Trip To Berlin

Trip To Berlin

Travel is an experience that inspires you and introduces you to realities you might have never even imagined. More than anything, it changes you as a person. This is a post nearly a month too late than it deserves, but I hope that it would give you an insight into my experiences. I traveled to Berlin in the mid of June and for me, the experience was revolutionary for the mind and the soul.

If you want to experience History in the modern times, glimpse the horrors of the past preserved and unaltered, and understand a little bit more about the various colors of humanity, then Berlin is the place to go to.

If you want to admire the courage of a nation that embraces its past and encourages people to explore it so that atrocities of that kind may not be repeated again, Berlin is the place to go to.

If you want to appreciate art that is severely underrated but is outstanding in its own respect, Berlin is the place to go to.

 

Culture, history, science, technology, progress, positivism, ingenuity and of course- the fabled efficiency. Berlin has everything that makes it the ideal city to live in. So you might be wondering what does Berlin look like to a guy from India?

The weather is lovely. There is barely any pollution and the air is so clean that you are motivated to spend time outdoors. I traveled all over Berlin, on foot and by the public transport system, and there was not once that I rued being out exploring. Whether it was burning hot or uncomfortably wet, I could feel the energy in me linger with every step I took.

I visited the famous museums of art and history and those that recounted tales of the Holocaust and its victims. I visited its parks and I experienced the freedom of having a German Pilsner in the middle of the street. I visited a concentration camp.

To be quite frank, I don’t think that any of my travel experiences have left such an impression on me as my Berlin trip. Then again, half the experience of any kind is created by the people you share it with, and I thank my sister and brother in law for that!

In the upcoming posts, I shall be describing the individual experiences in details with pictures! I think that would give you a better insight into what Berlin is truly like! And you NEED to know what Berlin offers to you. Because Berlin is a city of remembrance and inspiration. And there is no other city like it.

Have a good day!

Abstract Shoe Rack

Abstract Shoe Rack

I have never been one to appreciate abstract art, and I still consider it to be more or less a waste of time, paint and energy. But I realized that abstract art is truly abstract when it is spontaneous and that the abstract nature of art lives in everything that is created. It is an unconscious effort tha must not be subjected to planning or ideation.

When I first started painting my shoe rack, I decided to paint it in one color. I was thinking of either blue, green or brown. I settled on painting the various levels in different colors.

As I started painting the top most shelf with burnt sienna, I noticed how the color was projecting a reddish hue. I then thought of comparing this with scarlet lake, and as you can see with the second bar from the bottom on the top shelf, it was staggeringly red. I stuck with burnt sienna and continued below, and I thought of fading it into a mild Naples Yellow transitioning to Green. I decided to blend the green and the burnt sienna as if two colors were being pitted against each other.

I thought of painting the bottom most shelf, but then I decided against it. Instead, I simply painted a green ‘X’ that connected the legs of the rack. Finally when I beheld my improvised shoe rack, I felt that the reddish-brown color on top was too sharp. To reduce that, I added a white border which broke that harshness.

Once I was done, I examined it and I realized that in many ways, the painted shoe rack reflected my state of mind. I believe that unconsciously, I created a piece of abstract art.

The top level reflects my everyday state of mind. The transition of the middle level reflects the changes I have been going through with respect to the top level. The bottom level, starting with the interlinked green ‘X’ that travels up the rack reflects my inner determination and strength. The white border is the silver lining or the saving grace that is present in my life.

 

Bottom lineAbstract art ain’t all that bad.

 

 

Artist 1496

Artist 1496

I have been trying to be regular at two things I am good at: Art and Writing. I realized I need to be really inspired to write something or paint something. I, until now, was a little hesitant to make more of my work public.

If you have Instagram, you can find me as  ‘Artist 1496 ‘

I hope this motivates me to write and paint more!

 

P.S.- Can you guess the famous person in the featured image?

Past Travels: Hullo United Kingdom!

It is three years too late to post this and it makes not much sense to do so, but I think this is a chapter of my life that needs to be blogged about just because it was a defining moment in my life.

You remember that much anticipated, feared and joked about Mayan Doomsday prophecy of 2012? The night of 22nd December, 2012, I was in a plane gazing down upon the brilliantly lit up city of Mumbai. I never thought a polluted and nauseating city like Mumbai could look so pretty at night. As I sat there, I thought, ‘Oh well, if the world does come to an end, at least I’ll be in the air’. I think I completely forgot about it within a few minutes when I felt a strange feeling take over me as I realized I was leaving my country, if only for a few weeks. It was after all the very first time I was travelling abroad, and I had just turned 16 three months ago. I listened to good music and waited until I could fiddle with the small television screen in front of me.

By the time I landed at Heathrow, I had finished watching three movies and had not slept a wink. I was so excited to see a new country and my sister that I could not miss the descent. The view from my window was a stark contrast to any Indian airports, if my memory serves me right. In India, you could feel the heat outside through your eyes as you watched ground crews scuttle from one location to another without a cheer on their faces. Here, there seemed to be a chill in the air outside. I waited until everyone had finished descending, just because I was an unaccompanied minor and was told by the charming air hostess to do so.

Eventually, I found myself at the front of the immigration line accompanied by two men who seemed super professional and like special agents or something. The kind lady at the immigration counter asked me for how long I would be there, where I would be staying and other normal questions that nonetheless made me nervous(I was 16 and travelling alone for the first time!). She wished I have a good time during my stay and allowed me to pass.

I was taken two levels below and to the ground level. The agent waited by my side. I spotted a smartly dressed girl with bouncing brown-black hair walk towards me. It took me a few seconds to recognize her. I smiled, feeling safe and secure as I called out to her. The agent left me with her after confirming that she was the one who was supposed to pick me up.

