I'm a Goan woman, working in Mumbai as the founder of a studio called Totem Creative. I try to make the world happier, safer and more meaningful. I believe education, knowledge and awareness, art, writing and creating Social Impact are my means to achieve that end.



Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dear Sir

Dear Sir,

I study in your flash class, UG 2nd Year. I have written to inform you that I find your class devastatingly boring. I had decided to bunk everyday and work on it through web tutorials, which I'm doing anyway, but I've changed my mind so I don't have backlog.

If you spot me playing farmville on facebook or looking through youtube for tutorials on good animation, please excuse my misbehaviour. It is just a break from the class monotony. I will commence the class assignments today, and try my best to finish them and present them to you.

Yours sincerely,

Nikhita P.
UG IInd Year
Communication Design

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dreams

We always dream of things in life, sometimes the most cliched things. A good job, a good spouse, good kids, and a good home. There's nothing wrong with dreaming. What surprises me is how human it is of us to not to anything to chase our success. Maybe something's wrong with me. Maybe it's just me, but sometimes, we even KNOW what we need to do to achieve it and don't work at it. We expect success to fall from the sky. We pray to god. We hope to be one of those godsend people, who manage to struggle effortlessly and get lucky with everything. But nothing ever comes easy.

I dream of these cliched things. A beautiful house designed by me, with walls full of paintings done by my hands, and lampshades and furniture made from my sweat and blood. 2 nice dogs, and 2 nice cats, and a racks full of good books, and good music. I dream to be rich, and build an animal shelter for the stray. Give them good homes, and fight for their rights. Hire an excellent veterinarian and pay them a handful to make sure they never quit their job. Become a successful animator with excellent work. If we dream, why not dream big?

Eventually we realize that the bigger we dream, the harder it is for us to be happy with reality. To decline ourselves, and change for the better. To struggle, to feel futile result, and yet not quit, or accept defeat. Life truly is overrated.

A Lucky Woman With A Lucky Dog

It had been a rather boring weekend for Bubbles and I. To get rid of the stress and college workload, we went off to pamper ourselves by shopping and visiting the parlour in Fatima Nagar.

This was now. A year ago, in second or first semester, it was Pankti with me. We had been in Fatima for similar reasons. On our way back, we had passed a slender fawn Labrador, rolling on the gravel of an inner road, leading to a small society of houses. Clearly it was residential area. This adorable lab had a red collar around her – just like my dog Tutu. Her shiny coat was shimmering away under the strong sun.
I couldn‘t resist. I was missing Tutu already! But Punk’s hatred for dogs didn’t make it an easy decision. She shook her head in disapproval as I begged her with a look. She didn’t take much time to buy it. We decided to meet in Big Bazaar ten minutes later.

The dog wagged its tail as I approached it. She – (as I noticed) had beautiful kajalled eyes, and they welcomed me to pet her. I squealed in delight, and ran to ruffle her under her ears and chest – the way Tuts loved it. She responded lovingly as I spoke to her in my bubbles tones – the way I always spoke with good dogs.

I heard a chuckle from the back. And old lady, maybe above 55 years smiled as she saw me melting over this dog.
“Is she yours?” I asked, smiling.
“Yes – she’s my daughter no?” she replied.
“Aunty – my dog looks exactly like her...but he’s way older. He’s turning 8 soon; in March. She looks young – and she’s beautiful!” I said, petting her.
“Oh! She’s Lucy. She’s just 2 years. My name is Usha.” She said.
“Aunty she’s adorable!” I said.
“Haan... I love her a lot. She’s my daughter now. You see, I lost my husband sometime back. Since then, Lucy has been my life.” She said, looking at Lucy lovingly.

I explained about Tutu, and how she was like him. I told her I was from Goa. She told me she gave her house for PGs to make a living. She offered me Tea, but I told her about Pankti. She hugged me as I left, and pleaded me to visit her and Lucy again. I nodded, and gave Lucy one last kiss on her ear, and ran towards Big Bazaar.

