to be grateful for. It's almost like heightened sensitivity. I feel a stronger connect with people that I put in my inner circle of friends / people I like spending time with. It's like this weird warmth of sorts.

Curiosity result 2: For the past 22 days, I've been most grateful for the time/ experiences people share with me. I don't know if that surprises me. But this has been true everyday. I was thinking perhaps it's also because in a busy home before this move, I had such an unabated access to sharing (even unwanted at times) that I had taken it for granted. Now I increasingly seek human connect (actively). And am happy to be able to share. I'm not sure if it's crazy happy, but this just makes me feel more grounded and peaceful. And that's snug.

I have also realised I am a bit skeptical about people who seem to have no sense of gratitude towards what they have, and have a strong sense of entitlement instead -of course some people work hard for it, but many are just careless. I rather shun careless, especially about people.

In general, I think it's an interesting project. I'm tempted to continue.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

TheFirstSixMonths: Being social- what it says about you

Yesterday night I noticed, while self-Googling [sophisticated social ego mapping what's the shame in that], people like me have multiple profiles on various social networks. Currently Twitter and Quora are my favourite. Twitter has taught me, how I don't need to carry the burden of ending sentences, paragraphs and conversations every time. Also, I am a blog person.

The first time I worked on social media professionally was in 2008 from the outside-in perspective to understand behaviour. And, while it's hard to make generalisations about people and I'd be careful not to, there are similarities, and groups, variants and stereotypes that exist for reasons as well. It's not any different on 'social' networks. In fact they bring out [without shame] the human need to connect/ share, satisfy creativity, and also a latent [or not] desire for the '15 minutes of fame'. Sometimes I really think they allow us to embrace our voyeuristic parts better.

Heartless Doll [.com], oh well, had a list up with the analysis on what different networks are associated with what kind of characteristics of the users. Of course, Facebook is no longer-just young. Wiki is not necessarily invisible, and mySpace isn't what it was back in '08. Twitter wasn't half as big to be allowed much fan space in the little diagram I had created [it's on the page linked below though]. Provides for an interesting read still.
Data from:  Heartless Doll , Picture in centre from Google images

Just came across one for Instagram users by filters (!) [didn't exist in 2008]. I'm not on Instagram but I have used it, and I was selecting filters just based on the visual impact of the photos. This takes it to another sub-conscious level :P I'd probably need a lot more sustained usage to find out which one I am!


Tuesday, 26 March 2013


In the first six months, I don't really think time flew. I like that it didn't. I wanted it to be paced evenly, savour it and not let it rush me by. I have had to struggle through Deutsch, several attempts at getting the kitchen right (the pictures on the blog are obviously better attempts), lot of cross-cultural learning - away from the familiar. In the process I allowed myself to go through re-feeling perspectives and love.

I feel a lot more challenged. I increasingly meet people with vastly different outlooks that make me question mine. Not because I weren't sure of me, but in a more expansive, how well do I know myself manner. At times it does feel like crap. Living with family has an auto benefit (problem) that you don't need to be interesting or push yourself anymore. Also, Indian families never really allow for alone-ness. Far away from everyone, I feel starkly lonely at times. At times I feel guilty for not being near my parents and being able to help/ entertain. Then I talk to a friend, or go through my reasons of wanting a shift and feel lighter.

There's a lot of freedom. I choose to have the whole responsibility. All the freedom is also making me understand my boundaries. Sometimes I cross a few, and at other times, I refrain because I just like how it is.

Making cross-country-changes like these as a grown-up are far tougher but also more rewarding. The ability to appreciate things and people is far greater. And I have to admit overall, I like it. I sleep better. I wanted to save the magic, and replay, the first six months. Before, I start again.

PS: the video reads better on full screen oder Youtube

Friday, 22 March 2013

TheFirstSixMonths: #ifihadglass with Google

We were talking about success of Hi-Tech projects recently. Especially really innovative things that we've never used before, and thus there's always a chance that it may not work. Btw, it is estimated that 70% of the new things we use in 2018 have not been invented yet. Imagine! In the middle of it all, some smart guy asked if Google-Glass was a success. We all sighed it off, almost mocking his lack of knowledge on the fact that the product isn't even out yet. Two things happened: One I realised, actually I don't know far too many details on it either. Secondly, what brilliant marketing! As some are touting it to be something for which demand has been created pre the supply.

