Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 103: Mom in town!

My mom is visiting for a month and she arrived this morning. I believe this is her 8th or 9th visit to Singapore but she still behaves as if its her first time. I must say that I am rather amused by her child-like excitement! She is still talking about how pretty the airport is and convenient everything here is.

And as usual, she has also brought my favourite things to eat such as the jam rolls and chocolate pastries (nope, you don't get the exact same thing here in Singapore). She has also got a jumbo pack Parle-G biscuits for her son-in-law who enjoys them with his tea. This, I believe would be available in Singapore but there is no way to convince her that!

So good to have her again in spite of the fact that I am stuffed with jam rolls!

897 more to go.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 102: Rehearsals and Fake Calls

Interesting day. It started off fantastically enough with an enthusiastic cast member reaching 2.5 hours earlier than the required time for rehearsals. After about 5 hours of pretty encouraging rehearsals, I was feeling quite good about life.

Then I decided that I wanted to have South Indian food and made my way to Madras Woodlands with hubby. Having eaten a Paper Dosai, Curd Vadai and Veg Cutlet, I felt even better about life.

Then I realized that I have lost my phone. Now, that did cause a dent in my otherwise rosy perception of life. It was rather upseting. After all, it's a waste of money. But in the quest of looking at the brighter side of life, I decided that it is a good thing since now I can buy a new phone. I bought a cheap temporary Samsung phone while waiting for vouchers from Starhub (mobile service provider) that would enable me to get an iPhone at $100 less after a few days.

And this interesting new phone of mine is going to be a key enabler in me skipping awfully boring conversations or meetings. Since I discovered that it has a "fake call" service! Never heard of that before!

Assuming am in the middle of a horrendous discussion I wanna get out of, I can pretend am just looking at the time on the phone or something and set the fake call. After a few minutes, it gives me a fake call, which I can then pick up and pretend that something serious somewhere has happened that requires my urgent attention, thereby putting a fullstop to the dull conversation am in the middle of. Now that my friends, is what I call a useful application! :D

And yes, life is back to being rosy now.

898 more to go.

Day 101: Teaser Poster

My day (or rather, night) continued to rock even after I wrote the 100th post yesterday. But if I am strictly to go by the time, the below happened way past midnight, so I guess it counts as what made Day 101 special. And that is, the teaser poster for my film 'Mausams'!!!

Just when I was about to shut my computer and go to bed yesterday, my photographer for the film's still shoot sent me one of the shots taken during the shoot. This shot was meant to be used for a teaser poster. Once I received that, I felt that I had to work on it and convert it into the poster immediately. So I did just that! Instead of going to bed, I sat back and worked on it. And Lo! We had the First Look Teaser Poster for Mausams! :)

Even after I woke up today, I was very excited about it that I sent it to a lot of my friends. The feedback was encouraging with some ideas on improvement and I felt really good the whole day!

The evening ended with watching the movie 'Karthik Calling Karthik' which I quite liked and I now have an even bigger crush on Farhan Akhtar. One talented genius he is!

All in all, a wonderful Day 101. And now I into my 800s.

899 more to go.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 100: 100 Days!

So here I am. 100 days of the blog. This is the next milestone I had set after completing Day 30 or one whole month of keeping at it.

On Day 30, I had went Wooooooohoooooo! That was not just because of the pride I felt in completing 30 days, but as the post states, it was so darn difficult to find something special to write about every single day. For the first few weeks of this journey, I had to consciously hunt for good things to happen for the sake of the blog, leading to rather unnecessary stress. So completing 30 days felt like a humungous achievement.

But today, on day 100, I feel a lot calmer (as you can see from just a single exclamation mark in the title of the post and no woohoos!). That's because I think I don't feel the pressure of having to look for something good to happen anymore. Instead, it has almost become a habit. Sure, I still have shitty days sometimes but I seem to be overcoming them by compensating with small personal victories like my first 10km run or my first 18 lap swim, or getting the cobra pose right, or making progress on different aspects of the film I am making etc.