A few months later I decided to visit Usha Aunty again. She seemed older than before, and I wondered if she’d recognize me, but Lucy looked the same – healthy and beautiful. I was invited in her house. Aunty wasn’t well, and so her nephew had come to stay with her.
Her house was small and quaint, with a small backyard with potted plants, where Lucy ran free. Her white walls hung beautiful pictures of her when she was young, and a stunning photograph of her husband placing a flower in her hair. She looked like one of the most beautiful women. What must it have been like to lose him? It’s only when we know someone else’s lives, that we see how simple ours is in comparison. Lucy was busy licking me all over. Clearly I was recognized. That was then.

As I recited this story to Bubbles, she was eager to meet Lucy. By this time, I had forgotten Lucy’s name, but I remembered Usha Aunty. As we peeped through her black railing on the front door, we saw the old woman playing with her dog. Lucy was rolling between her two feet.

As she noticed us, she opened the railing.
“Hello?” she said, surprised. I wondered if she’d recognize me.
“Hi Usha aunty - I’m Nikhita, from Goa, you remember? I visited you earlier this year..” I said.
“Oh! Of-course – “her recognition came back.
“Come in, come in! Who’s this?” she said, looking at Bubbles.
“This is Madhuwanti, aunty – she wanted to meet Lucy – I’ve told her a lot about her.” I said.
“Come in, come in!” she repeated.
Bubbles smiled, and we sat on her mattress. As I looked at aunty closely, I realized she looked considerably older than the last time I saw her half a year ago. She was pale and weak. Something had happened.
The entire room smelled of a lab. I filled my nostrils with it to enjoy it as long as it lasted. It had been a very long time since I experienced this. Tutu had died a day before his birthday – and to think, I had still not gotten over him. Aunty fed us with a story of how she had had a heart surgery in April. She had been on her floor, and had fainted suddenly. Lucy had figured this then and there. Luckily, the neighbor came to visit her, and took her to the hospital. The authorities there thought she had already died, because her heart had stopped beating. Lucy had not eaten from anybody in a week, until aunty was back from the hospital. She explained to us those brief moments when she thought that it was the end of her life. Bubbles and I listened in shock.

“She never left me then. And till today, she doesn’t leave me alone anywhere. That’s why she’s grown so fat!” said aunty.
I smiled, but my eyes watered uncontrollably as I thought of Tuts. His scent, his wagging, and unintentional puppy face every time we left the house.
As we were leaving, aunty stated quietly. “God is great to have given Lucy to me. Dogs should not even be called ‘animals’. Human beings betray you, but Lucy has always been loyal. She has always taken care of me. After all – she’s my daughter no?” said aunty, smiling.

We smiled and nodded. She was a lucky woman, with a lucky dog.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A series of unusual events

25th May, 2009

Some of you might have heard this story already, but this is for those who were there, who lived through it, and for those who never got to hear it.
It was 4 days before our juries. We were sick and tired of working. Suddenly I thought of going out for dinner. I’d had enough of living on processed foods for breakfast and a horrible dinner in the mess. It had brought about lack of appetite in me.

So the plan was made. Miti was planning to come too, but she cancelled out last minute, thinking of the workload and the lack of time. I realized that I might not have got to eat out again until next semester. It had been a while. Thankfully Chi and Lipee were sporty enough to think over it and agree later, and Soumya joined in later. For the first time, we left the hostel at 8 PM. As we had our dinner in Pizza hut in Fatima Nagar, we realized that there was nobody to say “Madam – time ho gaya” to us. It was bliss. We didn’t bother about the time. For once, we could eat without worrying about the time. The meal was amazing!
We got out at around 10:30. Little did we know that this would be one of the craziest nights of the semester. All four of us knew somewhere that there would not be any tum tums to drop us back from Hadapsar. We knew there might not be a bus to take us to hostel, or even Hadapsar for that matter.
But we didn’t worry. Big bazaar was closing. There were men all around us, and we were the last customers for the gola shop, after which it shut down too. We sat there eating Gola’s like fools! It was so spontaneous. We weren’t even bothered about transport. It was really late, and yet we were sucking onto our Golas. Chi and I looked like normal people with pink lips, but Lipee and Soumya’s lips had changed colour. They looked like prostitutes, and we looked like people who wanted to pose with them.