Interestingly, the Nightflier's also had stories about this new thing gaining interest. Handing over-

Sergey Brin demo-ed Project Glass during google I/O last year, it looked like another toy Google designed which would never see a consumer-centric campaign. But recently the #ifIhadglass campaign took off [so far 145K mentions, 5:1 sentiment ratio] I am fascinated by the sleek design and augmented technology features of Google Glass. Everyone is praising Google's design, even seeing the day when design will no longer be an Apple domain. The videos and initial tech reviews look very very cool.

Viele Fragen
Google says it is about augmenting technology in a way to fit into our existence to make us more "aware" of our surroundings. I for one cannot see how wearing a screen right in front of my eyes is going to make me more aware of passersby or bystanders or even my friends and family. If Google says glass is going to make you more aware of the surroundings by just letting us take pictures or videos and share them instantaneously or get directions without distracting ourselves then its just an adage to the smart phone where you would extend smartphone functionality to glass via bluetooth and not use your hands that often. Another pain point about Glass is the data or the connection. If you are in a tunnel or far away from cellular range, the glass would serve no purpose. But in a populated neighborhood say like SFO may be Glass is just the thing you need to keep your bearings straight.

Sci-Fi Future?
Behind all the doubts is the possibility that may be there is something fundamental about how we augment technology into real life/world that will change. Or it will open new dimensions. The possibilities are immense. Hence the excitement and fascination. Quora has interesting threads going on about how the UI design must work for such device. There are few interesting mock ups for possible future apps. #ifihadglass is revealing interesting answers from a consumer point of view. The most practical one till now has been how glass can be used inside operation theaters by doctors during surgeries and by hikers/trekkers who are in perilous situations and need instant support.
Another quora thread which explores possible glass applications is noteworthy. I would say the future shown in the sc-fi movies is here. If only they had this campaign in India!

See if for yourself!

PS: Immense stalking potential !

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

TheFirstSixMonths: Movie Review- Harud

...means Autumn. Just finished watching the film, and found it disturbing. Not because it shocked me. I am aware that missing people phenomena in the state is by and large a thing they live with. And I do not think people deserve to go through such experiences, even if, a few of them went about creating havoc. I feel people can be influenced into violence, only when there's something starkly wrong in the background. In this case it wasn't lack of education, but perhaps a deeper social nuance. Even if many decided to choose violence, many others suffered in the process- and not by choice.

Germany started the war, and as I heard someone say today, it boomeranged back and hit them with massive destruction post the war. Many people supported the party for the inflationary/ economic conditions it addressed and was able to run a campaign with. Some people fled the country. Some stayed. All suffered. But the politics and war aside, not every war victim, in any form, deserved to go through it.

This movie shocked me not by the content. Just by the mere knowledge that I choose to ignore it on a daily basis on most cases. Like the rest and the other side. I wish I had the objectivity for the problems we face in our worlds. I wish I could push myself enough to do something. Constructive. I wish I could slap the guy who wrote the Times of India review for the movie. Because, giving opinions in the backdrop of severe lack of knowledge and empathy is a listed crime.

Conflict tales are not easy to portray. Conflict changes who we are, and what we project into our worlds. Certainty and Superman are not what carries into the childhood. Understanding it requires challenging who you are as a person. Of course I'd imagine it's easier for people close to it to be able to showcase it. But that's also what makes it equally tough.

People who go missing leave a vacuum. The sort of loneliness you decide to live with. Till it numbs out. As if it never occurred. Not once truly filling up. Even with Rafiq's newly discovered old camera.

P.S. Chasing Tales, at the backdrop of the recently awarded national movie awards. Aamir Bashir is very very creative. I loved the songs in the backdrop also. I wish the muttersprache was used as the main language.

Monday, 11 March 2013

TheFirstSixMonths: Cannoli und Spinat in Deutschland

They seem to love Italian food here. A lot of fancy eating out places are Italian. Both the vegetarian girls are compulsive cookers (I wish I could stake claim to this word!). Cooking is much funner, and also satisfying thus, providing both Italian and vegetarian options to play with.

