Went to two different photo-galleries around town last week.
At the AGO(Art Galleryof Ontario) there was a special exhibit of works by 'Christo and Jeanne-Claude'. Here is a one of the pieces, titled 'Valley Curtain, Project in Colorado'.
Next day was the PUBLICity screening of Toronto Photobloggers. Here is Sam Javanrouh 's photograph titled 'Cloud makers' (involving no photoshop, just a chance encounter)
Would you say that the first piece is a tad 'pretentious'? I mean, thousands of dollars were given to artificially 'drape' cliffs, trees, buildings etc around the world and then photograph them. Granted the mixed-media sketches(left) done prior to the actual draping of the real thing(right) were interesting, but in the end, the photographs were essentially of things covered in a piece of cloth(?) and for the better part, tied up with strings! They say its "Art", but representing what?....someone suggested it reminded him of 'packing during a move'.
O-kay, unpleasant memories right there...but by just looking at the photograph and not having someone shout 'its ART its ART' in your ears, what would you, if anything, feel ? Would you smile wondering what the artist must have thought while doing this piece? or frown at the phoniness?
On the other hand how long did it take for you to understand the objective of the second, much simpler and may I say less expensive, photograph? Did you smile at how the angle of the camera created a story? Did you note the unobstrusive way it was captured- just as things are in the real world?
May be 'Art' is a more personal than an universal thing than we thought because the first piece was totally lost on me!
Then again its just two-cents from a smartass, so don't beat me down for it.
The norm seems to be writing something special for one's own birthday in one's blog.
But 27 is sooo unremarkable. Its in a limbo, without the surprise of leaving the 18-25 age bracket or the heady excitement of turning 21 or the worries of reaching 25 that you feel in the years 22-24.
27 is not quite 30, even though people take great pains in reminding you that it might as well be 30, nor is it like being in your mid 20s. It does however feel like an easy and comfortable age when maturity is somehow not such a freaky thing.
Nyway, celebrated the unremarkable monday in just they way I wanted it- casual dinner for a couple of hours with two of my good friends, ending with icecream :). Ofcourse I also went did what any woman my age would do - i.e. buy a dress a size smaller on sale just so I can fit into it 3 months later!
Birthday presents this year were sweet but not necessary (and this time I did mean it) ; the Tax return cheque in the mail was a delightful surprise I must say though. hmmm....use it to pay for the ticket to vancouver or a new 4MP digital camera....decisions decision...what would a mature 27 yr old do I wonder?
In other news around town- leaves are budding like caterpillars on trees, birds are hesitantly chirping, earthworms are coming out to die on sidewalks, people are having to buy new umbrellas everyday.....ahh Spring in TO!
Its a beautiful thing.
Need new sandals though.
Firefly- by Tasnuva
Waiting for the elevator
In three pink coats
Surely we are all doomed
Now that Pepto-Bismo is IN
My Baby's got Angel Eyes
The Real Blogger
Here is a beauty of a shot of my baby
This time- His profile
Photos courtesy of Aref and his brand new Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT.
Regular Blogging will resume shortly :)
What would you do if you were given two weeks to live?
You* find yourself a bit distracted for a few weeks or have a persistant headache and go for a visit to the doctor. A brief CT scan later your doctor tells you that if its 'fast-growing' you have two days and if its 'slow-growing' you have two weeks. To live.
Just like that.
Two weeks to catalogue your personal belongings, your finances......fourteen days to feel the touch of the people who mean everything to you.
What could possibly be going on in the mind of someone who finds himself/herself in the above situation?
Most of us, I imagine, think that when it's time, we'd go in an instant - brief pain with no advance notice, a tragic accident maybe.....or the really optimistic ones dream of leading a full life, lots of grandkids, time to oragnize a 'proper funeral', make a will and then say 'Adios'.
But how do you prepare when you are given two weeks to prepare for the 'definite accident', when your children just starting to see the life through you?
When death is not an abstract thing but as real as the ground you stand on and fast approaching...how would you deal with it?
Would you turn to God or to your loved ones?
Would you go and 'live it out', so to speak? or would you get angry at the unfairness of it all and lash out at the ones still living?
Would you be scared of the dying, of what comes after dying?
Would you believe you'd continue to live on.....in the religions sense or in the memory of your family and friends?
Would you wonder at your 'legacy'?Would you be insulted if they forgot you after 5/10/15 years?
Meaningless questions ofcourse because that person must be going through all of those feelsing
As for me, I've only understood my grandmother finally.
Its not morbid to think about death everyday....its morbid to think it will not touch you without your permission.
Better be prepared everyday.
PS: *Its not me.
