Pruning negative thoughts 

My potatoes have some kind of a disease. It could be wilt disease or blight, I am not too sure. But it seems, I learn something or the other from my plants everyday. When my plants started drooping, I googled for possible solutions. I found out that the plant needn’t be uprooted, just the leaf or branch suffering is to be plucked. Unfortunately for my plants, I read this a little too late. 

What I learnt though, is this: say you have had a fight with a friend/cousin/lover etc, what do you do? Do you ruin your relationship in its totality? Or do you prune these bits out and encourage healthy growth? More often than not, our thoughts are like the disease of a plant. It first hinders proper circulation of water and oxygenation, creates an environment of suffocation that leads to early (warning) signs of  death. So instead of letting the whole plant die, you cut the leaf that’s most affected, support healthy growth by feeding it neem powder or some other kind of organic pesticide. 

What, then, do I have to say about toxic relationships? From my experience in the garden, I will say, usually a potato with three eyes is planted in the soil, in the offchance that one does not grow properly, there are two more. Our lives are full of people. When one toxic relationship dies, like the potato plant, cut the affected plant and let the other two grow. In the absence of three plants trying to get nutrients, you will have just two and chances of better yield also increases. 

PS: you should smell the soil in which potato tubers grow. It smells of a newly born babe. Raw and kind of a metallic smell. First I was a little scared if it was the wilt causing this, only to realise I had smelled such a scent before, around newly born babes. In India, babies are given bath only on the 12th day, therefore it isn’t the best kind of smell that lingers around babies. Just like the smell of the soil in which small potatoes grow. It was then that I realised, we are all truly connected beings. My Garden teaches me life lessons and how! 

Dell XPS 13 9360 Rose Gold

Hey all,

Apologise for the far and few posts. My laptop, a very old and ancient device that was the best in its day almost died. This is not to say that I use my laptop to post here. My iPad is my go to device for blog posts, however, I had to read a lot to decide on how best to replace my (once) very able laptop. I considered MacBook Pro and waited for their apple event quite eagerly. And we all know how that went. Their update was more of a downgrade, with old processors and hiked base price. 

I, then, considered lenovo yoga 910 but then it had a 48 watt battery instead of the publicised 78WHR. I really wanted something like the yoga or HP spectre x360. Both have Kaby lake processors. Anyhow, HP is not known for its best customer service with the worse quality screen wise. Yoga, on the other hand did not give me an international upgrade option. Which is when I considered thinkpad x1Yoga. Now I really wanted that! Active digitiser, FHD (the OLED wasn’t in stock), flexible, anti reflective screen, 3 year warranty business laptop. But, apparently, it has a dismal battery. Not that I am professional programmer or engineering student and need a system for CAD. But I just want something that I can use for the next 5 years. 

So after a lot of thought, I bought a dell XPS 13 9360 and yes, in rose gold. Now it isn’t sold here, atleast, the FHD version isn’t and no rose gold either. So I asked someone to get it from the US for me. It burnt a little hole in my pocket. To paraphrase what someone on the dell forum said, when did a $1000 laptop become a budget segment laptop? When I decided I wouldn’t mind spending Rs.50k on a laptop, I thought I was spending a good amount of money to get a decent laptop that won’t weigh a ton and is faster with a better trackpad. I did not know these things cannot be bought for the budget I had in mind. Anyway, I am not complaining. I needed an ultraportable that lasts all day and does not strain the eye. Everything that the XPS promises to deliver. I wish there isn’t any coil whine in my device. 

But to top it all, some other person on the dell forum asked somebody else why anyone in their right mind would spend so much money on a consumer laptop and not a professional segment one. And no, it does not do yoga or geometry. It isn’t compatible with an active digitiser or a passive stylus. It is just an ordinary clamshell laptop with really thin to (I wish) non-existent bezels. 

 Call it buyer’s regret or remorse, I seem to be suffering from it. Happily, it can be cured. I know the day I get it, I feel it, I am going to be really happy. 

And yes, I will review it (or really try to).