Spinach-cheese filled Cannoli 

Filling for Cannoli: Fry onions and a little garlic for flavour and add frozen Spinach (or the leaves post being boiled and mashed a little). Cook on a slow flame for 8-10 minutes. Take off from the stove and now add Quark to the Spinach. Mix well. Add grated Feta cheese (as much as you'd like, but it goes well with Spinach). Add salt, pepper, if needed, according to taste.

Sauce for Cannoli: Tomato puree cooked on a low flame with salt and pepper for taste. Can add other spices as per taste. We added basil and oregano.

Fill the Cannoli (we bought Cannoli btw) with the Spinach-cheese filling with a spoon and finger on the other end. Lay the Cannoli next to each other on a baking tray. On top add tomato sauce covering the Cannoli well. Pre-heat the oven. Add grated Parmesan cheese on top of the tomato sauce. Put in the oven for 20 minutes at 250C. Check once with a fork to see if the sauce has seeped in and the Cannoli is sufficiently soft after 20 minutes. Serve hot !

Really easy and tastes most yum! Most tempting to try again with different fillings!

Friday, 8 March 2013

TheFirstSixMonths: Post travel pictures

Every time I'm in a conference, I see more people carrying their iPads lifting them up for photos. While it might look strange when people do it to beautiful landscapes, it somehow fits the conference room slides. These then are tweeted immediately, and analysed in quick succession. In fact Instagram apart, the biggest reason people use mobile devices to click photos is the inherent shareability. I wonder why camera makers can't really create a good sharing/ software ecosystem on the camera itself. The Wi-Fi camera, the touch screen, the download software on the computer and edit, somehow just don't match up to the instant pleasure of Instagram (or others). Now, whether our lives become fuller because we're on these networks sharing incessantly is a divergent point.

And divergent-ly, I feel, constant sharing has brought out the voyeuristic urges in us. It doesn't necessarily mean something is missing from before. But we are able to check someone else's life out without having to call or meet which perhaps we're not even interested in. Makes it sound shallow, except that observing online images can also be inspiring. I know a thousand (and growing!) photography start-ups that came out of Facebook sharing to begin with. Over exposure can also be cured by mobile/ Internet free vacations. So well, all's not lost, yet.

Going back with or without sharing, I've always held a soft nook for the original Kodak paper-ed pictures. And at the back of my mind, the fact that one day I may print them- once I get to that project, makes me still take the Canon everywhere, and not rely singularly on the phone (I did that excessively with my Nokia N series I owned once for the mere convenience).

Convenience is still important, though I'm also increasingly finding favour with curating and savouring. Pictures that I choose to keep printed in hard-bound old fashioned books- for which by the way there are these fabulous online applications. These take pictures from anywhere- Dropbox, Facebook, Picassa, Your Computer, and put them the way you choose to in delicately designed books for keeps. Of course one does wish to get rid of preset templates and further design flexibility, but it's a start ! The best I still imagine is a black scrap book and typewriter fonts making it an art project. That life is.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

TheFirstSixMonths: Marukami's extensions- Fashionable literature

I'm often inclined to believe (and not alone in that) that Haruki Murakami blurs the distinction between dreams and reality. At times I re-read parts in books or passages just to marvel how anyone could describe things in such intricate living details. I picked my first Murakami book accidentally when I was 'dance' influenced. And it read 'dance, dance, dance'. Post that, one friend was going to Japan, and I politely indicated my interest in knowing if the Dolphin hotel really existed. I tried to do the same when I landed in Japan a couple years later. I'd probably still do that. And to think that I can't even read the original Japanese, aber a mere translation!

In a February end of year Werkschau, in the local (and famous) design school, I walked by a design which coincidentally quoted dance, dance, dance. It didn't take much for me to realise this was special. I reached out to the designer, who had the most interesting things to share. Here's more in conversation with Yumiko Nishibori, because talented people are inspirational :-)

Warning: Long post with pictures, but isn't editing beauty a listed crime?

Q TFSMWe noticed that you have a psychology background before studying design. We thought that was interesting. How does it help in the design process?
Yumiko: I'm still interested in Psychology and I like thinking about some issues in a psychological and philosophical way. But I haven't yet put any psychological issues into my design in purpose. I always try to think about my concept very deeply and in doing so it maybe helps me for I'm familiar to some psychological terms and phenomena.