 

I still remember the first breath of the UK air I had inhaled as I exited the airport doors- pure, devoid of any pollution and extremely refreshing. It was freezing cold and wet, and the surroundings were bathed in the blue light of dawn, something I found to be characteristic to the UK.

‘Welcome to the UK!’, said my sister.

It was a welcome indeed!

 

I was ready to begin the best experience of my teenage life.

 

*

Continuing Post: “ Caerdydd, the heart of Wales 

 

Braveheart

Most have seen the movie I am sure and most of us have been endeared by the beautiful background score and the ‘Freedom’ as yelled by Sir William Wallace as he defied the tyranny of the King of England. I first heard of the movie on a podcast at http://www.artofmanliness.com called ‘Living the Braveheart Life’. Brett McKay was true when he said that when the modern man tries to contemplate the notion of being Brave, he remembers and is inspired by Braveheart.

As much as I understand that the actors play a crucial role in any film, I feel it is the script that is the real essence of the entire experience. You could have a great actor but a poor uninspiring script or you could have an underrated actor and one helluva script. A friend of mine pointed out to me that something was off about the movie, ‘Perhaps Mel Gibson’s acting was a little off’.

Personally, I did not even notice anything, and even if I did, I overlooked it. I am not a critic, and I like to enjoy a movie for the story it is trying to tell. Let the criticism be left to those who fancy it.

From the moment the movie introduced to my eyes the beauty of the Scottish landscape, I was mesmerized. To be able to live in Nature without the ruckus of the modern world is something that very few ever experience. I did so last October and it was one of the best few days of 2015. Entering the abounds of nature is medicine for the soul and mind. Nothing is more pleasant than being one with Nature and admiring the many flora and fauna that Nature has nurtured.

There is something ridiculously inspiring about the movie, whether it is the music or the story line or the various themes explored such as courage, loyalty, honor and love. It truly gives you a glimpse of the romantic concept of what it means to be a knight. If a movie can inspire you to do something good, its a good movie. I’m sure you too will have something to learn from the movie if you watch it.

As far as I am concerned, visiting Scotland is definitely one of ‘Things you should do before you die’.

 

Have a great weekend!

Some Kind Of Magic

Some Kind Of Magic

Such brevity and skill, loved it! Reminded me of the magic of being a child!

Mouse Talks

When you are small
And your eyes are too bright for the world,
You will ask a grown-up
If there is magic,
Really, real magic.

And the grown-up, well meaning but oblivious,
will say,

“No, there is no such thing as magic.
Witches and wizards
Faeries and sprites
Unicorns and dragons
All are fictional
Imaginary
So very
not-real.”

And the eyes that shone upon the world
Will become ever so slightly dimmer;
It happens to all of us.
And why shouldn’t you believe the grown-ups?
After all, they are giants who own the earth
And everyone knows
The biggest beast gets to make up the rules.

But small one, you will understand far too soon
That the days grow long
And dark
And cold
And takes so much energy to see
The light
The warmth
The magic.
Even grown-ups were small, once,
And their eyes were too bright for the…

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Kienbock’s Disease II

I got diagnosed with Kienbock’s Disease on the 9th of March.

I broke the news to my family the very same day in the evening. Surprisingly they handled it well and I asked them to meet the doctor the next day. They agreed.

So on the 10th of March, my father and I met the doctor and explained to my father the main concerns of the disease. He said that according to the X Ray, my lunate seemed to be in good condition. The whiteness was almost the same as the other carpal bones surrounding it. ‘To be sure  however’, he said, ‘we must have a look at an MRI Scan of the affected area’. We were okay with that.

Kienbock’s disease can become a serious complication if diagnosed late. If my diagnosis was at Stage I, that meant I had a good chance of getting it completely treated. If an MRI Scan would tell us more about the condition of the lunate, that would mean that we would be able to take a more thought out and dedicated decision. The MRI Scan was a horrible experience. It was half an hour of lying in a painful and awkward position and a loud noises that made me think I would be impaired of hearing by the end of it all. Never before had I so a carefully felt the ticking of time.

The MRI scan’s result was fascinating. It showed my hand in various positions and scanned multiple layers of my wrist. I could make no sense of it, but the doctor said that while the lunate is in good condition, it was beginning to deteriorate. We had just made it in time.

We decided that yes, we would have the surgery carried out as soon as possible. The sooner the better, I thought. This was a Thursday. I wanted it done by the next weekend, latest.

I decided to get it done on Sunday, the 13th of April, just 4 days after my diagnosis.

The surgery that deals with an impending Kienbock’s Disease is called Radial or Ulnar Osteotomy. This involves surgically fracturing the bone, cutting out 2-3 mm of the bone and then pulling the bone down, levelling it with the other. I went through the Radial Osteotomy, which, my orthopedic said, is better than the ulnar osteotomy, for reasons yet unknown to me. This levelling of the two bones means the lunate is nw free to glide along the ulna and the radius. The bone is now in place with a Volar’s Locking Plate.

When the effects of the anaesthesia faded away and I regained consciousness, I remember the heaviness in my right arm. It was like a dead weight, except that it was very much swollen. The pain that radiated out of it was unlike anything that I had ever experienced. It was nerve-wracking. Even as I was carried outside the OT and to my room, all I could really focus on was the excruciating pain in my arm. It was almost unbearable. Can you imagine the feeling of having your arm cut off? Or getting shot? I think the pain would compare to that.

It was not until the painkillers flowed into my bloodstream through an IV drip did I manage to calm down and fall asleep.

Its been one month since that day and my arm looks pretty much normal now. The pain is bare minimal and fortunately I seemed to be having a speedy recovery. The real challenge would be teaching my muscles to coordinate properly as they once used to.

At the end, I successfully overcame Kienbock’s disease!