Monday, August 30, 2010

What Underpants are made of.

Okay. I've been meaning to do this for ages. Seriously. But that inevitable act of procrastinating just will not let go.
So, with some cajoling and a pinch of inspiration, here I am. Writing. Typing. Whatever. With some good ol' Biffy Clyro in the background. Man, this stuff is good.Well, so were the numerous spoonfuls of Nutella I doled into my mouth these holidays. Or the Belgian Waffles and ice- cream duo or all those pies and cheesecakes and rocky roads and whatnot...I'll shut up about the food now.

You know how many books I read these holidays? Approximately 3. I haven't even finished a few, so assuming I read half of a couple of these books I'm summing them up to 3. 3 books. I scoff at this. I used to read 30, 50 come summer bliss while managing to smack tennis balls amidst the dusty, humid Chennai heat on a mud based tennis court. Now, I lock myself inside my room and stay cooped up in my bed, being alone. I'm starting to get annoyed at the concept of company.
Oh, well.
Chyeh. Anyways, this one book that piqued my interest considerably is called 'Where Underpants come from'. See, Joe Bennett recently bought a pack of underpants from a department store in New Zealand and wished to trace the life of these particular pair of underpants back to the roots of its existence. And he does so with colorful detail, accompanied with a laughter inducing soundtrack. ANYWAY, Joe Bennett embarks on a voyage to China to find out how his underpants were made. Bennett discusses the political situation, the corruption surrounding the methods of work that Chinese workers undergo.
Corruption is evidently inevitable in every country that you come across. There is always going to be a bribe, always a scandalous act in light of politics, there will aways be a 'mistake'. We are only human, after all. We are fundamentally flawed. Oh, what tangled webs we weave.
So, we know where underpants come from. Where do we come from? Oh, of course, what a wrongly phrased questions. I should mean, where does what makes us US come from? Friends? Music? Our past?
I should think that I am my most soulful when I am encased in my record filled world. Yeeeeah sure, my past has made me stronger. Its how i am able to walk into school and trust no one.
But, see if I was to walk into school without my iPod, I wouldn't be okay. Maybe people in school never notice but my toe taps. My head nods. I mouth lyrics. I do little hand movements.
I'm attached.
I can stand in a crowd full of music lovers and feel the love. Like I did in God's tent. Like I did when I walked up a mountainside singing the Lion King soundtrack out loud with my friends. Like I feel at a Switchfoot concert.
Its love.
Its music.
Same thing.
See, it could be Jon Foreman. Or Sigur Ros. It could be Copeland. And I could feel happy.
Music is this integral part of our lives. We live it, we breathe it, some people reject it, others embrace it but you can never escape it. I was watching Switchfoot's live at Ventura DVD. Seeing Switchfoot live, or on a DVD- man, its gets me. It gets me into this trance where I sway back and forth and start singing without knowing it. I smile the whole time- its reflex, I swear!
We all have a band. A musician. And for me, its Switchfoot. I just get caught up in the emotions conveyed through their songs, to me its about living and grace and love. I think they represent me,emotions and love music wise but completely hyperactive and loud otherwise. Chyeh. Talk about me.

I think I've found out what my Underpants are made of and I didn't need any trip to China to find out.
So, enlighten me, what are yours made of?

Saturday, June 26, 2010


In honour of the 6th annual Bro-Am ,I post this article by Switchfoot lead Jon Foreman.

Q: What is the difference between a turkey and a man imitating a turkey?

A: Only a couple of minutes: a turkey never breaks character.

I am in the Tokyo Narita airport on a nine hour layover. I should be counting sheep. But alas, I am pondering the turkey. And in my jet-lagged state, I wonder what the implications are for the turkeys, and for the rest of us.

Study the turkey, look at his movements, watch him go. A turkey doesn't try to look like a turkey. He doesn't study or practice in front of a mirror. He (assuming our turkey is a he?!) won't call his turkey buddies over and say, "Fellas! Watch my turkey impersonation. Look at the way I move my head! Watch how I walk -- It's all so turkey-like!"