Q TFSM:  How did the Murakami inspiration come about? How do you feel about your interpretation now after designing the line?
Yumiko: I have been reading Murakami since I was 14 and I've read his work ever since over and over again, but I never get bored. I discover hidden corners in his stories or I read the stories from a different point of view. No other novelist had influenced me so much than Murakami. So it was quite obvious that I chose Murakami as a part of my thesis. I  like the result very much. It's my personal interpretation of Murakami. So I was happy as many Murakami-readers liked my work. For me, it was the best compliment I could ever get. 

Q TFSM: How do you combine the cultural influences of Japan and German languages/ culture in your design?
Yumiko: I guess it happens automatically though I usually don't mean to put something Japanese in my design. In the past, I thought I'm more German than Japanese because I've grown up in Germany. But in the meantime I have been always linked to current Japanese culture such as music, TV-shows, Manga, etc. Besides, I had read Murakami only in Japanese before and as I tried to read his work in German (because I had to write my thesis in German) - I have to confess - it felt quite strange. I also notice that I'm thinking Japanese in some cases then switching to German, then to Japanese again, and so on. I guess I'm still very ambiguous in matters of my cultural identity. 

I would always wonder how artists would be so liberal, and creative and be able to use different mediums for expression. Just interacting with Yumiko and re-reading his thoughts made me realise, how beautiful it is to be able to extend interesting personal settings and influences into work and make the process and the output remarkable.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

TheFirstSixMonths: English Vinglish- Learning a new language

I've been wanting to write this post a while since I saw this movie. I had once (in 2005 or so) taught a bunch of young kids in the summer. The idea was that they're from disadvantaged backgrounds and sometimes lose 'touch' with the school life, because they're probably busier in either helping parents, or just playing. The summer school reminded them of school. I am not sure what persuaded them to attend these classes. However, I do remember one of them saying how important learning English was to become Sachin Tendulkar. How else would you give interviews at the end of those winning matches. I saw the same aspirational view in Seoul. People wanted to be like Americans, and talk like them, including Starbucks names, and accents.

These days I often see how important German is. For my health and just getting by. If everyone in the world could speak one language the world would be brilliant. Because I want easy a lot of times. I don't always enjoy the struggles of having to spend hours learning new words and their derivatives and genders, especially sometimes when I see no end to them. [Even though I understand how languages make you grow, the more the better in the Ludwig Wittgentstein way: "Die Grenzen meiner Sprache bedeuten die Grenzen meiner Welt" ]. Speaking is a bigger horror. Because as an adult I am too aware of making mistakes. I was sensitive even as a child. Makes me feel pseudo Japanese at times, with the whole thing about not wanting to make mistakes. When there is no perfection. Recently I said un-big for small. In English. I thought for several moments on why English wrote ceiling not as cieling [ Give it to a Deutsch person]. And laughed then at myself. That perhaps is also the charm of a new language. The liberation that eventually we all start with errors.

The movie made me aware of these weighted struggles, and watch them curiously and be able to empathise. I've had that coffee episode happen to me a thousand times over, and not just with coffee [see trailer]. The movie manages to do this even with a few scattered stereotypical notions, which didn't bother me really, because the interpretation through the actors was so refreshing [I love Sridevi in it]. I even liked the sound track. The no-nonsense goal based learning approach. And the learning intent to feel equal - as a self-image enhancer. Even though falling in love in French or Hindi didn't quite necessitate a mediation in English oder Deutsch.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

TheFirstSixMonths: Mumford And Sons, Laura Marling & Dharohar project

People go to India for many reasons. Some to find the music of their souls. Some iTunes. Most don't know what to expect. Mumford and Sons, Laura Marling collaborated with Rajasthani folk musicians (Dharohar project) to come up with these contemporary folk fusion sounds. For an iTunes concert in 2010. Make me feel exhilarated and chaotic. Makes me want to jump onto that train to Jaisalmer.

Collaboration has an awesome ability to move. I'm just shocked Indian popular music doesn't use more of these earthy sounds. Even if, folk isn't the most popular sort of music anyway. And having said that, the Anglo-Indian sounds make these tracks special too.

We need more people holding onto their Dharohars, we need even more to make them boundaries blend.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

TheFirstSixMonths: Inspired Art !