So here we were, clicking crazy photos at 10:30 PM, men all around and no tum tums to go to hostel. When we were done with the Golas we finally caught a Hadapsar bus. Luckily they were still there.. Chi felt like acting stupid for once, cause she never gets to do that with retarded people like me. She got on to the back side where people generally step on, and we three got onto the front safely. There were people pushing and shoving here, so she decided to get in front the front while the bus was moving. After she got in, a small boy actually willingly offered her his seat. It was really shocking.

But the most scary part was when we got down, knowing that we would not get a tum tum. The last tum tum was full of some 16 people, and there was no way we could get in it. We wondered what on earth would help us get back. And then, suddenly out of nowhere, the professor we loathed the most turned up in a van – yelling to us to get in. We didn’t know whether to get in or not. What would he think of us? We paused for a second as his car moved ahead. He kept waving. Did Sripad Kulkarni be the angel for tonight?!! This was so crazy. What would he think? Four girls, out at night at 11 PM in Hadapsar, way past hostel timings, FOUR days before our jury. What would he think about us? What if he turned up in our Panel and screwed our case? We didn’t really have a choice! Shocked as we were, we ran towards the van. He moved to the front seat and asked if there were more of us. We got in in a hurry and the car moved ahead quickly. We were so shocked that we didn’t utter a word. Ironically, he didn’t ask us a single question about why were we out way after hostel timings alone in Hadapsar. He got down somewhere in the middle, and we reached to college safely, wondering whether everything had REALLY happened.

Late Nights and stress-laughter

Yaaaayyyy!!! People I found it!! I'm so glad this wasn't corrupted in my pen drive! Hope you guys enjoy the read, and moreover, the ficticious memories! :)

24/ May/ 09

Chi looked at the computer while transferring her pictures to the pen drive. She had the expression one would have when they saw a picture of their dog after long. However, it was obviously misinterpreted by me. She was actually disgusted with the way Ranka sang. It was a pity that he sat next to her while he listened to his music. She had to listen his besura voice. Often she’d come along complaining. And the hours of stress and prolonged exposure to the computer screen made us go out for walks or to drink some water.

One of those days, Chi turned left and slapped Ranka right across the face.
He looked right, and asked stupidly – “What?”
She raged with the utmost disgust and self-pity. “Your voice sounds like a rat being killed.”
“So?” he asked.
She didn’t know how else to make him stop.

They were the nights I’d get severe migraines. Punk would roam around after short periods of time with red eyes, moaning about the workload. Soumya would cope up by talking to her would-be boyfriend Sam. Suddenly we heard a loud bang; and then another one, in rhythmic beats. Yes. Ranka did have the habit of banging his table over and over while listening to his music. But this time I was wrong. It wasn’t Ranka. It was Alok. He was smashing mosquitos 2 rows of computers ahead. I guessed everyone was going crazy. Lately it was happening to me too.

Madhuwanti had left her cell phone in the mess next to us after her meal, and forgotten about it while leaving. “God, she forgot AGAIN”, I sighed to Lipee and Soumya, looking at Madhu’s phone. I removed my cell phone from my pocket and started messaging her – “You ass, looks like someone forgot about their cellphone”. Her cell beeped next to me. It hit me a minute later how stupid I was to remember that she had forgotten her cell phone and could not receive my messages. These are the things that happen to MITians; lack of sleep leads to an overdose of madness. And sometimes, something we term as ‘stress-laughter’.

DISCLAIMER:
This is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, and locations portrayed, and the names herein are ficticious, and any similarity to or identification with the location, name, character or history of any person, product or entity is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

Scrap

As the bus rattled on the potholes of the city road, I heard a clinging in the pocket of the conductor.. I looked around in the dim yellow light, and felt a vision. A tiny silver coin under some seat of this bus was waiting, waiting to be picked up by a man as it glimmered in the darkness of a corner.