You see, the turkey acts like a turkey because he is a turkey -- to quote one of our leading philosophers, Forest Gump: "Stupid is as stupid does." Turkeys are easy to read. You don't have to be a turkey discern if a turkey is threatened or calm, angry or intimidated. Turkeys wear their hearts on their feathery sleeves.

Much of the natural world behaves in the same way. A horse is born with the ability to walk. A butterfly needs no teacher to unwrap her cocoon. An acorn naturally becomes a towering tree in the right soil. But in many ways human beings are the exception to the rule. A gentleman becomes a gentleman only after years of effort and education, trial and error. The scientist, the civil engineer, the farmer, the mother, the basketball player -- all require years of learning, years of becoming. In the right environment we begin to become more responsible, more considerate, more reliable. Yes, a turkey is a turkey by definition. But we are all in the process of becoming human, becoming ourselves. And we need help along the way.

Imagine yourself homeless at 17. You're not sure where your next meal is coming from. You slept in the canyon last night. You have no driver's license, no job, no self-worth, and no prospects. You've never met your dad and your mom has been abusive ever since her new boyfriend moved in. The only easy way to find a roof over your head never feels right the morning after. You did not choose a life on the street -- it was simply a matter of survival. Hope feels so far away.

This is nonfiction. These are facts. There are thousands of stories just like this one within San Diego alone. My friend Kim Goodeve-Green knows teenage homelessness first hand. She knows exactly what these kids are going through: at the age of 13, she was homeless herself. Kim runs the StandUp For Kids chapter in Oceanside with an overwhelming passion. To hear her talk about her struggles is incredibly moving. Her undeniable love for the kids coming for an evening meal in Oceanside is even more inspiring.

Kim Goodeve-Green is a teacher. A teacher without a classroom or books. She is teaching these kids of their own self-worth, training them in the curriculum of what it means to be a human being. Guiding, coaching, loving. Showing them a way out of the canyons and off the streets. The StandUp kids are hungry for more than just something to eat -- they're looking for something true, something reliable. They see through the imitation, they can smell the phonies. These kids are looking for love in action, community in motion: true humanity -- not just talk. For those who are looking to rise above their situation, StandUp For Kids is a lifeline of hope. The work is hard: recovering from abuse and years on the street is a difficult fight. But Kim is an incredible teacher. She's lived the life of a homeless teen and made it to the other side. We all learn by imitation and Kim is an incredible model. She is showing them how valuable they are. She is teaching them how to become fully human.

Think back to your adolescent years -- those treacherous, torturous, embarrassing years. The years spent wandering through the teenage wasteland where becoming human feels almost impossible. Even in a supportive home, these awkward years are a challenge for all of us. These are the times when we need a little extra help and direction -- times when we resemble turkeys much more than we would like.

Now, imagine spending those same difficult years scraping by on the street. Imagine trying to realize your full potential while homeless at 17. It feels overwhelming -- nearly impossible. It takes an incredible fighter to rise above the lonely despair of adolescent hopelessness and begin to dream a bigger dream. The StandUp kids are just that: fighters. Warriors battling depression, battling hopelessness; they are fighting to see beyond the present pain towards a brighter future.

Seven years ago, my friends and decided that we had to do something to help these kids, to recognize their struggle and champion their cause. I remember it well. We were on a long flight home from Australia, trading San Diego memories back and forth. We were anxious to get back home, back to the music and surfing communities that had kept us out of trouble when we were young. We were blessed with a community of friends that truly cared about each other. And yet, not everyone is so fortunate. Our conversation turned to talk about the kids who are struggling to find their identity in the teenage wasteland of Southern California. But what about the homeless kids? How could we raise funds and awareness for kids that need it the most? How could we give back to the surfing and music families that have supported us through the years? We began to dream of ways to bring all of this together. And that's when the idea came to us: combine surfing with music to raise money for the community.