I'm in love with retro prints. And kultur showcase details. I love when people make extensions of where to place the art. What could be on the wall as a quiet painting, talks to us everywhere now. Who said, fine art wouldn't pay. Just need to stretch the canvass a bit, oder?

This one is from a shop that has been *preserved* in the old 70s style- while they do sell modern stuff too, but there's a lot eerily retro about it. They stock old posters, old cashier machines, artsy kitchen ware and the general 'you realise how useful it is only when you see it' ideas. And it is amazing how some shops are able to retain the oldness while keeping the experience fresh.

I particularly liked this Victorian inspired hard-bookish Jane Austen cover. Finely made, and I love the details. Even on the umbrella.

 It also made an out of box experience plausible.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

TheFirstSixMonths: Ein Pariser Inspiration!

Ash was talking one day, and we often talk mit images. The ones that inspire us. Coffee shops, alleys, classic leather bags, Paris, amidst others. One of our long standing plans is to discover new places together. We would often dream travel in office, and enlist these new places.

We do believe that one time, we will get there. Didn't the White Queen say, she likes to believe in 10 (oder 15?) impossible things before breakfast? I'd really like to believe this one doesn't quite fall in the impossibles, just the one that needs to be listed and planned.

Travel moves me intrinsically. It alters relationships, adding this amount of fragility to nervous beginnings, and if you're lucky, a strange calm in mutual moments of the ordinary. These days travel quietens me at times. Just as love does. With its gratefulness and grace.

A Parisian dream

Here's her picture inspiration for the today!

PS: Picture via Facebook's 10 places to see before you die. I'd like to make travel lust-lists like that. What on your together list? :-)

Monday, 18 February 2013

The First Six Months: Fitness Monday!

I was recently reading a fitness post on the Internet and it said something very interesting. The best exercise, it said, was the one you were *not* doing. I find merit in this also because the same things bore me. And it's the DDT analogy from my biology class. The mosquitoes got used to DDT sprays and developed immunity. I am quite convinced my cells got used to walking as well. So well time to add spice!

I instantly YouTube-ed then, and came across this really cool 8 minute cardio routine. I have to admit, I *felt* the running man stretched me. Wait till I do this a week and see how it goes. Bis naechste Montag!

Here's the Pscychetruth video that I followed.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

The First Six Months: of Essen

I just feel very food today. Have been for a winter while.

Since we're never too high on getting the waistlines too thick, Turkey is lean meat. Besides when served with Couscous makes it a good evening option. You could manage the day with rice even, if you so like. I like red capsicum embellishments. Just adds juice to it. I tried potatoes too, but prefer the peppers more.

How I made it: Marinated meat in yoghurt, spices (red chillies, coriander powder, turmeric) and olive oil,  kept away for a couple hours. Preparation was simply just the usual fry cumin, ginger, garlic (I had none, but adds flavour), onions, tomatoes, and add the meat. Add the capsicum in the end, to not lose the crunchiness (I like it so). Add salt and more spices if you'd like it hot-ter. Garam masala in the end once near ready. Let it steam itself to done before serving. I fancied myself by shaping the couscous/ rice so!

Makes for a good warm winter meal.

And, here's the recipe I worked backwards from. (Though I like the idea of Spinach too, maybe sometime else!)

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The First Six Months: Rediscovering love

Some people meet quick. Others take long winded paths, as if on purpose. I'm optimistic, even if unrealistically, that they do meet. Like Celine's grandmother fantasizing about the guy she was going to fall in love with, all her life. Who is to say, she wouldn't meet him. Of course it's not practical. But, then there's no practicality in why my heart beats faster when I climb down the stairs from platform 4 onto the other side of the city. Or the number of times I check my mobile to see if it's 17:43 yet. My heart out-thinks my head. Especially where trains are involved. Even if, mother had said it was adolescent-stupidity, she had already lost me to the romance trains generate (with or without Shahrukh Khan).