And I think that is an incredibly useful habit to develop! It keeps me on a high almost all the time and I am very glad that I started on this journey. 900 days is still a long time to go but am not as stressed about it anymore.

Just before I wind up, I must also say that I wanted to make the day extra special than just reach 100 days with the blog. So I bettered my best-ever-18-lap swim with a 20-lap today.

The next milestone will be on Day 250.

900 more to go.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 99: Morning Yoga and First Technical Meeting

Yesterday I happily declared on my favourite social networking sites Twitter and Facebook that I am going to go for early morning yoga today. But to be very honest, I had no real plan to do it. I mean, it was like one of those things you want to do but you know you won't really end up doing. So I didn't even bother to set the alarm before going to bed.

However, this morning I automatically woke up at 6:30 and felt incredibly fresh. Fresh enough to not want to go back to bed. That was it then. I had to go for Yoga. And I did!

Yet another historical event - early morning hot yoga. And it wasn't a bad class at all! I could keep up well enough with all the rich, jobless Caucasian women who are regular morning yoga people.

After a long day of productive meetings at work, I finally had the first ever technical crew meeting for the film. I think it stressed me out more than the work meetings but it's all good stress.

All in all, a pretty productive day and here's to many more of such days!

901 more to go.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 98: Spreading Sushi Joy

It must be already pretty obvious from my blog posts over time that am a food lover. My most recently found favourite is Sushi. Specifically the Golden Catch, California Roll and Cheese Delight from Ichiban Boshi. Once I discover a dish that I absolutely love, I usually want to immediately make sure my hubby experiences the same gastronomic joy since he is a much bigger foodie than I am. And sushi was no exception.

The particular varieties of Sushi I have mentioned above, were introduced to me by a friend at work and today I got an opportuinty to share my discovery with the hubby. He had convinced me that going for yoga was a bad idea (with little effort, I admit) and suggested that we have a good meal instead. So I promptly recommended Ichiban Boshi.

He had a fine meal of Sushi and then later told me that it was totally my fault that he overate.

902 more to go.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 97: Singing in the Morning

Today I woke up in the morning, like I wake up every Monday morning, expecting myself to feel blue about the whole new work week ahead and quickly come to the conclusion that God was fairly inconsiderate in not giving me rich parents, which would have made it unnecessary for me to go to work on a Monday Morning. However, that didn't happen.

Instead, I woke up and felt an urge to sing. Yup, SING. Nope, I am not a Singer. But still, I wanted to Sing.

So, after getting ready and while waiting for hubby who sually takes MUCH longer than me to get ready, I started to sing some bhajans. For the uninformed, bhajans mean devotional songs in Hindi. Now, don't ask me "Why bhajans?!". I have no clue. But I must say it was a wise choice, since my hubby, who usually has a pretty low opinion of my singing skills, didn't comment on it. I believe he was scared of God's wrath.

So after singing 3-4 bhajans at the top of my voice, I felt really good. In fact, I was feeling pretty much at the top of world for the rest of the day. Not sure whether that was entirely because of early morning bhajans but still starting the day with a song seems to have brightened it up for sure!

903 more to go.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 96: Teaser Script

For a while, I have been struggling to come up with an idea for a teaser for the film that would be easy enough to execute. There were no shortage of ideas as such but all the ideas that came up were sure shot nightmares to be executed. They were way too funky for what's possible within our limited resources.

However, over the last week a vague idea had sprouted in my mind and today I managed to complete the whole script for the teaser. I think it is adequate, serves the purpose and simple enough to be executed without having to kill myself and the team.

I feel really good about it! Now, can't wait for the shoot itself!

904 more to go.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 95: Photoshoot!

The photoshoot for the film turned out to be a LOT of fun! My day started at 6 am. I had to make sure I packed all the required props and get the shoot location at 8 am and I was way too excited to sleep on anyway.

We shot from 9 am to 12 noon including shifting around in three different locations, the cast doing multiple costume changes, meddling around with different props etc. etc. It was a really heaps of fun and everyone gave their best!

