Wednesday, December 29, 2010

That Walk Down My College

3rd December, 2010
0730 hours
Temperature: many degrees below normal

On this day, at that time and temperature, my ritualistic walk down the Jose de San Martin Marg was made a bit different. Mist was thin, not as blinding as it is at present. Breathing in the tender vapors floating around in the fog, I started walking. The sand bag bunker had always been there on the footpath- may be since the time Obama came to stay in a hotel right on the parallel road, or since the time of the glorious Commonwealth Games- I had never cared to as much as cast a second glance at it. With the concerns of VIP security eased, the bunker now sat as a perfunctory accessory on the footpath; someone had also taken away the upper few layers of sand bags. I did ponder for sometime what use stealing sand might serve. Still, it stood there as a vandalized, inutile accessory. Not quite. Someone was using it today. 

Cold is my nemesis. Yet, I like playing with it. That day, I was wearing four layers of clothes, including my dad's favorite sweater (I had fought for it in the morning), and my mother's overcoat. I had my hair open, pulled to cover my ears adequately, topped by a thick muffler, muffling my sense of smell and sound- it covered nearly three quarters of my face. My juniors, sometimes, fancifully tag me as a 'polar bear' because of my attire. Yet, a peculiarity was, I was wearing slippers. Only slippers, sans any socks. It was my style statement. I shiver and shudder in cold, my teeth clatter, and I scare people with my convulsive behavior. Yet, I don't wear socks. I hate wearing them. It defies all logic. My body is sensitive to cold in extreme amounts, and yet, i refuse to protect the most cold-sensitive part of my body. Ma says, half (or more) of my quivering would cease if I cover my feet adequately. But, there are certain things/practices, which one is senselessly, obdurately a follower of. 'Bad habits' we call them. Not wearing socks is not as bad a habit as picking one's nose, but in Delhi's torturous chill, subjecting my feet to that amount of chill, because of which they turn dry, and almost white with cold rashes, is definitely criminal.

Feeling the prickly chill attack my almost bare feet, I quickened my steps, only to be slowed down at the sight of that bunker. Very astonishingly, a human form manifested inside it. A huddled human form. It was a male. I could only see his back; his face was pressed between his knees. What I saw, made my heart sink for a moment. The only thing covering, or trying to cover his body was a plastic sheet. More appropriately, it was an assembly of see-through polythene bags, the ones now banned by our State Government, quite resourcefully tied together to cover some parts of his upper torso. Most of his lower back was bare- thats how far I could see. His form was shivering. I was shivering too, not of cold though. My effectively protected face might not have been able to feel the blowing winds; part of me had till now been enjoying them. He, definitely could not escape the agony inflicted by those very winds- the polythene bags waged a futile battle against them.

I slowed down, but I did not stop. My gaze fixed on that form, I moved past it. The last vision I have of him did not help. It would have been okay to remember having seen his back, to have remembered him as a faceless memory. If only he would have crouched a little longer, I would have been a lot more peaceful today. But he looked up, looked around. He looked scared. Or may be his expression only depicted his hapless and helpless state against the winter. I am not good with other descriptions, but I did have a brief eye contact with him. A very normal set of eyes. A slightly watery set of eyes. A needy set of eyes. 

I averted my gaze and walked on. I was trying to revive my numb mind. Honestly, I felt dumb. My human instinct told me, I should help. My mind questioned, 'how?'. Am I silly? How? I was wearing a burdensome weight of winter clothing, and I did not know 'how' to help? I stopped some twenty steps ahead. I thought again- what can I give him? I searched for newspapers in my bag-dunno for what reason- but I had none, no piece of stationary in fact.

I knew both my pieces of winter clothing were very expensive- prized by my mother and father. Were they more expensive than his well being? I could not answer. I did not know what to answer at home; how to answer at home. And so, on that lazy, sleepy winter morning, I walked ahead, with little tears in my eyes. Never have I been more annoyed with my tears- because today they did not depict helplessness. Today they projected uselessness, and shamelessness.

Throughout my first lecture at college, I kept praying for someone to help him out. Honestly, did I even have a right to pray? Or what chance did my prayer stand of being answered when I had acted so dumb? We cannot just shirk our responsibilities as a member of the society, or the planet to say the least, and then hope that God will take care of all.

Next day, along with a group of IEEE volunteers, I had to go to the UN house to give a presentation on Millennium Development Goals. I was supposed to speak on the first MDG- eradication of hunger and poverty. More specifically, 'reducing by half the proportion of people living below the global poverty line and suffering from hunger'. We gave a mighty good presentation. I was cherubic, and interactive and convincing in what I said there. 