This year, I dressed up in my mom's saree for the new year festivities- one that I coveted since I was 7 yrs old. Everytime she wore it, with all-silver jewellary, I used to think she looked like the most beautiful woman in the world.
Obviously, I don't share her looks.....but it was still fun to dress up in it.
Can't say the same for the show we attended though...or the backdrops(it was happening at a school auditorium) available for picture taking- Pink and blue walls or puke-yellow and grey ones! Finally had to pick the stairwell. One of these days we need to have the it outdoors in a park or something.
Happy Bengali New Year! (Shubho Nobo Borsho)- not that we go ever by that calender anywhere, but its one of my favourite Bengali festivities. The dressing up in red-white sarees(my favourite kind of sarees), the music (Tagore), the fairs, the food.....did I mention the food? I never got to experience it in Bangladesh, but the festivities organized in Kuwait were not to bad :D We even got to order special white flowers to put in our hair.
Looking forward my first attendance of Chhayanat performance in Canada on saturday.
Bit of history: Bengali year was started in the Mughal times to coincide with the harvest as well as the Arabic year, but became a symbol of so much more when, along with Tagore, its celebration was banned in East Pakistan after its conception-for religious purposes probably, as Tagore is not a Muslim. Now banning Tagore for Bengali's is like putting a ban on breathing. You just don't do that. The celebrations continued till after Bangladesh became independent and has become a tradition spanning half a century now.
New Year celebrations had to take a temporary blow with the terrorist attack on the festivities a few years back. Something about that event makes me think all the terrorist operations happening in Bangladesh have outside influence (possibly Arab) , as NO Bengali, no matter the religious background, would look at this celebration as something remotely religious. But try explaing that to someone from the middle-east- to them everything is 'Hindi'.
Oh and Happy Baisakhi (spring) for those who celebrate that.......and it feels like spring too for once.
Double sided sticky tape
Where have the three-dimensional people gone?
Why is everyone and everything one or the other these days?
Why must we choose between the icing on the cake or the cake itself? Why not enjoy both?
Why is it that people find it so 'weird' that you can like Eminem and then Baul all in the same day?
Why is enjoying 'Bollywood movies' looked down upon but not owning the collector's edition of 'There's something about Mary'?
I do think these one-dimensional people are suffering from a lack of strong cultural identity.
In the past 4 days I have had the great 'misfortune' of running into far too many BBID (Bangladesh-Born-Ignorant-Desis) and their 'opinions' and can say that I'm not pleased.
Yes I may come out sounding like a middle-aged FOB (fresh off the boat, aka new immigrant, though technically its running the 9th year....so seasoned immigrant I guess.) but I'm getting really tired of people passing judgments on a culture they have neither the understanding for nor a microdecible desire to learn.
I'm not saying they have to know/like everything bengali but turn up your nose against something 'just because' it IS Bengali is just stupid.
And that's exactly what these people do.
They are born something and want to be something else. And this something is not decided upon either- one year it's 'black', next 'Punjabi' and next year its 'American'.
But first thing they do is dismiss the culture they are born into.
Okay, the whole rebelling against your parent's etc, Yes I get it. But do they really think the apple is going to fall that much further from the tree? Maybe there was strong wind or maybe the parent tree was busy elsewhere - resulting in the apple growing up thinking its an orange...... But I digress.
I understand that you are not living 'in the old country' anymore and there are numerous cultures to pick from in the multicultural West, but why this opinion the 'new culture' is somehow superior to the one they were born into? Is it not a form of racism in itself? Ok maybe that's a little harsh. But it's damn funny listening to them speak I tell you.
Eg. One of them babbles on about all the presidents of the United States of America who were assassinated, chronologically, but not know who Sheikh Mujibor Rahman' (father of the nation) is and then goes on to voice opinions about how the separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan spelled 'economic' doom for Bangladesh '.
Then there are ones who think listening to every single Punjabi music group out of UK makes them 'Punjabi' but can't cite the timeline for the 'Green revolution in Punjab' or point out the location of the place Punjab on a world map (hint: it spans two countries).
In other words- they are fickle and un-informed.
In my opinion if you were to truly immerse yourself in one culture and its heritage, it wouldn't give you such a tunnel vision but should only help you see the common threads between all cultures, inciting you to learn more and appreciate them equally- and THAT can only be a good thing.
PS: Yes I'm aware t hat I'm employing the term 'culture' very losely here. I am only referring to the terms(Bengali/French/Sikh etc) people use to announce themselves while making a statement.
There is something touching about this picture of a child perched on his grandfather's shoulders, seeking warmth from the same shawl on a cold winter morning in Bangladesh.
I never knew either of my grandfathers. It will be interesting to see the relationship up-close with my father and my sister's expected child.
Photo courtesy of Drik-Power of Culture