Afterwards, hubby and I had an awesome lunch at my boss' house (which by the way, is hands down the BEST house I have seen in Singapore), I got back and slept well for 4 hours.

Very excited to see the photoshoot outcome now!

905 more to go.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 94: Props Hunting and 18 Laps

Today was a real fun day! In the evening, I went to hunt for props for the film's photoshoot tomorrow. Some of the props were things that I never ever in my wildest imagination, thought I would buy! Am noot giving the details here, but everyone will be able to see when the posters and website are out later on!

After the very successful and super fun prop hunt, I decided to go for a swim. I think the last time I swam was about two months ago and had been wanting to get back to it for a while. I was thoroughly inspired by the swimming success story of a friend this morning and I decided to give it my best shot today.

Like every other excercise, am pretty poor at swimming too. My average no. of laps is about 5 and my best ever is 8. But today I swam and swam and swam. A personal record of 18 whole laps. That too, without much of a break in between.

I told my hubby about my 18-laps achievement and he promptly asked me, "What the hell is wrong with you?!". Me likes that question.

906 more to go.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 93: Cobra Pose - Check!

I go for Bikram Hot Yoga once in a while and we are required to practise the same 26 postures every single class. I am at a different level of expertise when it comes to different postures. I can do a few perfectly well but a lot others show obvious room for improvement.

So one of the greatest pleasures I have is when the instructor says "Well Done Shilpa...beautiful posture" for any particular pose. Note that I have heard this only for about 4-5 postures in the last 1 year or so, so obviously these are very rare to come by.

Today, it appears that I have finally cracked one more posture on the list. The cobra pose! The instructor was please with my effort and I was even more pleased! Now only around 20 more to crack.

907 more to go.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 92: Shorts, Legs and Size Zero

Today a girl at yoga class, whom I had gotten acquainted with over the last few months, came up to me and said, "Shilpa, you should wear trendier clothes". I thought I heard her wrong, so I simply blinked. Then she proceeded to explain, "I mean, you could at least wear shorts and tank tops for a hot yoga class! You can easily pull it off and you would be more comfortable but you are always wearing such stuff". Ah, OK so she was not a fan of my 3/4 track pants and huge t-shirt. I told her that I don't think am ready to be wearing shorts and tank tops from a "figure" standpoint and she asked me, "Why do you care so much?".

Her opinion of my dressing sense didn't matter to me but I was exhilarated with the conversation. What she said had bigger implications than that she would have imagined! I was convinced that the Gods were sending me a clear message and that I should absolutely heed it!

Here's the background story. Over the Chinese New Year weekend I bought a pair of shorts. I don't usually wear shorts but in the spirit of being comfortable during hot outdoor shoots for my film (yeah, I know... I take my filming VERY seriously), I bought a pair. When I wore it and went out the next day, I was convinced that I have the worst pair of legs on the planet. Now, I am not the kind who puts in a lot of thought to my looks, as is obvious to anyone who sees me regulary, but for a couple of days vanity got the better of me and I couldn't think of anything else other than how awful my legs were.

The logical side of my brain did argue that people have different types of legs and I am not unfit by any means (I lost around 15% body fat over the last year thanks to yoga) and that's what's important. However, the absolutely illogical side of the brain argued that all that might be true but you still need to have a size zero kinda pair of legs and the illogical side was emerging as a clear winner in the argument. Lame, I know, but the fact remains that I felt that way and a fact is a fact.

On the last day of Chinese New Year holidays, i.e. yesterday, I came to the conclusion that I was being stupid and that I cannot turn into one of those women who are obsessed with frivolous stuff such as the exact size of their legs. It was a reluctantly made conclusion but I was beginning to make my peace with it.

So when today this girl came up to me and asked me why the hell would I care so much before wearing a pair of shorts, I knew that the God's were sending me a message.

And it goes like this: "Shilpa, Grow Up."

908 more to go.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 91: I Do Need A Job

Today was the last day of the 4-day long Chinese New Year holidays in Singapore. And today, I made an intriguing realization - I Do Need A Job.