But, when I came back home, I felt a tad hollow. That was because, in the morning, the footpath had been cleared of that bunker, which had just found a new purpose for existing there. The swiftness of it's removal was fantastic. I like to believe that the man hiding within it was relocated to one of the many shelters that the Delhi government has built for the destitutes. That does seem logical enough. The people who came to remove him could not have simply driven the barely clad man away. No way. He would have been safely moved to a shelter, given a blanket, some morsels to eat, and would have slept soundly. Or, would it have been otherwise? Would it have been the way I feared?

That spectacle still haunts me. Rightly so. At least in future I would know how to be quicker and more austere in my decision making. 

One more thing I wish for. When we look at the state of affairs around us, we , the moral ascetics, are dejected, often frustrated, ask questions, demand solutions. I wish, that really soon in life, I find myself in a position to crossover to the other side, and be the provider of 'answers'-an appreciator of good questions, but capable of providing better solutions.


PS- I have started wearing socks. It is amazing. I shiver less. I am able to enjoy the winter more now.

The Conference at UN House on 4th December, 2010, to mark the International Volunteer day.
Seen in the picture above is a team of IEEE volunteers giving a presentation on UN MDGs.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Optimist Creed

I saw this posted in a nail salon while I was waiting to get my nails done. I felt like I should share it with you all, because everyone can use some optimism in their lives. Read it, think on it, and try to apply this to your life. I'm sure if everyone followed The Optimist Creed, the world would be filled with better people.

Promise yourself...
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

What are your thoughts on this creed?

~Nia A.D.L.

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No Copyright Infringement Intended

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Camera of Lego =)

I bought this today, because I think it's adorable! This Lego Digital Camera isn't huge. It only has 3 megapixels, and hold 80 photos at one time. Haha kind of pathetic, but it's just so cute to me! This camera is more like a "bring to a get-together" type of camera, not a "bring to a wedding" type of camera. =) This thing doesn't take bad pictures either! It's pretty legitimate. So anyways, I simply wanted to share this purchase with you.

P.S. Sorry for looking a little creepy in this picture. =/

Have a good day!

~Nia A.D.L.

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry CHRISTmas (eve)!

Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! メリークリスマス!Frohe Weihnachten! Sretan Božić! С Рождеством Христовым! 聖誕快樂!Geseënde Kersfees! मेरी क्रिसमस! Καλά Χριστούγεννα! Buon Natale! 메리 크리스마스!

Haha I felt like throwing in some different languages, but MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE EVERYBODY! I hope you all enjoy the holiday, and be sure to spend time with the ones you love.

Short, sweet, and to the point. =)

(Languages in order: English, Spanish, Japanese, German, Croatian, Russian, Chinese, Afrikaans, Hindi, Greek, Italian, and Korean)

~Nia A.D.L.

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Picture: No Copyright Infringement Intended

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nathalee Illustrations

So, I was blog-surfing, and I came across this blog called Nathalee Illustrations. When I say I was blown away, I couldn't possibly be more sincere. Natalia Nazimek, the Polish-native, is currently studying Graphic Communications and Illustrations in the United Kingdom.

Some of you may be familiar with her work (because I saw it featured on, but this post will just be dedicated to showing a few pieces of her artwork. Prepare to be amazed, because this is insane.

Natalia started off learning with Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Coral Draw. This is truly an inspiration to me. She has worked for magazines, advertisement agencies, brands, musicians, and fashionistas. Natalia also has worked with individual clients from Poland, the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, and France. Natalia is also working on a T-Shirt line!

Be sure to check her out at!

~Nia A.D.L.

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Pictures' citation:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

An Engagement- Mills & Boon Style!

(It happened in Delhi, roughly a year ago. Part fiction, part reality)


She waited anxiously for the clock to strike twelve. "Today, I will reserve him for myself"- she thought to herself. She ran her fingers over the smooth, lustrous surface of the silver band, and conjured up happy images of the day to follow.


She clandestinely tip toed up the stairs. There he stood, his frame slightly blurred by the thin layer of fog which wafted through the distance between them. She moved closer, beguiled by the casual, easy manner in which he was reclining against the terrace railing. She gave him a gentle smile, which almost immediately conveyed a soft "happy birthday". He smiled back, acknowledging her wishes. It was then that her heart skipped a beat. His smile. Ethereal. His eyes. Dazzling. His sharp features. Irresistible. And his fair face. Resplendent in the soft glow of the moon.

She motioned closer, firmly locking her eyes on him. He slipped his arm in one swift moment around her waist, and pulled her closer. She let out a sigh. She was bare-feet. He pulled her up, made her climb on his shoes; he promised to protect her from everything that hurt her- cold definitely was one of them.  With one hand pressed on his chest, she slipped her other hand in his warm clasp. He could feel the ice-cold metal band pressed between their palms. Before he could inquire, she strengthened her grip on his hand, and pressed her cheek on his.