Later that year, we held the first ever Switchfoot Bro-Am. It was a blend of everything that I love about San Diego: community, surfing, and rock and roll. Everything about the event came together truly organically. We enlisted two of our high school friends to help organize the day, borrowed some tents from the local church, and called our old Surf Contest buddies help us judge the surf contest. We phoned up our surfing hero/friend Tom Curren to be on our team and play a few songs later that night at the local theater. We asked our friends who worked in the industry to enter a team into the contest. Taylor donated a couple guitars. We rented out the local theater and talked to the city council about using the local beach. And viola: the Switchfoot Bro-Am was born!

The first year we raised funds for Care House, a great organization dedicated to serving homeless and at risk teens in the area. We took the kids surfing, taught them how to play guitar and had an amazing day. It was a ton of work, but we knew that we had stumbled on something special. As our sound man Ryan says, "It's the hardest you'll ever work, but also the most rewarding day of the year." I completely agree. As we packed up that night, we started to think about how we could do it better.

Over the course of the past six years, we've had the privilege of working with three amazing organizations: Care House, Casa de Amparo and StandUp For Kids. All three of these fine nonprofits serve the homeless and at-risk youth in the San Diego area. This is our third year partnering with StandUp; we're so proud of the work they do. I've had the privilege of hanging out with some of the Stand Up kids at the Oceanside campus. My favorite moments up there have been centered around song. I've come to see firsthand that music is the universal language all around the world. You pull out a guitar and the walls come down. Smiles come out. Bon Jovi and Prince cover tunes start to show up and all the differences begin to melt away. It's the same smile I see when someone catches a wave for the first time -- that unencumbered exuberance. That's the feeling we hope to give to everyone who comes to the Bro-Am -- especially the StandUp kids. So, we teach them how to play the guitar and how to surf. We want to give them a unique experience that reminds them of their importance -- an amazing day of celebration.

Everything about the Bro-Am is a bit different than any other event I've ever been a part of. "More Bro than Pro" has been the motto form the start. Even the surfing event has a unique twist. I'm pretty sure it's only event in the world where surfers are forced to go switchfoot. What's switchfoot, you ask? For the non-surfers out there, imagine throwing with your weaker hand, the hand you don't normally throw with. For most of us, it's tricky, awkward, and a little bit laughable. It's the same for most surfers going switch. The switchfoot element keeps the surf contest from getting too competitive and keeps the focus on the kids. It makes us all laugh at our weaknesses. In the same lighthearted spirit, we have a surf jousting event complete with colorful Nerf-ish spears and helmets. It's another playful attempt to have a few laughs and raise some more money for the kids. As far as we can tell, it's the only contest like it in the world.

Yes, it's true: the Bro-Am is my favorite day of the year. It's a day to celebrate these incredible kids, these fighters. It's a chance to teach them how to surf, how to play guitar. It's a day for the whole community to come together with one voice and tell these incredible kids: "You are important. You are worthwhile. You are beautiful." The Bro Am celebrates the past and the present, while investing in the future.

The goal for the event? Sure, it raises money for a worthy cause, but we all know that money isn't everything. For me, the Bro-Am has a higher goal than simply the financial element. The Switchfoot Bro-Am is a celebration: bringing a community together with a song and a surfboard. Every year the Bro-Am reminds me that that we need each other, that our stories intersect. That each of us are slowly becoming human, learning how to love and laugh. Learning how to surf and play the guitar. In a tiny corner of the world called Moonlight Beach the human story is still unfolding.

For me, the Bro-Am is a celebration: a commemoration of our awkward, beautiful life together. Every one of us a story to tell, a song to sing. And sometimes an inanimate object like a guitar or a harmonica can bring a human soul to life. Some times it takes a surfboard or a guitar to give us perspective. Some times we need a little help jumping into the celebration. Try putting a different foot forward- So what if you look like a turkey? We all need to learn to laugh at ourselves, to embrace one another, to celebrate our differences.

We all need second chances, third chances, 77th chances. We need help becoming human. We get by with a little help from our friends, from our community. We're all coming from different places, different perspectives, contrasting opinions, a rainbow of pigments, and varying levels of financial stability (if there is such a thing). But we have one thing in common: all of us turkeys need help. We are learning how to become human.