If you ask me a question like "This job that you have... is this really what you want to do with your life?", I would right away say "No". Honestly, I can't seem to think of any reason why anyone would want to say "Yes" to that question if one is selling soaps and shampoos. Anyway, the point is that I see my work as just a job that pays my bills but since am a responsible individual, I do my best at work. Also, like I have written here before, this also does NOT mean that I hate my job. Am completely OK with it but I just don't see it as the entire purpose of my life or as something that I would want to do if I already have all the money in the world.

However, today I realized that my job does serve a purpose other than paying my bills. And that is to keep me sane.

Over the last four days, I found myself with a lot of spare hours even after dancing and choreographing, working on shot breakdowns and storyboards, dining out, walking around, meeting friends, reading etc. While I used some of these hours to do completely laid back activities like sleeping and watching TV, there were still way too many spare hours over four days. The end result? - I was this close to going insane with boredom.

So much so that I was quite a pain in the ass for my husband. I was an astounding example of the cliched nagging wife now and again. But, after some world class cribbing, I would remind myself that I am in pursuit of something special every single day. This would calm me down considerably and I would look for something that would keep me occupied, make me happy and help save my sanity.

Today, after yet another bout of insane boredom, I realized that I do need a job like the one that I have right now. It makes sure that I have something to do for most of the days. Also, I don't think I would want theatre and films to be my bread and butter. The pressure that brings in might spoil the whole fun after all. So this balance of what my job delivers and what I can do in my spare time is perfect. After work, when I get back to dance or theatre or films, it is very refreshing and gives me a whole lot more energy than what I would have had otherwise.

And with that realization, I feel really good! In fact, am not feeling blue to get back to work tomorrow after the holiday and that is rare! Suddenly my job is something I want rather than something I have to put up with.

909 more to go.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 90: By the River

Today the Chinese New Year holidays continue. It was a pretty eventless day up until 6pm or so. Then I put my foot down and demanded that we go out. I literally dragged my hubby away from the TV that showed yet another god-awful cricket match that he seemed to enjoy but I had absolutely zero interest in.

After a Starbucks tea, bagel and puff, we decided to go on a short walk from Raffles City to Clarke Quay for our dinner. Clarke Quay is our usual hangout place during weekends. However, half way down the walk, I decided that we go to Clarke Quay every other time and wanted to go somewhere different. So we took a diversion and walked around the Old Parliament House, along the river and towards the Asian Civilization Museum.

I have been in Singapore for more than 11 years now, but I must say that I haven't seen much of it still! I have hardly been to this part of the river and it was absolutely lovely! It was a very pleasant walk with a great view of the Central Business District and the lovely historic trail with all the sculptures. I also have some great ideas for my film's locations! :)

Then I discovered that there is an Indo-Chine restaurant at the Museum. I really had NO clue about it till today! We had a good meal there, then again took a very short walk to my favourtie "Bean Bag" TCC at Boat Quay. After a horrifyingly sinful yet as-yummy-as-yummy-can-be Tiramisu, I feel awesome!

Today's evening was just lovely! I really do think I should be more open to exploring new places even within Singapore!

910 more to go.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 89: Absolute Nothingness

We are having a 4-day long weekend in Singapore (the longest holiday of the year) thanks to Chinese New Year. And one of the items on my things-to-do list for the holiday was "Do Absolutely Nothing'. At least one of the four days. No work. No dance. No scripting. No excercise. No storyboarding. Nothing that takes any kinda stress.

And that's exactly what I did today. Nothing. All I did was Sleep, Eat and Watch TV. Absolutely no stress there! Loved it.

911 more to go.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 88: Not Giving Up on Dance

As I had mentioned in a couple of posts before, I was planning to do a couple of dance performances at my brother-in-law's upcoming wedding. One was supposed to be a solo and another, a couple dance with my husband. Over the last few weeks, I had been thinking of steps in my mind and had started to do bits and pieces here and there. Some progress was made on the couple dance but nothing much on the solo other than a few specific poses.