It was time now for him to let out a sigh. His grip on her waist tightened. The inquisitiveness evaporated in the fog, protecting them from any prying eyes. She withdrew, replacing the softness of her cheeks, with that of her lips. It was only a moment that she pressed her lips on his cheeks that she heard a faint sound coming from somewhere near. She broke free from his arms as a reflex. The chill felt unbearable as she once again touched the cold floor with her bare feet. She ran back downstairs, not looking back a moment. The craving in his eyes would have weakened her.

She closed the door of her room behind her. She was safely back; but the pace at which her heart was beating, it was definitely running back to him. She left the silver band with him. She had conveyed what she intended to. Had he understood?


She woke up rubbing her eyes. The smile on her face was instinctive. In that state of semi-consciousness, she knew something big was in store today, something was going to change; but what, she did not quite know. She let the pleasant disorder persist. She closed her eyes. She lived those memories again.

She had known him since she was sixteen- at the threshold of womanhood. A tryst on an enchanting evening, and that one defining moment when she, without a care in the world held his hand and danced, changed a lot for her. She had been bold and protected; she now wanted to expose her weaknesses to him. She had always led in life; she now simply wished to follow. She had been afraid of all these feelings, she now wanted to risk the lethal.

And all this when she did not even know the spelling of his name!
A month and ten days later, she risked the question. At that time, she could not recall his physical image to brain. Today, three and half years later, she can recognize him by his smell.

Today, she will take care of the remaining fears she had in her heart. "We can't be together for long", she mulled, "But our own commitment, we'll make firmer". She wanted to cement their bond till a point of no return. She believed in rituals; and so she selected the simplest, and more meaningful to assert- "I'm here to stay. I'm your's for life".

They met in the heart of the city, and this time could exchange hugs and wishes more openly. He had a curious smile on his lips, and she knew what he meant when he said-"It's my birthday, and I want to buy you a gift". He dragged her into a shop selling silver, and after trying several, bought that one ring, which made her humble fingers look royal. She could not contain her smile. She wondered what the passers-by must be thinking; but she knew her smile made her look pretty. So, hand-in-hand, away they went.

It was now time for rituals.
Rings: Selected, bought.
Dress Code: Winter Casuals.
Witnesses: Not required.
Venue: Big Problem! Where? No idea. What to do? They walked, and mulled, and walked, and mulled, and eventually got tired. They were treading on the grandest road in the capital, connecting the India Gate with the magnificent President's House. Lutyen's architecture is a beholder's delight! Finally, when they could walk no more, they sat down on a foot path, right in front of India Gate. Cars were whizzing past at brilliant speeds. "This is it!" -she exclaimed. "What can be a better place to engrave in our memories forever?" True. They were against the most majestic backdrop that this city could provide- Grandiose architectural wonders; almost invisible sun, its balmy rays cascading down the layers of mist, right in their direction; and the two of them, lost amid a crowd of pedestrians and vehicles, yet secure in their place beneath the sun.

Now was the time to solemnize. They prepared to slip the rings. Wait. Ring finger, but which hand? They shared a moment of humor when they both took out their handsets, and tried to understand tradition from the point of view of technology. With 'engagement+rituals' as the key words, they went through numerous search results, all in contradiction to each other. They looked at each other, shared a hearty laugh, and then, decided to trust their instincts.

First she, then him.

Holding hands had never been more special.

They headed home in an auto, a luxurious ride, given their humble backgrounds. She chatted incessantly. He, like always, was the patient listener. Their clasp did not break for a second. Yes, they did spend a moment or two just looking at those intertwined hands, wondering how long will this dream last. Then, they averted their gaze. In their hearts was a brief fear. This fear, they refused to share with each other.

May be nothing had changed. May be, a lot had.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Oh hey, Madison!

Yeah, I know this is a pretty nice handbag. The Madison Patent Sophia Satchel by Coach (one of my favorite brands) is indeed very chic. This handbag has a modern take on vintage style. Modern vintage (haha oxymoron)!

The handbag is made up of extra smooth patent leather. Inside, it has a pocket zip, a cellphone pocket, and multifunction pockets. It has fabric lining, and closes on top with a zipper. The handbag has a detachable strap for shoulder wear with a 14 inch drop, and handles with a 5 inch drop.

The colors featured here are: Crimson, Blue, and Brass/Camel. The handbag was just recently featured on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on her last Oprah's Favorite Things show. The handbag is priced at $358.00.

Hope you like this bag as much as I do!

~Nia A.D.L.

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Photos' citation:

Friday, December 17, 2010

Food Sculptures by Sarah Illenberger

German artist Sarah Illenberger has a series of posters dedicated to making food appear as recognizable objects.

Illenberger chooses familiar motifs and objects, and recreates them using fruits and vegetables. The result is a visually colorful display of images that’s creative and fun to look at. Transforming a watermelon into a cloud raining seeds and a tomato into a grenade, this simplistic approach truly says that less is more.