-Jon Foreman,The Huffington Post

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Roughly Zones

Robert Frost wrote a poem called 'There are roughly zones'. There are roughly zones between wrong and right.There are roughly zones between how much you've done and what you havent. Maybe its not black and white. Maybe its shades of grey. Circumstantial . Differentiated. Diverse. Maybe thats how wrong and right are categorized. Involving the reasons of a dark and murky forest of past and truth.
You see,our decisions affect other people. Always. Not just us. But you probably knew that,right?Everyone knows that. But the thing is,do politicians remember that when they put their country to war? Or when they send troops out to war? Maybe when the mothers,the daughters,the wives and the sons question them,yeahh,they remember for a single fleeting moment. As Travis said,'You say you're sorry.
And then you do it again, you do it again.'
Its all in a days work,right?
You live some,you die some.
I believe (All US Americans =p) that in this world full of chaos and anarchy ,you begin to question the heroes. Not the Superman suit donning personalities but the ones who stand up for what they believe in. The ones like Victor Jara and John.M.Perkins. #switchfoot #thesound #chile
On September 13 1973 Jara was taken to the Chile Stadium and tortured akong with a thousand or so people. They tortured him,beat him and mocked him to play and sing with his broken hands. The more they tortured him, the louder he sang. He died on September 16th. The military gunned him down.
Oh,and he was a singer/songwriter,and social activist . The singer/songwriter part just makes me happy.

Heroes. The ones we respect today. Are they what they are or just overrated assholes . Arent the people that matter the ones who stand up for that they believe in? Who fight back? Who fight for those who need it until their last breath ?

John.M.Perkins said that there is racism and hate and inequality and we need a sound louder than that, louder than all that apathy and entropy with intention to unite. Love. Pure and simple.

You see,you cant hate the haters. All you know is that they will talk. And talk. Its a never ending sequence quadrupled and multiplied as the common difference. They will fight by the word of racism ,of conflict,of inequality,of hate, of betrayal, of a patriarchial society ,of deviance,of being homophobic. How does that make them right?

There are roughly zones between wrong and right,but sometimes the line is as clear as day. You see, I was sitting in the train yesterday. And there is this gay couple right in front of me. And you know that feeling when you look at couple and you know that they are meant to be? Yeahh,I am looking at them and that feeling comes over me and they look adorable. Call me pathetic but I look at them and my faith in love ,it just rekindles. And ,there,I am happy again. Who are we to judge ? To tell people that it is WRONG to have freedom of choice,that it is WRONG to fall in love ? Okay,so I will go all tweenibopper on you and quote Aly and AJ. 'If somethings pure,how can people just say we are not meant to be.'
Honestly? Ive never heard truer words.

I turn 18 soon. As one of my best friends said,its just a number. Which is completely true,yeahh. But I dunno if this applies to all 18 sooners but recently Ive been going through this new level of maturity. I feel like I can understand more. Its not just about the public markers anymore like being able to go to a club or having the right to smoke. Its more of this whole new level on being able to make more rock solid decisions,of knowing what you want to do. And the future is scary. It is. I think about it everyday and I am scared down to the core of me. But you make it through,right ? Even if it sucks the life out of you sometimes. You still make it through. Me with my music,you with your...Gorillaz?

Sway-The Perishers. Awesome song.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ramblings on yet another passing year.

Ok,so Im going through this sudden bout of Nostalgia and listening to Avril Lavigne.Yes.Avril Lavigne.
And not her horrible new songs either.
The first album.
The one that I would listen to when I was 12 and dance around at 2 in the morning.
Stuff like 'Skater boi' and 'Complicated.'
I'd listen to 'My world' and 'Things i'll never say' and wonder when THAT guy would come around.
And THAT guy DID come along.
Anyone believe in forever?
I do.