Since the dance with my hubby is a typical Bollywood one, it's actually not too hard for me. However my solo is supposed to be Bharatnatyam and Kathak fusion. I had few steps in mind and all that but today I really started to put it all into action.

And I couldn't do it. I haven't danced for so long and am totally out of touch but I didn't realize that it would be so difficult to get back and give a decent performance. I couldn't dance according to what I had in mind and after a while even the choreography was a struggle.

Obviously, that left me terrible upset in the morning. Dance was a always a passion - a pretty ignored one right now but still, a passion. And to realize that it was going beyond my reach was a bit hard to take.

After a couple of hours struggling with it, I stopped trying. Hubby and I went out for lunch and roamed around Singapore for a while. He then went to meet some friends while I returned back home. I decided to give the dance another shot. I was clear that if I cant make it now, I would just drop the idea altogether.

And then I really kept at it. After three continuous hours of choreography and rehearsal, the complete dance is ready! Sure, I need a lot more practice to perfect it but I am so relieved! At least it has been completely choreographed and I can do it decently as well. And that also made be realize that it was so easy to think about quitting. I believe the dance has come out beautifully and to quit without working harder at it would have been a highly stupid thing to do.

In any case, now I am all smiles. No quits!

912 more to go.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 87: Third Anniversary

12 February, 2010

Yup, it's my third anniversary today. After I got married, that is. As soon as we woke up in the morning, my husband had an idea that it may be possible for him to take time off work today. I thought it was a great idea and was all prepared to take time off as well. But 10 minutes after this wonderful idea was discussed, he decided that it was a lousy idea and that he indeed has to go to office. I found it highly disappointing and readily told him so.

When I was in the office, he called me and told me this story of a colleague of his who wants to know more about some PhD related issue at the National University Singapore (NUS). And for that he wanted the number of my colleague whose hubby is doing his PhD there. I gave him the number and completely forgot about that random conversation. An hour or two later I got a bouquet of flowers from him at my office. That's when I realized that the whole PhD story was to check my office floor number with my colleague! So that was sweet and I readily forgave him for the drama in the morning.

In the evening, we went out for a great dinner at Clarke Quay Ivory Kitchen followed by drinks at Mulligans. Was a lovely day altogether!

913 more to go.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 86: Good Things Happen at Work Too

If you have been reading my posts on this blog, one thing you might have noticed is that I hardly ever have a special day because of something that happened at work. Now don't get me wrong. I don't hate my job. I really don't. But I don't think I am crazy about it either. So usually it is something that is outside of work that makes me smile and come to the conclusion that this world is one rosy place.

BUT, I am glad to let you know that today at work was great! I had a change in my assignment four months ago and usually such changes are accompanied by steep learning curves. I was given a few projects to handle and I had a very crucial deliverable to make, something for which I had a very short time to work on. So I slogged over it for a few months on top of all other projects. Not only did I have work on it, but when something of this importance is being worked on, I need to get the agreement from a million people as well, including dudes at the top of the ladder. So it was all a bit painful.

The good news is that as of today, whatever I had worked on, has been wholeheartedly accepted by even the top guys, and in return I got a few good words said about me. Yup, I know it sounds totally frivolous but what the heck, I am so happy! :)

914 more to go.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 85: Wheelchairs

As I was waiting for the train at the MRT station today, I happened to witness something very touching. A bunch of physically handicapped youngsters were waiting for the train by my side. There were six of them in total out of whom four could walk around but with apparent physical difficulties. The remaining two, a boy and a girl, were on wheelchairs.

They were physically challenged but there was this aura of energy and perfect happiness about them. They were laughing and joking and obviously having a lot of fun, which was very nice to see. Only the girl on the wheelchair seemed to be upset over something. And the boy on the wheelchair was trying his best to cheer her up. After some considerable effort, she began to smile and he pulled her towards him and kissed her! There was something really touching about that! Both of them were literally glowing.

For the remaining time I waited for the train, the boy could hardly take his eyes off the girl. You could see that they were genuinely in love with each other. That and the fact that they, the whole group, seemed to be having a blast in spite of not being born healthy enough, was very inspiring.