Dell has excellent customer service, here in India. But in the US, it is exceptional. I called in for a price match guarantee, they did (nearly) match it, post purchase. For Indians: we don’t even know such things exist, much less avail it. I was told I would be credited with $125 (!!!!). Although I should have gotten it cheaper, seeing as how how the HP more than matches the Dell. It has i7 kaby lake and is FHD touch. The box includes USB type C dongle and a sleeve. Not to mention, it can be used in tent mode, tablet mode and has a decent 57.8 WHR. Anyone looking to buy cannot go wrong with the HP spectre x360 (kaby lake) that is now available for $1009 (free shipping but tax will cost you anywhere between $20 and $100). 
EDIT: too many problems with the machine. Do not buy this. Not worth your time or investment. 

Harry Potter: an average wizard? 

So I have been re-reading Harry Potter (again). After the debacle that Harry Potter and the cursed child was, I wanted to drown myself in what we can all agree to be canon. Yeah sure, HP and TCC  is also canon according to JKR. She is the author, so her word is the law. But as a reader I have decided it isn’t. Before anyone of you might say it doesn’t read well because it is only a script for the play, no, I don’t mind the way in which it is written. What I have a big problem with, and JKR should also have had, is the way in which HP was portrayed.

HP, unlike his father and Godfather, is sort of scrawny and geeky. But he wasn’t just average. Oh, he wasn’t the typical hero material, from the beginning. Just as JKR intended. She wanted to say anyone could be a hero, flaws and all. Harry wasn’t above mistakes, nor was Dumbledore. But the way in which Harry couldn’t defend himself against Voldemort and Bella’s daughter was, for me, a little unconvincing.

Harry Potter isn’t a seventeen year old anymore. He has had time to learn and become more skilled. Harry Potter isn’t unskilled. Dumblodore did tell us he is reasonably talented. Lupin gave him high marks. He could produce a corporeal patronus. He taught his seniors. Are you telling me that Fred and George would have learnt from someone thick? He isn’t as skilled as Dumbledore or Voldemort. But he was skilled like his father and mother (maybe not like his parents, they were exceptional we hear, but only a grade lower). He might have done loads better at Potions, had there been a different teacher.

Neville, too, is a hero. His nerve and hard work pays off. Hermione is gifted, of course. With a mentor like Dumbledore she would have excelled. But I don’t really agree with the way Harry is portrayed in the cursed child. He seems to have not grown at all. Remember, when we read the final instalment in Eragon and thought Paolini failed in portraying Eragon as both a hero and an ordinary boy on whom responsibility was thrust upon but JKR pulled it off with Harry? She pulled it off, yes. She made us believe that by rising to the occasion, Harry  is heroic. Attempting is heroic. Trying to do what you believe in is heroic. Never did Harry not have something up his sleeve. Only once did Harry fail at defending himself, in the Ministry of Magic, in the Order of the Phoenix. But she did make us believe that anyone could be a hero.

Agreed that Harry could never have faced Bella and pull off a victory (maybe). The only reason, Voldemort fails time after time in his attempts to murder Harry is because he couldn’t have killed after taking his blood. But JKR also told us that Dumbledore held Harry in high esteem. Oh not just because he could love, which in itself is a huge deal. (To not be seduced by power, fame, carry a little evil and still remain mostly untouched by its corrupt influence, to still have the ability to love after having suffered tragedies like no other kid… those things make Harry Potter endearing despite the fact that he seems like a belligerent teenager in HPTOP, which he was, anyway). But Dumbledore also respected Harry because of the kind of wizard he was growing into. Pushed into tight corners, testing himself, learning and taking initiative, but on top of it, trying to find compassion in depths of dislike (he feels for Malfoy and yet saves him time and again) and knowing also because of his capacity to forgive. He isn’t a wizard prodigy, like Dumbledore, Voldemort and Grindelwald, but he was talented (in Sorting Hat’s own words in the first instalment). By not allowing Harry to grow at all, despite the nineteen year period, I think was a major oversight. It is okay to say we need poeple and support system, but it is not okay to not allow the character to grow at all.