I was talking to him today.
You know when you are on the phone and that someone says 'bye' and you just don't reply so that they will not hang up the phone?
It's crazy and horribly cheesy ,but yeahh.
I guess my lameacts of 2009 are going to carry onto 2010 after all.
I still pick the chocolate chips off my muffin so I can eat it separately later.
I still sneak downstairs at 3 in the morning so that me and my friend can get some food out for that stupid chick-flick even though you SO badly want to watch 'The haunting in Connecticut' which you end up sleeping to ANYWAY.
Ohh yeahh. And when you cant find the food you want-just throw something in a saucepan and cross your fingers and pray and hope that it is at least edible enough to last throughout the movie before YOU are the one who gets scared that they are going to die.

Whats my point?
We do not change.
I mean,we do,but those little little things we do like snorting(I do it waaayyyy too many times) shaking your bum around to Ms.Lavigne ,loving criminology and all aspects of it-they do not change.
Not unless you want it to change.
Which Im sure you wouldn't .
Because that would just completely suck.
Its YOU. Its what makes YOU YOU.
Embrace it. Hold it close and never eeevvverrrrr let it go.
Someone is going to love it one day.
Yeahh,Im an optimistic.So sue me.

2010. Its a new decade. And I am happy to say that instead of sitting on my bed and studying yours truly's butt off while stuffing faces with Lindt chocolate like last time-its not gonna happen this time.
This time-I am going for the countdown with friends and scream 3,2,1 at the top of my lungs.I am going to jump up and down and celebrate a new year.Why?Because it brings me closer to HIM.It brings me closer to achieving my dreams and NOW instead of saying "Yeah,I'll see you in 4 years",I can say "THREE MORE YEARS, BABY!"
I can be happy.Its 2010.Its the decade where I am going to get into uni,get a job ,get married and have that lameass cookie cutter dream which although is completely shallow-its what I want to live in. I want to pull all nighters because I have an important case to work on.I want to go holidaying in the Bahamas.But,most importantly,I want to be with the people that I love.I want to go shopping with Starry,tie up Specky's hair and smile at HIM.I want to tell Mimi that she looks pretty even though she wails that her hair is in a mess.I want to be besties with Slushie again.I want to say out loud the 'Things I'll never say.'
I want to renew friendships with the ones I lost out on ,and although it may be utterly and completely crazy-I am not going to do this because 'Its the new year.'Because guess what?
Life is too short.
Im sick of leaving it upto destiny and as a very wise soulmate once said-'I believe in destiny,but I believe you have to work to get it.'
So. Its time to roll up my sleeves,fill up UCAS forms ,get into Kings and graduate with top honours. Its cheesy and oh-so-gay,but its the way I want to live it.
And you know what?
When the next decade rolls around,Im still going to sneak down at 3 in the morning,Im still going pick the chocolate chips outta my muffin,Im still going to drink unhealthy cappuccino,and Im still going to snort. Got a problem?

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I walked today.
Just walked.
I walked upto the London eye.
Its great,isn't it?
Being alone.
It is then that you are vulnerable .So,the epiphanies hit you.
Its like an action movie.
Big bubbles of happiness float and zoom simultaneously towards you and they hit you with no impact but you experience a mind-jolt and you know.
You know what your music does and will always do.
You know why you do the crazy pajama dance.
You know why you copy WHATEVER Jon Foreman does when you are at a show.
You know who you will spend the rest of your life with.

I guess,in the end its just knowing that sets you straight.
It sets you where you are.
They say ignorance is bliss.
Well,pick me up and blow me apart.
Its finger lickin' baloney.

You need to know. You need to know to exist.
You cant just live a life of not knowing,of naivety ,of ignorance.
What kind of a life is that?
That is why you push.
You push for all that is worth.
You strive to find out and you don't care if it annoys them,because what the hell, right?
You NEED to know.
So,in the end you can listen to 'Dream on' and sing with Aerosmith.
So,that in the end you don't wonder what the truth is.
Its just for you.
Its all for you.
Yeah,it does suck ,knowing.
But its better than sitting around wondering 'what if?'
So,assuming,Ceteris Paribus-you know.
And you are having a bad day?
Curl under your quilt with either a movie or awesome songs on your iPod and a box of chocolates and Oreos.
Fall asleep to the music.
Wake up and feel much better.
Always works.
Then go online and tell all your friends on webcam that you love them and feel that lift when they say it back too.
And if that doesn't work ,walk to the London Eye with Maltesers and Twix and wait for the realization to hit.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Theories of love and such...