It is indeed possible to make your own happiness.

915 more to go.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 84: Dual Birthday Celebrations

Two of my friends share the same birthday. I had a tiring day at work and could get to the celebrations only well after 9pm. But it was a total de-stresser! Over cake and pizza, we had an hour of random, fun chatting! There were the usual silly jokes, complete misinterpretations of certain stuff that I unwittingly say and pretty fun nonsense. Now I feel good enough to do some storyboarding! Sometimes all you need is a couple of mindless hours to regain some lost energy.

916 more to go.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 83: Hosanna

Sometimes you hear a song that you can't stop listening to for days or even, weeks. You put it on repeat and keep listening to it over and over and over again. When that happens to me, I feel AWESOME. I dunno whether it is the same feeling with everyone else, but for me... when I come across a song like that, I feel like I am on top of the world. It's like my heart would burst with happiness and I can't stop smiling! And today was a day like that!

Over the weekend I happened to listen to the songs from the movie 'Vinaithandi Varuvaaya', composed by none other than the genius A.R.Rahman. One particular song, Hosanna, caught my attention. I played it around 7-8 times yesterday night before going to bed.

So this morning I woke up with the tune in my head. Today was a good Monday at work. I had only one meeting and hence the rest of the time I was working on some documents. And what did I listen to throughout? Hosanna, but of course. I listened to it while working on the documents, during lunch, on the way to yoga and back, on the way home and currently, as I am writing this post.

The song makes me feel soooo... hmm... sooo.. good! In fact, as I walked home from the train station, munching over an over-priced ($2.60) slice of mango and watching people walk by, I was feeling really good listening to the song. The feeling of goodness was so overwhelming that I smiled widely at an old Chinese aunty, for no apparent reason. She duly responded with a scowl. But such trivialities didn't bother me and I think I kinda hopped and skipped to music on the road.

Seeing my excitment about 'Hosanna' as well as the other songs from the movie, a friend commented that I will explode when the movie releases. I guess what he meant was that the soundtrack will be so good that I will explode with excitement.

Well, explode is right.

917 more to go.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 82: Ready for Photoshoot

Had 5 hours of rehearsals today with all my key cast members, together with taking mock shots. We are making quite some progress! Also got the costumes ready for photoshoot, planned in 2 weeks' time. We are all set!

But now I am dead tired and so keeping this short. Planning to take the rest of the evening off - just dinner, work on the script and also hopefully get some rest.

918 more to go.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 81: Dance, Costume Hunting and Rann

6 February, 2010

Today was super fun! It started with me teaching hubby the dance that we are to perform at his brother's wedding. I haven't danced with him since we did the salsa for our wedding three years ago. So this was a fun experience even though he keeps pushing back on every step saying that it is too hard. But I must say I am happy with the progress my student has made within a day!

Then a good friend, who also a key cast member for the film I am making, came over for rehearsal. After which, we set out to hunt for costumes for him. And it was so much fun! I don't want to give away too many details of the character out here, but I can tell you that the nature of the guy playing this character is very different in real life! As such, we had to look for suitable clothes from top to bottom and it was one hilarious shopping trip!

Later in the evening, we watched the RGV film, 'Rann'. It is always a pleasure to watch a good movie and this was one! Pretty inspiring and Amitabh Bachchan was terrific.

A productive day and completely looking forward to tomorrow!

919 more to go.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 80: Mending Relations

It's kinda late and am kinda tired so am gonna keep this short. Today I did something to mend a relationship that I thought was affected by an action of mine. You will have absolutely no clue what I am talking about here, without me getting into the details. However to respect the privacy of the people involved and not to expose them, I can only say so much. But let's just say, today was good because I did my part to make sure a relationship, which was important to me, didn't fall apart.

920 more to go.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 79: Terence Lewis

After a bit of thinking, I have decided to write today about Terence Lewis. Terence Lewis is an Indian choreographer who is currently the choreographer and judge of a TV show called Dance India Dance. The format of the show is such that the contestants are put under three groups, each under the mentorship of a choreographer who helps to choreograph their pieces every week. These choreographers also give their judgement of each performance every week. The final call on who is out and who is in is based on the decisions of a senior judge who is not part of the mentorship as well as by public votes.