Some people don't go through half-hearted cruel relationships that make them lose belief. Some do. I'm not qualified to say what the merits of the former are. I'm only aware of the later. It grows like a vine. I expect it to be poisonous. In spite of unrealistic hopes, as a defense mechanism expectations start on a negative. Low expectations generate an aura of mediocrity. Double-guessing, not being able to communicate almost expecting things to start going off. And to be stuck in this rut isn't pretty. At this time, friends from the former lot, writing on how their lives feel inelastic with love and relationships seem distant, as they are. Everyone lives in their own bubbles. Perhaps they have so much of it, or maybe it is the times, that the incredible-ness of sharing real lives is lost on them. Or maybe they really are restricted.

I see the merits of struggles. I may not expect flowers everyday, but I'd value them. A heart with my name engraved, with ecologically sensitive iPad doodle apps, would appeal to me with all its restrictions. Like distinct triangles creatively made of three random squiggles. It makes me walk through the coffee shops in daze. Lost to the outside world. Focused solely on the buzz of this one moment, like the one just before you actually eat honey. I'm not sure what it is called either.

This demand for love, in the long term has become highly elastic. A small effort makes a huge difference. There's no reason why that happens. Just a mild feeling, that, love is, a verb. The more you indulge in, the easier it is to wash off vulnerabilities, the nicer it feels. The dos matter. Especially as you lie in bed, waiting, to turn around.

PS: Long notes for an email Y.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

The First Six Months: a Bee Keeper

Sometimes I forget I have a blog again. And never open it up. Guess I am still getting used to it.

The German girl I live with is on her 'first real' job at twenty-eight. It's quite common for Germans to finish studies at ease, picking up interesting praktikums (internships) and travel along the way. There isn't much hurry really. And while I'm always hurrying up a lot of times, I am not sure it leads anywhere, until such time,   as time is ready. I wonder if finally everyone has the same pace, just that it appears slower or faster depending on individual frames of reference. Besides in the long run, things even out I hear.

On one of her side jobs, she was plucking grapes off vineyards in South Germany, in another she was tasting the best chocolate cake in France in a village with horse sheds, sharing warmth in a Tanzanian house and picking up on Mali-French. All this while, she was studying to become a social anthropologist, which makes her an interesting student programme coordinator (with overtly rich experiences). Some of us, Indians, ask a lot of big guest speakers on whether their *studies* really help them in the jobs- or getting to big positions. One of the German guys once said, ah but you don't really do a PhD for that. Somehow I liked his romantic idealism about it. Though, I do hope I am able to work on the romance a little too.

When she grows up, in her final job, as a retiree, she wants to be a bee keeper. Isn't it wonderful that you have a reason to grow so many beautiful flowers and trees, she quips. Oh, and eating honey was a very good thing to do.

I haven't really thought about it. But maybe I'd like warm winter sun on my nape. With clear blue skies. And ein Sessel. With Christopher Robin.

Winnie the Pooh

Thursday, 24 January 2013

The First Six Months: Gruppe-Arbeit

6 years ago, I met a Chinese girl. She went by the name Ha (real name). We were in a Group together at school, with a Scottish guy. She never contributed to work- at all. And at the end of it, the Scottish guy bemused, asked her, if it was the problem with the language or her understanding of the project itself. Ha said both. We went on with it. Finished it. And the younger, less aware me took this as 'Chinese' attitude. It didn't help when a British boss of mine concluded additionally that Chinese people had no shame for copying and did not care about 'originality'. It's another thing now, if one had to consider the luxury markets in China.

I work with a Chinese girl again now. And she has the exact same work ethic like me. We slog and go to Panda to celebrate our success. We work together. There are 1 billion + Chinese people. I let myself see the merits of not generalising.

From here found on Google images
In India, at work, sometimes my least favourite part was to team up with people who didn't share the same work ethics as me. Spoke more and worked far less. Now that I'm outside of the country, I hear a lot of people talk about how "Indians" lack the ability to do quality work. Indians in my class are mostly spoilt. In their definition of group work, you save people- even if they don't really work. They claim it is cultural. Like jugaad. I just think there are a billion people.

I'm not going to dwell on what happened in my Indian-Indian-Chinese group project, you can take a guess. But given my utter frustration of feeling irritated with attitudes last year, I needed to solve for it. And not passively on emails. But in person. Let people know I don't really appreciate slackness, and they must realise the consequences of not contributing equally. I did that today. Spoke and said, I was not going to lie, cover up and compromise. I was going to call the person out. And stick by it. It allowed me this weird sense of positiveness. Perhaps the reason I had to experience it again was just to practice this. Stand up and say, I do not support mediocrity. Even if I am called harsh, proud, difficult. I choose to be honest. And not die with it inside, but say it. It's not good enough to just have ethics, expressing them is just as big a deal. We didn't help the cause by not telling Ha how unhappy we were.