In one minute you can burn a piece of toast.
In one minute you can stand in the rain and get soaked.
In one minute you can talk to someone and find out their name,address and what they do.
In one minute you can change from being happy to sad.
In one minute you can smile and say thank you.
In one minute you can hear the most shocking piece of news ever.
In one one minute you can summon the courage to tell someone you love them.
In that space of time everything stands still.You feel full of life because everything you feel starts pouring out.Its not the stub of a toe or the wail as burnt toast fills the air. Its the brink of emptiness as everything falls out-because believe it or not love is a kind of loss.
It is giving yourself away to someone who deserves you giving yourself away to them.
Love is being fearless.
Love is trust.
Love is hope.
Because when you love ,you unlock all those feelings out to a person.
Love isnt made.
Love cannot be made.
Love has no rules.
Love is endless boundaries.
Love is kissing fiercely in the pouring rain,love is walking down the street with hands clasped,love is lying on the grass and listening to 'meant to live' in the damp damp grass and staring up at the stars just because it is fun.
Love is not letting the panic bring you down.
Love is life simply because we are not strong enough to spend the rest of our lives alone.
Love is you.
Love is me.
Love is you and me.
I love you.

There we go.My own theories to the works of love.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Points duly noted on a walk

We start walking
It is chilly outside
The sky overhead is grey and cloudy
Turn the corner
Noticed: Cigarette butts lying on the side of the pavement-the line where the grass meets the concrete
Someone was evidently staking out
The question is who?
And why?
Ssssshhhhhhhhh …..…
Keep walking
Noticed: A discarded McDonalds Happy meal carton with fries surrounding it.
Some kid didn’t like their Happy meal.
Or on the more believable side- just threw a tantrum because they didn’t get the burger they wanted
The fries smell so good and looks so lonely that you almost want to pick them and introduce them to the contents of your stomach.
Like any psychopath would.
I resist.

Keep walking

And walking

A motorcycle zips by
I smile like a kid who just opened her Christmas presents and found a hundred Barbie dolls
I look excitedly around.
No one appears to have noticed the sexy Harley Davidson zip by with the equally sexy motorcycle dude on it.
I look dejected like a kid who just found out she got 10 Barbie dolls instead of 100.
Keep trooping.
A car alarm beeping because some asshole probably bumped into it accidentally –on –purpose
I don’t know why.
Ask him
He probably needed some extra cash.
No owner running down to see what happened to the car

Blah blah blah
Stop walking
Do a 180 degree turn
Walk back home
The car alarm is sill blaring
Haven’t they heard of noise pollution?
Noticed: Crushed cigarette packet with the words ‘SMOKING KILLS’ emblazoned across it.
No one really cares.
At least the guy who bought the packets doesn’t
I shake my head at the stupidness and pig-headedness of those who pick up a cigarette packet and keep on walking
Turn onto my street
Another motorcycle zooms by
An evil /excited/happy/jubilant/exultant smile spreads across my face.
This time I don’t bother to look and see if anyone else saw it
Instead, I just gaze at the bike adoringly, lovingly as it races down the street and I make a promise to date a biker.
Preferably one who wears leather jackets ,so I can borrow them and look cool .
And I can ride on the back of his equally sexy bike and everyone will know me as the girl who dates the biker.
Maybe we will even fall in love.
And get married.
And then one day our marriage will break because he will be caught in a drug bust and then everyone will know me as the girl whose husband is in jail.
It was just a dream.
Keep walking.
Near the familiar lights of home-a red brick house with an enormous lawn and an overgrown hedge.
I smell chicken curry.
Walk terminated.