I was thinking of writing about a few other things today but when I came back home, I happened to watch a recorded episode of Dance India Dance that I had missed. And every time I watch this show, and every time I watch Terence Lewis I am so super inspired. I think there is a lot to learn from that guy.

He is an incredibly smart choregrapher. He knows exactly what kind of dance or move to give whom. He knows how to leverage the strengths of the dancers in a way that outdoes the other choreographers. He knows how to get the best out of his dancers, stretching their potential week after week. I find that very inspiring because to be truly able to grow people is an incredible talent. To identify the strengths and to do things in such a way that these strengths are maximized is something I need to learn. I am making an attempt at it but I have to admit that I have made some horrible choices only to make things go from bad to worse.

Not just that he is a wonderful dancer and a smart choreographer, what really inspires me is his obvious passion for dance and his complete immersion into the artform. So much so that he would have some idea about even a remote form of traditional or folk dance from one region in India or the other. His knowledge in the technicalities and the wide range of dance forms in impressive. It impresses me so much because I am total jack of all trades. I can dance a bit, write a bit, paint a bit, act a bit, direct a bit etc. But I have never ever mastered anything. And I find that a major shortcoming in my own self. When I watch Terence talk so passionately about various dance forms, their technicalities, their origin etc. in such depth I am wowed. That's something I can't do about any single topic.

And I absolutely love his fairness in everything. I am a sucker for fairness and it really gets to me when I find something unfair, so much so that my hubby keeps repeating "Not everything in the world is fair and square". So when Terence Lewis gives his judgement on performances very very fairly,irrespective of whether the dancer is from his group or not, I am usually impressed. I dunno how to explain this but it makes me feel very good that someone, somewhere has made a fair judgement irrespective of the consequence. Sure a dance competition might sound trivial for such a matter, but it is still of a great conseqeunce to the people involved in it. To maintain a level head and make a clear judgement call without letting emotions come in the way is incredible.

In short, I am inspired. Very.

921 more to go.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 78: Sula

It was a very tough day. Three days in a row this week have been tough at work. By tough I mean an astounding amount of work that I can't seem to catch up with. On top of that I have the film to take care of too - location hunting, costume preparations for photoshoot, cast schedules, technical details etc.

But I managed to take some time off during lunch to meet a cousin from India who was here for her honeymoon. Today was her last day in Singapore and I simply had to meet up with her before she left. We had lunch together, I tagged along for a short while with her during her shopping expeditions and then returned back to office. I wished that I could spend more time with her but that was not possible.

Anyway I got back to work and it was another round of swirl. It was so bad that I didn't even realize it was well past 6 and that I am gonna miss yoga AGAIN. So I called up hubby and told him, in a very upset manner, that I will be missing yoga AGAIN. And he, in his usual manner, replied that if there is gonna be no yoga, we should at least have good food. Hmmm. I think what he meant was if we dont get what we planned, we should simply do something else that would make us feel equally good. Apparently both a yoga session and "good food" make us feel equally good, irrespective of the different end results that they might give.

In any case, we went to Shahi Maharani in Raffles City for "good" food. And since my brain was so over stressed, I decided to have a glass of wine. I hardly take alcohol of any kind but I felt that today some wine would do me good. I ordered the Indian made Sula wine, which was highly recommended by hubby.

And I loved it! I usually need to crawl through a glass of wine and struggle to finish it but I didn't have much trouble with this one. I thoroughly enjoyed it and also the food. But there is a possibility that the wine was quite strong. Even with one glass I felt very relaxed and calm (read drowsy and sleepy). So relaxed and calm that I had to put in my utmost concentration to write this blog post. Hubby says it's all in my head but even so, it's been quite an effort.

In short, it's all ended well. In spite of a tough day, I don't feel like tearing my hair apart. And that's always good, whether or not it's because of Sula.

