Category Archives: Work Wisdom

The Secret art of waiting

Since ever, in China, bamboo farmers have planted baby bamboo shoots deep into the ground. And then, for three years, nothing happens. But the farmers will work, diligently watering the shoot, spreading hay and manure, waiting patiently, even though nothing is sprouting up. They simply have faith. And then, one day, the bamboo will shoot up and grow up to thirty feet in a month. It just blasts into the sky.

Some things cannot be forced. For some processes, time is the only missing ingredient. Any small, sustainable artist-fan community works like this. Entrepreneurship works like this. You must prepare the ground. So you tend to your relationships on a nonstop basis, you abide by the slow, ongoing task, going out there like a faithful farmer, landing in the unseeable bamboo shoot.

There’s years and years of authentic work, tons of nonmonetary exchanges, massive net-tightening, an endless collection of important moments. Good art is made, good art is shared, help is offered, ears are bent, emotions are exchanged, the compost of real, deep connection is sprayed all over the fields.

Love and respect your own hard work. The dream won’t take any longer to become reality, than the bamboo shoot. It will blast into the sky!

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By the calm – Pic by Stanislav Holota

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Second breath

A “second breath” is a restart of a work after getting a second opinion from yourself.

Taking a “second breath” on works that haven’t quite made it to the “acceptable” stage by your own standards definitely deserve to be addressed again.  Well, that includes all of my works.

For now, I have restarted work on my poetry book. This time it would be the final version – a work I am completely proud of right from the start – while it was playing in my mind for months, while I worked on it, while I troubled my art designer for befitting sketches, while we discussed and relooked at the pieces.

As I pick it up again to put in some fresh ideas, i see some parts as perfect – I wouldn’t change a word in a hundred years; others might need a substitute. I am trying to think out of the box to modify, rearrange, reverse, eliminate, adapt or after permutations come back to the original.

Robert advices – “It may be a fresh new idea you are introducing, but it must not appear as add-on or overworking. In short, you must toil to make your changes look like there was no toil. One stroke too many and you have let the weasel out of the sack. Try not to tighten up. You need not consider the time you’ve already wasted, the cloud of your ego, or the riveting need to keep some particular part. This is business and you need to make the business better. You need to ask yourself, “What could be?”

On my way…then.

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Recipe for a new Life

Didnt realise what it would bring out, when i excitedly called/ mailed /fb’ed my frendz to share my achievement  – I am doing a cookbook!

Every eyebrow that knows me in this world was raised for a moment ( more maybe). How simple statements can muster dangerous inferences!  Them all & I know well, Cooking is nowhere close to things that i can do well, or put my efforts into. At best, I feed my family at the proper meal times, and i make sure it has some amount of nutritional value.

Hold on, you self centered , opinionted creatures!  Hear me out before you decide i might be a misfit here. For starters, this cookbook is a Big charity effort. An assorted group of Expat club ladies have cooked/tasted/recooked with variations, tested again, tasted and finally  compiled this exhaustive list of 170 recipes.

I am a Counsellor editor, part of the production team, supporting the coordination among the photographers, layout designers, printer team, and writer for the complete presell story that goes into press. All proceeds from this book will  go to an orphanage in Tibet.

It was cool being part of the process while they designed each cooked recipe, and took pictures to make it look so appetizing. I did get to taste some of them, too. I was amazed when I heard that this compilation work has taken them almost a year, before they approached my Editorial & design team to give it the final shape, and bring the product into the market.

Anyway, lots of design ideas are still thrown around, and tasks commisioned. It is asked of me to make special blurbs with foodie tips, or variation ideas, to give more value to the recipe, to educate the reader. Haah! yes, now you may all laugh & sneer aloud!

 I was taken aback till there was no room & no way out. It’s ok, I can handle it. let me set a  realistic plan. I will pick a few of those pages/recipes, that need layout support. I will cook each of them. My family will be happy to taste and give honest advice, then I cook again with the variation tip, and they get to eat it again. If it turns out to be delectable, there ! It goes into the book.

This is going to be a great learning experience, my family is equally excited. Our collective knowledge will increase as we unravel the science of cooking, really understand the technicality of a borscht , a quiche or the how to’s of mastering the souffle. trifle , creme bulee or reach the required crispness for a tart or a cookie bar.

Did I mention the USP. Each recipe is also translated into Mandarin. It will help  all foriegners/ non chinese speaking people to get there, and buy the right ingredients and cook that very special dish, and not miss home so much.

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