PS: Deutsch is not my stress language yet. Notice how today, I almost used no fancy words, but oh well Hol' die Tassen! ;-)

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The First Six Months: of Wetter

Every morning, sometimes is a struggle. In different ways. Times when I look up watching flakes, feeling dreamy. From the inside. Others which make me want to step out and breathe.

I have to admit I am going through the former currently. This is slowing me down, making me crave for warm meals. There is no sleeplessness in Baden Wuttermberg. Whatay way to get over sleep issues! Much as I like this. I need to stop getting into hibernation.

Aber, the only way I seem to like schnee (s.n.o.w.) is cuddled up. Can we get Spring for a little show? This window display isn't helping.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

The First Six Months: Kochen

I know we started all Yellow, but it was too bright for the weather, I felt. Anyway, so today's post was split in my head. Could potentially be about mediocrity (I'm saving it), or something nicer, warmer in this weather from the Kueche!

In India cooking isn't top of my agenda. Living in Hotel Mama, office Cafetaria, and the outsides with really cheap (und lecker) food can do that I guess. However, it was also on my list with the neues Land and the change that came with it, that I'd like to be far more in control of what I eat. And thus, cook.

Essen in Deutschland: On besser days
1. Cabbage mit Tofu;  2. Potato mit yellow-ed rice,
3. good old potato-mutter; 4. Semmell Knoedel mit Brocolli,
5. Rice mit sausages
I've realised the *only* way I can cook edible food is when noone's watching. If I know someone's out there waiting, watching, I generally put far too much effort which goes awry (failed experiments). By myself, I find myself dreaming of what to make and what new things to try every week.

This could be driven by mother and grandmother, asking, what did you make everyday. Or, a brother in law who loves recipes. Or me, trying hard to taste everything new. I live with two vegetarian Deutsch girls (I really thought it was impossible, anyhow). They cook out of compulsion sometimes, what they make is more interesting than the vegetarisch options out there on the streets. The only place in my Wohngemeinschaft (such a fancy single word for a shared apartment), where I can really talk with people is the Kueche. That's motivational. As well.

Now, if you let me, door closed and pretend noone's out there, next I want to try Mangold (Chard leaves) with Moong Daal (Lentils/Linsen). And then Turkey curry in the Indian way. Anyone tried these before? Hopefully, they'll be picture-worthy :P

//(I don't quite know how to do umlauts on my [der] Computer). Sorry, it's the Deutsch pruefung spaeter (I have these tests!) which is only making me denke of a Woerterbuch of words that I can't type.//

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Seeking your blessings!

The German girls I live with decided I should write a Kinderbuch (I'd be really impressed if I go through my first children's short story soon) because we keep landing ourselves onto interesting Kultur conversations. That which seems normal to me, seems strange to others. And it takes an aha moment to recognise it at times, because I've been home so long, that getting used to nuanced changes is a slower process. I'm still quite set in my Delhi ways. (PS: I do not really venture out late in the night unless accompanied).

But I'd like a note-down, of my normals that are ceasing to be so, normal. Our director came to me specially in our break today and started off. His team member from India just had a baby, and wrote him an email asking for his blessings. He needed to critically know what these blessings meant. Was he supposed to send a card? Did he need to write a good email? What were these 'explicit' blessings?

It hadn't even hit me, how I, for normal, regular occasions (on my birthday, going out for an interview, getting to meet important personnel, going for an exam, just anything...) ask my parents to wish me luck. I even talk to grandmother sometimes and say ok, now give me your blessings. It's really regular with me. I have seen very many people do this with my parents, touch their feet, seek their blessings. Write to someone respected, and seek blessings. I'm not sure where Indians get it from. But before we start prayers, we seek blessings of Ganesha, all the four directions, all the elements, the earth, fire, air. Everything. We do it all the time. It was strange to the Chinese, and the Colombian family oriented people too. Till, it wasn't so strange to the Colombian one once I started off with the explanation.