922 more to go.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 77: A Comment and a Blog

A pretty interesting day. On one hand I had 13 hours of meetings at work, which somehow I ploughed through and still managed to feel pretty OK. On the other hand, I was very intrigued by how some inspiring experiences come to you.

Yesterday I had written here about my experience with starting an Art Club in university and how it lives on still. I guess a few people read that and I got a comment from one of the current committee members (I assume) of the club asking me to go visit them one weekend! That was pretty sweet and that in itself would have made the day special!

But interestingly, I noticed that this person also writes a blog - As the name suggests he records something interesting he's learnt every single day! And what was so fascinating was that he has done this for more than a 1000 days already and obviously he'd not started it because the big scary age of "30" was looming round the corner. He had started it when he was in university and he had started it because, well... I guess he felt like appreciating the small joys of life, even at that age.

That was indeed inspiring!

923 more to go.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 76: Art Vibe! OMG, ART VIBE! :)

The National University of Singapore, my alma mater, had everything I ever wanted - an interesting bunch of people to hang out with, a great Indian classical dance group that offered superb training and performance opportunities, a single room in a lovely hall as my personal haven, good Indian and other cuisines, lectures that one didn't really need to attend if one didn't want to etc. What it didn't have was an Art club. I was very much into drawing and painting back in India and that part of me was pretty much dead in Singapore.

One day in my third year, I just got this idea into my head that we need an Art Club. There was the NUS Centre For the Arts (CFA) which had several performance arts groups and even a film making club but not a painting club, for no apparent reason. I was so convinced by the idea and the need for it that I went and proposed the opening of a student led Art club to one of the senior officials of CFA. He found the idea utterly ridiculous and told me that it is impossible to get a bunch of students to come together and paint because painting's not a group activity. I told him that he was completely mistaken because I used to be part of one such very active group back in India and I don't see why the same cannot be done in Singapore.

He put forward a challenge. He said, "Prove it to me. If you can get 10 students to sit together and draw or paint for 1 hour, I will give you your club." I gave him 25 students who sat together for 4 hours and did just that.

Thus was born "Art Verve" the first ever visual art group in NUS.

Over a semester, we successfully organized a couple of workshops in water colours and chinese painting that were taught by professional artists and had group activities including a sketching trip to Pulau Ubin, an island off Singapore etc. However, after just a few months since it started operating, CFA scrapped the club saying that we were "not committed enough", even though the real reason was that we didn't make them any money unlike the music and dance groups that held ticketed performances. Art Verve was not a worthwhile enough investment for them.

I was devastated. I could have many faults but "not committed" was not an aligation I could accept. So after a few shell shocked hours and shedding a bucket load of tears, I decided that this was not the end. I decided to continue the club outside of CFA. And interestingly enough they retaliated. CFA told me that Art Verve was their intellectual property and it will have to be renamed if it were to continue. And so, Art Verve became Art Vibe.

That was my last semester in NUS and before I left, I made sure that Art Vibe collaborated with the NUS Museums for a painting exhibition and our members contributed a substantial chunk of the exhibits. In fact, some of the works by our members were so well appreciated that a few good souls sponsored good quality frames for them! That was my last activity with the club before I passed it on to the new committee. I heard about its updates now and again but was no longer in touch.

Today I am extremely happy. I mean I am EXTREMELY happy because I came across the Art Vibe blog ( I feel so happy that the club still exists after all these years, in spite of all that it had to go through! I was aware of its existence but today, through the blog, I actually could catch a glimpse of all the activities that they are currently doing and see pictures of groups of students sitting together and making works of art exactly like I had imagined all those years ago! In fact, I heard a couple of years ago that CFA approached Art Vibe and ask them to be part of the organisation again. Am not sure whether that worked out but I am just glad that the club still lives on and lives on rockingly well! I can't stop smiling!

924 more to go.

NUS Museums Exhibition - me with my paintings.

P.S. Just wanted to add that that in spite of my bad experience with CFA regarding Art Verve, I still loved the place and have gone back to it several times. That building with its dance studios was my second home and would always hold a special place in my heart.