Archive for February, 2013
…is quite a different story to the hustle and bustle of the day time. It’s still busy, and it’s still full of perpetual movement, but it’s a new kind, a graceful kind of movement. The slow walkers, the young citizens, the businessmen have all gone home to dinner and the delights of on-screen entertainment, and those who are left are the curious walkers, the lively thrill seekers, the late shoppers. Here are the ones who want to explore the city in its neon glow of city lights, electronic billboards and glaring mobile phone screens. The young pixie students come out to play, the hungry seek out hidden away restaurants and eateries which lure them in with promising smells and twinkling, luxurious decor, and the sight-seekers wander around languidly, peacefully, drinking in the famous buildings while the inviting shops offering trinkets.
We are all like busy ants, all following our own streets to make our own way, cleverly interweaving to walk around others, not faltering, but rather slowing down to side-step and glance sweepingly, laugh with your fellow walker, and point a camera or two, tap an Oyster card, that magical ticket to the doors of anywhere.
A skip, a hop, a trip away.
Or rather, in London, a bus, a train and a river away.
It’s interesting how you can tweak one thing about a picture and change it completely. This is the same picture as this one, but the only difference is that I made the background of it in a deep teal colour. What I like is how it ended up looking moody, and that there is a ombre-effect to the sky. I’ve tried it with other colours too, but this was my favourite shade. : )
Iðunn (Idunn) was a Norse Goddess, wife of Bragi and guardian of the golden apples of youth (which was also the Food of the Gods).
These apple boxes aren’t quite the same as Idunn’s golden apples, but they were very pretty ornaments, and reflected light beautifully in a way that made me think of the old Norse myth. I wouldn’t mind buying a few of these, if only to keep my secrets of youth in there (think jelly bears and No. 7 Beauty serum, that sums it up).
I posted before about this app and the different things it does, here’s a few more images I’ve been playing with and the various colours which have been accented from a black and white picture (my favourite is the bangle one, but the jigaw puzzle one came a close second). It’s a really fun way to draw attention to one detail in the picture – and the trick is not to over do the coloured parts, but keep it simple. It also looks a lot prettier when there are smaller, more intricate details, but this is easier said than done when you are doing it on a mobile!
I’m trying my hand at a few new drawing apps soon, will post them soon if they turn out to be any good – in the mean time, is there anything you would recommend?
Disney films – the origins of every Star Plus drama. Or perhaps, it’s really vice versa, maybe Hans Christian Anderson travelled to India one day (or had access to some Indian cable) and saw a young beautiful girl being victimised by her family. Add a few pretty dresses, fairy godmothers and a ball – and she’s getting married to a man she met the night before. No hanky panky there!
Okay, okay, I know that the fairy tales came first, but here’s a look at how Disney films are similar to the clichéd Bollywood films and serial dramas (or should it be sari-al dramas?), and how the Disney-fied versions may have been peppered with desi culture.
1. Sleeping Beauty
Starting off with an arranged marriage which is fixed at birth (okay, Asian parents don’t do that anymore, but think of older generations pairing up their kids with cousins etc). As for the ‘evil witch’ who makes trouble – just think of the jealous ‘aunt’ who causes a drama and a kicks up a massive fuss when not invited to family occasion – is this not almost every Asian wedding you’ve ever been to? Not to mention the three god-fairies who are meant to be looking after the Princess but end up telling her to dress, eat and clean the house – replace this with interfering aunts or mother-in-laws, and you have a Bollywood family drama. Not to mention, only in a serial drama would the happy ending be a wedding with a blinged out ballgown (i.e. dress that goes blue-pink-blue-pink).
2. Beauty and the Beast
Let me start off, first, with the fact that in Beauty and the Beast, reading is seen as bad. Forget the fact that my parents used to hate my sisters and I reading books (a separate post in itself!) – EVERYONE who has seen a Bollywood film in the 90s will know that a heroine can never be beautiful while she wears glasses because it makes her ugly and geeky, which comes from reading too many books and not being a good marriage prospect. That is, until she takes the glasses off and transforms into a immaculately made-up supermodel with perfect hair.
(Props to Beauty and the Beast, though, for giving Belle a whole library to accept her inner nerd.)
Add to this the fact that Belle’s only purpose (and worth) in life is to be a potential wife to the village bachelor, since he’s such a catch, and you’ve got your average Bollywood movie in which any girl, no matter how much of a rebel, career woman or lost-cause she is, becomes a cosy home-maker once she’s snagged herself a man who’s willing to wife her up.
Another Bollywoodification in this film – when Belle goes to live with the Beast, she’s seen as endangered, or even a subject of scandal…until everyone finds out he’s a prince with a castle, in which case all is forgiven and she can marry him because of his giant 42-inch plasma tv and his Beemer in the drive…er, I mean gold-gilded chariot wheels.
3. Jungle Book
Mowgli. ‘Nuff said.
(Not to mention the fact that most of us had the same bowl-haircut as Mowgli when we were kids.)
If Indian serial dramas could be epitomised in one Disney film it would be this one – the pretty, luxurious dresses (in the dramas everyone is dressed up to the nines as if they are about to attend their own wedding, but instead just sit around at home lurking around in corridors and stuff); the rivalry between sisters/in-laws/aunts/mothers/grannies; the race to get married, and of course, the comic ‘ugly’ sisters (i.e. fat aunties) trying to squeeze themselves into flouncy dresses.
Not only does Cinderella end up marrying a man she met once before her marriage (arranged marriages have less dancing involved, but still), but she manages to do so in a beautiful dress which conveniently cost nothing because of a ‘fairy godmother’ (if only, eh?) – and us Asian girls will all know about having to be home from the ball in time for curfew.
5. Snow White
Replace Snow White’s evil stepmother with a mother in law, and you have almost every Asian woman’s dynamic relationship with her MIL (particularly the ones on tv). Not to mention trying to kill her with food – jealous much?
Oh, and those heigh-ho-singing dwarves? Just promoting the ethics of hard work, just like a good A-grade Asian (Not to mention how those dwarves are just symbolism for hairy, Asian men, i.e. potential haasbands. ) Just like Cindy-poo and Sleeping Beauty, Snow White marries a man she saw once, then falls in love with him AFTER shaadi like a good girl.
It may be about an elephant, but the ear jokes are all Asian.
Okay, a different type of Asian, but still emphasises boys are more important than girls. What do they know, hey?
They didn’t even try to hide anything in this one – big-nosed Asians, arranged marriages (to rich princes – isn’t every Desi mother’s son a Prince after all?) and brown people wishing for things they can’t afford – and expecting them for free (i.e. cutting corners).
And Jasmine herself has got the classic long black hair in a (albeit poof-y) good-girl plait, brown eyes with extravagant eyeliner (just look outside on the streets of East London to see proof of a dodgy combination of young girls and too much eyeliner) and as if it’s not racist enough, she has a pet tiger.
*All memes have been made by myself, but feel free to re-use them, just as I ‘borrowed’ the Disney images from the internetz.*
As much I like sunsets away from the city and the clustered, bustling buildings, cars and people, sometimes you can’t skip work for the day and have a day in the country-side.
Here’s a pretty pastel-coloured sunset I saw today, it was actually a lot more vivid pink in real life though, and it looked even more prettier as it turned into a deeper, dusky pink with hints of red.
Makes me think of watercolours running into each other (a bit like those mable paintings we used to do as kids, put a piece of paper and some paint in a tray, throw a marble in and rolllll like crazy. Good times).