Of course in Germany noone ever says, wünschen mir alles gute bitte. I had just never thought about it.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

The First Six Months: of finding a cup of tea

Often times, I obsess about tea. The salty pink after a long lunch, the spicy one without milk for the cold morning, the Lipton for after office. The one reserved for long afternoons with friends who plan meetings on Skype now and start wonderful mornings, like an odd Sunday of today. One right after getting off the train at a nondescript station before a bumpy monsoon road auto ride. Atop a protected corner in the middle of fashionable city markets overseeing gardens. With muffins in lonely wintery English towns. Several reserved for the Chinese lot, whose sole objective seems endless herbal cups of water boiling post Sushi rolling. Tea makes new friends. Ich denke.

Tea also makes me wonder if starting a new year dipping in muslin-esque not paper bags makes it worth more. Because its aloneliness doesn't make it lonely anymore, being noticed and consumed for a picture folder-ed aside. What happens to old pictures when you stop looking at them? Of late, I obsessively keep them. Like tea memories. I am not sure why.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The First Six Months: of Anonymity

The first time I wrote digitally, a decade ago, my heart felt a little less heavy, dishing out what I felt about a boy I should've never looked at. Some people are just jerks to you. I could share without having to be diplomatic. Though, to be fair, I was, holding back, behind poor man's metaphors. Through time, even without using names (of others) but talking about feelings in general, I offended some people, destroyed others. By and by I became wary of it. I grew up to become more aware of what I was saying. Old posts embarrassed me. I moved towards writing about things that interested me. Less me.

And then I took this break. A chain smoker gives up looking at the cigarette break. I'd make fun of anonymity in younger days. What could it mean? Lack of courage to own up your Meinung? Then, I embraced it. (Warning: I'm learning Deutsch) 

A friend of mine, let's say we christen him A (for apple, aggressive, anonymous...) was tough talking to me a couple days back. I was thinking about exotic words to win that Scrabble game. He was continuing. He said how his girl-friend could eat me up, effectively because, I showed up as this naive, nice person, without a backbone. (Like the anonymous, I felt). I justified. And then buried it all in a very big Panda Chinese meal laced with Apple and Honey towards the end. (notice how my nouns are beginning to get Capitalised now, I'm going to be this Deutsch writer soon). 

It didn't go away. My father often irritates me by asking some really obtuse (to me) questions at times. And I promptly shift conversation to mother. Once on such an incident, I just didn't react. Normally, in recent Angry girl days I was known to break doors and violently shout, curse at home. And my parents are used to such over expression. I'm not necessarily proud of it, but I felt expressing it outwards made me feel better. And without feeling good, I couldn't have made anyone else happy. Mother marked the lack of reaction hence. I said, without much feeling, that I didn't want to use my energy to fight. Mother felt she had won. And happily said, I had finally become a "good" girl.

Standing outside operation theatres two years in a row and not knowing what is happening inside, letting it all go because you can't control anything, alters a few aspects. I became superstitious to sit. So I walked for five hours between the two stairs the news would potentially come from, thinking that would be better for father. The cells couldn't have crossed the border. The doctor would be efficient. It would be fine. And then nothing. I remember the emptiness that came out of tired thoughts. I didn't want to think any longer. I wanted to chant Shiva's mantra to enable me to stop thinking. I didn't want to concentrate on fights or others. I didn't want to expend energy. I needed it all inside, to walk between the stairs.

I wanted to tell A, there's a saying in our parts, some people are so smart that they can sell someone else for peanuts. I could do that to his girl-friend. Like at work. When I am aggressively efficient. But I knew I wouldn't. Either say or do anything. Because in my head nice takes strength. I just don't care about some fights, most people, unless I'm deeply interested. That doesn't make me a recluse. Just someone who needs depth in interest. I just don't have the extra energy to waste. Sometimes I look at a person and think "I don't want to invest". It happens often.

I don't care if there's lack of courage in anonymity. I value the honesty that comes along more. I've not stopped fighting, but I choose now. I'm too bored to be diplomatic and think of metaphors. Yet, I choose to and Don't Share Everything. I come here to express and open up and let go. To create newness like the The First Six Months. Weil, I can't control the rest of my life. I'd like to make chunks of six months, special.

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