Organic living 

A post, yet again, on organic living. My dear cucumber plant gave me one cucumber, perfectly round and yellow (orange on the top), it looked yummy. How do you know your cucumber is ready for harvesting? Touch it, you will know. Yes. Just like that. When it’s too young to be plucked, cucumber feels like a baby’s head. Soft, tender, and just a wee bit hairy. You will feel like stroking it, like you would, your baby. And sometime even crooning how much you love it. Or maybe it’s just me going totes cray. But I fell in love with my baby. By the time it is ready for harvest, it is fully yellow and hard. When it’s hard is when you know you can pluck it (although there’s no guarantee you will want to pluck it even then, it looks perfect on the plant). 
Stage 1: my little baby

   
 
Stage 2: Soft and 

   

Stage 3: 

 

Also, I finally perfected the recipe for my hair powder. I bought various powders, like Areetha, Vetiver, lemon etc. This is me mixing it. I enjoyed the process. Hopefully, my hair will appreciate the effort I put in by hanging gloriously down my shoulders (😛).   

 

Fade in or fade out?

Like smoke

Those memories

They slip and fade

Swirling feather like substance

Even before I can think 

Of grasping at them

They fly away
Like a fist full of sand

Loose memories 

Have no home 

Atleast not a permanent one

Then why do we try?

Or do we? 
And yet 

They make you stronger 

Like the loose soil in a pot

Aerating a mind that is 

At risk of becoming self righteous. 

Gardening 

Gardening, like poetry, as I am discovering to my extreme pleasure, is therapeutic. So here are some pictures from my roof garden.

Oh also, I just read this on a fellow gardener’s blog: as the garden grows, so does the gardener. I think it’s true. There’s no greater pleasure than seeing a tiny shoot rising up from a seed. And I also feel as though new plants (seedlings) smell like infants. In India, babies are not given a proper bath (they are only wiped with a damp cloth) for 11 days I think (not too sure). I am not very crazy about the smell, but, I think all new life smells alike. Just goes to show how we are all connected.

So here are some pictures from my garden. #yesfilter only because I didn’t want the wall to look that ugly.



3 cucumbers


Grasshopper


Tomatoes from my garden.


I didn’t do anything for these to sprout. I left them exposed to rain on the parapet wall, and guess what, that’s all it took for these little things to shoot up. The first time I spotted them, those shoots gave me quite a scare, I didn’t know what was sticking out! Anywho, so yes, I love gardening.

People with stories

I booked a share cab on Ola.

Usually, I do not have company. I almost always travel alone. The last time I booked a share cab though, I met this beautiful (inside and outside) woman named Anita. She is about the same age as I am, and she told me about her life. She fell in love with a man who is paraplegic (he lost lower body control due to a freaky accident). More often than not, when you deliver such news to your family, you are accused of being “trapped”. Especially if you are a girl.

Girls are unsuspecting sitting ducks, who are vulnerable, emotional, begging to be trapped by evil, scheming men, especially if they don’t belong to your caste or religion, then they definitely trapped you. I mean why else would they fall in love with you? It’s not like love just happens you know? Ok, yeah, you can choose to love or not love, but come on who plans on falling in love with a man the society labels as undesirable? Men who do not belong to your religion, caste, complexion, physical condition, they are all undesirable. Screw love thy neighbor and all that about Indian culture being the best, we are still stupid people who build walls wherever and whenever.

So anyway, her parents too think she was trapped. Both are Christians, by the way, but who saidIndian parents   like it when their daughters choose their husbands! I have a friend who fell in love with a boy of her own caste, and still her parents took a whole year to agree to agree to their marriage. I told her, just go tell them you could have done worse. I mean imagine if the guy were a Muslim. Nothing is more blasphemous than being a victim of “Love Jihad”. Who the hell comes up with its these terms man? Who has the time to plan on trapping girls. No I don’t get this trapping thing at all. If choosing your partner is a trap, then arranged marriage is an even bigger trap.